What is table saw rip capacity and why it matters?

In this material, we will learn what is table saw rip capacity. This parameter is one of the most important when it comes to selecting table saws. Consequently, it has the greatest influence on the price of the tool, so it is very significant to know all the details before making the final purchase of the table saws.

Now we are going to try to answer the questions that are going around, what is table saws rip capacity, we’ll find out what is the right tool for the job. Remember, running a successful business is all about the little things.

Table saw ripping capacity: in simple terms

By its very nature, the what is the table saw rip capacity on a table saw is simple enough to understand, so only inexperienced woodworkers may have difficulty. Rip capacity is often defined as the space between the edge of the saw’s surface and the edge of its fence.

To be objective, the term “sawing power” is more of a “marketing” term because, in reality, the rip capacity is not limited. To increase the overall rip capacity of a table saw, simply supplement it with a wider table or find a few helpers.

Please keep in mind that there is no limit to the power of the sweep saw either. Just remove the guards and the performance of the saw will increase in front of your eyes, but this solution will hurt the flatness of the cut. It will be much harder to hold a straight line, and any wrong movement can ruin the workpiece.

A great example that immediately comes to my mind to explain this phenomenon: for example, your saw is designed to cut pieces up to 20 inches, and you need to cut a 24-inch piece, then simply remove the guards, which allows such manipulation.

To compensate for an even cut, you can draw a strip on the plywood and cut along it, or you can simply create your fence to allow you to work on larger projects.

What is table saw rip capacity
Image source: https://canva.com

How do I know what bursting power is needed for a particular project?

I can’t name the optimal burst power that will fit most woodworking projects. Instead of a straight answer that doesn’t teach you how to make your own decisions, I’d rather ask some questions. By answering these questions, you will be able to understand the required saw power by eye. 

For example, a table saw with a common rip capacity of 24 inches is most likely sufficient for frame fabrication. This statement is about the width of the plywood that is used for most framing projects. This figure in plywood equals 4 feet, at the same time the length equals 8 feet. A 24-inch power saw is enough to work comfortably with this material.

For those woodworkers who are involved in making simpler products, this width of cut is not always needed. That’s why the best solution for such people would be a table saw with a 22-inch cut, or maybe even less. It already depends on the size of your projects, if they are not particularly large, you can choose a weaker saw.

Most portable table saws have a relatively low rip capacity, so you need to consider this feature if you are constantly on the move. Often the existing table on most saws is not very large, and this limits many possibilities. Therefore, the existing table is best upgraded.

Can I save money on table saws?

As practice shows, the price of tools for starting your own woodworking business is an incredibly important aspect. I made a comparison of several table saws that are very popular and concluded that the price almost always affects the maximum power of the saw.

You can also be convinced of this conclusion. All you have to do is go to any online table-saw store and set about the same price. If you compare all the devices in a certain price segment, you can see that their rip capacity is not very different.

Portable table saws typically have a powerful rip capacity, on which the price increase depends entirely. Of course, other aspects vary as well, but as practice shows, they don’t affect the price of a table saw much.

What is table saw rip capacity
Image source: https://canva.com

How to extend rip capacity on a table saw?

Nowadays, there are a huge number of methods to increase the ripping power of a table saw. Of course, among them are not the safest ways, but still.

Many methods of improving table saws involve adding or removing some parts. For example, the size of the table has a significant effect on the power of the table saw’s rip capacity, meaning that if you add an extra table from the side, the ripping capacity will increase by the eye.

Many tables saw manufacturers, to reduce tragic situations among table saw users, produce ready-made tables for certain models of saws that can simply be secured without risking your health. This option is one of the best, as it is the easiest, safest, and most practical, but not everyone has the extra money for an extra table.

Furthermore, while studying materials in open sources and talking to experienced woodworkers, I found the second most popular method. It consists of moving the guide rip fence one bolt or higher. This way you can increase the sliding capabilities of the fence itself.

I will soon be writing a separate article on this subject, as in addition to these two methods, I found other ways described by the woodworkers. There are a lot of them, and this article touches a little bit, not this issue. So, we will postpone the methods of increasing the rip capacity on the table saw for further discussion, but for now, let’s get back to the main topic.

What is the rip capacity of the saw to the right and left of the blade?

Many inexperienced woodworkers, when buying a table saw, wonder about the rip capacity parameter left and right of the saw blade. Absolutely every manufacturer is required to prescribe this parameter, so it is significant.

Often this parameter lies in the design features of the saw, which are not always unified. Therefore, the guards on the saw can almost always be connected to the left or right side of the saw, resulting in a slight change in power. In rare cases, however, the maximum rip capacity of the saw on both the left and right sides is the same.

Of course, most Dewalt table saws have the most rip capacity concentrated on the right side, so check with your manager before you buy. It’s just that many manufacturers use an accepted shape in their table saws that everyone is already used to.

Please remember that table saw manufacturers typically put on display exactly the maximum power of the tool, which can be obtained with the use of the rip fence. Naturally, it is not always possible to get such power, and using the saw at maximum power often leads to rapid wear and tear. 

That is why you should not believe these statements of table saw manufacturers, it is the average power of the tool that is much more important.

What is table saw rip capacity
Image source: https://canva.com

A rip capacity of stationary and portable saws

When choosing a saw for woodworking, it is necessary to take into account that they are divided into two types: portable and stationary. It is easy enough to understand the difference between them, but each of them has its technical features.

