Did you know that of the 720,000 woodworking-related injuries that occur each year, 42% of those happen at the table saw?
When you think about it, that isn’t really all that shocking of a statistic. After all, a table saw blade can end up both looking and acting more like a dangerous weapon than a tool if not handled properly. But while you shouldn’t be careless with a table saw, you also don’t need to be afraid of one either.
With the proper safety techniques, you can start using that table saw to craft wonderful workpieces rather than taking that unfortunate trip to the hospital. In this piece, we will particularly focus on six safety tips, so that you can effectively learn how to use a table saw.
6 Table Saw Safety Tips
While there are dozens of tables saw safety tips that you can implement, here are six common sense tips that are absolutely crucial for you to follow.
1. Wear the Proper Safety Equipment
Wearing goggles, safety glasses, or any other type of face protection is an absolute must when working a table saw to ensure that nothing shoots up and hits you in the eye while you’re working. To avoid dust flying into your nose or mouth, it may be beneficial to wear a dust mask, particularly if the cutting operation involves dusting. Sporting some sort of hearing protection would be ideal as well.
The type of shoes you wear is also very important because you could easily slip and fall, so be sure that you are wearing non-slip footwear. Additionally, avoid wearing ties, jewelry, or any loose-fitting clothing as these could easily get trapped in the saw blade.
2. Maintain a Solid Stance
Establishing a solid stance as well as a wide base is essential to maintaining proper balance. Also, you want to make sure that you aren’t standing right in front of the saw blade, but rather, to the side of it. On the chance that kickback happens, you absolutely don’t want to get hit square in the stomach with the stock of the table saw.
3. Make Sure That Your Work Area Is Clean
When operating the saw, keep the saw table clear of any extra wood pieces, excess sawdust, or really anything that can distract you from making the safest and precise cuts.
Not only could clutter in your workspace distract you from the cutting process but getting hit with a flying piece of stock that got turned into a projectile after it came in contact with a moving blade would be a serious headache in a very literal sense.
4. Before Changing the Blade, Make Sure That the Power Is Disconnected
If you’re changing a blade or making any other sort of adjustments to your table saw, you want to absolutely make sure that the saw disconnected from its power source. Just turning it off won’t do the trick, since you run the risk of bumping into or having it turn back on through some other inadvertent means. To be on the safe side, unplug the saw completely.
5. Never Use Your Saw When You’re Tired, On Medication, Or Have Been Drinking Alcohol
This may seem like a common-sense precaution, but many tables saw injuries occur when the user is under the influence of alcohol or medication or has not gotten a good night’s rest.
When you’re not completely aware when operating the table saw, this is when disaster can strike. Even if you think you’re enough of a pro to push through, the slightest impairment can put even the most advanced saw users at risk. With this in mind, do the smart thing and be sure that you’re 100% awake and clear-headed before using a table saw.
6. Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Reach Over a Moving Blade
You may be tempted to multi-task while making that table saw cut, but never ever reach over a table saw blade while it is moving. If you need to make any blade or fence adjustments, make sure that the blade has come to a total and complete stop.
The Proper Table Saw Precautions Will Ensure Safe, Effective, and Fun Table Saw Use
Using a table saw can be a fun and effective way to tackle that next project. It looks the way it does for a reason. It can do some serious work! But if you don’t exercise the right safety measures before, during, and after the table saw use, you could be faced with some serious problems going forward.
Be sure to educate yourself on the proper table saw precautions and implement them as patiently and precisely as possible. Only then will you truly be able to get the most out of your table saw experience.