Own a 14" bandsaw? Then this review will interest you,
particularly if you do not have a bandsaw fence system or are unhappy with
your current fence. I have owned a 14" generic import bandsaw for several
years now. It didn't come with a fence as standard, but when I bought it,
they threw in a basic Delta fence for free so I thought, heck, this will
do the job fine. I ended up having problems installing the Delta fence. It
was a pain in the rear end to set up and keep square to the blade, so I
ended up removing it and just using a clamped piece of wood as a fence for
the last two years. This worked ok, but had its own problems. Setting it
up square took some time and each time you set it up you would have to go
through the same alignment process, and continually clamping and unclamping it was
not an overly enjoyable or frustration-free process. It wasn't until I saw
the Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence that I thought seriously about upgrading
my "temporary" wooden fence. Sure, there have been good fences on the
market for a long time, but either they were simply too expensive, or
would not easily fit my saw, partly because I drilled mounting holes too
high when I first got the bandsaw (yes, we all make errors here and
So I decided to take a look at the Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence,
noting the simpler installation method and elongated mounting slots that
might get me past my little drilling mishap from years gone by... After
installing it and using it for the first few times, I was inspired to
write up this review. Let's find out why...
Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence
Firstly, this fence system is designed to fit 14" bandsaws which look
something like the one you see in the photo in the right column. Many
companies sell re-badged versions of this classic 14" bandsaw design,
including Jet, Delta, Grizzly, General, Ridgid, and many others. Mine is
actually a Taiwanese import re-badged machine sold by a local woodworking
supplier. Some come with pre-drilled holes in the table (this makes
installation MUCH simpler), and some you will need to drill your own holes
to mount the fence. What struck me as interesting is the single sided
mounting assembly, whereas the old Delta fence I battled with required
assembling rails to both sides of the saw table. The Kreg Fence (which was
developed in conjunction with bandsaw guru, Mark Duginske, and is similar
to the old line of Fasttrak bandsaw fences) can also potentially be
mounted to other bandsaws if you are prepared to do some drilling of
parts, but I'd check with Kreg first if you have any doubts about whether
this fence will fit your make of bandsaw.
I digress... let's go through installation of the fence...
The fence ships in a nice hard cardboard box, and when you open the
lid, everything is arranged neatly in a segmented plastic tray.
Surprisingly, there are not all that many parts to the system. I was
expecting more given the adjustability features mentioned in the product
blurb, but more on that later.
Start by unpacking all components and laying them out
neatly on a clean work surface. Grab the printed user manual, which
provides all step-by-step installation instructions and check the
component list to make sure everything is included in the box. Now, I
could just say "read the manual for installation instructions", but I want
to outline them here step-by-step also (but not with all technical details)
simply because I feel it is an important feature of the product, that is,
how easy this fence is to put together and install on your bandsaw!
The first job is to attach the mounting rail to front edge
of your bandsaw table (the edge that faces the user). If you do not have
pre-drilled holes in your table, you will need to drill some now. There
are several elongated milled slots in the edge of the mounting rail. The
first locates over the right drilled hole in your table (this is standard
no matter what make of 14" saw you have). Secure with the supplied threaded bolt and
washer (my drilled holes were not threaded so I used a washer and nut on
the other side to secure - no problems, although in this case you have to
supply the nut and washer yourself). Next, attach the other end of the
mounting rail. There are three possible slots in the mounting rail to use,
depending on which lines up with the left pre-drilled hole in your bandsaw
table. Mine used the first closest slot (for Jet, Ridgid and import
models) and everything lined up great. The next slot will fit Delta saws,
and the furthest slot is for Craftsman 14" bandsaws. If you find none of
the slots fit, you can drill a hole in the mounting rail yourself to make
it fit (instructions provided for this in the manual).
Once the mounting rail is attached, you assemble the clamp
block component. This just involves threading four nylon screws (2 x hex
head, and 2 x set screws) which only takes seconds. These will be used
later to adjust the clamp block and to square up the fence to the blade.
