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Top Push Blocks For Woodworking Safety (Review)

Table saws are arguably the most dangerous tool in any woodworking shop. But it doesn’t have to be this way if proper caution and common sense are taken. And while using the blade guard and riving knife is a must, a high quality push block or stick will help keep your fingers further from the blade. 

But jointers, router tables and band saws require equal respect to prevent serious injury from happening. 

While there are a number of solutions on the market, most woodworkers turn to a versatile push block that features:

  • Large, comfortable handle
  • Sure footed rubber grips
  • Adjustable feet that support uneven cuts
  • Maximum visibility of the feet

 While there are a variety of solutions on the market, there are two solutions every woodworker needs in their shop.

Top 3 Woodworker Picks

Best value block:

Professional pick:

Push stick combo:

Last updated on 2022-12-06 at 11:33 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Buying Guide: What Features to Consider?

When selecting the right push block for your projects it’s best to consider the features you need – and some you might know existed:

  • The most important feature is a large, comfortable handle that will keep your hands away from the blade
  • For table saw push pads, an aggressive grip that won’t slip as you push the wood into the blade
  • Adjustable heights for pushing narrow boards through the saw while maintaining a stable base
  • With push sticks a magnetic insert will help keep the stick handy and attached to the saw
  • Minimum width of cut between the blade and the fence of at least 1/4″
  • Sacrificial heel that will catch the end of the board and help prevent kick-back
Lastly, there is often need for both a feature-packed push block like the GRR-RIPPER, but then a standard push stick for wider boards.

Manufacturers

While a seemingly simple device, there are a mix of standard brands plus specialty makers of push sticks:

  • MicroJig produces the #1 most popular jig on the market: the GRR-RIPPER line
  • POWERTEC is a value-priced brand favorite of woodworkers
  • Milescraft is a niche woodworking tool supplier
  • Delmar Tools is similarly a niche woodworking supplier

Why Trust Us?

After almost thirty years in woodworking, tens of thousands of board feet fed through table saws and plenty of mistakes we know about table saw safety. And unlike other online guides written by someone who’s never turned on a table saw, we’ve spent hours using and abusing the tools we recommend.

Types of Push Blocks

Push Stick Table Saw Fence

It is absolutely critical with table saws to use all of the safety equipment supplied with the saw. And, to invest in the proper safety equipment, dust collection and make good choices that lead to safety habits that will keep you from bodily harm. 

Push blocks, as the name implies, are a simple piece of safety equipment that put themselves in harms way so you don’t have put your fingers near the table saw blade.

While there are only a few types of push blocks for table saws, it’s important to note that owning each one is often best:

  • Sticks are long, narrow sticks that use a 90-degree notch to push wood through the table saw
  • Meanwhile blocks use a rubber or foam bottom to grab the surface of the wood and push it through the saw

Push Blocks IN OUr Review

Assembling the GRR-RIPPER

After looking at all the various models on the market it was clear that GRR-RIPPER is the best solution. With a company founded on just safety blocks for woodworking tools and satisfied users in almost every review it made sense to test it out.

GRR-RIPPER 3D Push Block (Best Value)

GRR-RIPPER 3D

5/5

Our rating: 5 of 5

In our use and testing this push block was high quality from the minute we opened the box. Featuring perfectly molded components, high quality bolts and simplicity of use no woodworker will regret adding this to their shop.

Where to Buy: See GRR-RIPPER at Amazon

Best Overall

Surprising to many, there is actually a most popular push block for table saws: the GRR-RIPPER 3D that is both versatile and safe. And from a company that makes a variety of push blocks.

Top Features

  1. Works horizontally or vertically
  2. 1/2″ and 1/4″ legs
  3. Control over wood left and right of blade
  4. Large handle
  5. Three directions of control

Overview

With woodworkers often needing to make dozens of thin strips of wood for their projects they all face a challenge: making strips on a table saw is dangerous.

The solution? The founder of Microjig built his company and brand off this unique push block that:

  • Allows for three directions of control (forward, down, towards fence)
  • With two push blocks allows for continuous pushing of sticks to avoid burning
  • Makes cuts down to 1/4″
Manufactured by: Microjig

Pros

  • High quality components
  • Easy to assemble
  • Works on table saw, router table, jointer, band saw
  • Three way control
  • Controls pressure over the blade
  • Reduces kickbacks
  • Keeps fingers and hands away from blade

Cons

  • Minimum of 1/4″ cut required
  • Doesn’t work with blade guard in place for thin cuts
  • Takes a few minutes to assemble

GRR-RIPPER 3D Advanced Pushblock (Professional Pick)

GRR-RIPPER 3D Advanced Push Block

Best for professionals

Taking the base model a step further, this Made in America model offers more customization, support for thinner strips and stabilizing plates for reduced tip risk.

