You use your handy miter saw every single day. It’s by far the most expensive tool you own (besides your souped-up pickup truck, of course) but worth every penny to you, as you use it every single day for your business.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a DeWalt, Festool, Makita, Hitachi, Bosch, or another brand of miter saw, miter box, or compound miter saw, the simple truth is that your saw is your lifeblood. You would be lost without it in the shop and on the jobsite. Whether you’re slicing up lumber or crown molding, precision-cut quality is a must-have, and thankfully, your chop saw delivers day in and day out.
But as warm weather approaches, you find that you are bidding more jobs every day. With the increase in work, you must produce more in the same amount of time. You have to build more components and make more cuts each day, and the hours are flying by. You quickly realize that pulling out a tape measure, measuring, marking with a pencil, cutting, and re-measuring for quality control is taking a bit too long. Plus, that new guy you hired to help you out for the summer is making too many costly cutting errors, and it’s time to add on a fence system to your trusted chop saw.
So where do you begin this miter saw fence journey?
Well, there are a ton of options out there for fence systems, also known as linear positioners, miter saw guides, sleds, stops, you name it. If you are in the market for a manual fence, you’re in luck because there are plenty of options.
There Are a Number of Popular Miter Saw Fences
The Kreg Precision Trak & Stop Kit helps take the guesswork out of cutting wood to length. It costs about $140 and easily mounts to your saw. Twist the knob to tighten the track in place and you are ready to cut.
Delta Power Equipment makes a few models that are sold at places like Home Depot. The Delta T-Square Fence and Rail System starts at around $195 and goes up to nearly $600, depending on the length needed. The fence is easy to use, simple to set up, and great for repetitive cut-off work.
The next level up is from the Original Saw Company. These guys have a popular chop saw fence called the Original Saw Manual Measuring System, which includes an extruded aluminum rail, base, and a manual locking t-nut. Prices start at around $350 and go all the way up to about $850, depending on the length.
And finally, there’s the FastCap Best Fence Pro. This is a portable fence system that contractors love. It has a manual adjustment knob and can be set up on the jobsite in a snap. The system will cost you $300 for the smallest entry-level unit and up to $2,000 for the Best Fence Deck Build System.
Miter Saw Fence Considerations
Once you’ve thought about the above considerations, you may come to the conclusion that you need a miter saw fence that’s a bit more heavy-duty than a manual fence. Maybe you produce hundreds of parts a day with your miter saw, and wasting time setting and re-setting a manual fence just isn’t cutting it anymore. Good thing there are also a number of automated miter saw fences to choose from.
Automate Your Miter Saw
Automating your miter saw fence is a lot easier and more affordable than you may realize. Simply attach an automated fence, also called a stop, gauge, or lineal positioner, to your chop saw, just like you would a manual fence. Rather than measuring and marking with a tape measure, simply type in the length you want and press start.
TigerStop makes a miter saw stop called a SawGear. Attaching a SawGear to your saw can save up to 30 percent in labor costs. It can also cut parts within 0.003 of an inch and store cut lists for added efficiency. Every SawGear has built-in software called Crown+MiterPro, which calculates angles for you so you can quickly install crown, trim, baseboard, etc. without doing any math.