When woodworking whether professionally or as a homeowner, having an effective table saw is a must for a quality and accurate wood work. A good table saw should improve productivity and should also be safe to work with. It is annoying to feed a board through a table saw only for it to get off the course and result in a less than straight cut. For accurate and fast wood work, you should be able to safely and precisely cut materials on your table saw. While most table saws are equipped with a rip fence, they leave much to be desired. Poorly designed saw fences make cutting a difficult task than it should be hence resulting in inaccurate cuts and poor quality.
A good fence must be accurate and secure. Furthermore, it should be smooth so as to not make scratch on your wood. You should not have to guess nor have to measure it any time you move it. It is most important that the fence never dislocate while in use as it may cause injuries. With the mentioned qualities of a good table saw fence in mind, the question is which fence can live up to these expectations? With the following reviews, you will be able to make conscious decision when choosing a table saw to fit your needs.
5 Best Aftermarket Table Saw Fences
The Vega U26 table saw fence weighs 29.7 pounds with a dimension of 54*8*4 inches. It is sold by the Rockler woodworking and hardware . The item model number is U26. The fence is designed to fit a variety of saws. The system comprises back and front rails for mounting the fence. It has a 36-inch fence bar; 26 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left of the blade gives you a lot of space to make rips of variant sizes. It has a steel construction feature that requires assembling. The fence system does not include the saw.
The fence system is specially made to use the existing holes therefore no drilling is required. Even though it has many mounting options for variety saws available, you may need to drill new holes suitable for the saw model. With its micro adjustment feature, it enables you to precisely move it in either direction hence giving you precise measurement with desired results. The fence mounting system requires little accuracy as it allows full adjustment. It also has an auxiliary table support feature that makes it exceedingly secure and once the fence is locked in place, it does not give way. Talk about rock solid. You do not have to worry about your distance changing while cutting boards.
- It is a precise and accurate machine.
- The steel construction makes strong and stable compared to other fences.
- It is fairly easy and fast to install as it comes with an easy to read guide.
- It provides for simple and accurate horizontal and vertical adjustment using the existing holes.
- The main rail is of good quality and the primary fence is a strong solid metal.
- It is compatible with various sizes of table saws.
- Its firm and smaller in size which translates to easy portability and long lasting investment.
- While the manual instructions may be clear to the professionals, it may be a difficult task to beginners. The instructions are not detailed thereby making it difficult to follow.
- At a price of $329, it is quite expensive as you can purchase longer fence system. But in doing so you will have to compromise on the quality and important features.
- Several parts of the product have metal burrs from manufacturing and the finish quality is poor. The metal parts are unfinished steel with rough edges as a result of the cutting process. The color finish quality of the product is also poor.
- The packaging of the product is not good for its parts. There are no dividers in the box to prevent the parts from bouncing against each other during shipping thereby causing dents on the parts.
It is yet another top level fence bar. With its sleek look, it definitely does not appear cheap nor of poor quality. It is constructed with steel and aluminum materials. This makes it durable and such can handle anything that comes its way. It weighs about 30 pounds with a fence bar measuring about 60 inches. Furthermore, its T-shaped fence provides support for different types of saws. With its T-square lock system, you are able to make accurate and consistent cuts.
- Its steel and aluminum construction makes it durable hence it is a long term investment.
- It comes with other useful accessories such as a scale, back and front support rails, a steel guide tube and, mounting hard for easy assembling on the table saw.
- The fence glides easily thanks to its steel construction enabling it to keep up any amount of work in your garage.
- It has a precision lock system, a 3 point locking technique which facilitate accurate and fast cuts.
- It is simple and easy to install as it comes with its manual.
- You can use different types of saw on the fence since it has existing mounting holes. This also simplifies the installation process.
- With a weight of 30 pounds only, it poses no difficulty in lifting it in case you want to move it. You can also use it in diverse table saw.
- The fence allows adjustment and secures alignment made in place thereby ensuring continuous and fast cuts.
- It has a 2-year warranty.
- It provides professional and high quality results.
- you should use the fence on a newer table saw as it might not work on an older one.
- It may take long to install.
- It has a plastic handle.
