Leuco says its diamond-tipped conical “No Noise” saw blades have visibly minimized gullets for a noise reduction of 6 db(A) when idling and are available in diameters of up to 450mm with tooth geometries TR-F-FA, G6 und G3. As far as actual operation, I agree, I’m not aware of a design difference where a riving knife will help that a splitter will not. The biggest advantage of the riving knife is that it’s more likely to be in place when needed. Since the RK is attached to the saw’s arbor mounting, and rides up and down with the blade, it can be curved to match the shape of the blade. I am asking these questions because there are a number of cuts that require removing the guard and splittter that always make me uncomfortable.
Been aware of the BORK for a while now, (thanks Scott) but am having a hard time deciding whether a riving knife is so much better then the splitter pictured below which does tilt with the blade. I think it’s more important that one or the other is in place on a saw, than which one. Yeah well I’m ashamed to admit this but I got nailed twice a month apart a year or two ago, had a black a blue mark both times the size of a cantaloupe and they hurt like h. I was trimming the boards only take a kerfs width off so they didn’t pinch the blade they pinched the fence. I’ve been doing this woodworking thing for a while and it kind of flabbergasted me that I let that happen, and twice.
After about 30 years of woodworking, inattention and being in a hurry caused me to put my thump on the blade. I agree with you that if you (edit) only (edit end) start relying on the features for safety, then you are actually operating your saw in an unsafe manner which might bite you when you least expect it. My splitter has two anti kickback pawls and they work very well when the cut is normal to the saw top but when I want to cut off off vertical I need to remove the splitter and the pawls with it. As far as wood closing up and pinching the blade in less than 2” from the back of the blade, yes it can. Manufacturing the mechanism for a riving knife is more complexthan a splitter mounted off the back of the saw.
I have never felt comfortable running my TS without either a splitter or riving knife on it. I have only had kickback a couple of times and been lucky, but luck is not something I want to count on. The evolution from my first, second, and now third table saw has been better for me each time. My Jet has been the best for me with its modular system where you can take off each component without tools and it literally takes only a couple of seconds to do. There are versions of riving knives that have anti-kickback pawls also, that I’d think would maintain there inherent design advantage over the splitter. Curt – They exist on several saws that offer a stock riving knife, but am not sure of any offered as an aftermarket item to fit your saw. And you stated I discovered why it was adopted, tell me how a riving knife would have prevented the kickback I had? So, I’m really starting to think that a riving knife is a bit better then a splitter due to proximity to the blade but not the greatest thing since sliced bread like all the hype it gets.

Looking at the BORK some more I saw a video of it and it looked like it didn’t stay level with the top of the blade throughout the blades height adjustment. The Shark Guard which looks like a really nice system and has pawls does not appear to move up and down with the blade.
Again, I was just like you until I got to be around a saw equipped with one for a while and truly see the difference in how they function first hand. The plus I see with the Shark Guard is that the guard and the pawls are easily removable, without tools, so you can leave the splitter in place for all but non-through cuts.
For me, having to take off the OEM splitter, which requires removing the insert and getting a wrench, to use my cross cut sled, and for narrow rips, is a pain and results in the guard and splitter being on the saw less often. I think part of the conflict here is the assumption that splitters are almost always removed. Take the blade out of your table saw and install a seven and a quater inch diameter ultra thin kerf blade, this blade does all the ripping and crosscutting you need on average, and the waste is reduced to almost nothing.
I don’t understand why a narrower kerf would eliminate the need for a riving knife or splitter. The DP panel sizing saw blades are ideal for use with single sheets or stacks, raw, as well as for veneered or plastic-laminated wood-based panels, the company adds.
The knife will be very close to the rear of blade which will not allow any of the work piece to come into contact with the blade after the cut.
A splitter, even one that tilts with the blade can’t follow the contour the same way. Obviously it won’t be quite the same as a real RK!Should it be the same thickness as the blade?
But having a riving knife even though it would have been there would not have helped but the splitter more then likely would have stopped it. That’s one thing that always bothers me, complacency, or let the mind wander for a split second.
There are slots there for this purpose.There is a release below the insert plate which will let the riving knife rotate back and down till it is just slightly below the top of the blade. A vertical splitter stuck in an insert does fine for safety andmost table saw cuts do not involve tilting the blade. My R4511 had a decent riving knife splitter and I got an aftermarket riving knife for non thru cuts as the OEM riving knife had an attached blade guard. I still had to buy a low profile riving knife for some non thru cuts, but I always run one or the other. Read my experience again and tell me how a riving knife would have stopped those incidents from occurring.
It will not physically stop a board the splitter I have which is pictured will stop a board., it may prevent a board from pinching the blade and kicking back and so will a splitter, but it will not stop a board.
If the saw is set up correctly, fence parallel to the blade and miter slots parallel to the blade, the chances of kick back are almost slim to none. Getting hit by a chunk of wood traveling at 50 MPH isn’t going to feel much better than one traveling at 100 MPH.
A riving knife is much safer than a tradional splitter and I wish manufacturers would have kept them instead of the cheap blade guard and splitter design which looks to me to be an after thought and not an actual safety device.

If the splitter was shaped like a RK it would be destroyed by the blade when it is raised and lowered.Either device is better than nothing and the real value of the RK is that it is almost never in the way, there is hardly ever a need to remove it. A non through cut is not going to pinch so the need for a riving knife or a splitter (if one could be used) is a moot point.
In terms of functionality in preventing kickbacks, I think it is the same as a splitter, except that it is always there, where one might forget or be in a hurry and not put the splitter back after making a non through cut. What I’m getting is that both a splitter and a riving knife will prevent a kickback by preventing the wood from pinching the blade thus causing a kickback but the splitter I have will also stop a kickback if say one occurs because the wood cocks or pinches between the blade and the fence. Fortunately I followed another safety rule of keeping the blade height just above the wood. So again it’s just like a splitter but does still have the advantage of being closer to the blade. The examples with the pawls that actually stop a board then make it higher then the blade so it then doesn’t have the non through cut advantage anymore.
Also, operator positioning will go a long way into avoiding injuries if a kick back does occur. It moves up and down with the blade which means you don’t have to remove it when you do partial through cuts. Manufacturers had the riving knife concept figured out a hundred years ago, why fix what nots broken? Both raise & lower with the blade, splitter same height as blade, riving knife is higher than blade. Not only is it a sturdy splitter it’s a kickback preventer and it lowers when doing non through cuts.
No bone was cut in my thumb, but I had a 3mm wide kerf which has affected the feeling in my thumb.
In the lowest position the top blade guard can not be attached to the RK.To me, this is what a riving knife is supposed to be. That was then confirmed in a post by Bob Ross who stated that was why the BORK also has a height adjustment.
I must say it helps keep your work against the fence and keeps the material from binding in on itself as it some times does.
I read the first comment, how could I make a non thru cut with the riving knife higher than the blade?
I didn’t think it really mattered much when I first got my saw but now that I have used it for awhile I really appreciate having it. I personally prefer the riving knife because I like knowing that nothing will get caught on the back of the spinning blade. The splitter & riving knife fit over the blade the same way, the difference is the splitter is the same height as the blade, what’s the advantage of a riving knife higher than the blade ?

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