Best Table Saw Blade Guard: Reviews 2020
One of the worst nightmares of every woodshop worker or hobbyist is having their fingers cut off by a blade saw. And let's face it – not using a blade guard can actually risk turning that into a reality.
Besides, blade saws are often motor-powered, which means they have a kickback. So, when you’re working with a tool that’s both sharp and fast, it's obvious that things can go wrong.
But does that mean you can’t have fun in the workshop? Of course not! To make sure you can play around with your projects and still be safe, we've compiled this list of the best table saw blade guards out there. Complete with a buying guide and necessary tips for setup, you’ll be good to go at the end of this article.
So, let’s check them out.
Need recommendations? Here you go:
6 Best Table Saw Blade Guard Reviews
Here’s a detailed review list to help you get an idea of what each product is all about so that you won’t be going in blind.
1. DELTA 34-976 Deluxe Uniguard Table Saw Blade Guard
Let's talk about this incredibly convenient product from the Delta Store first. When it comes to blade guards, many people shy away from using them since they tend to get in the way of things. But not this one. Since there isn't an overhead bracket for mounting, you can do dado or molding tasks without interference.
This has been constructed with high-quality materials to make sure it lasts long. The split-basket shields are clear and transparent enough to allow better control. And the fixed splitter is great for maintaining just the perfect alignment with your saw blade at all times.
Although it's possible to remove the guard whenever needed, you can keep it attached for extra safety. During operations that require no cutting, you won't have to worry about accidentally damaging any wood pieces while reaching over.
Besides the actual guard, you'll be getting a splitter, a bracket, support arm, and an extension with this item. There are anti-kickback pawls in this that provide extra safety.
Regarding this one, it's not enough to call it just a cover for the saw since it's so much more. If you're a newbie, this should be your go-to item from our list. Safety and precision both can be achieved with this little upgrade to the workshop.
2. PSI Woodworking TSGUARD Table Saw Dust Collection Guard
Contrary to popular belief, a guard for saw blades isn't just for protecting the user’s hands and workpiece. In fact, they're supposed to keep away debris and help prevent sawdust from going all over the place. So, if you want something that specializes in doing just that, you can get this product from PSI Woodworking.
This product is adjustable to any blade up to a size of 16-inches. There's a standard duct system of 4 inches width that allows all the dust and debris to get controlled much easier than usual.
So not only will this reduce post-project cleaning time but also keep your work table looking neat and polished. And with a cleaner environment in the workshop, it'll be easier for you to get any task done.
Moreover, this guard has a sturdy construction for the sake of durability. Its hood is made of shatterproof clear plastic, which doesn't conceal anything from the user.
The duct that it comes with is what takes up the dust from above the tabletop and works like a vacuum keeping things in check. It's easy to install and compatible with a variety of blade sizes.
Another good thing about this particular product is its easy adjustment to workpiece thickness. Anytime you cut a material, you can have this guard that does not get in the way but rather suits the thickness properly. One thing you do need to keep in mind is how heavy this unit is as it’s more than 40 pounds.
3. Dust Collection Blade Guard
Looking for something that allows narrow cutting? Well, this one can surely let you do so with its low-profile design. The SawStop Store has made this product for keeping benchtops clean and your hands safe at the same time.
And if you’ve already got a dust collection assembly from the same company, this will be the perfect upgrade.
For standard 3HP or even larger table saws made of cast-iron, this will be a standard guard. It comes with lateral slides which are independent and minimize the exposure to your saw blade. You can directly hook this up with your dust collection system. This has a simple design and installation mechanism.
No tools are required to have it attached or removed. It's compatible with all 10-inch saw blades made of cast-iron (by the same company). When wood is fed to it, it goes up smoothly and allows clarity in cutting tasks. This is also thanks to its clear plastic built.
The splitter that it comes with provides even more security. And if you feel that it's not needed for a project, you can also take it off. One downside of this is that it's not the best compliment for a job site pro-level table saw. For DIYers, however, it can be the best guard out there.
4. Blade Guard, 17-1/2 in. L, 2 in. H
For anyone using a 10-inch saw blade and looking to replace their old guard, this can be a top choice. Don't have the saw from the same company? No problem! If you're even halfway crafty, you can make a few adjustments and have this fit your blade just right.
What makes all the crafty adjustments worth it is how conveniently designed this cover really is. Weighing just 1.65 pounds with metal construction, it's both lightweight and sturdy. It has anti-kickback pawls and a swing-up feature for easy access.
