Table Saw Rip Capacity | How to Choose the Right Blade
You’re shopping for a Table Saw. You’ve read all the reviews, watch all the YouTube videos, and you think you’ve finally found “the one”.
But then you see the specs, and you’re hit with a term you’ve never seen before: “Rip Capacity.” What does that mean? Do you need it? How much do you need? To help answer those questions, let’s take a closer look at rip capacity and why it matters.
What is Rip Cutting
If you’re new to woodworking, you may have heard the term “RIP CUT” and wondered what it meant.
A rip cut is simply a type of cut made with a table saw that’s used to create boards that are narrower than the width of the saw blade. This article will show you everything you need to know about making rip cuts, including how to set up your saw and make the cuts safely.
Rip cuts are made using a special blade called a rip blade. These blades have teeth that are angled so that they cut into the wood like a saw. The teeth on rip blades are also shorter and broader than those on other blades. This helps to prevent the blade from binding in the wood as it makes its way through the material.
To make a rip cut, you will need to set up your table saw so that the blade is perpendicular to the tabletop. Then, you will need to adjust the fence so that it is in line with the blade. Once everything is set up correctly, you can make your cut by pushing the board through the blade.
What is Rip Capacity?
Rip capacity is the width of a cut that can be made with a table saw. The wider the blade, the wider the rip capacity. For example, if a table saw has a 10″ blade and 30″ rip capacity, the maximum width of a cut can be made is 30″.
Why Does Rip Capacity Matter?
Rip capacity is essential because it sets boundaries on the Size of material that can be cut. For example, if you’re planning on cutting 4×8 sheets of plywood, you’ll need a table saw with at least an 8″ rip capacity. You need more rip capacity to make the cuts you need.
How Much Rip Capacity Do I Need?
If you’re only going to be making basic cuts, then a smaller rip capacity will suffice. However, if you’re planning on doing more advanced woodworking or working with larger pieces of material, then you’ll need a larger rip capacity. In general, it’s better to err on the side of too much rather than too little when it comes to ripping capacity.
What Factors Affect Rip Capacity?
There are three main factors that affect rip capacity: blade size, throat opening, and fence size.
1. Blade Size
The Size of the blade determines how wide of a cut can be made. A larger blade can make a wider cut than a smaller one.
2. Throat Opening
The throat opening is the distance from the edge of the blade to the edge of the table. The larger the throat opening, the wider the cut can be.
3. Fence Size
The fence is used to guide the material being cut and keep it snug against the blade. A larger fence can accommodate wider material than a smaller one.
Table Saw Blade Ripping Capacity – Left vs. Right of Blade
Have you ever wondered why a table saw has two ripping capacities? One would be sufficient. There are a couple of reasons for this.
So, please keep reading to find the difference between left and right ripping capacity in a table saw and why it’s important to understand the difference.
Left-of-Blade Ripping Capacity
In a left-of-blade design, the blade is located on the left side of the saw’s table. This design offers a number of advantages, including improved stability and greater control. However, one downside is that it can be difficult to see the cutline when making long rips. Additionally, left-of-blade designs typically have a smaller maximum ripping capacity than right-of-blade designs.
Right-of-Blade Ripping Capacity
The blade is located on the right side of the saw’s table in a right-of-blade design. Woodworkers often prefer this configuration because it provides a clear view of the cutline when making long rips. Additionally, right-of-blade designs typically have a larger maximum ripping capacity than left-of-blade designs.
Left vs. Right Ripping Capacity: Your Guide to Table Saw Blades
Now you already know most table saws have two capacities: one for cutting on the left side of the blade and one for cutting on the right side. The reason for this is that the width of the blade itself takes up some of the total cutting areas.
For example, let’s say you have a 12-inch table saw with a 5-inch wide blade (a common size). If you’re cutting on the left side of the blade, your maximum rip width will be 12 inches – 5 inches = 7 inches. However, if you’re cutting on the right side of the blade, your maximum rip width will be 12 inches + 5 inches = 17 inches.
Author’s Note on Left vs. Right Blade Ripping Capacity
As you can see, it’s important to know your table saw’s left and right ripping capacities to get accurate measurements.
