Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Barry Gray
When using a table saw, you always want to ensure your cuts are accurate. After all, if you don’t, then who knows what could end up happening? Actually, I could predict that your entire project could come crashing down simply because a few cuts were not carried out as you had planned.
But why am I talking about this? Well, it’s because I’m going to look at six of the best table saw fences on the market. The table saw fence, also known as the rip fence, will play an integral role in ensuring you can get those accurate cuts every time.
Without it, or even with a poor fence system installed, you can pretty much be assured that your cuts may not work out the way you intended.
But why listen to what I have to say?
Well, I’ve been working with power tools for over 20 years, so I have a lot of experience handling various tools and working on multiple projects. I’ve taken all that experience and spent time reviewing the different fence systems.
I intend to not only provide you with six of the best rip fences to choose from but also help you make your decision. Ultimately, this will involve me providing some tips at the end on what to look out for.
- Best Beginner Table Saw Fence System – Carter Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence
- Best Overall Table Saw Fence System – Shop Fox W1716
- Best Multifunctional Table Saw Fence System – DCT Table Saw Fence 18”
- Best Fence with Standard Rails – Shop Fox W1410
- Best Locking Fence System – Delta 78-919BT2 Biesemeyer
- Best for Small Workshops – DeWalt DW745 Table Fence
How I Made My List
But let me quickly explain how I managed to make my list.
For me, the most important thing when choosing a rip fence system was the ease of use and how simple it was to adjust. The last thing I want for you is to have a fence system installed that takes an eternity to set up and also becomes the trickiest part of your table saw when it comes to getting everything in place.
So, that’s what I focused on, but also if it was robust and could cope with being used on a regular basis. Finally, I also examined what other people had to say about the table saw fence to give some better insight into what it’s like to own it.
By the end of all of that, I was left with these six table saw fences. I feel confident that at least one of them will fit in with your own individual needs.
Best Beginner Table Saw Fence System – Carter Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence
- Length: 6”
- Height: 3 ½”
Honestly, this is not just one of the best fence systems for people new to table saws; I think it’s one of the best on the market in general.
What I love about it is the fact it’s universal. You are not tied down to one particular brand as it fits with almost every single iron or steel table, and it does so with absolute ease. Also, size is not a problem. It just attaches without any issues, and you are good to go.
Sure it’s only 6” long and has a height of 3 ½”, but that’s not a massive problem in my book. It will undoubtedly be more than enough for those quick cuts, and precision will never be a problem.
But here’s another reason why I love it.
This fence system can be used for other power tools where you use a fence to guide you and keep your cuts in line. All you do is quickly detach the tool and move it onto another iron or steel surface, and it’s ready to go.
In addition, I find that this tool has more than enough t-slots, and switching the magnets on and off is also exceptionally easy to do. I just find it so easy to use, and if you have never used a fence system before, then it’s almost impossible for it to go wrong.
- It is one of the most straightforward fence systems to attach
- It works with more than just table saws
- You can attach it to any iron or steel table
- It does help you produce accurate cuts
- Switching the magnets is easy to do
- It is a bit short in length for some people, so keep that in mind
Best Overall Table Saw Fence System – Shop Fox W1716
- Rip Capacity: 30”
- Overall Length: 57”
For me, the Shop Fox W1716 is the best overall table saw fence system on the market, and I’ll tell you why I think that’s the case.
First, there’s the length. It measures some 57”, meaning you get a total rip capacity of 30” to the right of the blade. I know that means this rip fence can be used on pretty much any project, so I don’t see versatility as an issue here.
But I also love the fact it’s made from aluminum. That keeps it nice and light, but the fact it’s still metal does mean it has a strength about it.
However, while they do represent important aspects, it’s not the most essential part.
You see, what I also love here is the fact it comes with its own heavy-duty cam lever. That will lock everything into place, and this rip fence will not be moving anywhere any time soon.
But here is a cool thing.
While it does a fantastic job of holding the fence in place, the lever is straightforward to use. Actually, you can do this with one hand and then simply lock it all into place when ready.
That does mean adjustment is not a problem. In addition, the design does mean the chances of any deflection occurring while in use should be reduced.
Finally, there’s the ease with which you can read the measurements on this fence. The measuring tape has a real contrast, so things stand out. Once again, I find this very easy to use, and it’s quick and simple to line up your cuts.
Overall, this table saw fence system performs well and will do so for years to come. Its length allows you to work on various projects without needing to continually adjust everything, so this could prove to be the best fence system you ever buy.
- It is long, so it works with most projects
- The cam lock works well
- It’s very straightforward to adjust, and everything does lock into place
- The measurements are clear
- It’s robust and will continue to perform for years
- Depending on your table saw, you might need to drill mounting holes for the rip fence
Best Multifunctional Table Saw Fence System – DCT Table Saw Fence 18”
- Length: 18”
People fall into the trap of thinking that a fence system can only perform one action. Well, that’s not always the case, and this model by DCT is a prime example.
At 18” long, this is not the biggest rip fence you will ever come across, but I still feel this length will prove suitable for a wide range of projects. It also has a miter gauge running from -30 to +30 degrees, so that’s a great additional feature.
I love how you can quickly produce these angled cuts and with the minimum amount of fuss. Also, you should find that this fence system will easily fit any table saw measuring in at 3 ¼” cuts, so that does mean it covers a number of options.
But for me, the precision of those angles helps this model stand out. You can quickly attach it to your table saw, lock it into place, and it’s ready to go.
Overall, I feel the performance of this table saw rip fence is exceptional. It’s robust, easy to move and adjust, and gives you those precise cuts you are looking for.
