what is the capacity of a rip saw

What is rip capacity on a table saw? One of the most vital elements to consider when using a table saw is the rip capacity when cutting wood. The table saw's price is also affected by a larger rip capacity. Hence you must understand how much of it you need for your workshop and learn about rip capacities on a table saw. Ripping wood is part of your square cut business if you sell tables for a living!

When the cutting blade has been extended to the maximum rip capacity, it refers to the gap between the fence's edge and the edge of the table saw. You can increase wide ripping capacity by buying a Torsion box router table, readjusting the railing and existing table, or extending one side of the workbench with a depth capacity table.

In this article, you will learn how to increase rip capacity, how much required rip capacity you need to cut a straight line, discover more about rip capacity table saws, and find out how to get extra rip capacity. Get your table saw ready; it is time to explore the various sizes available.

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rip capacity of table saws

What Are the Common Rip Capacities on Small Table Saws?

The width of the wood you can cut is determined by the rip capacity of your table saw or router table add-on. You can purchase these table saws in various sizes ranging from the most portable table saws to more giant rip capacity behemoths. With a ripping capacity greater than the average, you can complete your essential project efficiently.

Portable Table Saws - 28 Inches

Look no further than the DeWalt table saws as an excellent option if you want something at the entry-level rip cutting capacity. It is one of those mid-priced table saws that delivers a load of power and does an outstanding job.

With 28 inches of rip capacity, you can rip a piece of timber up to 48 inches. This rip capacity is perfect for the standard craftsman and their jobs. You will find this smaller rip capacity and entry-level rip capacity on the most common table saw.

Contractor Table Saw - 30 Inches

Many scrupulous contractors prefer to use a rip capacity of 30 inches as it optimally handles most kinds of cuts. Utilizing a contractor saw such as the SawStop 36 Inch Contractor Table Saw is a great way to achieve this rip capacity consistently.

Professional Cabinet Table Saw - 50 Inches

Unless you are a professional woodworker, you will hardly need to cut at this level. With the Cantek professional cabinet-style table saw, you can perform many heavy-duty jobs requiring greater rip capacity. Cabinet saws are versatile table saws that have the largest rip capacity.

Cantek 50 inch table saw

Cantek TA14 - 7.5HP 3PH 14" Tilt Arbor Table Saw, (w/out Saw Blade)

Table Saw Depth vs. Rip Capacity

There is a lot of confusion between saw depth and rip capacity on table saws, and rightfully so. This next section will clarify the difference and explain a little about each one.

Rip Capacity of a Table Saw

The cost of a table saw is influenced by a combination of features. However, the rip capacity is the primary feature that determines the prices of table saws. You must understand these features before getting an upgrade or selecting a table saw.

If you want to get the most value for money, choosing a table saw with the smallest rip capacity would be good. Taking the time to evaluate your needs will help you save money and purchase the correct tools for the job.

Below we have created a summarized comparison of tables saws so you can go over what you just learned. 

RELATED: Panel Saw range.

Portable Bench Top & Job Site Table Saws

  • Lower power motor; struggles to rip hardwoods

  • It vibrates a lot due to the lightweight

  • Portable

  • Affordable

  • Generally 28-inch rip capacity

  • Can perform router table work with it

Contractors Table Saws

  • Added weight lessens vibrations

  • More robust than a job site or benchtop table saw

  • Usually has a rip capacity of 30 inches

  • Reasonably priced

Cabinet Table Saws

  • It cuts the hardest hardwoods

  • Mighty motors

  • Fences are more accurate and robust

  • Heavy to move and very expensive

  • 220v required for cabinet table saws

Hybrid Table Saw

  • Smaller size and low price

  • Enclosed motors similar to cabinet saws

  • Combines features of a cabinet saw, and a contractor saw

  • Easier to align with limited floor space

Table Saw Depth Capacity

A table saw depth determines how deep your saw can cut into the wood. This vital feature of table saws helps get those perfect rips every time. An example of this is a 12-inch blade that can cut through four inches of thick wood, and a 10-inch blade can roughly cut wood that is about three inches thick.

How Much Rip Capacity Do You Require?

The kind of work you are handling is the factor that exclusively determines the rip capacity you will require. If you focus on a more extensive project, you will need a more significant amount of table saw space, as your projects will dictate the capacity you require; in other words, the rip capacity you need.

Say, for example, a 24-inch rip capacity would be sufficient for framing jobs on more significant construction projects. This is because standard and plywood sheets of oriented strand board (OSB) utilized in construction generally measure four feet wide by eight feet long.

You can rip cuts from a four-foot-wide sheet halfway along its length with a table saw that has a rip capacity of 24 inches. If you focus on a tinier project such as furniture, you will require a smaller rip capacity.

