What is a zero clearance insert?

In simple terms, the zero clearance insert is one of the most important accessories you can buy for your tablesaw. It closes the gap from the metal insert that came with your saw which reduces the possibility of tear-out on your cuts.

What’s a riving knife do?

A riving knife rides within the kerf, pivoting on the saw’s arbor in relation to blade height, to maintain an even gap between the two cut sides of the board, preventing jamming which could cause the stock to be forcefully ejected rearward toward the saw’s operator.

Can you use a table saw without an insert?

Using the table saw without a throat plate in the wide-open throat insert of the top of the saw table would be unsafe. The solution is to use a zero-clearance insert in the throat, into which a slot can be cut to accommodate the dado blade.

Should I use a riving knife?

Rip cuts are especially prone to kickbacks, and it is here that the riving knife is most important. Even though a riving knife is effective in reducing the possibility of a kickback, it cannot prevent it entirely, which is why it is always advisable to follow the basic rules of use for a table saw.

What is the purpose of a zero clearance insert?

The purpose of a zero clearance insert is to bring the distance between the saw blade and the nearest supporting surface down to zero. As in zero clearance. In other words, there is no gap between the table saw top and the saw blade. The insert is as close as it can to the saw blade without physically touching it.

How do you put a zero clearance insert on a table saw?

Set the bevel angle on the saw blade for the ZCI. Turn on the table saw and slowly raise the blade all the way up. The blade will cut through the insert giving you a slot for just the saw blade. It is now a zero clearance insert for that specific blade and that specific bevel angle.

Can a ZCI be used as a table saw throat plate?

A ZCI is a replacement for the throat plate of a table saw. It is the same size, shape and thickness of the standard throat plate that comes with your table saw. It can be made from wood, plastic, MDF or any material that it easily cut by the same tools used to cut wood. It sits on the same tabs around the saw blade as the throat plate.

Why do ZCI inserts reduce tearout and chipout?

Reducing the amount of tearout and chipout that can occur with the factory throat plate or a standard insert. ZCI’s reduce tearout and chipout by ensuring that the workpiece has support on all sides during a cut. The support helps prevent wood fibers from getting pulled away from the workpiece as the blade advances through.