Building a safer saw - The final responsibility

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Building a safer saw
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And new offerings from the European companies like Martin, Felder, Altendorf, Laguna Tools and others all include riving knives — but that's no surprise. With the shift in manufacturers' thinking in this country, it's clear they had the right idea all along.

The final responsibility
All of these safety developments are good news for the industry, and good news for woodworkers at large. Still, they mean nothing if the safety features aren't used, and mean even less if safe practices are not in force whenever the power switch of a table saw is turned on.

Manufacturers are moving in the right direction, but it's still up to the user to show personal responsibility for safety.

"Always use your guard," said Bosch's Feldner. "Use proper body position; you don't want to be standing right behind the blade, you want to stand to one side. Use push sticks. Make sure you're using a good fence and that it's locked in position."

"Most of the accidents I'm aware of or that we hear about are ones that were almost always preventable," said Crofutt. "Slowing down, taking a good look at the intended operation and asking yourself, 'Is this a good idea?' would, I believe, prevent most accidents."

"It's a pain in the keister to have a guard on there for some cuts, but in the long run it's going to be the best medicine to prevent accidents," said Box. "You just have to work smart."