I’ve seen a number of serious injuries to people from kickback most commonly to the stomache, chest or straight to the head. Another good reason to always wear safety glasses.
Essentially when a piece of wood touches the blade on an angle or gets bumped out of alignment it catches the blade in the teeth and gets thrown back.
The most effective way to avoid kickback on a table saw is by using a riving knife. Most table saws have these installed right behind the blade.
As you pass your piece of wood through the table saw blade it will slip under the riving knife, keeping the board straight and preventing kick back.
Kickback can also happen when using a rip fence as the longer pieces can bind to the blade as you cut through due to pressure from cutting it and cause the long board to get stuck, another reason why having your riving knife installed to help alleviate that pressure is important!
However, kickback can also happen when using a riving knife if you are using both your rip fence and your miter gauge. What can happen is that the cut off piece between the rip fence and the blade can get stuck between there.
But I think the most dangerous cut that you can make on a table saw would have to be a free hand cut, just holding the board completely unsupported. The chances of you twisting the board one way or the other are super high and you’re most likely to get kickback. There’s no shortage of videos on YouTube of people experiencing kickback.
I wanted to show you kickback demonstrations to give you some ideas. I’m doing everything wrong here. Don’t try this at home. Go to your neighbors home. This part is really meant to be watched, so scroll up and fast forward to (5:23) to see. For now, here’s an image of some flying foam:
- Try to use the recommended tools and table saw add-ons recommende in this video.
- Always wear safety goggles.
- Try to position your body away from firing direction of potential kickback.