A Table Saw Miter Gauge is the Best Complement to Your Table Saw! Find Out Why.
Table saws are one of the most practical tools that you can use for your woodworking activities. Many people rely on them because they are durable, powerful, and sturdy. One of its best features is that there are many ways to work your wood, and there are also a lot of accessories that you can get to enhance your woodworking experience. If you get all the right complements to your table saw, you can go through wood like a knife through butter.
An exciting accessory to table saws is a saw miter gauge. It allows for an extended rate of precision on each cut. Most woodworkers get a miter gauge to reduce the margin of error on each woodcut, which is essential, considering that woodworking requires a lot of precision and accuracy.
A table saw miter gauge can help the table saw achieve a cross-cut that’s perpendicular to the grain of the wood at many different angles. Most table saw blades can work at a maximum angle of 45 degrees. However, with a table saw miter gauge, you can achieve a more versatile cut. This can make your table saw suitable for cuts that are usually better suited for a radial-arm saw or a compound miter saw.
While table saw miter gauges are an attractive accessory among woodworkers, it may be hard to choose the best one at first, since there are plenty of options that may vary in quality, functionality, or features. In this article, we are going to go through how a table saw miter gauge works, and how you can choose the best one.
We also included some table saw miter gauge reviews, so that you can take a look at the best options on the market right now. If you’re ready to improve your woodworking game, keep reading!
A table saw miter gauge is an extremely useful accessory to your table saw since it can help achieve more versatile cuts. Using them is relatively easy, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. However, you have to keep in mind that there are many options on the market and that you have to choose a product that you feel is good for your specific project.
Our top pick for this list is the Kreg KMS7102 table saw miter gauge since it provides the perfect balance between price and quality. For the price, you are getting a lot of features and premium build materials, which makes it ideal for most users.
If you want a more professional product, we recommend the Incra MITER1000SE miter gauge. It offers a wide range of features that can suit most professional projects and durable build material.
On the other hand, if you want a more general approach, the Big Horn 14600 miter gauge offers a decent amount of features that can cover most woodworking projects at an affordable price.
What is a Table Saw Miter Gauge?
To make it as concise as possible, a table saw miter gauge is a guide unit that you can use to cut your pieces at a particular angle while reducing the margin of error. Miter gauges have an in-built calibrated protractor, which helps to maintain the precision of those angled miter cuts.
If you don’t know what a miter cut is, it refers to an angled cut that you can make on the face of your piece to create a smoother corner. This corner is called the ‘miter joint,’ and it’s used to put two or more pieces together.
Using a table saw miter gauge is relatively easy, since you can adjust the angle of your cut to something that fits your needs, and you’re good to go. You can achieve square cross-cuts, compound cuts, and many more. Current table saws already include a miter gauge, but there may be some cases where you have to replace the gauge for one with higher quality, for example.
How Does a Table Saw Miter Gauge Work?
To use a table saw miter gauge, you only have to slide the miter gauge into a slot located on the front edge of your table (This slot is commonly called ‘Miter slot’). After that, get a wood piece and place it on the flat edge of the miter gauge. When you set up everything, all that’s left to do is to mark the angle in which you want to make your cut.
The best way to use miter gauges is to guide the piece forward until you’re done with the cut. You have to keep the piece in place while you’re making the cut to avoid any kickbacks. A modern miter gauge for table saw can include some additional features such as a clamp to set up the miter gauge easier, or positive stops.
These positive stops (also called angle stops or adjustable stops) allow the user to adjust the gauge to some commonly-used angles in woodworking, such as 30, 40, or 90 degrees. The amount may vary from gauge to gauge, but they usually come with similar positive stops.
Most table saw miter gauges also come with a miter gauge fence (also called table saw miter bar), which works as a small upgrade to the miter gauge. The fence allows you to make cuts with more accuracy, so it’s essential that you get a good one. Some precision miter gauges come with a short fence, which is bad news if you want to cut large pieces of wood.
When you push a large piece with a short fence, you may lose control while cutting, making for an inaccurate final cut. However, with a longer fence, the margin of error is almost unexistent. If you want to make the most out of your table saw miter gauge, keep the length of the fence in mind for enhanced accuracy.
Why Do You Need the Best Table Saw Miter Gauge?
