Working with wood has been made easy and straightforward with the table saw fence as your partner. Not only would it save you time, but money as well. When you have the best tool at your work table, there is no limit to what you can do. However, it is important to remember that not all table saw fences are made the same way, so care must be taken in choosing the right one. You should get something that would help you make accurate and seamless cuts every time you use it. Winging it would not be good enough.
When you use the wrong one, it could mean spending more than what you have to because you would have to do it over and over again until you get it right or until you get the result that you hoped for. Even if you have a great table saw but has a poor quality fence, the result would be poor craftsmanship as well. Quality begets quality, which simply means that you should buy the best aftermarket table saw fence to create something of quality as well.
Things To Consider When Buying An Aftermarket Table Saw Fence
When you are not that familiar with the item you are buying, the best way to ensure that you are getting something of quality is by trusting the brand. You might find yourself overwhelmed in choosing what to buy as there would be many brands in the market that offer this guiding tool. Doing research would be a great way to start as it would give you an idea of what most experts would recommend for your projects. Experience is the best teacher, but if you are fairly new at this, then the next best thing is to get one that those who have been doing this for a long time would use.
A well-known brand of an aftermarket table saw fence might be expensive, but you should consider this as an investment as this is one that you could use for a long time. You would get your money’s worth every time you use it as you can be certain of the quality of your rip cuts. The major brands have a reputation to uphold, and they would ensure quality control over their products to have repeat customers. When you check out different brands, you should also look into feedbacks from customers as those who were not satisfied with what they bought would make their complaints known to the public. At the same time, those who were happy with it would be generous with their compliments and appreciation.
Compatibility becomes an issue when you’re not buying a whole set. If you will purchase an aftermarket table saw fence, make sure that it would work well with your table saw. Not all fencing systems that boast of being compatible with all kinds of a table saw are necessarily true, so you have to verify it first. The same could be said of a fence that is being advertised that it would work with a variety, some, or most table saws – it doesn’t mean that it would suit yours as well. You have to check the measurements and other parameters to ensure that you would not have any problem using it.
Table Saw Size
The table saw and rip fence come in a variety of sizes. Know the exact dimensions of your table saw so that you can get the corresponding fencing system. The two should match so that you would have an easy time making rip cuts. The purpose of the fence is to provide you with a sturdy guide for precise cutting. If its length is much longer than your table, then it can only be latched at the front. While this does not make it any less sturdy, working with it can cause a bit of inconvenience as you do have to adjust your way around it. The good thing about it is that you can use it also with a bigger table saw.
However, if it is shorter than your table saw, then it might cause a problem as it would be less secure and stable. You would have to guide the wood the rest of the way to ensure accurate ripping and crosscutting.
The rip capacity of your table saw is crucial because it has to do with the maximum width that your wood can be cut as it is limited by the space between the cutting blade and edge of the rip fence. It would be ideal if your fencing system has extended rails to allow more versatility in increasing the rip size.
You should look into the features of the different aftermarket table saw fences in stores so that you would know what your options are. You have to make certain that what you are getting is something that would help you a lot in all kinds of woodworking projects and not just what you are currently doing.
The locking mechanism is an essential feature that ensures that the fence is stable, tight, and positioned well so you can do your cuts precisely in a safe and fast manner. It would be great if you can move the fence smoothly with no trouble as you make the necessary adjustments. Having an extended rail would be handy in making larger cuts. The fence should be perfectly aligned with the blade to help you with repetitive cuts.
Some people often only consider two things when buying an aftermarket table saw fence. The first thing is the price to see if it is something they can afford, and the second thing is the features to see if it would meet all their woodworking needs. Often overlooked is the ease of installation. You do have to install the fencing system, which might include drilling new holes or making the adjustments needed, so you should check if it is something that you can do well. If it is not a problem for you, then it is not a concern.
Recommended Aftermarket Table Saw Fences
1) Shop Fox W1411 Fence
Woodstock International’s Shop Fox is considered as one of the top brands of woodworking equipment. They are known for making excellent quality tools such as the table saw fences that take pride in being reliable and accurate.
The Shop Fox W1411 Fence with standard rails is ideal to use for saws with 27-inch tables; it is not going to work with those bigger than that. It moves smoothly on the ball- bearing guides as you position it to suit your needs, and it can be securely held in place on both ends allowing you to work with precision without hassles. Even if it is unlocked, it remains parallel to the blade. Some of its features include fine‑positioning knobs on both sides to accommodate right-handed and left-handed use making it a convenient tool for doing a variety of applications that include trimming, cutting, and routing. Its Board Buddies® anti-kickback system feature works great as well.
This table saw fence is made of aluminum steel and weighs 37.6 pounds. You have to drill a few holes to install this. It is T-slotted for attaching fixtures.
2) Delta Power Table Saw Fence
One of the most trusted manufacturers of woodworking tools is the Delta Power Equipment Corporation. They have been in the business for more than a century, so you are assured that they know what they are doing, and they are that good in delivering what they promised when it comes to their products. They boast of three things, namely quality, precision, and reliability, and you can be sure of that with the Delta Power table saw fence.
