How to prevent injury from Table Saw Kickback

The most common cause of injury

The most common injuries caused from a table saw are directly related to kickback. We highly encourage watching the following videos which show how kick backs happen and ways to prevent it.

What is table saw kick back and how do they happen?

Kickback is the term used to describe what happens when the wood that is being cut is suddenly, and without warning, propelled back towards the operator at high velocity. The two main type of injuries are to the hands or from from the wood striking the head, chest, or torso of the operator.

Understanding why it happens is key tpo previnting it. The video below shows a demonstration that came very close to disaster. The operator expects the kickback and thinks he can move his hand away in time but still comes close to a major accident.

Ways to prevent table saw kick back

The video below from Woodcraft Magazine explains the concept of kickback as well as some of ways to prevent it from happening.

Summary of how to prevent kick backs


Always use a push stick. Using a push stick to push the wood through the blade, instead of your hands, is an important safety measure. It is one that is often forgotten, but is very important.


Use a Riving Knife. A riving knife is a curved thin piece of metal that locks into place behind the saw with the curvature facing the saw. It prevents the wood from drifting away from the fence and getting caught in the back of the saw.


Use a splitter. This is a low profile alternative to the riving knife that is added to a zero-clearance throat plate. It is just a small plate that sticks up and serves the same purpose of riving knife by keeping the wood from drifting into the blade.