Every tablesaw used to come with a splitter—a tall, thin piece of steel positioned behind the blade. By holding the kerf open, a splitter helps prevent kickback and keeps the blade from burning the wood. If your splitter is missing, here’s a solution: Add a short one to your zero-clearance throat plate. Micro Jig makes a quite sophisticated version, complete with an installation jig.
The MJ Splitter SteelPRO uses two offset splitters that apply opposing forces. The forward splitter holds the workpiece against the fence. The rear splitter pushes the waste piece away from the fence. If the board’s binding force is too strong, the rear splitter pulls out and sticks in the kerf, holding it open while you finish the cut.
Both of these splitters come in four different offsets. You can fine-tune the deflection force by rotating or swapping them. Rotating one splitter changes the offset by .003″—the thickness of a sheet of paper.
The MJ Splitter SteelPRO is available for both 1/8″ kerf and thin-kerf blades. Thorough installation instructions are included, but I’d advise watching the instructional video first (it’s on the Micro Jig website). I tried the system on a variety of woods and was pleasantly surprised to find that burning and binding were virtually eliminated.
Note that the MJ Splitter SteelPro doesn’t include a throat plate. It will not work with some blade guards and may require an overarm-style guard.