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Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick
Push handle safety the Kreg way
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted - 11-14-2008
Those of you who have followed NewWoodworker.com LLC for any length of time probably know that I hate the simple notched end push sticks too many manufacturers send with some woodworking machinery. I have long favored the handle-style push devices. Recently, Kreg Tool released their version of this long-used safety device. Once again, the folks at Kreg applied their innovative touch and came up with a very handy multi-purpose tool we all can use.
Basics Done Right
The idea behind the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick has been around for a long time. A simple handle elevated above a long pushing edge. That pushing edge has a step that hooks over the wood on the operators side and the remaining surface extends down the wood to give the operator far more directional control than the simple notched sticks. Being able to "steer" the wood against the fence is a huge safety advantage that those goofy notched sticks just cannot match.
I like how Kreg located the handle of the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick as it gives a very good feel of control and balance during use. The rounded shape of the handle keeps it comfortable to use. The width of the rounded handle also could be a safety factor should a kickback or some other bad event occur. The whole purpose of these devices is to take the hit in place of your fingers or hand. If you are going to have anything thump your hand, you want it wide and round.
Incidentally, that handle also has a hole down its centerline that is sized to hold a common pencil. It is good to know that the folks at Kreg are mortals like us and have also stomped around the shop looking for that %#!& pencil!
It appears that the folks at Kreg have also had to look for their push handle. To help keep the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick where you can find it, Kreg built in a surprisingly strong magnet so you can stick it to a handy metal surface near where it will be used. Because we have so many non-metal (non-ferrous anyway) surfaces around the shop, Kreg includes a metal strip that has an adhesive backing. You can stick that to the non-magnetic surface to create a magnetic place to put your Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick!
Since the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick will be used most frequently at the table saw and router table, Kreg added a nifty depth gauge that makes setting blade or bit height a near no-brainer. The 6"-long metal rule (1/8" & 1/16" graduations, metric on the other side) slides in and out of a track in the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick body. A flip-lock on the back face holds the rule at whatever extension is needed. Now when your table saw blade manufacturer recommends having 1/4" of their blade exposed above the wood you can use the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick to set that height accurately. Hold it against the wood, extend the rule 1/4" (or whatever figure you need) past the thickness of the wood and lock it in place. Then take the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick to the blade and set the height dead on. Fast and simple.
In the Shop
Using the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick really is simple and does not require pages of instructions. The handle is comfortable, angled properly and placed well over the gripping edge. I always had a good feel of control over the wood on the table saw when using the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick. Steering the wood against the fence is easy and helps both safety and the accuracy of the cut.
I really like the "extra" features built into the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick. The pencil holder is way more than nice. The magnet is very handy and even encourages use of the Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick because it is (should be) where you need it. The slip-in rule is VERY handy and could easily make your blades cut better just because you actually have them at the correct height. I know blade height drives blade manufacturers nuts because so many disregard their recommendation, then complain about how the blade performs.
You know that you need to be using safety devices at the table saw and router table. You should also know that the simple notched stick is not the best or safest idea. Do yourself - and your fingers - a favor and pick up a Kreg Multi-Purpose Push Stick or two. With a street price of $17.99 (11-14-2008) this is one piece of safety we all can and should afford.
Visit the Kreg Tools web site - Click Here
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