When we talk about table saws, many people pay a lot of attention to the attractive specs of table size and horsepower. The table saw fence upgrade, which may dramatically improve or ruin a table saw’s value, is an often-neglected component that, for new buyers, can make or break the tool.
Have you ever attempted to do finishing cuts with a table saw only to begin and bind the wood and burn at the end when the fence won’t stay straight? Maybe you have never been able to make desired cuts because your fence started to bend?
I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’m pleased with the Grizzly hybrid table saw. The fence, on the other hand, has always driven me crazy. After I purchased the saw, Grizzly discontinued it and released a superior version with a far better table saw fence system, but it was worth the update.
The saw fence has a lot of play in it, which causes the blade to be misaligned when it’s locked down. I’ve been able to get it to work for the most part, but I’ve had to become more familiar with the jointer so I can clean it up before the edges get glued-ups!
What Are the Ideal Features of a Table Saw Fence?
Fence requirements are somewhat different for sliding table saws. The fence should be sturdy, fit together easily. It should also be lengthy to support your material throughout the cut without moving. Here are some things to watch for your table saw fence while upgrading.
A steel-and-aluminum combination will be used in the majority of table saw fences that are of high quality. The steel components provide the system with overall stiffness and weight, while the aluminum makes it portable.
In theory, composite or plastic edges cause less resistance when cutting, according to the manufacturer. While this is a fantastic alternative, and one employed by some of the top tables saw manufacturers. However, these materials can warp with time. While the parts are replaceable, I wouldn’t be glad to replace them if I spent $3,000 or more on a high-end table saw.
The locking mechanism for the table saw fence to the rails is very important for the fence. As I previously stated, the main shortcoming of my table saw’s fence is its lack of capacity. When I’m just playing with it and locking it down, there’s way too much of a risk that the alignment will be incorrect.
The rails will have a broad guide surface and a multi-point locking mechanism, as well as other features. For the fence to maintain a straight line with the blade, you must keep it as perpendicular as possible.
This should go without saying, but make sure the fence is appropriate for your saw! The fence was built with a pair of 8′ x 8′ rails, and the panel saw fences available are all different sizes. You may expand or reduce the footprint of your table saw by adding or removing new rails.
A few inches far from the end of the table is best. This will keep your pieces safe throughout a cut by keeping them supported throughout the length.
Do you need a brand new fence and a rail system? Or do you just need a fence to attach to your existing table saw rails? Which alternatives are open to you will be determined by this.
Few of the table saw fences, such as the Incra rail system we’ll discuss later, have their own fully integrated rail system. This is a beautiful system with excellent craftsmanship, but it’s also considerably more expensive than a drop-on fence.
The Most Effective Table Saw Fences
Here are some of the greatest table saw fence systems you can buy. Check to see if each fits your particular saw because some are made to work only with certain model table saws from specific manufacturers.
The Vega Pro 50 Table Saw Fence System
The Vega PRO and Vega Utility table saw fence systems are among the most popular on the market. When you buy a steel fence, you can expect to pay for its durability and strength. This model is well-known for being both sturdy and attractive. It has twin gates with hidden latches that are simple to operate.
The fence is constructed of high-strength extruded aluminum that has been coated with epoxy to give it a smooth glide that will help in cutting. The rear and front rails are constructed of steel tube that has been polished and chrome-plated, allowing the fence to glide smoothly.
With the micro-adjustment mechanism, it’s a breeze to adjust your cuts by the thousandth of an inch. There will be no more rail bumping and hoping you’ve moved it just enough any longer.
Vega table saw fence systems are available in a range of sizes. So that it can fit almost any size table saw. They do, however, advise against their use of Jobsite-style table saws.
Check each model to see if it is compatible with the design of your specific table saw. Some models may require drilling to center the bolt holes for the rails correctly.
INCRA LS32-TS TS-LS Table Saw Fence
The upgrade of the Incra table saw fence is, without a doubt, the most distinctive after-market fence available. The fence is kept straight to the blade utilizing this design, with its front, back, and middle rail. The fence also has a lead screw mechanism for fast, accurate adjustments down to .002″!
With no drilling required, the fence will fit almost every 10″ table saw on the market, according to Incra. Some users, however, stated that they had to drill new holes because some old ones did not line up correctly with the blade. The kit includes everything you need, including all necessary materials and tools. Although installation is simple, the fence is one of the best on the market.
With all of this in mind, for skilled woodworkers with a good rhythm for setting up cuts on the table saw, this approach may be over time. It’s a little more complicated to set up than performing a simple trim. The tiny adjustment mechanism, while amazing, takes somewhat longer to install than measuring the cut with a tape measure or ruler.
Delta Power Tools Biesemeyer Fence
Over several decades, Biesemeyer became synonymous with excellence when it came to table saw fence brands. In the table saw industry, for example, Delta Unisaws included these fences as standard equipment. They were extremely popular as a modification.
Some consumers, on the other hand, have criticized their flimsy construction and easy-to-break security features. Overall, the fence is still well-liked and represents a significant improvement over a standard table saw fences.
There are a variety of fence and rail systems to choose from. So, depending on your current saw and rails, check which system would be appropriate.