Keeping the blade from binding during rip cuts:

1. Makes sure blade is sharp and clean; dirty and dull blades can increase the risk of kickbacks.

2. The use of a riving knife — a hook-shaped piece of metal mounted directly behind the blade — helps prevent the upper and lower pieces of wood from binding together after the cut is made.

3. Some model saws come with rip support wedges. Place these every 3 feet as the cut is made to keep the board split.

Preventing burning or chipping:

1. Make sure the saw is properly aligned and/or adjusted or a heeling condition can occur. Also make sure the blade is sharp; dull blades are the most common cause of burning and chipping.

2. Ensure that the correct saw for the material is being used. For example, if cutting melamine, use a blade with a negative hook/rake and at least 60 teeth to get a chip-free cut.

3. For best results, the use of a scoring knife is often recommended. This is available on many of the larger panel saws.

4. Check the tension on the pressure shroud to ensure it is snug on the material and that the blade is penetrating the correct depth out the back of the material.

For suppliers of panel saws, visit

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