The lens cursor, used for measure reference, is also installed temporarily
at this stage.
Next, you simply attach the Adapter Bracket (which will
soon hold the fence itself) to the clamp block with supplied hex head
bolts and washers. Easy stuff. Line it up roughly square to the clamp
block to begin with. It can be adjusted later. Attach the Lock Down twist
knob loosely. This is the part which will hold your fence firm to the
mounting rail once you
have set your desired fence distance from the blade. Place the whole clamp block assembly onto
the mounting rail and lock it down lightly using the lock knob. Now we can
attach the fence!
The Adapter Bracket has two long "U" shaped slots in which
bolt shafts will lay to secure the fence. The heads of the two hex-head bolts
are inserted into the back channel of the blue bandsaw fence component,
and then the shafts of these bolts lay in the Adapter Bracket slots and
are secured with the two washers and twist nuts supplied. Once the main
fence is attached, guess what? The main installation is just about
complete. How easy is that! It took me no more than 10 minutes to get to
this stage, and without one bad word muttered, even under my breath. Everything
worked like a well-oiled machine.
Now comes time for adjustment before you use the fence. You
should make a few test cuts to determine how much blade drift you
experience during a normal cut. The Kreg Bandsaw fence is adjustable to
compensate for blade drift, and you do this by loosening the hex bolts
which hold down the Adapter Bracket to the clamp block and angle it Left
or right slightly (and hence the fence that attaches to it) to counteract
the blade drift tendency of your saw. It can take a few cycles of test and
adjustment to get it spot on, but it depends how well your bandsaw is set
up to begin with. A well set-up bandsaw may require no adjustment at all
and you can use a parallel fence without any bias either way. This setting
will remain the same until you find a need to alter it later. No more
setting up a fence offset each time you use a fence to make your cut.
also check that the fence face itself is parallel to the tensioned blade
on your bandsaw. If not, your cut pieces may be thicker on one end, or
thinner on the other! Start by ensuring your bandsaw table itself is
square to the blade at the "0" degree setting. Once verified, check
parallelism between fence and blade. If it is not parallel you can adjust
the protruding height of the nylon set screws below the clamp block to
effectively lift or lower one side of the clamp block to make the fence
perfectly parallel to the blade. Adjustment is pretty easy and the design
works well. I found I needed to make virtually no adjustment here, but your
mileage may vary. With this being the case, I simply threaded the nylon
screws so they were just touching the sections of the mounting rail below
to keep me in parallel for subsequent uses.
Next I installed the adhesive measure tape. There is a
small shallow channel in the mounting rail to attach this in. The tape
measure supplied is in imperial units (inches) but Kreg also now offer a
compatible metric adhesive tape measure, but you must purchase this
separately (part number KMS7729 which sells for US$7.29). Basically you move your fence over to the
blade so it is just touching the blade teeth without deflecting the blade.
Make pencil marks on the mounting rail where the lens cursor line is
positioned. Next, remove the clamp block/fence, peel the adhesive
protector from the back of the tape (or peel as you go), line up the "0"
mark with your pencil marks, and apply the tape down the length of the
mounting rail. There is more tape than you need. I managed to get up to 21
inches of measure tape before the rail ended, and I clipped off the excess
tape. The lens cursor can be adjusted left right at any time, so remount
your fence to the mounting rail and slide it over to the blade and check
your lens cursor position. Adjust it left/right and secure it again to
"zero" your measure reading. Note that the measure tape is only a guide,
and while it can be pretty precise in use, there is very small difference
between the tooth offset of a 3/4" blade and, say a 1/4" blade, so perhaps
its a good idea to set your measure tape for the blade you most commonly
use. Most bandsaw cuts are rough cuts anyway, deliberately made oversize
for further refining later on with another tool to final required
dimension. I find I don't really use the measure tape all the time, as I
pencil mark my cut lines and go by those mostly, but there are times, for me at
least, when the measure tape provides a good and quick guide for setting
fence width from the blade. I'd rather have that feature than not have it,
let's just say that, and it doesn't affect fence performance whether you
have the tape measure installed or not, so there is no reason not to have
it in my mind.
