The table saw is a machine that is popular amongst wood shops for woodworking. When looked at the statistics, the table saw is widely used by woodworkers to cut wood and it is as well as considered the most dangerous machines to work with.
Statistics show that many injuries result from using table saw per year compared to any other wood working machines or power tools. Over 30,000 table saw injuries occur annually. Source: NCBI
But this shouldn’t mean that you should stop using the table saw. The table saw itself come equipped with many different safety features but sometimes it requires a bit of preparation to keep yourself safe.
The table saw is super safe to use if you take considerable precautions. With these precautions in mind you can easily reduce the possibility of running into accidents and injury by a lot. We have compiled a comprehensive list of precautions below that will help you keep safe when using any table saw.
While many table saws come equipped with different safety measures, it is important to keep the following precautions in mind regardless of which branded table saw you are using:
Keep the work area clean
One of the first and foremost precautions is to ensure that you work in a very clean area that has plenty of space to work with freedom of movement. Clear any stock around the machine away from it. Stock can easily get in your way and impair your work area. Remember that your table saw blade is moving really fast so make sure any stock is far away and it doesn’t come in contact with the blades.
Wear your safety gear
Never work on any power tool or table saw without proper equipment. Wear any safety equipment necessary when working with a table saw. These safety equipment include protective clothing, hearing protection and safety glasses. Avoid wearing any loose clothing because they can easily get in the way of the saw.
Do not change the blade with power on
During woodworking, you will often need to change the blade of the table saw. Make sure the power is turned off and the wires are disconnected from the mains. Keeping the power on while changing the blade can result in serious injuries if the blade accidently turns on.
Use stands whenever needed
Large plywood sheets should only be cut with proper support from the outfeed. If possible, use a stand whenever you are cutting a full sheet of plywood. This will help support the sheet and will also make it easier to cut the sheet.
Check and read about the safety features available on the table
Many table saw manufacturers add safety features on their table saws. When buying a table saw, have a good look at the safety features offered by the machine you are getting. Read the manual of your new machine very carefully and understand how these safety features work.
Common safety features added on a table include riving knife, blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. All these features are added to protect anyone working with the machine but these needed to be properly adjusted before you start the woodworking.
Work in a reliable position
Never work standing directly in front of the table saw. When a kickback occurs the sheet has a habit of flying off in the front direction and if you are standing there it could hit you hard. Additionally, stand at the back of the table saw with a solid posture and stance and be aware of the kind of accidents that can happen during woodworking. This will help you stay away from any unnecessary accidents.
Never start the table saw or power tool with its blades engaged
Before you turn on the machine, just double check that the sheet or stock isn’t engaged with the blade. If you are not careful, you could seriously damage the blade or get yourself injured. The blade should reach its max speed before any sort of cutting should take place.
Double check the board before operation
When beginning to cut for the first time at any given day, ensure that you check the board of the table saw for any foreign objects before starting the blades. Anything such as small metal pieces or screws can be there on the board which can seriously damage your machine or put your safety at risk.
Also you need to check your machine for any loose screws or nails because if any of these are misplaced or become loose, it could easily get very dangerous for you to work with the machine. At any given time, these loose objects can be thrown at your way with a very hard force which can result in a severe injury. So it is very important to check for loose objects and wear appropriate clothing when working with these machines.
With these safety features in mind, keep yourself safe from any injuries and potential accidents. If possible, always spend a little more cash to get a machine that gives you plenty of safety features preinstalled on it. Many good manufacturers add the most safety features on their machines.