What is the Best Table Saw Miter Gauge? (2022)

INCRA MITER5000 miter gauge

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Without a miter gauge on your table saw, the workpiece you’re cutting may wobble, and you’ll end up with a crooked cut. However, not knowing what and how to use this tool may lead to poor quality projects and even accidents. 

To help you out, our expert woodworkers have gathered the best table saw miter gauges and a guide on how to use them.

Premium Option
INCRA MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge
Editor’s Choice
INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition
Budget Option
INCRA MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
INCRA MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge
INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition
INCRA MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
• Premium quality
• Lots of power tool accessories
• Accurate and stable
• Accurate and stable
• Configurable and versatile
• Professional grade
• Portable
• Precise and stable stops
• Affordable
Premium Option
INCRA MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge
INCRA MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge
• Premium quality
• Lots of power tool accessories
• Accurate and stable
Editor’s Choice
INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition
INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition
• Accurate and stable
• Configurable and versatile
• Professional grade
Budget Option
INCRA MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
INCRA MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge
• Portable
• Precise and stable stops
• Affordable

Reviews of the Top Table Saw Miter Gauges

1. INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition

Starting off our miter gauge review is the INCRA MITER1000SE. This INCRA special edition miter gauge is the brand’s most popular product in the upper midrange price point. 

It has a long, telescoping aluminum fence that can extend from 18 to 31 inches, offering great stability to your cut. The legends for the primary scale are engraved, making sure they do not fade over time. 

It also comes with the patented INCRA Flip Shop Stop-Fence Positioner for better accuracy. It is precise, adjustable, and fits a lot of the popular table saws. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. INCRA MITER5000 Miter 5000 Table Saw Miter Gauge with Sled and Telescoping Fence

Incra’s MITER5000 is the priciest INCRA model but the biggest gauge on this list. It promises the utmost stability and accuracy money can buy. 

This particular model from INCRA can cut boards across the table surface of the saw. It’s unique in design, being a hybrid between a table saw sled and a traditional miter gauge.  In a way, it brings the best of both worlds.

The far end of the telescoping aluminum fence can be clamped down on most common angles. It might require a few screws to set up, but it’s worth it!

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. INCRA MITERV27 Miter V27 Miter Gauge

The most affordable INCRA miter gauge on this list is the MITERV27. It is aptly named for the 27 laser-cut V-stops on its head, marking common angles. 

In addition, it is the most portable miter gauge we have used. There are two machined slots on the gauge head for attaching an auxiliary fence with nylon screws. 

Overall, this is the best miter gauge at the entry-level price point and the cheapest among INCRA miter gauges. This is the perfect miter gauge for woodworkers who want to take their tools with them when working in multiple shops.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge

The Kreg Precision miter gauge is easy to assemble and perfectly aligned. It is factory calibrated so that you can use it right away. Its fence has swing stop slides. 

There are five bar adjusters on the miter bar, preventing play on the miter slot. It also looks sleek compared to bulkier miter gauges. It offers Kreg’s patented Swing Stop, an adjustable clamp that can be repositioned easily along the fence with a simple knob. 

It also fits popular table saws from DeWalt and Metabo. Generally, it is the next best table saw miter gauge after Incra MITER1000SE.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Fulton Precision Miter Gauge with Aluminum Miter Fence

The Fulton Precision Miter Gauge is great for that first upgrade you’re craving for. It is budget-friendly and quite simple to assemble and operate. It has 13 positive stops: 1 at 90 degrees and 6 on either side at various angles. 

The fence is cut at 45 degrees on either side, allowing extra close positioning of the fence to the table saw. The fence also has a convenient flip stop that can be easily positioned or taken out of the way. Overall, a solid choice for a budget miter gauge.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Rockler Table saw CrossCut Sled

Regular miter gauges have positive stops that might be so tiny that doing minute degree adjustments is such a hassle. This is where a crosscut sled, aka miter gauge sled shines. It has a large protractor-like rule where you will swivel the fence to the desired angle. 

Compared to a traditional miter gauge, placing the angles and adjustment mechanism at the side makes for an adjustment mechanism that is easy to read and adjust precisely. 

