If you just want to know what is the best table saw miter gauge without having to read this entire article, then Incra MITER1000SE Special Edition Miter Gauge is your best choice.
If you are new to working with table saws then you might be surprised by the number of accessories available for this versatile tool. One of the most important items that can be used with your table saw is the miter gauge. As with all tools, some products are better than others. But, what makes the best table saw miter gauge? The article below hopes to answer that very question.
Top-rated miter gauges compared:
Getting Square With The Miter Gauge
A miter gauge is an invaluable accessory that will allow you to make angled and crosscuts through the wood at precise angles. It provides a solid holding position to keep the wood in place as you move it through the cut. It works in conjunction with your table saw through the slot located on your table saw surface.
Why Do You Need A Good Miter Gauge?
A miter gauge provides you with a secure platform that your lumber can butt up against to keep its orientation. The miter gauge face provides the angle that the wood will sit at when compared to the saw blade. That angle becomes the cut angle as you run the project across the saw blade. This accessory also provides a critical safety feature.
The miter gauge will hold the wood in place as you move it, as stated previously. This secure purchase helps to prevent the wood from lifting off of the table surface as well as preventing it from bouncing off of the blade.
In short, it will help to greatly reduce the possibility of kickbacks. I was fortunate enough to begin my exploration into woodworking with my grandfather. He always kept safety first, so take it from both him as well as me; never make an angled cut or crosscut freehand. Always use a miter gauge to support the piece as you operate your table saw.
How Do You Use A Miter Gauge On A Table Saw?
To begin with, your table saw should have a slot that runs along the surface of the table that is parallel to the saw blade. This slot is where your miter gauge will rest when it is in use. The gauge should be placed in the slot so that the gauge face is positioned away from you. That will allow it to support the lumber as you move it through the cut.
Once the gauge is placed properly, you will want to adjust the angle using the readings located on the gauge itself. Once the desired cut angle has been set, you can lock the gauge in that position so that it will not slip while in use.
Place the wood across the front of the gauge, so that it will butt up against the face. Align the point marked for cutting with the table saw’s blade, making sure to compensate for the blade’s kerf. Once the gauge has been set and the lumber is in position, secure it properly with your hand at the gauge. You can now begin your cut.
Keeping Safety In Mind At All Times
Safety should always be number one, especially with power tools that can do serious damage in an instant. There are a few recommended steps to make that will help ensure you are making the safest cut possible on your table saw.
Things To Look For When Choosing A Miter Gauge
It all starts with the building materials. One thing I have learned since starting into joinery is that tool quality will make a difference. This is also true of power tool accessories, such as the miter gauge on your table saw.
You will want the gauge head to be made of durable metal and not thin aluminum. The thicker material will absorb vibrations and should not flex while it is in use. For the miter that slides into the miter slot, it needs to have a smooth surface that is free from defects. This will allow it to travel in the miter slot without catching, which could cause errors or even damage to your project during a cut.
The knobs and hardware used for adjustments should be made from lighter metals and not from plastics, which have a tendency to strip and crack with prolonged use. Finding a miter gauge that works well with shop jigs is a bonus as well.
Other Features To Take Into Account
Your next consideration should be the functionality of the miter gauge. It should include markings for all angles that are easy to read. A pointer or cursor should aid you in setting the exact locking point. Its adjustment knobs should be easy to use, even with one hand. If those knobs can make micro-adjustments to the angle then that is a bonus.
Finally, the gauge’s ability to run smoothly in the miter grove should be taken into account. If there is slop in the movement, your cuts will be off every time. If the gauge is too tight, it will be difficult to move and may cause the wood to become stuck at the blade or jump into it, causing damage to the cut line.
5 Best Table Saw Miter Gauges Reviewed
Now let’s actually review 5 table saw miter gauge models which are highly acclaimed by other table saw users.
Incra MITER1000SE Special Edition Miter Gauge
- Engraved stainless steel primary scale for precision accuracy
- 41 laser cut V-stops for extreme accuracy at all popular angles
- Patented GlideLOCK miter bar with 6 expansion points for quick repeats
This precision miter gauge is designed for shops that will make repeated cuts often. Features like the expandable miter bar are great for fine woodworkers making duplicate furniture pieces.
- It has a stainless steel scale, something that helps to secure its longevity, even with extensive use on the table saw.
- A mobile flip stop can be positioned anywhere along the length of the lumber and can be moved away easily without disturbing your project’s positioning.
- This gauge contains detents at every five-degrees along the entire 180-field, allowing you to make almost any angled cut that you wish to on the edge of your boards.
- It includes six washers that can be positioned in the miter slot to help prevent slop during your cutting.
- The many fine features that will aid professional woodworkers and cabinetmakers might go unused by those just getting started in woodworking or who make one-off projects.
- Even if a beginner wishes to implement the fine adjustments on this gauge, the sheer number of them may become intimidating.
