Why are dado blades considered unsafe?

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 10-06-2013 07:06 PM 3799 views 0 times favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3891 posts in 2663 days

10-06-2013 07:06 PM

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


1614 posts in 1737 days

#1 posted 10-06-2013 07:13 PM

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


175 posts in 1253 days

#2 posted 10-06-2013 07:17 PM

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


7145 posts in 2796 days

#3 posted 10-06-2013 07:35 PM

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


3891 posts in 2663 days

#4 posted 10-06-2013 07:40 PM

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


2735 posts in 1997 days

#5 posted 10-07-2013 02:39 AM

What scott said.

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

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2303 days

#6 posted 10-07-2013 02:41 AM

big ass blade + large potential for kickback

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

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3313 days

#7 posted 10-07-2013 02:42 AM

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 1669 days

#8 posted 10-07-2013 04:12 AM

“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 longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2728 days

#9 posted 10-07-2013 04:22 AM

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

View rg33's profile


83 posts in 1422 days

#10 posted 10-07-2013 05:02 AM

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.

7699 posts in 1800 days

#11 posted 10-07-2013 06:16 AM

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


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21542 posts in 1758 days

#12 posted 10-07-2013 07:58 AM

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.

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2796 days

#13 posted 10-07-2013 10:06 AM

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


150 posts in 2749 days

#14 posted 10-07-2013 11:41 AM

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

604 posts in 2319 days

#15 posted 10-07-2013 11:50 AM

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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