12 WORST TABLE SAW MISTAKES!! And How To Avoid Them…(DON'T DO THESE THINGS! Kickback/Binding)

12 WORST TABLE SAW MISTAKES!! And How To Avoid Them…(DON'T DO THESE THINGS! Kickback/Binding)

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12 WORST TABLE SAW MISTAKES!! And How To Avoid Them…(DON’T DO THESE THINGS! Kickback/Binding)

Table saws are one of the most helpful saws on job sites or in the work shop–but they can be dangerous! This video from The Honest Carpenter will explain 12 of the worst table saw mistakes!

1. Twisting the Board: This can cause saw blade binding, which will lead to dangerous kickback.
2. Cutting Freehand: Never cut freehand with a table saw! Always use the rip fence or miter gauge or a crosscut jig.
3. Squeezing the Cut: Using too much force with your outside hand can cause the wood to bind on the table saw blade. This can trigger kickback.
4. Ripping Boards Wider Than Long: Trying to rip boards along their narrow length is unstable, because it forces the small end against the fence. Make this crosscut another way.
5. Levering: It’s easy to accidentally rotate the front end of a heavy board up when you begin cutting. Don’t do this–if the board drops down, the saw blade may bind.
6. Failure To Catch Outfeed: When long boards pass off the back end of the saw, they will get pulled down by gravity, pulling your end up. Have someone catch the outfeed gently, or let it rest on something.
7. Pulling Small Pieces From the Back: This brings your hands too close to the spinning blade. Push them through with a push stick instead.
8. Dropcutting: Don’t try to lower a piece onto the spinning table saw blade. If it binds, the wood will get thrown, and your hands may contact the blade!
9. Don’t Set Blade Too High: Table saw blades only need to extend about 1/4″-1/2″ above the top of your wood stock.
10. Reaching Over the Table Saw: When a cut is complete, don’t reach over the spinning blade to grab the piece. Push it through with push stick, and then turn off the saw.
11. Ripping Narrow Widths: Ripping any cut under an inch can be dangerous. Consider making this small width the offcut (away from the rip fence) instead.
12. Standing Behind Your Stock: If kickback occurs, you may get hit with a flying board. Stand just to the side of your stock while you’re cutting instead.

We’ll have more table saw advice videos coming soon (including, probably, another table saw mistakes video). Thanks for watching!
The Honest Carpenter

50 Comments

  1. skovde vasaporten on January 19, 2023 at 3:33 am

    Nice 👍🏼

  2. Nico Essers on January 19, 2023 at 3:33 am

    You dont use a blade guard en not always a riving knife. The biggest mistake of all. But furder very useful tips.

  3. Josh Sommers on January 19, 2023 at 3:33 am

    Blade manufacturer Freud recommends that you have ½ of one tooth above the wood. Taking their recommendation, you will have 3-5 teeth into the wood when ripping, and 5-7 teeth into the wood when crosscutting. That’s about 1/8" above the surface of the cut, not the 1/4"-1/2" height recommended in this video.

  4. Pat Cummins on January 19, 2023 at 3:37 am

    Thank you Steve! Some very valuable tips for a guy who is pretty new to the game after building his own table saw from an old circular saw. I also have four “THINK” signs all around my table saw.

  5. kathy Putman on January 19, 2023 at 3:38 am

    Thank you so much! My husband never showed me how to use his tools while he was alive but, I’ve been figuring out on my own. I did have the benefit of watching him which helped a lot but, when I asked about all the clear plastic pieces (guards) that were not installed he said it was "crap" to get in your way. In all fairness have seen none of those guards installed on your saws either. I have all the No no’s as a novice trying to learn. Table saws, 12" dual bevel miter saws, skill saws, jigsaws, sanders routers, hand held and table type, grinders etc. He made a lot of things. He just liked to piddle around as he put it but i think he was really good at it. I’ve started using them for minor repairs around the house as need and managed to do a half way decent miter cut to replace a board on the screen door, not exact but, good enough. Whenever I cup big sheets of plywood or lumber I use his saw horses on the other end level with the saw to balance the weight. He also has a metal support with a tri stand and a T top that has adjustable height, not sure what it is actually made for but have I used it for supporting 1×6’s I needed to rip, It prevented it from levering as you called it. Next project I’ll have to find or make a push stick. I’ve been using the half moon medal piece that fits into the grooves as a pusher. I have a dewalt and a black and decker table saw and I kept the black and decker miter saw as it did not cut towards me like the dewalt one did., that kinda scared me. I traded that for labor.