The standalone splitter that's included here can be taken off from the guard and used separately when you want.
Installation of this item is easy as pie, given that it requires no tools at all. The same goes for its removal. This has six side panels that swing and can be moved according to the wood piece for proper coverage of the sharp blade.
And one of the best things about this guard is that it's reasonably priced compared to some others with similar designs. Although you can't use this with the portable job site blades, it works for almost every other kind.
It all depends on how creative you can get with it. Instead of attaching to the table, this actually attaches to the blade or motor's carriage, which allows better mobility and work flexibility.
5. Craftsman 089037007700 Blade Guard Assembly
This standard-duty saw blade part from the Craftsman Store is the perfect addition to your 10-inch table saw. Whether it’s from the same company or a Ryobi RTS10, this will fit either just fine. It's been built to have a long lifespan and is thus durable. The inexpensive price range is also one of its biggest pros.
As this is completely transparent, you can rest assured it won't hinder your vision while working. It has a simple and sleek look to it, which many others love.
One thing many complain about is how, despite being a great design, it fails to fit their blades. So do make sure that it's compatible with your blade's model before purchasing.
This requires the installation of the riving knife rather than mounting it on the table. It doesn't come with instructions for a fit, so if you've got no prior experience with guards and how to fix them up, then it might be a hassle.
Since the company has upgraded its designs, it tends not to fit older models. But your 315284610 Table Saw will have this fit and work perfectly.
Another fact about this part is that it weighs only 0.96 pounds. That's super light and will not overburden a worktable no matter how flimsy or old it is. The dimensions are 2x2x1 inches. It's small and simple – just right for DIY enthusiasts to get to work right away.
6. Grizzly Industrial T10113
If you thought that a universal blade guard was nothing but a myth, think again. Because Grizzly Industrial has managed to pull off just that. Their T10113 overarm guard for table saws is potentially a match for any to all cabinet style saw blades.
This heavy-duty guard can be the answer to all your workstation problems if you're working on heavier pieces and more complex hour-demanding projects.
And don't be fooled by the looks of it. It's absolutely not difficult to install. This is completely self-supporting and hence requires you to only bolt it to your saw base for a stable setup. For some added versatility, you can extend it for wider rip capacities.
It can even be pivoted out of the way for the full utility of your workspace. The guard itself is see-through and has a 6 to half-inch vertical adjustment feature. There's also a 4-inch hose connection for collecting the dust overhead. You'll find virtually no debris after completing projects, which means no more cleanup nightmare!
Overall, this is a heavy-duty part meant to last long and give its due service. And like most other heavy-duty parts, it weighs a lot – 63.5 pounds to be precise. It’s expensive but totally worth it if cleanliness plus convenience is your top priority.
What to Look for While Buying a Table Saw Blade Guard?
No matter how you look at it, blade guards are simple accessories for any workshop. But that doesn't necessarily mean their purchase is simple – there are things to look out for. And here's a list of just that.
Just like any other case, the material used to build the tool matters the most. For starters, you'll need to get a product that's sturdy and compatible with the jobs you do. Opaque materials like metals and tinted glass can be a hassle in this case.
What you want to get is either plastic or clear glass. But to narrow things down to one single best choice – we'd vote for durable see-through plastic. They're reasonable, comfortable to use, and don't block the vision of the user.
To See or Not to See?
Quite along the same lines, the next thing you should prioritize while buying a guard is its transparency. Opaque blade covers have been the source and cause of so many complaints by woodworkers and hobbyists alike that you're better off not going there.
Not only do those obstruct your view of how the cut's being made, but they're also usually heavier and get more in the way than normal. Transparent guards are going to let you see how each cut is being made and where exactly you should position your hand next.
And if you're the type who loves to add pops of color to your workstation, there's no need to be disheartened either. Lots of companies are coming out with colorful guards that are equally transparent as to their plain counterparts.
It's always a good idea to have something versatile up your sleeve. Be it a cleaning dust port, a pivoting feature, or an extra swinging panel for adjustment – it's all worth it. Because when you're in the workspace, it's a pain to get stuck for some minor inconvenience. So, nothing saves the day more than an extra added feature or two.
Look out for the guards that are both great in performance and have more to offer than just keeping your body parts safe from injury.
When it comes to add-ons or workshop accessories, it's a good idea to keep your spending within a budget. In fact, getting accessories that are more expensive than actual work equipment like drilling presses, blades, or tabletops is nothing short of a luxury. Hence, for saw covers, look for ones that fit with your level of work.