The T3 Fence System model is a one-piece square tubular rail that is designed in such a way that it can be attached to various table saws from Delta, such as the Hybrid Saw, Unisaw, and Contractor Saw with a depth of 27 inches. With other table saw brands, the installation might pose a challenge as it is likely that you would have to drill new holes to mount this. It comes with a three-point locking system along with the twin hairline pointers that would secure the fence in position to ensure that it lies parallel to the blade; it locks on the front guide rail and hooks over the rear rail. The fence body allows easy and smooth gliding when making square and rip cuts. The rip capacity is 30 inches to the right of the blade and 16 inches to the left. It makes use of the metric measurement system.
This fence system is made of metal, and it measures 37 x 6 x 2.5 inches and weighs around 38 pounds.
3) Vega U26 Table Saw Fence System
Vega Enterprises’ woodworking products are manufactured in the United States. They have become a popular choice not just for hobbyists but also for professionals because of their premium quality tools and woodworking machinery.
The Vega Utility 26 or U26 table saw fence system is just a small version of the professional-grade models. It is recommended for use with most 10-inch saws or contractor saws that are not extremely or heavily used. Installation is fairly easy, and no drilling is necessary with this one as it is designed to use the existing bolt holes of those from Sears and Delta that fit the specs requirements. Other models or brands may require drilling a few holes. Its rip capacity is 26 inches on the right and 8 inches on the left. One of its great features is the micro-adjustment capability in which you can move the fence in either direction using a threaded mechanism that allows an accurate setting. Once you secure the fence in the desired position, you can do your work without worries.
It is made of high-quality materials measuring at 54 x 8 x 4 inches and weighs 29.7 pounds. The length of the fence bar is 36 inches, and the front rail diameter is 1-3/4 inches.
4) Shop Fox W1720 Alumna-Classic Fence
The Shop Fox W1720 Alumna-Classic Fence is compatible with most table saws. It works perfectly without a rear locking mechanism as the torsion box design and the heavy-duty cam-lever front locking system are enough to ensure a reliable set-up. It comes with 79-inch long rails that allow a maximum rip of 50 inches to the right of the saw blade, making it quite versatile.
A high degree of accuracy in cutting or ripping is made possible not just with the rigid fence but also with the self-adhesive measuring tape mounted onto the rails and its adjustable magnified cursor lens that makes the graduations in the SAE/metric scale very visible. The features of this Alumna-Classic fence would make your woodworking projects convenient and easy to do, allowing you to finish quickly.
The fence body is made of steel and aluminum, making it durable and sturdy. It measures 80.5 x 17 x 11.5 inches and weighs around 20.9 pounds.
5) Shop Fox W2005 Classic Fence with Standard Rails
The W2005 fence model from Shop Fox has a classic design and function that make it quite simple and easy to install and use with most cabinet-style and contractor table saws. The scale can be easily read to help you avoid making a mistake when setting it up. Its single cam lever and torsion box design would lock the fence in the exact position that you want and ensure it would not deflect, so the wood is guided to be cut in a precise manner. The standard rails allow a maximum rip capacity of 25 inches to the right of the blade. You can lift the fence off the rails without difficulty.
It measures 57.3 x 19.5 x 7.5 inches and weighs 74.8 pounds. The fence has replaceable side panels made of abrasion-resistant HDPE plastic, and the powder-coated rectangular tubing provides extra durability.
6) Wixey 1500mm/60” Digital Saw Fence Readout
Wixey is a trusted brand when it comes to woodworking equipment and accessories such as the 1500mm/60” digital saw fence readout. Being in the business since 2000, their name became synonymous with quality, accuracy, and reliability.
Precision is required in all woodworking projects as the quality of craftsmanship depends on it. With this electronic digital readout from Wixey, you would not have to worry about the accuracy of your measurements ever again. It measures up to 60 inches in length, and the display reads in inches with millimeters or fractions. It has a resolution of 0.005in, 0.1mm, and 1/32 inches with an accuracy of 0.002 in. per foot (decimal), 0.13mm (metric), and 1/500 in. per foot (fraction). The unit requires the use of two AAA batteries, and it has an auto shut off feature.
It works with most round or rectangular rail fences, and it comes with the hardware necessary for mounting such as the simple brackets, drill bit, and four self-tapping screws. It can be calibrated on the left or right side of the blade; you just have to move the fence to lightly touch the blade then hold the calibrate button to zero the readout; it will then show the distance between the blade and the fence accurately. The magnetic attachment feature enables you to remove the fence and still maintain calibration.
The digital readout measures 34 x 7 x 2 inches and weighs 3.2 ounces.
Professional woodworkers require a high-quality table saw fence, much more so if you are an amateur or a hobbyist as it makes all woodworking projects easy and convenient. It helps you become more efficient in what you do. With all the available aftermarket fences, you have to choose what is right for your table saw, so check the features and specs. Make sure that you read the instruction manual that comes with it for ease of installation and use.