Planer kickback

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 08-23-2009 06:26 PM 2987 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3261 days

08-23-2009 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer kick back

I’m now a member of the kick back club, unfortunately. I’m not sure what I did wrong – but this is what happened, maybe some of you can give me some ideas.

I’m planning a 1/2” board (which I’ve done a gazillion times) – just enough to plane off the bandsaw marks from resawing it. So I’m not taking a large cut at all – less than a 32nd (roughly). I place the board on the infeed table, let it engage the roller, held the back up with a finger (not grasping – just holding it up level to the table) – as the board reached the knives – I let got and reached for my next board—- and BAM! The first board shot back and hit me in the elbow. I never stand directly behind any of my equipment when I use it – but this time I had stacked my boards on the wrong side of the planer and had to reach over to get the next board. You can bet I won’t do that again!

I’m not sure what happened – any ideas? The board was perfectly flat on one side, there were no knots or splits (the board was pretty much ready to be used for my project – other than needed resawn.).

As for injuries—- At first I thought I was OK – I’ve got a pretty good scratch where the board bounced off my elbow. But this morning – my arm is really sore and has a clicking noise—- yuck. So tomorrow I’ll call my ortho doctor to see if he can x-ray it for me – I’m thinking I may have chipped it. It doesn’t hurt enough to go the ER and I can move it so I’m not worried about being broken – but if there is a chip I do want to know if I need to have it taken care of.

So guys – what are your thoughts.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

21 replies so far

View lew's profile


11179 posts in 3120 days

#1 posted 08-23-2009 07:54 PM

Wow, Betsy!

Hope it isn’t any thing serious!

I have had boards shatter because of knots or splits but never like what you described.

The only thing I can think might have happened is that the side you were planing may not have been parallel to the opposite side. Maybe after the board engaged the knives, it lost contact with the infeed roller and there wasn’t enough pressure to hold it with the outfeed roller and it got kicked back.

Home the x-ray shows no damage.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


115039 posts in 2942 days

#2 posted 08-23-2009 07:55 PM

Hey Betsy
Usually kick back occurs when your planning two boards at one or to short of wood . I could only guess the feed rollers are not level. I think Lew’s explanation is possible also.

-- Custom furniture

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3261 days

#3 posted 08-23-2009 08:18 PM

Lew – you might be onto something there. Since this was a resawn board – the sides may not have been perfectly parallel. I just looked at some of the other boards that I have not yet planned – and there is a slight difference between them. With that said – the face that was on the table was flat – but the resawn side did have some thickness difference. So I do know that I had good contact with the table. I think I’ll take a hand plane to get them cleaned up – sure would be safer.

Jim – length is definitely not it this time – the boards were all about 3 feet long and I was only feeding one at a time. But that does bring up a good point to others – anything less than a foot should not be run through a planer without a carriage.

As for the rollers – I think you have brought up another good point – I’ll check those this afternoon.

Thanks for the input guys.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3356 days

#4 posted 08-23-2009 08:49 PM


What kind of planer is it?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3261 days

#5 posted 08-23-2009 09:02 PM

DeWalt bench top – model 733

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3465 days

#6 posted 08-23-2009 09:25 PM

That is a good planer.

My thoughts were the same as Lew’s because I have had a near kickback experience with my own resawn material and that was the issue.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3261 days

#7 posted 08-23-2009 09:35 PM

Thanks Todd. The more I think on it, the more I think Lew is right.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3356 days

#8 posted 08-23-2009 11:30 PM

I’ve planed a fair amount of re-sawn material; How far out of parallel would the two sides have to be? Like Betsy I have never seen this before.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3197 days

#9 posted 08-24-2009 03:39 AM

Eek! I plane resawn boards with my 733 and never think about kickback. I’ll definitely have to stay away from the business end in the future.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View woodisit's profile


61 posts in 2607 days

#10 posted 08-24-2009 04:11 AM

Hope your ok. I agree with Lew but you might also check alignment your in feed and out feed tables. I had trouble with my 733

-- Woodisit

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3261 days

#11 posted 08-24-2009 04:18 AM

I think its never a good idea to stand directly behind our machines – as this has proven – you never know when the machine will chuck something back at you.

I’ve checked my planer and the rollers seem to be OK as is the alignment of the in feed and out feed tables. I really think my problem came down to the difference in the parallel of my resawn material. Either way——it hurt!

Thanks for the help guys.

Be safe out there!

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View tooldad's profile


659 posts in 3080 days

#12 posted 08-24-2009 04:20 AM

I have had that happen on a drum sander. However I was sending 2 4” boards through at the same time and one was a little thinner than the other. Both were 3/4” stock from HD, but not exactly the same I guess. It shot one of them fortunately towards the outfeed side. Did this twice and that was enough. AFter that only sent one through at a time.

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 3278 days

#13 posted 08-24-2009 03:24 PM


Sorry to hear about your kickback. I hope that your injury is not serious.

In my experience, the other posters have touched on the usual problems (boards too short, or two boards not the same height). Lew brought up a good point in that if your re-sawed material has a major dip in it such that the rollers loose contact with the material and th knives catch it, it will kick back!

Given what you’ve stated, that is the only possibility that i cam come up with.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3014 days

#14 posted 08-24-2009 03:44 PM

Betsy – thanks for bringing this up. with lew’s and others’ responses, it’s something worth thinking about when sending material through the planer, that many of us (aka me) wouldn’t think about if not told of the possibility.

anything safety wise is welcome.

hope the doctor doesn’t find anything serious, and things heal quickly.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 2587 days

#15 posted 08-24-2009 04:12 PM

Thanks for sharing. I hope I can remember this when I get around to purchasing a planer one of these years! I wonder if there could be an easy way to install anti-kickback wheels that are typically used for table saws onto a planer for an added level of safety…

-- James -

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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