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Nine Best Table Saw Accessories On The Market

I think that there is some truth in that many woodworkers who are just starting out can survive with only a handheld saw and do most of their basic sawing jobs. However, it is also true that a real professional woodworker needs tools that not only make the work easier, but also deliver consistent results. That is why a table saw is indispensable in your life as a woodworker.

Apart from the basic anatomy -motor, base, blade and table- , table saws need accessories to deliver the best results consistently. To get rid of trial and error in your tasks, you will need to ensure that your equipment has the best table saw accessories. A wide range of these is available, so you need to choose carefully. Considering the many options available, I have identified a few of the most essential ones and discussed them briefly.

Best 9 Must-Have Table Saw Accessories

Here is my selected list of nine best table saw accessories on the market.

I have divided the accessories in several categories for easier understanding. I will tell you how every accessory adds value to your table saw, whether you are professional woodworker or a do-it-yourselfer.

Basic Accessories 

 

  • Miter Gauge

 

What it is

A miter gauge is a table saw accessory normally used for holding the piece in place for angle cutting. If you check most of the best table saws, you will see a half moon with a simple bar. The half-moon has some angles indicated on it. Often, a knob will also be included for the sake of securing and releasing the gauge.

Why it is important

Cutting accurately and at the set angle on a table saw can be challenging. Fortunately, you have a miter gauge to solve the problem. The wiggling of the bar from its slot is no longer an issue when you have this accessory. Disks in the component eliminate side-to-side movements that may affect accuracy. With this accessory, even repetitive cuts will give the same accurate results.

How you can use it

The ease of installation and use of a miter gauge can vary greatly depending on model. However, the process is largely the same. Slide the gauge to the saw table and place the wood against the flat edge. Mark on the wood where you want to cut, hold it against the miter gauge and slide it towards the saw blade.

 

  • Rip Fence

What it is

A table saw is incomplete without a rip fence, a metal bar-like component that is parallel to the blade. You could also call this component a guide. Depending on the desired width of the cut, you can set the fence at several parts of the table. Remember that it is made of metal, specifically for durability and reliability purposes. However, it could also be made of wood, especially where you make it yourself.

Why it is important

A rip fence is irreplaceable because it promotes clean rip cutting that is devoid of dangers to the user and damage to the wood. One of the most dangerous acts on a table saw is cutting against the grain. A few years back, a construction worker in Massachusetts died after a power saw he was using kicked back. Kicking back is something that every wood worker should avoid when using a table saw, or any other saw for that matter. A rip fence on a table saw is your best bet in staying safe.  The best rip fence should be portable, easy to micro-adjust, easy to position and with 50-inch rip capacity minimum.

How you can use it

A rip fence is a must-have when you are making rip cuts. Before mounting the rip fence, make sure the saw is unplugged. Now, insert it in a special slot on the top of the table. Align the fence and smoothly raise the blade to ensure that only the required pieces are cut.

 

  • Blade

What it is

I consider the blade the most essential accessory in a table saw. A blade is that circular toothed part that rotates at high speed to cut wood. It is powered by a motor and protrudes slightly above the table. There are various types of blades depending on type and quality of cut desired. Blades are usually used to cut crosswise and lengthwise.

Why it is important

For most woodworkers with table saws in their workshops, owning one design of a blade is inadequate. By interchanging table saw blades, you are able to achieve more in terms of type of material, amount of noise, motor efficiency, smooth cutting and blade durability.  Having several blades is essential, as it prepares you for a variety of woodworking projects.

How you can use it

For a deep description of how to change table saw blades, it is important to ask the manufacturer during installation. Each table saw presents different specifications, which determine the best blade for a particular job, so it pays to consider the recommended blade for a specific table saw.

Specialty Accessories 

 

  • Dado Blades

What they are

When you want to use your table saw to cut a bigger groove on wood, you need to use a blade different from the normal one. It is called a dado blade. To achieve a wider groove, the dado blade can come as a set (stacked) or be designed to produce a wobble. That means that dado blades can look like a collection of cutters. It can also look like a normal blade, but with a little sway to the right or left side.

Why they are important

The fact that dado blades are adjustable says a lot about the range of width of cut that you can achieve. Two factors come into play here- dado blade type and table saw. Depending on these, you can either adjust the number of dado sets or adjust the blade. You use the dado blades to create grooves in the material so you can make drawers, bookshelves, cabinets etc. It is true that some woodworkers can achieve the same results without a dado blade, but they need to use a handheld router and a router table.

How you can use them

Please note that dado blades may not suit every table saw, so you want to check the capacity before deciding to buy this accessory. If you are in the process of buying a table saw, check with the manufacturer if it will accept a dado blade. Your manufacturer will tell you the best size for a particular model. The arbor size of the table saw is also crucial. The 5/8 inch arbor is the most common, so you will find most dado blades with this size.

