The Table Saw Basics Parts and Accessories Guide

You may have been searching for information on how to use your woodworking table saw and everything that you come across on the internet appears to be jargon that you can hardly understand. Well, today is your lucky day as this post will explain some of the common words that are used in reference to the tool.

Without further ado, here are some of the main terminologies that you may have come across:

table saw Basics parts and accessories

Blade Guard

The blade guard is an attachment that usually covers the blade when you are cutting your workpiece. This is common and it is highly recommended that to be used at all times. Some of the experienced woodworkers remove the blade guard claiming that it distracts the view, but there are modern models that come with a crystal clear blade guard.

Rip Fence 

This one of the common jigs on the table saw and it is used for rip cuts. The rip fence is a guide and will help you to guide the stock that is being ripped.


This refers to components that will hold the blade and the motor assembly in place. This is usually, in the design for the tabletop or cabinet saws.

Miter Slots

Simply put, miter slots are holes that run parallel your blade, across the width of the tabletop of your table surface. The miter slots will provide a place for the miter gauge to slide with the stock that is being cut.


The sled is an essential jig that comes in handy when you need to make miter cuts and crosscuts. With the sled, you will be able to make repeatable cuts in an easy and fast manner. The sled will run your miter slot but extends beyond your table, which will provide extra space for the workpiece to rest on.

Miter Gauge 

The miter gauge is another standard jig for the table saw and it is used as a guide for the miter cuts and cutting stock to length. Ideally, the miter gauge will hold firm the workpiece and move it across the table top, through the miter slots as the blade makes the cuts.


A dado refers to a notch that is cut on a piece of wood, with the intention of affixing another piece. This is commonly in joinery tasks and you can use the dado to create some incredible effects. If you want to achieve accurate dado cuts, you should ensure that you are using a stacked dado blade set.


The jig is the term that is used to refer to any attachment or accessory that is used in enhancing the functionality of the tool. Some of the common jigs include rip fence, miter gauge, dado set and so many others. There are some that are designed for specific tasks and advanced cutting projects.


Kerf is a slit that has been cut on a workpiece, or the thickness of the slit that has been curt, or the width of the blade’s cut or the act of making a slit on a workpiece. As such, it will depend on the context that it is being used in.


These are the troughs or the spaces that are between the two saw blade teeth.

Miter Cut

A miter cut is one that is cut to a length of the stock and at a specific angle. This is as opposed to making perpendicular cuts to the grain of your stock. This is common when you are working on joinery projects.

Rip Cut

Rip cuts are the most common and this refers to cutting along the grain of the wood. This is cutting to the width and to be able to accomplish this, you would need to have a rip fence attached to the table saw.

Bevel Cut

This is an advanced type of cut, mainly for experienced woodworkers. Bevel cuts are made using angled blades and not the one that is perpendicular to the tabletop. All these tools can be adjusted to make bevel cuts, which are common for joints.


This is the process of making an in-grain cut across the thickness of the workpiece. Ideally, the main objective is to provide a visual effect.


The crosscut is when the stock is cut to length and this is also a common cut that can be produced using the table saw. In order to make a crosscut, you will need to have a sled or a miter gauge attached to the tool.


This is a hole that is created in the wood and it is designed such that it will be able to fit in a matching component of the piece of wood. This is known as the female component in the joinery projects.


Tenon, on the other hand, is a protruding piece of the hole that is cut in such a manner that it will fit in a hole on another piece of wood, known as mortise. While the mortise is the female component, the tenon is the male joint.

Taper cut

A tapered cut is done in a creative way and at the end of it, it leaves one end of the stock thicker than the other. There is a gradual transition from one end to the other and this common when making legs of furniture. There some specific jigs that you will need to use when making such cuts so that they can be repeatable and accurate.

Feed Force

Feed force is the force that you need to push your workpiece through the blade to achieve a cut. This will depend on the type of cut that you are making.

Tear Out

Tear out is the urban slang to refer to when the blade will tear the piece of wood and it comes out rough and chipped. This can also be referred to as blow out.


This is the shaft or the cylinder that the blade of the table saw attaches to. This is what is spun by the motor, and in turn, it spins the blade.

Feed Rate

This refers to the speed at which the wood is being pushed through the blade. In order to make accurate and safe cuts, you need to balance between the speed and the material that is being cut, as well as the power of the saw.


This is a process of creating joints, by using different pieces of wood. This is one of the best tools that you can use to create practical joints in woodworking. All you will need is to establish the right jigs for that purpose.

These are some of the common terms that you will find in reference to top rated table saw. With the understanding of these terms, you will be able to understand your tool in a better way. However, if there is a term that I have left out and you would like to know the meaning, feel free to leave a comment and we will be happy to get back to you.

Hey There! Glad that you could stop by. My name is Adam Smith, the person behind Best Saw Reviews. I want to share all the information that I have about different saws and cutting tools. There are so many saws that can be used for different types of cuts and as such, I want to give you some tips and tricks on how to make use of the different types of saws and cutting tools and accessories. If you have never had an experience with saws, then you have nothing to worry about.

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