Incra Miter 5000 Miter Gauge With Sled And Telescoping Fence
- Capitalizing on a great idea, the folks at Incra
- The sled with T-track and clamping fixture secures the work piece as one solid unit for precision cross-cutting at any angle
- The right-hand portion of the sled, once cut
This product not only comes with the miter gauge, but it also includes other accessories. It is designed to hold wood securely as cuts are made and feature various controls to limit movement and slippage during operation.
- This design incorporates the Miter 3000 with a sled and locking system that is intended to offer premium support and stability for your wood project as it is being cut.
- The right-hand portion of the sled can connect to the right miter slot on a table saw to double as a zero-clearance cut-off table.
- Expansion washers are included to help secure the miter gauge and sled in the miter slot tightly so that any play or slop will be eliminated when making crosscuts as well as any angled cuts.
- The nylon washers that are used to prevent play in the miter slot of the table saw will wear over time.
- When cutting wider boards, the extra width will limit the number of washers making contact with the miter slot and may reduce their effectiveness.
Incra MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
- Miter Gauge featuring 27 angle stops for precise incremental control
- No-nonsense design and compact size
- Delivers extreme miter cutting accuracy
This entry from Incra represents the no-frills side of their product range. It has a compact design that is intentional, a feature that allows it to fit a wider range of table saws without difficulty.
- A low price point and compact design make this ideal for a secondary gauge or a primary miter gauge on the Jobsite with smaller mobile table saws.
- There are 27 angled stops marked on the gauge itself, allowing users to precisely locate and lock these pre-measured angles.
- Its angle-lock indexing system provides a secure purchase and no movement once it is locked into position.
- The angles are printed on a high contrast material that makes them easier to see against the shiny metal frame they are mounted onto.
- A big difference from other Incra products is the cheaper metal used to make this gauge, something that will prevent it from lasting as long as other miter gauges.
- Fasteners used for the universal mounting bracket are a weak link and might be the point where the unit begins to break down with extensive use.
POWERTEC 71005 Deluxe Table Saw Miter Gauge
- INCLUDES: (1) Table Saw Miter Gauge
- FUNCTION: Provides you with a premium table saw miter gauge replacement that allows you to make crosscuts at any angle with high precision
- FEATURES: Positive stops at all common angles for exceptional accuracy, a large ergonomical grip for control and comfort, set screws to remove any play, and a tip resistant washer to keep the unit...
Powertec provides an affordable model with no extras, a package that might appeal to someone with a used table saw that lacks a miter gauge, or for someone needing a back up to their main gauge.
- The low price point on this miter gauge is its strongest selling point, something that puts it into the range of almost all woodworkers.
- It has positive stops at many commonly used angles, including 45 and 90-degrees, something that novices will appreciate as they set the gauge for cuts.
- There is an oversized grip that provides plenty of comforts as well as a solid holding point during operation.
- A low price point often indicates a sacrifice of material strength, and the 71005 is no exception.
- Making cuts at angles that do not have a positive stop could be less precise, as the locking position does not feel as still as on other gauges reviewed here.
- It has numbers and marks painted onto the surface, something will wear off with use and may make the miter gauge useless sooner than it should be.
Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System
- Gauge head is CNC machine perfectly square to the bar and table ( no stampings)
- Microadjuster allows additional angle adjustment to 1/100th degree
- Positive stops at 0, 10, 22-1/2, 30 and 45-degrees; limited lifetime warranty
Last but not least on our list is Kreg KMS7102. This specific miter gauge is highly acclaimed for its excellent alignment out of the box. This product from Kreg stands out and will offer you an alternative for your current miter gauge setup. Overall, this miter gauge offers great value for the money.
- This model is calibrated at the factory and is ready to use straight from the box.
- It includes positive stops at 0, 10, 22.5, 30, and 45-degrees, providing quick adjustment to these popular angles.
- The aluminum bar used in the miter slot is adjustable and helps to eliminate movement in the miter slot.
- Kreg supports this miter gauge with a limited lifetime warranty, adding to consumer confidence.
- For some odd reason, Kreg has included nylon screws that are used to adjust between the guide bar and miter slot that are not very durable.
- The number of features and adjustments on this miter gauge may be a bit overwhelming to someone that is new to table saws.
Getting square with the miter gauge
Each of the miter gauges looked at above will provide support and a fair bit of accuracy when cutting across the grain or at an angle, but the Incra MITER1000SE Miter Gauge is the best table saw miter gauge.
It uses solid materials for a majority of its components, including the dial. This is not the case with some of the others. It provides a smooth connection with the miter slot, allowing it to travel without hangups.
Beyond the textile, it includes features that provide for infinite adjustments. Novices should not fear this gauge, as these adjustments increase its versatility. Finally, these adjustments are easy to make and will not disturb your projects positions when they are made.
We have also created a buyer’s guide on how to choose the best table saw fence systems. Make sure to check that out as well!