Why are dado blades considered unsafe?

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 292 days ago 2153 views 0 times favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2716 posts in 1842 days

292 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I keep hearing people say dado blades are dangerous, but never heard the reason why. I use a dado blade all the time and have never felt that by doing so, I was placing myself in danger. If there is something I don’t know, please enlighten me.

58 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


754 posts in 915 days

#1 posted 292 days ago

I would guess because some people attempt to do too much with them and are subjected to powerful kick back forces. Plowing a 3/4”x3/4” dado through oak is probably overdoing it.

The way I use them, I’ve never had any incidents. I just keep the cuts shallow enough that I’m not feeling any strong resistance to the cuts. Deep dados are done in multiple passes.

-- See my work at and

View BArnold's profile


170 posts in 431 days

#2 posted 292 days ago

I’ve never had any bad incidents using a dado set. I’m curious to see what the responses are to your post. Like JAAune said, using a dado improperly can lead to problems just as with many other tools.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View knotscott's profile


5369 posts in 1974 days

#3 posted 291 days ago

Probably because of the amount of material removed in the event of an accident….a full dado stack could really mangle flesh.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View MrRon's profile


2716 posts in 1842 days

#4 posted 291 days ago

Using a dado blade can be as dangerous as using a plain blade, but why such a strong reaction by European safety associations? I can just see “VERBOTEN” printed in saw owner manuals.

View NiteWalker's profile


2704 posts in 1175 days

#5 posted 291 days ago

What scott said.

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

View Manitario's profile


2259 posts in 1481 days

#6 posted 291 days ago

big ass blade + large potential for kickback

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2492 days

#7 posted 291 days ago

you keep hearing nonsense

in my experience & as limited as some might think that is

they r as safe as apple pie

the blades are never a problem

people are

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 847 days

#8 posted 291 days ago

“VERBOTEN” is “forbidden” in English for those that haven’t looked it up yet. My only guess is that the safety police in Europe are jumping on the US attorneys band wagon of thinking all consumers are entitled to be compensated for their carelessness. I assume their reasoning is that you have to run it with the guard off.

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4934 posts in 1907 days

#9 posted 291 days ago

They are perfectly as safe as any other tool if you are careful and use common sense.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View rg33's profile


51 posts in 600 days

#10 posted 291 days ago

speaking of dadoes and potentially being unsafe, I have a question…
Im building a simple tv stand that will have one shelf in the middle. This shelf will be glued to the sides having dadoes about halfway up. My question is as follows, is it safe to cut the dadoes (for 3/4” plywood) crosscut wise on the table saw using the fence?
Before you think me a noob about to do something unsafe let me clarify the following, the pieces that will get the dadoes aren’t actually that much longer than they are wide: 20”X17” with the dado being put up about halfway up the 20” length. I have a stacked dado set that I just got, but wanted to get others’ inputs before I try this. Otherwise I do have a 1/2” router bit that I could use with two passes but it just seems like that would be much more of a hassle since I dont have a router table yet.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3777 posts in 978 days

#11 posted 291 days ago

Europeans love their riving knives which don’t work with dado blades.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13258 posts in 936 days

#12 posted 291 days ago

Everything we use can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. That’s why woodworkers are very common in the Emergency Department. Know your guidelines and follow them.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View knotscott's profile


5369 posts in 1974 days

#13 posted 291 days ago

In addition to taking a bigger chunk of flesh, the skeptic in me also thinks someone who was well positioned to profit from it probably made tons of money by passing those laws in Europe. Greed and the urge for the few to control the many is pretty is an ugly part of human history.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Bullet's profile


149 posts in 1928 days

#14 posted 291 days ago

Dado sets are perfectly safe… As long as you’re using them on a Saw Stop.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

489 posts in 1497 days

#15 posted 291 days ago

In the past 5 years I have been using my grandfather’s craftsmen table saw and it has a ¾ hp on it .
But I do all my dado’s with it but I only go a ¼ “ deep and a ¼ “ wide and that’s Oak too. I wont try this on my big saw it has a 2 hp .

showing 1 through 15 of 58 replies

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