  6. Craig Savage on January 19, 2023 at 3:41 am

    Thank you for a very useful tutorial on table saw safety. I especially applaud the fact that you show the potential results of each mistake…. I think "war stories" such as these are the best way to convey tool safety. As a general contractor with way too many trips to the emergency center with cut hands, nail gun penetrations, etc., I think that illustrative horror stories at tail gate meetings and during lunch breaks are the best way to convey the serious dangers of power tools.

  7. Kevin Williams on January 19, 2023 at 3:41 am

    Just got a 8 1/4 for Christmas now im looking to build some jigs and a table for the saw to sit on do you have any plans or videos to point me in the right direction … your buddy’s cheap cross cut jig is definitely something i need

  8. Rico702Vegas on January 19, 2023 at 3:41 am

    Great video. It’s sad how your points are all very common sense yet they need to be spoken. ‘Preciate cha.

  9. garfgo on January 19, 2023 at 3:42 am

    I periodically watch table saw safety videos as a reminder of what not to do. One thing that struck me here that I see people on youtube do all the time is push small pieces thru the blade with their hand. I never do this, I always use a push stick and I really like my 2×6 push block that I saw on another video.

  10. Patriot 1781 on January 19, 2023 at 3:42 am

    Excellent tips! Thank you!

  11. Bob O'Brien on January 19, 2023 at 3:47 am

    Excellent video. I learned some important things that I’ve been doing wrong.

  12. Making Made Simple on January 19, 2023 at 3:49 am

    This is an amazing video. I feel that a lot of accidents happen because people are unaware what these scenarios can lead to. So simply understanding that can help people avoid those mistakes

  13. Richard Blake on January 19, 2023 at 3:50 am

    I notice that you didn’t talk about using a blade guard?

  14. Jim Hammell on January 19, 2023 at 3:51 am

    I have a friend who just got his first table saw I told him to watch this a few times

  15. Stephen Mowbray. on January 19, 2023 at 3:52 am

    Thanks for info,a little late for me as love just taken the nail off my finger😢 so I’m a lot more careful now.👍👍

  16. Stu Pidasole on January 19, 2023 at 3:53 am

    A push stick is great, but ive made a habit of shutting off my saw when removing anything from cutting surface, also a rule, hands never get within 10 inches of blade.
    I also taught all my children and grandchildren the dangers of misusing a tool, the look when a blade zips through a board is something they’ll remember, also, allow them to use your power tools, remove or lower blades and bits etc. Let them feel the power and torque they produce, the family still has all its fingers and eyesight and enjoy making things

  17. Lucas Harvey on January 19, 2023 at 3:53 am

    Thank you. This video was the best intro I have seen. Cheers

  18. BPA on January 19, 2023 at 3:56 am

    Thanks man!

  19. Alan Croft on January 19, 2023 at 3:57 am

    Where is the riving knife on your saw?

  20. mauritsvw on January 19, 2023 at 4:01 am

    Clearly and concisely presented, with good illustrations.

  21. coda creator on January 19, 2023 at 4:02 am

    How many table saw owners have removed the riving knife from their saws? I bought mine used without one. As a beginner, I had no idea how bad that is.

  22. Max on January 19, 2023 at 4:03 am

    What you think about push blocks..gripper? You kind of have to stand right over and through the blade

  23. Richard Waters on January 19, 2023 at 4:03 am

    An interesting video. As other commentators have said, I cannot overemphasis the importance of using a riving knife and a blade guide. I once had a pointed piece of wood kick back so violently that it penetrated a half inch sheet of gypsum wall board. Fortunately I have always stood to one side of the blade.

  24. James Knapinski on January 19, 2023 at 4:07 am

    I am not sure a storage tote is the best / most sturdy support for your saw. A good solid base would be advised

  25. ravingdog24 on January 19, 2023 at 4:08 am

    I hate when the person acting as the outfeed table pulls the board instead of passively assisting.

  26. Dugan on January 19, 2023 at 4:10 am

    Day 1 with new model makers table saw. Fed in a piece of timber as a test cut (having watched videos of cutting on model ship sites) the timber caught the blade and kicked back over my shoulder first hitting my thumb. Ouch! Switched the saw off, found the ejected piece of wood, then checked throbbing thumb. It looked like the end of a raw cut sausage with meat and blood coming out!! Phoned taxi and went to A&E. I have an x-ray of my thumb with a very neat blade shaped groove on the tip of the bone!

    Your video is essential viewing.

    It took me a year to get back into using the saw, having educated myself somewhat better via youtube I have become fairly skilled at producing 1mm thick planks for a ship’s hull!
    My mistake was watching modeller’s videos, when I should have been watching proper workshop woodworkers guidance! Lesson learned with ten fingers (more or less) intact.

  27. Deb Headworth on January 19, 2023 at 4:10 am

    Excellent!

