Table saw operation

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Old 02-18-20, 09:41 AM
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Table saw operation

have a question..just how big a deal is it not to use the guard for over the saw blade. have seen a lot of people on utube and on TV that do not use the blade guard. I know that they can be a pain to use but it just seems like an accident waiting to happen without one. any ideas...
 
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Old 02-18-20, 10:01 AM
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Well, I've used a table saw for 30 years with no guard and I still have all my fingers. That being said, there are certain job sites I work on where its use is required. (You never know when osha might show up).

My current table saw has one, but I seldom use it.

For someone who has never used a table saw... yeah it's a good idea to always have it on.
 
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Old 02-18-20, 10:50 AM
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IMO the guard gets in the way. With the exception of one accident [cut off the tip of my thumb] I've not had any issues not using the guard. To me it gets in the way especially if you are cutting something without the fence.
 
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Old 02-18-20, 11:11 AM
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I'm not sure I can add any direct answer to your post but, I bought my first table saw about 3 years ago. I don't use it much but occasionally I do. I said that to say this.. I am somewhat inexperienced with a table saw. I am somewhat unsure at times. Maybe I should say I am a bit fearful of the saw. Therefore, I am very cautious when using it. I do have a stick for pushing wood through the blade when it gets even remotely close.

However, as part of your OP...... I had used a table saw a very few times before I bought mine so I know about the guard. Therefore, I think I threw the guard away with the box when I unpacked the saw.
In short, I should say that I don't recommend throwing it away. Its a safety device & should be used (generally speaking) especially by inexperienced users.
 
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Old 02-18-20, 12:53 PM
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I bought my current table saw used and it didn't come with a guard but my old table saw did - it's hanging on the wall somewhere. The saw is safer with one but they make it harder to see your cut line if not using a fence. I should probably add that when I cut my thumb it was just a few weeks after I lost sight in my right eye - I suspect that played a part because I didn't think my hand was anywhere near the blade.
Always use push blocks!!
 
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Old 02-18-20, 12:55 PM
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When I was a kid I was helping my dad and his friend rip 2X4s to build a fishing shanty. His friend wasn't paying attention and cut his thumb off between the first and second joint. The table saw had no guard.
The key part of that was "he wasn't paying attention."

I owned my table saw for 40 years. One of the first things I did when I set it up was to throw away the guard (actually put it in a cabinet and never took it out again). I have never had a problem except for a couple of instances of kickback when I was stupid.

Best advice - learn how to use the saw correctly and pay attention and you won't need a guard.
 
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Old 02-20-20, 07:49 AM
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Guarding on any equipment saves us from our ourselves.
I try to use the high school shop rule of never getting your fingers closer than 6 inches from the blade to keep all my digits.
On small pieces using 2 push sticks, one to hold the wood down and the other to push past the blade should keep your fingers attached.
 
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Old 02-20-20, 02:01 PM
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FWIW...I have radial arm saw, and have used table saws. I cant imagine not using the guard. It only takes one mishap, regardless of how careful you think you are.

I'm rather surprised that any of the regulars here are even admitting that they don't use a guard and in a round about way are suggesting not to use one!
 
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Old 02-20-20, 02:30 PM
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Norm I think it is because most of us that responded probably feel that the guard itself is minimally effective.
More effective safety items are kerf spreaders and riving blades.
 
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Old 02-20-20, 03:53 PM
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CW, I understand where you're (and the others) are coming from. But the major safety feature of the kerf and riving knives is to prevent kickback. Primary purpose of a blade guard is to prevent wood from falling on a spinning blade and prevent saw dust, splinters and debris, from blowing back at you. And to a lesser degree to help keep your fingers away.
The blade guard, by no means is close to fool proof, but I would never admit or encourage the non-use of it.
 
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Old 02-20-20, 05:50 PM
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I use the guard, pawls and riving blade. I have personally found that they don't get in the way, unless you're not doing through cuts. I primarily use the saw for ripping boards.

I typically use a circular saw if the cut is too awkward with the safety gear.
 
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Old 02-20-20, 08:05 PM
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Who is encouraging not using a guard? Yes, some of us often don't use it, but that is personal experience... no one is telling the op they should not use a guard. Using the same logic, one could say that the only table saw anyone should ever buy or use is the Saw Stop brand saw, because if its superior safety features. Anyone who uses any other saw isn't being safe. Well, point is you can work safely without a guard because many older saws dont have one. Modern saws do, however, and the directions that come with the saw are pretty clear that the guard is for personal safety.
 
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Old 02-21-20, 05:06 AM
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Second Sleepers comments. As for me, my 70 year old table saw doesn't have one and I still have all my fingers. Would I recommend not using one? No, personal choice. Would I remove an existing one if I had one? Don't know.
 
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