Table saws are powerful tools that are used in many different fields.
Maybe we’re a professional that needs specific cuts, or maybe we’re a passionate hobbyist that enjoys the world of workshops and working with wood. Whatever it is, you need a table saw, and they will be your best friends in the world of woodworking.
So, it must be particularly frustrating to be working on your last project and suddenly notice that the line is curved when it should not be. Table saws are made to be efficient, so if your table saw cuts are not straight, there can be many possible causes. These include:
1. One or more bad teeth in the blade
This is probably one of the most common and luckily one of the cheapest issues to fix. Sometimes, when one or more teeth in the blade are bad, these can start to act as smoothers and not cutters. This can stop the other teeth from touching the wood and cutting accordingly, producing an unusual shape in the cut.
The best way to check if this is your problem is to try with another blade. Normally, this will be enough to fix the issue.
2. Misaligned blades
Sometimes the issue with the blade is not the teeth, but the alignment. This can certainly result in a poor cut.
To check this, pick one tooth of the blade and then measure from the carbide tooth to one miter slot. Then rotate the tooth so it is at table level (at the rear of the saw) and measure again; if they are not aligned properly, this can reveal issues. Tune it accordingly.
3. Misaligned fence
If the fence is not aligned, the blade could kick back, which can be very dangerous. In checking the fence, we know that the blade is aligned to the miter slot, so adjust the fence to the slot so it is perpendicular to it.
Be on the lookout for any gaps that may need to be covered — this could cause the unusual patterns of the cut. Don’t fool around too much with it or you might break the clamp mechanism. Be mindful.
Have a look at the useful tips in this video:
4. Protruding throat plate
With the straight edge perpendicular to the miter slot, push it across the throat plate. If the plate protrudes above the table, this may impede the push of the stock through the blade and mess up your cuts.
These four things should be what you first look at when trying to determine why your table saw cuts aren’t straight. If it happens to be something else, it might be a good idea to get a new table saw altogether. For the best models, check out this page. Always take safety precautions, and good luck.