What Is Rip Capacity On A Table Saw?

Before buying a table saw, whether a heavy-duty or a portable table saw, it’s good to take into consideration, not just the price, but also the rip capacity of the table saw.  Maybe some of you are not yet accustomed to its use, but it actually plays an important role when having a project that involves ripping or cutting wood.  

The rip capacity  is one of the factors that you really need to fully understand because this will have a great bearing on your future projects.  If you have a full knowledge of what rip capacity is, this would definitely narrow down your options and it would be easier for you to scout for the best table saw.

What is Table Saw Rip Capacity?

Rip capacity pertains to the distance between the boundaries of the table saw and the rip fence when it gets fully extended.  If you want a lengthier rip capacity, you can do so by expanding the table saw on one side.  You can likewise purchase a table saw extension, or re-adjust your current fence railing and rip fence. 

As you read further on, you will get to understand more of the importance of knowing the rip capacity that is required to use for your projects. You will also get to know the ways on how you could increase the table saw rip capacity.  

Different Table Saw Rip Capacities

It’s vital that you should know what your upcoming project requirements are, especially when you’ll be working on woods.  This is for you to be able to get the right rip capacity and so you could easily determine the maximum size of wood that you are allowed to cut. 

1. 28-Inch Portable Table Saws

This is probably the most inexpensive and average-priced 28-inch portable table saw that has a rip capacity that is ideal for beginners.  You can work on a wood piece that has a width measurement of up to 48 inches.  

The rip capacity of this portable table saw is already capable of working on most standard tasks.  If you will just be doing menial wood cuttings for your house projects, this 28-inch portable table saw could already tackle the job very well.  

Pros:

  • It is portable.

Cons:

  • Since it is portable and light, it vibrates too much when in use.  
  • It has a low-powered motor, which has a difficulty in rip cutting very solid wood.  

2. 30-Inch Contractor Table Saw

A lot of contractors find the 30-inch contractor table saw rip capacity already sufficient for their regular tasks in construction projects.  In general, most table saws with such rip capacity can do most cutting jobs smoothly.

Pros:

  • It is more durable and tougher than a jobsite table or bench saw
  • It is heavier than the portable table saw, which means vibrations are reduced.  

3. 50-Inch Professional Cabinet Table Saw

When you need to build gigantic cabinets, it’s quite impossible to work with using only a 28-inch or a 30-inch table saw since they’re just too small.  What you’ll be needing larger table saws, particularly a 50-inch table saw, which is usually used by professionals, and this is no doubt the best table saw.  

Pros:

  • It has an incredibly powerful motor that is designed to cut the hardest woods.  
  • It is an extremely durable machine that’s really meant to be used on big projects.  
  • It experiences zero vibrations.
  • Its rip fences are tough. 
  • It delivers precision cuts.  

Cons:

  • It is very pricey.
  • It is not easy to transport because it is weighty.  
  • It requires a 30-Amp circuit capacity that a lot of workshops don’t have. 

The Difference Between Table Saw Rip Capacity and Table Saw Depth

A lot of people are not aware of the difference between a rip capacity and table saw depth, and this is why I felt the need to make a distinction between them.  

Table Saw Rip Capacity

Again, the rip capacity describes the space or distance that’s between the edges of the rip fence and the table saw.  This is one of the factors that dictates the price of a table saw.  

So, the bigger the rip capacity, the more pricey the table saw gets.  Or the smaller the table saw, the smaller the rip capacity is.   

Table Saw Depth Capacity

The table saw depth capacity defines how deep the table saw can cut into the wood you’re working on.

For instance, a 10 inch table saw blade has the ability to cut through a 3-inch thick wood, while a 12-inch blade is meant to gash into a 4-inch wood. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What table saw rip capacity is required?

The required rip capacity will greatly depend on the project or job that you’ll be performing.  Your projects will influence your decision on what table saw as well as rip capacity to go for.  

Before arriving at a final decision, jot down your project plans and assess how big your project will be.  This way, you’ll be able to accurately gauge the rip capacity that you truly need.  

For example, if you are working on macroscale projects, specifically framing jobs, a 24-inch table saw rip capacity will already be sufficient.  To give you a better understanding, the OSB or the oriented strand board of standard sheets and plywoods are 4 feet in width and 8 feet in length. 

What is the best table saw rip capacity?

As mentioned earlier, the rip capacity will depend much on the projects you’ll be working on.  The bigger your project, the bigger the rip capacity requirement.  

If you’re a novice and you’re only planning on small home renovations, it’s nice to start with a portable table saw that only has a small rip capacity.  However, if you’re working as a contractor or you’re already handling huge projects, you might as well invest in a contractor or professional table saw, which both have a large cut capacity.

Is it possible to increase the table saw rip capacity?

Yes, increasing the rip capacity of a table saw is a feasible idea.  Here are the ways:

1. Create a table extension for your table saw on one side.  

Creating a new table and attaching it to your current table saw will expand your rip capacity.  Having an extension table will give you a wider working area and this will allow you to work on bigger projects.  

2. Re-adjust your current fence as well as your fence rail.  

Changing your fence and likewise your fence rail can enhance the rip capacity of your table saw.  However, this process entails more complicated tasks as you’ll need to strip off the existing table set up, do some measuring, and then rebuild your table saw.  If the process seems intricate, you can watch tutorials over the internet.  

3. Buy an extension table.

If you are not a technical person and you want to make things simpler, you can simply buy an extension table that’s compatible with your table saw.  Since it’s an off-the-shelf item, you will not have a hard time assembling it.    

Bottomline

Before purchasing a table saw, you must consider a lot of factors, and rip capacity is one of them.  Rip capacity has a great influence on the price of the table saw. 

If you need a huge table saw that can help you accomplish your big projects, then be ready to spend for a sturdy table saw with a large rip capacity.  On the other hand, if you’ll only be working on menial projects, a portable table saw with a small rip capacity will already be sufficient.  

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