The right edge of this Rockler Table saw CrossCut Sled could act as a zero-clearance chip breaker, so you don’t have to make your own.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. POWERTEC 71142 Universal Table Saw Miter Gauge Assembly/Miter Gauge with 27 Angle Stops

To end our list, we have another “first upgrade” option, the POWERTEC 71142. It has angle-cut stops, for 27 angles, with 5-degree increments. The miter gauge is made of thick aluminum, while the miter bar is made of stainless steel, ensuring great durability. 

The gauge handle is thick and ergonomic. This miter gauge has no built-in fence but has machined slots for mounting your own auxiliary fence with two screws. 

It fits table saws or machines with a 3/8” x 3/4” t-slot. Overall, a very good miter gauge for its price.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Table Saw Miter Gauge Buyer’s Guide

Design and Build

Overall, you might want to consider a miter with mostly steel components, as aluminum components might get dented or chipped when dropped. The best table saw miter gauges are made with a steel miter bar for a durable, snug fit. 

Check for out-of-the-box samples whenever possible to check for wobbly or loose components and if they can be tightened or not (i.e. they should be too wobbly).

Protractor Head

For the protractor head, the thicker the material, the better. Steel types are usually more durable than aluminum, but you might want to check regularly for rust in case of prolonged storage. 

Those with engraved angle markers are also the best, ensuring the numbers won’t fade away.

Miter Fence

Most of the budget options do not come with a fence but machined slots to help you put in your own shop-made auxiliary fence. 

Most of the premium gauges do include an aluminum fence attached to the head, and some also provide a flip-stop attachment, which can help you make repeated miter cuts of the same angle or length. 

Go for a gauge with a telescoping fence for additional support when cutting. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on a rip fence. Also, consider using a measuring tape, as most miter fences may not reflect the correct length due to it being away from the blade.

Miter Bar

T-Slot or Rectangular

Are the slots for miter gauges universal? Not really. Most table saws accommodate a rectangular miter bar. 

Some do have a ‘T track,’ a sort of inverted ‘T’ shape, which firmly secures the miter bar in place, making sure it just slides forward or backward and not pop off the miter groove. 

Check what miter bar your table saw miter groove can take in. Most rectangular miter bars have a T-slot adapter, so check both the table saw and miter gauge for compatibility.

Tight Fit

Miter bars should have a tight fit into the groove and should slide smoothly without wobble, or what woodworkers call ‘play.’ 

You can put smooth tape on miter bars without expansion disks to tighten their fit. But this might reduce the consistency of the cuts due to the nature of the tape. 

Most aftermarket miter gauges have expansion disks anyway, so steer away from those that don’t.

Adjustment Knobs

Adjustment knobs on miter bars usually have an Allen wrench head and a mechanism to expand or contract nylon washers to ensure the miter bar fits snugly into the miter groove. 

Generally, the more expansion disks on the miter bar, the better to ensure the length of the bar slides nicely into the groove.

Angle Stops

Accurate angles provide accurate cuts. Angle stops on most budget options have positive stops, which are just holes marking certain angles. You can then pull the brass pin out of a hole, adjust the fence to your preferred angle, then drop the pin in that angle. 

While positive stops provide easy adjustments, they can wiggle if the pin is not tightened enough. The holes also take up a lot of space, so you can only have a few holes for the more popular angles, as the usual nine miter detents of a common miter saw.

For more choices of angles, go for angle stops that are laser-cut V-shaped stops, like saw teeth. Compared to positive stops, these are usually more stable, accurate, and have a lot of angle options, usually per stop per 5-degree increments.

Other Accessories

Fence Bar

If you can, go for miter gauges with a telescoping fence bar that can adjust and support any length of wood you need to cut.

Sacrificial Fence

More premium gauges allow you to attach an extended fence bar called a sacrificial fence. This is just any piece of scrap wood a bit taller and longer than the woodpiece you’re cutting. 

This allows you to support the entire woodpiece, laid flush against the sacrificial fence, reducing the possibility of a tear-up when you cut it by the saw.

Vernier Cursor

If you need to do half-degree angle cuts, you should definitely buy a gauge with a vernier cursor (aka vernier scale). The vernier scale [1] provides very minute adjustments and is usually made of steel to match the protractor head.

Why You Need a Miter Gauge

Miter gauges hold your workpiece in place if you’re cutting it at a set angle. Without a miter gauge, you are basically guessing the cutting angle, which won’t be precise. 

Without the support from the miter gauge fence, your workpiece may wobble and ‘kickback,’ where your workpiece is thrown backward at you by the table saw. Kickback is the leading cause of injury when using a table saw. 

