Kickback can occur for many different reasons and can cause severe damage and even in some cases fatalities. Kickback can happen when internal stress happens when crosscutting wood.
Tips to Reduce Kickback
Kickback can be avoided by the implement of certain safety practices. A few of these safety practices are listed below.
- Always ensure that the saw blades are kept clean and sharp. This is something that beginner workers don’t take into account. In order for machines to work effectively they must always be maintained to ensure cleanliness as well as make sure the saw blade is sharp. A dull blade is ineffective and at times dangerous. A dull blade can also decrease the quality of work and cause black wood burns that are not attractive in any project.
- Always ensure that the saw blade is adjusted and aligned so that it resides parallel with grooves in the miter. Ensure that the blade and the fence are slightly angled. When the blade of the table saw and the fence are parallel it allows others to see the marks made on the wood by the back of the saw blade. This is to help decrease the opportunities for the boards to become pinched which in turn causes violent kickback instances.
- Operators should implement a blade guard whenever possible. Many blade guards have devices for preventing kickback which allows for wood to only travel in a forwards motion when past the blade.
- Operators should always ensure that they calmly and steadily push the wood past the blade. Operators should never release the board that they are cutting until it has safety past through the blade and been removed from the saw completely.
- Always ensure that the blade is successfully turned off before small pieces of wood are removed from the structure. Never allow a cut that you are not in complete control of.
- Do not try and handle wood or projects that are too big for you to handle.
- Always ensure that there are not any existing flaws in the wood that you are working on. Knots and warping can cause many issues for cutting as well as the finished project. Trying to cut through knots can cause violent kickback. Trying to operate a saw on a twisted or warped wooden board can cause dangerous kickback from the wood becoming pinched between the blade and the fencing.
- Operators needing to cut equal series of crosscuts should use stop blocks positioned in front of the blade to ensure that the board does not come into contact with the fence during the cutting process. This ensures that the blade cannot get caught and thrown.