LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
I was thinking the other day about the side of the table saw that the switch is on, my table saw at home has the switch located on the left side, out of the four we have at school (three Generals and one SawStop) two have the switch on the left and two have it on the right hand side. I prefer mine on the left as I am right handed and usually stand to the left of the blade. It seems like most of the saws today are putting the switch on the left. So now I am curious, what do you prefer, left or right?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
If your right handed, then left is probably better, especially if you need to stop the saw in the middle of a cut. My Unisaw switch is on the right, and can be a little tricky to get to at times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Whichever side you stand on…the best is to make a 3 foot bar hinged down from the underside of the wing that bumps the switch so that you can hit it from either side of the blade as needed. I don't know who came up with the idea, but it's been around a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
702 Posts
Proper table saw technique is stand on the LEFT OF THE SAW FACING THE FENCE at about 45 degree angle with your body. This puts your forces in a direction to keep the work against the fence. Standing on the right, causes you to pull the piece, and possibly reaching over the blade. Most people that are nervous stand on the right, then don't have the proper pressure and kickback happens. Standing on the right actually increases the risk of kickback. Either side proper hand placement, form, and flat straight lumber are the keys to reducing kickback.

by the way, my switches are on the left, at home and school, we moved the switches at school to make it a point to stand on the left for the students
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good point tooldad, never thought about that before. It makes you wonder why manufactures put the switch on the right side in the first place if it encourages improper use of the tool. I would like to see if we could get the switches moved in my school, shouldn't be hard because we have about 25 electricians in a class just upstairs, I bet they would just love to do that for a few cabinetmakers lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Mine's on the left and I can't imagine how I'll live with it on the right. When cutting sheetgoods I'm on the left side and cannot reach a right sided switch. Plus turning off a switch to the right puts one close to the "line of fire" and I'm not too comfortable with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,740 Posts
I am left handed and prefer it on the left…. I fail to see what does being right-handed or left-handed has to do with the positioning of the switch, and my point is - if you are standing to the left of the blade, and the switch is on the right - you'd either have to reach it with your left hand - which is practically impossible, or with your right hand - which means you'll have to support the board with your left hand - and if it's a thin strip, that means that your arm is crossing over the blade (or crossing in front of the blade) either way doesn't seem as safe as just bumping the switch on the left with your left hand while not having to cross anything to reach it.

I mean - we're talking about holding a board down - not some intricate job that really relates to us being right/left handed…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PurpLev, the reason that I thought left handed people may prefer the switch on the right is because some of the left handed people I know find it very uncomfortable to stand to the left of the blade, I guess the reason being is that the right hand is the hand that has the most control over the work piece. Since they stand to the right of the blade in my mind it would make sense for them to want the switch on the right side of the blade as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,740 Posts
I see your point, and my comment wasn't aimed at you - it was more aimed at the general idea of people stating that they are right handed, and thus prefer the switch on the left… which really I don't understand how it's related. as tooldad stated - there is a proper way to work with the TS, and a proper position to use - regardless of one's stronger side.

it's like driving a car - the gas/break is on the right, the clutch is on the left.. whether your right leg is stronger or your left one… unless you drive automatic that is…lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
I prefer the switch on the left also. I stand on the left side of the blade as tooldad said and press the piece down and against the fence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,339 Posts
Greetings Chris:
All I can say is: 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other. Pick one-- go for it.

"That's all I got to say about that". Thanks Forrest. Goodnight, JohnBoy…......Goodnight everybody..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,383 Posts
Mine is on the right and it's quite small. The saw was made in the 1950's I'm guessing. I think I'd like a bigger switch on the left side because my fence is on the right and If I'm pushing wood with the right hand then the left is available to hit the switch if necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I found a link to the idea I mentioned earlier for the shut off bar:
This is in Jim Tolpin's Table Saw Magic

Also, I think it's potentially misleading to tell people to always stand on the left. As I understand it, the real rule is to stand on the opposite side of the blade from the fence. If you use the fence on the left, you'll want to stand on the right.

Just my 2 pennies.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top