Should you Use a Rip Fence or a Miter Gauge on a Table Saw?

Should you Use a Rip Fence or a Miter Gauge on a Table Saw?

Apart from the blade, rip fence and miter gauge are essential components of a table saw. They play a major role in ensuring that you are protected from unprecedented accidents while using your table saw. The question of whether to go for a miter gauge or a rip fence is determined by the type of cut that you want to make. 

Should you Use a Rip Fence or a Miter Gauge on a Table Saw? Which one is better?

This piece will enlighten you on whether to go for a miter gauge or a rip fence and why.

Rip Fence

The fence also referred to as a rip fence, offers a cutting guide when cutting wooden pieces. The fence runs from the front to the back of the table and is parallel to the blade’s cutting plane.

Typically, the fence is mounted on the blade’s right side. This type of design enables you to use the fence on all sides with a high level of configuration. Some types of table saws enable the user to make use of only one side of the fence.

While using a sliding table, it’s important to note that you can only operate the blade from the left side.

Ideal Use of a Rip Fence

You can adjust the rip fence in a vertical and a horizontal direction. They also have to be stable and rigid so that you may be able to make precise and accurate cuts using your table saw.

You should ensure that you firmly attach them so that they may not be able to move once you have locked them.

There are various types of fences that are compatible with a table saw and which you could use them. The popular type of fence that most woodworking experts and enthusiasts use is the T square fence.

This design of rip fence is easy to operate and adjust. To ensure that you make accurate and precise rip cuts, they are built with steel and other robust and durable materials.

There are various types of rip fences available in the market of which you can choose from. Some require the user to bolt the rip fence to the head of the T-square on some contactor and hybrid models.

On the other hand, most heavy-duty and cabinet saws models have their rip fences connected to the T-square head.

A vast array of top-notch cabinet models requires the user to separately buy the rip fence. This enables you to customize your setup following your components. Additionally, you can adjust it based on your requirements and your specifications.

If your table saw rip fence becomes stiff, it will be ideal that you apply wax on it to make it more flexible so that it can move easily.

What Determines the Quality of a Rip Fence?

Below are some of the factors that determine whether a table saw rip fence is of high quality or not:

  • T-square bar
  • Micro adjustment capacity
  • Portability and weight
  • The ease to adjust and position it
  • The capability to read the position of the scale with ease
  • The rip capacity of about 50-inch

Rip Capacity of the Table Saw Rip Fence

The rip capacity of the rip fence is another vital aspect to consider when evaluating whether to go for it or not. This involves the distance from the blade of the saw to the biggest distance that the fence could travel on the right side of the table saw blade.

Miter Gauge 

When you want to make accurate and precise cuts on a piece of wood, a miter guide plays a major role in ensuring that you achieve this even when making angle cuts. Miter cuts refer to an angled cut on a piece of wood so that you are able to create corners.

Most cabinet makers use miter joints; this requires that they cut the pieces of wood at an angle of 45-degrees. When the two pieces of wood are connected, they form a 90-degree corner.

This mechanism of locking can hinge from 45 to -45 degrees and glides into a miter shot.

It is vital that you ensure that the miter is not proprietary but standard. This will enable you to evade frustrations and inconveniences while undertaking your various woodworking projects, especially when connecting other accessories to the table saw that you are using.

Ideal Use of a Miter Gauge

First and foremost, you are required to glide your table saw miter gauge from the backside to the front side. Additionally, you could place the board against the horizontal edge of the gauge. It is essential that you move it towards the side where you are.

You are then required to mark the piece of wood in the exact position that you want to make the cut; this way, you will be able to make more precise crosscuts or angled cuts as you will align it with the saw blade.

To ensure that you make precise cuts with your table saw, turn on the saw and direct the miter gauge in the forward direction.

It is essential that you firmly attach the workpiece in place and against the straight edge of the table saw miter gauge.

The miter gauge is versatile and much to use as it allows the user to make a wide array of cuts in a piece of wood.

A square crosscut is one of the simplest types of cut that you make using a miter gauge. You will be required to adjust the miter gauge to 0 or 90 degrees depending on your markings.

Finally, you will have to push the blade in accordance with the direction of the blade.

A compound cut encompasses two main types of angle cuts, that is bevel and miter cuts. To make these types of cuts, you will need to adjust the blade tilt according to the miter gauge and the handwheel to the set angle.

You should also ensure that you carefully move the workpiece for accurate cuts. Ideally, you could also firmly secure the workpiece with a clamp.

Bottom Line

The miter gauge and fence are essential components when using your table saw for your various woodworking projects. The decision on whether to go a rip fence or a gauge will be determined on whether you want to make miter, rip or compound cut. They ensure that you are safe while using your table saw by reducing the chance of you being injured.


Insights on Rip Fence and Miter Gauge

Essential components of a table saw

Miter Gauge vs. Rip Fence

Sokna Chan

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