I wanted to stir up a little controversy today by asking whether or not you use the riving knife on your flip over saw.
Over the years I have seen all sorts of dubious practices involving flip saws. Some of these have been barely passable safety wise and some scared the cr*p out of me and left me wondering if the guy has all of his faculties, not to mention his fingers!
For those new to flip saws or the table saw function, a riving knife or ‘splitter’ is a fixed blade that sits behind the rotating cutting blade and guides the cut timber safely away from the rear of the blade and over the rear of the saw bed. It prevents the cut timber ‘pinching’ the rear of the blade and reduces the risk of the timber jamming and kicking back at the flip saw operator. Sometimes stresses are ‘released’ when you rip down timber and these can be dangerous as they can ‘grab’ the blade, throwing the timber back towards you at high speed, called ‘kickback’.
Of course all manufacturers recommend that the riving knife is always used as an important safety feature.
So, do you use your riving knife all the time? and if not, have you had any near misses?