Can You Use Table Saw Without Fence?

Last Updated on July 23, 2022

The first question you should ask yourself when using a table saw is, can you use it without a fence? In the article below, you’ll find the answer to this question, as well as information on Featherboards and Benchtop table saws. You can also read our safety tips for beginners. Keep these in mind:


Table saw featherboards are made of 1×6 stock that’s ripped to 5 inches by 12 inches. This piece is then trimmed to the desired length with a miter saw. The featherboard can then be set up directly behind the workpiece and locked into the miter gauge channel.

The featherboard is used to guide the blade while it cuts, preventing accidents. The featherboard should follow the path of rotation of the blade.

While many table saw featherboards can be used in any application, some of these models fit only certain models. For this reason, you should consider getting a universal featherboard if you’re not sure about your table saw’s measurements.

The Magswitch Table Featherboard Universal Model is one such example. These boards are easy to install and can be secured to the table saw with T-slot bolts.

Table saw featherboards are a great way to secure stock to the fence when cutting. They can be mounted using four screws, or firmly screwed into place with special clamps.

These clamps come with pre-drilled holes, a wrench, and all the hardware you need. Some of them also feature F-style clamps, which lock into place anywhere on the fence. If you aren’t sure how to attach the board, read on!

The featherboard is an essential piece of table saw safety equipment. It prevents kickback, which occurs when a piece of wood is caught in the blade. It keeps the workpiece flat while avoiding kickback.

And it keeps the workpiece away from the table while the workpiece is cutting, as opposed to slipping under the blade. It also prevents hand injuries by preventing a kickback while cutting.

The Hedgehog Featherboard is a patented spiral featherboard that makes miter cutting easier. It fits into most standard 3/4-inch miter slots and is made of high-impact DuPont nylon.

It is also easy to clean, and its spiral design makes it easy to lock into any angle. If you are a professional or a serious woodworker, this is the featherboard for you.

The Portable Saw Featherboard has a travel slot of 6″ and features 5/8″ and 3/4″ miter bars. It comes with on-board storage, which is helpful for smaller table surfaces.

And it mounts to 1/4 to 3/4-inch T Track. And it’s ideal for band saws and smaller tables. And, the Portable Featherboard can be used on both table saws and jointers.

To use a featherboard, make sure the blade of your table saw is centered. The featherboard is usually marked by a runner, which has slots. Draw a pencil line down the runner to mark the center of the slots.

Then draw a square line through the center of the lines. Once you’ve marked the center, measure over two inches from the line and draw a new one.

Benchtop table saws

Many benchtop table saws don’t have fences. While some saws come with this feature, you can use them without it as well. There are two primary reasons why you should get a fence for your table saw.

The first is its accuracy. If the blade doesn’t follow the fence’s path, it won’t be able to cut perfectly straight cuts. The second reason is because of its weight. Benchtop table saws with fences are more accurate and stable than those without fences.

While not required, a fence is a convenience that many users will appreciate. Whether or not you want a fence depends on your needs and the type of table saw you have. Some saws have a fence built-in while others don’t. A fence provides stability and safety, which is essential if you’re using a table saw.

You can also choose between a fence that is bolted directly to the table or one with a cam lock. While the former is easier to use, it must be secured tight. Biesemeyer makes one of the highest-quality cam-lock fences, but many other brands are cheap and flimsy.

Another reason to purchase a table saw is the portability. If you work in an office or a studio, you’ll likely be using the table saw outside your workspace. Then, you’ll need to consider size and weight.

A benchtop table saw will be the smallest, and a cabinet table saw is the largest. Hybrid table saws are big and have caster wheels for mobility.

If you’re shopping for a table saw online, you can find the one that meets your needs. Ebay is another option, but these sites will usually have no return policy, or a small return window.

If you want to look at one before buying, you can go for a used model on Craigslist or on eBay. Table saws are expensive, so consider buying one online. However, keep in mind that table saws are often discounted during certain seasons and holidays. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the best times to buy a table saw.

