What is the purpose of a blade guard?

Blade Guard

A table saw is not your friend. Mind it. when it comes to making cuts using it. If you operate it incorrectly, you will receive a bad punishment from the blades with a high RPM rate as a result of injuring either your workpiece or, you may cut your finger severely.

Yet we know how useful a table saw is for us, woodworkers. Even if it’s not safe to use. The truth is still a fact, that is, we don’t have any alternative to this. 

Regarding safety, table saws have some added protective parts like riving knives or splitters, or kick-paws that help to prevent kickbacks and other hazards.

On top of the safety parts a table saw comes equipped with, we list blade guards on top. 

The purpose of a blade guard on a table is different than what many woodworkers think of as it’s just a blade cover that protects our fingers from being cut.

However, it’s partially true. In fact, the actual purpose of a blade guard is to prevent accidentally falling workpiece on a rotating blade, which can when in contact with the rotating blade can shoot at an operator’s face. 

This type of kick-backs can happen regardless of whether your saw has already been equipped with a riving knife, splitter, or kick-pawls. Because we are talking about here the workpiece that will kick back, comes from the upper side: not from either two sides.

What is a blade guard? Its mechanism: explained.

A blade guard is a plastic cover used to wear on a table saw’s rotating blade. It encloses a saw blade from all sides, back, up, left, and right as well. Its transparent look allows the operator to see through it and determine the direction in which the workpiece is being cut. 

Blade guards don’t come in a lot of varieties. Made of hard plastic is the most frequent type found in stores, and it has the same shape and transparent appearance.

It is possible for their sizes to differ. You might be confused by the different sizes available on the market since there are small, medium, and large. Your table saw should be able to accept the blade guard you intend to buy before you make your purchase. 

Can you use a table saw without a guard?

Their sizes can differ can use a table saw without any blade guard installed. You can use it the same way you always have, or even you can make a variety of cuts you couldn’t achieve with the table saw guard. 

For instance, groove or narrow cuts. With a saw with blade guards, it is not possible to make either of these cuts effectively.

Even if there is a little advantage of not using blade guards. But you are not supposed to pull them off at any cost. Because if you look at its advantages, there are loads of them, highlighted are some, prevention of kick-backs, prevention of wood chips and debris, and can avoid the risk of cutting fingers.

Is there a time when the blade guard should not be used?

The purpose of a blade guard isn’t always necessary in some woodworking projects. Therefore, removing them is required in order to achieve desired results. You can think of non-through cuts, we often make like dadoes or rabbets. 

A few words about them:

  • Non-through Cuts: Slots cut on the undersides of workpieces when a workpiece is deliberately not sawn through.
  • Narrow cuts. Cuts that are too narrow can also pose a problem since the blade guard takes up some workplace between a saw blade and a workpiece. Increasing the difficulty of close-cutting.

Remember that, without the guard, the rotating blade becomes entirely vulnerable to hazards, and it significantly increases the risk of injury.

About safety

When you tackle up a project where guards interfere in the projection. You should try different ways to go forward, pulling the blade guard off should be your last decision. 

You will have to be well educated in such cases, your mind should find out ways to proceed further even you have to use alternative tools. 

Following are some safety measures you can take without using a table saw.

  • Using a router, for example, you can create grooves.
  • A handheld circular saw can be used to make narrow cuts. 

It is possible to avoid dangerously removing a guard by using these alternate methods.

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