Top Ten Hybrid Table Saw Safety Tips
by Daniel Fisher on Mar 13, 2018
A hybrid table saw is one of the most important tools in the woodworkers’ arsenal as most woodworkers making use of power tools will still make a table saw their main tool. Add in the power that these saws have, and the potential dangers of using one, and it’s easy to understand that there is a serious risk of personal damage. Hybrid table saws have been used for years now and so it’s possible to avoid most of the dangers. Here are the top ten hybrid tables saw safety tips to avoid these issues.
- Don’t wear gloves while using the best hybrid table saw. There are several reasons for this, but the main ones are that gloves reduce tactile sense and gripping power. Some gloves are loose enough to be caught up in the rotating blade, which is a major problem.
- Make sure the floor in front of the saw is kept free of sawdust and cut-off wood. Tripping and sliding into a saw blade – whether it’s moving or not – is a major health hazard. Even hitting your head against the table of the saw can cause serious injury.
- Ensure you wear proper eye and hearing protection. Eyes should be protected against projectiles and regular eyeglasses aren’t going to get the job done. Every woodworker needs to use hearing protection. Hearing loss can happen slowly without any warning or symptoms until it’s too late to undo the damage.
- Wear short sleeves when using the best hybrid table saws and leave the ties in the office. Take off any jewelry and don’t wear other loose-fitting clothes while using your table saw. These items can be caught up in the blade and pull you into the blade before you have a chance to respond.
- Stand comfortably and keep your feet apart for balance. This is especially important when cutting stock that is long enough to require you to step towards the saw to feed the wood through. This builds momentum and you want to be able to stop without an issue, which is where footwear with non-slip soles comes into play.
- Avoid performing awkward operations. If doing a particular cut makes you feel like an idiot then doesn’t do the cut, at least not how you were doing it. This prevents you from losing your balance and potentially falling into the blade or the table.
- Use a push stick for cutting stock that’s six inches or less wide. Keeping your hand away from the blade means that it won’t get cut. Six inches is considered to be the minimum safe distance away from the blade, even though some would recommend four inches.
- Use stop blocks when crosscutting short lengths. Mount a stop block to the fence – this could be as simple as a clamped-on board that runs to just before the saw blade, preventing cut-off pieces from binding between the blade and fence.
- Have your body positioned so that it isn’t in line with the saw blade. This will prevent sawdust from feeding back into the slot and hitting you in the face. It also keeps you safe from being hit by potential kickbacks.
- Never reach your hand behind or over the blade unless it has completely stopped turning. Sometimes doing this might look safe but the reality is that it’s never safe. This doesn’t mean that you should stop pushing work before it has passed through the blade though, because this is just inviting a kickback.
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