January 4, 2023
Those engaged in building things understand the succinct truth behind the phrase, “Measure twice, cut once.” Woodworkers embrace this maxim to ensure quality results in their projects. Yet, even if you measure twice, but the workpiece is wobbling, or there is too much friction between the table surface and the workpiece while you cut, as in the case of cutting using the Dewalt table saw without a crosscut sled, you can never assure yourself of quality cuts.
A crosscut sled allows for accurate cutting across the wood grain, and its size usually depends on the workpiece’s size. Generally, the sled should be longer than the wood piece’s width. Thus, if you have no budget issue, you should avail yourself of two sleds for your table saw, one for your large projects and another for your small ones. The crosscut sled, fixed at ninety degrees, also reduces the risks involved in using the table saw.
Understanding the Crosscut Sled Further
Fixed at 90 degrees angle, the crosscut sled is perfect for making picture frames. You can also equip it with accessories like clamps and stops for greater versatility. Besides, you can clamp a stop block to its fence to create perfect crosscuts of similar length.
The table saw system also features a perpendicular fence to the saw blade. This fence system firmly attaches the material to your workbench. This design reduces kickbacks.
Many table saws don’t feature a blade guard. Yet, they usually come with a riving knife. So, there is always the danger of your fingers staying close to the saw blade. It will help if you have a crosscut sled to reduce the risk of injury.
Some systems, however, feature polycarbonate guards combined in tandem with the miter sled. You can keep your hand away from the saw blade because of the transparent box that covers the saw blade.
The good thing about the crosscut sled is that it lets you make multiple repetitive cuts with ease and accuracy. Thus, you can make quick work of your cutting tasks, especially when making chair parts or drawer boxes of exact dimensions. You might also have miter gauges, but these gauges are too small for handling more significant works.
On the other hand, the crosscut sled comes with a large base for supporting your workpieces while you cut without letting the workpieces touch the table. Sans contact and with reduced friction, you can shift your workpieces during the cutting process with ease.
Furthermore, the crosscut sled increases the table saw’s safety level. Of course, you may use a scrap fence to clamp your workpiece. Yet, the crosscut sled offers a higher safety level than the use of the scrap fence.
With the crosscut sled, the workpiece stays affixed to the crosscut sled while the sled slides. The back fence of the crosscut sled serves as a clamping surface to keep your hands and fingers away from the saw blade.
Lastly, the crosscut sled allows for the precise repeatability of cuts. You will surely need to cut pieces with exact dimensions for most of your projects. The crosscut sled can make repetitive cuts quick and easy for you.
Most Recommended Crosscut Sleds That Are Compatible With DEWALT Table Saw
One distinguished manufacturer of table saws is DEWALT. It has been rolling out excellent table saw models throughout the years, and if you have one, it will be best to know which crosscut sleds complement DEWALT’s table saw best. Below are five crosscut sleds that complement well DEWALT table saws:
1) Fulton DIY Table Saw Crosscut Sled Kit
The Fulton Crosscut sled kit got conceived to make crosscut sled simple. It comes with everything you need for a crosscut sled. It also comes with a guide booklet that easily lets you assemble the kit. The only thing it doesn’t have is the wood material you will use for the crosscut sled. It is pretty easy to assemble and allows for ease of use.
This crosscut sled kit comes with UHMW bars, used for crosscut sled runners. These bars don’t produce much friction compared to wood. Besides, they don’t expand or contract due to weather’s vicissitudes. The bars come with the ideal dimensions (3/4″x3/8″). Hence, it fits the standard miter slots. Likewise, they are slick and don’t leave residue, shavings, or dust.
This kit comes with extruded aluminum, which is pretty solid. They also got manufactured in the USA. Every track got cut to length to serve as a perfect crosscut sled’s sub fence. It also comes with a knob and bolt for the stop block that allows sliding along the track’s length. This stop block lets you make repetitive cuts sans the need to measure and move the fence distance every cut.
- Allows for low-friction sliding of material
- A complete kit for easy assemblage
- The “how-to” guide is straightforward
- Doesn’t allow for wobbling
- Runners might have difficulty sliding smoothly
- Plastic pieces are not pred-drilled
2) The Original Dubby Cut-Off Sled
Another excellent option is the Original Dubby Cut-Off Sled. This crosscut sled kit allows for crosscutting panels with dimensions of twenty-four inches by fifty-two inches. This crosscut sled kit allows for quick assembly and ease of use. Moreover, it lets you use the table saw for making crosscuts on large panels. It eliminates friction between the table and the workpiece. It also enables you to make perfect square panels for your cabinet and furniture projects.
