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.
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″.
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.
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.