What Is A Splitter On A Table Saw? [Know Everything Today]

What Is A Splitter On A Table Saw? [Know Everything Today]

Whether you’re a beginner woodworker or a seasoned professional, understanding the role of a splitter is crucial for promoting safety and achieving accurate cuts. Here is what a splitter on a table saw!

A table saw is a powerful and versatile tool commonly found in woodworking shops and construction sites. It features a circular saw blade mounted on an arbor, which protrudes through a flat surface known as the table. 

In this blog post, I will delve into the world of table saw splitters and explore their purpose, functionality, and importance. We’ll also discuss different types of splitters, their installation and adjustment process, and share some practical tips for using them effectively.

Installing and Adjusting a Splitter on a Table Saw: 

Installing and adjusting a splitter on a table saw is a relatively straightforward process. Begin by ensuring that the saw is turned off and unplugged for safety. Identify the slot or attachment point on the table saw where the splitter will be installed. 

Insert the splitter into the designated slot, ensuring that it aligns with the saw blade’s kerf. Use any provided fasteners or locking mechanisms to secure the splitter in place. Adjust the height of the splitter to match the height of the blade, typically ensuring it is slightly lower than the tooth height. 

Finally, double-check the alignment and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the splitter is positioned correctly before operating the table saw.

Are There Different Types Of Splitters Available For Table Saws?

Yes, there are different types of splitters available for table saws. These are listed below. Let’s look at a glance! 

Type of SplitterDescription
Standard SplitterIntegrated into the blade guard assembly, aligns with the blade’s kerf for kickback prevention.
Riving KnifeA specialized splitter that moves up and down with the blade, maintaining a constant distance.
Anti-Kickback PawlsAttachments with sharp teeth that grab the workpiece to prevent kickback.
Microjig SplitterAftermarket splitters offer improved flexibility and adjustable features.
Shark Guard SplitterRetrofit splitters are compatible with specific table saw models, providing added safety measures.

How Does a Splitter Function on a Table Saw?

A splitter on a table saw functions as a safety device designed to prevent kickback and promote smoother, safer cuts. Positioned behind the saw blade and aligned with its kerf, the splitter helps to keep the workpiece from binding and closing in on the blade during cutting. 

By maintaining a consistent distance between the two halves of the cut, the splitter minimizes the risk of the material pinching the blade and causing a potentially dangerous kickback. Additionally, the splitter helps to reduce the chances of wood burning, minimizes tear-out, and improves overall cutting accuracy. Its primary role is to ensure a safer and more controlled cutting experience on a table saw.

Why Is A Splitter Important For Table Saw Safety?

A splitter is of utmost importance for table saw safety due to its ability to prevent kickback incidents. Kickback, a sudden and forceful backward movement of the workpiece, can occur when it binds against the saw blade. The splitter, positioned behind the blade, helps to keep the material from closing in on the blade and causing this dangerous reaction. 

By maintaining a consistent gap and preventing the workpiece from pinching the blade, the splitter significantly reduces the risk of kickback. This ensures a safer working environment and minimizes the potential for serious injuries, making the presence of a splitter an essential aspect of table saw safety.

Can I Install A Splitter On Any Table Saw?

In most cases, you can install a splitter on a table saw. However, it depends on the specific model and design of the saw. Many modern table saws come equipped with integrated splitter systems or riving knives that are designed to be compatible with the machine. 

These splitters can be easily installed or adjusted according to the user’s needs. However, some older or lower-end table saws may not have provisions for a splitter or lack the necessary features for installation. It is important to check the user manual or consult the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine if your table saw can accommodate a splitter and ensure compatibility before attempting to install one.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Splitter?

Using a splitter on a table saw offers several benefits. 

Firstly, it significantly enhances safety by reducing the risk of kickback, one of the most common and dangerous accidents associated with table saw use. The splitter helps prevent the material from closing in on the blade, promoting a more controlled and secure cutting experience. 

Secondly, a splitter can help reduce wood burning, minimize tear-out, and improve overall cutting accuracy. By maintaining a consistent gap between the two halves of the cut, the splitter ensures cleaner and smoother cuts. 

Overall, the presence of a splitter on a table saw enhances both safety and the quality of woodworking results.

How Do I Adjust The Splitter To Align With The Saw Blade?

To adjust the splitter and align it with the saw blade, follow these steps. 

  1. Start by turning off the table saw and unplugging it for safety. 
  2. Loosen any locking mechanisms or fasteners that secure the splitter in place. 
  3. Next, position the splitter so that it aligns with the saw blade’s kerf. 
  4. Adjust the height of the splitter to be slightly lower than the height of the blade’s teeth. 
  5. Once aligned, tighten the locking mechanisms or fasteners to secure the splitter in its adjusted position. 
  6. Double-check the alignment by visually inspecting the splitter’s position relative to the blade. 
  7. Ensure that there is a consistent and appropriate gap between the splitter and the blade for effective operation.

Can A Splitter Prevent Kickback Accidents?

Yes, a splitter can help prevent kickback accidents on a table saw. Kickback occurs when the workpiece binds against the saw blade and is forcefully thrown back toward the operator. 

The presence of a splitter, positioned behind the blade and aligned with the kerf, helps to maintain a consistent distance between the two halves of the cut. By preventing the material from closing in on the blade, the splitter minimizes the risk of binding and reduces the chances of kickback. 

It acts as a crucial safety device, promoting a more controlled and secure cutting experience, and significantly mitigates the potential for dangerous kickback accidents.


In conclusion, a splitter on a table saw plays a vital role in promoting safety and enhancing the overall cutting experience. Maintaining a consistent gap between the workpiece and the saw blade, it helps prevent kickback accidents. 

Whether it is a standard splitter integrated into the blade guard assembly or a specialized riving knife, these devices offer essential protection and ensure a more controlled and secure woodworking environment. 

Understanding the purpose and proper usage of a splitter is crucial for every woodworker, as it not only safeguards against potential hazards but also enables the production of cleaner and more precise cuts.

Md Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Wood Working Advisor is a blog where I share wood working tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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