DIY Network

How to Add a Splitter to a Table Saw

A simple plastic splitter can be installed to a zero clearance throat plate to make your table saw safer to use. Learn how to reduce the potential for kickback by adding an aftermarket splitter to the table saw's throat plate.

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add splitter to a table saw for safety Watch Video
  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Set the Fence

First, use a zero clearance throat plate instead of the stock table saw throat plate.

Draw a line 3" from one end of a 15" board. Then, set the fence at 2".

Step 2: Cut the Notch

Place the board against the fence, then cut a notch in the board. Start at the end opposite of the mark and stop when the blade reaches the mark.

A plastic guide comes with the splitter. The guide has a 1/8" rib, which corresponds to the size of a standard blade. Place the rib into the notch you cut in the 15" board.

Note: Guides for thin kerf blades are also available.

cut a notch in the board

Step 3: Align the Guide and Board

Place the notch over the blade, then raise the blade up to its full height.

Align the guide and board so that the tooth of the blade catches at the end of the plastic guide.

raise blade up to its full height

Step 4: Mount the Guide

Next, use screws to mount the guide to the board.

Find the location holes for the three stems on the splitter. Use a bit that comes with the set to drill through the small holes in the guide. Drill these holes through the board and into the zero clearance throat plate (Image 1).

Remove the board and guide then place the splitter into the three holes (Image 2).

Tip: When you're finished, cut the end off of the 15" board, then use the guide to store the splitter (Image 3) when you're not using it.