The essential crosscut jigs and sleds are important additions to your table saw. The crosscut jigs and sleds, for example, make your cut more accurate, but they also facilitate cross-cutting and make it safer.
Moreover, they help you make the required cuts with ease and greater level of safety. The crosscutting sleds also enable you to cut against the wood grain precisely and safely when using a table saw. It also lets you cut small wood pieces without fear of injuring your fingers.
The crosscut table sleds allow you to increase the cut’s diversity and depth of the table saw. They let you use a stop block for repeatable cuts while lessening the risk of injury because of uneven pressure on the wood piece. Besides, some of these crosscut sleds let you do angle cuts.
Best Crosscut Jigs and Sleds for Table Saw
You may find yourself a bit confused as to which crosscut jigs and sleds to buy, given the myriads of models and brands at hand. So, to facilitate the choosing process, you can check out the following most recommended crosscut jigs and sleds in the market today:
1) INCRA Miter Combo Value Pack
The INCRA Miter Combo is undoubtedly a convenient and practical addition to your table saw. As you mount this device to your Miter Express, it can enable your Miter 1000SE to cut against the grain of 24″-deep panels. Thus, the INCRA Miter Combo offers better control of the sled and lets you safely cut small parts using your tool.
It comes with retaining clips (t-slots) along with an adjustable miter bar. It also comes with a GlideLOCK miter bar that comes with six expansion disks that adjust to either side of its bar. You can remove the MITER 1000SE within seconds from the Express sled. Thus, you can perform various operations afterward, like cutting bevels with your saw blade tilted and working at your router table. You should provide the Miter Express with at least 11″ space from the blade’s side to the edge of the saw.
2) POWERTEC 71403
The POWERTEC 71403 comes with a design that produces precise repeatability of cuts. It also offers highly accurate cuts. This table saw sled kit can perform effectively and efficiently. Moreover, with this sled, you can quickly deal with large pieces with ease and accuracy.
Besides, you can produce safer and quicker cuts for detailing and edge work projects requiring higher precision. With it, you can support your material and hold it firmly to let you make the proper angle cut.
The POWERTEC 71403 comes with 1/2″ gradations that are easy to read. It also comes with a hairline indicator for precise setups. Plus, it offers zero-edge clearance. Moreover, its design allows for quick installation. You will get everything you would need with this sled kit.
3) Rockler 996182
The Rockler 996182 is a miniature crosscut sled that lets you cut small pieces with your table saw. This sled kit comes with a small sled, miter track stop, and a blade guard. It is made of aluminum and MDF (melamine-coated).
The Rockler 996182 is perfect for cutting tenon stock, dowels, and tiny moldings at accurate 90-degree angles, with almost no tear-out. It also offers zero-clearance support. This feature lessens the occasions of small pieces being stuck between the throat plate and blade.
It also reduces the chance of the tiny pieces falling through. Moreover, it features a small ramp (plastic) on one kerf’s side to carry the scrap pieces away from the saw blade.
4) Fulton DIY Table Saw Crosscut Sled Kit
If you want to cut smaller pieces of wood, you can always use the Fulton Crosscut Sled Kit. Made of extruded aluminum, this kit comes with each track having a sub-fence. It also features a bolt and knob for creating a stop block that can slide along the track’s length along the sub-fence.
This stop block will let you make repetitive cuts sans constantly moving and measuring the distance of the fence every time you cut.
You got everything that you need in this kit that would allow you to make accurate cuts. It also comes with a detailed and colorful guidebook that could help you use this kit with ease.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Crosscut Jigs and Sleds
Aside from being cognizant of the most recommended crosscut jigs and sleds, it will be best to know the following essential factors you must consider when choosing crosscut jigs and sleds:
The crosscut jigs and sleds kits usually have a micro-adjustment mechanism that lets you finetune the jigs for more precise cuts. These kits typically feature a cleat and fence that slides over the sled’s top track. The fence consists of a plywood piece that features an index key that is attached to a slot.
The jig’s use is straightforward. Its use is like the use of other box joint jigs. You can slide the jig over the track and finetune its position via its micro-adjuster. The desired box joint’s size should match the index key width.
You should also consider the sled capacity when choosing a crosscut sled. You will probably be making a short crosscut against the grain when you cut using the sled. The base size determines the whole sled size. You can, therefore, make the sled small or big, depending on what you want.
You should bear in mind that the depth of the sled will determine the maximum width of the board that you can cut. The sled’s width, however, doesn’t determine the maximum length of workpiece you can cut. Yet, a wider sled will offer more support for your longer boards, making it easy for you to cut with your table saw.
You will also have more ample space for clamping the stop block with a longer sled. Nevertheless, when choosing the sled size, you should also take into consideration the table saw’s size.
You should also consider the level of precision that you would require with your cuts. The crosscut sled, of course, will prevent shifting while you feed the board. The sled supports your workpiece from the bottom, which lessens the finger pressure that you need to maintain. With less finger pressure, you will have fewer movements when cutting.
This less movement and the smooth bottom of the sled would help you maintain the alignment throughout the cutting process. Moreover, the alignment and rigid support offered by the sled will keep your workpiece in the right position for a precise cut. You will surely appreciate its larger backstop and bottom support when working with hard-to-control wood due to weight, length, and width.
The crosscut sled will surely be invaluable to you as a woodworker. It comes with many benefits to woodworkers when using a table saw. As mentioned above, it can increase safety during cutting, prevents shifting while you feed, and improves accuracy when making crosscut.
The crosscut sled also allows for faster work, and it makes repetitive cuts quick and easy. It also produces accurate miter cuts. Moreover, it is pretty easy and cheap to make. Yet, you can also buy a crosscut sled like the ones mentioned above.