The table saw that you own is only as strong and dependable as the fencing system that comes with it. Not only does this system help you set the measurements that you need when cutting boards and other materials, but it will also help you make straighter and more even cuts. Even if you purchased a tool without one of these systems or need to replace the one you used in the past, you’ll find some great options on the market.
Our favorite option is the Shop Fox Aluma-Classic, (Check Price on Amazon.com) which uses aluminum to keep the weight of the system down. It comes with longer rails that increase the rip capacity of your blade and table to 50 inches and works with products from leading manufacturers. Few systems come close to matching the benefits of this one.
How to Choose the Perfect One?
What is the Total Weight?
Weight is one factor that you need to consider because you want a product with some heft to it but one that doesn’t weigh too much. Products that weigh more than 50 pounds and those over 100 pounds can put undue stress on your table and actually warp the surface. Those that are more lightweight can break or snap and may not offer enough support for your boards.
The best weight range is between 30 and 45 pounds. This amount of weight won’t warp the surface but will offer the support needed to keep your boards up right while cutting and sawing.
How Long is it?
It’s important to look at the overall length because you want a product that will fit the size of your table and also extend out from one end. The top length that most look for is around 36-inches long, but you’ll find some that are shorter too that might work better in a tighter space or a smaller shop.
You’ll also want to look at measurements in terms of how far away it sits from the blade. Many give you more space to the right or left and less space on the opposite side. This measurement gives you an idea of the degree and angles you can use based on the proximity of the product to the blade.
What Materials Does it Use?
Not all the products that you see use steel or another type of heavy-duty metal. While steel is the top choice, aluminum is popular too because it’s dependable and lightweight. These metals provide extra support for your wood.
When comparing products, look closely at any that come with one or more plastic components. Those parts can break easily and may keep you from using that product as much as you need.
Do You Need One Part or a Whole System?
There is a big difference between a rip fence or a part designed for another type of cutting and a complete system. A complete system like U26 or the Aluma-Classic come with more parts and mount securely onto your surface.
Complete systems come with both fence parts as well as rails that you can use at different angles around the table. These systems may come with features like pads that reduce the risk of wear and tear and clamps for faster and more convenient mounting.
Top 10 Table Saw Fences on the Market
1. Shop Fox Aluma-Classic
Made from aluminum, this Shop Fox set is dependable but lightweight enough that it won’t wear down your table or scratch the surface. It also features wear pads that further reduce the damage caused, but those pads also protect the rails from wear and tear too. You get longer rails that are 79-inches long, which let you increase your total rip capacity up to 50 inches.
Compatible with most table products from Shop Fox and other companies, this one is easy to install. It comes with a magnifying lens on one end to help you more accurately measure out your cuts.
Compatible with most table saws from top manufacturers
Comes with longer rails to increase your rip capacity
Includes a magnifying lens on one end
Magnifying lens can snap or break off with little pressure
May be harder to set up and use with extension rails or products
2. Shop Fox Standard Aluma-Classic
While the directions that come with this product are a little hard to follow, the rails also include a lever that snaps and locks into place, which makes it easier to set up the system on your table. As it is compatible with products from Shop Fox and other manufacturers, you can use it at home or at work. It uses sturdy aluminum that brings down the weight of the rails while still making the system dependable.
Designed to include a larger right angle, these rails give you more stability and keep your boards from moving while gliding through. The rails measure 57-inches long and increase your rip capacity up to a maximum of 30 inches.
Provides a maximum rip of up to 30 inches
Compatible with Shop Fox tables and those from other manufacturers
Locking lever makes setting it up easier
Comes with set up directions that are hard to follow
Not as long as the number one product
3. Vega PRO 40 System
Designed to work with tables from Delta and other companies, the PRO 40 System has holes that are compatible with the holes located on the surfaces of those products. It works to both the right and the left of the blade to help you decide how you want to use it. The system mounts right onto the top for better accuracy and comes with brackets that offer more support.
The fence height is 2.5 inches, and this system lets you make adjustments down to just a fraction of an inch. You should keep in mind that not all the accessories show in the photo come with this model though.
Compatible with products from Delta, Sears and other companies
Lets you make smaller adjustments down to a fraction of an inch
Brackets provide more support and stability for the rails
Is not quite as strong or as durable as other products
Painted finish can wear down faster than power coating does
4. Delta 30-Inch System
Delta helps you securely attach this system to your table because it features a design that lets you clamp it down in place. You may need to make a few adjustments to make it work with the model that you have though. The main body on this system uses steel, but you also get some fence pieces made from a dependable type of aluminum too.
Extra support comes from a piece in the back that keeps the rails from wobbling with or without wood inside. This system has a T-square design with three separate locking parts that let you make accurate measurements down to 1/64 of an inch.
