21 Common Table Saw Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Table Saw Safety

By Drew Witt

We all know table saws are dangerous. I don’t need to tell you that. But do you know the stats behind table saw accidents? They’re shocking! 

  • 700,000 table saws are sold per year
  • 51,000 table saw accidents happen per year
  • 33,000 table saw accidents end up in the emergency room
  • 4,000 table saw accidents result in amputation
  • 11 amputations per day
  • A finger is lost every 2 hours
  • $2B spent annually on table saw related accidents

I don’t know about you, but I was floored when I read those stats. When it comes to table saw accidents, it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced or beginning woodworker. Experienced woodworkers often become complacent with the table saw, whereas beginners don’t know what they don’t know about using a table saw safely. Regardless of experience, your life could change from a table saw mishap in a split second. 

So, how do we stay safe at the table saw? As with anything, education goes a long way. In the below YouTube video, I spoke with woodworkers and had them share their table saw mishaps, close calls, and accidents. Those conversations resulted in over 21 common mistakes beginners and pros make at the table saw. Some are common sense, and some are downright crazy, but they’ve all happened. By the end of the video, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to keep yourself out of the ER and to keep your shorts clean. Even if you know all these things, it will be a great reminder and refresher to keep you safe. 

Without further ado, here’s the video.  Stay safe, friends!

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are the other videos I mentioned in the YouTube video.

Table Saw Throat Plates with Splitter Hack

This is the IDEAL Blade Height

A Comprehensive Guide to Table Saw Blades with 60,000 FPS Slow Mo


National Consumers League – Fact sheet about table saws

Woodworking Network – What is table saw kickback and how to prevent it from happening

Weitz & Luxenberg – Saw Accidents

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  1. I was taught from the beginning-24hr separation between even “1-beer” and even going in the shop. No gloves or loose clothing near anything that spins-as blades will grab you before you can react. If you’re tired go to bed not the shop. Focus, Focus, Focus then focus again… Always have a clean work area. Above all else, have the ultimate respect for anything that can ruin the rest of your life in a heart beat… Just a few of my silent “SHOP RULES” Wilber