Table saw fences are invaluable when it comes to rip-cutting and cross-cutting lumber. Without a table saw fence, you are going to struggle with the most basic cuts.
They increase safety, make your table saw easier to use, and provide you with a method to make accurate cuts.
We look at the best table saw fences to give you the lowdown on which one you should buy.
- Trusted brand
- Value for money
- Easy to install
- Rip capacity
- Easy install
- Three-point locking
- Good compatibility
- Ball bearing sliders
- Almost universal
- Easy installation
- Instant fit
- Simple to use
- Long-lasting battery
- Digital Readout
- Easy to use
- Single locking cam handle
- Easy to operate
- Fits variety of saws
- Easy install
- Rock solid precision
- Adjusts easily
- 457mm miter gauge length
- Loaded ball bearings
What Is a Table Saw Fence System?
Table saw fence systems help to guide material and workpieces when making rip and cross-cuts. They keep the workpiece in place, ensuring it doesn’t move when cutting. Fences are an essential part of a table saw and make the table safer to use.
Don’t listen to those dyed-in-the-wool woodworkers who tell you a table saw fence is a waste of time. Let them be the ones to freestyle their cuts and lose fingers or worse.
A table saw gives you the ability to make cuts accurately, controlling the length and size of each cut. This is called the rip capacity. By removing the fence system, the cut will almost certainly no longer be straight.
They are especially useful when cutting longer workpieces or sheet material, where the size and shape may be awkward to handle. A fence enables you to control the material by applying force as you feed it towards the blade.
Benefits of Using a Table Saw Fence
In 2010, it was estimated that over 700,000 table saws were in use in the US (1). So, it seems the general public is sold on the benefits of using a table saw, but what about you?
Accuracy is vital when working on any construction or project. A table saw fence increases your efficiency because it locks the workpiece in place, ensuring that cuts are correctly aligned. It also enables you to dictate the thickness of the cut.
Once you set up the table saw to the desired rip capacity, you can fly with the work. Each cut will be precise, removing the need for you to keep checking your measurements. It means you can get the job done in half the time.
This improvement in productivity is a significant advantage if you are embarking on a major building project and have a ton of wood to get through.
Saves You Money
A table saw fence saves you money because you won’t make as many mistakes. Every cut will be exactly to the standard and measurement you want. Once you set it up correctly, you can get through a lot of cuts in a short period.
Using a table saw fence is safer than not. It reduces kickback because you can apply steady pressure on the material as you feed it towards the blade. It also reduces accidents because it keeps the workpiece in one place rather than freehand cutting, which leaves you at the mercy of the table saw blade.
To put it simply: if you want to keep hold of your limbs, get a table saw fence.
How to Choose the Best Table Saw Fence
Many elements make the perfect table saw fence, and often the number one priority will differ from person to person. We discuss the things you should be looking for when considering a new table saw fence.
Is the Fence Parallel?
The whole point of a table saw fence is that it’s parallel to the table saw blade. If the fence is off-center, so is every cut you make. Even the smallest inaccuracy can lead to a catastrophic effect on the project.
We set out in a subheading below how to check the alignment of your table saw fence.
The fence has to remain rigid the whole time you use it. It if flexes or moves in any way, you can kiss accurate cuts goodbye.
The best material is good old steel, but you typically get them on the heavy-duty professional table saws. Steel is solid, weighty, and unlikely to warp.
Most fences on woodshop table saws are constructed from aluminum or a mixture of steel and aluminum.
A good rule of thumb would be to check the fence for its weight. If it feels flimsy, it is probably a cheaply made fence.
Easy to Install
The new fence should be simple to install on your table saw. You should always double-check your table saw’s compatibility when shopping for accessories. It’s impossible for every fence and table saw to be completely compatible, so expect to drill some new holes when you line it up.
This means you will be making adjustments, which could get a little complicated if you’re not a seasoned pro.
If you are a novice woodworker, try looking for a table saw fence with a front clamp rather than a front and rear. It enables the fence to fit any size table. And if you can get one with a T-bar, even better. The T-bar increases the rigidity of the fence and stops it from moving during operation.
Ease of Use
The fence has to be easy to master and quick to set up. Spending an hour doing this is not going to be ideal, especially when you are up against time constraints. Also, during use, if the fence needs to be adjusted, this action needs to be swift too. Look for a fence that has a simple locking cam that operates with one hand.
Front locking fences are ideal for one-handed operation. They free up your other hand for other tasks.
Table Saw Size
Table saw fences come in various sizes, as do table saws. It depends on the length of the fence and how it attaches to the table. Some fences have a maximum span of 27 inches, while others reach as far as 50 inches.
Professional cabinet table saws have the widest span, and are best equipped to handle the most substantial material sizes. Portable table saws, on the other hand, are more effective in smaller settings.
Rip size varies enormously between table saw fences. If you are cutting more extensive material, you will need a table saw fence that extends on rails or a cabinet saw with increased capacity. This gives you the ability to cut larger sheet material.
Before buying a table saw fence, you should first decide what you intend to use the table saw for.
Manual or Electric?
Some table saw fences have digital readouts. These give you super-accurate measurements using “Precise Fraction Technology.” Others rely on a simple gauge. Which you prefer is a matter of personal choice.
The Best Table Saw Fences of 2022
Here is our breakdown of the top table saw fences you can buy.
1. DeWALT DW745 Table Saw Fence
DeWALT had to feature somewhere in this rundown of table saw fences. This fence feels lightweight because it is constructed from aluminum. However, it should withstand the rigors of your small woodshop.
This product is not a universal fence as it only fits the DeWALT 10-inch DW745 table saw, which is a portable and compact model. For that reason, you don’t get the highest rip capacity, at just 20 inches.
That said, if you own the DeWALT portable table saw, it may work for you. You most likely already have a small workspace or want the maneuverability of the saw rather than the rip capacity.
Great Brand Name
DeWALT is one of those brand names that America loves. They are a household name and have been making quality products for generations. No job site is complete without a DeWALT power tool.
On the one hand, it is a lot cheaper than some premium brands like Vega, but on the other, the price-tag is high considering that it is essentially a strip of aluminum. In the end, we decided it was a plus point.
Easy to Install
It replaces the old fence on the DW745 table saw, so it comes with everything to swap them over. There is no need to make adjustments or drill new holes. It’s a like for like scenario.
While the fence is constructed from lightweight aluminum and can take what you throw at it, the clamp ends are less robust. Treat them with care if you want to avoid buying a second or third replacement saw fence.
DeWALT only makes this fence available for the DeWALT DW745 10-inch table saw, so don’t expect it to fit universally.
|Rip capacity||20 inches|
2. Vega Pro 50 Table Saw Fence System
Ask any pro-woodworker or carpenter what table saw fence they’d like, and we’re pretty sure Vega would be near the top of the list. This Pro 50 is the larger of the models, at 42 inches, but you can buy the smaller 36-inch version.
So, why is this fence our favorite? At 42 inches, it allows for longer rip cuts, and the rip capacity is 50 inches. Installing this fence shouldn’t take any longer than 15 minutes. Plus, because it fits Delta Unisaw, Contractor, and Powermatic 10-inch saws, there is no drilling required.
This Vega fence system also has micro-adjustments to make sure that you are 100% accurate with your cuts. The only downside is the price; it is very expensive, costing more than some entire table saws. That said, you know this fence is quality, and you always get what you pay for.
If you are working on larger pieces of lumber or sheet material, this rip fence gives you 42 inches of length and 50 inches of rip capacity. That means this saw fence is at home on bulk projects and heavy-duty construction.
This fence has micro-adjustability. So if you are working on a precision workpiece, this fence can handle it. Cabinet makers will also benefit from this table saw fence.
Because this fence is compatible with Delta Unisaws, Contractor, and Powermatic saws, it shouldn’t take any longer than 15 minutes to install. There is also no need to drill any holes.
This thing is eye-wateringly expensive. At this price, you should rightfully expect quality, and this Vega fence delivers.
However, because of the costs, only pro or semi-pro woodworkers are going to be interested. It will be beyond the reach of the average hobbyist.
|Rip capacity||50 inches|
|Compatibility||Delta Unisaw, Contractor, Powertec|
3. Delta 36-T30T3 30-Inch Fence System
This Delta fence and rail system has a three-point locking system with twin hairline pointers. This is to ensure that the fence is always parallel to the saw blade. It is accurate to within 1/64 of an inch.
