What are your Table Saw must haves?

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Forum topic by TinyTheGiant posted 12-17-2013 05:57 AM 5037 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1918 days

12-17-2013 05:57 AM

I will be getting a table saw in the near future, either one from craigslist or if nothing good comes up then the R4512 and I was just wondering, What do you consider the must have table saw accessories? Which types of blades, which measurement/set up gauges, that sort of thing.

25 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


7953 posts in 2174 days

#1 posted 12-17-2013 07:12 AM

I really like my Wixey digital angle gauge. There’s a few companies out there making them right now.

The rest of the stuff, you can make yourself:

Crosscut sled
Outfeed table
Box joint jig

For blades, you can either go with a 40 or 50T combo blade, or you can buy a 24T ripping blade and a 60+T crosscut blade. I went with the later choice. Freud Diablo at Home Depot is a very good but inexpensive blade choice. You also may want a dado stack. I find that I prefer to use the router for dadoes at this time, however.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2796 days

#2 posted 12-17-2013 07:26 AM

I agree with jmartel the digital angle gauge is crazy handy. An outfield table is a must for safe ripping and just makes usage easier in general I have found. If it is a 1.75hp saw I would also recommend a good rip blade like the Irwin marbles blade. The rip blade will have an easier time getting through harder woods like maple and purple heart without burning.

The mag switch featherboard is also a nice luxury, but a normal featherboard would work just as well, I just have found myself using the featherboard a lot more once I got the mag switch one since its much easier to use and put away.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2310 days

#3 posted 12-17-2013 07:37 AM

Good blades
Quality dado stack
Zero clearance inserts
Magnetic featherboard
Outfeed table
GOOD push sticks

-- John, BC, Canada

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#4 posted 12-17-2013 08:52 AM

Freud blades offer a good balance of quality to price. A 40 tooth
10” blade will work ok for ripping and crosscutting most solid
wood. If you want low-splinter cuts in plywoods for stain
grade work, then blades with higher tooth counts work

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3399 days

#5 posted 12-17-2013 10:35 AM

Saw blades can make or break the performance of the saw, so a decent blade is a must. Infinity are among my favorites, but Ridge Carbide, Freud, Forrest, CMT, Tenryu, Amana, Irwin Marples, DW Precision Trim also have some nice blades. A decent stacked dado set is a great accessory if you’ll be cutting grooves or dados.

Most stock miter gauges suck, so an aftermarket gauge and/or a crosscut sled are good to acquire too.

A good fence and good alignment are important too.

Tips for Buying Saw Blades

Current Saw Blade Bargains

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

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2043 days

#6 posted 12-17-2013 11:30 AM

A little bit different perspective here, but my must haves when shopping used saws would be for it to be belt driven and have a riving knife. I also prefer a magnetic switch, but that’s not a “must have” for me. Good luck on the saw hunt!

View lightcs1776's profile


4210 posts in 1678 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 11:39 AM

I fully agree with Marcus. Each of us have our own needs and preference, and our own budget limitations, but a riving knife is an important safety feature of any saw and belt driven saws make an enormous difference in the quality of cut compared to direct drive.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Woodbum's profile


813 posts in 3089 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 03:29 PM

I do not know what a R4512 is so I can’t comment on that, but generally for a TS I would use:
Definitely belt drive, and the biggest you can afford and have room/need for
Wixey digital Angle Gauge
A good aftermarket miter gauge
the best 40-50 combo blade you can afford ( recommend Forrest)
a dedicated rip blade (think Freud glue line rip)
Narrow or full kerf blades depending on your saw’s HP
stack dado set (don’t get the cheapest out there. spend a little more to get a WHOLE LOT MORE)
ZC inserts for all blades and common dado cuts (shop made)
feather boards, hold-downs (shop made or store bought…mag switch stuff is DELUXE) and wooden push sticks
a Wm Ng inspired TS sled (shop made)
There are thousands of gadgets and gizmos out there, but these are the basics that I consider essential.
Riving knife, and a good fence either stock or aftermarket would be next in

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View kdc68's profile


2657 posts in 2301 days

#9 posted 12-17-2013 03:42 PM

All good advice above. A blade that is parallel to the miter gage slot is key to performance. A rip fence set parallel to the blade and miter slot also key. Some set their fence slightly askew (away) from the blade and miter slot. Doing so, will enhance the performance of your saw and all the other accessories you purchase for your saw.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View HamS's profile


1829 posts in 2413 days

#10 posted 12-17-2013 03:46 PM

A good blade and a good accurate setup. If the setup is not right you will never be happy with the quality of your work. Time spent getting the blade and mitre gauge square will be paid back over and over again.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2349 days

#11 posted 12-17-2013 03:48 PM

Here are my essentials accessories that you should buy:
a good ripping blade
a good cross cutting blade
a good miter gauge

the rest is shop made
Zero clearance insert
Feather boards
Push sticks
Cutting Sled
outfeed table

with use and time you will find all kinds of jigs and accessories you can make to ease you work. Have fun and be safe.

View pauldye's profile


68 posts in 2108 days

#12 posted 12-17-2013 03:49 PM

since you are unlikely to find a riving knife on a used TS, you should get the MJSplitter and a good zero-clearance insert.

After getting the MJSplitter, I realized there was too much play in my zero-clearance insert. I bought a good quality insert, installed the MJSplitter, and rip-cuts are smoother and much safer.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2995 days

#13 posted 12-17-2013 03:51 PM

Woodbum, the R4512 of which he speaks is the Ridgid R4512, a copy of the Craftsman 21833 table saw.
It is the saw that usually sells for around $550, but I have seen it as high as $800 or as cheap as $400, depending on the sale and who is selling it. (Grainger sells it as a Dayton brand saw for $800.) It has a cast iron main table, stamped steel wings, a table mounted trunnion and is belt drive with a 1 3/4 HP induction motor. It does have a riving knife and if you get one without the twisty alignment defect that many of them still have after 5 years on the market, it’s quite a value.

My “must haves” for my next saw will be for it to have flesh detecting technology with a blade brake that can stop and retract the blade before it can cut off a finger, and a riving knife, and a trunnion that will stay in alignment with the miter slot even after you change the height of the blade.

View jmartel's profile


7953 posts in 2174 days

#14 posted 12-17-2013 04:00 PM

You might not be able to find a riving knife used as was said. I use a splitter on my older Craftsman 113.x contractor saw. Does the same job for through cuts. Just have to be careful on non-through cuts.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5137 posts in 1744 days

#15 posted 12-17-2013 04:04 PM

The three top safety items that you should have first are a splitter or riving knife setup. A push block that keeps the lowest part of your hand away from the blade set at it’s highest. A good or a couple good push sticks. Another thing that would be a good idea is a zero clearance insert.

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