Today, when you buy a table saw, you will usually find a cross and a rip fence in the scope of delivery. The following article explains the advantages.
What is a rip fence, and what does it do?
A rip fence is a relatively long structure, usually made of aluminum, which, attached to the table saw, runs precisely parallel to the saw blade. The position of the rip fence (distance to the saw blade) can easily be changed with a lever/handle.
In practice, a rip fence is very useful when cutting the workpiece. For example, you only have to mark the dimensions at one point on the workpiece and cut the workpiece to size using the rip fence. For instance, several thinner strips of wood can be made from a large wooden panel. Once the rip fence has been used, there is no need to measure and mark again.
But be careful with relatively cheap table saws (here are good ones under $300). It is possible that the rip fence is not 100% parallel to the saw blade or that it shifts during the sawing process. A non-angled (in the worst case, unusable) workpiece would be the result.
Tip on the rip fence
When buying the table saw, it is advisable to ensure that the rip fence can be attached to the saw table at 2 points (bottom and top). Here the probability is much lower for the rip fence to slip during the sawing process. So you get more precision.
In the picture above, there is a threaded rod with a spring inside the rip fence, which also fixes the fence firmly on the saw table in the upper area. Even in the case of counter pressure (e.g., through improper guidance of the workpiece), the stop remains parallel to the saw blade and does not leave its angle.
Angled cuts can be made with the help of the cross stop. It is used, for example, if you do not want to cut the workpiece at a standard 90 ° angle.
You can find more information about the cross stop in another article on our website.
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Both parallel and cross stops can be very useful in practice. Both make your work much easier. If precision is essential to you, you should invest a few dollars more in your table saw, as the best models usually have more precise fences (with little or no play).