17.4.2 Saw Safety
There are numerous types of power saws, such as band saws,
circular saws, radial arm saws, saber saws, and table saws.
Regardless of the type of saw you use, never reach over the
sawline to position or guide materials.
Follow these safety guidelines for working with band saws:
- Set the blade with the proper amount of tension.
- Keep your hands on either side of the cut line. Never
reach across the cut line for any reason.
- Do not stand to the side of the band saw.
- Be sure the radius of your cutting area is not too small
for the saw blade.
- If you hear a rhythmic click, check the saw blade for
Follow these safety guidelines for working with circular saws:
- Do not raise the saw any higher than absolutely necessary.
- Fasten a clearance block to the fence when cutting off
- Never attempt to clear away scraps with your fingers.
- Do not cut thin tubular materials with a circular saw.
- Ensure that the fence is not in the cut line of the saw.
- Take care when working with warped or twisted lumber.
Follow these guidelines when working with a radial arm saw:
- Push the saw blade against the stop before turning on the
- Never place one piece of wood on top of another when
using this saw. The top piece may kick over.
- This saw pulls itself into wooden materials. It may be
necessary to hold the saw back to prevent it from choking.
- Never leave the saw hanging over the end of the arm.
Follow these guidelines when working with table saws:
- Circular table saws must have a hood over the portion of
the saw above the table. The hood must automatically
adjust to the thickness of, and remain in contact with,
the material being cut.
- Circular table saws must have a spreader aligned with the
blade. The spreader must be spaced no more than ½ inch
behind the largest blade mounted in the saw. Providing a
spreader while grooving, dadoing, or rabbeting is not
- Circular table saws used for ripping must have non-kickback
fingers or dogs.
- Feed rolls and blades of self-feed circular saws must be
protected by a hood or guard to prevent the operator's
hand from coming in contact with the in-running rolls.
to Shop Safety Section