For any rookie woodworker, a table saw should be one of the first tools on your shopping list. It is an essential piece of equipment for your workshop and will allow you to accomplish a whole range of woodcutting tasks.
However, what you can do with a table saw alone is nothing compared to what you can achieve if you pair it with the right extras. If you are looking to maximize your tool’s capabilities, here are the 15 table saw accessories you must have.
Table of Contents
Most experienced table saw users would agree that whatever the quality of the table saw itself, it is only as good as the blade you fit it with. This means if you are hoping to achieve professional-quality cuts with your saw, the first thing you should look to buy is a good blade.
There are many types of table saw blade, include those for ripping, those for crosscutting and the all-rounders that can be used for both. Do your research and find the blade that is best adapted to the work you need it for – and see how much the quality of your work improves.
2. Rip fence
Most table saws come with a rip fence, but often, the quality is lacking. The table saw fence is such a vital element, but if you want great results, you really need to consider investing in an aftermarket upgrade.
After the blade, this is probably the most important extra you can buy – and some people would even argue that it’s more important than the blade itself. This means if you want the highest levels of accuracy in your woodworking, it’s not something you can afford to ignore.
3. Miter gauge
Just like the fence, many table saws come with a miter gauge, but all too often, one that is far below the standard you need if you hope to achieve even a reasonable standard of work.
It’s almost as though companies making table saws realize that a miter gauge is necessary so they throw one in almost as an afterthought but are unwilling to spend the money (and increase the price you pay) to give you a good one.
This means if you want to be able to make a range of accurate miter cuts, a good table saw miter gauge is another essential item on your shopping list.
There are many to choose from at a range of varying prices. Our advice is, if you will be using the miter gauge often, buy the best one you can afford. It will be money well-spent.
4. Safety power switch
Although table saws are inherently dangerous – among the most dangerous tools in your workshop – there’s no need to fear them. However, maintaining a healthy respect for them is always advisable, and anything that can increase your safety is never a bad idea.
For this reason, a knee-operated safety switch can be a wise investment. If you ever have a problem with your table saw – such as biting, kickback or anything else – one of these switches will allow you to cut the power instantly with your knee, allowing you to avoid an accident.
5. Push stick
Another of the most basic items you need to operate a table saw safely is the push stick. By far the most common type of table saw accident occurs when fingers come into contact with the blade. This means when working with smaller pieces of stock, you should always use a push stick to push the wood through rather than gamble with your fingers.
Most table saws come with a push stick, but if yours didn’t – or if you’ve lost or broken your push stick – this is an accessory you should acquire as a matter of urgency.
6. Push block
Push blocks serve a similar purpose to push sticks but aren’t usually included with table saws when you buy them. They allow you to push stock through the blade while minimizing the risk of accidents involving your hands.
A push block gives you a much firmer grip on the piece of stock you are working with than if you just use a regular push stick and also ensures your fingers are protected from the blade.
They may cost more than a simple push stick, but if you value high-quality workmanship – as well as your hands – push blocks could be another smart purchase.
Featherboards are also designed to help keep your fingers safe as you push your stock into the blade. They work by applying pressure on top of the stock, holding it firmly in position and allowing you to cut with greater accuracy.
Without a featherboard, you would need to apply this pressure with your hands – and since this gives you one more thing to think about, it increases the chances of having an accident.
Featherboards are inexpensive, they increase the quality of your work and also help keep you safe – so with all these advantages, why wouldn’t you want one?
8. Jigs and sleds
Table saws are basically designed for ripping. But if you want to expand the range of cuts you can make, you can easily do so by building up a collection of jigs and sleds. These will allow you to make crosscuts, angled cuts and even cut circles of wood.
The best news is, you won’t even need to spend a lot of money on these because most of them are very easy to DIY at home yourself. A great, inexpensive way to unleash the full potential of your table saw.
9. Zero clearance insert
The throat insert that came with your table saw was probably quite wide, and this leaves a lot of space as you feed your stock into the blade. However, by adding a zero clearance insert to your setup, you can help improve dust collection, reduce tear-out and also prevent small pieces of wood been thrown out at you.
For these reasons, this is another obvious addition to your table saw equipment.
10. Mobile base
While some table saws, such as jobsite table saws or mini table saws are designed for mobility, larger versions such as contractor table saws, hybrid table saws or cabinet table saws are much harder to move.
If you have one of these larger versions but you value mobility too, a mobile base for your table saw is an obvious solution.
11. Power twist link belt
The standard belt that comes with a table saw will eventually wear out. They become stiff, deformed and bumpy, and this will eventually affect the quality of the work you are able to do.
When replacing the belt, take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade your equipment and install and power twist link belt. These are designed to last much longer than regular belts and will also allow your saw to run smoother, improving the quality of your cuts.
12. Dado blade or dado set
For cutting grooves, dadoes and rabbets, a dado blade or dado set is another vital addition to your table saw kit. For anyone who regularly needs to make these kinds of cut, a good dado blade or dado set is invaluable.
13. Top saver kit
One of the keys to consistently achieving outstanding results is to keep your table saw properly maintained and in good working order. Part of this involves making sure your unit remains free of rust, and this task is made much easier by investing in a good top saver kit.
A kit should include an anti-rust solution, abrasive pads and everything else you need to keep your tool in perfect condition.
14. Wixey Digital Angle Gauge
The ability to cut a range of accurate bevels is invaluable to many woodworkers but sometimes the equipment you have at hand doesn’t allow for the level of precision you require.
A simple solution – and one that’s much more affordable than investing in more expensive equipment – is this digital angle gauge from Wixey. You simply fix it to the blade for an accurate readout on the angle, and then you just adjust the blade to the angle you require. Elegant and ingenious.
15. Aftermarket splitter
Splitters on table saws help keep your stock in place, preventing sliding and movement and also eliminating the tendency wood has to pinch the blade as you cut. Pinching like this can lead to burnt edges at best – and at worst, dangerous kickbacks.
Many people forego the use of a splitter since they can be time-consuming to fit and adjust – but by choosing a high quality one, such as the MJ splitter, you can have all of the advantages without the disadvantages. Put like that, it seems like a no-brainer.
Release the full potential of your table saw
While the basic operation of a table saw alone – making fast and accurate rip cuts – makes it an essential piece of kit, there is so much more it can do with the right add-ons.
If you are looking to release the full potential of your table saw, setting about acquiring some or all the accessories on our list is the best way to do it.
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