Proper Fence Side

Proper Fence Side

When making a 45 degree cut on the table saw, does it matter which side I have my fence when I angle my blade? Should the blade be angled away from the fence? If the angle is towards the fence, will the cut piece get trapped and kick back?

Andy Rae: Yes. Yes. And yes. However, when you’re forced to cut with the fence on the wrong side of the blade, use a zero-clearance throat plate and a push stick that firmly engages the back of the trapped piece to prevent kickback.

Michael Price: Yes, the blade should be angled away from the fence to reduce the possibility of kickback. It is also much safer this way as it moves the blade away from the operator’s hands. On a right-tilt table saw, the fence should be moved to the left side of the blade.

Richard Jones: One solution would be to use what some call the “half fence”: a supplemental fence attached to your long fence that extends no more than to the center point of your saw blade, and less than this where practical is better still. This means that, shortly after the wood is dimensioned, it is released by the fence and isn’t pressed tight against the rear portion of the blade plate and teeth. This greatly reduces the chance of kickback occurring.

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