If you use a table saw, then getting a proper fence will increase the efficiency of your work. While it will not deliver any more horsepower, it does improve the repeatability of your cuts which allows you to complete your projects at a faster pace. So effective is a good fence that if you are considering buying a new table saw because you are unhappy with its current performance, you might want to consider getting a new fence first to see if that makes the right changes.
Best Table Saw Fence Systems
Choosing the right fence system for your table saw can make a HUGE difference in your woodworking experience. The fence system helps to make your cuts accurate, smooth, and safe.
We’ve researched and tested 9 best table saw fence systems and here are our top picks.
|For 10″ Table Saw |
Vega U26 Fence
|* Best Overall |
(Fits Contractor saw, Hybrid & Unisaw)
T3 Fence System
|Best Aftermarket |
Shop Fox W1716
|36-inch Fence Bar (26″ to Right)||Rail:57″ Fence:37″||57″ Rails (30″ Rip)|
|Fits 10″ Jobsite and Contractor saw||Contractor saw, Unisaw and Hybrid saw||Classic Fence|
|Metal Construction||Steel Tube Body||Aluminum & Steel|
|Weight:34pounds||38 pounds||54 pounds|
If you are going to the local tool store or thinking of buying an aftermarket fence, read our fence buying guide first.
What is a Table Saw Fence & Its Uses?
A table saw fence allows you to make straight, more consistent cuts on your table saw. The fence system is one of the most important components of your table saw. It provides a guide for the workpiece and helps to keep it from shifting or moving during the cut.
Once properly aligned, you can cut with greater confidence as the fence guides the material through the saw blade. While relatively simple in design, a good table saw fence is an investment, so you will need to do your research before making a purchase.
Cheap or bad fences should be avoided as they are a waste of money. So, you will need to focus your efforts on getting one from a company that has earned a solid reputation. The good news is that there are solid, reputable brands on the market that will get the job done and work for years on end with proper maintenance.
Around the world, woodshops use table saw fences every day. It helps make their work more precise and accurate which means that they complete their projects faster with fewer mistakes that must be corrected. But a table saw fence is not just for large businesses, it is used in small woodshops, those who have a side business in woodworking, and individuals who like to have clean, sharp cuts for their work.
Advantages of a Good Fence
You’ll notice the advantages right away when the fence is installed, starting with the accuracy of the cuts that you make. The fence guides the material parallel to the saw blade which means that your cuts are more precise and accurate.
Accurate Straight Cuts
Depending on how fine you need to make the cut, a proper fence can truly deliver. Whether you use your table saw for basic woodworking or need cuts for joints that must be precise to 1/32” or less, then getting a good, versatile table saw fence is something you need.
Quality of Cut
Maybe you have a steady hand and you don’t need to make long rips. Try doing a short ripping, or cross-cut without a fence or cross-cut sled. You will see that the cut surface has much better quality when you use a fence.
Extends the Life of Your Saw
Just how many people got tired of their old table saw and spend a considerable amount buying a new one when all they needed was a good rip fence? While no one knows the answer, it’s sure to be in the many thousands, if not larger. A good fence extends the life and usefulness of your table saw, making it one that
A side effect of having a good fence is that it extends the life of your table saw. This is because a properly set table saw fence will help reduce accidents, maintain the proper alignment of the materials, and keep your saw working with precision for years.
Of course, the fence must be crafted from solid materials and be properly installed, but the right fence can help extend the life of the table saw considerably. At the very least, it may prevent you from paying more money for a new table saw when all it needed was a good fence.
Can you cut angles with a table saw fence?
The rip fence is positioned parallel to the miter slots and the blade. But you can use a simple hinge-type taper jig and slide it against the fence to perform angle cuts.
If you often cut at angles for your work, then consider getting a good miter gauge. You can adjust the miter gauge so that it delivers cuts at the precise angle that you want. They enable you to cut angles and bevels without a miter saw. However, they do have certain advantages over a table saw. For more details refer the table saw vs miter saw comparison here.
What to Look for When Buying a Table Saw Fence
Remember, you are looking for a table saw fence to help you make your woodworking more accurate, safe, and faster. So, you will need to look for a few essential qualities before purchasing a fence.
This may sound obvious, but you want to buy a fence that is compatible with the miter slots and length of your table saw.
The most important aspect of the fence is how it keeps its alignment parallel to the blade and miter slots. You’ll want to invest in one that is made from strong materials, is of excellent design, and has the weight to stay in one place for repeated use.
Make sure that the T portion of the table saw fence has sufficient crossbar.
Again, while simple in concept, a good table saw fence can take 15 minutes to an hour to properly install. The length of the installation should be due to its complicated design and not because it is simply a bad fence system. The complexity comes from a design that allows you to make a wide range of adjustments, so bear that in mind.
The brands with the best reputations can be trusted to make quality fences that provide excellent accuracy. So, stick to the brands that have earned their reputations when you do your research.
You may not want to go down to 1/32nd of an inch, but you will want a fence that can be adjusted to a fine degree. It will depend on how precise you want it to be which will influence the price that you pay.
You want something that can be easily unclamped and positioned to the cut length you desire.
In addition to these features, you’ll want a table saw fence that does not flex or shift because of lightweight materials. Also, it should provide you with a good cut capacity, so you can finish your work as quickly as needed.
Purchasing a good fence system is more of an investment in your woodworking. For those who run woodshops or a side business, a fence is an essential piece of equipment for table saw work. So, you will want a good, high-quality fence that provides years of trusted service.
However, if you only dabble in woodworking and use your table saw on occasion, investing in a proper fence may still be a good idea. This is because you will get more accurate cuts in less time compared to not having a fence.
The fence is a must-have accessory to a table saw and having a good quality table saw fence increases the efficiency, accuracy, and repeatability of your work.
- Best Table Saw Fence Systems
- What is a Table Saw Fence & Its Uses?
- Advantages of a Good Fence
- What to Look for When Buying a Table Saw Fence