  28. sean mcnally on January 19, 2023 at 4:11 am

    should you have a rifeing knife as well as a blade gard

  29. Thomas Kögler on January 19, 2023 at 4:12 am

    Great safety advise! But why did you never use an chip hood? Using a chip hood should be the first of all!
    Kind regards, Thomas from Germany

  30. Michael on January 19, 2023 at 4:12 am

    Good and useful video, thanks for sharing! Moreover and a proven safety measure… ALWAYS use a splitter/riving knife behind the blade. Just, always! Some hardwoods have a lot of internal tension that can wrap around the back of the running blade (the side of the blade that causes the kickback) thus therefore; the riving knife. And a proper way of using your pushstick; closer to the blade pushing slightly towards the fence. Happy sawing everybody!;-)

  31. Otis Elevator on January 19, 2023 at 4:14 am

    So many ways to be seriously injured. One way to significantly reduce the chances of an expensive mistake: buy a SawStop saw. Expensive, but cheaper than one trip to the Emergency Room.

  32. Dennis Neuman on January 19, 2023 at 4:17 am

    Mistake number 1 is not having the anti kick back device in place!

  33. Robert Spina on January 19, 2023 at 4:18 am

    Good information thanks

  34. Dan Kelley on January 19, 2023 at 4:19 am

    Great ideas, safety 1st when dealing with spinning & sharp blades! One slip, whoops, no taking it back!

  35. Phil Schworm on January 19, 2023 at 4:20 am

    This video demonstrates a common misunderstanding of table saw "Kickbacks" and the function of a riving knife. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f8VWwtaudU

  36. Dave Motti on January 19, 2023 at 4:21 am

    Thank you

  37. coda creator on January 19, 2023 at 4:23 am

    Feather boards?

  38. C R on January 19, 2023 at 4:24 am

    Big mistake at 10:49. Push the workpeice between the fence and the blade all the way through before moving the waist peice.

  39. Arnau Abraham on January 19, 2023 at 4:25 am

    Great video, especially for those who are amateurs or without experience in carpentry, for this it is better to pay a professional than to pay the rest of your days without fingers or hands on your body

  40. Graham on January 19, 2023 at 4:25 am

    It’s one tool I’m always nervous to use

  41. Terry Fund Sr on January 19, 2023 at 4:28 am

    Great advice Ethan! I know I have been guilty of several of these no-no’s myself. I appreciate the reminders!

  42. DevonHartigan on January 19, 2023 at 4:29 am

    You just saved my future self from an accident. Thank you!

  43. Joe Callahan on January 19, 2023 at 4:30 am

    Thank you

  44. Moszi on January 19, 2023 at 4:30 am

    As an absolute beginner of using a table saw, I really valued these tips. Thank you.

  45. Aniwayas Song on January 19, 2023 at 4:30 am

    Never took ‘Shop’ in school, never really learned under someone with more experience/knowledge (Papa and my three older brothers did this sort of work. I was forced to ‘Study’ under Momma and her preferences. Yuck.).
    I’m guilty of all-the-above. Luckily, though I’ve had some kickbacks, I’ve apparently been very, very lucky in that all my digits are still attached and their proper length, nor have I lost an eye (the ONE safety rule I’ve never broken while working with any power saw/most tools).
    Sheesh…
    As nice as these tools are for doing the work they do?
    Damned scary just how fast they can ruin yer life, if you’re not careful/wise!

  46. Matthias Rausch on January 19, 2023 at 4:31 am

    Good Video and explanation for the most part.
    But please never use gloves on machines that twist or have a circular motion. The damage done will be much worse if your hand gets sucked in!!!!

  47. Dan Birch on January 19, 2023 at 4:31 am

    Excellent tips! Common sense reminders. I started using the micro-jig Grr-Ripper push handles a few years ago, and LOVE them. They take a second to set up, but it’s worth it. Thanks!

  48. Beverley Thomas on January 19, 2023 at 4:31 am

    I will admit I’m guilty of #10 when I am cutting batches of relatively narrow pieces, for example when I am making cutting boards. I need to make a conscious effort to stop doing this.
    For broader pieces, I move around to the side with the fence and collect them from there.
    Thanks for the advice!

  49. R Gerald Alexander on January 19, 2023 at 4:32 am

    Good to review and keep saw safety in mind, thanks! I’m still using my granddad’s solid old Craftsman table saw from the 1950’s, and it scares the crap out of me, which is probably why I still have all my fingers after my forty years of ownership.

  50. Joseph Romeo on January 19, 2023 at 4:32 am

    Good refresher video! I was hit in the stomach once by some 2-by ejected back at me while using the table saw. Luckily I didn’t get injured too badly but it hurt . Happened so fast it’s just ridiculous. Luckily my guardian angel was by my side. yes the table saw is a wonderful and safe tool but it must be given respect

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