Premium ones can be found within affordable price ranges during sales. And entry-level ones are cheap but surprisingly effective in performance. You can check out our list of reviews and compare prices too. We've included both high-end and regular to cheaper products for your ease of purchase.
How to Use a Table Saw Blade Guard Properly?
If your table saw didn’t come with a built-in blade guard from the store, chances are you’ve never actually used one before. So, it’s natural to ask – how do I use it properly? No worries because we have all the tricks and tips right here to help you use your new blade guard properly.
Step-1: Setting It Up
You'll either need some basic tools like screws, drills, and a screwdriver to have it mounted securely to your tabletop or the motor carriage itself. If you're one to lose patience easily, then the good news is that you can skip this step.
There are tons of guards out there that require no tools for installation. They can be removed from the table easily by hand with a swing or pull feature. You can even leave some on for days on end as they’re made to cover the blade even when it’s not spinning.
Step-2: Inspect the Distance
Once you have it all set up, you'll need to make sure it covers the blade properly. There's usually a set angle and distance between the blade and guard to allow space for whatever item you're cutting. This thickness can range from 2 inches to ½ or even less.
Step-3: Still Proceed with Caution
Don’t depend on the guard to fully protect your fingers. Because while they do cover your sides and back, the upper portion and front spinning part of the blade is still open. That’s why you should use the guard as a visual aid more than a full-on protective gear.
And finally, you can make some tweaks and adjust the height or shape according to your preferred position for extra comfort.
Do You Need a Blade Guard on Table Saw?
Although you're told often that blade guards are for safety, you see professionals ditching it all the time. So, do you really need one of these in your shop? To be blunt- yes, you do. Notice that the ones you see confidently abandoning their guards and cutting away are "pros," not hobbyists or newbies.
Secondly, using any kind of power tool would require you to take certain precautions. Not doing so would be massively irresponsible. As for blade covers, they're mainly meant to prevent wood pieces from randomly falling on the spinning blade.
At the same time, they work as a visual reminder of where you need to position your hands when cutting.
Transparent guards are usually more popular compared to opaque ones as they let the worker see where the blade is hitting perfectly. As the blade’s outer edge is covered, there won’t be any wood shooting back at you randomly either.
How High Should I Set My Table Saw Blade?
Although we talked about this in brief already, it's still a part that needs more attention and detailed explanation. So, here are some more nuggets to help you figure it all out.
Height adjustment requires some extra attention from the user. Some people say that the blade of the saw should be 1/8 inch above the surface on which it makes the cuts. Any more will be troublesome.
Again, some say that it's best when the blade is raised up to the bottom of the teeth spaces. When it comes down to practicality, it all 'depends.'
The guard can't be placed so nearby that when the teeth spin, it'll damage the plastic. Much space is needed depending on the blade's diameter and thickness. This is especially true when there are dust collecting ports built-in with the guard.
Since height is related to kickbacks and tear-outs, it's important to be accurate while setting it up. Remember that a lower blade reduces the tear-out while a higher one leads to more. The guard should be adjusted, keeping all of this in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of a blade guard?
The main purpose of having a blade guard is to prevent kickback on motor-operated saw blades.
2. Is it necessary to use riving knives along with a blade guard?
No, it’s not necessary to use riving knives when you’re already using a guard. As these knives serve almost the same purpose, you can use them as alternatives when you don’t have or need to replace your usual blade guard.
3. Why do you need a riving knife?
Along with your blade's cover, you can use a riving knife to prevent the blade from running back suddenly. The riving knife doesn't need to be removed when cross-cutting.
4. Can the table saw blade guards collect dust?
The ones with a built-in hose and dust port can collect sawdust and debris of wood.
5. What are the precautions for replacing a blade guard?
When replacing or removing your blade’s cover, make sure it’s turned off and not spinning. Cut off the motor’s power source and keep your hands and body at a safe distance from the path of the blade.
6. Can dados and grooves be cut with a guard on the table saw blade?
Not all guards allow this freedom. There are some that we've mentioned in our reviews that allow you to make narrow cuts, dados, and more while keeping them on the blade.
Now that you know all there is about blade guards, you can set out in your new woodworking and DIYing ventures without a moment’s hesitations. Of course, make sure you’ve got one of the best tables saw blade guards on your team to make the best cut.
And with so many fun projects ahead, your workstation would require just the best gear out there. Whether you’re thinking of an upgrade, a renovation, or a brand-new setup – our reviews are at your service for exactly that. See you later, alligator!