Does Your Table Saw Not Cutting Straight? Here’s the Fix

A few days back, I DIYed a tree-house door for my kids. In the midst, I took several attempts to make a couple of 16” straight cut in a pinewood limb. Firstly, I thought the wood is too hard to make a straight cut by a table saw. But soon, I figured out that, my table saw is not cutting straight for some reason I was totally in blank about.  

I tried a couple of hacks that I knew, eventually ending up in smoke.

Then again, after a couple of hours of trial and error, I figured the way out finally. And that worked just like a spell! Guess what, my table saw is cutting straight again!

Today in this post, I’m going to share the exact method that I followed. And I backed it up with some additional tips as well.

Enough of the intro. Let’s get on the board, and hover into the core.

Let’s Find Out the Causes Behind

From my experience, I have seen that there you can find plenty of reasons behind your table saw not cutting straight problem. And you can follow plenty of methods to the table saw tune up.   

Before, piling up the solutions I am listing down those reasons. From the list, find out the table saw issues you have and need to fix.  

Wrapped Blade

In a woodworking shop, you need to deal with an array of workpiece types. Some of them are soft, rests are sturdy and hard as hell. You get a boner while cutting the second type of pieces, however.  

After cutting such hard material, your table saw blade can end up with a bent edge. And it also can lose some of its teeth.

This is the scenario called wrapped blade.

As a wrapped blade has not a straight edge, it will tear down your wood pieces and deliver you an uneven cutting line.

Loose Blade Holding Nut

Most of the time the blade of a saw is held by a nut.

If you over tighten that nut, your saw blade can stop spinning, and it can stop cutting as well. It is of the common reasons that can bring on a situation where the saw stops mid cut.

However, I am skipping this problem for later as you are not here to find the solution for that.

Okay, an over tightened nut of the saw blade ain’t the culprit behind an uneven cut. Rather it is the loosen nut which can be the reason for a trembling edge.

And a vibrating table saw blade is not able to deliver you a straight cut.

Misplaced Blade

Generally, in a table saw, the blade is attached with motor arbor. And the blade sits at the middle of the table by uprising its head.

For performing a certain cut, you need to align the saw blade head against the table saw top.

But it is quite tricky to do and most of the time carpenters cannot do it properly. As a result, they ended up with a misaligned saw blade. And the wrong positioning of the blade cannot make a desired straight cut.

Misaligned Fence

Table saw fence is one of the most important accessories which helps the carpenters to get desired straight cuts.

In most cases, woodworkers use it horizontally to the workpieces to get even cuts on the wood.

However, many of the DIYer out there don’t have sufficient knowledge about table saw fence adjustment. So, most of the time they get erratic cuts on their woods.

Table Saw Tune Up for Not Cutting Straight

Like any kind of table saw troubleshooting, you need some specific tools.

First, bring out the tools from the table saw toolbox, and you are ready for the next step. If you don’t have the tool kit box, get one from the market. It will also help you next time to do your DIY saw tune-up.

Changing the Wrapped Blade

After checking up the saw machine if you find that your saw blade has a bent edge, at first remove your saw blade. And, replace it with the new shiny blade.  

But, before you change table saw blade, consider the blade quality.

If you go to the market for finding a woodworking blade, you will find various kinds of companies offering different types of blade. But all of them are not equally hardened, and unable to handle sturdy workpiece. So, try to pick up a carbide blade because carbide blades are tough enough to tackle the stiff material.

When I checked my saw blade, I was wonder that it had a cheap preinstalled blade. And after fighting with the wood for a long time, it lost its couple of teeth with a wrapped edge.

Actually, I bought an aftermarket carbide blade to replace it. After the installation, my saw was performing like a beast. And now, my experience with the table saw uses is at the top level.  

Here, is the blade I have attached: DEWALT DW3128P5 80-Tooth Tungsten Carbide Circular Saw Blade

Align the Blade Properly

Miter slot is parallel to both fence and the blade. And it is essential to stay inline. If you find out that your blade isn’t square to the table, you have the causes for a headache.

But you don’t need a balm to get rid of it. Follow the steps explained below-

Items You Need

  • Framing square.

If you don’t have one, you can try the Woodpeckers Woodworking Square Imperial.

Step 1: Set your table saw motor arbor angle at the 0-degree stop.

Step 2: Grab a framing square or layout square.

Step 3: Check out your blade to see it stays square (at 90-degrees) to the top. If it stays out the line, align it.

Note: It is a tricky job to do. But check it over and over to do it properly. To get a better view, you can get the help from your table saw user manual.

Tighten Up the Loosen Nut

After spinning for a long time, the blade holding nuts can be loosened. Though it is a common scenario, it also can be the reason why your table saw is not cutting straight.

Don’t worry. You can quickly fix this up. Just follow the steps right below   

Step 1: To tighten up the nut, you have to disclose your tabletop at first.

Step 2: Hold the blade and try to nod it sidewise. If you can move it, it is sure the nut is not tightened properly.

Step 3:  Grab a spanner and slowly start to tighten the nut. Keep this doing till you can not move the blade sidewise any further.

Note: Don’t over tighten it. In that case, it will stop spinning.

Adjust the Table Saw Fence

After, checking out the blade and arbor nut, if you still having a tough time to cut a perfectly straight line with your saw, surely it is the fence you are using the cause for erratic cutting.

A misaligned fence doesn’t just occur the uneven cut, and it is also another culprit who is liable for saw kickback.

To prevent that type of dangerous situation, align the fence to your table saw miter slot.

Steps you need to follow

Step 1: Slide the fence through its slot and lock one end of it.

Step 2: Then place the other end accurately so that your fence stays 180-degree to the blade tip.

So, simple huh! You don’t have to be a NASA astronaut to do it or need not to know the pure math.

Final Verdict

We’re certain that these actions are well enough to make perfect straight cuts using your table saw over again. Apart from these, if you have attached the riving knife (splitter) to your saw, that also can be the source of the problem we’re talking about. If so, place it properly against the blade.

And, if you are using a miter gauge, make sure that it stays square to the miter slot.

James Johnson

James Johnson

Hi, James speaking. I'm a handyman with my own home service startup and a writer. Friends call me tools-nerd, where I call myself a machine-enthusiast. I'm working as a co-editor at Review Infinite, and I'm so in love with my job.

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