Merlin Tablesaw Splitter - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
  • Pin It
Merlin Tablesaw Splitter

Excalibur Tools - Merlin Tablesaw Splitter

This splitter helps prevent kickback and is compatible with products from most major tablesaw manufacturers.

$110 (As of 10/25/2005)

(1 user review) Write a Review

Editor's Review:

by Kelly Mehler

review date: October 25, 2005

A splitter helps prevent kickback. Yet when Excalibur introduced the Merlin last year, its entry into the market brought to only four the number of aftermarket tablesaw splitters.

The Merlin, which includes antikickback pawls, attaches to the tablesaw trunnion assembly. One of its biggest advantages is that it can be removed in seconds to accommodate a cut that doesn’t go all the way through the thickness of the workpiece, such as a rabbet or a dado.

Just push a button on a receiver below the insert plate to remove the splitter. To reinstall the splitter, push it back into the receiver, where it will lock in place, aligned with the blade. No tools or realigning are required.

The Merlin is available in a number of models to fit the most popular tablesaws. I tried four Merlin splitters on four different cabinet saws and had installation problems on three of them. But Excalibur was quick to send replacement receivers that fit.

When using the Merlin splitter, you still need a blade cover. However, with minor modifications, the Merlin can work with the aftermarket blade covers. It also works with the stand-alone cover sold by Excalibur.

Editor Test Results:

Ease of Use Easy push-button removal
Quality N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Excalibur Tools
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-357-4118
Positive angle stops N/A
Built-in Dust Collection N/A
Type of Adjustments N/A
Compatibility Fits Most Major Tablesaws
Settings and Stops N/A
Maximum Capacity N/A
Tilt N/A

I have a left tilt Unisaw, which I had been running without a splitter on it, due to the all too common complications associated with the original splitter-guard combination. To be honest, I had never used a splitter in the thirty some years of woodwork. To qualify that, I am a "push stick" fanatic and regularly use ones that both hold the board down and push it through at the same time. Regardless, watching a kerf close as wood curved back on itself always resulted in me white knuckling the piece on through. More than once, things got scary and I've lost a couple good push boards (shoes). Reviews on the Merlin splitter prompted me to give it a try. Now that I have and though I think it over priced for what it is, I would invest the money again for the improvements I note in using it. With it in place, I experience significant reduction in drag otherwise associated with blade pinching. Because it requires only a moment to install, or remove, I find myself using it religiously. To be fair, mine can require several attempts to get the release to work, but I tolerate that for the improved safety. While it use has reduced the amount of "excitement" I experience in my shop, that is, in this instance, a good thing and I give it a definite thumbs up. Kelly, formerly of Olympia, Wash.

Click on a thumbnail to see a full sized image

Become a Better Woodworker

Save up to 56% on Fine Woodworking