Board Buddies or Grip-Tite Rollers?

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Forum topic by DavidNJ posted 02-03-2013 06:05 PM 5104 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 1992 days

02-03-2013 06:05 PM

Both of these mechanisms mount to the fence and provide pressure drawing the wood toward the fence and downward. These are apparently very useful on both lumber and sheet stock. Apparently they are very helpful holding thinner sheet goods against the fence.

A previous thread talked about holddown devices in general: What are the Best Pushblocks/Hold Downs . In this thread I’m trying to focus on these two fence mounted devices.

The Board Buddies (also sold as Board Mates and “Yellow One-Direction Anti-Kickback Safety Rollers”) are either screwed into the top of an auxiliary fence or into blocks that in turn mount in a T-track. Peachtree sells a UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) polyethylene to mount it to but I believe most just use a piece of wood.

Sold in sets of two rollers, the rollers can be mounted to either side of the blade or behind the blade. The blocks slide back and forth in their mount and the roller screws up and down in its mount. Either way, the rollers are a bit bulky limiting their use on smaller pieces.

Their unique feature is that the rollers rotate in only one direction allowing it to function as an anti-kickback device.

Grip-Tite magnetic holddowns are the primary product of Mesa Vista Designs. Some versions come with their rollers attached to the bottom. The rollers are available separately and with a plexiglass mounting plate. This plate can mount either to a T-track on the face of the fence, screw into the fence, or presumably be clamped to the fence. Two holddowns are sold with the plexi-glass as the Kickback 2. There used to be a Kickback with one roller, but it appears to be no longer available.

Instead of a rubber roller, the rollers use a 120 grit sandpaper to hold the workpiece. The mounting is much easier than the board buddies and the they appear to hold closer to the fence, although I can’t verify that.

The name implies an anti-kickback capability, but I’m not sure how that is implemented.

Smaller and lighter, the rollers seem more convenient to use than the Board Buddies. Both are in the $48-$56 range, effectively the same price.

Which is the better choice? Which worked or didn’t work for you?

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10396 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 02-03-2013 07:05 PM

The Board Buddies can be set up so one or both of them
is on the other side of the sawblade, for repetitive
cutting of narrow strips.

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2674 days

#2 posted 02-03-2013 07:32 PM

Great thread!!! Thanks for stating it.

I can’t contribute but will follow along, for insight and information. I was curious as to the ability to rip narrow stock, with the “Board Buddies”. Seems I have my answer! Looking forward to ingesting the information this thread generates.

Again thanks for starting a thread dealing with this important topic (to me at least)!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 1992 days

#3 posted 02-03-2013 08:06 PM

Loren, how do you position the roller for very narrow stock. Do you have a picture?

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2849 days

#4 posted 02-03-2013 08:13 PM

Just a couple of notes:

Neither of these will work with a fence that doesn’t lock down both ends.

I had a set of these on a shaper and with two people operating, the set did a lot to improve quality of cut.

If there is room between the blade and the fixture, you can push the work through. If not, then there’s not a comfortable (safe) way to push the work through. If you push the falldown side then the work just sits there with the blade running until you shut the power down in order to safely remove the work.

The addition of these would not improve the safe operation of my table saw.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

#5 posted 02-03-2013 09:13 PM

Been using the “Buddies” for at least 15 yrs. on RAS and TS with no probs. Have green, orange, and yellow wheels. That being said, I am a super wuss when it comes to preventing any form of kick-back, so I can’t feature any bad/good saves. They have just made me feel that much more safe.
I don’t use the adjustable rail, just fix ‘em to the appropriate fences.
So far, so good.


View syenefarmer's profile


488 posts in 3079 days

#6 posted 02-03-2013 10:07 PM

Board Buddies owner here. I use them all the time and they’re great and recommend them.

View mrg's profile


823 posts in 2998 days

#7 posted 02-03-2013 10:09 PM

David are you in NJ? If so the Woodworking show is Feb 22 to 24 and you can check out all these gadgets. It is in Somerset at the Garden State Expo Center. It is just off of Route 287. I am mentioning this since you had in one of your posts that you are gearing up for a decent sized purchase. You might find some good deals. I did last year.

-- mrg

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 1992 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 02:00 AM

I am going to the Somerset show (it is only 20 minutes away) and I do have a shopping list for the show. However, real woodworker’s real experiences are not as easy to come by.

The Board Buddies should be available at the show (at least in the form of Peachtree Board Mates). If he Grip-Tite rollers didn’t exist this would be a very easy decision.

Bill, can you show a picture of how you have them mounted? Since the router table and table saw both use the yellow rollers and yours are mounted to the fences, do you have two sets?

I’d love to see pictures processing narrower pieces like a 1/4” or 1/2” 8’ trim piece. Or maybe ripping a stile or rail on its edge.

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