Table saws are a very common and efficient tool in woodworking. Table saws are ideal for cutting longer pieces of wood with consistent measurements.
While table saws are great tool, there are many accessories that make operating a table saw easier and safer.
In this article, I will go over the most essential accessories that every table saw user should have, and then optional accessories for the table saw.
7 common table saw features
|Saw fence||Miter gauge||Push stick||Angle gauge||Outfeed table||Dust extraction system||Feather board|
|Use||Cutting along grain||Cutting cross grain||Safely cut wood||Check saw angle||Safely cut long pieces||Control and store saw dust||Safely control wood|
|Average Cost||Included||Included||Included||$15 – 40||Depends on type,|
Table saw fence
A table saw fence is parallel to the saw blade and is used to guide the wood through the cut.
The table saw fence will cut the wood parallel to the other side of the wood. So, if you guide a side of the board that is perpendicular to the end of the board, then the cut side will also be perpendicular to the end of the board. Which will result in a straight right angle cut.
- Often included
Almost all table saw fences come with the table saw. The only time you may not get a table saw fence with your purchase is if you buy a used saw with a missing fence.
Additionally, most table saw fences are designed specifically for the make and model of the saw. Replacement fences can range from $25 for cheaper saws, up to $100 on average.
You can purchase aftermarket table saw fences that will likely have more features than the included fencing system. These upgraded table saw fences definitely cost more; however, they can be installed on most table saw systems and may come with features to improve the accuracy of the measurements and cuts.
Upgraded aftermarket table saw fences can range $350 and more. They do take time to install and often require permanent modifications, like drilling into your pre-existing table saw .
In my experience, the included table saw fences are enough for the general woodworker.
Table saw fences are necessary if you are cutting wider boards. The purpose of a table saw is to cut wider and longer boards, like 4x8ft sheets of plywood.
As a result, a table saw fence is one of the most crucial parts of the table saw and many users will not consider purchasing one without one. But you do have options with the table saw fence.
Go back to table.
Miter gauges are slid into the tracks of the table saw tabletop and are used to accurately cut across the grain. Having both a miter gauge and table saw fence is important because they are necessary to perform different types of cuts.
A miter gauge can also be adjusted to create mitered cuts. For example, the gauge can be oriented in at 45-degree angle. This feature is important because the table saw blade cannot be turned, so the miter gauge will angle the wood for us.
- Often Included
Almost all table saws come with miter gauges. However, not all miter gauges are made the same. Some of the included miter gauges are very poor at creating accurate miters.
One of the main features to look for in miter gauges are positive stops. Most miter gauges have a positive stop at 0. However, if you will be using the miter feature often, then you may want to invest in a gauge that has positive stop at other common degrees, like 22.5, 30, and 45.
Luckily, unlike table saw fences, miter gauges are pretty standard. The most common saw slots are 3/8″ and 3/4″. To ensure the miter gauge is compatible with your table saw, you will just need to verify the miter saw slot size.
Precision aftermarket miter gauges can range from $80 – 280 and more.
Miter gauges are essential when cross cutting wood, especially longer boards. This is especially true when cutting dimensional lumber like 2×4″.
When cutting particle boards, like plywood or mdf board, the miter gauge will not be as necessary.
Miter gauges are used to cross cut wood and are very essential in doing so accurately and safely.
While miter gauges are almost always included with a table saw, an upgraded one may be needed for more accurate miter cuts.
Go back to table.
Push sticks are used to feed the wood through the cut safely. They are designed to be the closest point of contact to the blade, thus reducing your chances of accidental injury.
- Often included
Push sticks are included with every table saw. However, just like the other accessories, upgraded, aftermarket products can be purchased.
These are some of the features to look for in aftermarket push sticks.
- Erogonimic handle for easier control
- Enhanced grip features
- Magnetic strips
The average cost for aftermarket push sticks are between $5 and $30.
Optional alternative: Push block
Push blocks are an optional alternative to push stick as they allow for a wide variety of features that can be used for the table saw and router safety.
The average cost for push blocks are between $40 and $70.
Push sticks are extremely necessary and can lead to serious injury if not used correctly. Not all cuts require the use of push sticks, but they should be used when your hand will need to be within 6 inches of the blade.
Push sticks are useful to safely cut thinner pieces of wood, and should not be operated without if your hand will be within 6 inches of the blade.
Included push sticks are efficient, but after market push sticks are also cost effective and have more features like enhanced grip and control.
Go back to table.
Feather boards safely keep the wood flushed with the table saw fence. They are useful for thinner pieces that will be too close to the blade to safely control from the left side.
Feather boards slide into the miter saw track and can be adjusted to gently sandwich the wood between the feather board and table saw fence.
Feather boards are not commonly sold with table saws, so an aftermarket product is necessary.
