Riving Knife

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Forum topic by Nick Solimine posted 11-28-2008 07:39 PM 14434 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nick Solimine

54 posts in 3729 days

11-28-2008 07:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

I own a craftsman 10” table saw #22124 (the zip code saw).
I have removed the blade protector for a new project and i experienced kick back, fortunetly i did not get hurt. However i went to sears to get a riving knife and they looked at me like i had 2 heads. Did research on the internet but no one makes one for this model. Any suggestions , ideas , please help all ideas would be helpful. Still learning.

-- Nick , North Carolina " If we trust in GOD he will never put us in a place where his graces will not protect us "

11 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#1 posted 11-28-2008 07:41 PM

I saw an article in one of the woodworking magazines recently about making your own. Maybe someone can remember the magazine and which issue it was.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3485 days

#2 posted 11-28-2008 08:03 PM

I have seen people make zero clearance inserts with a riving knife built in. This would work fine for the majority of through cuts you make. Obviously it would be in the way if you weren’t cutting completely through the wood.
Hopefully, someone will answer that has done this.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3649 days

#3 posted 11-29-2008 04:09 AM

I think I saw some splitter inserts for a zero clearance in Woodcraft or Rockler (can’t remember which). Make the zero insert out of Masonite or mdf and drill 2 small holes behind the blade and slip the splitter in the holes. Look to be about an inch high and an inch and a half long.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3649 days

#4 posted 11-29-2008 07:16 AM

It was also shown as a Woodworking tip. This version has you sliding a thin wedge in a slot behind the blade. Here’s where you can find it.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3717 days

#5 posted 11-29-2008 07:59 AM

The November issue of Popular Woodworking had an article by Marc Adams on Kickback.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4077 days

#6 posted 11-29-2008 11:09 AM

Hi Nick

When you are saying that you removed the “Blade protector”....I’m a little bit confused…

Normally, one unit contains 3 parts;
1. Splitter (or as it’s officially called “Spreader”)
2. Anti-kickback pawls (or “anti kickback fingers”)
3. Blade guard – usually a clear plastic.

Correct me if I’m wrong but, I think that they come as one unit and – as I understand – you removed all the unit…

As for Riving Knife (RK)....the RK does the same thing like the splitter but with a small (but big) difference…

To visualize it, raise the blade to it’s maximum height…at this position, the splitter will be very close to the blade and will follow the blade contour….now, “weld” the splitter to the blade and, lower the blade…the splitter will go down with the blade and will remain at the same distance and reference to the blade…that’s a Riving Knife…

The RK is set to 3~8mm (1/8”~5/16”) from the blade and, ones the distance is set, the RK will stay at the same distance at any blade height and angle.

The problem is that the splitter has fixed position and height and when the blade is lowered, the distance of the splitter to the blade will increase and in very low blade positions, the splitter will be quite far from the blade and the “anti-kickback protection” will decrease.

As I know, all the “new designs” from 2008 must come with a riving knife but if your saw is 2007 or before design (model), it will not include RK (and that’s – maybe – the reason that Sears “looked at me like i had 2 heads”....simply, there is no RK for this model.

You cannot just put a RK on any table saw because it involves some linkage and different design…that’s why the new designs with the RK costs a little bit more…

So, the only way that you can go is a splitter as it was suggested on the previous posts.

As for the kickback that you got, it’s not necessary because you did not use the splitter….in a perfect world, you should not get a kickback even without using a splitter….

I would check the blade / rip fence alignment…if the fence is “toed-in” at the far side, you might get a kickback even with splitter/RK…

Another type of kickback is what I call “Operator induced kickback”....when you are ripping, keep you eyes on the fence and keep the workpiece tight to the fence and don’t let it go till the workpiece is out of the blade back teeth.


View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3710 days

#7 posted 11-29-2008 06:08 PM

From all of the reading I’ve done on this subject You cannot add a riving knife to a saw made without one and you won’t be able to in the future. Obviously spliters can be add in many ways as indicated above. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that many manufactures have started using the term riving knife/spliter. if you google “riving knife (without the quotes) you can learn more than you want to know and will probably be even more confused.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Loren's profile


10385 posts in 3645 days

#8 posted 11-29-2008 06:47 PM

A splitter is usually attached to the back of the saw and it’s made
of thin metal. It provides a little bit of riving knife function but it’s
pale compared to the real thing.

A riving knife goes right behind the blade and keeps the wood
“open” as you cut the board. Solid wood either “opens” or
“closes” as you rip it and this can cause kickback. The Euro
way to handle this is with a short fence that prevents the
stock from jamming between the blade and fence and also a
riving knife right behind the blade.

The riving knife is, ideally, almost as thick as the blade.

You can make your own “riving knife/splitter” by installing
a little rectangle of wood into a zero-clearance insert. Since
the splitter isn’t right to the rear of the blade and doesn’t
follow the blade curvature it’s not as effective as a real
metal riving knife but it works ok.

Next year I think all the saws sold in the US will have riving knives.

View twill57's profile


24 posts in 3890 days

#9 posted 12-07-2008 02:28 AM

I made a splitter that goes in the blade guard holder. You might want to take at a look a the Shark Guard, it comes with a nice splitter set up.

-- Tom, Grove City, Ohio

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3459 days

#10 posted 12-08-2008 07:44 PM

I own the same saw and have never had a kick back problem. One thing does come to mind, have you set the saw up correctly? You will need to make sure that the fence and miter slots are PARALLEL to the blade. On this saw its a really easy adjustment. The owners manual does a good job explaining the process. If the blade is not parallel, healing for example, the wood being cut is pinched between the blade and the fence at the rear and can cause kick back. I would definately check that all the proper set up adjustments are correct.

As for the riving knife. This saw is not equipped, it has a splitter that in integrated with the blade guard.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View map's profile


98 posts in 3510 days

#11 posted 12-09-2008 07:35 AM

I don’t think that a roving knife is available for your saw. For my craftsman saw, I use a zero clearance insert combined with a MJ splitter by Micro Jig. I also use a Gripper from the same company. While not exactly cheap, they have eliminated (so far) kick back that made a mess of one hand and my (fat) stomach. This combination does not work with a tilted blade, but I have built a sled that I now use if I want to make a beveled cut. The gripper I also find very useful on the router table.


-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

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