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ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

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  • #31

    Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

    Originally posted by Jacques Gagnon View Post
    ... something to consider:

    tablesaws designed with a riving knife are widely viewed by users as much safer than the older models that came equiped with a rectangular splitter. The complaint with old-style splitters stems from the fact that the space between the splitter and the back of the blade varied between "wide" when the blade was fully extended above the table to "very wide" when the blade was lower, therefore increasing the risk of kickback.

    After-market riving knives (either home-made or commercially produced) do provide a better protection against kickback by virtue of the narrow gap that can be created between the knife and the back of the blade, regardless of its projection above the table.

    The big difference between "real" riving knives and "adapted" ones resides in the fact that the latter needs to be adjusted manually everytime the blade is lowered or raised if one is to maintain the optimal clearance between the blade and the knife. This is not an unsurmountable task, but it comes with a significant downside: the user must be very careful not to raise a spinning blade into a riving knife that does not raise simultaneously with the blade.

    All this to say that buying saws with an integral riving knife (ie one that automatically follows the trajectory of the blade) is an excellent way to provide more safety for the user. However, manually adjusted riving knives should not necessarily be automatically rejected, since they provide a significant improvement over old-style spiltters, albeit at a "procedural cost".

    Just some thoughts from a user who now uses a manually-adjusted riving knife.

    Regards,

    J.
    It is true that many people believe a riving knife is better than a splitter but that is a fallacy IMO. The only advantage of a riving knife is that it is less likely to be hung up on the wall for decoration because it rarely gets in the way of daily use. The gap between the splitter and the blade, assuming you are using a full diameter blade, does not allow kickback any more than the smaller gap in front of a riving knife. Some people like to keep the blade down to where it barley breaks the surface of the work because they do not comprehend that you want the saw cutting downwards rather than trying to push the work towards the operator. Keeping the blade low increases the gap somewhat but not to the point that a cut-off will be able to touch the back of the blade that is lifting upwards. A splitter is a great place to clamp a diverter to if you are cutting tiny pieces.
    Rob
    Rusty likes this.

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    • #32

      Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

      Just to be clear, l say that without a riving knife is probably a deal killer for me because I'm not in any rush to but a saw and I am happy to wait until exactly what I want comes along at my price... especially since I have to get it into my basement.

      I have a pretty decent GI contractor saw right now with a splitter that I position forward closer to the blade at my typical cutting height. As was mentioned though, I have to be aware not to raise a spinning blade into the splitter...

      So if I buy a cabinet saw, I want a riving knife & splitter option because it's somewhat superior and convenient... until then what I have works fairly well.

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      • #33

        Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

        Originally posted by altiplano View Post

        So if I buy a cabinet saw, I want a riving knife & splitter option because it's somewhat superior and convenient... until then what I have works fairly well.
        AFAIK all cabinet saws since the 40s have come equipped with splitters. Until the internet came along most people did not use them. As most tablesaw owners do not spend time on the internet I am sure most people still do not. It should be noted that in ordinary safe use of a tablesaw the work piece should not be able to touch the back of the blade. The splitter or riving knife is there in case something happens but in normal use is redundant.
        ​​​​​​​Rob

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        • #34

          Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

          Maybe I worded that poorly...

          ​​​​​​I realize that all more or less all saws have a splitter or can be fitted with one... not that all used saws still have them. But I want a riving knife option too for additional convenience... "&"...

          I see that typically splitters and blade guards aren't used... but I use all of it. With dust collection from the saw guard too. The guard I have isn't free standing and has to connect to a splitter or riving knife.

          Anyway, thanks for the info.

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          • #35

            Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

            Have you considered suspending your guard from the ceiling? You cannot attach anything to a riving knife.
            Rob

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            • #36

              Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

              This thread definitely took a detour. I was just looking for a riving knife, now it's about what table saw to buy and how to mount the dust collection.

              Steve

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              • #37

                Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

                Originally posted by iamtooler View Post
                Have you considered suspending your guard from the ceiling? You cannot attach anything to a riving knife.
                Rob
                I don't want to suspend it from the ceiling... this guard doesn't work like that.

                You mount it on a splitter... or if you made modified riving knife with a mount to accommodate it that would work great I'm sure. I've seen riving knife setups with guards that mount.

                Anyway, I​​​​​​I looked at the saw closer today and it wasn't going to happen...

                Sorry about the hijack. I really just had a question about the saw and accommodating a riving knife for it...

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                • #38

                  Re: ISO: General 350/650 Riving Knife

                  Originally posted by altiplano View Post

                  Sorry about the hijack.
                  Doesn't bother me, my dilemma was already solved. Hijack away. I just was not expecting this when I started it.

                  Steve

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