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There will be many times in your woodworking journey that you’ll come across an accessory that can make a project ten times easier and faster to complete.
In the article below, we’ll discuss the various table saw accessories on offer and what they’re used for.
Table Saw Accessory Quick List
Sellers will sometimes include customers' opportunity to buy accessories at a discounted price along with their table saw. Below are the most useful accessories to include in your shopping cart.
Angle gauges allow the user to measure a fixed object's angle; in our case, this would be the table saw blade. Nowadays, you’ll encounter built-in angle gauges or electronic angle gauges.
You can still buy a traditional version, but they’re not used as much as they’re not as accurate.
The way you’d use the angle gauge is by placing it flat against the blade; it’ll then tell you the angle it’s sitting at; this works well if you need to cut a workpiece at a certain angle.
A clearance insert is a more useful alternative to your throat plate; the purpose is to decrease the gap between the blade and the nearest surface. What we mean is that the gap your blade pokes through on the throat plate is much tighter on a zero clearance insert.
The benefit of this would be to lower the chance of larger wood chippings jamming the blade underneath.
Another benefit would be an improved dust collection system; a decreased gap means that dust will be collected more efficiently rather than falling through the gap and clogging the insides.
Dado Blade Set
A dado blade allows the operator to create cuts known as dadoes or grooves into a workpiece. A dado blade set comes with two dado blades that attach to removable chippers; when operating, the blades spin, creating the dado cut while the chipper removes the inside material.
It’s important to note that not all table saws can use a dado blade set; your manual will let you know if it’s possible.
Dado blade sets are also known as stacked dado blades, whereas the other type is known as a wobble dado blade, which is a single dado blade that moves in an S shape to create the same effect as a dado blade set.
A featherboard is a tool you’d use with your table saw to keep a workpiece steady and secure during the cutting process. The featherboard tends to be made from plastic and can often be clamped to the table or secured using a magnet. They come in varying sizes depending on the task, but you can easily make one yourself.
Commonly known as rip fences, these tools are used in order to keep wooden pieces straight and secure during cutting.
The name rip fence relates to their common use during a rip or crosscut, which are known to be difficult to complete.
Modern table saws will come with a fence built-in. However, you can buy a fence for a table saw that doesn’t have this accessory already.
Link belts are used on table saws to decrease the vibration significantly. They’re made from urethane elastomer, which is then reinforced with woven polyester fabric for extra support.
The chains interlock with one another so that they can absorb the vibrations in a way normal belts can’t. The material and design also allow for the belts to be twisted together to fit any required size.
Miter gauges often come attached as part of a table saw. However, they can be bought separately. They’re used to hold the material at a certain angle while being cut. Miter gauges are also useful for keeping wood secure.
A push block is a simple tool that prevents the user from having their hands/fingers come too close to the blade. Push blocks also help with limiting the risk of a kickback as you have more secure control over the wood.
Stands are often used to provide stability for the table saw. The reduction in vibration will enhance the cuts made as there’s no vibration to mess with the alignment or customized settings. These stands are great for portable table saws that you’d like to use while in a workshop.
A table extension allows the user to make more room for larger workpieces or wood objects; they can also support an adjustable miter fence. You simply pull out the extension to whichever size you’d need.
Who Should or Shouldn’t Be Using These Accessories?
In the section below, we’ll discuss the different skill levels required to operate each accessory we’ve mentioned above.
- Table Extension - This accessory is fairly easy to use and can be a great asset if you haven’t gotten the correct size of the table.
- Miter Gauge - You’ll quickly come across the need for a miter gauge as a beginner for angled cuts.
- Push Blocks - Push blocks aren’t hard to use and can be used by anyone that doesn’t want to risk their fingers.
- Featherboards - If you don’t want to fork out on a fence, you could use your featherboard to provide stability and security when cutting. They just clamp on to your table.
- Stands - You’d only require a stand if you’re looking to use it often to reduce vibration; if you’ve got a portable table saw, a stand would be suitable for you when working from the workshop.
- Fences - When working with fences, you’ll be requiring more precise and reliable cuts; they’re not hard to use or even build yourself. It’s a more advanced version of a featherboard.
- Angle Gauge - You’d possibly see someone with intermediate experience requiring an angle gauge; they’re only really needed for more complicated cuts.
- Link Belts - If your cuts are suffering from vibration and you tend to operate your table saw every day for work or a large project, you’ll benefit from a link belt.
- Clearance Inserts - If you’d like to improve your dust containment efficiency or all of the cuttings are clogging the inside; you’d benefit from clearance inserts. These issues only tend to exist if you aren’t cleaning your table saw or you’re using it all day, every day.
- Dado Blade Set - The type of cuts created by a dado blade set is rabbetts and dado cuts. Two cuts are mainly used to create intricate designs.
Which Accessories Should I Buy Sooner Than Later?
You’ll definitely use some accessories more than others. The below section will discuss what accessories are most important and why.
This set of accessories are known to be used commonly by woodworkers or carpenters. No matter what project in terms of difficulty or experience level, you’d consider these basic necessities in the woodworking world. It’s also important to note that most of these products are built-in or come with modern table saws.
- Miter Gauges
- Push Blocks
- Angle Gauge
The two products shown here are similar in the sense that they add extra space and improve stability. They’re not as common for people to use as customers usually do their research into what suits their needs.
Therefore, they’re less inclined to buy something that doesn’t have enough table space, or a portable table saw when they actually need something like a cabinet table saw with sturdy legs.
- Table Extension
The following accessories aren’t as popular for your regular hobbyist. They’re more suited to someone who invests each waking moment in carpentry and woodworking. It’s also due to the fact that these products aren’t necessary to successfully complete a project.
- Clearance Inserts
- Dado Blade Set
- Link Belts
There are so many accessories to buy, but only a handful of them are actually useful. The above-mentioned accessories are what you’ll come across most in your carpentry/woodworking journey.