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.
In this article, we will be reviewing these 5 table saw miter gauges:
Table of Contents
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
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.
Best Table Saw Miter Gauge Reviews
Now for the best part: let’s actually review specific table saw miter gauge models which are highly acclaimed by other table saw users.
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.
Incra MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
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 difficultly.
Incra MITER1000SE Special Edition Miter Gauge With Telescoping Fence And Dual Flip Shop Stop
- 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.
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.
Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System
- Factory Calibration. Guaranteed out of the box to .003 accuracy of 6-inches
- Gauge head is CNC machine perfectly square to the bar and table ( no stampings)
- Vernier scale allows fast, 1/10th-degree angle adjustments. Our extremely straight 24 inch (610mm) anodized-aluminum bar is 3/8 inch(9.5mm) thick by 3/4 inch(19mm) wide and features five bar...
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.
Which Miter Gauge Stands Out?
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!