Top Features

  1. Same features as the base model GR-100
  2. Stabilizing plate
  3. Treaded grooves
  4. More gripping area vs. GR-100 model

Overview

By enhancing the GR-100 model with the following you’ll have a great push block for your table saw and every other saw in the shop:

  • Stabilizing plate
  • Adjustable spacers
  • Deflector / connector
  • Handle bridge kit
  • Gravity heel
  • 1/8″ leg

Manufactured by: Microjig

Pros

  • Support for the thinnest cuts
  • Enhanced stability
  • Works vertically (bandsaws)
  • Adjustable for almost any shape of cut

Cons

  • Price
  • Doesn’t work with blade guard in place

Milescraft 3406 Gripper Pro (Budget Option)

Milescraft Block

Budget table saw pick

With GRR-RIPPER holding patents on their unique design, there are no imitators. This model comes close as a push block with anti-kick heel “sacrificial” heel plates.

Where to Buy: See Milescraft at Amazon

Top Features

  1. Angled handle for enhanced fence pressure
  2. Support foot for thin stock
  3. Cuts to 1/8″ thick
  4. Rubber coated feet

Overview

While very similar to the GRR-RIPPER, the niche Milescraft brand has created a few differentiators for itself that make this value-priced push block worth a try.

By using an easy-to-slide inner rail this table saw push block  is easy to use. And the angled handle improves force against the fence for better control on thin and thick cuts.

Manufactured by: Milescraft

Pros

  • Price
  • Works horizontal or vertical
  • Easy to adjust
  • Sacrificial heel for improved kick-back
  • Supports cuts to 1/8″ thick

Cons

  • Lacks adjustability of the GRR-RIPPER
  • Doesn’t work with blade guard in place

POWERTEC 71511 (Best Push Sticks)

Powertec Push Stick

Best push stick package

While most push sticks only contact the rear of the woods edge, this combo back of traditional plus L-push stick grabs an additional section of wood for better control

Where to Buy: See POWERTEC at Amazon

Top Features

  1. Long angled handle
  2. Padded foot on L-push stick
  3. High visibility
  4. Magnets on standard push stick

Overview

When it comes to safety equipment your choices are almost always an “and”. 

For example, you’ll need a GRR-RIPPER “and” a standard push block for when you have the blade guard down on the saw. And, of course, on top end table saws with dust collection blade guards you’ll want to keep the guard in place.

Which is where a standard push block for ripping long cuts is best: simply use these in combination with table saw feather boards for fast and safe cutting.

Manufactured by: POWERTEC

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • L-push block control
  • Easy to use
  • Allows for blade guard to be sued
  • Enables dust collection
  • Useful on many machines

Cons

  • Not designed for thin cuts
  • Only allows for forward and limited down pressure

GRR-RIP Block (Best for Jointer)

GRR-RIP Block

Best versatility

Sometimes you just need down pressure on large stock and a catch at the end for kickback.

Top Features

  1. Proprietary Green GRR-RIP surface for no-slip
  2. Large handle
  3. Spring loaded catches
  4. Optional table saw accessory kit

Overview

From a push block on your table saw to use on a jointer, a pair of these well designed push blocks will enhance control over whatever you put through your saw.

And, as a more traditional design, these less awkward looking blocks are great for cutting wider stock on your saw while leaving your blade guard in place.

Manufactured by: Microjig

Pros

  • Price
  • Large padded surface
  • Allows for blade guard to be left in place
  • Maximum down pressure

Cons

  • Not designed for thin stock

Hedgehog Push Stick (Best Down Pressure)

Hedgehog Push Stick

Most unique design

Looking literally like a hedge hog, this unique push stick provides both forward and downward pressure.

Where to Buy: See Hedge Hog at Amazon

Top Features

  1. Large handle
  2. Unique design provides forward and downward pressure
  3. 3/8-inch width
  4. 1/4-inch heel hook
  5. Padded grip

Overview

The Hedgehog solves one of the biggest gaps in the standard push stick: lack of downward pressure.

By providing a forward-leaning design this glass-fiber reinforced stick will give you two dimensions of control while finishing up cuts on your saw.

Pros

  • Large comfortable handle
  • Two dimensions of control
  • Heel hook

Cons

  • Minimum cut width of 3/8″
  • Doesn’t provide pressure against the fence like the GRR-RIPPER

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best push block for a table saw?

The best solution depends on the size of the wood being cut and the amount of distance between the blade and the fence. For longer boards, a feather board is actually best to keep the board against the fence. However, on shorter boards a standard push block usually works best. But for precise cuts where the wood is close to the fence many woodworkers turn to the popular yellow GRR-RIPPER.

Are there different types of push blocks?

There are many various styles and types. First, some use a rubber grip that is uses friction on the face of the wood to move the wood over the blade. Second, some blocks use a notch at the end of the board to press the wood past the blade. And lastly, other models use both a rubber surface and notches to create a safe way of sawing wood.

When should you use a push block on a table saw?

The simple answer is always. However, some woodworkers have a 4″ or 6″ rule where they will feed stock through their saw as long as a “safe” distance is maintained. But rather than risk being one of the average ten amputees a day on the table saw, use a block or stick whenever your hand comes close to the blade.

Summary

While even a home-made push block is better than using your fingers its clear to experienced woodworkers that a top brand push block AND stick are a must. While there are many options on the market its clear the GRR-RIPPER solutions are the best pick. I don’t regret buying the base model for this review.

  • About the Author
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( Woodworker )

Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.

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