Typical table saws normally cut wood at a 90-degree angle. What would you do if you had to cut at another angle?
For that, you use a miter gauge.
What is a miter gauge? How does it work? How do you select one for your workstation?
We’ve got all the answers below.
What is a Table Saw Miter Gauge?
A table saw miter gauge is a guide that is attached to table saws to make cuts at any given angle with maximum precision. A miter gauge is fitted with a protractor, allowing you to align the piece you want to cut. Once you set the protractor, the miter gauge will make sure that the cut is made at the desired angle.
Why would someone want to cut wood at a variety of angles? When you have to make a 90-degree turn in woodworking, cutting the pieces of wood at an angle is the only way to make the corner subtle. Such a corner is known as a miter joint.
How Does a Table Saw Miter Gauge Work?
Most of the table saw tables have a slot on the edge called the miter slot. To use the table saw miter gauge, you have to slide it into the edge. Once the gauge is installed, just place the piece of wood you want to cut flat against the fence of the miter gauge. Now, all you have to do is to rotate the miter gauge to the angle you want.
Here’s a pro tip for getting a clean cut with a miter gauge: Keep guiding the piece of wood until it is fully cut.
Do You Need to Have a Miter Gauge?
A table saw miter gauge is not a must for woodworking. However, the benefits it offers do make it a necessary part of any craftsman’s workstation.
A quality miter gauge can offer you the following benefits:
- Miter gauges highly improve the accuracy of cuts
- Modern miter gauges are fitted with miter fences that make guiding the wood easy
- It can decrease the risk of personal injury by reducing the possibility of kickbacks
- Miter gauges can save you a substantial amount of wood by reducing the number of incorrect cuts
Even though it is a simple and straightforward piece of equipment, a miter gauge has a few intricacies that can impact the way it works.
The most important thing you need to consider is the build quality. Other than that, here are some of the features that can make a miter gauge a good one.
Miter Head Material
The miter head is the part of the gauge that guides the wood. There are two types of materials used in it:
Aluminum miter heads are lightweight but not very stiff. They are flexible, so they aren’t very good for precise cuts.
Steel heads are costly and heavier but are extremely stiff. However, they are prone to rust.
One of the key features of the miter gauge is the angle stops (also known as positive stops). These are the stops marked at angles commonly used in wood cutting. These include 30, 40, 45, and 90 degrees. High quality miter gauges can be locked at any of the angle stops to make repetitive cutting easier and faster.
Miter Fence Length
The miter gauge fence is the guide that makes sure that the piece of wood remains at the angle you want to cut it. These can be long or short.
High quality miter gauges are fitted with telescopic fences that can extend or retract depending on the nature of the job.
The miter slot is the place on the table where the gauge fits. You need to get a gauge that is compatible with your table. Different tables have different slots. If you want to use one miter gauge on different tables, you can get one that fits multiple slots.
General Build Quality
Apart from these important functional parts you need to consider the general build quality of the gauge. This includes the materials used and the quality of the things like the knobs, protractors, markers, calibration, and screws.
There are gauges with plastic and metallic elements. The metallic ones are more durable and long-lasting.
Top 10 Best Table Saw Miter Gauges for 2021
- Fulton Precision Miter Gauge with Aluminum Miter Fence – Best miter gauge overall
- POWERTEC 71391 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System– A gauge with the most versatile angle stops
- Fulton Precision Miter Gauge with a Standard Slot – The Balance between functionality and ease of use
- DELTA Deluxe Miter Gauge – The best option for Delta Tables
- Genuine Ryobi 089037007707 Miter Gauge Assembly Fits RTS10 – Recommended for Ryobi setups.
- DeWalt 5140032-78 Replacement Table Saw Miter Gauge – Fits perfectly with all DeWalt setups.
- WoodRiver Snap-Set Miter Gauge Fence Combo with Flip-Stop – Best Value for Money
- PIAOPIAONIU Miter Gauge Fence System – Number One Option for people looking for simplicity
- VOERTUIG Miter Gauge Table Saw, Miter Gauge Fence System – Best for DIY projects
- RIKON Professional Miter Gauge, 13-912 – Economical and Simple to Use
Top Angle Measurement Instruments for Miter Joints
- Bora 530401 MiteriX Angle Finder Tool Gauge – Best for transferring angles form corners to miter gauges.
- LEXIVON Aluminum Miter Saw Protractor– Best for reading angles and transferring them to miter saws.
Let’s dive in.
1. Fulton Precision Miter Gauge with Aluminum Miter Fence
- 18” long miter fence with 45 degree ends
- Machined aluminum head with 13 positive stops holes
- Handy aluminum flip stop for repetitive cuts
- Solid steel 18” miter bar
- Accurate protractor with 1/10th of a degree precision
This table saw miter gauge is designed to make professional woodworking easy and convenient.
It has 13 positive stops, one at 90 degrees and others at 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, and 90 degrees on either side. The head is mounted on a solid steel miter bar that measures 18” in length and is .354” thick by .730” wide. It has the standard slots of 3/4” x 3/8” and a 1/8” T-slot.
