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Few things are more frustrating than feeding a board through a table saw only to have it veer off course, resulting in a less-than-straight cut. Although most table saws come equipped with a rip fence, the stock units often leave much to be desired. If you’re tired of measuring the distance from your blade on the front and back every time you need to make an adjustment, then you may consider upgrading from the stock fence to something more reliable.
Your fence needs to be smooth so it doesn’t cause your wood to catch. It must also be very secure and accurate. There shouldn’t be any second-guessing or having to measure each time you move it. The fence should never budge while in use.
So, which fences can live up to these expectations? We’ve tested as many as we could find, and the following 10 reviews are the fences we’d most highly recommend.
|Shop Fox W1410|
|Delta 847962005250||2 Years||4.3/5|
|Shop Fox W2005||4.2/5|
The Vega U26 is almost certainly the most sought-after table saw fence on the market. Designed for a variety of different table saws, this system includes the front and rear rails for mounting the fence. With a rip size of 26 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left, you get plenty of space for making rips of different sizes.
The U26 has mounting options available to accommodate a wide variety of saws; however, you may need to drill some new holes to mount it on your model. Otherwise, this is a smooth yet sturdy slide that makes it easy to nail down precision cuts. There is also a fine-adjust for dialing in exact measurements. It’s extremely secure, and once you lock the fence into place, it isn’t going to budge. You can make as many cuts as you’d like without worrying about your distance changing.
Although it’s a higher-end product, several of the parts had metal burrs from manufacturing. Not a deal-breaker, but it was the one downside of this fence that we noticed.
Having a good rip fence is important, but top-of-the-line fence systems cost more than some table saws on the market! If you don’t want to spend more on the accessory than the tool, then you may consider the Shop Fox W1410 Fence with standard rails. The first thing you’ll notice is the very modest price compared to competitors, but this is a very secure and solid unit that doesn’t feel cheap in the least. With a rip size of 25 inches right of the blade, there should be plenty of space for most cuts.
Rolling movement is very smooth, thanks to the ball bearings. Fine-positioning knobs let you dial in your distance, and the handle clamps tight enough to hold it nice and steady through board after board. You may have to drill holes for mounting since it doesn’t have many options pre-drilled. Also, it only fits saws with tables up to 27 inches, so it’s not going to work for the larger saws.
Overall, we think the Shop Fox W1410 is the best table saw fence for the money.
The Delta BC50T2 fence and rail system is for woodworkers who want maximum rip capacity and don’t care how much it costs. The “50-inch” refers to the length of the rail system. Once mounted, this equates to a right side rip of 34 inches, and a left rip of 16 inches—an impressive range, indeed. Of course, you’ll pay for that flexibility. Part of the price is because of its high-end Biesemeyer fence. With a rugged steel construction and a three-point locking system that secures it in place, this is a reliable fence that is built to very exact tolerances for a perfect slide.
Although it doesn’t have fine adjust knobs, it does have a hairline pointer so you can easily see your measurement to make fine adjustments. On the other hand, this system can be mounted to accommodate right-handed and left-handed cutting options, allowing you to dial it in to your exact preferences.
This high-quality but affordable fence system from Delta Power Equipment has one major drawback: it can only be used on a 27-inch table saw. You may need to drill some new holes to make it fit on your saw, but it can be made to work on most 27-inch table saws. The fence moves smoothly, and once locked in place, it’s very secure and won’t budge even after dozens of boards are ripped. This system can be used on either side of the blade and has measuring tape all the way across. Ours lined up square the first time, but there are two set screws you can use to adjust its position.
All in all, this is a great fence, and it would rank higher on this list if it could be used on a wider variety of tables.
With smooth operation and a simple lift-off design, the Classic Fence with standard rails from Shop Fox is a very capable rip fence, though it’s also rather pricey. The cam-action lever locks securely with one-handed operation. This fence system is versatile and can be mounted on almost any table saw. The fence is 42 inches, so it should fit most tables.
Once installed, the standard rails allow for a 25-inch max rip to the right of the blade, plenty for most cuts. If you need more, you’ll have to look for a fence system with extended rails. The mounting holes lined up just fine on our saw, but that may change from model to model. It’s possible you’ll have to drill some new mounting holes to make it fit.
Terrible packaging keeps this fence from rising higher on the list. This is a heavy unit shipped in Styrofoam that was absolutely destroyed by the time it was delivered. Ours didn’t get damaged, but not everybody will be as lucky.
Also, the instructions were not very clear and important information was missing, such as what distance from the blade to install the rails.
Capable of a 30-inch rip to the right and a 12-inch rip to the left, this Biesemeyer table saw fence system from Delta can be installed on almost any table saw. The fence itself is 42 inches, plenty of length for even large table saws, though it works just as well on shallow models. One thing to note about this fence system is the price—much higher than most of its competitors.
Biesemeyer was the pinnacle of table saw fence systems a few years ago, but it seems that quality control may be slipping. On the kit we got, the holes didn’t line up, so we had to drill new ones to install. Although the fence itself is constructed from steel, the outer edges are plywood. For the price, we were hoping for something that felt a bit more high-end.
For maximum rip capacity without paying top dollar, the Shop Fox W1720 has a 50-inch cut to the right of the blade, thanks to the long 79-inch rails. Fortunately, the long rails are supported by included leg stands. However, we found they were a bit too short for our saw, which made them unusable. That’s a definite drawback. This is compounded by the fact that the rails are a bit thin, so you really want that support, especially if you plan on using the full 50-inch rip capacity.
The W1720 is a heavy-duty unit that fits most table saws. The cursor is magnified to see your measurements for precise positioning, and the one-hand locking lever makes operation simple and quick for new cuts. If the rails had better support, we’d recommend this unit. Otherwise, there are better products on the market for roughly the same price.
The Shop Fox W2006 fence system includes long 7-foot rails to allow for a maximum rip of 54 inches to the right of the blade, though it’s not intended to be used to the left side. This is one of the widest rip measurements available, a shining point for this fence. It claims to fit most table saws right out of the box and features a simple lift-off design for convenience. While it did fit our saw, it required drilling holes for the bolts, since the original holes didn’t line up. The rails have a nice-looking black powder coat finish that seems durable. Unfortunately, the one we received had a noticeable blemish from shipping, since it wasn’t packaged very well.
Constructed from 14-gauge steel, the BC30T2 is a strong and sturdy table saw fence system, though it seems overpriced. Once installed, we expected smooth movement. Out of the box, that’s not exactly what we got. It didn’t seem to roll very smoothly at all and did not properly align on the first install. After extensive shimming and adjusting, we got it to line up nicely and things started to improve. Once we did a little sanding and lubricating, this system delivered beautifully smooth action and an accurate cut. For the price though, we don’t think it should take this much extra work to make the fence function how it should.
After reading our reviews of the top ten table saw fence systems available, you may be wondering which features you should be prioritizing. Differences in rip size, ease of install, and more, all need to be considered before making a purchase.
Table saws come in different sizes, and so do their fence systems. While some systems are intended to be more universal and will fit on almost any sized saw, other systems are limited by the length of fence. Be sure to double-check what size saw your fence will work with. Some may only work on 27-inch tables, while others may have fences as long as 42 inches that latch in the front only, allowing them to be used on tables of any depth. Don’t worry, just because it doesn’t latch in the back doesn’t mean it will be any less sturdy.
If you do a lot of larger cuts, you may need a system with extended rails. Some of these offer rips of up to 54 inches wide, which is wider than most full-size sheets of wood. If you need the extra size, make sure to look for one of the extended rail systems. Other shorter systems have cut sizes of 25 inches or more, which will still rip a 4’ by 8’ sheet in half.
The abovementioned fence systems are designed to fit on a variety of different table saws, so some will require drilling of new holes. However, with so many table saws in existence, it would be impossible for manufacturers to account for the hole spacings. This means you’ll likely have to mark and drill your own holes to install the system on your particular saw. Also, some saws tended to line up nicely out of the box, while others required more shimming and adjusting. If you’re handy with tools, it’s probably not a problem.
Now you’ve got enough information to cut straight through the advertising and pick a table saw fence system that will rip your boards straight. After testing the best ones on the market for our reviews, our favorite was the Vega U26. Sturdy, strong, and accurate, with a 26-inch rip to the right of the blade, you get a very solid fence system that can be installed on almost any table saw.
For the budget-minded consumer, the Shop Fox W1410 is a low-cost alternative with smooth-rolling bearings, fine-positioning knobs, and a stable, locking fence that keeps your rips straight and accurate.
Finally, for those to whom money is no concern, the Delta Power Equipment Corporation BC50T2 is a premium offering with many great features. With a large rip size of 34 inches to the right and multiple mounting options for left-handed or right-handed users, this is one versatile table saw fence system that won’t disappoint.
With our buying guide, we are expecting that you can get the best aftermarket table saw fence for your needs! If you haven’t gotten yourself a table saw yet, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered in our popular reviews of the best table saws.