"After all the years I've been using one, I've found that the best safety procedure is to be scared of your saw."

That is one of the comments from more than a thousand responses to the survey sent out in the JLC and Tools of the Trade newsletters. The survey - which covered work practices using table saws, miter saws, circular saws, routers, hammer drills, as well as personal protective equipment and first aid - was intended to uncover what really gets done on jobsites and in shops.

Chris Ermides' first pass at the results focus on table saw use. Here are some of the results:

  • Few (13.2%) always use the blade guard on table saws, and most (45%) never use one.
  • More (nearly 18%) always use a riving knife, but still most (nearly 37%) never use one.
  • And still more common is the use push sticks and feather boards: Nearly 40% always do and over 42% often do.
  • A fairly large percentage (nearly 22%) of respondents never use a dust mask or respirator when using a table saw.
  • Hearing protection is a little more common with almost 16% who never using it for table saws.
  • Safety glasses, fortunately, are quite common: Almost 51% always wear them when running a table saw, and only about 5% never do.

We encourage you to click through a see the full break-down of the results, and read through the selected comments, which provide insights into how others balance safety and efficiency.

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