Luckily, feather boards are pretty affordable with basic feather boards ranging around 10 dollars. More complex feather boards that are compatible for other tools like routers and bandsaws are more expensive.
Feather board and push stick bundles will cost more overall, but you could get both for a lower price than buying separately.
Feather boards are very useful to create accurate cuts and prevent injury. However, feather boards are not a necessity.
You can still cut thinner boards without feather boards, you will just have a harder time keeping the wood flushed with the fence because you will not have that extra point of contact.
Feather boards are used to keep thinner pieces of wood flushed with the table saw fence without risking injury. Feather boards are not commonly sold with table saws. Feather boards are cost efficient and range from $10 to $40. The more expensive feather boards are compatible with other machinery like routers and bandsaws.
In all, feather boards are not extremely necessary, but can be very helpful in accurately cutting thinner pieces.
Go back to table.
Angle gauges are used with table saw blades to get the perfect angle of the blade.
Table saws have a bevel capability, but the table saws generally do not have the best mechanisms for setting the bevel.
It is best to have angle gauge to check the blade bevel.
- $15 – 40
The best affordable angle gauges are the magnetic ones that attach to the blade and tabletop. These gauges are simple and accurate with a lower cost than the more complex gauges.
This is the angle gauge that I use and is accurate to .1 degrees. There are other angle gauges that are on the market that I have not tried and may be either more affordable or better quality. So far, this gauge has served me well.
Angle gauges are very useful when you need to perform beveled cuts.
However, if you need to cut bevels constantly, then you will likely have a miter saw to perform that task. While miter saws do have their limitations, you may have to cut a bevel on a table saw.
If you are using your table saw to cut bevels, then you will need an angle gauge. This is because many table saws do not have positive stops the bevels. When working with angles, it is extremely important to be accurate because 1 degree off will be visible.
Angle gauges are useful when cutting bevels with the miter saw. If you will not be cutting bevels, then you will not need an angle gauge for your table saw.
Magnetic digital angle gauges are the most affordable, accurate angle gauge.
Go back to table.
Outfeed tables are tables that are places either on the side or behind the table saw to give the wood somewhere to safely go when being fed through the table saw.
Without an outfeed table, if you are cutting a long board, by the end of the cut, the majority of the board and its weight will be past the table. This can lead to injury and even the table saw tipping over.
To prevent this, an outfeed table will provide support for the board to rest on as it is being fed through the table saw.
- Varies: $40+
Outfeed tables can be made in many different ways. Height adjustable saw horses and plywood can be used as an outfeed table. Out feed tables can also be workbenches and outfeed table stands.
The cheapest way to create an outfeed table is to have 2 sawhorses and plywood to serve as a base to catch the wood. Using 2 sawhorses and plywood can cost $40+.
Most table saws are a standard 34″ tall, so you will want the sawhorse and plywood to not exceed that height. Slightly smaller outfeed tables are acceptable.
My preferred outfeed table is just to use my workbench. When creating the workbench, you want to make sure the table is the correct height for the table saw. The cost for workbenches can range drastically. There are $30 workbench builds on YouTube and plans that will require 100s of dollars. To see my workbench building process and things to look for in a workbench, check out my articles “My workbench build” and “Woodworking workbench features”.
You can also purchase an outfeed table for your table saw. Rolling stands are generally $50 and more while full tables are $200+.
Outfeed tables are very useful when working with longer boards that will be difficult to control once it is fed through the table saw.
Using an outfeed table will not only prevent injury but also damage to the saw if it were to tip over.
Outfeed tables are necessary when working with longer pieces of wood. I would recommend incorporating a workbench into an outfeed table. To do so, you will just need to make sure your bench is the correct height. To learn more about outfeed tables and how to create one, then check out my article “How to create an outfeed table”.
Go back to table.
Dust extractor or hose
A dust collection or extraction system is a very handy accessory with the table saw. Since table saws are used to cut larger boards, they will result a lot of dust buildup.
A hose with a bucket will allow for the dust to be stored effectively. The downside with just a hose is that the dust will still fly away from the saw and travel through the air.
A hose attached to a shop vac can be used to vacuum the dust and prevent as much dust from being kicked in the air.
The hose and bucket method can cost $15-30 dollars. However, a more advanced dust extraction system with a shop vac can cost $50 for a hose and budget shop vac to $200+ for a complete workshop system.
Dust collection system is not a huge necessity for a table saw. It will just make your experience better and the cleanup process easier.
Go back to table.
In this article, I discussed the most important table saw accessories that every user should have. The table saw fence, miter gauge, and push sticks were accessories that are often included in table saw purchases. However, upgrades may be needed for some users.
Feather boards, angle gauges, outfeed tables, and dust extraction systems are aftermarket products that are very useful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and I wish you luck on your woodworking journeys!
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