Kreg Pushstick

Pushsticks are an integral part of the safety equipment in a workshop, and are important for many of the tools in the shop.  They are not everyone’s cup of tea (although I find that very strange), and they are not needed for every operation (which does make sense).  A pushstick is primarily used to feed work into and through a tool when it is too dangerous to have the operator’s fingers/hand in the vicinity.

Work such as narrow rips on the tablesaw are a good example.  And a tablesaw highlights a second aspect of a good pushstick.  Not only do you want to feed work into and through a tool, but you want to control that workpiece as best you can during the operation, and you really want to avoid such events as a kickback, and if the pushstick can help decrease that risk in addition, then that is a better design.

So to look at the Kreg Pushstick:

Kreg Pushstick

Kreg Pushstick

Some of the features you can see here:- a small tailpiece, which hooks over the edge to push work through the tool.  You don’t necessarily want it very long because if you are feeding through an 8mm board for example, you’d expect the tailpiece to be clear of the table.  However, is that really important?  I guess it wouldn’t be ideal for that tail to be rubbing on the table, particularly lifting the rear of the pushstick.  What bothered me though was how often, and easy the current tailpiece slipped off the workpiece (moving to the left in the orientation in the above photo, leaving the workpiece behind).

I’m not sure which variable wasn’t working well – too short a tailpiece, or is it at the wrong angle?  Instead of being vertical, perhaps it should be a little undercut and slope back towards the workpiece, even to the point of having a sharper….point at the base.  It might benefit by having a small sharp pin added to really engage in the edge of the workpiece, or some non-slip material or something.

Pushing the Workpiece

Pushing the Workpiece

I also found the handle very high, and the pushstick felt a bit top-heavy in use.  However, I discovered why this was beneficial when ripping narrow boards, as it means the hand is high enough to clear over the top of the blade guarding.  Now the positioning of the handle is interesting, as is its angle, which allows loading to be horizontal (utilising the rear tailpiece to push the work), and vertical on the front edge, holding it down on the table which significantly decreases the likelihood of a kickback.

The handle has a hole in it so a pencil can be stored in it, but for me a pushstick is a pushstick.  It doesn’t need to be all things to all people, and should be optimised to do one job properly, and ignore any additional functionality.

It has an onboard ruler which can be unlocked and used as a depth gauge etc, but this falls into that same category.  I’d buy a pushstick for only one reason, irrespective of any other bells and whistles.

Magnetic Storage

Magnetic Storage

It has an onboard magnet for storage, which may appeal to some.

In summary, this isn’t my favourite pushstick for the majority of operations.  However, it definitely comes into its own for very narrow rips, when you have very little clearance between the fence and the blade, whether you are using a guard or not.  The handle being high enough to pass over the top of the blade is good, and the rather narrow profile is useful in that case.

Over 100 Countries

Since early May, when I added the new widget that maps visitors to the site, there have been visitors from over 100 countries.  Cool huh – how amazing that a small shed in the back of beyond of south-east Melbourne suburbs, down-under gets seen all over the world (or is that the global village?)  Does that make me the village woodworker, or just the village idiot?

Over 100 countries, > 1/2 the world

Over 100 countries, > 1/2 the world

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