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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not sure where I left the blade guard/splitter for my table saw, and frankly I don’t really care; it’s a real pain to remove and replace and it gets in the way of at least half of the operations I perform. Now, I really like the idea of a built-in riving knife that moves with the blade, so maybe on my next saw — but for now this removable splitter from Micro Jig has caught my eye.

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Not only does the MJ Splitter keep the workpiece from pinching the blade, it also can act as a mini-featherboard to keep the workpiece against the fence after it exits the blade — something that’s not easy to do any other way. By choosing one of the four sides of the two included splitters, you can adjust the amount of pressure the splitters apply by changing how much it is offset from the blade in increments of .003″.

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Due to the fact the splitter fits into a series of precision holes into your zero-clearance insert, you can only use the MJ Splitter for 90° through-cuts. To help you drill these alignment holes, Micro Jig  thoughtfully includes a jig with the splitters. You can purchase splitters for 1/8″ kerf blades and thin (3/32″) kerf blades. Pricing starts at $15 for the 1/8″ version, $20 for the thin kerf, and $30 for a set with both.

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Reading the reviews on Rockler, it looks like people have had problems with the pins bending and the splitter getting knocked out of place. Apparently Micro Jig is aware of these potential problems and has recently release a pro version made from steel and polycarbonate that we’ll look at tomorrow.

MJ Splitter [MicroJig]
MJ Splitter [Rockler]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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5 Responses to The Original MJ Splitter

  1. Mrten says:

    Isn’t a riving knife something you could add on to your saw with a little modification? I’ve seen what some aluminum did to a solid 3cm wooden door when it kicked back (yes, large hole), and I’d nevernevernever use a table saw without one (oh, and I like my fingers just where they are thankyouverymuch).

  2. Jim says:

    @Mrten Says:

    Yes, you could add one on, and many saws include a riving knife. But unless it is easily retractable, the design is inconvenient to remove and install which is required when making some cuts like dadoes. Also, it makes making a shop made zero clearance throat plate that much more difficult.

    The MJ Splitter is quickly removable, installs on shop made throat plates and matches the kerf of the blade.

    If those design features make you use it more often, then it is worth the cost.

    I made one years ago before the MJ Splitter using a rollpin. It works great, is easily removable and matches the kerf of the blade. Cost…….$0

  3. shopmonger says:

    riving knives are now the standrd because of the Europe, however there are still thousands of old saws out there with no splitter. I will admit i don’t use one, but not to say that i would not like one, if it was movable with the blade angle.

    Shopmonger

  4. Mrten says:

    When the riving knife isn’t extending above the saw, and moves with the saw, what’s the problem cutting dadoes?
    http://blogs.popularwoodworking.com/editorsblog/content/binary/3-riving-knife.jpg for an image of the type of knife I’m thinking of.

  5. Jim says:

    @Mrten Says:

    I can assume the picture you have provided has the recommended blade size for the saw. Assuming the riving knife is fixed for that particular blade diameter, and most woodworker’s use a smaller diameter dado than the saw blade diameter (who needs to cut a 3″ deep dado, subject the saw to that much spinning mass, or incur the additional cost of a large diameter dado set), therefore the riving knife will be in the way.

    Additionally, except until recently, and on many European saw, the riving knife was of very simple design. They often did not move up and down with the saw elevation, did not tilt with the blade and often were incorporated as part of the blade guard.

    Some newer/redesigned saws have better designs, but only a few higher-end models offer full feature riving knives.

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