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Push sticks? Yes, that is the topic of today’s blog, and it’s also the answer – Yes! Every woodworker has had a close call (or worse) or knows someone who has. Table saws are dangerous and even the experienced get hurt. But before this devolves into a diatribe about table saw injuries, let’s just agree that it’s better and safer to use push sticks when using a table saw. Two tricks to using push sticks: Have one that you like and have it handy. With these two things in place, you can easily make using a push stick second nature and it’ll feel weird if you don’t use one. Good thing!

You’ll need to work out the “keeping it handy” part, but we’ve got a video today to help you look at just a small smattering of the possible push sticks from which to choose. Doug Dale (instructor at Marc Adams School of Woodworking) shows us a selection of what he considers to be the best of the lot (and he has some warnings on some). All have the benefit of being sacrificial (let the saw destroy the jig, not your hand!) So take a few minutes and even though it’s not a sexy topic…think safe!

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Showing 5 comments
  • swetterhall

    I agree that 3 inches is too close for me. I see you are using a SAWSTOP with its immediate “stop and drop” safety feature. Maybe that gives you the confidence to hand rip up to 3 inches, but I’d rather not test the reliability of that safety feature on my SAWSTOP.

  • amvolk

    Three inches!? Yikes, that is close! Way too close for my comfort. I know that I have big mitts, but really?

  • RHinCT

    I realize nobody would use a radial-arm saw if they had a table saw, but some of us don’t have that choice. This covers the table saw very well, but little of it applies to ripping with a radial. A brief search did not come up with a comparable video for that. I have a couple of the bird’s-mouth sticks – stick with a square notch – and a more elaborate one with a handle that can’t go under the blade cover and a couple of plywood arms that do the pushing that extend far enough forward to get past the blade center. Typically I use that plus one of the sticks to push the stock sideways against the fence.

  • Sullivans Papa

    I use the Jessem Clear Cut TS Stock Guides, while not perfect and can be kind of hassle with narrow pieces, I don’t want my hand(s) any where near a moving blade.
    I started working wood with ten fingers and I’m determined to end my woodworking with ten fingers. I would like to have a tablesaw with the European sliding table!

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