Table of Contents
- Best Table Saw Fence Reviews 2019
- Best Table Saw Fence Buying Guide 2019
Best Table Saw Fence Reviews 2019
Whether you make dozens of cuts for contractor jobs or just a few for master craftsman projects, a great table saw deserves the accessories to make sure it can keep up with your demands. Unfortunately, too many manufacturers spend all their time and energy improving the cutting action and letting certain measurement tools fall by the wayside. This is why we have put together a list of the 5 best table saw fence reviews. While the Vega PRO 50 and Delta T2 or the best of the bunch, you have to keep reading to find the killer deals.
Vega PRO 50 Table Saw Fence System – Best Seller
There is a good chance that few professional contractors and almost no average DIYers are familiar with Vega Woodworking, but the company is arguably one of the better companies in this field on the market. To be fair, there is a good deal of effort going into why this would be the case, and as the company’s name indicates, Vega Woodworking specializes exclusively in products centered around that purpose. Still, Vega Woodworking is actually part of a larger conglomerate, Vega Enterprises Inc., that has been in existence since before WWII. On top of that, Vega Woodworking is still one of the few table saw fence manufacturers that is headquartered in the USA where all of their products are made. When you consider all of these facts in conjunction with the numerous features, it is not difficult to understand why the Vega PRO 50 table saw fence is the best selling option.
First and foremost, it should be noted that there is no other product on our list, and likely not many off of it either, that can match the Vega PRO 50 table saw fence in terms of its build quality. It is worth noting that many table saw fences have a similar construction when it comes to one part of the Vega table saw fence or another, but few are able to match it from a holistic perspective. This begins with the fact that the frame head is made of aircraft-grade 6005-T6 aluminum which provides it all-around good durability. Not only is this material extremely durable in its own right, but it is also resistant to water and many corrosive chemicals. On top of that, the PRO 50 table saw fence also comes with some of the best guard rails that we found, able to maintain a rigidity and strength unmatched by any other product on our list. Granted, these rails will need to be incredibly strong as they need to be able to hold this beast of a table saw fence up which comes in at just under 50 pounds.
Bells and Whistles
Of course, the build quality of a table saw fence can only take you so far, which is why the Vega PRO 50 table saw fence also makes it a point to provide a number of features that are either absent from competitors or require additional purchases. For instance, this table saw fence comes with numerous different plates to help you adjust it for virtually any cutting task you may have. This includes plates for making sure that the back end of the table fence stays down while using other attachments as well as jacking plates to help ensure that the table saw fence stays level regardless the table saw you have. On top of that, this is one of the few table saw fences which allow you to make micro-adjustments easily on the fly. Though, based on the fact that it is also more than twice the cost of its next closest competitor, it better. Finally, the Vega PRO 50 table saw fence truly sets itself apart from the rest of the products on our list with a massive 50” rip clearance to the right of the blade with no other product coming even close to that measure.
- Provides micro adjustments
- Has 50” right side clearance
- Has incredibly strong guide rails
- Installs using the existing table saw bolts
- Fence head is made of 6005-T6 aluminum
- Comes with numerous accessory plates
- The most expensive table saw fence reviewed
- Is a heavier table saw fence
DELTA 36-T30 T2 30-Inch Fence and Rail System – Top Pick
Though there are some extremely experienced companies on our list, few have the storied history that Delta Machinery can bost. With a founding that stretches back over a century ago at the tail-end of WWI, Delta power tools have consistently been considered one of the top-tier woodworking tools on the market. In fact, Delta tools are one of the few companies we reviewed which actually deserve the elevation of professional-grade to a true commercial-grade, being regularly found in professional woodworking shops across the country. That said, the company is now owned by Chang Type Industrial Co, though the brand is still headquartered and made in the United States. Still, it is not hard to see with their specialty and dedication to quality why the Delta 36-T30 T2 table saw fence is our top pick.
While there are a fair number of impressive feats of engineering on our list, there are likely few that can truly match the unparalleled quality of this Delta table saw fence. It should be worth noting that this is not actually due to the accuracy of the T2 table saw fence, though that is just as impressive. Instead, the reason this product is so remarkable has to do with the fact that they managed to make this table saw fence as light as they did. This is, in fact, the lightest table saw fence on our list which is even more impressive when you consider that Delta used steel as well as aluminum in its construction. However, to ensure that you get the best possible experience you can, the body and the mounts are the components made out of steel, providing a solid level of strength to prevent flexing. However, Delta outdid itself even further by using aluminum for the face which provides a durable surface that also allows a smooth feed of the workpiece into the saw blade.
