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.
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.
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
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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