What Side Of The Table Saw Should The Fence Be On? A Clear Answer

Table saws are essential tools for woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts alike, providing them with the capacity to make precision cuts without trouble.

One of the most fundamental components when using a table saw is the rip fence, which guides the material through the blade.

Nevertheless, lots of people are unaware of which side of the table saw the fence should be placed on. Thus, in this article, I’ll give you a clear answer to the question “What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be On?”

The ultimate response to the question “What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be On?” varies depending on one’s preference and intended cuts, yet usually, the fence should be situated on the right side of the sawblade.

If you’re searching to enhance your woodworking skills or create precise cuts, this guide was made for you! I’ve outlined a comprehensive guide covering how to construct and utilize a ripping fence, guarantee its accuracy, and determine which side of the table saw is best suited for your projects.

Whether you’re an amateur in woodworking or an experienced expert, make sure to study this article closely so that you can comprehend where the fence should be placed on the table saw.

Pro Tip

Being prepared for an accident can ensure that the injuries can be treated faster and better, which increases the chance of recovery. That is why I advise everyone to install a decent first aid kit in their workshop. my article, How To Make A Workshop First Aid Kit – N°1 Guide | FREE CHECKLIST helps you with this.

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What is A Fence On A Table Saw For?

A ripping fence (sometimes called table saw guide rail), which is usually adjustable, is a bar affixed to the table saw that serves as a guide for material being cut. The distance between the blade and this straight bar determines the “cut width”, or width of the cut.

Using the table saw fence guarantees that the material stays put and remains straight when being sawed.

This is particularly vital when making cuts along the grain, which are performed parallel to the edge of the board. By investing in the fence, users can make precise and accurate cuts each time.

When selecting a table saw, there are numerous fence options available to choose from. Popular models like the T-square fence and the heavy-duty Incra table saw fence system each possess their own advantages, such as affordability and adjustability respectively.

Ultimately, it is important to determine which is best for fulfilling your needs.

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What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on

Table saws fundamentally have two sides: the right and the left side of the blade. On one side, a fence is securely fixed, which is commonly known as the “fence side”. Customarily, fences are placed on the right of table saw but some users find it more suitable to have it on the left for certain applications or purposes.

Let’s check out when to use the table saw guide rail on the right side or the left side in the part below.

Why Put the Rip Fence on the Right Side?

The placement of the fence on the right side of the table saw grants numerous benefits, such as access to the material being worked on, enhanced accuracy and precision, and improved safety. When situated to the right, users can view the blade more readily and make any needed adjustments for accurate cuts each time.

To increase your safety when working on a table saw, it is recommended to use feather boards and a push stick. I use this safety device for 95% of the cuts I make.

What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on - a Clear Answer
The fence installed on the right side of the blade

The right side of the saw is most appropriate for various slicing undertakings, such as producing rip cuts, and bevel cuts. When performing ripping cuts, having the table saw fence on the right hand side helps users hold the material securely while the blade goes through it; thus aiding in achieving accurate and precise cutting results.

When the right side is chosen for a fence, users gain increased accuracy, precision, and safety. Such advantages become apparent as they can easily observe the blade and make adjustments for accurate cuts every time. These features lead to an improved experience and better results when cutting wood.

Why Put the Rip Fence on the Left Side?

The table saw with the ripping fence positioned on the left offers multiple advantages, such as enhanced visibility of the blade and more precise cuts for certain tasks. Although, it needs to be said that it can also lead to table saw kickback faster.

By placing the table saw guide rail to the left, users can easily observe the blade and fine-tune accordingly; thus delivering accurate results without fail.

What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on - a Clear Answer
The fence installed on the left side of the blade

Using the left side is optimal for particular woodworking jobs, like creating bevel cuts and angled cuts. Having the fence on this side grants better sight of the blade when doing bevel cuts, thus assuring exactness.

Furthermore, having the table saw fence on the leftside when cutting at an angle lends more support and steadiness, leading to improved accuracy and precision.

The left side of the table saw guide rail may offer better visibility and precision for certain projects, like bevels and leaning cuts. However, it may make certain tasks, like rip wood cuts, more challenging as the user must reach across the fence to access the material. The success of using this side will come down to what the user is cutting and their personal preference.