Though the build quality of the 36-T30 table saw fence is impressive enough, the specs are fairly good themselves. To be fair, this table saw fence cannot really compete with the sheer embarrassment of riches our best selling option does, but it does offer a slightly better performance in one particular category. Specifically, this table saw fence has the largest clearance to the left side of the blade at 13 ½”, though this is somewhat mitigated with a rather pedestrian 30” clearance to the right side of the blade. On top of that, the Delta T2 table saw fence also happens to be one of the more expensive options on our list, a fact that is made all the more troubling when you consider it generally requires significant modifications for table saws made by most other manufacturers. That said, the DELTA 36-T30 T2 table saw fence does still have one of the most accurate settings with the ability to be positioned within 1/64” to the desired measurement– a claim few others can make.
- Is the lightest table saw fence reviewed
- Fence body and mount made of steel
- Has the largest left side clearance
- Fence face made of aluminum
- Is accurate to 1/64”
- Includes rear down holding supports
- Is a more expensive table saw fence
- May require additional modifications
Shop Fox W2005 Classic Fence with Standard Rails – Best Value
Out of all the companies on our list Shop Fox is definitely the most recent having only been founded 30 years ago. On top of that, Shop Fox is not actually their own company and is instead a subsidiary brand that is owned by Woodstock International Inc. It is worth noting that Woodstock International Inc. is at least associated with Grizzly power tools, so that does lend a bit of credentials their way. On top of that, Shop Fox does specialize primarily in woodworking power tools, though they do also offer some metalworking tools as well. What is most interesting is that the product has managed to put out a fairly competitive table saw fence at a far more reasonable price than some of their better-ranked competitors, though as we will see, there is room for improvement.
One of the biggest gripes with aftermarket table saw fences from contractors and woodworkers alike is the fact that they often require you to either use a narrow list of table saws or make, potentially costly, modifications. Shop Fox decided to skip this debate altogether by putting out a table saw fence that was made almost implicitly to be modified. This begins with the fact that there is an optional add-on that you can purchase which extends the right side clearance to a whopping 54”— which would make it the largest right side clearance on our list. Granted, that additional modification would certainly increase the overall cost of the table saw fence and might actually drive it out of the best value spot in our review. It is also worth noting that without the modification, the Shop Fox table saw fence has the shortest right side clearance at only 25” which will certainly limit its standard functionality. On top of that, this is actually one of the few table saw fences we found that is designed to allow the panels to be replaced with a variety of different options, though again, at an additional cost.
Easy to Use
It is interesting that out of all the different products that we reviewed, the best value option also happens to be one of the easiest to use at every step of the process. As such, when you include the fact that it is reasonably priced, this may very well be the best table saw fence for beginners. A big part of this advantage comes from the installation which is significantly easier than pretty much every other option on our list except for maybe the best seller. One of the main reasons that it is so easy to install has to do with the fact that it uses a cam-action lever lock. This makes clamping down the W2005 much easier to move and adjust than some of its competitors. On top of that, the Shop Fox W2005 table saw fence also comes with a magnified cursor to help prevent the parallax issue that some other options can run into.
- Panels can be replaced
- Has a smooth, non-stick coating
- Has a cam-action lever lock
- Is easier to install
- Has a magnified cursor
- Right side clearance can be expanded to 54”
- Is the heaviest table saw fence reviewed
- Only has 25” right side clearance
Shop Fox W1716 Aluma-Classic Fence with Standard Rails – Runner Up
Shop Fox makes another appearance on our list, but this time the company is definitely targeting a more DIY demographic. Aside from the fact that the product does not come with many of the more advanced features commonly found on the best performing options. On top of that, this is also one of the less expensive options that we reviewed, which may not seem like a big deal but it is a bit of a red flag for aftermarket table saw fences which have a tendency to be fairly expensive. Still, this should definitely not be seen as a low-quality option, though there will definitely be some frustrating issues to deal with– as there are for most budget-friendly options.
Still Shop Fox
One thing that you do not have to worry about with the W1716 table saw fence, is Shop Fox phoning it in to make a quick buck on a lesser product. Granted, one of the more irritating aspects may be the fact that they regularly send metric hardware with this table saw fence instead of the American imperial, but it still comes with a bevy of features found on even higher-priced models. A perfect example of this is the inclusion of a magnified cursor which is also found on the other Shop Fox table saw fence to make our list. Granted, both of these features are made of polycarbonate plastic, but that is the same material used for most pairs of sunglasses too. Even better, the Shop Fox W1716 table saw fence employs a similar cam-action lever lock, so you do not have to worry about taking so much time tightening or loosening the table saw fence whenever you need to adjust it.
