Whether you’re ready to purchase a brand new table saw, or if you’re still performing your research, it can be hugely beneficial for you to learn about all of the basic table saw parts and accessories, their names and their functions.
This can help you to get a better understanding of detailed table saw reviews, and will allow you to make your own evaluation of various table saw models.
If you’re new to the world of table saws and you’re wondering what a rip fence is, or even if you just want some more clarity about miter gauges and what they do, then this is exactly the article that you’ve been looking for.
Table Saw Parts and Accessories Terminology
Most modern table saws come with a standard set of parts and accessories, especially when you look at job site and contractor table saws.
For the first part of this article, we will focus on the most common standard table saw parts and accessories that you’ll find during an unboxing.
The Saw Blade
Entry level and mid-range table saws will almost always come included with a saw blade.
The blade is one of the most important parts of the table saw, because it can determine the quality and efficiency of the cuts. Use the wrong type of blade, and you’ll burn your material or end up with rough cuts.
Use the right blade, and you should easily be able to cut and rip the materials that are suitable for your particular saw.
Quality blades are carbide tipped for durability, and you should also take note of how many teeth are on the blade.
Generally, more teeth mean smoother cuts, which is why it is usually recommended to upgrade from the standard 30 tooth blade that is included with most table saws.
The Table Surface
If you read a table saw review that talks about the quality of the table surface, make sure that you take note.
A poor surface can drastically impact the overall quality of the table. A good surface will be made of aluminum, and will feature a non-friction coating.
This coating makes it easier to pass materials over the surface, allowing for faster cuts and less fatigue when working on a table.
The Rip Fence
As one of the most important features on any table saw, the rip fence allows you to measure your pieces of working material, and ensures that they are square to the blade.
The rip fence is important for both accuracy and safety, so this will be one of the major parts of a table saw that you should consider when choosing a unit to purchase.
The most accurate rip fences are third party solutions, but they can be cost prohibitive for the average user, and can sometimes cost as much as a mid-range jobsite table saw.
The built-in fences on professional units will usually provide enough accuracy for most contractor and home DIY work, and the best types are those that sit on independent glide rails or rack and pinion systems.
Table Saw Motors
Modern table saws use sealed motors that are permanently lubricated and can’t be serviced by users.
The motor will be one of the most important parts of a table saw that you can consider when you’re looking for your next purchase. 15AMP motors are the standard for entry level and mid-to-upper range saws, and you should be looking for a motor that allows blade spin of around 3850RPM or more.
Higher maximum RPM can mean faster cuts with a good blade, but remember that the speed of the blade will also be impacted by the type of material that you are working with.
Table Saw Stand
A stand is considered one of the optional table saw parts, and functions to allow for working at height in a workshop or on a jobsite.
Not every user will require a stand, as some will mount a table saw to an existing workbench, and some contractors will be able to use a saw directly on the floor of a jobsite (permitting it is safe to do so).
Whether or not you need a stand, will depend on your particular use case scenario, and how confident you are at working with a saw. Stands can be purchased separately, or can be included with some saw packages, such as the Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw that we have reviewed in detail.
This small measuring tool is one of the most common table saw parts names that you will see when you’re checking reviews or product descriptions of table saws.
This handy little gauge is what will allow you to make accurate cross-cuts when using your table saw. The miter gauge is attached to a guide which fits into a groove on a table saw.
The gauge also features a pivoting angle guide, so it is possible to make compound cuts with a table saw when you use a miter gauge. This tool is a standard accessory with most saws, although an upgrade can mean better accuracy of cuts.
Every professional table saw assembly will come with a blade guard as one of the included table saw parts.
This guard protects you from the spinning blade, without compromising the movement of your material through the blade.
Modular blade guard systems are usually formed using clear plastic that aids in visibility.
Accidents with a table saw can be serious, especially when the right safety equipment is not used.
Kickback pawls are included as standard accessories on most table saws from major manufacturers. These small metal devices grip the material to prevent it being ejected from the saw.
Only the smallest hobby table saws should come without this essential safety feature.
A push stick is an essential safety device which makes it easier to push pieces of material that are unsafe to be moved by hand. A push stick can be as a basic as a plastic tool with a curved notch for pushing wood, or there are even third party push sticks that have special grips and friction surfaces for making usage easier.
The Big Horn 10230 Woodworkers Power Hands Safety Push Stick is one of the third party options that can be used in place of the basic stick that manufacturers include in their packages.
Not every table saw features a dust shroud, but those that do will allow for much cleaner work spaces and easier clean up.
A dust shroud is a plastic device that covers the underside of the table saw blade, directing dust to an outlet port at the back of the table.
This outlet can then be connected to a vacuum dust collection system, or a simple passive dust bag. When checking for table saw parts and accessories on a table saw review, the dust collection performance should be one of the sections that you pay close attention to.
Table Saw Accessories That You Can Buy to Improve Safety
If you’re going to be using a table saw regularly, then you’ll definitely need to brush up on your safety practices. You can check our table saw safety article here, and you should also know that there are some specific accessories that you can buy.
If you’re going to be working with materials other than wood, such as certain plastics or composites, then you should wear a high quality general purpose protective mask.
This will prevent fine particles from entering your airways and causing irritation, breathing difficulties, or long term health problems.
One good example of a quality product is the Honeywell Nuisance Disposable Dust Mask. This is a certified mask that can be purchased in bulk for a highly affordable price.
Another thing you should always remember is to protect your eyes.
Regardless of the table saw parts like dust shrouds and blade guards, there is still the potential for dust and debris to be ejected towards your face and eyes.
A good pair of safety glasses or googles are recommended any time that you are sawing, either at home or in a professional environment.
DeWALT, a leading power tools manufacturer, produces excellent affordable safety goggles that can prevent woodchips and dust from entering your eyes.
The DEWALT Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle is a highly recommended accessory.
With Knowledge, You Can Make the Right Purchasing Decision
Knowing all about the different table saw parts and accessories will not only allow you to better understand table saw reviews, but they’ll allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing your new table saw.
Here’s a nice video I found on youtube that will help you get better acquainted with the different parts of a table saw:
Always pay close attention to the parts and accessories listed with a saw, and look for a product that includes the right safety and convenience accessories that meet your unique needs.