Clamps securely in place to prevent wobbling
Made from durable steel and aluminum
Accurate down to just 1/64 of an inch
Is not compatible with some portable or job site models
May need to change and adjust the position multiple times when setting it up
5. Vega U26 System
One of the top choices for those who want more stability and support is this Vega system, which weighs more than 30 pounds but won’t put undue stress on your table. Though it measures 36-inches long, it has a design that lets you place it closer to the right side of the blade and further away from the left side. You need to be careful when locking it in place because one end may move or wobble.
Suitable for clamping right to the table, this system gives you the support necessary for moving a piece of wood right across a spinning blade. It works with the blade to keep your hands safe.
Comes with a bar that measures 36-inches long
Clamps to the table for additional support
Weighs more than 30 pounds to provide more stability
One end may move slightly, even after locking it in place
Is not compatible with all models from all manufacturers
6. Delta Biesemeyer
While this Delta product isn’t compatible with all types of tables, it does work with several of the Unisaw products, and you can check the model number against the one you have before making a purchase. Its T-shape provides you with three separate locking points that ensure once you lock it down that it will not move. Though some complain that it isn’t as strong as other products, this one does have a dependable locking system.
Another benefit of this product is that it lets you make an adjustment on one end or on one spot, but you can also adjust the entire piece at the same time. It measures nearly 45-inches long too.
Has three locking points for added stability
Lets you adjust one point on the fence or the entire piece at once
Allows for cuts to both the right and left of the blade
Not as strong or dependable as other systems/products
Only compatible with certain types of Unisaw products
7. Kreg Precision Gauge System
This option from Kreg is more of a system and less like the rails that you might find in other sets. It comes fully calibrated and ready to use as soon as you take it out of the box with a guaranteed accuracy of 0.003. This system lets you make adjustments down to 1/10th of a degree or even smaller.
Positive stops placed in five different areas help you make any measurement needed, and you can use those stops at angles like zero, 30 and 45. A microadjuster lets you adjust the angle down by 1/100th of a degree. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty from Kreg.
Guaranteed accuracy of 0.003 when you take it out of the box
Allows for smaller adjustments down to just 1/10 of a degree
Has five built-in positive stops at zero degrees and other angles
More delicate and prone to breaking than other systems
Set up instructions may not work with your table
8. Craftsman Assembly
One more affordable option that might work for you is this one from Craftsman, which weighs only two pounds. That lightweight design not only makes this one ship for less but also makes it easier for you to carry and set it up. At just seven-inches long, this one will give you a larger work area without taking up a lot of surface space.
This model is only compatible with some Craftsman products and will not work with those from other manufacturers. It’s also a little flimsier than other products and might not work for your needs.
Has a lever that lifts up and snaps down to lock it to a surface
Measures just seven-inches long to take up less of your work space
Weighs only two pounds to make shipping and carrying easier and cheaper
Is only compatible with select products sold under the Craftsman name
Is not as durable as you might need
9. DEWALT Assembly
If you have a DEWALT table with some broken pieces, this assembly acts as a replacement for some of those parts, but you should still check the measurements carefully because this one may not be compatible with your exact model. It uses aluminum to lower its overall weight and weighs less than two pounds. You can use it as-is as a replacement part or take it apart to replace some of your broken components.
Measuring nearly 19-inches long, this model functions as an extension rail to help you cut larger boards with your table saw. Though designed for use with DEWALT products, it is also compatible with other products of 10 inches in size.
Compatible with most 10-inch DEWALT products
Weighs less than two pounds when out of the packaging
Measures nearly 19-inches long
Only works with 10-inch products
Suitable as a replacement part for an existing system but not as a total fence
10. Craftsman Rip Fence
Before investing in this model, take a look at the products that it is compatible with to ensure that it will work with your table. Designed by Craftsman, this is a type of original aftermarket part that you can use on several products. Though you may need to use a little paste wax in the future, that wax keeps the product moving smoothly.
Designed as a clamp model, it actually clamps to the surface and won’t move when you use it with any type of wood. It also has other slots that let you change how you install it. This model comes with a knob on one end for adjusting the length and changing how it fits on your table.
Features slots and spaces for better installation on your table
Clamps down to make rip cuts without the boards moving
Has a knob that turns in both directions for adjusting the size
Only compatible with Craftsman products
May require the use of paste wax to keep it moving smoothly
After looking at different options on the market, we quickly found that the Aluma-Classic system was the best. This Shop Fox product comes with longer rails that are 79-inches long, and those rails increase your rip capacity up to 50 inches. This set will work with most of the tables made by other companies as well as those made by Shop Fox.
Wider right angles found on this system increase the accuracy of both your measurements and your cuts. Wear pads on the bottom absorb the motion of the pieces sliding across the table to reduce the impact and damage done to the metal parts too.
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