It has an easy-gliding steel tubular body that allows quick and precise adjustments to speed along your project. This fence system is compatible with Delta, Contractor, Unisaws, and hybrid table saws.
It has a rip capacity of 30 inches, and the tubes are steel, with the fence being aluminum.
The steel tubes are robust and easy to use. The fence is constructed from heavy-duty aluminum to take the rigors of woodshop life.
The three-point locking system enables you to adjust the fence always to be parallel to the saw blade. It also means that it is super-accurate.
This fence system is compatible with Delta saws, Contractor saws, hybrid saws, and Unisaws. If you own one of these models, this would be a great buy.
This fence and rail system is not cheap to buy. It will set you back almost the same price as an entirely new compact table saw. For this reason, we think that the professionals and more seasoned woodworkers will like this fence.
|Rip capacity||30 inches|
|Compatibility||Delta, Unisaw, Contractor, Hybrid saws|
4. Shop Fox W1410 Fence with Standard Rails
For all you cabinet makers out there, this Shop Fox fence and rail system is a great purchase. It slides on ball bearings, so the adjustment motion is very smooth. It means that if you want to make precise cuts, like the ones used in furniture making, this fence has you covered.
It was a close contender for the fence and rail system award.
It fits most 27-inch table saws and has fine positioning knobs on both sides for left and right-handed use. Again, the knobs were another feature that made this fence stand out to the cabinet makers.
Ball Bearing Sliders
This fence and rail system has ball bearings to ensure that when it slides in and out, the action is super-smooth. It means that you don’t have to battle with the fence when adjusting it.
This fence and rail system is compatible with almost every 27-inch table saw on the market. It makes this the go-to choice if you are unsure if a specific fence will fit. By choosing this model, you can almost guarantee it will.
Having a table saw fence that is easy to install is a real bonus. Some universal fences require drilling and adjusting, but not this one.
Shop Fox makes good quality products, and that means the price for this fence is high. It retails at more than some compact table saws, so think carefully before you buy. Do you need something this expensive and are you likely to get your money’s worth out of it?
|Rip capacity||22 inches|
|Compatibility||Most 27-inch table saws|
5. Carter Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence
This Carter Magfence is something different. Unlike most table saw fences, this version uses powerful magnets to hold the fence in position. It sticks to almost any non-ferrous metal surfaces, making this the ideal product for beginners.
You needn’t panic that this fence isn’t going to be compatible with your set up, which saves you wasted dollars in expense. It’s also simple to use. Place it on the tabletop, and it clamps into position magnetically.
It measures 16 inches long and 3-½ inches tall. It also has multiple T-slots. For novices, this table fence is ideal because it requires zero adjustment holes to be drilled and fits almost any table.
Drop it down on the table surface, and it’s ready to go. Magnetic force holds it in place until you need to adjust or remove it.
Simple to Use
If you are new to table saws and fences, this could be the answer to your dreams. What could be easier to use, and it frees up time for you to get used to how a fence works.
This table saw fence fits almost anything with a metal surface. Drop it down, adjust it, and you’re ready to start sawing.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Once you have mastered how to use this beginners’ fence, graduate to something more substantial. Magnets are no substitute for clamps that firmly grip the fence in place. If you try cutting heavier lumber with this fence, it is likely to move, which means your cuts are inaccurate.
Not for Serious Woodworkers
Experienced woodworkers and carpenters would sneer at this fence. It isn’t robust enough to withstand heavy-duty rigors of the woodshop.
|Rip capacity||No limits as it depends on your table saw|
|Compatibility||Almost every table saw with a non-ferrous surface|
6. Wixey WR700 Saw Fence Digital Readout
This Wixey table saw fence offers something a little different to the norm. The 60-inch saw fence is made from aluminum and has a universal mounting bracket that fits most rails.
However, the readout is digital. It utilizes patent-pending “Precise Fraction Technology” to give you the most accurate measurements of any fence. Its magnetic attachments allow you to remove the fence but maintain calibration.
The battery lasts for up to two years, and the display is clear to read.
This digital readout mounts on any table saw, so whatever the make, you can ensure your saw fence is set correctly.
With two-year battery life, you can rely on the Wixey giving you plenty of hassle-free service.
Needs to be Recalibrated
It needs recalibrating often. It is a wise idea to do this every week to make sure you maintain accuracy.
The rails that attach with brackets to the table saw are made from plastic and feel cheaply made. This is important because should you knock the display, it could easily fall and crack the screen.
7. Shop Fox Aluma Classic Fence
Shop Fox feature again with this classic table saw fence. It measures 57 inches and allows for maximum rip cuts of 30 inches. This model clamps from the front, making it a universal table saw fence.
The body of the rail is steel and aluminum to make it robust but lightweight. The single locking cam lever means that it is easy to adjust for making swift changes.
It clamps at the front, so it fits almost any type and size of table saw. It takes the guesswork out of choosing the right fence.
This table saw fence is constructed from steel and aluminum to make it both lightweight and strong. It won’t flex like some table saw fences.
Ease of Use
They don’t come much easier to use than this. It operates via a cam lock handle at the front of the fence. It can adjust and lock with one hand, freeing you up to concentrate on other things.
As we’ve said on previous occasions, the best table saw fences are expensive. This model is no exception. However, quality costs and this fence is very high quality. The price-tag puts this saw fence out of the reach of most DIY enthusiasts.
|Rip capacity||30 inches|
|Material||Steel and aluminum|
8. Ryobi RTS 10 10-Inch Table Saw Fence
As far as the budget table saw fences go, this one is the king. It retails at 18 times less than the best table saw fence overall, the Vega Pro. So, our expectations are not too high regarding the quality of this fence.
The thing to remember about this Ryobi fence is that it replaces the fence on a Ryobi RTS 10-inch table saw. It isn’t a universal product and has limited use.
It is constructed from aluminum and measures 20 inches long, so don’t expect substantial rip cuts with this fence. There is a single locking cam handle to make operating this fence easier with one hand.
To think that this fence costs little more than a few cocktails at your favorite bar is incredible. It almost seems too good to be true.
Unless you own a Ryobi RTS 10-inch table saw, don’t buy this product. It won’t fit any other table saw.
Build Quality Issues
This fence suffers from the fact it is so cheap. The manufacturer has almost created a throw-away product by cutting back on the quality to lower the price. That said, if you are trying to keep to a budget, this saw fence will produce some decent results.
|Rip capacity||30 inches|
|Compatibility||Ryobi 10-inch table saw|
|Material||Steel and aluminum|
9. Vega U26 Table Saw Fence System
With a strong steel construction and aluminum extrusions, this professional-grade system is a tough and durable choice. Vega has chosen high-quality materials to ensure the product is one of the best on the market. Coated with lovely epoxy, this has a genuine finish that will uphold over years to come.
In fact, all parts are reliable. The front and rear guide rails, fence bar, mounting brackets, jacking plates and read hold down bracket are all made with fantastic materials and construction.
Fits Variety of Saws
This has been designed to work with a range of saws. This includes Delta Unisaws, contractor’s saws, POwermatic Model 66 and most Sears 10-inch saws. So if you’ve got one of those — then this is a great choice.
When this arrives, you’ll be chuffed with how easy it is to install. Customers said it took around one hour, but as little as 15 minutes. That’s one of the great features of this system. What makes it so easy? Well, there are existing bolt holes so no drilling is required. There are also slotted front brackets, jacking plates, and great instructions.
Rock Solid Precision
What customers love most about this system is how precise it is. If you’re after to-the-millimeter cuts, then this is an option to definitely consider. Plus, the materials are rock solid and very stable, so you won’t have to deal with wobbly or unreliable balance.
Swinging When Locking
A few customers found the system’s tail end swinged when locked. This can mess up your measurements slightly, but just enough to be a nuisance.
|Rip capacity||26 inches|
|Compatibility||Delta Unisaws, contractor’s saws, Powermatic Model 66 and Sears 10-inch saws|
|Material||Steel and aluminum|
10. O'skool 457mm Miter Gauge Fence System
The O’skool is one of the most universal table saw fences around. It fits most bench tools, since it has a standard 19 x 9.5mm track, and a 3.175m T slot. Even if your saw doesn’t have a T slow, you can remove the locking washer to ensure it fits.
With this, you’ll find making precise crosscuts is easier than ever. The solid steel protractor head has positive stops at seven different angles on both sides — 13 in total. You can use this for basically any woodwork project since these are the most common cutting angles.
Adjusting the head is easy. Loosen the post knob handle, pull the indexing pin out, rotate the head to the preferred angle, release the pin and lock it into place.
Miter Gauge Length
The 457mm fence is the perfect miter gauge length. Plus, it has a flip-up length stop if you want to make repetitive cuts. The high-quality, effective and easy-to-use fence table will make most woodworking projects a breeze, especially if you’re doing crosscuts.
Loaded Ball Bearings
Customers love the four sprung loaded ball bearings. These make a huge difference to the usability of this table saw fence. The steel miter bar hosts the ball bearings on the side, and they can be adjusted with the hex key wrench to keep the bar snug in the track.
Watch out for the miter gauge scratching at your saw. This is a common problem for customers. Ideally, there would be some sort of coating on the miter gauge, but unfortunately, there isn’t. Some customers have added their own to eliminate the issue.
|Rip capacity||18 inches|
|Compatibility||Universal fit, for most bench tools|
|Vega Pro 50 Fence||Overall||50″||42″||Delta Unisaw, Contractor, Powertec||Aluminum|
|DeWALT DW745||Small Shops||20″||30″||DeWALT DW745||Aluminum|
|Delta 36-T30T3 Fence System||Fence & Rail System||30″||37″||Delta Unisaw, Contractor, Hybrid saws||Aluminum|
|Shop Fox W1410 Fence||Cabinet Making||22″||50″||Most 27-inch table saws||Aluminum|
|Carter Magfence II||Beginners||No limits||16″||Non-ferrous table saw||Powder-coated aluminum|
|Wixey WR700 Saw Fence||Value For Money||N/A||60″||Universal||Plastic|
|Shop Fox Aluma Fence||Aftermarket||30″||57″||Universal||Steel & aluminum|
|Ryobi RTS 10 Table Saw Fence||Budget Pick||30″||20″||Ryobi 10-inch table saw||Steel & aluminum|
|Vega U26 Table Saw||Quality||26″||36″||Delta Unisaw, Contractor, Powermatic||Steel and aluminum|
|O’skool 457mm Miter Gauge||Universal Fence||18″||19.7″||Universal||Aluminum|
How to Use a Table Saw Fence
Table saw fences run parallel with the blade, typically on the right-hand side. They are clamped either at the front or the front and rear. To adjust the fence, simply release the cam levers, and the fence is free to move.
Running along the table are miter grooves set at popular preset measurements, as indicated on the gauge. Where you choose to place the fence is up to you and should be determined by the size of the workpiece.
Simply slide the fence towards the blade for narrower rips, or away if you are cutting sheet material. Make sure that you clamp all available cam levers in place, or the fence will move during operation.
Make sure that you exert forward pressure when pushing the material towards the blade, pressing into the fence to give you stability. As the blade cuts the material, keep that force up, and feed the workpiece through.
As you near the blade, use a push stick to avoid coming into contact with the saw blade.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Make My Table Saw Fence Accurate?
Set the fence at 2 inches and cut a 20-inch long strip of three-quarter inch thick fiberboard. Then, cut it into five pieces measuring 5 inches long. Take all five strips and stack them edge to edge.
If it measures 10 inches, you have an accurate table saw fence. This method works because it takes into account cumulative error rather than single inaccuracies. You are more likely to notice five errors rather than one.
How to Make Sure My Table Saw Fence is Straight?
To check that the fence is straight, use a straight edge and check that the front and back of the fence align with the miter slot. If you get different measurements, the fence is not straight.
A more accurate way to check would be to align the blade with the miter slot. And then check the distance between the front and back of the fence to the blade.
Time To Think
How to Upgrade a Table Saw Fence?
Many people are happy with their table saw, but not the fence. You can upgrade your fence easily, using cuts of wood. Decide what rip capacity you want, as well as length. By cutting a strip of wood and screwing the table saw to the wood, you increase its capacity.
If you want to increase the height and rigidity of your table saw fence, but don’t have the dollars to buy a new fence, try building a basic box shape for the fence to sit in.
Don’t Sit on the Fence
Never underestimate that a fence is one of the most critical elements of your table saw. Without it, the saw is more dangerous, less accurate, and less efficient. If you are embarking on a building project, and working with lumber, a table saw is going to be your best friend.
Our only advice is that you should never make freehand cuts when using the table saw if you want to keep hold of your fingers. Install a fence at all times.