Review By Dean Bielanowski  Website - http://www.sunshineclothesdryer.com/


Saw-Jaw
 Mini-Review

By Dean Bielanowski
 


Table saw owners will be familiar with the often troublesome task of installing or removing blades from their saws. On many table saw models, you have to wedge a block of wood against the teeth of the blade to simulate "locking" the arbor while you undo the blade holding nut. Not only is this potentially dangerous if your wooden block moves unexpectedly, but the process can also be a pathway to costly blade tooth damage. The Saw-Jaw was designed to eliminate both of these risks, and to make saw blade changing on table saws a much easier task.

The Saw-Jaw
I like to call it the "frying pan" for obvious look reasons, but the Saw-Jaw is no doubt a handy tool to have if you do indeed own a table saw. Essentially, what it does is grip your saw blade securely and provide a safe handhold on the blade while you add or remove it from your saw.

The Saw-Jaw itself is constructed of hard plastic using an injection molded process and is designed to work with the most common sized table saw blades, those being 10 inch blades. Its split handle allows it to be installed relatively easily around any 10" blade, and with a quick squeeze of the handle, the Saw-Jaw locks around the blade and holds in the locked position via a simple plastic locking mechanism on the handle.

To ensure the blade does not fall out of the jaw when locked, there are four rectangular tabs extending inward from the perimeter to prevent the blade falling out of the open side of the Saw-Jaw. On most blades this should work fine. Just make sure to check that these tabs are located over a part of the blade when trying to clamp ripping blades or blades with larger gullet spaces. In most cases you will have no trouble though.

To prevent the blade from turning when you are tightening or loosening the blade arbor nut on your table saw, there are two triangular tabs that extend toward the center of the Saw-Jaw. The teeth of the blade will rest against these to prevent the blade turning during this procedure. This seems to work well, and all my various blade designs were all held quite firm in the Saw-Jaw.

On the reverse side of the Saw-Jaw there is clearance of 4" in diameter to allow for larger blade stabilizers or stabilizing nuts if you have those in use on your saw. This hole also allows access to the blade locking nut/washer, which of course will be required to access to remove or secure a blade.

The Saw-Jaw did have enough clearance on my particular saw to get in and secure around an installed blade. I have heard the fit here can be quite tight on some particular saw models, with the Saw-Jaw almost rubbing or slightly touching against splitter/guard support mechanisms behind the blade. Most saw models do not present a substantial problem however judging by the large number of woodworkers who already own one and report no issues in this regard.

One thing I like about the Saw-Jaw is that it allows you to transport and add/remove blades easily without having to touch the blade, which can cause small nicks and cuts on occasion. You will have to wary of the fact that if you have a tight fitting blade on an arbor, the Saw-Jaw may not remedy this directly, however, it provides the protection from the blade teeth as you wiggle and wrestle to get the blade on and off.


Left: The Saw Jaw firmly grips the blade and acts as an arbor lock while the blade washer/nut is tightened or removed. Right: Note the clearance the Saw Jaw offers around the arbor nut to accommodate large washers or blade stabilizers up to 4" in diameter.

Saw-Jaw vs Bench Dog Blade-Loc
Another accessory that is similar in function to the Saw-Jaw is Bench Dog's Blade-Loc. The Blade-Loc is designed to "wedge" the saw blade in the Blade-Loc holder so arbor nuts can be tightened or loosened, effectively providing a safer method of the wood block wedge principle. I have owned a Blade-Loc for many years and it too really works well. So do I prefer it over the Saw-Jaw? Well, the main difference between the two is that the Saw Jaw will aid in releasing the arbor nut/washer, as well as allowing you to safely hold the blade as you remove and transport it to storage. The Blade-Loc will also do this, but it is designed primarily for releasing/tightening blades onto the saw, and not really for handling blades off the saw. The Saw Jaw has the edge, but the Blade-Loc is still also a handy tool nonetheless.

Conclusion
If you are prone to getting nicks and cuts from handling or installing table saw blades, then the Saw-Jaw is the tool for you. If you don't like the wood block wedge method commonly used to install saw blades on tables that do not use a 2-spanner installation/removal method, the Saw-Jaw is for you. If you have ever dropped a blade taking it from the storage rack to the saw, the Saw-Jaw is definitely for you (it will provide some blade protection from knocks, bumps and probably short distance falls, and also stop those teeth falling onto unprotected skin and causing cuts). If you have no problem adding or removing blades and do not suffer from cuts and nicks from sharp saw blade teeth while doing so, then you may not need it, but as a cheap and effective measure for improved safety in the workshop, heck, why not get one anyway!

The Saw-Jaw is a useful tool in the shop. If you don't already have something like the Blade-Loc, then the Saw-Jaw would be a worthwhile investment. The Saw-Jaw is reasonably priced at around US$15.

April 22nd, 2008

Available to Order Online through these companies...
Click graphic to go to their direct product page for this item

Saw-Jaw Blade Tool Saw-Jaw Blade Tool
Safely change and store your 10" table saw blades with this unique tool. ..

Saw-Jaw Blade Tool
Purchase from Rockler.com

 

 


Saw-Jaw

Saw-Jaw Photos
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The Saw Jaw - aka "the Frying Pan"


The locking tab automatically engages when you squeeze the handles together to hold the blade in place.


A 10 inch blade locked securely in the Saw Jaw.


Note the triangular tab which prevents the blade turning in the jaw, as well as the rectangular tab which holds the blade in the Saw Jaw, preventing it from dropping out.

 

 


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