Riving knife

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Forum topic by OldWrangler posted 02-11-2014 11:13 AM 1241 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1620 days

02-11-2014 11:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question riving knife

Back again to pick your collective brains. I have an older model Rockwell Contractor Table Saw and in the last year I have had kickbacks several times (usually from my loss of concentration). Luckily only minor cuts and bruises to my hand but I think it also may have affected the arthritis already in my hands. My question is….will a riving knife help and can one be installed on this older model? There seems to be a stationary bracket with a couple of bolts behind the blade and under the insert, so I suppose it could be mounted there. Another question is if the riving knife will cause any problem when crosscutting with a sled? Will the knife need to be removed when using a dado blade? Two final questions. Most of my saw blades are combos with carbide teeth that leave a medium size kerf, do I need a thin riving knife or will the standard one work? And where is a good place to buy a knife, I see prices online from $25 to $85?
Once again, thanks for your prompt suggestions.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

4 replies so far

View Dutchy's profile


2987 posts in 2194 days

#1 posted 02-11-2014 11:39 AM

Hello OldWrangler,

I have no problem with the riving knife when i,m crosscutting. A riving knife should be about 0,5 mm thinner than the blade, and when you want a poor,s man riving knife look at:



View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2631 days

#2 posted 02-11-2014 11:50 AM

If it is an older contractor saw (from say the 90s or before and not one made in the last decade). Then the stationary post you are looking at is likely for a splitter not a riving knife. A splitter will also do what you want by helping to prevent kickbacks, but it will not rise automatically to the exact height of the blade. This matters when you are not doing a through cut since it will need to be removed.

View Picklehead's profile


1041 posts in 1955 days

#3 posted 02-11-2014 12:05 PM

I have a Sharkguard and I really like it. Good customer service.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2310 days

#4 posted 02-11-2014 12:27 PM

You have asked a lot of questions. I am not an expert, but will try to provide some answers.
Yes a riving knife would help. A riving knife keeps the wood from climbing up the blade and being kicked back. A splitter will help, but not as much as a riving knife. Other things that will help is to have the fence about 0.002 wider at the back of the blade.
Not sure you can install a riving knife on that saw. The riving knife needs to be attached to the mechanism that raises and lowers the blade to keep the knife the same distance to the blade when raising and lowering the blade. The stationary bracket is most likely for a splitter/guard.
A true riving knife or splitter should work with a sled. You cannot use either with a dado as this is not a through cut.
Blades are generally thin kerf and full kerf. You normally use thin kerf on saws 2 hp or less and full kerf on saws 3 hp or more. A thin kerf knife will work on thin or full kerf blades, but a thick kerf should only be used on thick kerf blades. It is best to match the knife to the blade.
For $25-85 I think you are looking at guards with splitters, but not with true riving knives. I would contact Shark Guard and he can tell you what he can supply regarding riving knife and splitter/guard. There is also a company called BORK that can make riving knives for older saws.

My saw is an older Jet 3hp cabinet saw and there is not an easy way to install a riving knife. Shark Guard cannot make one for my saw and I am checking the BORK company. I do have a splitter and a guard installed and use board buddies where practical along with the proper push sticks.

-- Bill R

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