As we said before, accuracy is one of the most important things to consider in woodworking. Making the slightest mistake could cause you to lose a significant piece of wood, or in more extreme cases, your whole project, which nobody wants. A proper precision miter gauge allows for a more secure platform to make your cuts with accuracy.
There are many features that you can get with a miter gauge for table saw, such as angle stops, expansion points, and more. However, one feature that’s overlooked by many is that a miter gauge provides a huge safety improvement.
We all know that woodworking can be physically dangerous if you don’t know how to handle your gear correctly. Some minor mistakes could damage your wood pieces, but if you make an improper movement with your hands, you could damage your hands.
When you use a miter gauge on table saw, the fence holds the wood in place while you’re moving it, which means that it can prevent the piece from lifting off. The reduced risk of kickback is definitely one of the best features of a miter gauge. However, you shouldn’t rely on the table saw miter gauge for your safety. Follow every precaution measure of your table saw, so you avoid the risk of injury.
Overall, a precision miter gauge can help to get angled cuts with more accuracy, while also providing an extra layer of safety to your work, which is always a welcome feature.
How to Choose the Best Table Saw Miter Gauges for You
Choosing the best miter gauge for you can be tricky at first. As we said before, there are many options to choose from, and some come with additional features that may or may not be useful to you.
One of the most important things to look out for is build quality. While useful features are always nice to get, the product’s overall quality can determine how well you can execute your woodworking job. These are the following things that you need to keep in mind when looking for a precision miter gauge:
You have two main options with this one; you can get a miter gauge head made from aluminum or metal. While aluminum is not a bad build material, it’s not as durable as metal. Keep in mind that a metal gauge head can help to absorb vibrations better, and it’s also harder to flex, which is better for you.
This depends on the type of piece you’re working on. A miter bar can be either short or long, and both work fine for general purposes, but there are some occasions in which a much more extended miter bar could be better. If you’re planning to work on long wood pieces, consider getting a more extended fence bar to avoid issues.
Your miter slot may vary depending on the type of table saw that you have. Find out the size of your table saw’s miter slot, so you can find a miter gauge that can fit that slot smoothly. Getting a miter gauge that doesn’t fit properly can cause some problems with accuracy on your cuts.
Some miter gauges come with an adjustable fence bar, which means that it can fit a broader range of table saws.
Other Build Materials
There are some smaller elements of a miter gauge, such as the knobs, which need to come in high-quality materials if you want to get the best out of them. Some miter gauges come with plastic knobs, which can wear down due to constant usage. If you want to ensure more durability, get knobs made from metal.
Remember that every detail counts. If you want to get the best miter gauge for your table saw, it’s better that you go for high quality, rather than going for the most affordable option without looking at all the available features.
Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Miter Gauge – Top Pick
The Kreg KMS7102 table saw miter gauge is a user-favorite! This is undoubtedly the best miter gauge that you can get if you’re looking at a decent price-quality ratio. This model is fantastic for woodworkers who want to set up their precision miter gauge system as fast as possible; the Kreg KMS7102 comes with factory calibration, which means that it’s easier to use right out of the box.
One of the best things about the Kreg KMS7102 table saw miter gauge is that it comes with a considerable amount of features that you can use to your advantage. These include a micro adjuster that allows you to make additional angle adjustments to 1/100th of a degree, a fence bar with a maximum length of 24″, and five bar adjusters, which can make the gauge fit more appropriately on the miter slot.
This product comes with five angle stops, which are zero, 10, 22-1/2, 30, and 45 degrees. If you want to get on with your project as soon as possible, the Kreg KMS7102 table saw miter gauge is one of the best options since you don’t have to spend a lot of time calibrating it. This miter gauge system provides an anodized-aluminum fence and stop system that makes accurate cuts easier to achieve.
Overall, this is an amazing miter gauge that you can get for an affordable price. If you want to read more about this product, click here.
- It comes with factory calibration.
- It provides a great value for the money.
- It comes with a micro adjuster for enhanced angle adjustments.
- It’s made from high-quality materials.
- Since the maximum length of the fence bar is 24″, it may be complicated to make cuts to pieces that are longer than that.
- The screws that the miter gauge uses to fit into the miter slot are not as durable as the other materials.
Fulton Precision Miter Gauge
This is another excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable but durable miter gauge. A remarkable feature about this product is that its aluminum miter fence is cut at precisely 45 degrees on both ends, which allows you to place your fence bar closer to the blade. This fence bar also comes with a flip stop that helps to achieve repetitive cuts more smoothly.
