While table saws are incredibly useful for ripping sheet goods and other large work pieces, they’re somewhat lacking when it comes to making crosscuts and miter cuts. Most DIYers use smaller jobsite style table saws, which tend to come with cheapo, flimsy miter gauges.
Luckily, when you want to make simple and accurate miter cuts with a table saw there is a simple solution – an aftermarket table saw miter gauge.
These miter gauges are superior to the factory ones in just about every manner. They’re more accurate, have adjustable miter bars to ensure they slide smoothly, and feature protractor heads with solid detents to make exact cuts at pre-set common angles.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best table saw miter gauges on the market, as well as how to pick the right one for your particular needs.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Table Saw Miter Gauges
Why Do You Need a Miter Gauge?
For whatever reason, it seems that table saw manufacturers don’t put much thought or effort into the miter gauges that come bundled with their saws. Unlike the rip fence, tabletop, stand, and blade guard, standard miter gauges tend to be sort of flimsy and inaccurate.
Many of these miter gauges are made out of plastic and don’t feature any type of extended fence to guide your workpiece through the cut. They often don’t have detents for making angle adjustments, so you’ll need to line up the protractor head angle by eyeballing it – which will undoubtedly lead to inaccurate cuts.
Because of their flimsy construction, you’ll have a tough time doing anything other than making right simple right-angle cuts. Miter cuts are more difficult for these gauges, and as their small and don’t feature much of a fence, you’ll need to hold the work piece in place by hand as you make a cut. This is a recipe for poor quality.
Aftermarket miter gauges solve all of these problems and then some. They’ll give you the ability to make cuts just as accurately as you could with a miter saw, and at a fraction of the cost!
Top 5 Table Saw Miter Gauges
- Heavy-duty machined and laser cut components.
- Glide lock miter bar expansion disks provide a perfect fit in any miter gauge channel.
- Incremental flip shop stop allows you to set the cut length.
- Highly accurate 1/10th degree vernier cursor allows for micro-angle adjustments.
When it comes to miter gauges, this really is the cream of the crop. Incra is well known in the woodworking world for manufacturing some of the most precise premium accessories available – and this gauge is no exception!
The 1000HD is Incra’s most refined model and features a highly adjustable miter bar, a telescoping fence, laser cut solid steel indexing teeth with incredibly accurate 1/10th degrees between fixed steps.
The miter bar features six expandable disks integrated into the bar, allowing for micro-adjustments to fit it to a variety of standard miter gauge channels. It will fit in both 3/4” and 3/8” square-sided wide channels, as well as channels with T-slots at the bottom using the removable retaining clip.
The aluminum telescoping miter fence expands from 18” all the way to 31” to accommodate longer work pieces. A flip shop stop allows you to set the cut length incredibly accurately and is easy to reposition as needed.
Lastly, the 1/10th degree vernier cursor allows for highly accurate angle adjustments. The teeth are laser cut in solid steel, and have positive angle stops every 1 degree over the entire 180-degree range with special stops at 22 ½ degrees.
While this miter gauge certainly ain’t cheap, it’s about as good as it gets when you need to make precise miter cuts.
- CNC machined anodized aluminum miter gauge is exact and well-made.
- Brass pin allows for quick angle changes with positive stops at 0°, 10°, 22 1/2°, 30°, and 45°.
- 24” long miter bar comes with 5 bar adjusters to fine-tune the fit.
- Swing stop slides effortlessly along the gauge and secures with the turn of a knob.
The woodworking pros over at Kreg have proven they’re good at more than just pocket-hole joinery with this superb miter gauge system. It sports everything you could ask from a quality miter gauge, including an anodized aluminum fence, a sliding stop system, and an easy-to-use Vernier scale with fast adjustments up to 1/10th of a degree.
The CNC machined miter gauge is exceptionally precise and well-made, resulting in more accurate cuts than cheaper plastic alternatives.
The 24” long anodized aluminum miter bar is 3/4″ wide and features five bar adjusters allowing you to fine-tune the fit for a variety of different table saw brands. The fence also measures 24” long, and features an easy-to-use sliding swing stop for quickly changing the cutting length.
The gauge system has positive stops at 0°, 10°, 22 1/2°, 30°, and 45° which makes cutting typical miter angles a breeze. If you need to cut a more complex miter, then the Vernier scale allows for more precise angle adjustments.
When it comes to the swing stop, you’ll be able to slide the stop along the fence with the turn of the knob. The stop flips up and down so you can move it out of the way instantly when it’s not needed.
- Heavy-duty, sturdy, and highly accurate construction.
- Guide bar made from custom rolled steel from Sheffield, England.
- Laser engraved protractor head.
- Fence extends from 20” all the way to 36” for working on longer workpieces.
- 100% made in Canada.
Heavy, precise, highly durable, and featuring superior quality components, this miter gauge is one of the best options on the market. The gauge features Swiss-turned stainless steel components, as well as a Sheffield steel guide bar and a heavyweight CNC machined aluminum fence.
The fence extends from 20” all the way to 36” when fully extended, which makes it one of the longest fences available. Its adjustable flip stop can be set up with up to a 3/4 –inch thick sacrificial wood fence, so you can avoid damage to the actual fence.