Buying the most miniature table saw that satisfies the demands of your project is the way to go if you want to keep the cost down. It's essential to remember that the rip capacity is a critical factor for determining table saw prices.

However, investing in a larger rip capacity is better if you are into some super heavy-duty work.

How Do You Rip Wood on Table Saw?

Cutting wood lengthwise along the direction of the wood grain is known as ripping—e.g. when you have a long straight wood piece and need to shave off two inches.

You can use a miter gauge to perform other cuts, such as crosscuts on your table saw. Cutting wood across the grain is what people refer to as a crosscut.

Now it's time to get started with your project and learn the steps required to rip your workpiece.

How to Rip Your Wood

  • Adjust the blade depth

  • Mark the workpiece you want to rip

  • Adjust the table saw fence

  • Make sure the outfeed support area is positioned correctly

  • Push the piece of timber onto the saw blade and rip cut

  • Utilize a push stick to complete the job

  • Turn off the table saw

Below we discuss three of those steps in further detail so that you can get the best results when doing DIY projects or small jobs around the home.

Ensure Your Workpiece is Marked Accurately

You will lose time and wood if you don't take your measurements scrupulously. Ensure that you are rigorous in measuring, as inaccurate cuts on your timber will produce unusable pieces.

Accuracy in your measurements helps precisely set the blade and table fence for the task.

Set the Blade Depth

It is important to remember that the blade depth corresponds to the depth of the cut. Ensure that you set the depth to end 1/8 inch above the surface of the wood you are attempting to cut.

Say, for example, you need to set the depth of the blade to be above the top surface if you are cutting a 3/4 inch frame. You are trying to prevent your hand from being accidentally sawn when it brushes over the workpiece.

Set Your Table Saw Fence

The rip fence helps achieve longer cuts with precision by acting as a guide for the workpiece. Wood is placed in positions by the fence to ensure a straight cut and is pushed into rapid-moving blades.

You may experience kickbacks with your table saw if a fence is flimsy. When the workpiece pinches against the rapidly spinning blade, it can cause a dangerous condition known as a kickback, which causes injuries because it throws the timber back at you at incredible speeds.

How Can You Increase the Rip Capacity on a Table Saw?

Extend Rip Capacity by Extending the One Side of Your Table Saw

The first thing you can do to increase the rip capacity of your table is to make a completely separate table and attach it to the side of your current table saw. You will increase your rip capacity because the more prominent table will provide additional working space.

It is important to note where a claiming fence system is used; it may be challenging to do so on a rack and pinion fence system. An example of such models includes the range of DeWalt table saws.

Readjust Your Fence Railing or Existing Fence

By altering the fence and the fence railing of your existing table, you can increase the rip capacity. This is more technical since you will have to disassemble, measure, and resemble the current table.

In order to guide you through this process, you can make use of the many relevant DIY tutorials online.

Buy a Table Extension for Your Saw Model

Finally, people can increase their working area or rip capacity by purchasing a table saw stand that has an allowance for an auxiliary fence and table extension.

Assembly is quick and easy since this is a ready-made solution. Fitting all elements in is straightforward because you won't have to measure, drill, or disassemble the table saw.

Conclusion

The rip capacity of a table saw is the primary factor determining these models' price. Below we have listed ways of extending your rip capacity with the most straightforward method:

  • Buying a table extension for models that accommodate an extension table

  • Readjusting your fence

  • Make a table to raise the one side of your table saw's rip capacity

Take some time to consider what you intend to use the saw for if you need help discovering how much rip capacity you require.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Extend a Table Saw's Rip Capacity?

In order to extend the rip capacity on most table saws, you can either purchase a table saw extension. Tweak the fence sliding rail somehow, or add a larger table to one side of your table saw. These methods above are the most common ways to increase ripping capacity.

What Does Ripping Capacity on a Table Saw Mean?

The maximum rip capacity is the distance between the fence's edge and the table saw when the rip fence is extended to its furthest point. Smaller table saws and larger table saws have a total rip capacity that is affected by the size of the blade.

How Many Table Saws Are There?

If you require a large rip capacity or a unique rip fence system, you may look for a more prominent option such as the hybrid or cabinet table saw. A few different tutorials online can teach you how to find the perfect circular saw blade for your project. There are four main models of table saw that people use to frequently cut hardwood.

When Will You Need a Higher Rip Capacity?

Entry-level table saws won't be able to perform jobs that require vast ripping capacity, and rightfully so. If you work on large-scale construction projects, the most common rip capacity is around 40 inches.

Remember, different rip capacities require larger tables for more extensive woodworking projects. Increased rip capacity allows you to make the most of your table saws' surface and how much space you have.