The miter bar is fitted with a ⅞” metallic disc. This disc prevents the assembly from lifting while feeding a heavy piece.
The fence is made out of a single piece of extruded aluminum for durability and accuracy. It can be used with almost any miter gauge.
- 7 positive stops
- Durable metallic construction
2. POWERTEC 71391 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System
- Laser cut aluminum construction
- 4 expansion discs to prevent sideplay
- 24” laser engraved scale miter fence
- Firm-locking flip stops on the left and right side
- Can work with extruded as well as sacrificial fences
This table saw precision miter gauge features 27 angle indexing stops and is made up of the finest quality laser-cut aluminum. It can be used with ¾” x ⅜” standard miter slots or without T-slots.
Like any of the high-quality table saw miter gauges, this precision miter gauge system has a multi-track 24” x 3” miter anodized aluminum fence that can be used with 1/4″-20 hex bolts, 1/4” t-bolts, and 5/16” t-bolts. The fence is a multipurpose tool that can be used as a miter gauge fence, router, or shaper fence and as a table saw sub-fence, chop, or radial arm saw fence.
The indexing stops on this miter gauge are gripped firmly by a tongue system. The fail-safe system leaves zero possibility for wood movement during the cut.
3. Fulton Precision Miter Gauge with a Standard Slot
- Machined aluminum miter head with 13 positive stops
- Two ½” x ¼” slots in the head to mount a miter fence
- Easy-to-adjust stops
- Solid steel 18” long, .354” thick by .730” wide miter bar
- ⅞” diameter solid steel retaining disc
If you already have a miter fence or use sacrificial fences, this is the most economical miter gauge option you can get.
While it costs less than most of the others on this list, it still has 13 positive stops, one at 90 degrees in the center and others at 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, and 90 on the left and right. The head can be adjusted with ease by lifting the post knob handle and pushing the spring-loaded pins into position after rotating the miter gauge to the desired angle stop.
The 18” steel miter bar is fitted with an all-metallic retaining disc to prevent the lifting of the gauge during cutting. The miter bar has the standard 3/4” x 3/8” slot with a 1/8” T-slot.
- Can mount any fence
- Easy-to-adjust angle stops
- Does not come with a miter fence
4. DELTA Deluxe Miter Gauge
- OEM Delta part
- Compatible with 34-710,34-440 (90C12580 THRU 95H98459),34-440 (88J00000),34-440 (95H98460 & HIGHER),34-440 (SN88J00001 THRU 90C12579)
This table saw miter gauge is designed for Delta saw tables. If you have any of the above-mentioned saw tables, this is the best option you can get when it comes to miter gauges.
It is made on the same specifications as the OEM part and will fit seamlessly with your workstation.
- Fits with a number of Delta systems
- Made of aluminum for durability and strength
- Can only work with Delta saw tables
5. Genuine Ryobi 089037007707 Miter Gauge Assembly Fits RTS10
- Aluminum Construction
- OEM Ryobi part
This is the best miter gauge for a Ryobi saw table. The product is made out of aluminum alloy and is designed according to the specifications of Ryobi 089037007707.
The head is marked with graduations up to 1/10th of a degree.
It does not come with a miter fence bar but has the slots for fitting one if you want.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specs
- No miter fence included
- No angle stops
6. DeWalt 5140032-78 Replacement Table Saw Miter Gauge
- Genuine DeWalt OEM replacement part
- Compatible with DW745 Type 1, DW745 Type 2, DW745 Type 20, DW745 Type 3, DW745-B2 Type 1, DW745-B2 Type 3, DWE7480 Type 1, DWE7480 Type 20
This miter gauge is designed for original DeWalt saw tables. It can read the angle up to 30 degrees on either side. The protractor is calibrated all the way down to 1/10th of an inch for precise angle measurement and transfers.
It is made entirely of aluminum.
- Fits a variety of DeWalt workbenches
- Made of aluminum
- Does not come with a miter fence bar
- Cannot work with other setups
7. WoodRiver Snap-Set Miter Gauge Fence Combo with Flip-Stop
- Steel plate precision miter head with 13 positive stops
- Adjustable miter bar with standard ¾” x ⅜” miter slots
- 17- ½” anodized aluminum fence
- Spring-loaded plunger for locking angle stops
The Woodriver miter gauge is made for safety and accuracy. The steel plate miter gauge has 13 positive stops. There’s one in the middle at a right angle and six on each side at 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, and 90 degrees.
The positive stops can easily be fixed using the spring-loaded mechanism. Other than the positive stops, any angle between 0 and 90 degrees can be selected and set using the knob. A T-slot washer is used in the miter gauge to enable wider crosscut performance.
The fence is made of anodized aluminum and is just under 18” inch long.
The adjustable miter bar is designed to fit tightly in the ¾” x ⅜” miter slots to ensure safety and precision.
- Simple and easy to use
- Steel miter head for durability
- Long miter gauge
- Could have more positive stops
8. PIAOPIAONIU Miter Gauge Fence System
- Aluminum alloy construction
- Compatible with table saws, band saws, router tables, and jointers
- 7.9” long miter bar
- 10.6” miter fence
This is a simple yet versatile tool that functions with a number of woodworking platforms.
