If you’re an avid woodworker, then you know that table saws are invaluable accessories that can allow you to cut accurately and precisely, and complete your projects quickly and effortlessly. However, you can make your cutting even faster and more productive by using a table saw fence.
When it comes to cross-cutting or rip cutting wood, a table saw fence is invaluable and can reduce the time and effort of recutting the workpieces, resulting in lesser wastage of time and material. And, in the long run, it helps to save costs too. It helps to improve safety, making your table saw much easier to use and allows you to make accurate cuts.
So, as much as the table saw is important for any woodworking project, a good table saw fence is equally important. With so many options of saw table fences available on the market, the choice of the best one for you can be quite a difficult decision and so to make things easier for you, in my guide, I have compiled a list of the best table saw fences and also discussed what you should look for in a table saw fence before purchasing one.
What Is a Table Saw Fence?
When you’re cutting wood and making cross cuts and rip cuts, a table saw fence helps to guide the material and workpiece, keeping them in place and ensuring that they don’t move while you’re cutting. Table saw fences are essential components of a table saw, making the table saw much safer to use.
A table saw enables you to make accurate cuts and also control the size and length of the cut. Without using a table saw fence, you will not get a straight cut. A table saw fence is especially handy when you’re cutting sheet material or long workpieces, where the shape and size can make it difficult to handle them. The table saw fence lets you apply force on the material and control it as you feed it to the blade.
Advantages of Using a Table Saw Fence
Table saw fences offer several benefits such as:
When you’re working on any woodworking or construction project, I think that accuracy is very vital and a table saw fence helps to boost your efficiency as it locks your workpiece into place, thus ensuring that your cuts are aligned properly. It also helps you to control the cut thickness.
You will realize that when you set your table saw to the rip capacity you want, enabling you to complete your work quickly and efficiently. Every cut will be accurate and precise and this will prevent the need for you to recheck your measurements time and again, which means that you can complete your work more quickly, without any interruptions, thereby improving your productivity immensely.
A table saw fence can help to make your cutting safer because it helps to reduce kickback as you can apply even pressure on the material that you feed to the blade. A table saw fence also helps to keep the workpiece in one place without moving, rather than when you’re cutting freehand, thereby reducing accidents.
Using a table saw fence can help you save money because it will prevent you from making cutting mistakes and every cut will be according to the measurement and standard you want. Once you have your table saw fence set up, you can complete a lot of cutting in a short period of time.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Table Saw Fence
There are several factors that you must consider when shopping for a table saw fence. And, in this section, I have compiled and discussed some things you should look for when making your purchase decision such as:
When purchasing a table saw fence, an important thing is to consider is the rip capacity. Look for one that meets your requirements accurately. I recommend that you consider the average size of logs that you work on most and choose a table saw fence accordingly.
Also, take into consideration all the future projects that you will be dealing with where you will need higher rip capacities.
My advice is that since a table saw fence is a one-time purchase, look for one that has maximum rip capacity that fits well both with your work, as well as budget.
Table Saw Size
Table saws come in different sizes and so do table saw fences and the size you purchase depends on how it attaches to the table. Ensure that you select a fence size that will fit the table saw the best.
Some table saws work with fences of 27 inches, while others need a length of around 50 inches. Typically, professional table saws have the widest spans and can handle the largest material sizes, whereas, portable table saws work better in smaller settings.
Generally, the heavier the table saw fence, the more difficult it is to slide it with ease, requiring more table management effort before cutting. On the other hand, a lightweight table saw fence may mean that the construction is of poor quality and there is a greater chance of the fence failing. So, I recommend that you look for a fence that weighs between 30 lb and 50 lb.
Always look for a table saw fence that is made of strong and robust material like steel or aluminum. The material of the fence usually determines its durability.
It is not necessarily true that because the table saw fence is bulky, it is sturdy. You can get lightweight models that are hardy and durable too. Avoid table saw fences made of fiber, wood or plastic because they are not very strong and can break easily.
Ease of Installation
Make sure to check the compatibility of your table saw with any accessories that you’re shopping for. The table saw fence you purchase should be easy to install on your table saw.
Sometimes, the table saw fence that you purchase may not be completely compatible with your table saw and so you may have to drill a few holes to line it up properly and this can get tricky, especially if you’re not a professional.
If you are a beginner woodworker, then I recommend that you look for a table saw fence equipped with a front clamp rather than both front and rear. This allows your table fence to fit any size of saw table comfortably.
Getting one with a T-bar is even better because the T-bar helps to increase the fence’s rigidity and prevents it from moving when in operation.