One concern that was quickly dispelled when I started using
the fence was whether
there would be any deflection in the fence when locked down, given that it
locks on only one end (there is no rear rail to lock onto). The clamp
block sits onto a dovetail-shaped section of the mounting rail. This
provides a very secure hold, and the rigidity of the Adapter Bracket and
the fence itself are crucial. When properly locked down, it is hard to
deflect the fence, even when force is applied to the edge furthest from
the mounting rail. Ok, so you can deflect it marginally, but it takes more force than
you would ever apply to it in normal use. In fact, when I tried, the whole bandsaw lifted up off two of its feet. Fence rigidity is crucial for
ongoing accuracy, and I am happy to report that Kreg have this issue well
and truly covered. When locked down, it's very solid indeed. Big points
Ok, what else do I have to mention... Ahh yes, take a look
at the photos to the right. Note the one showing the included miter gauge.
When assembled and attached correctly to your bandsaw, the mounting rail
sits below the miter slot, meaning you can use your miter
slot and miter gauge normally without being hindered by the mounting rail.
Enhancement without compromise... Gotta love it!
As mentioned, the mounting rail offers up to 21" capacity,
or there abouts, but most 14" bandsaws will only give you around 14"
throat clearance anyway so you cannot run out of fence-width capacity.
Removing the fence for true freehand cutting is child's play. Just loosen
the locking knob enough to clear the dovetail rail section and take it
The fence component itself is 18" long, and you can adjust
its position forward/back to give you more infeed support, or more outfeed
support. There is more than enough length to provide plenty of support on
the infeed and outfeed sides at the one time. Fence height is 2 3/4",
again, sufficient to provide solid support for most material sizes that a
14" bandsaw is able to slice through. Because the fence has several
channels to accept head head screws or bolts, making a higher sub-fence
(if you felt the need to) is not too difficult, and attaching it and
removing it could be achieved readily.
Once everything has been aligned, and you may only need to do this
once unless you switch blades or blade drift changes over time, you are
ready to go. Using a fence is ideal for making straight cuts on a bandsaw.
Naturally, its not overly useful for making curved cuts, and should
probably be removed for this purpose. But, in my shop at least, the
bandsaw is primarily a re-sawing machine, so straight cuts are the order
of the day. Re-sawing means cutting a thick piece of lumber in two, or
three, or many pieces along its grain. Or you can re-saw a section of
tree trunk or tree limb into flat boards for projects (see photo of my
nicely re-sawn boards from a section of tree taken from my own backyard).
Re-sawing is popular with some cabinet makers that like to bookmatch door
panels. It is a great way to get the most useable wood out of round supply
stock. Using the fence, you can guide your piece along it to make a
straight cut. Again, proper bandsaw setup and compensation for blade drift
in your fence setup will produce consistently good results with even
thickness edge to edge.
There is virtually no friction on the fence face, and with
a nicely polished bandsaw table and a sharp blade, the bandsaw slices wood
like butter. To take a wider cut, simply unlock the fence, slide it over,
secure it and away you go. I measured the distance between both the close
edge and distant edge of the fence in relation to the miter slot to see if
the fence remained square no matter where along the rail I had it locked
down. And the results were pretty much spot on, meaning the fence locks
down true, with repeatable accuracy (there may be some very, very minor
discrepancy here or there in the order of 1/32" or less), but certainly
nothing way off the charts, and nothing that would make any practical
difference for a bandsaw cut which, after all, is not really considered as
a "precision" cut compared to other cutting tools. The bottom line... it's
as accurate as it needs to be for the tasks performed on a bandsaw.