This product can fit the standard miter slots, which is a 3/4″ x 3/8″ with a 1/8″ ‘T’ slot. As for positive stops, the Fulton miter gauge comes with 13 of these, which gives you a broader range of standard working angles to choose from.
If you’re a woodworker who frequently cuts with common angles or wants an easy-to-set-up product at an affordable price, this may be an amazing product choice for you! Click here to read more about this miter gauge.
- It has an affordable price.
- It comes with a wide range of features that suit most woodworking needs.
- It’s easy to adjust and set up.
- The fence bar is made from aluminum, which may not be as durable as metal fences.
- It only fits the standard miter slot size.
- The fence bar is 18″, which may give you trouble is you want to work with longer pieces of wood.
Incra MITER1000SE Miter Gauge – Best for Professionals
If you’re getting serious about woodworking gear, the Incra MITER1000SE is one of the most powerful tools on the market. This product is better suited for professionals who continuously work with different pieces over the day. This product comes with an engraved stainless steel scale, which helps with accuracy.
One interesting thing about Incra is that it implements exclusive features that make for an enhanced experience with each cut. In this case, it comes with 41 laser-cut V-stops, which improves the accuracy even more. It also comes with a patented ‘GlideLOCK’ fence bar with six expansion points, which allow for quicker repeats.
If you work with wood pieces that vary in length, the Incra MITER1000SE is excellent news for you! The telescoping miter fence bar can be adjusted from 18″ to 31″, which is a considerable length.
Overall, this is an extremely versatile product that can suit most of your needs. If durability is an essential factor for you, this product also has you covered. Click here to read more about it!
- It’s made from durable materials.
- The fence bar can be adjusted up to 31″.
- It comes with the ‘Incra Flip Shop Stop-Fence Positioner,’ which enhances precision.
- It may not be suitable for beginners since it comes with an extreme amount of features, some of which can be complicated for beginners to use on their projects.
- It’s not as affordable as other products.
Big Horn 14600 Miter Gauge – Budget Option
This miter gauge is excellent if you want an affordable product that is not overwhelmed with extra features. The Big Horn 14600 is as simple as it gets, but it’s highly functional for its price. You can fit this miter gauge on a standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ track without any issues, so if you own a standard-sized table saw, you’re good to go.
The most useful feature about this miter gauge is its positive stops; these are zero, 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, and 90 degrees, which is a decent number of angles that you can choose from for your projects.
Overall, this miter gauge works perfectly for general woodworking projects, and it’s also affordable, so if you’re on a budget, this may be suitable for you. Click here to read more about this product.
- It’s an affordable product.
- It comes with high-quality build materials.
- It’s easy to use and adjust.
- It only fits standard-sized table saws.
- It may not be as useful to professionals who are looking for a lot of features on a miter gauge.
Osborne EB-3 Table Saw Miter Gauge
This is a unique product on this list because it provides a triangular design which is not commonly seen on a miter gauge. The triangular design helps to achieve tighter miter joints. If you need precision on your cuts, this design can offer you that extra layer of stability.
The telescoping fence bar can be adjusted up to 42 inches, making this miter gauge great if you’re working with cuts on longer pieces. While this may seem like an unusual design for a miter gauge, this setup allows the user to find the angle that you want for your cuts and lock it in easier.
The Osborne EB-3 comes with three guide bar expansion screws that make it easier to fit most standard-sized table saws with a 3/4″ x 3/8″ slot. This sturdy miter gauge was designed for more precise cuts and clean performance. If you want to read more about this product, click here.
- The fence bar can be adjusted to handle longer pieces.
- The fence bar can be adjusted from side to side.
- It provides easy-to-read index graduations.
- It has a unique design.
- It’s not an affordable product.
- The design may feel too ‘bulky’ to some users.
- The fence bar may flex when you extend it at its maximum.
- The guide bar may be complicated to tighten to the miter slot.
Getting precise cuts is one basic requirement for most projects, and a miter gauge can help achieve that. As you can see, there are many different options on the market, and each one offers you various possibilities for your project. You can find different fence bars, positive stops, building materials, and more. While some features are objectively better than others, you have to choose the one that best fits your needs.
Overall, investing in a miter gauge can be a great option for any woodworker who wants to improve their accuracy on their angled cuts. However, be sure to get a high-quality product that can last for a long time.