Built Fairly Tough
Much like the other Shop Fox we reviewed, this model also makes sure that you do not have to worry about the long term durability of the table saw fence. For one, this Shop Fox table saw fence uses a combination of strong steel and lightweight aluminum for the overwhelming majority of its components. While this does not necessarily result in the lightest table saw fence that we reviewed, it is definitely on the lighter side of the market. That, combined with the cam-action lever lock, makes this a fairly convenient product to use once it is mounted. That said, the mounting itself can be a bit of a problem as the W1716 table saw fence has been known to require significant modifications if you try to attach it to many of the most popular brands of table saw. Granted, if you have already purchased a commercial-grade table saw, this will not be much of an issue. But if you opted for a consumer-grade model, chances are you will need to drill a few holes to mount it.
- Is a less expensive table saw fence
- Is a lighter table saw fence
- Has a cam-action lever lock
- Has a magnified cursor
- Has a torsion box design
- Made of aluminum and steel
- Includes uncommon hardware
- May require more modification than some
Delta Power Tools 78-919BT2 Biesemeyer Fence – Also Consider
Time is a funny thing. Once upon a time, the Delta Biesemeyer was widely considered to be one of the best aftermarket table saw fences available. Of course, that more than a decade ago, and time waits for no man, or product, with a number of companies outpacing this table saw fence with various innovations. That said, the same things that made this one of the best selling table saw fences years ago technically still apply today, even if the luster may have faded when standing next to new shining stars. That said, if you are just starting out as a woodworker or simply need a decent table saw fence for the errant project around your house, this is a great option.
The Biesemeyer table saw fence is definitely a difficult product to get a handle on specifically because it is easily the most specialized table saw fence on our list. This Delta table saw fence was made to be used explicitly with the company’s Unisaw and has some difficulties being applied to other models. Granted, any solid steel table saw should be able to mount this product well enough, but many of the more modern and popular options on the market today will require significant modification. That said, if you do happen to own one of the compatible table saws or are willing to modify the one you own, the Delta Biesemeyer table saw fence is amazingly versatile with virtually every part of the product adjustable for your specific needs.
It may have taken a couple of decades to dethrone one of the kings, but that is largely due to how well made this table saw fence is. For one, the Delta table saw fence has a body made of steel, which provides plenty of strength and durability, but is still able to come in as one of the lighter options that we reviewed. This is only possible because the Biesemeyer table saw fence has faces made of laminated 9-ply Birch plywood. This is significantly lighter than either steel or aluminum and is also able to provide an excellent surface along which to slide workpieces– though it is not nearly as durable as those other materials. Still, with a 3-point locking system, you do not have to worry about the Delta Biesemeyer table saw fence going anywhere, assuming they send you the right product– something that is not a guarantee as of late.
- The least expensive table saw fence reviewed
- Is a lighter table saw fence
- Has a 3-point locking system
- The entire fence is adjustable
- Fence body is made of steel
- Face made of laminated 9 ply Birch Plywood
- Designed explicitly for the Unisaw
- Regularly sends the wrong items
Best Table Saw Fence Buying Guide 2019
The materials your table saw fence is made of will play a huge role in its durability, how well it squares up, and how smoothly you can feed the workpiece into the blade. There are not too terribly many standard elements for the market as each manufacturer will have a tendency to use its own blend of materials for the components. While there is no “best” combination of materials, they will definitely work better or worse depending on your specific needs.
This is one of the most common types of metal used for table saw fences for a couple of reasons. For one, steel is generally considered the strongest material commonly used in the manufacturing of table saw fences. On top of that, steel is still relatively inexpensive compared to aluminum, though few table saw fences exclusively use enough steel for this to matter. However, it should be noted that most table saw fences use a combination of steel and aluminum for different components to balance their features out. For instance, steel is significantly heavier than aluminum which can be a problem for a product that has a tendency to be fairly heavy in the first place. On top of that, steel is also far less naturally resistant to water and other corrosive chemicals and provides a far rougher finish for the table saw fence face.
