My Grizzly G1023RLWX table saw blade guard is always on for through cuts. Non-through cuts such as dados, grooves & rabbets require the blade guard to be off. The dado and groove cuts are dangerous at the beginning and end of them, because the blade is exposed. Push blocks, push sticks and other devices help with keeping my hands away from the spinning blade during non-through cuts.
Shop made zero clearance inserts (ZCI) keep small cutoffs from getting wedged between the standard insert and the blade. My inserts have 1/2" and 1" holes drilled into them. The holes allow the dust collection to hold boards down on the table as well as move saw dust from the top of the table to the cabinet. (ZCIs also create clean cuts on plywood.)
The standard Grizzly riving knife keeps ripped boards from squeezing in on the back of the blade and getting launched at me. The Grizzly anti-kick back paws keep boards from moving backwards.
I use feather boards a lot to keep boards tightly up against the fence (horizontally). Feather boards are great at keeping my dados and grooves from wandering. Feather boards also help keep boards from being launched off the back of the saw blade. Feather boards can also be used to hold boards down (vertical) to the table.
The Grizzly G1023RLWX table saw standard blade guard does a good job of keeping me safe. It has very effective kick back paws and the plastic sides are very heavy. The only complaint that I have with the standard blade guard is that it has NO dust port. The blade shroud is suppose to help with saw dust collection, but I found it to be pretty much worthless.
I recently purchased a Shark Guard (www.thesharkguard.com/
). I should have done it years ago. I found the Shark Guard to be a very well designed, engineered and manufactured product! Yes, it cost over $200, but keeping saw dust out of my face while I am using the table saw is well worth the $200.