how to set up a table saw

If you have a wood workshop or are starting one, then you will need a table saw. The table saw will enable you to perform various tasks.

However, after purchasing a table saw, you need to set it up properly. This article will guide you through the table saw setup to get started on your woodworking skills.

Be it an old one or a new one, when setting up a saw, the most important thing you need to ensure is to get quality blades. Also, if this is you first time, you need to make sure the saw is set up properly.

Otherwise, you will experience unforeseen troubles along the way and also kickbacks out of the blue. If you don’t follow the steps correctly, you will end up bitching about how dangerous table saw is later on.

Table Saw Setup

You want to make sure that you have got everything in place to make the table saw as safe as possible. This is a power tool so you can’t leave room for errors.

The Blade

Most table saws come with a blade attached to them, and the instruction manuals will tell you the first thing to do is to align the blade to a miter slot. But this depends on the kind of saw you are buying and what your preferences are.

A good quality table saw will have a blade that is aligned perfectly within the slot. So the first thing you need to check is if the blade is square to the table. To do this, you have to raise the blade to the highest height and then tilt it to 90 degrees.

Next, you need to take a 90-degree square and put it against the blade to see if it is accurately set at 90 degrees. If it is not, you have to check the manual to determine the correct way to adjust it.

Furthermore, if you plan to perform compound or bevel cuts, it would be wise to set the blade at a 45-degree angle.

FYI, the saw blade, and the miter slot should be in a parallel position. The easiest way to do that is to use a ruler and a square. This is more sensible, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy an array of precision ground gauges.

Riving Knife

The next component to check from the table saw is the riving knife to see if it is set in the correct position. Generally, the knife should be set 8mm away from the table saw blade along the curvature. This technique is known as the pencil technique. If you want to make any adjustments, you can do it by detaching the kerf plate.

Not everybody understands about riving knives or splitters. Behind the table saw blade, there is a piece of steel. It is for safety purpose and will prevent kickbacks caused by the board closing.

The Rip Fence

Ripping is mostly done on a table saw, so setting the rip fence correctly is just as crucial as getting the blade appropriately adjusted. There are a few things you have to do with it before it is set up correctly.

To check if the fence is square to the table, you have to use a 90-degree square again and place it against the fence. The fences are usually pretty easy to adjust so that you can set it up correctly in no time.

If you want to keep it parallel to the blade, you need to adjust it accurately because, as these two work in conjunction, they must be appropriately set up. The best way to do this is to use the sub fence vertically by placing it against the blade.

Keep the fence slightly tailed away from the blade so that there isn’t any pinch point at the back.

Sliding Table

Not all of the table saws include a sliding table, but it must be appropriately fitted if you bought one that does. However, if the table saw is large, you cannot hold the sliding table yourself. It is usually a two-person job.

It would help if you kept in mind that you have to make sure that the sliding table is located slightly above the primary table. This will prevent it from dragging the main table when you push the wood through.


Now that you know how to set up the table saw, you should also maintain it and keep it in good working order. At some point, of course, you might want to change the blades.

This is just a general idea of a table saw setup, but the steps can vary depending upon the size and the kind of saw you have purchased. I really hope that you found this guide interesting.

Leave a Comment