Table Saw Kick Back Protector Opinions Please

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Forum topic by Nick_R posted 12-09-2012 09:03 PM 2531 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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154 posts in 2383 days

12-09-2012 09:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw injury safety

I have this great Jet cabinet saw and have made 500+ cuts with it. I do not disable safety features since I believe, as most people do, they make the equipment …....well…....... safer. But I have never been comfortable when the wood passes through the blade the resulting cut slot is filled with the metal plate of the kickback protector. If it was not lined up perfect it causes a kickback..! I really became leery when the wood was to tall to pass through cleanly and you can’t feed the wood all the way past the blade.. Yikes! that makes you back the piece up…. OMG!

I thought about taking it off for certain jobs (cutting slots, tall wood, etc) but it is not engineered to come off easily and frankly takes lots of time etc…. So no matter how tempted I was… I left it in place.

Today I was cutting a slot and it hit the protector. KA POW….! Thank God I was standing aside the blade, I was pushing along the fence ( about 10” away), had full face protection or it would have been much worse.. As it is I cut 3 fingers, 10 stitches, 2 to 3 weeks of missed work, scars and pain not to mention my poor wife having to deal with it…........

I am not saying I am not to blame.. I should have had a push stick….. Don’t know if it would make a difference or just have given me an opportunity to be hurt at a later time…

I am going to make a change just not sure what.. Lay it on me jocks…

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

36 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2810 days

#1 posted 12-09-2012 09:09 PM

Saw stop.

Heal quickly Nick!

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 12-09-2012 09:14 PM

Sawstop still has kickbacks. I am sure a riving knife helps. it would depend on where your hand was when the kickback occurred. Dit the blade do the damage to you hand or did the kickback do the damage?

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2810 days

#3 posted 12-09-2012 09:17 PM

Hope you heal well, but always make sure the splitter is aligned properly.

A sawstop wouldn’t prevent a kickback like that is the riving knife isn’t aligned.
Did you contact the blade or were the injuries from the kicked back piece?

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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154 posts in 2383 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 09:17 PM

the wood dragged my hand past the blade.. Saw Stop would be awesome.. I gave it lots of consideration but then a craigslist deal made me go Jet.

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3881 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 09:19 PM

Use a short auxilliary fence face when ripping solid woods. Much safer

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2323 days

#6 posted 12-09-2012 09:21 PM

Does your current saw have a riving knife? A standard splitter is further away from the back of the blade which sounds like your issue. The riving knife moves up and down with the blade for the closest fit possible.

I’m pretty sure riving knives are standard safety equipment on all table saws since 2010.

To stick with your current saw you could take a look at the micro jig splitter kit which basically puts a splitter into a zero clearance insert.

View Nick_R's profile


154 posts in 2383 days

#7 posted 12-09-2012 09:30 PM

no riving knife…. this is a 2001 Jet. Can I get something to replace the existing system?

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 2323 days

#8 posted 12-09-2012 09:32 PM

The only replacement I can think of is a BORK. But I don’t know if your saw is supported.

Sorry I can’t post links, I’m on the phone and copy paste isn’t working.

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2925 days

#9 posted 12-09-2012 09:38 PM

Push sticks save digits! Mine has a nice groove in it where I inadvertently made contact with the blade. Ripped it right out of my hand and hit the back wall of the garage with a loud thunk. Scared the hell out of me, but it is a nice visual reminder as I still use it.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2918 days

#10 posted 12-09-2012 09:45 PM

When your mind says to back-up the piece, your gut should tell you to hit the off button. IMHO no good ever came from backing out a piece on a running saw.

I won’t tell you to remove the guard. I still have the one that came with my saw and it looks very nice hanging on the wall. Fighting that thing in addition to trying to concentrate on the cut is just too much for me. I understand it’s people like me that led to the introduction of the riving knife.

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2909 days

#11 posted 12-09-2012 09:56 PM

Sorry but I didn’t read the original post correctly. I will still stand by what I said. The kickback was probably caused by backing the piece away from the blade. I saw this first hand when I was in high school 50 years ago. Scared me so bad I still play that video in my mind. NEVER BACK STOCK AWAY FROM THE BLADE!! You are setting yourself up for a kickback. In the high school story. I was assisting another kid. He was making a blind cut for a bed rail slot. He lowered the stock over a running blade and pushed it forward. HE then decided he didn’t have the marks lined up when he lowered the stock and needed to cut an additional 1/8”. The stock was picked up by the blade and it walked to the rear. His hand on the front of the stock was left at the blade and he had his fingers cut on the back side several times. That happened in less than a heart beat. I don’t want my hand on that side of the saw blade.

View dgage's profile


60 posts in 3204 days

#12 posted 12-09-2012 10:03 PM

First, sorry to hear about the accident but glad it wasn’t worse. I have a 10 year old Dewalt saw and took off the guard but now use an overhead dust cover but that doesn’t have kickback protection so I use the MJ Splitter Pro for that. While I’d rather a Sawstop, my current setup should protect me from most issues although without a riving knife directly behind the blade, kick back is still a concern. I’m not saying a riving knife removes kickback possibility but does greatly reduce compared to the old style rigid splitter further behind the blade.

I also have the Festool TS75 handheld saw system with multiple rails and I often use that to rough cut and put a clean edge on hardwood. With that system, I don’t have to worry about kickback AT ALL. It could still happen but the saw has a riving knife and the blade is buried in the wood and the few kickbacks I’ve had have been non issues that have me stop, readjust, and keep sawing. I’m not saying to replace your saw with the Festool but it is an alternative and I love my Festool tools since their systems interoperable so well. I still use my table saw a ton but also use the Festool to rough cut plywood sheets and hardwood and then do the final sizing on the table saw.


View Cellulosespinner's profile


63 posts in 2268 days

#13 posted 12-10-2012 03:16 AM

You know we all use a bunch of equipment that has inherent danger to it. Technology has come a long way and this is why I’m buying a sawstop after the holidays. I’ve cruised craigslist for saws but have decided the extra money spent is well worth keeping my fingers. But don’t think for a minute I couldn’t do myself in on the chopsaw,bandsaw,planer,skillsaw, or the lathe. Almost forgot the grandmaster Radial arm saw.Thinking safety takes a little extra time but the payoff in HUGE!
Thanks for sharing this Nick….It’s not easy to bare your mishap but we all can learn from it!!

-- Once in a man's life you should have a good dog, a good horse and a good woman. The trick is to get them all together at the same time

View Nick_R's profile


154 posts in 2383 days

#14 posted 12-10-2012 02:28 PM

Thank You for all the replies. I think this “mistake” was a lesson in disguise. This sucks and I will have scarring (physical,emotional and ego) but the truth is that anyone can end up hurt, even with sawstop etc. Also safety devices might not be all that “safe” based on what you trying to accomplish.

I think I will remove the splitter and look for a retro fit riving knife. I will also purchase the micro jig push blocks, unless someone has a better idea… Thanks

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2520 days

#15 posted 12-10-2012 02:39 PM

I’ve found that there are two things which go hand in hand with safety equipment, one is to always keep a sharp blade on, and two, feed work slowly and watch for stress release at the back end of the blade. I also use a Freud thin kerf and it seems to be more forgiving and IMO cuts much better than a standard kerf.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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