Left vs. Right Tilt

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by FMG posted 07-10-2009 03:19 AM 7455 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FMG's profile


65 posts in 3248 days

07-10-2009 03:19 AM

Hey Guys and Gals, Anyone ever use a right tilt table saw? Any drawbacks? Seems that a left tilt gives you mor options having more room to the right of the blade for bevels. Any opinions?
Thanks, FMG

-- FMG- Woodworking is 90% mental the other half is physical

11 replies so far

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 07-10-2009 03:30 AM

Left tilt is a bit safer….I have used right tilt for years and still have all my fingers. My newest saw is a left tilt though.

-- Don S.E. OK

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 07-10-2009 03:30 AM

left tilt is generally better. it gives you much more room for ripping like you said. right tilts are good for crosscutting because the miter slide usually is run in the left slot and the blade tilts away from you. but for the left tilt its easy enough to crosscut with the miter slide in the right slot.

View JayPique's profile


61 posts in 3255 days

#3 posted 07-10-2009 03:39 AM

Now you’ve gone and done it. This is probably one of the most debated topics out there.

I like right tilt myself. I don’t often cut long bevels, and when I do I can easily rip the piece to width, then use a simple fence to trim off the bevel eactly at the point. I like beling able to use the scale on my fence with a dado stack. Plus I have been using right tilts since the start, so I’m used to them and probably don’t appreciate what a left tilt can do better.

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3342 days

#4 posted 07-10-2009 03:56 AM

There are pros and cons to both, and it really boils down to a matter of preference.

Right tilt bevels toward the fence on a standard bevel cut, which isn’t as safe as if it beveled away from the fence. You can move the fence to the left of the blade for safer bevel cuts, but that makes it a non-standard operation, which is still not as safe as a bevel cut on a left tilt saw. Left tilt bevels away from the fence in a standard operation with the fence on the right of the blade, which is considered safer, but blade thickness changes skew the zero reference on the tape measure because the blade registers to the flange on the left side of the blade….this can be compensated for by recalibrating the cursor, using shims as spacers, and just measuring by hand. Blade thickness changes make no difference with a right tilt saw because the blade registers against the flange on the right edge of the blade.

The arbor nut on a right tilt saw gets applied from the left side of the blade and uses a reverse thread orientation, which is typically done with your left hand. The arbor nut on a left tilt saw goes on from the right side (easy for right handers) and uses a normal thread orientation.

I’ve owned both and prefer left tilt, mainly due to the arbor nut aspect.

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

View Pairodocs's profile


6 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 07-11-2009 07:46 AM

I purchased a left-tilt Unisaw about a two years ago. I did it for what I felt was a slight edge in safety that went to the left tilt. In addition to what other posters have said about left -tilt saws, times when you are ripping mitres for cases, the long side of the bevel will be above the table when you bevel the second side of the stock. This means that the edge will ride against the fence, and won’t get stuck under the fence, something that could be dangerous, as well as inaccurate. They are also supposed to have a slight edge when it comes to cutting veneers, minimizing chip-out. Overall, however, it really comes down to personal preference. Anytime you have something like this that continues to be debated, it tells me that it probably doesn’t make a difference.

-- Pairodocs, Florida, USA

View FMG's profile


65 posts in 3248 days

#6 posted 07-11-2009 07:15 PM

Thanks everyone. I won a bid in an online auction for a JET xacta saw. When i showed up to pick up the saw I found out it was a right tilt. I really had my heart set on a left tilt and have been looking at the new Grizzly GO690/691. The JET was a pretty good deal, though I think Iam going to sell it and go for the Griz with the left tilt. Thanks for all the advice everyone.

-- FMG- Woodworking is 90% mental the other half is physical

View Hyperhutch's profile


63 posts in 3216 days

#7 posted 07-12-2009 03:41 AM

Well, most of the issues have been covered already, but it also boils down to comfort. I have heard that it’s important to buy a TS that tilts in the direction you are used to. I learned on a right tilt, and own a right tilt. Do I wish I had a left, yes, but I would actually like to own both.

Anywho, I don’t think you would be displeased with the Jet right tilt, but get what makes you happy.


-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#8 posted 07-12-2009 04:17 AM

After having a right tilt for about 10 years I now have a left tilt and like it a lot better.

The ONLY drawback is you have to reset your zero on your fence if your new blade thickness is different. You need to do this for a right tilt also, but it only changes 1/2 the difference in thickness so you can probably get away without doing it.

Also your dado blades are referenced from the side opposite of your fence. For every chipper you add, the smaller distance to your fence.

No big deal. You just have to be aware of it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Sconkworks's profile


9 posts in 3209 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 06:05 AM

I used to own a right tilt and now own a left. I do like it, but it would not sway my buying decision if that were the only feature that wasn’t my preference.

View PineMan's profile


71 posts in 3561 days

#10 posted 07-12-2009 06:58 AM

GaryK – I have a right tilt and I have never thought of those things.

-- I never started a project I couldn't screw up.

View cathyb's profile


768 posts in 3211 days

#11 posted 07-12-2009 09:05 AM

I have a Laguna saw that tilts right. Honestly, a spinning blade close to my hand makes me nervous! That said, I often use a sled to hold any piece that is too close for comfort.

I’ve used a left tilt Unisaw. I have to agree with the consensus: one is a good as the other. Just make sure you have your knee poised in front of that kill switch-just in case!

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics