Why Is My Table Saw Binding? Problem Solved!

Incorrectly using a table saw can have serious consequences. Every year, over 30,000 accidents occur around the world, resulting in minor injuries, amputation of limbs, and even death.

The binding of table saws is one of the many table saw problems that can occur, and a major cause of table saw accidents. As a result, it is critical to understand what table saw binding is, how to identify it, and how to avoid it.

In short, a slanted fence, an incorrect saw blade, a misaligned saw blade, misfeeding of the wood, and the use of a dirty, dull saw blade can cause a table saw to bind. You can avoid the table saw is binding if you can respond to these reasons.

In this article, I’ll explain why a table saw is binding and how to avoid it so you can get started safely. Keep in mind that table saws are a potentially dangerous tool, and accidents can happen at any time.

Pro tip!

I recommend that everyone put together a first-aid kit and keep it in the workshop. All of the information you need can be found in my article, How To Make A Workshop First Aid Kit – N°1 Guide | FREE CHECKLIST.

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

What Is Table Saw Binding?

Table saw bonding occurs when the workpiece and saw blade are not parallel to each other. Because the workpiece is inserted obliquely, the tension on the saw blade will increase the further the workpiece is inserted. This will slow down the saw blade and force a table saw blade stop.

Usually, the table saw binding will make your rip cuts, but sometimes crosscuts can also be a problem if done correctly.

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What Are the Dangers of a Binding Table Saw?

The main danger is that when your table saw is binding, it can easily knock the workpiece back. This is also known as kickback. The workpiece is catapulted towards the user at high speed and damages the user’s stomach.

That is very painful, but the danger can be even greater. Kickback happens in a split second, so you don’t know what’s happening and your actions are thoughtless and uncontrolled. There is a danger here that you could accidentally come into contact with the saw blade due to the shock effect.

Good advice is to never stand in a straight line behind the workpiece. It is better to stay next to the workpiece. if kickback occurs, the chance is many times greater that the workpiece will shoot past you. Even better advice is to read and follow all the tips I give in this article. As a result, you can reduce the cause of kickback due to table saw binding and avoid accidents.

How to Identify the Binding

Table saw binding is always a little predictable for those who are attentive. You can identify the bond by observing the behavior of the table saw and the cutting surface of the workpiece. If you work with a table saw, never be distracted by people or situations around you and focus on the saw blade and your workpiece. here are a few examples of how you might notice that table saw binding will occur.

  • When the workpiece is fed to the table saw, it may slow down and force a table saw blade stop. This can be a sign of bonding.
  • If your table saw starts to smoke or you notice burn marks, it indicates increased pressure on the saw blade. If that pressure becomes too high, the table saw will jam. (binding is only one reason for a smoking table saw. If you have this problem, Check my article on how to fix a smoking table saw here)
  • Take a good look at your fence and make sure it is parallel to the saw blade. Sometimes you can spot that very simply by looking at it and comparing it to the lines on your table saw (if there are any, like I have in my Makita MLT100 table saw).
  • If the workpiece does not pass through the blade and eventually begins to vibrate, this may be a sign that it is trying to kick back.

What Causes a Table Saw to Bind?

Table saw binding can have various causes. In this section, I will discuss the most common causes so that you can better understand them. Thanks to these insights, I will therefore offer the solution to prevent this in the next chapter of this article.

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Using the Incorrect Saw Blade

Saw blades are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some blades are made for ripping, while others are made for crosscuts. A rip cut is a longitudinal cut through the fibers of wood.

As a result, there is little resistance and it is capable of cutting rather than cutting off. This cut necessitates the use of blades with fewer teeth and deeper gullets. Sawdust would accumulate in the smaller gullet and jam the saw if you used a fine-toothed saw blade in this situation.

Saw blade misalignment

Saw blade misalignment will cause the fence or miter gauge to skew. Table saw binding can occur if the fence and the saw blade are not parallel. As a result, ensure that the saw blade is parallel to the table saw fence in order to make smooth cuts.

A dirty or dull blade

Extra friction is created when the saw blade is dull or full of sawdust. As a result, the blade heats up and bends. A bent blade will increase the amount of contact at one point, resulting in a jammed saw.

A dirty or dull blade will also start burning the wood you are cutting. You can read more about that, together with a lot of other reasons and solutions to table saw wood burning here.

Fence with Slope

It is preferable to attach the fence to the table saw blade from both the front and back of the table saw. If you only use one fix point, the fence may be tilted against the saw blade, resulting in table saw binding.

The oblique insertion of the wood

Wood must be fed perpendicular to the saw blade at all times. The knife will become stuck if you push the wood diagonally against it. Using a single push stick too far away from the blade will cause the wood to rotate in the opposite direction of the blade. Finally, it can return to the user.

How Do I Stop My Saw from Binding?

Because you now understand what the causes are, it is easier to find solutions and to prevent table saw binding in the future. Below you will find a suitable solution for each problem discussed above.

How to fix Using the Incorrect Saw Blade

Table saw blades with low teeth and deep gullets are required for rip cuts. Crosscutting, on the other hand, necessitates finer teeth with shallower gullets. Make certain that the saw you choose is appropriate for the type of cut you intend to make. It will not only make your work safer, but it will also produce better results.

How to fix Saw blade misalignment

A misaligned saw blade can be easily and quickly checked. Measure the distance between a marked tine and a T-slot on both the input (front of the blade) and output sides (back of the blade). A slope can be seen if there is a difference in distance. If you want to learn more about this, check out my blog post, Why Does My Table Saw Not Cut Straight – 5 Important Reasons, where I explain how to do it in greater detail.

How to fix A dirty or dull blade

You can clean a dirty saw blade quite easily with this table saw and router bit cleaner from CMT. Do this regularly to keep your saw blades clean and allow them to cut optimally.

You can sharpen a saw blade to make it like new again. You can have this done by professionals or do it yourself. In my article, Is It Worth Sharpening Table Saw Blades? A Clear Answer, I will go into this in detail.

How to fix Fence with Slope

Always use a fence that can be locked from both the front and the back. If you’re in the market for a new table saw, look for one that meets this requirement.
Related article: 5 Affordable Table Saws For A Woodworking Beginner + Checklist

Always tighten the fence so that even the smallest shift is prevented. If your fence has only one fixation point, you can try to solve the problem like I did with my Makita table saw. This was a major issue I encountered when purchasing many years ago, and I hope it has drawn your attention to the fact that you will not make the same mistake with your next purchase.

How to fix The oblique insertion of the wood

When a single push stick is used, it will attempt to rotate around the push point once the cutting is finished. This allows it to spin in the same direction as the saw blade. Finally, it can return to the user. Use two stick or push blocks, preferably as close to the area where you will make the cut as possible. This keeps the workpiece from shifting and binding the table saw blade.

Related article: When Should A Push Stick Be Used (A Clear Guide)

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