April 29, 2023
Do you use the table saw featherboards in your woodworking? If you haven’t used one, you need to find one and begin using it. The featherboard comes with a roll of flexible fingers on its edge. When you mount it onto your machine table, it keeps your workpiece pressed down tightly against the fence, allowing for more accurate cuts and better control. It also helps prevent the danger of kickback.
You can use it with the radial-arm saw, table saw, or router table, and it facilitates the use of these woodworking devices. The feather-board is a flat wood or plastic piece that features a series of narrow fingers that are flexible. These narrow fingers are either formed or curve toward one side.
Most Recommended Table Saw Featherboards
When choosing a feather board, you may end up scratching your head in confusion, given the myriads of feather board brands and models in the market today. To facilitate the choosing process for you, we have listed here the following most recommended feather boards by the experts:
Last update on 2024-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Magswitch STARTER KIT
The Magswitch STARTER KIT is a complete kit with a feather-board attachment and mounting base (Universal). It also comes with MagJig 150s (Two). With this tool, you can also add the other tool attachments to mount to its base. With this feather-board, you can enjoy working with its quick setup kit and accurate tensioning.
It also features an easy to manipulate on-and-off grip. This tool is a low-profile tool. It works well with a magnetic fence or table. Moreover, it allows you a firm grip while eliminating the risk of kickbacks. You can add attachments to this feather-board if you think it is necessary. Besides, this feather-board is lightweight, and it is pretty easy to set up. You can also use it for right and left feed.
- You can use it on a fence or bench.
- Easy to use and set up.
- It minimizes or reduces kickbacks.
- It comes with a (universal) mounting base.
- It functions well with a magnetic table or fence.
2) Magswitch – 8110015
The Magswitch – 8110015 works well on both saw blade’s sides. It is a low-profile tool with a double-sided feature. With the use of this accessory, you can improve your cutting finishes. It comes with flexible fingers for infeed and outfeed applications. Moreover, it features a magnetic attachment that necessitates no miter slot.
Thus, you can place the board anywhere you need it. It can also serve as the base for other featherboards when you work with tall wood pieces. You can attach its base to the table via its MAG switches, each offering 95lbs of holding power. It is easy to set up and use.
- It works with any table.
- You can place it on either side of the fence or blade.
- It’s quick to set up.
- It’s powerful enough to hold the workpiece without wobbling.
- It works well with metal tables.
3) Kreg PRS3020
The Kreg PRS3020 is of durable composite plastic that features a wedge-lock, letting it work in miter slots and T-slots. You can also use this feather-board on router tables as well as band saws. Since this one is a twin-pack kit, you can place one pack on the table side and another one at the fence top.
This setup will allow for even pressure on your workpiece, helping you avoid imperfect cuts while improving safety. Its Wedge-Lock System readily adjusts to the table saw you are working on. Its Wedge-Lock keep the feather-board firmly in place. You’ll not need any extra hardware for this purpose.
This feather-board is easy to fit and store away. It is 1.2lbs and has the following dimensions of 9″ x 3″ x 7.5″. Its fingers apply consistent pressure and deliver a quality cut while enhancing your safety.
- Works well with other saws like band saws and routers.
- Well-balanced pressure on the wood.
- It comes with a Wedge-Lock System.
- Easy to set up.
- You can’t utilize this on the plane slot beyond that of the T-slot.
- It’s not magnetic.
4) BI-DTOOL Double Featherboards
The BI-DTOOL Double Featherboards come in a two-pack kit that helps you cut with precision on woods. It’s easy to adjust and set up. It offers two separate feather-boards in a single kit, allowing you to have two packs at a reduced cost. It features distinctive fingers.
The BI-DTOOL Double features angled fingers that steadily hold the wood piece for cleaner cuts. These fingers produce firm and even pressure to prevent lifting or kickback. It also features a knob system with a miter gauge slot, allowing you to set it up with the T-slot easily.
So, setting it up is no longer a challenge. Moreover, this feather-board kit is ergonomic in design and can secure the wood piece onto the table to improve safety and enable you to cut efficiently.
- Reliable and affordable.
- Easy to set up.
- Lightweight and versatile.
- It raises your level of safety a notch higher.
- It’s a complicated accessory.
- It may not be compatible with the table saw fence.
5) Premium Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard
This feather-board kit is one of the most desired feather-board in the market today. It is well made and comes with many safety features. It’s easy to set up and operate. Moreover, it features a spiral shape that helps reduce kickback. It also comes with a lone pivot point for quick adjustment to various board widths.
It is made of high-impact nylon for maximum supporting pressure. Its spiral shape makes it a user-friendly tool while offering up to five inches of adjustability. Moreover, it comes with a miter clamp (cast aluminum) and a grip knob for comfortable gripping.