Cabinet styled units usually have a table-top design with the arbor assembly and trunnions on the base. The arbor assembly holds the saw blade, while the trunnions are mounted on the base.

The advantage to this design is that the blade is much easier to adjust and align with the miter slot and fence. However, these models are more expensive than their benchtop counterparts, and some users don’t have the room to mount one of these.

Most table saws have adjustable tables to make bevel and miter cuts. These are common cut styles for furniture and molding. Dado cuts are shallower cuts that do not go through the wood.

Other types of cuts include rabbets and grooves. These are cuts that join wood and are used for building furniture. You can choose your table saw depending on the kind of cutting you need. These saws come with fences or without fences.

Safety precautions

Safety precautions

If you have a table saw without a fence, you should take extra precautions to protect yourself and the rest of the work space. First, make sure that the work piece is securely fastened to the fence or miter gauge.

If you do not have a fence, the cut-off side of the work piece may become a projectile and strike the person who is standing behind it. You should also secure the blade to the fence with a stop block. You should also use a cross cut sled to ensure that your cross cuts are consistent and accurate.

Once you have attached the fence or miter gauge to the saw, you should align the blade and make sure it is parallel to the fence. Another important safety precaution when using table saw without fence is to release the work only after the blade has passed through the part.

Releasing the work too early may result in kickback, where the blade grabs the part before it is released. If the saw begins to shake, duck down and hit the stop button.

Another important safety precaution when using table saw without fence is to maintain proper form. The cut is complete when the piece that is between the fence and the blade has passed the right side.

However, this process is dangerous if the right-side piece is still alongside the blade. Otherwise, it could be wedged by the spinning teeth of the blade. You should follow these steps at all times and make sure to follow these safety precautions.

Using a table saw without fence also requires you to use protective equipment. The most obvious protection against debris is eye protection. Eye injury can change your life forever.

Even cut proof gloves will not protect you from a table saw blade. If you want to minimize your chances of a cutting injury, you should use a table saw fence or a saw with a fence. This is the best way to avoid a costly injury.

Before operating a table saw without fence, always read the instruction manual to ensure proper use and avoid any accidental operations. Plugging the saw into a three-prong electrical receptacle is recommended.

Use an adapter if you have a two-prong receptacle. Keep the work area well-lit and free from clutter. A clean and well-lit work space will prevent accidents.

While freehand sawing is possible, it can be very dangerous and can result in a kickback or binding of the blade. Furthermore, it can also lead to a cutoff piece being trapped between the blade and miter gauge.

Moreover, you should avoid removing the blade guard for a specific cut. If you remove the fence from a table saw without fence, you risk having the cutoff piece flying backwards into your face.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the risks of using a table saw without a fence?

The risks of using a table saw without a fence are serious. Without a fence, the blade can bind in the workpiece and kickback, causing the operator to lose control of the saw and potentially injuring themselves or others.

Additionally, a fence helps to keep the workpiece stable and prevent it from moving during the cut, which can help to avoid kickback and other accidents.

2. How can you safely use a table saw without a fence?

There are a few ways to safely use a table saw without a fence. One way is to use a push stick. This will help keep your hands away from the blade. Another way is to use a feather board. This will help keep the material you are cutting against the fence and away from the blade.

3. What are some alternatives to using a table saw without a fence?

Some alternatives to using a table saw without a fence are to use a track saw, a jigsaw, or a circular saw.


Some people may find that they can use their table saw without a fence, while others may find that a fence is necessary for safety or accuracy. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to use a fence with their table saw.

About the author

2 thoughts on “Can You Use Table Saw Without Fence?”

  1. Your suggestion to use a featherboard to keep the work against the fence opposes the question of using table saw without a fence! To use a table saw “freehand”, with no fence, you should have a splitter or riving knife to help maintain a straight cut as the kerf opens. It’s like a miniature fence in the kerf. A full kerf blade will open a wider kerf so you can “steer” the board rather than have it bind. A fence can only be used with a flat straight board, otherwise it will twist and bind and kickback. Twisted boards are bound to kickback.


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