This is the best value for your money. It is more affordable as compared to its competition. Weighing 37.6 pounds, the shop fox W1410 fence is a solid and secure tool. There is lot of space for more cuts due to its rip size of 25 inches right of the blade. With its ball bearings, it has smooth rolling movement. However, it only works with tables not more than 27 inches.
- Thanks to its roller tracking design, it provides precise and accurate cuts
- Its solid aluminum construction makes it durable.
- It gives excellent service at an affordable price.
- It fits saw tables not more than 27 inches in length.
- The fence system is quite advanced.
- Its locking system secures it in position no matter how much work it performs.
- It protects your arms from pain thanks to its ball bearing mechanism enabling you to move the rails with slight movement.
- It has fine positioned knobs at either sides, thereby it can be used by both right handed and left handed people.
- It has a guide system that makes it easy to work with different tools.
- It is secure and strong; it also locks on both ends.
- It is difficult to install as the manual can be difficult to understand, especially for beginners.
- It does not work on table saws more than 27 inches in length.
- The drill and tap is of poor quality.
It is considered a premium equipment. Although it is pricey, it is worth it as it is capable of doing its work perfectly. With a weight of 53.3 pounds, it is one of the heavy fence in this review. It is 57 inches long giving a rip size of 30 inches to the right of the blade. Its construction consists of aluminum and steel parts making it sturdy and durable. Its hooked measuring tape thereby providing accuracy and efficiency. The heavy duty locking lever ensures no movement after aligning the measurements.
- It has inbuilt measuring tape.
- It is made of a thick solid metal.
- Its magnifying cursor makes positioning easy.
- The locking mechanism allows for precision and accuracy.
- It can fit on most table saw and the rails are easy to adjust.
- Its strong and durable thanks to its solid construction.
- It works smoothly and steadily due to its smooth rolling.
- It is heavy to move around.
- Its weight can make the installation process a hassle.
- It is expensive.
- It requires you to drill holes thereby making mounting difficult.
- It is not suitable for heavy tasks.
- The installation instructions are poor.
Although it is not popular as it is meant for homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot on a fencing system, it is another great fencing system for quality cuts. It weighs 75 pounds making it sturdy. With a fence bar of 57.3 inches, it provides a rip capacity of 25 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left of the blade.
For greater precision, it has a wide right angle design. It is also versatile, meaning it uses different types of blades just like many other fencing systems, Therefore, you should not hesitate to go for it. The plastic fence reduces the friction effect when feeding the medium. This results in smooth operation with little effort from the user.
- Its simple design makes it easy to install and remove.
- The solid construction makes it durable, so expect long term results of work.
- It provides for a safe production as it is more stable.
- the machine is easy to use.
- It can be used on different types of saw.
- The table saw provides high accuracy due to the solid locking system and micro-adjustment feature.
- With one hand, it locks securely.
- It is quite expensive.
- It is designed to handle small projects.
- Poor packaging for shipping.
Why By A Table Saw Fence?
An added benefit when using a table saw it that not only does it enables you to cut wood quickly, it also provides that you do it in a safe way. Table saw is made up of a circular saw which is connected to an electric motor. This enables you make cuts efficiently and fast.
While a handsaw or a jigsaw can produce messy cuts and take time, table saw is a smart alternative to cutting wood. This is made possible by its precise inbuilt measuring scale that helps to easily measure the cuts one wants to make. The fence locks parallel with the saw blade thereby improving the accuracy. It also maintains alignment once adjustment is made and set. This enable you to make consistent and accurate cuts.
In addition to that it allows for horizontal and vertical adjustment as it involves a slotted front brackets in the system. It also entails jacking plates hence helping with leveling the fence rails. This results to the parts not feeling too tight nor loose. The smooth slide in the system facilitates precision cuts. The small advanced design helps you to easily make micro adjustments.
When handling a project, you should be able to do it in the timeliest way possible. This is important as people would often want to finish their project fast and accurate. The speed and power of the saw facilitates cutting wood and boards with little resistance.
The table saws have an extending rip capacity that provides a big space for different sizes of rips. Furthermore, it is quick to mount the table saw as it has existing holes for different saws such as Contractor saws, Delta Unisaws, Powermatic model 66 saws and, most sears 10 inches’ table saws. You can also drill holes to mount your specific type of saw.