The miter head is made of aluminum alloy and rotates 60 degrees on both sides. It can be adjusted very easily on the positive stops for convenient repetitive cuts. The miter head is accurately calibrated in ⅓ of an angle and the vernier can be used to fine-tune the cut up to 1/10th of a degree.
The miter head is mounted on a 0.7” x 7.9” miter bar made out of a single piece of extruded aluminum to fix the assembly firmly on the workstation/table.
This kit comes complete with a 10.6” miter fence that is made of extruded aluminum.
- Can be used with different equipment
- Simple and easy-to-use design
- Sturdy and durable aluminum alloy construction
- The fence bar is not very long
- Angle stops are very limited
- Does not go beyond 90 degrees
9. VOERTUIG Miter Gauge Table Saw, Miter Gauge Fence System
- Rust-resistant aluminum construction
- Compatible with table saws, band saws, router tables, and jointers
- 7.87” miter bar
- 10.53” miter fence bar
This table saw miter gauge is built for simplicity and affordability. It can be mounted on table saws, band saws, router tables, jointers, or any other equipment having the standard ¾” x ⅜” miter slot.
The miter head is made of aluminum and can be rotated 60 degrees on either side. It has graduations marked accurately to the 1/3rd of a degree. It can be locked at any angle by loosening the knob, rotating the head, and tightening it at the desired angle.
The 7.87” x 0.7” miter bar is made of aluminum, and it’s long and strong enough to keep the whole assembly fixed in place while you cut a piece.
The kit also comes with a 10.53” single-piece extruded aluminum fence. This might not be the longest miter fence, but it’s good for routine tasks. The offset track on the back of the fence can be used to mount it to any common miter gauge.
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Can be used across platforms
- Provider miter fence is not very long
- No miter stop/locking mechanism
- Does not go beyond 90 degrees
10. RIKON Professional Miter Gauge, 13-912
- Aluminum alloy construction
- Aluminum miter bar
- Aluminum fence
- Very simple design
This miter gauge is very easy to use. It can be fitted to any standard ¾” x ⅜” miter slot, and it works equally well with a table saw and a band saw.
The machined aluminum miter head is accurate to 1/10th of a degree and can be rotated to 60 degrees on either side with positive stops.
The miter head is mounted on an extruded aluminum miter bar that is long enough to hold the gauge firmly in place while working.
This, combined with the smartly sized extruded aluminum fence, makes it nearly impossible to make inaccurate cuts while using this tool.
This tool is especially good for people undertaking DIY projects.
- Affordable and simple
- Durable and sturdy
- Works with table and band saws
- The miter fence is not very long
- Choice of miter stops is limited
- Can’t go beyond 60 degrees
Now, before we move into the buyer’s guide section, we need to discuss two other products. These are not miter gauges but are a part of the ecosystem.
What You Need Before Buying a Miter Gauge
A miter gauge can help you cut a piece of wood at any angle, but how do you know what angle to cut? That calls for an angle finder.
An angle finder is used to find the angle of a corner. Once you get the angle, you can cut the piece of wood accurately.
Here are two excellent angle finders:
1. Bora 530401 MiteriX Angle Finder Tool Gauge
- Durable and easy to use
- Can measure any angle
- Transfer the angle directly to the miter gauge
- Portable and easy to carry
This angle finder is designed to make things as easy as possible when cutting corners (pun intended). It involves no math or reading of any scales. Just set the angle, lock it, and transfer it to the miter gauge.
The angle measuring arms of this angle finder are made of sturdy aluminum alloy, and they carry the angle precisely.
The angle finder is easy to carry as the arms fold into the body.
2. LEXIVON Aluminum Miter Saw Protractor
- CNC machined anodized aluminum construction
- Can read both inside and outside corners
- Precise and accurate marking
This simple yet versatile tool is made to measure the angle of any corner and transfer it to a miter saw. The laser-engraved graduations make the angles easy to read with an accuracy of 1/10th of a degree.
The angle finder has an internal Teflon o-ring mechanism that makes it possible to freely swing the arms of the angle finder.
The whole assembly is made of ¼” thick aluminum that makes it impossible for the angle finder to flex and cause an error in the reading.
You can read the angle on the protractor or simply transfer it to the miter gauge.
Now that you know what a miter gauge is and you’ve seen some of the best ones, here are some things that you need to consider while selecting one for your workstation.
Miter Gauge Bar Fitting
The most important thing to look for in a miter gauge is the level of fitting between the bar and the gauge. Any small deviation here can lead to inaccurate cuts.
Available Stops and Adjustments
The next thing you need to consider while buying a miter gauge is the angle stops and the least counts of degrees. Gauges are available with 1/10 to 1/100 degree precision. Select the one that fits your job.
Like any other tool you buy, make sure that the miter gauge is durable.
Fence length is also an important feature. Select a length best suited for your job. Or, get a telescoping fence if you work on diverse projects.
The capacity of the gauge is important for making precise cuts. You can get gauges from ⅜” to ¾” size.
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