This is actually one of the best options you can choose when judging different table saw fences for a couple of reasons. While it is technically not as strong as steel, it is still close enough that you are unlikely to notice much of a difference. However, aluminum happens to be significantly lighter than steel, which reduces the load that the guard rails have to support. Another great quality that gives aluminum an advantage over steel is the fact that it is naturally resistant to water and other corrosive chemicals without the need for powder coating. Finally, Aluminum is also able to accept slicker coatings which allow for a smoother feed of your workpieces into the blade. That said, it is worth noting that not all aluminum alloys are made equal, so make sure you understand the difference between their grades and tempers.
This material is generally looked at with suspicion when used for the construction of power tools and with good reason. In comparison to the two commonly used metals, plastic is woefully fragile and far more likely to bend or flex when bracing a workpiece. That said, plastic is generally only used for ancillary components and, in some rare instances, the fence’s face. This latter does present the durability and flexing concerns noted earlier, but it also presents the option of providing unique coatings. This can allow the workpiece to more easily slide along the face, thus allowing it to be fed into the blade easier too. Another solid advantage that plastic has over the metals used is that it is much lighter and less expensive than either steel or aluminum.
This is actually one of the least common materials used for a table saw fence, and even then, it is generally reserved for the fence’s face. It seems rather obvious that plywood is not terribly durable and would seem a poor option, but this circumstance changes entirely when applied to the face only. Essentially, a plywood face allows for different types of coatings that you cannot otherwise apply to metal. These coatings will regularly allow the workpiece to slide across the face without generating as much friction. On top of that, plywood also happens to be significantly less expensive and lighter than either type of metal commonly used.
Why a table saw fence
Since you likely already spent anywhere from $100 to upwards of a grand on a table saw, some people might wonder why they should purchase a table saw fence in the first place. This question can seem even more reasonable when you consider the fact that many table saws already come with their own OEM fences. However, there is an incredibly important distinction to be made between the OEM table saw fence and the aftermarket table saw fence. For one, OEM table saw fences are rarely made by the manufacturer itself and instead are subcontracted out to another company which likely make a one size fits all table fence. This leads to OEM table fences regularly being lower quality and not necessarily best suited for your particular saw.
On top of that, most aftermarket table saw fences are significantly better and more accurate than their OEM competitors. Granted, this is a big part of the reason why a high-quality table saw fence may cost as much or more than the table saw itself, but it shows its worth in the quality of the product. Unless you are an old-school purist or just love fixing your cuts, chances are the OEM table saw will not provide an adequate degree of accuracy. This is most notably due to the materials used with OEM table saw fences which quite often use plastic for some of the more important components.
What to expect
One thing you should definitely expect when purchasing an aftermarket, high-quality table saw, regardless of who makes it, is a little bit of sticker shock. Even the least expensive option on our list is liable to make the average consumer think twice. Of course, if you are a seasoned woodworker, you are probably used to paying a premium for quality tools and accessories. However, if you are just getting into the craft, the price can easily take you by surprise.
Another thing to make sure you understand before purchasing a table saw fence is that most of these fences were made with either a certain type of table saw or a certain manufacturer in mind. This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but if you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for accuracy and precision, there is a reasonable assumption that you already did so for the table saw itself. If you get a consumer-grade table saw that cost less than $100, there really is not much reason to spend twice that on a table saw fence.
What to look for
The main thing to look for with an aftermarket table saw fence is the accuracy of the fence which is generally determined by a couple of factors. The first, and most important aspect, of a table saw fence’s accuracy is the quality of machining. Most high-end table saw fences use aluminum for the face of their product because it is easy to manufacture, is still incredibly strong, and will not bow like cheap plastic. That said, different manufacturers will experiment with different materials, often with a great degree of success.
Another important feature to consider, which was alluded to prior, is the compatibility of the table saw fence. If you are purchasing a table saw fence designed for a specific brand or type of table saw, you should make sure you have that type. If you do not, you will likely have to spend even more to get a conversion kit or try to modify the table saw, the table saw fence, or both yourself. Some of the top-tier table saw fences take this into consideration and actually design their products to be used with a wider variety of options than others.
To be fair, none of these are actually bad products. Some of them may not work as well with your setup, but all of them offer a solid option for the right person. The Vega PRO 50 not only provides some of the best specs but it is one of the most tool versatile options on the market. The Delta T2 may not be able to match that versatility or breadth of cut, but it can easily go toe-to-toe with the accuracy. Both Shop Foxes are decent options with the W2005 being a great overall value, but they can be somewhat limiting. Of course, if you happen to have an iconic Unisaw, it is pretty hard to go wrong with the Biesemeyer.