What distinguishes this feather-board option is its single knob that comes with one pivot point. Other feather-boards come with around two knobs which makes them difficult to adjust and use. This one comes with a single knob for fast and easy adjustment.
This feather-board is remarkable and is an excellent accessory for your woodworking tasks. With its use, you can raise the level of safety of your cutting using the table saw. It also simplifies everything for you.
- Features a spiral-shaped feather-board.
- It Helps reduces kickback.
- It features a single-pivot point and single grip knob.
- Easy to set up and operate.
- Not magnetic.
- Its spiral shape may make users feel uncomfortable when using it.
6) Milescraft 1406
Milescraft 1406 comes with an innovative design that provides consistent tension and holding pressure brought about by its unique construction (split-rail). It can maintain constant pressure across the feather board face with its tension design.
Moreover, it comes with miter bars (3/4″ and 5/8″) that provide this feather board with enough versatility. It is also compatible with the table saw and other power tools and is excellent for many applications.
The Milescraft 1406 comes with mounting hardware for various applications. Besides, it comes with ergonomic designs with knobs that prevent over-tightening and offer non-slip loosening.
- It comes with (pre-loaded) tension design that makes it durable and sturdy.
- Help to reduces kickbacks.
- It comes with a curved track which makes adjustment a challenge.
7) Kreg PRS3020
The Kreg PRS3020 is a twin pack that allows you to position one on the table’s one side and the other one on top of the fence. This setup allows for an even distribution of pressure on the wood piece. Thus, with this feather board, you can achieve a perfect cut while improving your work’s safety level.
The Kreg PRS3020 features a Wedge-lock System that adjusts to the power tool you are using. The Wedge-Lock holds the feather board firmly in the right position. Besides, it doesn’t need any extra hardware. The fingers of this feather board provide unwavering and consistent pressure on the wood. This one is wrought in very durable plastic. It is also lightweight at 1.2 pounds.
- Works well with bandsaws, table saws, routers, etc.
- Provides even pressure on the workpiece
- Easy to install with its Wedge-lock system
- Might warp if you don’t pop down the channel-locking piece when removing the feather board
8) SWMIUSK True-Flex Featherboard
Another excellent feather board is the SWMIUSK True-Flex Featherboard. It is a unique feather board that can easily connect to the t-slot or miter slot without needing additional hardware. It is also durable and of robust plastic composite.
You can expect it to last up to two years of heavy usage. It is efficient and safe to use. Besides, it keeps the workpiece firmly pressed against the fence while you cut. Its size is suited to most miter slots and T-slots.
- Very much affordable
- Offers ease of installation
- Needs a few readjustments when making more extensive runs
- Best suited for shorter workpieces
9) POWERTEC 71553
The POWERTEC 71553 is perfect for holding workpieces against the tabletop or fence while you cut. It also safely keeps your fingers away from the saw blade. Besides, it features a premium design made of durable polymer. It also applies even and steady pressure for achieving precision cuts.
The POWERTEC 71553 is easy to install and set up. It is also versatile for use in different types of woodworking machines. You can connect this feather board to your t-slot or miter slot assemblies. You can also double stack them or lock them in for both vertical and horizontal positions for your many projects.
- Made of quality polymer material
- Provides robust holding capacity
- Comes with suitable handles, though a bit large
- Knob’s threads might get easily damaged over time
10) FeatherPRO Featherboard by Bow Product
The FeatherPRO Featherboard comes with a design that absorbs kickback. It offers a higher level of safety when used compared to wood or plastic feather boards. It also comes with innovative feed control, with its thicker feathers increasing the surface amount that comes in contact with the workpiece.
This feather board comes with a vibration dampening feature with its EVA feathers. It also features a high density of feathers. Besides, these feathers do not mar and will not damage the router bits or carbide blades. Similarly, these feathers are reversible and replaceable. They are also interchangeable.
- Can prevent kickback
- Features replaceable feathers
- Exhibits strong holding power
- Big enough for a compact table saw
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Feather Board
Once you know the most recommended featherboards by the experts, you can narrow down your choices according to the abovementioned recommendations. It will likewise help if you are cognizant of the following important factors to consider when choosing a feather-board:
The weight of the feather board is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a feather-board. Weights of feather-boards differ, ranging from 1 to 2 pounds. Its weight will factor well when it comes to the usability of the feather-board on a particular machine.
Featherboards, aside from having different weights, also come in various sizes. So, its size is also a significant factor to consider when choosing one. You would surely want a size that fits well with your tools. You don’t want something that could leave a larger footprint on your table. Your choice, however, will depend on what is best for your table.