Long time investment
An observable benefit of the table saw fence is its solid construction as it is made from steel. This makes the machine strong and stable hence durable. The steel build ensures it to withstand wear and tear due to continued usage. It is extremely secure and once the fence is locked, you can rest easy knowing that it will not budge. Its auxiliary table support makes it more stable.
The Vega U26 has an element that you cannot find in other fence systems, that is the weight factor. With its small size and relatively light weight, it makes it easy to take it with you wherever you go. In addition, the fence is easy to assemble and mount provided you follow instructions in the manual that comes with the product.
How to Use a Table Saw Fence
As efficient tools for woodworkers, table saws provide for efficient wood work. There are important things you should know concerning the correct use of a table saw to attain the best results. To begin with, you should use the log splitter and blade guard to ease your work and attain a safer work environment. It involves some assembly work. While the blade guard protects your hand from the saw, the splitter allows for the smooth flowing of wood through the table saw by reducing the kickback from the machine. When working with thin boards, protect your hands by using push stick.
Next, the material you are working on should be at the bottom of the teeth therefore it is critical to set the height of the blade. Through this, you are able to get accurate and best results. Then you have to put your fence in a way that there is no room between the blade and the fence.
Before you start to make your cuts, you should carry out maintenance task of aligning the fence. Not even the best saw fence can be of great help if not properly aligned. The fence poses harm to the user and causes setbacks on work if the alignment is off. When feeding the wood through the saw, be sure to push it against the fence tightly. This prevents the kickbacks and makes your work faster. Here are the steps on how to align your fence.
- First, you ensure the table saw is not in the power source.
- Secondly, you ensure the miter slot and blade are in line and parallel to one another.
- Next, use your finger to check that the fence is in line with the table saw.
- Put your finger on the sidewall of miter slot then slide the fence till both ends are flush.
- Use the screws set to adjust the fence if it does not flush.
- Then you use an Allen wrench to tighten the screws in.
- Keep testing the alignment while adjusting the screws until the ends are even.
- You can use the universal table saw rip fence that contain a dial indicator to approve the alignment in case you have doubts.
Assess your wood or board and find it some support if it is long while feeding it in the machine. Through this you are able to prevent your board from bending or breaking which can destroy your project. The support should be of the same height as your table saw.
You are definitely ready to start cutting after setting up your table saw in this way. Be sure to take all the safety precautions, keeping focused on your work. Don’t forget to set up the speed on your table saw.
Frequently Asked Questions on Table Saw Fences;
Q: What is the right T-square to buy?
When you are buying a T-square the most important thing to put in your mind is the correct measurement of the guide rail and not type of the table saw. This will enable you to choose the right T-square.
Q: How easy is it to remove the saw fence?
This depends on the model of the fence but most fences come off by sliding on either side.
Q: Do all fence systems come with a measuring tape?
Again this varies depending on the brand types. It is critical to go through the features as some brands have measuring tapes while some do not.
Q: Is it possible to use an extension cord with a table saw?
Yes, as long as the cord is in good condition and can handle the table saw voltage usage. You should note that a wrong cord can cause damage on the table saws motor. To select an appropriate cord, you should follow the owner’s manual for advice.
Choosing the best table saw depends on what you prefer and how you want to use it. However, be sure to get a good quality model for your money. There are several factors to consider when choosing your table saw such as its compatibility with a wide range of table saws, rip capacity which determines the amount of work it can handle, and the construction matters as it determines the table saw durability. Power is the main thing to consider as it predicts the performance of the machine. More so, the installation process and its usage should be easy. Accuracy and smoothness is another good factor to look for.
With your budget at hand, we hope that our review has helped you to achieve a higher understanding of the table saws. Hopefully you can now pick a right model for your needs. However, on top of our list table saw is Vega U26 table saw fence system, due to its versatility, weight matter, and construction which makes it a great investment. The second in our list is the shop fox W1410 which is the best value for money as it is affordable and advanced. Settling for a reputable brand is an advantage as they provide warranty and you can also find its ‘how to’ videos online.