Tool Test: Bandsaw Fences
An aftermarket model can work wonders
Synopsis: If perfect resaw cuts are your goal, consider upgrading your bandsaw’s stock rip fence with an aftermarket model. There are plenty of solid ones out there. For this review, we focused on systems that will mount onto a variety of 14-in. bandsaws. That’s the size you’ll find in most woodworkers’ shops, and if you know how to set it up properly, it is plenty of machine for almost anyone. But many of these fences will also work on 16- or 18-in. saws and some are available in a larger size. We tested fences from Kreg, Grizzly, Accusquare, Excalibur, Woodhaven, EZ Square, Magswitch, Carter, and Laguna. The two standouts were obvious.
The bandsaw can be the most valuable tool in the shop, making a wider variety of cuts than a tablesaw can, and more safely. But most woodworkers struggle with theirs and never tap its true potential. For perfect resaw cuts, smooth curves, and precise joinery, start by reading Michael Fortune’s articles on bandsaw setup and technique, beginning with “Five Tips for Better Bandsawing” (FWW #173).
And then check your bandsaw’s rip fence. If your saw is equipped with a stock fence, see if it does all the things that the winning aftermarket fences on the following pages can do, and think about upgrading. Like tablesaw miter gauges, some stock Bandsaw Fences TOOL TEST fences are an afterthought. Also, if you’ve been clamping a board to the table to act as a fence, it’s time to burn it and buy a better one. There are plenty of solid aftermarket models out there.
For this review, I focused on systems that will mount onto a variety of 14-in. bandsaws. That’s the size you’ll find in most woodworkers’ shops, and if you know how to set…