Table Saw Terminology

Adjustment Wheels: Round handles that raise and lower the blade and typically tilt it on most models.

Anti-kickback Pawls: Spring-loaded, toothed levers behind the blade that allow stock to slide past during a cut but prevent it from moving backwards.

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Arbor: Shaft on which the saw blade is mounted.

Base/Cabinet: Body of the table saw that might be a cabinet, open framework or a hybrid of the two and contains the saw’s internal workings.

Table saw extension wing for sawstop saw

Extension Wings or Tables: Table attachments that provide side support when cutting wide workpieces.

Kickback: When stock binds on the back of the saw blade and then is thrown violently toward the operator with significant force.

Miter Slots: Grooves in the tabletop that run parallel to the blade and control the travel of the miter gauge as well as some other jigs.

Using table saw rip fence to guide cut

Rip Fence: A movable, locking guide that stretches from the front to the back of the saw for accurately indexing and controlling rip cuts.

Phenolic zero clearance throatplate

Throatplate Insert: A removable and replaceable section of the tabletop around the blade with a slot that allows the saw blade to pass through it.

Trunnions: Components that hold the motor and saw blade assembly under the table and allow them to tilt.

T-Square Fence: Rip fence style that rides on a rail at the front of the table saw and locks in place with a lever. Often referred to as a “Biesemeyer” style fence.

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