Ease of Adjustment and Setup
You should go for something easy to set up. You don’t want something that is a challenge to set up. Choose something that can quickly lock in place along with your miter slot. It will also help if you choose a model that comes with a slot for easy adjusting of width and finger pressure. You can also go for something with a hold-down attachment.
It will help if you also go for feather boards that feature ease of adjustment. Moreover, you can also go for something magnetic to let you adjust the board along the fence with ease. Being magnetic allows for extra versatility, though such a feature would limit the usage of these feather boards to metal tables.
Durability usually depends on the material used for the feather board. You will find most feather boards made of premium quality plastic and ABS.
But it will be best to check the material out of which it is made to ensure that you are getting something that will last longer.
Your feather-board should be capable of maintaining consistent pressure on the workpiece when you cut. Otherwise, you may end up with jagged and sloppy cuts and the risks of more kickbacks when cutting. Go for a brand and model with a proven record in providing excellent products. Such proven products can provide you with even tension throughout the cutting process.
Miter Slot Positions
Non-magnetic feather boards usually rely on standard miter slots for positioning the feather-board. Therefore, it will help to check the listed slot and its sizes to ensure that you will buy something that will conform to the table saw.
Go for something standardized, but be wary of choosing something that says it is standard. The standard may not apply to the standard relative to feather-boards.
What Are the Functions of the Featherboard When Cutting Wood on Machine?
The featherboard helps in several ways. First, it enables the holding of the stock up and tight against the tool’s surface or fence while you run the wood piece through the cutting tool. It can even do better in keeping the workpiece on track than the human operator. It can also apply a consistent and even pressure on the stock to hold it against the fence or tools surface.
Second, you can position the featherboard closer to where the action happens instead of your fingers keeping the stock in line. Thus, it can apply pressure where it is most needed and effective.
The featherboard serves as a third hand that guides the workpiece, allowing the operator to position his fingers away from the rotating saw blade. For these reasons, the featherboard is an indispensable accessory for delicate and detailed edge forming, rabbeting, and grooving operations.
Another advantage of using featherboard is it can raise the level of safety a notch when operating power-cutting tools. It has angled fingers that apply gentle pressure on the stock, allowing it to move with ease in the cutting direction while it prevents reverse movement of the wood piece.
Most table saws nowadays come with anti-kickback pawls and riving knives. It will be good to note that featherboard is not a substitute for these two crucial accessories. But it does help in preventing kickbacks which can be risky to the operator. Another thing is that using a featherboard with a push stick will help reduce the wastage of timber.
Should You Make a DIY or Buy Your Featherboard?
Featherboards come in a wide variety of brands and models, and if you haven’t bought one, you can also make one for yourself. If you properly build your featherboard, it can handle various situations. You can make your featherboards if you’re not disposed to spend for a ready-made featherboard.
If you build it well, your self-made featherboard will work as well as any ready-made featherboards. Besides, if you make it yourself, you can save money.
You can make featherboards of various sizes for various usages and applications. It is not difficult to make. To make it, you can cut a series of kerfs on one side of a flat board. You can cut these kerfs at an angle on one end, and thus, you already have a featherboard.
Ready-made featherboards, however, are not expensive. So, if you don’t have enough time to engage in featherboard-making, you might as well go for a ready-made featherboard. Besides, shop-made featherboards tend to be less user-friendly than store-bought featherboards.
How Does Feather Board Works?
The lower part of the feather boards usually sits on the miter groove in most feather boards, and it locks tightly with the knobs on its top. This setup allows it to grasp or hold the wood with enough pressure against the saw fence.
The feather board will enable you to position your hand away from the wood’s side. Thus, the feather boards allow for a higher level of safety while letting you make a smoother cut.
How to Set Up the Feather Board?
The positioning or setting up of the feather board entails practice. If you position the feather board close to the fence, you might find it hard to feed the workpiece through. The workpiece also gets squashed between the accessory and the saw. Yet, placing the board far out will not give you enough pressure to hold the workpiece in the correct position.
To get the best position, you can measure about 1/8″ off the primary feather and then position this end against your stock. Afterward, you can attach your feather board parallel to your saw fence, achieving sufficient pressure for effective cutting.
Is It Possible to Rip Cut with a Feather Board?
The answer to this query is “Yes.” But you can do this if the feather board is sufficiently robust for holding the workpiece firmly. You don’t need to use more pressure, and ensure you feed the workpiece straight.
If you try to rip a long wood piece, and it does not go in well, the wood will likely move. Hence, some woodworkers use two feather boards to avoid this issue.
The feather-board is a valuable accessory that can enhance the quality of your cuts and the safety level of cutting. As a tool, it applies pressure against the wood or workpiece, keeping it firmly flat against the table saw or fence. As such, it is a very useful tool if you want to achieve quality cuts.
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.