If you disassemble the stationary table saws, they are often larger than the portable ones, hence more powerful. However, from this comes a high price, which is much higher than that of a portable table saw.

Large table saws offer high rip capacity. That said, their price is not so affordable compared to portable saws. Keep in mind, however, that they are not suitable for frequent transportation, so you should only buy a stationary saw for a permanent workshop.

Another feature of portable saws worth noting is the low rip capacity. Typically, this indicator in popular models ranges between 20 and 24 inches, but some exceptions stand out with a bandwidth of 32 inches. However, for most tasks the required rip capacity is not particularly high, so overpayments are largely pointless.

Keep in mind that high rip power significantly affects the price of the saw, so professional table saws can cost up to $800.

How to know the rip capacity of your table saw

Many woodworkers, having bought a table saw and not understanding its characteristics, are surprised by its weak rip power. Of course, such an approach to the purchase of a tool for the woodworking shop is unacceptable, but what to do in such a case?

It is worth noting that many tables saw manufacturers hide the maximum rip capacity indicator of their product, as a consequence, you can’t find it even on the official website. That’s why I decided to dedicate a part of this article to this question.

More often than not, Home Depot has left and right-side rip capacity information. Often this section is at the bottom of the page in the saw specifications block, but it doesn’t always work.

Sometimes the information about the cutting capacity of a table saw is in other blocks, but it is frequently the Home Depot that is used for this purpose. Remember that every manufacturer is required to list the actual specifications of the saw’s ripping capacity.

What is table saw rip capacity
Image source: https://canva.com

How much rip capacity of table saws

A little earlier, we talked about how the rip capacity of cabinet table saws is an incredibly important parameter. Many novice woodworkers do not consider the maximum rip capacity of their tools. Of course, a table saw’s negligent approach often leads to frequent failures during projects.

When it comes to smaller rip capacity, many woodworkers consider this option to be the best while arguing that this solution has minimal differences, but this is a completely wrong opinion.

Remember, the rip capacity is very essential for safety while working with any wooden material, as well as a high success rate of the project. It is this parameter that indicates the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of cutting the workpiece.

What is table saw rip capacity: Conclusions

To summarize, I would like to remind every woodworker – buying the right tool is an essential part of running a successful business. That is why you should not be in a hurry to buy cabinet table saws because otherwise you may be faced with unreasonable expenses.

When choosing a cutting tool, be sure to consider your line of work. If you’re making small products, most table saws with a rip capacity of 20 inches will probably be enough for your purposes. If you are making frameworks, however, look for mid-priced table saws with an entry-level rip capacity of 22-24 inches.

Don’t buy smaller table saws and other professional tools on the aftermarket. Often such saws have technical faults that are not noticeable at first glance. However, during the work, they are bound to affect, and the seller may not return the money, as in fact, and not to blame.

If you want to improve your table saw to increase your rip-cutting power, always use only proven methods. There are many methods in the public domain for improving the rip capacity of a table saw that can be harmful. Remember that upgrading these tools can cost you your health and even your life.

Sometimes the information about the larger rip capacity of the tool can be found in other blocks, but it is often the Home Depot that is used for this purpose. Remember that every manufacturer is required to specify larger rip-capacity table saws.

Many manufacturers of ripper tools provide the right saw for even the most inexperienced woodworker. These versatile table saws are suitable for most tasks, but they are also priced much higher than specialized tools.

Remember, greater rip capacity does not always mean that the tool is better. Many projects require weak saw power. That’s why a ripping capacity greater is only needed in certain cases.

Answers to popular questions

To conclude this article, let’s break down popular questions that woodworkers have about the table saw’s rip capacity. Don’t skim through this section, because the answers to some questions even professional woodworkers don’t know.

  1. What does rip-cut mean on table saws?

Sawing on cabinet table saws is the main task you will perform with this tool. Cabinet table saws are used for prepping the material for further processing. This is why the rip capacity of the kerf on the table saw is a critical factor to consider when buying a tool.

  1. How do I increase the rip capacity of my table saw?

There are many methods of enhancing the rip power of the tool. For example, the most popular one is considered to be removing fences, but after such machinations, the table saw loses significantly in cutting accuracy and is as well less controllable.

The second most popular method is considered the purchase of special additional tables. However, in this way you can significantly increase the total rip capacity of the instrument.

What is table saw rip capacity
Image source: https://canva.com
  1. Is table saw good for rip-cut?

The answer to this question is as trivial as possible because a table saw is designed for this very task. So yes, table saws are suitable for effective rip cutting.

  1. What is the difference between a rip saw and a table saw?

In essence, their design and main task are the same: cutting wood. However, a table saw is best suited for splitting and sawing lengthwise along the grain of the wood, while a radial-cone saw is suited for cutting across the width of the wood.

In conclusion, I would like to wish every woodworker good luck. I hope that the question: what is the rip capacity of a table saw will never be a problem for you again and that all your projects will run without technical difficulties. Remember that sometimes it is better to overpay for the rip capacity of a table saw than to underpay and regret a stupid decision.

If you need a wide ripping capacity, consider that it will be much harder to work with such a tool than with smaller saws. For a better understanding of saw structure and the essence of rip capacity, it is best to resort to studying a few different tutorials.

Leave a Comment