All Replies on Which side do you use on your TS

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View RussellAP's profile

Which side do you use on your TS

by RussellAP
posted 11-03-2012 04:39 AM

31 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28908 posts in 2302 days

#1 posted 11-03-2012 04:47 AM

I am not sure, I think normal protocol is on the right.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2250 days

#2 posted 11-03-2012 04:48 AM

Most of the video’s I see people are working on the left of the blade with the fence on the right.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View bandit571's profile


19718 posts in 2647 days

#3 posted 11-03-2012 05:07 AM

I stay on the left side of the blade, usually. Fence will USUALLY stay to the right of the blade. I say USUALLY, because some cuts take a set up the other way, about 1 in 20 for me.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2250 days

#4 posted 11-03-2012 06:15 AM

Fence to the right generally works well for me with a left tilt saw.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2004 days

#5 posted 11-03-2012 06:41 AM

Never considered putting the fence to the left, but I guess it doesn’t really matter except with larger pieces. My table saw extension is on the right side so I have to use that side if I want to move the fence over for wider cuts.

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2655 days

#6 posted 11-03-2012 07:14 AM

I think it has more to do with handedness. Since most people are right handed they prefer stand to the left of the blade with the fence on the right with their dominant hand controlling the action.

Or at least that’s what I do.

It would make sense (to me) that a lefty would do the opposite because it feels more comfortable.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2466 days

#7 posted 11-03-2012 08:32 AM

I have a Triton workcentre so, although I could have the fence either side, the distance calibrations work best with the fence on the left of the blade. I rather like this since it means that I can push with my right hand while standing to the outside of the fence (out of the path of a possible kickback) and also not be working over the blade as I do on a table that has the fence on the right.

John makes a good point about considering the tilt of the blade, but I cannot tilt my blade on the Triton workcentre so it is not a concern for me.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View knotscott's profile (online now)


7980 posts in 3339 days

#8 posted 11-03-2012 09:45 AM

Left side of the fence.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2657 days

#9 posted 11-03-2012 11:23 AM

I agree with RussellAP and Tootles the majority of the time the fence is to the left of the blade. I found over the years of using table saws that my proper hight for my table saw is 32” and when doing most work it is more comfortable and seemingly more safe for my body to be to the right of the blade. I feel uncomfortable, like backwards, working the other way which to me equals a safety issue. I believe there is no right or wrong here just what is comfortable and ultimately the safest way of doing things.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3062 days

#10 posted 11-03-2012 11:45 AM

+1 to Richard
I’m left handed so my fence is on the right side of the blade. I stand right of the blade out of harms way, using my left hand to guide and push the wood. My right hand is useless except to hold a golf club. HA!

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2331 days

#11 posted 11-03-2012 12:17 PM

fence on da right side…


View Rob's profile


316 posts in 2950 days

#12 posted 11-03-2012 12:18 PM

My fence is to the the right of my left tilt blade and cut wood this way unless I’m using a sled, then I use the left miter slot and the finish cut is to the right side of the blade and don’t use the fence at all

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3249 days

#13 posted 11-03-2012 01:18 PM

For most cabinet saws, the extension table is right of the blade and fence rails run to the right of the blade. I’m sure you could put extension rails running left of the blade and get a tape that reads right to left and mount it. If it’s a small saw, then I guess the rip fence wouldn’t matter.

Comfort and safety is the most important. If you’re not comfortable pushing wood from one side or the other, then it can create a real safety problem.

I’ve always been “bad” about how I stand behing my saw. 99 percent of the time my fence will be right of the blade. I usually stand a little to the left of the blade, so when I’m pushing the wood I have more of a tendency to push the wood towards the fence. I can see my wood, my hands, the blade and the face of the fence at all times so I feel more comfortable with the cut. I have a tendency not to pay as much attention to where I’m standing as far as a kick back is concerned. In 27 years of full time woodworking, I can only think of kick back twice. The first time the board hit me in the belt line ( it left a mark!). The second time the board took the my hand back across the blade ( that left a mark and a lot of stiches).

I don’t think it matters at all which side we work from as long as we feel comfortable doing it and pay attention to what we’re doing. Just be safe.
BTW: I can still count to ten and don’t have to borrow anyone’s finger to do so.

-- John @

View toolie's profile


2120 posts in 2592 days

#14 posted 11-03-2012 01:27 PM

fence to the right of the blade with the finished workpiece riding between the blade and the fence., with the offcut falling away to the left of the blade. employed the same technique using both right and left tilt saws.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3249 days

#15 posted 11-03-2012 01:28 PM

After I read my own post, I might of confused some. My main point was, I think a lot of woodworkers focus more on where they stand behind their saw,(for fear of kick back) then how they actually feel while pushing a board along a rip fence. Both of my kick backs where “oopserator” mistakes. (getting “too” combortable behind the saw and not paying attention for a split second).
I’ve always been more fearful of getting cut with the table saw then getting hit with a board with kick back, especially since I’ve experienced both.

