How to Check Your Table Saw Alignment

1-2 hours

For perfectly aligned cuts, make sure the blade and miter gauge slot are parallel

Refinishing a Pressure-Treated Deck

When you first get your saw, plan on checking all the settings to make sure they are accurate. The easiest way is to make some sample cuts and check their accuracy.

Before you make any test cuts, check to make sure the blade and slot are parallel. Start by measuring the distance from the slot to a tooth on the blade, once the tooth is at the back of the blade opening and after you’ve turned the blade so the tooth is at the front. If the measurements aren’t equal, adjust as directed by the manufacturer.

This guide shows you how to measure and then make adjustments to ensure the table is properly aligned.


Make the first measurement
Make first measurement - Table Saw Alignment

• Begin by unplugging your saw. Make a mark on a tooth, and spin it by hand to the other side of the blade opening.
• Set your carpenter’s square so that the end of the ruler just touches the marked tooth. You may have to hold the blade to keep it from spinning out of position, but don’t flex it toward the ruler.
• Rotate the blade forward, and check to see if the measurement is the same at the front of the opening.

Make adjustments
Make adjustments - Table Saw Alignment

• If the measurements aren't equal, adjust the way the blade sits in the table.
• On this saw, you loosen a hex-head alignment screw, push the blade into position, and then tighten the screw.

Make sure the rip fence is parallel to the blade
Make rip fence parallel to blade - Table Saw Alignment

• Safe and accurate rip cuts depend on the rip fence being parallel to the blade. To check the alignment, first make sure the miter gauge slot is parallel to the saw.
• Then slide the fence over to the miter gauge slot and lock it in place.
• If the fence aligns with the entire length of the slot, everything is fine. If the two diverge at either end, adjust the fence, which usually involves loosening a few bolts and shifting the fence into alignment.

Adjusting the throat plate
Adjusting throat plate - Table Saw Alignment

• Make sure the throat plate isn’t sticking up above the saw surface where it can catch the leading edge of a board as you cut.
• Use a level as a straightedge. Check for light between the level and the saw table, and between the level and the throat plate.
• Adjust the height by turning the setscrews in the throat plate.