Ease of Use
Not only should the table saw fence be quick and easy to install, but it must also be easy to use too. Also, if you need to adjust the fence while cutting, the action should be quick and easy.
So, I would recommend that you look for a table saw fence having a simple locking cam, which you can operate with one hand. Ideally, look for fences with front locking, which is best for single-handed operation, freeing up your other hand for other jobs.
Reviews of the Best Table Saw Fences
Delta36-T30T3 30-inch T3 Fence System
The T3 fence system is a sturdy and reliable fence manufactured by the popular brand Delta. The fence system comprises a 1-piece square tubular rail that attaches to Delta table saws including the hybrid saw, contractor saw and other Unisaw models. The square cross-section offers rigidity, strength and stability.
The T3 table saw fence features a 3-point locking system, which makes it easy to install and the twin hairline pointers ensure that the fence is always parallel to the blade, guaranteeing straight cuts every time.
The table saw fence fixes to the front tube securely and hooks over the rail for attachments. Having a steel tube body, the fence is extra strong at the joints, glides into position very smoothly and handles quick square cuts and precision ripping.
- 1-piece square tubular rail
- Steel tube body
- Fence Length: 37 inches
- Rail Length: 57.5 inches
- Max Rip To Left of Blade: 13.5 inches
- Accuracy: within 1/64 or 0.4 mm of an inch
- 3-point locking system
- Twin hairline pointers
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Delivers very accurate cuts.
- Sturdy, durable build.
- Clamps secure the rail in place and prevent wobbling.
- Very easy to align.
- The fence may need some adjustments.
- Attaching the fence to the table saw is tricky.
You can buy the product here.
Dewalt DW745 Table Saw Fence Assembly
If you’re on the lookout for a good-quality table saw fence, then I would recommend that you check out the Dewalt DW745 Fence Assembly. The very affordable table saw fence is compatible with all table saws that are 10 inches wide. The table saw fence is very lightweight and weighs only 2 lb.
The Dewalt table saw fence can replace the existing fence very easily and does not require you to make any adjustments or drill new holes. Installing the table saw fence is extremely easy and if you want to operate it on larger boards, you can also use it as an extension rail.
- Compatible with all 10-inch-wide table saws
- Made of aluminum
- Weight: 2 lb
- Can be used as an extension rail
- Very lightweight.
- Inexpensive price.
- Compatible for use with other brands.
- Poor build quality.
- Suitable only as a replacement fence.
You can buy the product here.
Wixey 60-inch Digital Saw Fence
Made of aluminum, the 60-inch table saw fence is equipped with a universal mounting bracket that makes it compatible with most rails. The digital readout makes use of Precise Fraction Technology that mounts on any type of table saw, ensuring that the fence is set up properly and gives you accurate measurements of the fence.
The fence has magnetic attachments that let you remove it but still maintain the calibration. The display is very easy to read and runs on a battery which has a life of two years.
- 60-inch table saw fence
- Made of aluminum
- Universal mounting bracket
- Digital readout (mm or fractions)
- Precise Fraction Technology
- Magnetic attachments
- Battery Life: 2 years
- Accurate results
- Worth the money
- Repeat cuts are reliable
- Saves a lot of time
- Needs frequent recalibration
- Rails attaching the fence to the table are made of flimsy plastic
You can buy the product here.
Vega U26 Table Saw Fence System
If you’re on the lookout for a table saw fence that is compatible with different table saw models, then the Vega U26 Table Saw Fence System is a good option. The fence system consists of front and rear rails that allow you to mount the fence.
The fence system has a rip size of 8 inches to the left and 26 inches to the right, allowing you plenty of space for making rips of varying sizes.
Although the fence is compatible with varying table saws, you may have to drill new holes to mount the system to your specific model. The fence has a sturdy and smooth slide that lets you cut with precision and the fine adjust allows you to get exact measurements. Once you lock the fence in place, it will not move even after several cuts so you can keep cutting without worrying about the distance changing.
- Steel construction
- Weight: 34 lb
- 36-inch fence bar
- Front and rear rails
- Rip Size: 8 inches to the left and 26 inches to the right
- Auxiliary table support
- Micro adjustment
- Compatible with a variety of table saws.
- Glides very smoothly.
- Strong and secure.
- Durable construction.
- The machining of some parts is crude.
You can buy the product here.
I think that the table saw fence is one of the most essential elements of your table saw and should not be underestimated. A table saw fence improves the safety, accuracy and efficiency of your table saw dramatically.
And, if you’re a serious or an amateur woodworker or doing to start a building project, then a table saw and the best table fence are going to be your best allies.