What’s Wrong with the Built-in Miter Gauge on Table Saws

The stops in the main gauge are notorious for being loose most of the time and thus require constant tightening. Their miter bar that goes in the miter slot may become loose as well and may require tape or mechanical adjustment (i.e. hitting it with a hammer) to fit snuggly. 

An aftermarket miter gauge usually solves these two problems, earning its place with other power tools.

A stock miter gauge comes with only the popular angles like 45, 22.5, and 90 degrees, making it unfit for custom woodwork.

How to Use a Miter Gauge

Here are the general steps in using a miter gauge. Always refer to your gauge’s manual for safety features or additional steps you might need to do.

  1. Make sure the miter gauge slides snugly in the table saw’s miter groove. Adjust the expansion disks of the miter bar if the movement is wobbly.
  2. Plan the length and angle of your cut first. Mark it clearly with a pencil.
  3. Set the miter bar’s protractor head to the correct angle. Tighten the knob of the angle stop mechanism (especially if it’s a positive stop) to prevent it from wobbling while you make the cut.
  4. Do a practice pass by pushing the miter gauge past the table saw. To do this, first, prop up your table saw but do not power it on yet, and put a blade guard on. 
  5. Push the miter blade past the blade. Very Important: If your miter gauge comes with a built-in fence, make sure that the fence will not hit the saw blade as you do the pass. Adjust the fence accordingly. Make sure the fence telescopes are away from the blade.
  6. Power on your saw. Put your workpiece flush to the fence. While supporting the workpiece with one hand, gently push the miter gauge past the blade over the cut length.  

How to Make Your Own Table Saw Miter Gauge (DIY)

This miter gauge will start out as a sled, like a rip fence, but for accurate crosscuts. But, you can easily attach a fence on angles you use the most to customize it. 

Step 1

First, measure the distance between the miter slot on either side of your table saw. Add at least 6 inches on either side for added support and clearance. This will be the total length of your miter gauge/sled. Measure the length, width, and height of the miter grooves as well.

Step 2

Acquire a half-inch thick plywood that will cover the total length of the miter gauge you measured above. For the miter bars, acquire two strips of hardwood (maple wood or oak, etc.) that will fit in the miter grooves. 

Cut and file down the hardwood miter bars, making sure it slides snugly in the miter grooves.

Step 3

For the fence, acquire two strips of plywood about 4 inches wide and cover the total length of the miter gauge. Stack and glue them together, clamp them, and leave them to dry overnight. Repeat this step for another fence on the top part of the board.

Step 4

Time to assemble! Lay down the hardwood miter bars in the groove. Put some super glue on top of the hardwood miter bars, then put the plywood board over them. 

When they stick, flip it over, then secure the hardwood miter bars to the plywood board using #6 ⅝ inch screws. 

For the miter fence, lay down your stacked fences above sideways, one on the bottom of the board and another on the top. 

You should have two 4-inch tall fences on the top and bottom of the board. Use a speed square to ensure they are aligned 90 degrees before gluing and clamping it to dry.

Step 5

Power on your table saw. To create the initial slit for the table saw blade, gently slide your miter gauge board on top of the running blade to make the slit, going all the way to the bottom.

Congratulations! You’ve made your 90-degree DIY miter gauge! You can now use it for things like square cuts. For custom angles, just mark the angle on the board, and then glue a stacked 4-inch wide plywood on Step 3 to make a fence for the custom angle you want.

Safety Tips for Using a Miter Gauge

  1. Make sure to wear safety gear whenever you work with cutting tools. 
  2. Do practice runs of what you plan to do while the cutting equipment is off. 
  3. Make sure the miter bar fits snugly in the miter groove.
  4. Make sure that the fence won’t hit the saw blade even before you start cutting
  5. Keep your eye on the blade when it is on and your hands off it.

Our Top Pick For a Table Saw Miter Gauge: INCRA MITER1000SE Miter Gauge Special Edition

The INCRA MITER1000SE is the best miter gauge based on our individual tests and research. It’s precise, versatile, and built with premium quality. Professional woodworkers will enjoy the vast amount of configuration and unusual cutting angles it can provide. 

It is also priced competitively but enjoys a lot of features over its nearest competitor, the Kreg miter gauge. If you want to practice woodworking for the long run, this is the best table saw miter gauge you can buy now. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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