How to do a dado cut

Are "Dado Blades" banned?

If you don’t know what to do with the term "Dado Blades", just enter the term into a search engine. You will find many results. You might then think "I would like that for my table saw too". If you look further, you will surely come across information according to which these tools are not to be used with us. You will also stumble across a lot of partial knowledge and in the end you may be very insecure. In this article I will try to shed some light on this matter. The article is not illustrated because I cannot take any pictures on the subject and cannot use other people's pictures for copyright reasons. But sometimes it works without pictures.

The most important question first: Are these "Dado Blades" banned here?
A clear answer: no! In the private sphere, you can first do what you want. There are no legal regulations, but if something happens to you, you could get in trouble with your insurance company if you prove gross negligence. The situation is different in the commercial sector, as the regulations of the employers' liability insurance association apply to all employees. The employer, in turn, can largely do what he wants. So act at your own risk.

The employers' liability insurance association provides very clear guidelines on how a tool that is to be used on a machine should look specifically. If a tool meets these requirements, it can also be used according to its intended use. There are now "Dado Blades" available in Germany that meet these requirements.

This leads to the second question: can these tools be used as intended?
First of all, it depends on the machine used. Many heavy circular table saws have corresponding holders or can be converted. The holder must hold the tool securely. In practice, this simply means: The shaft must be roughly as long as the tool is thick. This is not the case with most small table saws. The speed of the table saw must not exceed the maximum permitted speed of the tool. Otherwise, all the safety regulations of the trade association remain in force for the time being.

Finally, there is one more point that needs to be clarified: Can your machine handle such tools?
The machine manufacturer specifies the intended use of his machines. A machine is designed for this intended use. This also includes the maximum weight of the tools that can be used on a table saw. When operating a table saw, enormous forces are often at work. Bearings, guides and the entire construction are designed accordingly. If you use a heavier tool like a "Dado Blade", much higher forces occur. The bearings and especially the engine brake may not be designed for this. So your machine could be damaged.

As you can see, the "Dado Blades" can be used safely. However, only on heavy machines that are more likely to be used in a professional environment. But there you tend to use the table milling machine or special grooving saws. Even the operation of adjustable grooves like on the table milling machine is possible if the tool and machine are designed for it.

As already mentioned at the beginning, you are not obliged to adhere to the guidelines of the employers' liability insurance association in the private sector. You work at your own risk. Nevertheless, in my opinion, it makes sense to orientate yourself accordingly. After all, the work of the employers' liability insurance association has resulted in the number of work accidents in carpentry shops falling dramatically. So why shouldn't the guidelines also help avoid accidents in the private sector?

The professional association responsible for the wood sector (BGHM) even makes it very easy for you to deal with this topic. It offers a lot of useful information free of charge on the Internet. I have compiled the most important sources for you here.

Interesting sources with a lot of information on the subject of safety and handling machines:

Specialist information from the BGHM

BGHM video library

A PDF file with 184 pages on the subject of BGHM security
Occupational health and safety in carpentry:

That is a lot of reading material on the subject of safety and the use of machines.

Incidentally, working safely has a very pleasant side effect. Because it is often the case that the recommended protection and pressure devices not only increase safety, but also improve the result. You will then not only work safely, but also precisely.

I wish you safe working at all times!