You might also note in one of my photos (near the bottom)
that I have the fence configured with its wide face laying flat on the bandsaw
table. The fence can be attached this way also, and its ideal for cutting
thin stock, simply because it allows you to lower the blade guides right
down near the wood without being impeded by a high fence. There is still plenty of
support provided by the fence, and it is a well thought out design that
allows you to do this. Remember, this fence was designed in part by one of
the world's most well-known bandsaw users and experts, and built to
accommodate a bandsaw user's needs in every respect.
What I like about this product:
Very easy to install, adjust, and ease of use is second to
Very rigid - uses solid, well machined parts.
Wood glides along it easily, unlike my "wooden" fence I
used for many years prior to this.
Fits most similar 14" bandsaws on the market. No adjustment
needed for my saw.
It's black and blue and kinda resembles my bandsaw color!
The ability to easily make or add jigs - can use some
standard T-track accessories or fixings (but I haven't found a need for
any as yet).
Very reasonably priced for a quality product that does the
job it says it will do.
What I dislike about this product:
Not really a dislike, but would have been good to have seen
a dual imperial/metric measure tape included by default for adaptability,
or at least the chance to request a metric tape with the order.
Considering these are mostly sold in the USA however, its understandable
that an imperial tape is included. Metric tape is available for those who
prefer the metric system at additional cost (see details above).
Nothing else really. It is genuinely difficult to fault
For the recommended retail price of US$119.95, the Kreg
Precision Bandsaw Fence offers excellent value for money. It certainly
offers me value simply because I no longer have to clamp, adjust and
unclamp a wooden fence to my bandsaw everytime I want to make a straight
cut, or wrestle with a sub-standard fence that is difficult to maintain
and offers no adjustment features. Now I just attach the fence and away I go. This saves me at least 4-5
minutes each time. Considering that you can probably get this fence for
closer to the US$100 mark, it offers even more value. Well engineered,
well thought out, easy to install, well worth your money, in my opinion.
Although not entirely necessary, there are several accessories
available (at extra cost) to further expand the functionality of your
4 1/2" Resaw Guide
I'll start with the 4 1/2" resaw guide, simply because I think this
one is worth grabbing. Although Kreg also offer a larger 7" resaw guide, I
find the 4 1/2" guide is more than suitable for my needs.
So, what does it do. As you can see from the photos, the
guide attaches to the fence via screws and brass thumb-wheel nuts (on
either side of the guide). This locks it solidly to the fence. It's not
easily visible in the photo, but the front of the resaw guide facing the
blade actually has a curved face.
What's it for? Well, basically it provides a pivot point
close to the blade to allow you to compensate for blade drift on the fly.
But hang on... doesn't the fence itself provide adjustment for blade
drift? Well, yes it does, but there are some cases where freehanding a cut
(using no fence as a guide, only a pivot point next to the blade) can
produce more consistent results. During some cuts the blade drift factor may
not be constant, i.e. there may be variations in how much the blade
drifts during a single cutting pass. This can often occur if you are working with wood that has curly
grain, or grain that doesn't run terribly straight, and there are other
factors also, i.e. poor quality blades. Or, some woods may have varying
density in the same piece, a knot in wood being a good example. A blade
may drift by a certain amount when it cuts against the grain for a small
part of the cut (curly grain) and then straighten out a little if it comes
along to some nice straight grain - this is just a basic explanation, the
mechanics of it all can be mind boggling if you get into it. So you have
varying blade drift during a single cut, for whatever reason. In these
instances, it is better to freehand the cut, meaning you change the angle
in which the piece is being fed into the blade on the fly, modifying it
slightly as you go to keep the blade cutting as straight as possible. This
is an essential requirement if you attempt to cut/mill your own thin
veneers from larger stock... now there is a bandsaw cutting challenge!