Keep in mind that the width of the blade itself will take up some of the total cutting areas, so make sure to account for that when you’re planning your cuts. With this information in mind, you’ll be able to make precise cuts with your table saw.
How to Find a Table Saw’s Rip Capacity
To find the rip capacity of a table saw, look at the manufacturer’s specifications or measure it yourself. Most table saws will have the rip capacity listed in the specs, so that’s usually the easiest way to find it. If you can’t find it there, you can measure it yourself by following these steps:
Set up the table saw according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure that the blade guard and other safety features are in place and functioning correctly.
Place a straightedge or ruler on the table surface next to the blade. Extend it past the blade as far as possible without touching it.
Measure from the tip of the blade to the edge of the straightedge or ruler. This is the maximum rip capacity of the saw.
Keep in mind that the actual width of lumber that can be ripped may be less than the maximum rip capacity due to factors such as the condition of the blade and kerf loss (the space occupied by the cut).
How to Increase the Rip Capacity of a Table Saw
No matter what kind of woodworking project you’re tackling, a good table saw is essential. But even the best table saws have their limitations, like, their rip capacity.
For a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, having a table saw is a must-have in your workshop. It’s an incredibly versatile tool that can be used for all sorts of woodworking projects. But one of the most common complaints about table saws is that they need a larger rip capacity.
For most table saws, the standard rip capacity is around 24 inches, but what if you need to cut wider boards? Can you increase the rip capacity of your table saw?
The short answer is YES! Luckily, there are a few different ways to increase the rip capacity of your table saw. So if you’ve been struggling to make wide cuts with your table saw, read on for some helpful tips.
3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Table Saw’s Rip Capacity
These are the three ways to increase your table saw’ s RIP capacity:
1. Use a Dado Stack
A dado stack is a set of blades that can be attached to your table saw to make wide cuts—up to 13 inches wide. Dado stacks are ideal for making cabinet dadoes, shelves, and other cuts that require a wider blade.
And because they’re specifically designed for use with table saws, they’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Just make sure you get a dado stack that’s compatible with your specific model of a table saw.
2. Use of Aftermarket Fence
An aftermarket fence is a good option if you want to avoid investing in a dado stack (or if your table saw isn’t compatible with one).
Aftermarket fences are available from a variety of manufacturers, and they allow you to make much wider cuts than the stock fence that comes with your table saw.
Most aftermarket fences have a maximum rip capacity of around 30 inches— plenty wide enough for most woodworking projects.
3-Use of table or stand
If you’re working with exceptionally long pieces of wood, you can use an outfeed table or roller stand to support the wood as it exits the back of the table saw.
This way, you won’t have to worry about the wood getting wedged under the blade or being pulled back into the blade (neither of which is good for your safety or the longevity of your table saw). Plus, using outfeed support will help you make cleaner, straighter cuts.
End Note on Increasing the Saw’s Rip Capacity
If you need to cut wider boards but only have a little extra space in your workshop, consider one of these three methods we discussed, and with just a few simple adjustments, you’ll be able to take on any project!
Rip capacity is an important consideration when shopping for a table saw because it sets boundaries on the Size of material that can be cut. The wider the blade, the wider the rip capacity.
By understanding what rip capacity is and why it matters, you can choose the right table saw for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to RIP plywood on a Table Saw?
To rip plywood on a table saw, you’ll need to adjust the blade height and angle and the fence position.
The blade height should be set to the thickness of the plywood plus an extra 1/8 inch, and the angle should be set to around 30 degrees. The fence should be positioned so that the edge of the plywood is flush against it.
How to RIP long boards on a Table Saw?
Make sure that you have a rip fence in place and that it is parallel to the blade. You can also use a miter gauge to help guide the board through the saw.
If the board is too wide for the fence, you can clamp a straight edge to the board to help keep it aligned. Make sure that you use clamps with padded jaws so that you don’t damage the wood.
How to RIP wood without a Table Saw?
There are a few ways to do this. One way is to use a circular saw instead of a table saw. Another way is to make a ‘rip cut’ guide. A rip-cut guide is just a straight piece of wood or metal that you clamp to your workbench and then run the piece of wood you want to rip along the edge of the guide.
This will help keep your cuts straight and even. You can also use a hand saw or jigsaw to make the cuts, but they won’t be as precise as if you were using a table saw.