Why do people remove riving knives?


Riving knives

The thing is that, if you have seen people on youtube using table saws without using riving knives, you might wonder for a moment that is it safe to use o safety guards? If not, why these people are doing this? 

The answer is, the people you see not using riving knives either are making dado cuts where a riving knife serves no purpose or it could be because they are shooting a youtube video and wanting to show all the steps involved to us. 

Other than these causes, it’s irresponsible not to use safety features. As TS is not something we should take easy, it’s one of the dangerous tools to use. The machine is not harmful to itself, but the person who operates it should learn how to use it before continuing to work on their own.

All I can say, you must not remove riving knives from your table saw at any cost. if you are a beginner or even expert in the industry, neither blade guard should be removed. These are the essential safety features for a table saw, miter saw, and we always suggest that safety should always come first.

So why do people remove riving knives?

Being a carpenter I have never used a saw that does not have either a splitter or a riving knife. It’s been more than 12 years since I’m using saws, neither I see any of my fellow carpenters have a saw with no safety feature. However, when it comes to youtube, I also did watch videos where speakers don’t have riving knives. 

In my opinion, all these means is:

One of the most obvious reasons why many people do this on youtube is simply because they want to show every step involved in a process in an easy-to-follow format. Riving knives when shooting a video of making cuts come in the way of the camera’s eye and make it difficult for the camera to see the steps being taken.

There is no doubt, carpenters who make videos on youtube are experts in the industry.

I can bet, they know how to handle a table saw safely even if there are no safety features installed. The reason being here is their years of experience in woodworking enables them to do so.

When Should you remove the riving knife?

It’s true driving knives are capable of handling different cuts, without needing to be removed. But, there are times when we just cannot proceed with the project in the essence of these safety features. It’s when there are dado cuts to be made.

Having said that, let’s say you have to make dado cuts. And for this, you know the normal blades wouldn’t get the job done unless you install dado blades on your saw

Changing the blade eventually will make the riving knives useless because the most common size of stacked blades is 8-inch and normally table saw blades are 10-inch in diameter. Due to this difference, a riving knife will serve no purpose at all.

Because a riving knife needs a one-inch space between a stacked dado blade to function properly.

I don’t know the exact space but I’m sure in most of the cases it will not be useful if it’s not removed, because even if it is inserted, it will not touch the cutting workpiece, so it will be pointless in preventing the kick-backs.

Since most table saws use a 10-inch diameter blade, but most stacked dado blades are 8-inches in diameter. There would be at least a one-inch gap between the edge of the stacked dado blade and the riving knife, which would essentially render the riving knife useless.

Can you use a table saw without a riving knife?

Yes, you can use it without a riving knife. A table saw is not necessary to have it installed to function properly. Unless the matter of safety comes first, in fact riving knives don’t serve any main purpose in cutting.

It happens many times when we need to see every inch being cut through with the saw blade. During those moments, riving knives literally become a blockage of our eye vision: making it hard to see what part of the workpiece and where the saw is slicing it.

But still, even though we aim to make proper cuts we cannot ignore the safety. With that said, there are alternatives to a riving knife that should be used as a blade guard or even a splitter depending on the situation.

Can you get a kickback with a riving knife?

The use of riving knives does not guarantee that you will not become injured. Not at all. Because the fact is, a table saw is always going to punish you real badly when you don’t handle it carefully. Carefully in terms of when you go off-balance with your workpiece, there is likely going to be a kick-back regardless of whatever you’ve used as a defensive tool, even a riving knife cannot help you 100% times.

Think all the safety features nothing but an added safety products, you will always get good impressions from the manufacturers who make them. In reality, a table saw is not something that cares for you. On the contrary, it punishes you severely.

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