-- John @

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3122 days

#16 posted 11-03-2012 03:14 PM

Ditto, Toolie.

It’s about handedness. Mine is on the right side. I have to turn my Incra fence around to make bevel cuts sometimes because my saw is right tilting. It’s always awkward pushing with my left hand, so much so I really don’t like doing it.

-- jay,

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10349 posts in 3392 days

#17 posted 11-03-2012 03:20 PM

Fence on the right. Don’t know why. It just seemed correct the first time I used the saw. Probably because I’m a righty.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2531 days

#18 posted 11-03-2012 04:37 PM

Right side. Thats were the extension is.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View johndale's profile


9 posts in 2047 days

#19 posted 11-03-2012 04:54 PM

my old tablesaw had a one-sided fence that was to the right of the blade. my new one has a fence you can use either side. someday i am sure i will try on the left side of the blade to see if there is any difference—i suppose some things may make sense—but haven’t figured it out yet!!

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3527 posts in 2215 days

#20 posted 11-03-2012 04:54 PM

Do you consider where your saw’s switch is when you decide which side of the fence you’re on?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2250 days

#21 posted 11-03-2012 05:14 PM

Don, I don’t usually cut anything on a TS that would impeded my ability to reach the switch. When I do, I cut on the right side if possible so I’m on the same side as the switch.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Handtooler's profile


1541 posts in 2096 days

#22 posted 11-03-2012 05:26 PM

On left tilting saws, if you are cutting any bevel angles do not put the fence on the left side or tight side of your work! It’ll cause binding, a DANGEROUS situation.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2038 days

#23 posted 11-03-2012 05:45 PM

anyone can tell when its RIGHT! if you put in a single switch upside down it tells you “no” RIGHT side up it says “on” same with a tape measure if you measure from left to right with the tape in your RIGHT hand its RIGHT side up. Measuring from right to left its upside down. Most non screw drive saws are for left handers because a RIGHT handed operator has to stand over the saw to see the blade on the line.(or else they would have to use a left hand thread to hold the blade) Table saws mess with your mind. I am RIGHT handed (as if you couldn’t tell). I make my adjustments with my RIGHT hand so I have the fence on the RIGHT side of a LEFT tilt saw (very seldom do you want to tilt the blade into the fence). Of course this forces me to use the tape in my LEFT hand reading left to right witch as implied before is wrong and has caused some incorrect measurements 18 1/4” actually created 17 3/4”. lol.Right hand tilt saws were only invented to remove the opportunity to blame the saw for making dimensional mistakes RIGHT?

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2847 days

#24 posted 11-03-2012 06:17 PM

Fence is on the right side of the blade for me. I never thought about this consciously; the fence rails are longer on the right so that is where I got used to having the fence. Would probably feel strange to have it on the left now.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View markswoodcraft's profile


175 posts in 2084 days

#25 posted 11-03-2012 06:21 PM

my saw has the space on the right side, but it will slide over to the left.
it is mostly a matter of personal preference

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#26 posted 11-03-2012 06:40 PM

Like others have said ,because of my left tilt saw I have the fence to the right of the blade. There are operations that I find it necessary to do the reverse.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2886 days

#27 posted 11-03-2012 09:59 PM

When I can, I put the fence to the left of the blade and I stand to the left of the fence. Yes, I reach over the fence using a push stick. Any kickbacks will not hit my body. My right arm is the only thing in the line of a possible kickback.

-- Website is

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3426 days

#28 posted 11-03-2012 10:32 PM

Fence on the right, mainly because my saw does not have a provision for mounting the fence on the left. When I get did have my unisaw it was on the right, unless I tilted the blade. It was a right tilt saw, so I would move the fence to the left and have the offcut fall away from the fence and not take the chance of it getting pinched and kicking back.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

135 posts in 3068 days

#29 posted 11-04-2012 12:31 AM

I’m left handed, but feel more comfortabl/safe with the fence to the right of the blade. And make most cuts on the left, unless I’m using the fence for ripping or other cuts that would require the fence.


View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3627 days

#30 posted 11-04-2012 01:53 AM

Mostly on the left side with the fence on the right, and I stand to the left of the blade.

For some cuts (longer stock) I switch the right side, and stay to the right of the blade. I seldom move the fence to the left side of the blade.

I am fortunate in that I am generally ambidextrous … I write and shoot right-handed, otherwise I am comfortable switching hands to accomplish the task at hand.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2240 days

#31 posted 11-04-2012 01:52 PM

I use my TS fence on the right, and use my table saw on the fence side.

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