How to Make a Riving Knife For Table Saw

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A riving knife is an essential safety feature for any table saw. It keeps two cut sections of a workpiece from closing up on each other, which can pinch the blade and lead to dangerous kickbacks.

Since 2009, Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) has required that all table saw designs include a riving knife. But if your saw doesn’t come with one, there’s no reason you can’t add it yourself!

Make a template

A riving knife is an important safety feature on a table saw. It helps prevent wood from kicking back during a cut.

A good riving knife matches the curvature of your blade, is wide enough to cover it when raised, and wraps closely around it.

It also has to be able to raise and lower with the blade.

You can buy a pre-made riving knife or you could make your own. Using a piece of paper, cardboard or thin plywood to measure out the appropriate dimensions is a good start.

A riving knife is a great way to make your table saw safer and more accurate. It will also give you more confidence while operating your saw. With a riving knife in place, kickback is virtually eliminated. This is a major safety measure for any woodworker. It can save you from injury, especially if you’re new to the hobby.

Cut the blade

A riving knife is an essential safety device on table saws. It helps prevent kickbacks when cutting natural woods that have hidden stresses in them.

These stresses cause the wood to want to pinch back together behind the blade as it is being cut. This can be dangerous because it can throw the cut piece of wood at you.

It also helps keep the two pieces of wood separated during the cut, preventing them from squeezing around the blade teeth and causing kickback.

You can buy a ready-made riving knife, or you can make your own. The key is to make one that wraps closely around the blade, raises and lowers along with the saw blade and doesn’t extend past it.

It’s also important that the riving knife is adjustable to work for both through-cuts and buried cuts like dadoes and rabbets. A high-profile riving knife is best used when making through-cuts, while a low-profile riving knife is perfect for dadoes and rabbets.

Cut the riving knife

A riving knife is a flat piece of metal that is mounted just aft of the saw blade. It is designed to prevent the workpiece from closing on the blade during a cut. This can cause a dangerous kickback, which is why table saws are often fitted with a riving knife.

In addition to preventing kickback, the riving knife also keeps the two cut pieces of wood separate during the cut, so that the wood doesn’t pinch the blade and cause a serious injury. This is especially important for rip cuts.

In many situations, a riving knife can be more effective than a splitter in preventing kickback, because the riving knife sits closer to the blade and prevents the two pieces of wood from closing on it. However, some people prefer to use a splitter, which is available as a retrofit kit for many saws. If you choose to use a splitter, be sure it’s UL-listed.

Attach the knife

A table saw riving knife is an essential safety feature for standard rip cuts and crosscuts. It’s not the easiest thing to install, but it’s a worthwhile investment because it adds a level of protection and convenience that most saw owners won’t miss.

A riving knife typically raises and lowers with the blade, making it easier to keep your fingers off the cutting edge. It also wraps around the blade very closely and is shaped so that the gap between the saw blade’s cutting teeth and the knife’s edge is small.

A riving knife can be attached to the saw in a number of ways. One popular option is to mount it beneath the table saw’s trunnion, a sturdy mechanism that raises and lowers the blade.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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