- It’s both a fence and a miter gauge
- You will find it very easy to make angled cuts
- It’s robust and reliable
- Adjusting the fence is very easy to do
- You can attach it in seconds
- At 18”, some people may feel it comes up short in the length department
Best Fence with Standard Rails – Shop Fox W1410
- Length: 27”
I sometimes feel people can become confused with any tool, so if you want a rip fence that keeps things nice and simple, then this Shop Fox model is perfect. You will find that it can fit any standard 27” table saw, and I see that the model can be attached in no time.
I love this model because it can even fit into older table saw models. This is fantastic because so many rip fence systems will lead to you having to drill new holes to attach it, but that’s not the case here.
Another thing I love is the fact it uses ball-bearings to slide the rail along. That means it’s smooth, and adjusting the fence is just as easy. That’s thanks to it having a couple of adjustable knobs you turn on either side and lining it up will be a breeze.
I see this fence also being perfect for people new to this. It doesn’t allow you to cut angles, and you may find it tricky to assemble the fence at the start. However, it’s worth persevering with it.
Overall, I just love the simplicity and the fact it can attach to so many tables. It doesn’t try to offer too much, which is perfectly fine.
- It’s straightforward to set up
- It fits on any 27” table saw
- It’s quick to adjust
- It keeps life simple
- It runs smoothly thanks to ball-bearing guides
- It can be tricky to put together
Best Locking Fence System – Delta 78-919BT2 Biesemeyer Table Fence System
I always look at how a fence system locks to determine its effectiveness, and if you want to know the fence system that has the best approach, then it’s this model by Delta.
I love it because it comes with a 3-point locking system, and it’s viewed by many as the best in the industry. Also, it’s actually designed with older table saws in mind, so you should have no real issue with fitting everything together.
They have kept things nice and simple from a design and functionality perspective. Older models are made from birch, but be aware that newer versions appear to now be crafted from plywood, but that still shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
But don’t worry about them using wood. Everything is covered in plastic, providing you with a smooth surface to glide against. Also, I find that the plastic finish does mean nothing snags against it, so you feel it simply works better overall.
However, the locking system means this fence system wins, in my opinion.
- The locking system is brilliant
- The fence doesn’t create any snags
- It’s very effective at what it does
- It keeps things simple in how it works
- It fits older table saws with ease
- The plastic guides can be slightly flimsy
Best for Small Workshops – DeWalt DW745 Table Fence
- Rip Capacity: 20” to the right and 12” to the left
I’ve been a big fan of DeWalt products since I can remember, and this table fence system is an excellent example of the types of accessories they produce on a regular basis.
It provides you with a rip capacity of 20” to the right of the blade and 12” to the left, so that’s more than adequate for most projects. Also, it uses a rack and pinion system, so I do find that adjusting the fence should not prove problematic.
This model also comes with an adjustment knob, and I find this to work well. It allows you to make those minor adjustments to get everything lined up perfectly before the fence locks into place. Once you do that, the fence is going nowhere, so you can complete your cuts with absolute confidence.
In addition, I do also appreciate the L-shape bracket on this model. I feel it does provide you with some extra support up to the edge of the stock. I see it as allowing you to cut right through without worrying about the fence coming up short.
Overall, the compact size means this fence system is perfect for small workshops with limited space. It’s easy to set up and adjust, so I don’t anticipate you running into any problems.
- It has a small rip capacity for smaller workshops
- The adjustment knob is straightforward to use
- The rack and pinion system is smooth and simple
- It provides support to the edge of the stock
- It’s compact but sturdy
- Its size does reduce the number of projects it can be used on
How to Choose the Right Table Saw Fence System
The six different options listed above are all fantastic in their own way, but you need to know how to select the correct fence system for your own individual needs. So, here are some tips.
Make Sure it Fits Your Table Saw
The first step is to ensure it fits your table saw. This seems pretty obvious, but it’s incredible how often people overlook this step and end up with a fence system that they either have to throw away or adjust and drill holes so it all fits.
The key is that the fence can lock into place when absolutely parallel to the blade. Anything else just won’t do as it means your cuts will not be straight as the initial line is out of sync.
Another key point is the ease with which the fence system can be adjusted. That means how quickly you can get it into place and then make those fine moves to help you produce the type of cuts you are looking for.
Most options will have a knob you can turn to make those minor adjustments. However, I’ve made sure that each fence system listed above can be easily adjusted and set into place.
You need the fence system to lock into place to ensure it doesn’t move when cutting. This can be achieved in different ways, but the key is that it does lock with ease.
It’s also important to understand the rip capacity of the fence system as this relates to the project size you can then work on with this in place. It will be measured in inches, but make sure you know if this is the total rip capacity or if there is variation depending on the blade’s side.
The difference between the left and right side of the blade may prove substantial. I’ve seen differences of more than 8” in length between both sides, and that could influence how you then use the fence system.
If you plan on making angle cuts, you need to consider whether your fence system should also come with a miter gauge. This is not as common as other fence systems, but those options are out there.
If you need a miter gauge, check the angle options before buying. It should have a minimum of -30 to +30 degrees for it to be worth your while.
Overall, those are the key things I would look out for when buying a fence system. I feel you don’t have too much to think about, but each point above is undoubtedly important in its own right.
A table saw fence system is essential if you want to make those accurate cuts without worrying about it. Easy to set up and easy to adjust, a fence system makes quick work of whatever you need to cut, and you just cannot really survive without one.
The six options I’ve added to my list all work exceptionally well, but I think you should run over the tips I included at the end to get a better idea of what to look for.
A fence system is not the most exciting accessory you will ever need to buy, but there’s no doubt you will need one. I hope the different options and tips I’ve included here will prove to be highly effective and make your life a bit easier when deciding which one to buy.