There are ways to deal with the splintered edges and pockmarked surfaces caused when an inorganic substance (blade or bit) cuts into an organic substance (wood). This problem, which probably has plagued woodworkers since the first person tried to make something smooth and beautiful out of a tree, is known as tearout. Learn how to use a zero-clearance insert, sacrificial fence, or back-up board to minimize tearout when cutting wood, and explore other strategies for dealing with tearout on a hand- or machine-planed surface.

From Fine Woodworking #211