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Kick back on BT Saw

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  • Kick back on BT Saw

    Has anyone experienced one or more serious kickbacks on this particular saw and what type of cut were you attempting that resulted in this scary result?
    Last year when I bought mine, I was making some stupid rip cuts and stood way to the right of the blade because I knew that it might go bad and it did.
    Recently, heard a guy say that it's better not to get a powerful cabinet type saw because it has too much power that has the potential for serious kickbacks but better to go with a TS with a less powerful motor, guess this BT falls into this category with its small motor.

  • #2
    The BT3's turn a bit faster than most table saws... I think its rated for 5000-5500 RPM. THat means the blade tips are turning a a higher linear velocity,. If it chooses to launch something at you, it will be coming faster than off a normal table saw. Since momentum = 1/2 M * V^2 it will portentially carry more energy at you.
    Usually kickbacks involve small pieces so power is not really the thing - the saw being up to speed with blade momentum, its maybe gonna hurt more.

    I've had two items launched by my saw.
    One was the roughly 3"x3" or so cut that is the typical kickback and it had a curved track in it where the teeth dug in and hurled it.
    The other was not really a kickback per se. I had a piece of two by four I laid across the blade with the saw off. Unfortunately I had been using the saw switched outlet with a table mounted router and had finished by turning off the router switch but not the table switch. Put away the router I then plugged in the saw
    with the switch live and the motor turned on from zero and speared that 1x4 towards the wall, putting a serious dent into the bookshelf that still there today.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-20-2017, 01:49 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ -


    • #3
      I wouldn't venture to say a cabinet saw is worse than a BT. My worse kickbacks were on my BT, not on my Powermatic. Thee are lots of reasons for kickbacks that could be common with both type saws. I find that keeping my rip fence angled slightly away from the blade vrs.perfectly parallel reduces the chance of the blade binding against the work piece and flinging it at me. Larger cabinet saws generally have more substantial rip fences that will hold their set up better than the BT that required me to often check for this condition.
      My kickbacks were always with smaller pieces that I felt comfortable with. (2x6x4) and we're always with guards in place. The last kickback knocked off enough knuckle meat to make a sandwich and left a nasty bruise and gash on my stomach.
      IMO guards dont work well with small pieces of wood


      • #4
        I've only had kickback once on my BT-3000, but that was prior to equipping it with the Shark Guard. The first time kickback occurred, I got nailed at waist level and it hurt so much that I never wanted that to happen again. I was using the BT-3000 with no guard / riving knife. Since adding the Shark Guard, the riving knife (apparently) has stopped that from happening. I had it happen once before on a vintage Craftsman table saw and fortunately I wasn't in the path. The drywall behind me was noticeably damaged. That saw had no guard, riving knife, or splitter.


        • #5
          Knock on wood, but I have not had a kickback with either the BT or my now cabinet saw. On the BT3, I was more likely to slow the blade down than to have a piece launch, and in those cases, I was quick to hit the off switch. My CS doesn't really slow so I add a large paddle over my switch so I can shut it off with my knee and not move my hands. I always try to use the guard and pawls, if possible.

          The times I feel most unsafe are when I'm ripping thin strips and can't use the guard (I don't have just a splitter, but I should). For those thin cuts, I switch to a ZCTP so the offcut or the piece I need doesn't fall into the opening and I use a 2x4 with a hook at the end to push the board through. The blade runs through the 2x4 but the 2x4 stays in constant contact with the board the whole time--on the keeper side and the waste side. I have a skinny, metal push stick, but I don't like getting it close to the blade. I will also use featherboards or push the wood towards the fence with an auxiliary piece of wood held in my left hand while my right hand pushes the board through so the board doesn't drift away from the blade.

          I've never felt comfortable standing to the right of the fence for rips since I'm a righty. Feels weird to me to pull to the side rather than to push, but that's me.


          • #6
            I''ve had my BT3100-1 for over a decade now and I rarely do anything with it, except rips, including long 8 - 10 ft stock. I must say that I have yet to have a kick-back. I am extremely careful though, always double checking everything before I even plug it in. Same is true of the smaller, mobile BTS 21 that I often use.

            Perhaps I'm over cautious or just plain lucky, but it's important to keep that blade sharp, the fence in alignment, and the splitter aligned and in place which is perhaps most critical.

            Last edited by cwsmith; 06-24-2017, 07:51 PM.
            Think it Through Before You Do!


            • #7
              I always use my shark guard when I can, and the splitter when I cannot. One of the most dangerous aspects of this saw, IMHO, is that you need to remove the splitter when you remove the stock guard (that's not true of the shark guard).

              Knock on wood (pick your variety), I've yet to have a kickback.


              • #8
                The splitter is probably the single most important piece to prevent kickbacks


                • #9
                  Kickback can and will happen on any table saw. If you're cutting material in a way that "might go bad" stop and don't make that cut. Figure out a safer way to cut it.


                  • #10
                    If I wanted to strictly have the splitter in place, would it be a good idea to permanently remove the guard and kickback paws?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by UPS1990 View Post
                      If I wanted to strictly have the splitter in place, would it be a good idea to permanently remove the guard and kickback paws?
                      Something I never did with my BT3100 but wanted to, was make a separate splitter. Before I cut up the stock guard, I would find some metal sheet and make a splitter. I think I've see people incorporate the splitter into the ZCTP, too.


                      • brbhan
                        brbhan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Key to avoiding kickback is is to never let go of workpiece. If much resistance is felt and workpiece seems to have gotten stuck, STOP the saw. I've found that safest bet while ripping is to set up in a manner where the wider piece is the one in contact w/fence; smaller/thinner piece should be free to fall off after the cut. This all assumes a riving knife/splitter is in place. I never use the anti-kickback 'pawls'.

                    • #12
                      I had a kickback years ago, with a large panel that hung up on the edge of the saw. The wide table and outfeed table created a high spot on the back corner of the saw. Once I cut enough to wear the wax off, it became sticky. The workpiece turned and the back of the blade caught it.
                      Have long since used a cut down riving knife. Later added a SharkGuard.
                      just another brick in the wall...


                      • #13
                        I can only think of one real kickback. That was on the plexiglass panel for the router station. Put a pretty good gouge across the panel. I started to grab a fresh piece but decided to use the damaged panel as a reminder.
                        Don, aka Pappy,

                        Wise men talk because they have something to say,
                        Fools because they have to say something.


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by UPS1990 View Post
                          If I wanted to strictly have the splitter in place, would it be a good idea to permanently remove the guard and kickback paws?
                          ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

                          That guard is there for a purpose, and I'm sure if you look back through any woodworking forum you will find stories of serious accidents and near misses because that guard was not there. The ability to have just a splitter is a nice feature, but to work without a guard and those anti-kickback pawls would be crazy in my opinion. (When I was 14, I watched as my Dad lost two fingers to a table saw which had no guard, splitter, or pawls. That was back in 1958, when such safety devices weren't mandated.)

                          Frankly, the only time I remove the guard on my BT is when I'm not making a through-cut, which is very rare for me.

                          Perhaps those veteran members who use their tables saws a lot more than I use mine, can provide better insight.

                          Think it Through Before You Do!


                          • #15
                            Got it.
                            Ive been making wooden flower pots using Steve Ramsey's design. Since the pieces are an inch wide, I've been using a gripper to make beveled cuts, would this be a good time to use something such as the micro jig splitter?