Right or Left Tilt?

People often ask: which is safer a right tile or left tilt tablesaw?

The answer depends on how it's used. Obviously when the blade is used in the upright position they are equal. But a blade can pinch the wood, whick may lead to kickback, when it's tilted as shown in Fig.2A and Fig.3B and when the fence is used with the miter gauge as in Fig.4A and Fig.4B. In Fig.2A you can see a right-tilt blade with the fence on the right. As wood is being ripped like this, it can be pinched. The same is true for a left-tilt blade with the fence on the left as in Fig.3B. If you use your tablesaw to bevel an edge, and you prefer to use the fence on the right of the blade, then a left-tilt saw may be safer. But if you're like me, and hardly ever bevel the edge of a board, and bevel the end of a cross-cut more often, then a right-tilt blade is perfectly fine. In fact, comfort has a lot to do with it. I've always used a right-tilt tablesaw, and I feel more comfortable with it.

I've added in the last twp diagrams Fig.4A amd Fig.4B to remind you to NEVER use a fence and a miter-gauge together. Sometimes people think that using the fence isw an easy way when cross-cuttng many pieces to the same length. A piece that is cross-cut can EASILY get caught between the fence and the blade and kickback is a very likely result.

© 2008 Mark Goodall