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Tool Tip: What Causes a Circular Saw To Kick Back?

When using a circular saw, do you understand what kick back is and how you can prevent it?


It is likely if you have been using a circular saw and other table saws for some time that you understand the risk of kickback and why you need to avoid it. However, do you understand what it is and how you can prevent it? That’s what we are going to discuss in this post.

First…let’s cover the basics.

What is Circular Saw Kickback?

Kickback can come in many forms, the two main types of kickback you are most likely to run into (or will be trying to avoid) are when a small piece of off-cut lands on the blade and is quickly whipped back into you. The other kind of kickback is when the blade hooks into the piece you are working on and sends it through the air.

Why is This Dangerous?

Basically, because the speed at which the piece of wood is kicked away from the saw fence and that it swivels into the blade means there is little time to react when the wood comes flying into you. The whole reason why you use a push stick with a saw is to avoid your hands being too close if kickback occurs. Therefore, kickback is something really serious that you should be fully aware of and do all you can to prevent it.

What Actually Causes Kickback?

Now you understand what it is and why it’s dangerous, let’s discuss some of the most common causes of it.

The Blade Hooking Onto the Wood

One of the most common causes of kickback occurs when the saw has not reached its full speed yet and you work the piece against it. The blade can then get hooked into the wood and cause kickback. So, you should always wait until the saw has reached its full speed before moving the piece toward it to cut it.

Not Working On a Flat Surface

This is just common sense really, but you’d be amazed at how many people make this mistake. For example, if you place a board you want to cut on two sawhorses with no form of support in the middle it can cause the board to bend which can cause kickback. When wood is not fully supported and laid on a steady and flat surface it can bind to the blade and that’s when kickback happens, so make sure you always follow this basic best and safe working practice.

The Wood is Not Secured

If the wood you are working on is not secured and held in place firmly, when the blade comes into contact with it, it may cause it to kickback. Always use clamps or whatever you prefer to use to secure it in place.

Not Handling Your Circular Saw Firmly Enough

Another major cause of kickback is not having a firm hold and control over your circular saw. You need to hold it firmly on both the front and the back. It’s always a good idea to have one finger on the saw trigger at all times when using the saw, then if kickback is likely or happens you can release your finger and the saw will stop. With electric circular saws that have electric brakes, you can stop the saw within

Although circular saws can be incredibly dangerous, if you are not careful, they are also very useful. The aim of this post is not to scare you or stop you from using them, but to help you stayed clued up, so you don’t make some of the silly and serious mistakes other have in the past.



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