 

  • Sled

What it is

A table saw sled is also referred to as a crosscutting sled. A plastic polymer or wooden structure is placed on the table saw. While there are DIY options, you can get a table sled in the market. If you insist on making one for yourself, there are countless plans available on the internet. Whether you are professional or DIY woodworker, this accessory comes in handy for precise crosscuts.

Why it is important

Alongside the rip fence, the sled is the ultimate confidence booster for the woodworker.  You can make those precise cuts with the full knowledge that your fingers are out of harm’s way. Even when the conventional saw fence does not offer protection when you are making crosscuts or even miter cuts, this accessory is helpful. I would say that anyone seeking to enhance his or her woodworking skills on a table saw in the smoothest manner should have this accessory.

How you can use it

With the blade guard removed, set the correct blade height. Place the sled and the stock in position. Start the saw and with the wood held against the fence, slowly push. Allow the blade some time to stop before you can remove the wood.

Safety Accessories 

 

  • Feather-Board

 

What it is

A feather-board is a board with angled fingers that are formed by slits. These fingers provide consistent pressure that keeps the work-piece firmly in position against a fence or tabletop. Since the fingers are angled, the work-piece can pass in only one direction. They resist movement in the opposite direction.

See our list of recommended featherboards for table saw here.

Why it is important

Keeping your fingers safe during woodworking is necessary and the highest priority. The feather board can help you do it. When you are dealing with longer work pieces on the table saw, this accessory makes ripping safer as it prevents rocking. For my case, as the push stick applies downward pressure, the feather board applies side pressure.

When the work piece is taller than the fence, there can be a problem of pivoting if side pressure application is not consistent throughout the cut and afterward. For me, I use a combination of tabletop feather boards and a clamping block with immense success. The block raises the feather boards by some inches above the table.

How you can use it

Proper use of a feather board is mostly based on the quality of the accessory and setup. You can set the board at different areas depending on the kind of pressure you want to apply. For instance, pressure against the tabletop occurs if the board is secured on the fence. Practice different set ups, keeping in mind that the feather board should as close as possible to the blade, but should not apply any pressure on the blade itself. The angled end of the board should be in the feed direction, and the stock should move with little effort.

 

  • Table Saw Pushblock

 

What it is

This is another safety accessory that every table saw should have. Customarily, a push block is a thick block of wood. However, you can get others made from other materials. The best push blocks are rigid and ergonomic so that they can help guide the work piece smoothly along the saw.

Why it is important

Table saw blades revolve at a speed of 3,000-5,000 RPM. Now, this presents high risk to the user. If it does not cut flesh, the blade could cause life-threatening kickback. Those in the woodworking industry know just how dangerous a spinning blade and loose stock can be. Check out this video demonstrating a kickback! You can prevent this kind of danger by using a push correctly, alongside other safety measures.

How you can use it

Proper use of push block is all about ensuring there are three points of pressure- downwards, inwards and forwards. You may need to use a push stick in combination with the block to achieve this pressure. I would suggest that you practice this technique thoroughly and always be in PPE to prevent serious injury.

 

  • Zero Clearance Insert

 

What it is

This small metal or wood piece is placed around the blade of the table saw. Unlike the insert that comes with most table saws from the manufacturer, an aftermarket throat insert is often designed to leave very little space.

Why it is important

A zero clearance several two roles: makes the cutting safer and improves the cutting results. It is an ideal replacement for the throat plate. With it, you no longer have to worry about slices of stock forcing their way into the space between the throat plate and the blade.

How you can use it

Before you fix the zero clearance, clean the throat cavity. Check if the blade is the right specification and placed at right angle to the surface. Now fit the insert and adjust it appropriately.

 

  • Dust Collection System

 

What it is

If you are using your table saw in an apartment or basement, a crucial safety accessory to add to the unit is a dust collection system. Whether it is in small scale (dust extractor) or full size, this system removes sawdust and other debris from the working area.

Why it is important

Particulates and sawdust are enemies to the human lungs, so it pays to keep them at bay. Furthermore, engineered materials such as plywood contain harmful chemicals that must not enter the human body.

How you can use it

The best table saws come with ports for dust collection. The dust collection system features a flexible hose that fits in the port. For more about dust collection, check out this video.

Conclusion

If you are an amateur table saw users, you may consider some of the above accessories unnecessary bells and whistles. The case of a professional user is a little different. They may be lucky to find larger and more powerful table saws equipped with some of the components, but there is always need for more. Your choice of table saws and your level of usage will determine how much you need to accessorize.