Table Saw Safety Features
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
Table Saw Splitters
One of the biggest issues and potential hazards when working with table saws is kickback. Table saw kickback occurs when wood is ejected from the saw at extremely high speed. You can imagine the sort of injuries this can cause. Table splitters are effectively small vertical bits of metal or sometimes plastic that are designed to stop the wood flying back if there is a kickback. Attached to the splitter are anti kickback pawls either side, they look like table saw blades themselves but they are in fact there to grip the wood at stick into it in case of kickback.
One thing manufactures noticed over the years was that when people used the splitters in normal straight cuts it worked well but it’s biggest downfall came when contractors wanted to do cross cuts. What would happen is that people would remove the splitters to make the cross cuts but then forget to fixed them back in place. One brilliant table saw safety feature is the riving knife. The Riving knife is attached directly to the blade mechanism, this allows it to always be attached not matter where or what angle the blade is.
Table saw flesh sensors are a brilliant and clever piece of engineering. Sawstop revolutionised the industry when they came up with this technology. Human skin is a good conductor of electricity where is wood isn’t. So, the system works by passing an electric current through the table saw blade its self and when it’s cutting wood it’s fine as there is no conductivity between the wood and the blade but as soon as it hits human skin and becomes conductive it triggers an electric brake that stops in the blade in only 0.02 seconds. You may end up with a small cut but at least you won’t lose your finger or worse. There are quite a few different versions now on the market so we would advise you to read plenty of table saw reviews and do you research into the different systems to find the best one for you.
Magnetic Table Saw Switch
Another important safety feature to consider is a magnetic switch. Magnetic switches are there in case of power cuts or outages and will also protect the table saw motor from over load. Effectively it will switch off the power supply the instant the power goes off ensuring you don’t have a saw blade spinning away in the dark! As you can imagine this is a very useful and must have safety feature when looking to purchase a new table saw.
Table Saw Blades
Most table saw blades come in 8, 10 or 12inchs in diameter, but you can also get a lot smaller and larger sizes if you require special cut sizes and cut depth sizes. When looking for a new blade when it comes to sizes, blades are measured in two sizes mainly, the mounting hole and the total blade diameter, make sure you take the mounting hole size in to consideration when buying a new blade as this could be something very easily over looked but could cause an issue.
The simplest way to find out what size your table saw needs or indeed if you’re buying a special size is to consult the table saw user Manuel. I would make sure you do this as often there are many things in modern tables saws that could affect the blade size and type. This is because modern saws have many different amazing and varied features, things size blade guards, special safety mechanisms and arbor sizes etc. With the We recommend you spend some time reading your manual in detail to avoid possible issues
One important aspect to consider when buying a new table saw or looking for a new blade is axis adjustment. Being able to adjust the vertical height of the blade allows you to control the depth of the cut, it’s also useful when you don’t need to cut all the way through the wood, especially useful with thick pieces of wood. To help making bevel cuts and joints you can adjust the blade to certain angles that you require.
Table saws nowadays can cut through an amazing amount of different materials, in the past they were only able to cut through wood. Most blades are still made from metal, but there are an ever-increasing number of blades being made from alloys and various carbon materials.
Table Saw Performance
Horsepower & Motor
How much power do you need when buying a new table saw? One thing to always consider is that a saw with a weak motor is going to make less accurate cuts in the wood, and often because of the greater speed of a more powerful motor the safety features are normally much better on the more powerful saw.
If you’re looking at cutting through wood no more than 2” then normally a 120 Volt motor producing 1 to 2HP is normally all you require power wise, but if your cutting any wood thicker than that you might want to consider getting a table saw with a motor power of 3 horse power and up.
Direct Drive Table Saw Motors
With motors, most saws fall into one of two main motor categories, direct drive or belt drive. Direct drive is often found in most lightweight and portable type table saws. They normally run on a 120 v circuit and are best suited to cutting thinner wood and sheet material.
Belt Drive Motors
Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.
Fence and Miter Gauges
The fence is an extremely important part of any table saw and can often make the difference for most people when purchasing a new saw. Make sure you research each brand’s different fence types to make sure you have the best and most up to date fence type. Mainly the fences will allow you to make accurate rip cuts.
A gauge will allow you to make very detailed cross and angled cuts. This is a bit of kit that you need to research in great depth as it can make or break the accuracy of your cuts and angles. With a good gauge, you can check blade height, blade angles, miter angles and much more.
For further reading checkout Wikipedia’s table saw page and for aircompressor reviews checkout our sister site here: aircompressorgeeks.com.