A table saw is made up of many different components that help to ensure it will perform as designed and one of the most important components of any table saw is the fence. Also referred to as the rip fence, the fence is what the material being cut slides alongside of to ensure the cut is straight and accurate. A high quality fence that is well made and durable can be the difference between a successful project that looks as though it was built by a professional craftsman or a project that was built in a pre-school classroom.
In this guide, we will discuss three different table saw attachments that are currently available on the market and are designed to help simplify making accurate cuts with your saw. Additionally, we will discuss exactly how a table saw fence works and its components that enable it to do what it does.
What Is a Table Saw Fence?
A table saw fence serves as a guide for the user when cutting materials. It ensures that the piece stays straight and that long cuts remain accurate through its entire length. Constructed of hard, smooth materials allows for the stock to slide alongside of the fence with very little friction; allowing for easy use and a smooth cut.
The components of a table saw fence is simple. A straight piece of material such as steel or aluminum with a clamping mechanism makes up the components of the fence. By applying downward and/or inward pressure on rails that run on either side of the table saw, the clamping mechanism ensures that the material will glide along the surface of the table without shifting left or right; enabling a straight and accurate cut.
Considerations Before Buying
Price – A table saw fence can cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars. Typically you will get what you pay for when referring to fences. Make sure the fence you buy lives up to its price tag.
Compatibility – Not all fences and accessories are compatible with all saws. While there are some on the market that will mount to nearly every table saw available, there are still quite a few that will only mount to specific brands. Ensure the one you have your eye on will attach to your saw.
Size – Just like any other construction tool or accessory, there are various sizes of fences to choose from. However, if you have a small portable table saw then a large cabinet saw fence is not for you unless you are willing to make some fairly drastic modifications to your table saw.
Our List of the Best Table Saw Fences
Now that we have discussed the components and some considerations about table saw fences, let’s now take a closer look three table saw attachments that will enhance your fence, and your saw, and help to make your measuring tasks a little easier. Keep in mind, there are many more fences and other accessories available on the market, these are just three items that we have selected to take a closer look at and to help give you a solid starting point when you start shopping.
The first item we will look at is the Incra LS32-TS table saw fence. One feature that makes this fence standout above others on the market is the Automatic Positioning Control. This feature eliminates the need for time consuming measuring by using INCRA’s patented lead screw design that will position piece instantly within 0.002”.
Additionally, users can return to a previous cut’s measurement in just seconds with dead-on accuracy. Before the LS32-TS, craftsmen and woodworkers only dreamed of this kind of quick and accurate measuring. With its centrally placed carriage, side mounted clamping system, and solid design, the LS32 provides a stable work station for your precise cutting needs.
The Wixey WR700 is our next product we will look at. This easy to set-up and use accessory is a great addition to any table saw. Due to Wixey’s patent pending “Precise Fraction Technology”, the WR700 is able to measure up to 60 total inches accurately to within .002” per ft. and accurate to within plus or minus .0025” on repeat cuts.
The WR700 is complete with 63-inches of track that attaches to the bottom the preexisting fence rail via self-threading screws and drill bits. The easy to read digital display can attach to either side of the fence using a magnet system that enables the fence to be removed while leaving the display calibrated and in place. This helpful tool is powered by AAA batteries and can work with most popular brands of fences.
Our final table saw attachment we are going to take a closer look at is the Vega PRO 50. The PRO 50 is a 2.5- inch high, 42-inch long fence bar that can mount to the Delta Unisaws, Contractor Saws, Powermatic 66, and the majority of Sears’s 10-inch saws. Additionally, this mounting system allows for full adjustment to ensure accurate cuts and includes measurements from 10-inches to the left of the blade and up to 50-inches to the right.
Constructed of high quality materials, the fence bar is comprised of aircraft quality aluminum alloy extrusions that are designed for rigidness while remaining lightweight. The fence faces have a uniform, flat surface that ensure straight and accurate cuts from the beginning to the end.
The front and rear guide rails also play an important part in the PRO 50’s accuracy. The front rails are made of a precision rolled tube that has thick walls to provide additional stiffness and chrome plated to allow for smooth and easy transitions between cuts. On the back side, the rear guide rail is a 1.5-inch square tube that is coated with a durable epoxy to allow for low friction while providing a good-looking finish.
As stated in previous sections of this guide, there are many attachments and accessories available on the market for your table saw that will help to improve or increase its accuracy and functionality. However, these three particular products are a great place to start looking when you are ready to beef up your table saw.