Referencing against a pivot point provides extra control
for the user, and a curved pivot point is needed to make these angular
adjustments easily. This is what the resaw guide does. It provides that
pivot point. Some home-made shop guides have a much sharper radius. While
these work ok, I personally find the larger radius guides to be easier to
work with (personal preference), and the wood encounters very little
friction as it slides over the smooth metal surface of the Kreg resaw
guide. It's certainly a handy accessory to have if you suffer a lot of
problems with blade drift on your saw, or want that little extra bit of
control when it comes to re-sawing valuable pieces of lumber or lumber
with "cranky" grain. I guess I
should note at this point that the Kreg fence could be equally useful for
cutting metal on a bandsaw, using a metal cutting blade of course.
Priced at US$17.99, the resaw guide is worth it if you have
the extra money to add it to your fence setup. Or, you can always buy it
later down the track, if and when your budget permits, or if you find a
need for it.
The micro-adjuster, priced at US$14.99 offers the user the ability to
modify the fence distance on a micro scale. Instead of unlocking the fence
and moving it left or right by hand to make small adjustments, you can add the micro-adjuster
component to your setup, which provides a small brass adjustment wheel to
make micro adjustments of your fence's position. It attaches directly the
the clamp block via the threaded thumb wheel screw and it either pulls the
clamp block (and fence attached to it) to the left or pushes it right
depending on which way you turn the thumb wheel. You lock the adjuster
down to the mounting rail (with its own screw clamp), and unlock the fence
just enough so it can move freely, then you turn the thumb wheel screw to
make micro adjustments to your fence position before you lock the fence
down to make a cut. It you are one that has difficulty setting a fence to a
measurement on a small scale, i.e you are constantly tapping it this way
and that way to get it aligned right over a mark, then the micro-adjuster
will make life much easier. It is designed so that it doesn't impede
the use of the fence, and it slides along with the fence as you make macro
adjustments. It's handy to have, but I personally don't find it to be
absolutely 'essential'. Like I have mentioned before, I don't view my bandsaw to be a precision cutting instrument that will cut directly to
dimension with no further work required, so I always cut oversize and
machine to final dimension with other tools. But if your tasks allow you
to use the bandsaw as your one and only cutting tool and you find the need
to make micro-adjustments, then the micro-adjuster is your ticket to
easier bandsaw cutting with the Kreg Bandsaw Fence. It is certainly
designed and constructed well and works as advertised, so it comes down to
personal choice on this one. I have one and use it here and there, but not
for every cut.
Well, I hope that gives you a good insight into the Kreg
Precision Bandsaw Fence and accessories. If you are like me and are not a
massive fan of building your own jigs, fences (I'd rather be undertaking
projects in the little time I have) etc, then I think you will enjoy this
product. A good fence (whether made or bought) can make life much easier
when cutting on the bandsaw.
Kreg Precision Bandsaw Fence Photos
All photos copyright onlinetoolreviews.com. Use without prior
written permission prohibited
Most 14" bandsaws have pre-drilled mounting holes.
The fence will fit most 14" bandsaw designs including
Jet, Delta and various imports.
Time to upgrade the bandsaw with the Kreg Precision
Neatly packed ready for assembly.
Milled slots located strategically to suit various
Attaching the mounting rail.
Setting up the bandsaw clamp block, adding the nylon set
The adapter block is now mounted, and I am adding the
Lock Down Knob.
Attaching the fence component
The fence is now fully assembled, well apart from the
measure tape. Note also that the fence does not impede the miter slot, so
your miter gauge still functions normally.
Making a test cut to check fence alignment. The high
fence provides plenty of support and is very rigid.
Attaching the adhesive imperial measure tape.
Zeroing out the lens cursor...
Basic straight line re-sawing. Great results! Each board
is of constant thickness and the finish is as good as you can get from a
The added extras further enhance the saw fence.
The micro adjuster allows you to make micro changes to
the position of the saw fence.
The curved faced resaw guide allows you to freehand a
cut, compensating for blade drift as you go. Very handy accessory.
Note how the saw fence is orientated in the flat
position which is handy for cutting thinner materials.