What is Table Saw Kickback and How to Prevent It from Happening

Table saw kickback means the throwing of wood at you by the blade when woods interact with the blade. It happens so fast that you can’t prevent yourself that fast.

Kickback usually occurs in two primary ways. 

First, when the workpiece gets stuck between the blade and the rip fence. In this case, the workpiece moves towards the worker, so, to prevent injury, never stand directly behind the workpiece.

Second, when the pressure is not applied correctly on the workpiece, and the entire workpiece is thrown upward or backward at a violent speed towards you. It is common and very dangerous because it happens too fast that the woodworkers can’t get a chance to prevent them.

The following article will cover the methods about how to prevent yourself from the tea saw kickback.

How to prevent kickback on the table saw


The following are some of the safety tips that help you to prevent yourself and reduce the risk of kickback on the table saw.

1.Riving Knife and blade guard

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/Blade-Guard-Riving-Knife-Table/dp/B08D66ZWWJ?tag=mbarcexperien-20″ ]

Nowadays, due to technology and modernization, table saws come equipped with all types of safety features that reduce the risk of evil happening. Out of all safety features, a riving knife is the best one.
A driving knife is a piece of metal behind the teeth of the blade and prevents the pinching of the blade by the workpiece or touching teeth on the back. It’s very beneficial, supportive, and also fixable. The woodworker can move it up and down according to the size and height of the blade.

Woodworkers should make sure of the installation of a riving knife whenever they are making cuts. The only time when they can remove the riving knife is when they use the dado set. Since 2008, it’s been a rule and standard for making a table saw that the riving knives must be fitted with the blade. The older table saws have splitters instead of riving knives, but splitters are not as effective as riving knives. Splitters were also fixed; they can’t go up and down, unlike riving knives.

The blade guard is another safety measure for woodworkers, just like a riving knife. The purpose of the blade guard is to remind woodworkers to keep their hands away from the blade. It is also designed in a way that the woodworker can’t drop the workplace directly on the top of the blade. Some woodcutters remove the blade guard because they feel difficulty in making accurate cuts. If you are new or don’t know properly working on a table saw, you shouldn’t remove the blade guard.

2. Making Free-Hand Cuts

Making a free-hand table saw cuts is stupidity and mostly done by people to get attention or TV commercials. Table saws come with rip fences and miter gauges for a reason, so never make a free-hand table saw cuts in your workshop. Rip fence helps you in rip cuts by providing support to your stock when pushing it through the blade. A miter gauge works as a support and allows you to make proper crosscuts. But make sure that you are not making crosscuts with both rip fence and miter gauge at the same time because it can lead to kickback.

3. Crosscuts

Table saws have a great value for woodworkers because it allows them to make corrections and easily rip cuts. But table saws can harm if not properly set. Never use a rip fence as a support for crosscutting. If you do that, the workpiece will be stuck between the fence and the blade, this situation will lead to kick back, and the blade throws the workpiece towards you. Making it worse, the blade can throw the workpiece upwards or backward if the fence is not correctly aligned.

The professional woodworkers never forget the dimensions of the workpiece when they are cross-cutting and using the fence as support. They suggest that the width of the workpiece should never exceed its length. If the width of the workpiece is greater than the length, then torque will be produced by the blade, which spins the workpiece towards the back of the blade.

You can reduce the risk and safely crosscut on a table saw if you clamp a stop block to the fence for accurate measurement and use a miter gauge to guide stock through the blade.

4. Push Stick 

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”https://www.amazon.com/Woodworking-Feather-Magnetic-Straight-Jointers/dp/B07QDP6HRN?tag=mbarcexperien-20″ ]

Using a push block or push stick during cutting ensures the safety of hands to the woodworker. A push stick keeps the hands away from the blade, so if a kickback happens, your hand couldn’t be drawn into the blade. A push stick also provides the woodworker with extra control on the workpiece.
When you are using a push stick during cutting, make sure of the following things.

Place the push stick in the center of the workpiece.

Apply force towards the side of the fence instead of the blade side while pushing the workpiece.
Don’t apply downward pressure as it can be the cause to lift the workpiece. Apply forward pressure or use two push sticks to keep the board straight on both ends.

5. Blade evaluation 

Before trying to cut anything, a woodworker should check the blade because a dull saw is unsafe and risky. A dull blade can’t cut the workpiece properly and create problems such as overheating and wrapping. It can also lead to misalignment between the blade and the fence. So, never use a blade which is warped or broken and check every time before working. Be attentive during the work and don’t work when you are not feeling well because working at saw needs attention, and a little irresponsibility can lead to significant damage.

Final verdicts


The table saw kickback is very dangerous, but you can prevent yourself through small care. Without applying proper safety precautions, you can get hit by a flying workpiece and get severely hurt. It’s up to you that you do every possible thing to prevent yourself. Following the upper guides will help you to avoid and reduce the risk of the table saw kickback.

Want to turn your woodworking skills into a great business? Read our article on how to start a woodworking business with Wood Working HERE.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *