For both amateur and pro woodworkers, the table saw system is the central piece in any woodworking shop. However, some models of the tables are just not suited for safe and accurate work.
Veering off course when cutting wood is a really unpleasant experience. That’s why accuracy is the number one priority when it comes to choosing a table saw fence.
A suitable table saw fence allows you to make perfect cuts and keeps you safe while working. You don’t want to have a fence that would require some second-guessing and extra measuring from you. It should also be a sturdy and steady one.
Tip. Furthermore, you can read more about Types of power saws and how to tell them apart.
In this article, we will cover some basic factors you should consider when choosing the best table saw fence in 2024. You will also see plenty of recommendations for different models you might select.
- 1 How to find the best table saw fence in 2024
- 2 The list of the best 9 table saw fences
- 2.1 1. Vega U26 Table Saw Fence (best overall)
- 2.2 2. Carter Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence (best for beginners)
- 2.3 3. Shop Fox W1410 Fence (one of the best by price)
- 2.4 4. Shop Fox W2005 Classic fence with standard rails
- 2.5 5. Delta 36-T30T3 30-Inch Fence System
- 2.6 6. Vega U50 Table Saw Fence System
- 2.7 7. Wixey WR700 1500mm/60″ Digital saw fence readout
- 2.8 8. Dewalt DW745 Table saw replacement fence assembly
- 2.9 9. Delta BC50T2 Table Saw fence (Premium Choice)
- 3 Conclusion
How to find the best table saw fence in 2024
First, let’s look at these key factors below before considering the different table saw fence market options.
Manual and electric fences
There are manual and automatic table saw fences on the market.
If you cut large quantities of wood every day (e.g., if you’re executing orders regularly), then electric models are going to help you a lot. They can do the heavy lifting for you, so you save your stamina in order to cut more. Electric fences also allow you to cut more accurately because you can switch between measurements quickly.
Manual saw fences are generally cheaper, though. Many woodworkers choose manuals because they enjoy pushing wood along the blade with their own hands. It does give some satisfaction.
Manual saw fences are generally cheaper though. Many woodworkers choose manuals because they enjoy pushing wood along the blade with their own hands. It does give some satisfaction.
It’s up to you to decide which type of fence will suit your needs best.
Types of table saw fences
There are many types of table saw fences out there. But these four are the most common ones:
The Sliding Fence. Sliding fences are usually found on sliding table saws. As the name suggests, this fence slides back and forth and lets your miter gauge make precise cuts on the right side of the blade. It can also be put parallel to the blade to form a lower profile. It is really useful when cutting thin boards.
The T-Square Fence. This type of fence has a three-point locking system which allows you to keep your position and stability even when working with heavy boards.
Micro-adjusters. These fences offer you the ability to adjust your fence by turning a knob. You don’t have to manually adjust your fence with these.
Digital Readouts. Digital readout fences are relatively new aftermarket tools that allow you to make the most accurate measurements.
Table saw size
Table saws have different dimensions, and your saw fence system is supposed to match the saw you have.
Some systems are more versatile than others and can fit on most saws. Other systems have their limitations and are designed to fit a particular saw size.
Some saws will only work on 27-inch tables, others will work on fences much longer (42-inch). One of the most common lengths is 36-inch. The size of the saw and the fence system will depend on the scope of the projects you’re planning to work on.
If you’re left-handed, you should definitely pay attention to the measurements of both sides of the blade. Many times there is enough space on the right side and not enough on the left, which can pose a problem.
Table saw fence weight
The right weight is also important when choosing the best table saw fence.
An average table saw can take dozens of pounds of weight, but it is not necessary. If your table saw fence is too heavy, it can put lots of excessive pressure on the table and even cause the surface to deform.
On the other hand, if the fence is too light, it can break with just a little push. You also will not be able to clamp heavy boards with it.
So, the optimal weight range for fence systems is between 30 to 50 pounds.
This range allows you to avoid damaging your table saw or fragile accessories like a miter gauge and keep your heavy boards in place.
If your table saw and fence come in one set together, then they will fit each other perfectly.
But if you got your existing table saw separately and you want to buy a suitable fence on your own, then you should take measurements. You should know the exact length of your table as well as the model and hole pattern.
This way you will make sure that you buy the right fence system.
The rip fence capacity of your fence system will depend on the size of your projects. If you’re planning to cut large logs and boards, then don’t hesitate and buy a fence with a large rip size.
This way you won’t have to spend extra hundreds of dollars on a new fence system in several years!
Also, if you need to handle huge boards, you can pick a fence with extended rails which enhances the rip fence capacity.
Ease of install
The ideal fence system shouldn’t be difficult to set up. The difficulty of a product’s installation depends on several factors:
- Whether it is a set with a table saw, fence, or just one aftermarket table saw;
- Whether the table saw and fence are made by the same brand;
- Whether the table saw fence manufacturer made their product ‘universal’ or not.
Again, if you’re buying a set, then there should be no problems installing it. The table saw and the fence will be ready for use in just half an hour.
If the aftermarket table saw fence and the table saw were both made by the same brand, you will have an easier time installing them as well.
Ease of use
When choosing a fence, pay attention to the controls: you need to have easy access to a single-handed cam or lever. Front-locking fences allow you to operate the controls with only one hand.
Smooth-rolling is also important. Using the fence becomes more difficult if you have to do extensive shimming or lubricating in order to make the movements smooth enough.
Beginner and replacement fences might be cheaper than $100, but a good and reliable table saw fence will cost you about $100-$400.
Replacement table saw fences are short-term stand-ins, that’s why they are relatively cheap.
Common advantages of a table saw fence
Improved accuracy: a fence locks the wood piece in place so you can achieve accurate cuts. It also means you can create more delicate pieces;
Efficiency: by making more precise cuts you have fewer failed wood pieces. This means you spend less time and energy while perfecting your pieces.
The list of the best 9 table saw fences
Here is a collection from which you can pick your best table saw fence!
This fence is probably the most sought-after table saw fence on the market, and that is for a good reason.
It is versatile and can be used with various table saws. The Vega system includes front and rear standard rails for mounting the fence. The fence bar is 36 inches long, which is a good size for both hobbyists and professional woodworkers.
The fence gives you plenty of space to make rips of different sizes – the rip size is 26 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left. However, the U26 is not meant for heavy projects.
The weight is over 30 pounds, but that is due to the fence parts being made of solid steel. The fence can be adjusted to a wide range of saws. But you might have to drill some extra mounting holes in order to install it properly on your exact model.
The U26 also has a fine-adjust for dialing measurements. The fence is really sturdy and doesn’t budge when locked into place. You won’t have to worry about distance changes or other shallow things.
This fence is often claimed to be the best table saw fence out there.
If you’re just getting started in woodworking, this table saw fence will be perfect for you.
Most other fences use clamps, locking systems, and other devices for holding the boards in place. The Carter Magfence has two powerful magnets for this purpose.
These magnets are suited to almost any metal surface, which makes it easier for newbies.
You don’t even have to drill extra holes for installation! You just need to place the fence on your table, and the magnets will hold it in place.
The Carter Magfence is 16 inches long and 3-1/2 inches in height, and it has several T-slots.
This fence is well-suited to smaller projects.
This Shop Fox model has ball-bearing guides that enable really smooth rolling motion. The fine-positioning knobs on both sides allow you to dial in the distance no matter which side your wood piece is mounted on. The handle clamps are tight enough to hold the boards nicely.
The rip fence capacity is 25 inches, which is enough for most cuts. The fence can fit table saws of up to 27 inches, and it’s not going to work for the larger table saws.
The Shop Fox fence has a pretty reasonable price too – it is lower than those of the competitors. But it does not mean that it feels cheap – it is one of the best table saw fences at such a price.
You will have to drill some holes when mounting it, though.
The Shop Fox W2005 Classic fence comes with standard rails as an upgrade. It is more pricey than the previous saw fence by Shop Fox, but you get an enhanced version for that price.
The fence includes a single-locking cam action lever which gives you the possibility to securely lock rips using only one hand. Accurate cuts for your complex designs are guaranteed.
The fence is universal so you can use it with most table saws.
The fence is 42 inches, with a maximum rip capacity of 25 inches to the right. It is sufficient for most small- and medium-scale projects. You might have to drill some extra holes in order to install it.
Customers often note the awful packaging of this Shop Fox heavy unit. It is shipped in Styrofoam which usually gets destroyed by the time the package is delivered, so the fence might be damaged.
There are three reasons for the Shop Fox W2005 low ranking, though, which are its price, weak saw blade, and awful packaging.
The Delta 36-T30T3 fence system has a three-point locking mechanism with twin hairline pointers which offers accuracy within 1/64 of an inch.
The fence provides stability for your projects. It is achieved by the hook mechanism over the rear rails and the secure clamping points at the front tube. They also allow you to add additional attachments.
The fence movement is pretty smooth. It is also pretty secure and you will see no budging even after you rip lots of boards.
The main disadvantage of the saw fence is that it fits on 27 inch table saws only. The system can be used on either side of the blade. You will probably need to drill some holes for mounting it.
Overall, this is a great saw fence if you have a 27-inch table saw.
This is a great solution for experienced woodworkers working on large projects.
This Vega Pro unit is meant to fit into table hole patterns of brands like Powermatic 66, Contractor Saws, Delta Unisaw, and Sears 10-inch saws. If your table saw comes from one of these brands, then the setup will be way easier and faster.
The Vega Pro table saw fence has a fence bar of 36 inches and a rip capacity of 50 inches. This includes the rip capacity of 50 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left. The fence also has guiding rails which are supported by brackets for more stability.
There’s some room for micro-adjustments with the aux table support. Those will give you more precise cuts.
This is a special kind of fence.
The Wixey table saw fence is even larger than the Vega Pro – it’s 60 inches long! It is made of sturdy aluminum and can be installed on most rails. This is made possible by the universal mounting bracket.
But the best feature of this saw fence is the digital readout. It uses Precise Fraction Technology to give accurate measurements. The accuracy reaches 0.002 inches/foot. When you finish the measurements, you can review them later, thanks to the calibration maintenance.
If you already own a 10-inch Dewalt table saw, this saw fence will act perfectly as a replacement.
The replacement saw fence is made of aluminum and weighs just two pounds. The rip capacity of this unit is 20 inches. You can quickly install it into your Dewalt table until you find your next long-term table saw fence. Despite its low price, the DW745 allows you to make precise cuts and is pretty durable.
All of these things make this product a great starting point for beginners who are not working with large rips yet.
This is also one of the larger table saw fences for a high price. If you need maximum rip capacity and don’t care how much it will cost, then this option is for you.
The rail system is 50 inches long – that includes a right side rip of 34 inches and a left side rip of 16 inches.
The high-quality Biesemeyer fence has rugged steel construction and a three-point locking system we have talked about before, which all make a reliable fence.
Fine-adjusting knobs are not present in this product, it includes a hairline pointer instead. The pointer allows you to easily see your measurements and make fine adjustments.
Now you know the factors and details which you need to pay attention to when looking for good fence systems.
You also have plenty of options to choose from. Overall, experts usually choose the Vega U26 saw fence. It is one of the best fence models out there indeed.
One of the best fences by price is the Shop Fox W1410. It does not feel cheap at all – it has smooth-rolling bearings, fine positioning knobs, and other features that make your rips straight and precise. There’s also an alternative Shop Fox fence – the Shop Fox W2005 model.
If you’re not bothered by the price, you can consider the Delta Power Equipment Corporation BC50T2 – a premium unit with many advantages. Large rip capacity, multiple mounting options, and versatility totally justify the cost.
We hope you found this article helpful and got some new ideas from it!
My name is Alex Mashinsky
I am an enthusiastic woodworking hobbyist who created topwoodworkingtools.com to provide helpful information and advice to fellow woodworkers.
The goal of the website is to help readers make informed decisions about woodworking tools and materials, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that they achieve the best possible results from their projects.
My main focus is on offering accurate, honest, and well-reasoned opinions and advice to help readers choose the most suitable tools and materials for their particular needs.