I am planning on a few different projects around the house for the new year, including some bookcases for the bedroom, a couple of shelf units, a new aquarium stand, and possibly built in closet improvements (drawers and shelves).

I will be getting a table saw (Currently looking at this Ridgid model, and when going through the reviews, I noticed something about calibrating the saw.

My last experience using a table saw for anything was a $129 model from Sears, pretty much just out of box, and it was a pretty bad experience (Even allowing for many years of rust doing any woodcraft).

What would I need to do to set up/align/calibrate the saw for proper use, and is the selected saw decent for home woodworking?

  • If you look at the Related column to the right of the page you'll see some previous Q&As the system identified as being related. A few of them might help you get set up enough to get started. I'm not a table saw user but I think the two main things to get right are that the fence is exactly parallel with the blade, and that the blade is perfectly vertical for normal cutting (don't trust the 90° setting to be accurate, check it with a square). You may also want to do a search for zero-clearance inserts, something you may want to make for your saw to improve the quality of cuts.
    – Graphus
    Jan 3, 2019 at 7:24
  • 2
    Three very important cautions I wanted to add, the first two related to the risk of kickback. First, use a riving knife/splitter (unless the saw has no provision for one). Second, look into short fences; these aren't common in the US but very common elsewhere in the world. Last but not least, make some push sticks and use them religiously.
    – Graphus
    Jan 3, 2019 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


You do not need any special tools to set up the table saw. Use the included instructions for setting up the saw.

This saw will be good for the things that you mentioned, but the blade may need to be changed. Tablesaws usually ship with a cheap utility blade. For best results, replace the blade with a sharp high-quality blade that is suited to the task you want to perform.


This is a job-site saw, and it does have some limitations. The saw has an aluminum top. The lightweight saw is easy to move and set up. This is good for portability and storage. Putting a big heavy dado blade in a lightweight saw will inevitably produce a lot of vibrations. A dado blade works best in a saw with a steel top; a contractor table saw.

  • I am planning on a better blade and a dado blade, thanks for your response.
    – JohnP
    Jan 4, 2019 at 14:47
  • @JohnP Contractor saws (not job-site saws) are best for dados and box joint jigs. See edit to post for more details. Jan 4, 2019 at 16:58
  • Ah, something I hadn't considered. Thanks for the update.
    – JohnP
    Jan 4, 2019 at 17:14

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