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Table Saw Safety Tips

A table saw is a valuable tool for any woodworking shop. When used correctly, it makes short work of anything from cross and rip cuts to dados and rabbets. However, a table saw can cause injury if used incorrectly. Most table saws come with owner's manual that list different safety guidelines. While you should always read those guidelines first, keep these helpful safety tips in mind before starting your next project with a table saw.


Do’s

  • Wear safety gear. Protect your eyes with a pair of safety goggles and hands with thick work gloves. Remember to also wear a dust mask while cutting so you avoid inhaling saw dust and other debris. Since table saws can be loud, consider wearing earplugs while the device is running.
  • Wear short sleeves. Make sure to wear short sleeves so they're out of the way of the moving blade or other parts. If you're wearing long sleeves, roll them tightly above your elbows so they won't get caught in machinery.
  • Tie back long hair. If you have long hair, keep it pulled back so it doesn’t get tangled in the table saw.
  • Work in a well-lit area. It's important your workshop or jobsite has ample lighting. You never want to have any trouble seeing the blade or materials being cut.
  • Unplug the table saw when making adjustments. If you need to change a guide, guard or blade, unplug the table saw from its outlet to avoid an accidental startup.
  • Use a push stick. For narrow rip cuts, push the board through the blade with a stick or an extra piece of wood to keep your fingers away from the blade.
table saw safety tips

Don’ts

  • Don't wear baggy clothes or dangling jewelry. Make sure you avoid wearing any type of clothing, jewelry or accessories that could get caught in a spinning table saw blade or other parts.
  • Don't remove guides or guards. Never bypass or remove guards and guides from the table saw. While this seems convenient in some cases, it can increase the chances of accidents.
  • Don't reach over the blade when it's running. If you lose your footing while reaching over a moving blade, it could lead to an accident or serious injury.
  • Don't stand directly behind a piece you're ripping. A workpiece that binds up could be kicked backward with enough force to break through drywall or other objects.
  • Don't cut freehand. Always use a miter gauge or rip fence on your table saw; wood that isn't properly secured against a flat surface can bind and kick back toward you.
  • Don't leave the blade running when not in use. When you finish a cut, turn the table saw off until you're ready to make the next cut. Make sure it's also unplugged from an outlet.
  • Don't cut warped or mangled wood. Avoid cutting wood in this condition because it increases the risk of kicking back.
table saw safety tips