Nine miter detents with a spring-loaded indexing pin allow for easy adjustments at 0°, 15°, 22 1/2°, 30°, and 45°. JessEm’s unique fence locating knob allows you to quickly reset the fence back to a preset distance from the blade.
Bar snuggers ensure the miter bar fits perfectly in both standard 3/4″ and 3/8” miter channels.
Like other high-end miter gauges, the Vernier scale allows for micro-adjustments when creating highly specific miter angles.
- High quality and economical miter gauge is an excellent budget option.
- Sliding aluminum flip stop for making repetitive cuts.
- 45-angles on each end of the miter fence for increased support.
- 13 positive stops for cutting common angles.
- 3/4″wide miter bar will fit any standard or T-shaped 3/4” channel.
If you’re looking for a quality table saw miter gauge without breaking the bank, then the Fulton Precision gauge makes an excellent option. While you could certainly go cheaper and get yourself a flimsy plastic miter gauge, I’m going to assume you already have something like that and want to step up to a more functional gauge.
The miter gauge is solid and well designed, with just about everything you could need from a miter gauge including an easy-to-use flip stop, a steel miter bar, and 13 positive stop holes.
The miter fence measures 18” long and features 45-angle cutouts on each end. These cutouts allow for maximum support of your workpiece when making angled miter cuts.
Positive stops are set at 0°, 22.5°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 67.5° on both sides of the protractor head. These stops make just about any miter angle possible; however, you can also cut other angles by adjusting the protractor head without the positive stops.
The solid steel miter bar is 18” long and will fit any standard 3/4″ miter bar. This included T-shaped miter slots as the miter bar has removable discs that can be attached to the bottom to slide inside T-shaped bars. Also, keep in mind this miter bar will not fit inside saws with 3/8” wide miter bar channels.
Best Compact Miter Gauge
- Well-made and economical miter gauge with simple design.
- Solid steel laser-cut protractor head.
- Miter mar with 6 adjustment points for fitting with any standard channel.
- Simple 18-inch fence with basic sliding stop.
If you’re looking for a good balance of precision and affordability, this slightly pared-down model from Incra is a fantastic choice. It combined a solid steel laser-cut protractor head with Incra’s superb anodized aluminum fence.
Unlike the larger Incra model with its telescoping fence, the fence is fixed at 18 inches long. It comes with a basic sliding stop positioner for making repeated cuts at the same length.
Incra’s excellent GlideLOCK miter bar is also included, which is width adjustable in 6 places. This makes fine-tuning the fit for any model table saw.
The protractor head has laser-cut teeth at 41 angle stops with indexed stops every 5 degrees over the entire range, including special stops at 22 ½ and 67 ½ degrees. It also has a Vernier cursor with ½ degree increment adjustments for precise angles.
How to Pick the Right Table Saw Miter Gauge?
When it comes to choosing a table saw miter gauge – there are no lack of options available. There are a wide array of models and features out there, so selecting the right one for your needs can be a little tricky.
There are three primary components of any decent miter gauge: the miter bar, the protractor head, and the miter fence.
The miter bar is a long rectangular piece of metal designed to slide freely inside the table saw’s miter bat channel. A well-fitting miter bar is necessary for the smooth operation of the miter gauge.
Miter bar channels can differ slightly depending on the particular model and manufacturer, although they most commonly measure 3/4″ wide and 3/8” deep. Some miter bar channels also feature a T-shaped channel – which is shaped like an upside-down T – and increases stability when sliding the miter gauge.
Look for a miter bar that can be adjusted to fit a variety of different channel dimensions to avoid having to return it because it doesn’t fit.
The protractor head is the semicircle-shaped base with various angles market out on it. In better models, these are made from steel and feature laser-cut indexing teeth as well as preset stops at common miter angles.
Many have a prominent handle that protrudes from the protractor head – allowing you to smoothly and easily change the angle in seconds.
Another thing that many high-end models feature is a Vernier scale. This is a secondary angle measurement scale that allows you to fine-tune the cutting angle up to 1/10th of a degree. This is not necessary for most woodworking tasks but can be useful if you need to make a highly precise cut.
Lastly, the fence is the long straight guide that your work piece rests against when you make a cut. Fences can either be solid or telescoping, with longer fences providing better support than shorter ones.
One thing to keep in mind is that longer fences may not fit on smaller table saws. As compact jobsite style table saws are increasingly popular among DIYers and woodworkers, you’ll want to make sure the miter gauge you’re looking at won’t be too long for your saw.
Some fences will come with a sliding flip-down stop attached to them – allowing you to quickly adjust the cutting length and make repetitive cuts with ease. This is a feature worth having in my opinion, as it makes the gauge easier to use and greatly increases accuracy.
The table saw miter gauge is easily one of the best add-ons you can make to increase the functionality of your table saw. You’ll be able to make repeated miter cuts and crosscut with a high degree of precision that just isn’t possible without one.
When considering a miter gauge it’s important to keep in mind the size of your saw, as well as how you plan to use the miter gauge. What level of accuracy do you require? Will you be rough-cutting framing lumber, or are you going to be building cabinets and fine furniture?
Another product to consider when looking at miter gauges is a crosscut sled. These are basically large flat sliding contraptions that fit on top of your saw’s tabletop. They often come with miter gauges integrated so they offer the same benefits plus many more.