Dubby’s angle scale is one of the simplest and most accurate to use. It is also easy to read. It is far more accurate than the standard miter gauge. It features pre-determined lines for various shapes you want to cut. Moreover, you don’t need to make calculations and no test cuts.
Aside from the accuracy it offers, it also increases the safety level of the use of the table saw. Its (hold-down) clamp is versatile, even allowing you to cut tiny pieces. Moreover, it easily pivots out of the table saw blade’s way. It can provide up to 35-pound hold-down pressure and easily hold small workpieces.
It also comes in the right and left sides versions, though the left-side Dubby is the more commonly used because most table saw’s users generally feed their stocks on the left side of the saw blade.
- Allows for easy miter cuts
- Offers excellent accuracy
- Makes repeatable cuts quick and accurate
- Lighter than others
- Easy to assemble and use
- The end of the wood piece must be shimmed and trimmed to get it flushed with its bar
- Durability might be questionable
3) POWERTEC 71403
If you want a crosscut sled with a large protractor scale, you should check out the POWERTEC 71403. Thus, this crosscut sled kit would allow you to make precise angles and tight crosscuts and miters. It also comes with gradations that are easy to read. Its hair-line indicator makes sure you got a perfect setup.
It also features a durable aluminum fence along with an MDF fence face that you can adjust with ease. Besides, it comes with components that slide smoothly and deliver precise and versatile operations.
The POWERTEC 71403 features a table base, fence, MDF fence face, flip stop, miter bar, hold-down clamp, and the necessary installation hardware to provide you with everything essential for assembling the best crosscut sled for your table saw. Its hairline indicator with its easy-to-read scale also allows for 1/2° gradations. It also allows for zero clearance and ease of installation.
This crosscut sled kit features a design that allows for perfect, repeatable cuts. Whatever cut you would like to perform, you can achieve it with utmost accuracy. This kit also comes with clamps and stops for holding your workpiece without risking any injury to your fingers. It also lets you gain more control over the cutting process, sans causing any kickback. It is perfect for your DEWALT table saw.
- Comes with an adjustable stop
- Features an easy-to-read scale
- Comes with durable hold-down clamps
- Features a low-friction tape that reduces wear and protects the table
- Allows for seamless transitions
- Wobbles a bit
- Relatively expensive
4) INCRA MITER5000
Another excellent option is the INCRA MITER5000. This crosscut sled is an excellently performing crosscut sled that offers remarkable design with its red and golden hues. As a beginner, you will find this crosscut sled your best option, for it provides ease of assembly and use.
It is a three-panel crosscut sled with Miter 3000SE design to allow incremental angle gradation. It also comes with a T-track along with a hold-down clamp for securing your workpiece. Thus, you’ll get more accurate crosscuts at whatever angle you would cut.
The INCRA MITER5000 comes with precise angle locks that allow you to lock in nearly at some solid angles with 1/2-degree increments. It also has steel teeth for firm locking. Moreover, it offers smooth gliding functionality sans friction. Besides, you can use it to cut even tiny pieces with enough precision.
- Offers accurate crosscuts
- Provides frictionless travel
- Easy to set up and use
- Offers zero clearance
- Features excellent angle positions
- Relatively expensive
- Slower miter angle setting
5) Rockwell RW9266
If you’re desirous of perfect crosscuts, you should check out the Rockwell RW9266. It features an excellent design that lets you cut precisely any type of crosscut you want. It can likewise cut with different blade runner saw types.
You will get proper alignment with this crosscut sled. It also increases the level of safety of your works by providing enough space for your hands.
You can also perform 90-degree angled cuts with this crosscut sled with its blade runner that you can maneuver with ease. The sled’s slide bar is excellently attached to your table saw. Nevertheless, it won’t cut out very close to the saw blade.
Lastly, this crosscut sled got wrought in quality plastic materials. It also features proper saw adjustment likewise. Moreover, it affords you the ease of control and maneuverability.
- Allows for cutting at 90-degree angles
- Features a smooth gliding functionality
- Allows for ease of assembly and control
- Increases the level of safety of using the table saw
- Ideal only for cutting small stocks
- Does not allow for miter cuts
Factors to Consider When Buying a Crosscut Sled
You will find various brands and models of table saw sleds, making choosing the best crosscut sled a bit confusing. Nevertheless, if you want to zero in on the best table saw crosscut sled, it will help if you are familiar with the following essential factors to consider when selecting a crosscut sled:
Check for Compatibility with the Dewalt Table Saw
When choosing a crosscut sled for your DEWALT table saw, it will be best to check for compatibility. Sleds and saws usually come in various sizes and shapes. As such, some sleds might not be compatible with some table saws. If you happen to buy a crosscut sled that is not suited for your table saw, it will surely be a waste of money. So, before buying a crosscut sled, figure out the saw’s miter slots. Check likewise if the crosscut sled suits your table saw.
Types of Cut
As you search for the best crosscut sled, you will soon discover two types of crosscut sleds. One type is for making crosscuts. The other one makes angled cuts. You can also find something that offers dual functions, though these dual-function sleds are more expensive. If you only make crosscut sleds, it will be best to choose a crosscut sled. But if you often make miter cuts, you can select a miter sled. Nevertheless, it will be best to have both types of table saw sleds.
Without adequate support, you won’t get precise cuts out of your table saw. The reason is that you won’t gain enough control to get accurate cuts. Hence, it will be best to choose a crosscut sled that allows tight-fitting and firm attachment and support. In this way, you can make consistent and accurate cuts. Besides, you should inspect the slide bar if it is durable.
Plate sizes can either come in bigger or smaller sizes. Hence, you got limited size options for crosscutting sled’s plate. If you often deal with smaller workpieces, you should go for a smaller plate. Meanwhile, if you are constantly engaged in larger workpiece projects, you should choose the bigger plate. Choose something according to your tasks at hand.
When selecting a crosscut sled, it will be best to look for sterling features. Check for crosscut sled with fewer dead zones. Moreover, you should check for a crosscut sled with the correct dimensions. Inspect the adjustable mechanism of the crosscut sled. Does it allow for micro-adjustment?
You should also check the precision level afforded by the crosscut sled. Check likewise for additional features like adjustable stops that could make cutting easy and accurate for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the most recommended crosscut sleds and the factors to consider, it will also help if you are cognizant of the following FAQs about crosscut sleds:
What Other Accessories Are Compatible With Crosscut Sled?
Aside from knowing if your crosscut sled is compatible with the table saw, it will also help if you know the compatible accessories with your crosscut sleds. Some accessories like clamps and stops are best suited for the crosscut sled. You will find these accessories helpful when making repeatable and accurate cuts with your table saw.
What is the Function of the Fence?
When cutting using a crosscut fence, you need to ensure that the workpiece gets aligned with the fence. Thus, the fence serves as a reference point for the alignment of the workpiece with the saw blade. Moreover, the fence keeps the workpiece firmly in the correct position and prevents it sliding back.
You can rotate the fence system to prevent friction while sliding the wood piece through. It supports the workpiece and prevents it from sliding. Thus, if your fence is pivoting, angled cutting becomes easy likewise. Moreover, the fence can be tall or short, depending on your preference.
What is the Function of the Large Base?
The miter gauge is for holding the workpiece while you cut. You push the stock through while the miter gauge keeps the workpiece down and firm against the table. This pushing down can create friction, making the wood piece move out of alignment. So, there is a need for a larger crosscut sled’s base to support the workpiece to keep accuracy at a high level.
How Does the Miter Gauge Work?
The miter gauge, as mentioned above, holds the stock in place while you cut. As you push the stock through, the miter gauge keeps it firmly down to enable you to cut with precision. The miter gauge holds the workpiece at a particular angle while cutting the material. It slides into the miter slot on your worktable. You will also find sophisticated miter gauges that let you clamp the workpiece and have adjustable stops for repetitive cuts.
One of the necessary woodworking jigs is the crosscut sled. You can either it or buy it. It can improve safety while cutting and prevent shifting while feeding the workpiece. Thus, it can improve accuracy and allow you to work faster. Plus, it can make easy repetitive cuts. Moreover, its use is straightforward and inexpensive.
Finding the right crosscut sled for your DEWALT table saw might prove a bit confusing. So, if you want to zero in on the ideal one for your use, it will help if you check out the abovementioned most recommended crosscut sleds and the factors to consider when choosing a crosscut sled. You can also check out the FAQs about crosscut sleds to enhance your knowledge about their use.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.