What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on – pros & cons of each side

Side of Table SawProsCons
Right– Better control of the workpiece during cuts.
– More efficient use of the table saw’s workspace.
– Better accuracy in making rip cuts.
– Easier to see the cut line while cutting
– Can get in the way of dust collection ports
– Left-handed users may struggle to perform some cuts due to their predominant hand crossing the blade when setting up the fence to the right side.
Left– Provides more support for the workpiece
– More convenient for cutting smaller pieces or bevel cuts
– Can be more difficult to see the cut line
– Kickback risk may be higher
What side of the table saw should the fence be on – right or left?

How Do You Use A Rip Fence?

Creating accurate cuts with a fence necessitates properly aligning the equipment, firmly clamping the material, and meticulous supervision. The ripping fence should be placed parallel to the blade and adjusted to accommodate the thickness of what is being cut.

The material ought to be clamped securely against the fence, then pushed through the blade, with the table saw guide rail leading it to ensure a straight and precise cut. Furthermore, double-checking measurements and taking time to make alterations as needed can guarantee that cuts made with a ripping fence are accurate.

You’ll quickly comprehend the exact protocol for using a fence to ensure ideal results when cutting with your table saw thanks to the following information I’ll share with you.

How to align a rip fence on the table saw?

A proper alignment of the table saw rip fence is critical to ensuring accurate cuts and reducing the risk of dangerous kickback while using the table saw. An incorrectly aligned fence can result in uneven cuts, reducing the overall quality of the workpiece.

A brief step-by-step guide on how to align the fence accurately

  1. Start by loosening the fence clamp and checking for any debris that may be blocking the fence from moving smoothly.
  2. Adjust the fence so that it is parallel to the saw blade, using a square as a reference.
  3. To ensure accuracy, it is important to measure both the front and back of the blade relative to the fence. Doing so will guarantee that the fence remains parallel to the blade.
  4. Lock the fence clamp securely in place.
  5. Check the fence alignment by making a test cut, measuring the width of the cut, and comparing it to the measurement of the fence.
  6. Make any necessary adjustments until the fence is perfectly aligned.

Aligning a ripping fence on a table saw can be tricky due to common issues such as shifting over time, warping or bending, or insufficient clamping. To guarantee the precision of the table saw fence, it may be necessary to realign it, strengthen the clamping pressure, or replace the entire unit if repair is not possible.

In my article How to Square a Table Saw Fence – 3 Proven Ways for Accuracy, I tell you the 3 tricks you can use to make your fence square. Be sure to check out this article, it will ensure that your cuts with the table saw are always perfect.

how to set up a table saw fence for accurate cuts?

It is essential to correctly adjust the table saw fence for successful and precise cuts. Ensuring that it is level, parallel to the blade, and square with the miter slot requires some adjustment, tightening, or alignment of the table saw guide rail.

To set up the fence for accurate cuts, follow these steps:

  1. Level the fence by checking it with a level and making any necessary adjustments.
  2. Ensure that the fence is parallel to the blade by measuring the distance between the blade and the fence at both ends.
  3. Check that the fence is square to the miter slot by measuring the diagonals of a square or rectangle cut with the miter gauge and fence.
  4. Tighten the clamp and any other locking mechanisms to secure the fence in place.

What’s the left side of my table saw for

The right side of a table saw typically serves for ripping, meaning that the cut is made alongside the natural grain of the wood. This side is equipped with a fence for accurate guidance of the workpiece.

On the left side, cross-cutting and miter-cutting are carried out; there is usually a miter gauge fitted to support these kinds of cuts. Additionally, bevels can be managed from this side; the angle at which these will be done can be adjusted to one’s preference. Also, in some cases, on this side there is also a sliding table built into the table saw for making easier cuts.

What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on – Conclusion

In this write-up, I examined the significance of the fence on a table saw and its possible placement sides. I noted both the benefits and drawbacks of each side and discussed how to ascertain which is most suitable for your cutting job. Additionally, I furnished comprehensive guidelines on how to use the table saw rip fence and configure it for precise cuts.

To sum it up, the side you position your table saw guide rail on for different types of cutting will depend on the task you choose. For rip cutting or slicing thin material, the right side is preferred.

If you need to make a bevel cut, then it’s best accomplished with the left side. Ultimately, experiment with both arrangements to find which works best for your projects.

I hope this article has successfully addressed the query, “What Side of the Table Saw Should the Fence Be on?” It’s essential to ensure proper alignment, fastening, and setup, no matter which side you decide.

I suggest trying both out and finding what works best for you, just remember to stay safe during the process. Enjoy your sawing!

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