Are new biesemeyer fence systems garbage?

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Forum topic by Luthierman posted 08-31-2016 11:16 PM 4291 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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225 posts in 2061 days

08-31-2016 11:16 PM

So I have been doing some research on fence systems for my 1974 Rockwell unisaw. My first go to was the biesemeyer, until I read some reviews. Woah. Scathing. Apparently they are not what they used to be. I wish there was a place to find an older version or even a unifence. So far I haven’t been having any luck. I might need to look into different makers. Maybe shop fox. Maybe Vega. Shoot I don’t know, take a chance on a new Biesemeyer? I would be interested to know if any of you have had any experiences with the newer versions.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

28 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13543 posts in 3354 days

#1 posted 09-01-2016 12:19 AM

Who knows. There are people who bash Delta like it’s their job.

-- Rick M,

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 09-01-2016 01:19 AM

I bought my new Biesemeyer fence in 2013 and it is a very reliable fence ,can’t compare it to an older version since it is the only one I own but the welds are evenly spaced, done nicely and look clean,the fence itself functions as it should(so does the clamp) , based on my experience ,it is a well built/decent fence, have no regrets.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 09-01-2016 03:32 AM

I will ignore negative reviews about biesemeyer, they have been at it for how many decades? I trust they will keep up the good quality products they have been producing since the beginning. Heres my take on some reviewers in general. Any product can apply here. You may get a few reviewers that “think” they know what they are talking about but the truth is they don’t have the hands on experience to really know the difference especially if a product cost a pretty penny. Yes, Rick M. has a point about the bashers. Like Chevy trucks, Biesemeyer is & always will be preferred in my shop… Not to get off topic here but I dont care for Sawstops ics t-square fence, the big red knobs drive my crazy, they feel rubbery & dirty but the fence is good & heavy duty. I like biesemeyers hard plastic black knobs on their fences.

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 2404 days

#4 posted 09-01-2016 04:31 AM
Vega is still highly rated.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View vkumar's profile


12 posts in 3610 days

#5 posted 09-01-2016 05:06 AM

Jesse, I do have an old version (new in box). The box is in bad shape, but the fence is in good condition. The only problem is that I am in CA and you are in Indiana. Shipping would be a killer.

Vijay, Sunnyvale, CA

View Woodchuck2010's profile


745 posts in 1832 days

#6 posted 09-01-2016 02:15 PM
Vega is still highly rated.

- rick1955

I bought just the machined aluminum extrusion from them,( vsctools), and attached it to my fence using their t-nuts. It’s very very flat and accurate.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View Luthierman's profile


225 posts in 2061 days

#7 posted 09-01-2016 11:06 PM

That’s a good idea, Chuck. My coworker contacted the VSCT guys way back when and they hooked him up with the supplier for the extrusions, before they had a store that is. I bet I can get them at cost. That’d be sweet.

I think I will try the route of checking our local dealer to see if they have a line on the USA made versions of the Biese. After doing some looking around the webs, they do still exist. On new unisaws. Not so much for the aftermarket crowd. It doesn’t mean its impossible though. If not, I am going to roll the dice on what gets to my door. The main reason I want to get a biese, is that it will bolt right up to my uni, no mods necessary.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2426 days

#8 posted 09-01-2016 11:12 PM


Sez the man whose saw shows some use . . .


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View Luthierman's profile


225 posts in 2061 days

#9 posted 09-01-2016 11:17 PM

I thought about the Incra too. It is a pretty rad setup. Kind of takes up a lot of space though. This is a surprisingly difficult decision. Can you flip flop the Incra 180 degrees? Like if I had a router table built into my extension table? Also, how well does an extension table work with the rail system?

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2426 days

#10 posted 09-02-2016 12:51 AM

Yes and perfectly. Maxed config:

The router in the side is great. The fence can be flipped and returned with ease. The kit includes extra brackets if you need a split rail or other special config.

I use a Milwaukee 3-1/2 hp plunge router instead of a router lift. The router lifts up & out with ease:

Setting both the saw & router is helped by $50 height gauge:

All the above gives me fast, precise, repeatable setups and cuts.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 2539 days

#11 posted 09-02-2016 12:57 PM

There’s a delta contractor saw with a unifence for sale on CL for $200. Might be an option for ya.


View MrRon's profile


5975 posts in 4217 days

#12 posted 09-02-2016 05:36 PM

The new Biesemeyer fences are a bit different from the original ones from the 1980’s. I have had the first one on my Jet saw and it is still as accurate as it was out of the box. I can’t answer for the new ones. There is a site that sells the Biesemeyer fence as a kit, so you can custom make your own fence. I don’t have the name of the site, but maybe someone else here can provide it. There have been clones of the Biesemeyer fence and I don’t know how good they are. Exacta is one of them.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8360 posts in 3172 days

#13 posted 09-03-2016 12:34 AM

I don’t have any first hand experience with the newer T2/T3 systems… but traditionally, Biesemeyer offered two different fences – the Commercial version, and the “Home Shop” version. The fence itself was basically the same but the guide tube and rails were a bit beefier. Here is a snippet from the Biesemeyer web site FAQ (from back around 2002):

I’m sure moving production overseas and the general industry cost cutting measures didn’t help much, but they are still considered by many to be the standard.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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136 posts in 3252 days

#14 posted 09-03-2016 01:09 PM

I also have the Incra setup on my SS 1.75 PCS and I love it. I’ve found in my 72 years that you’re better off buying the best you can afford and not have to wish you had bought it. If I didn’t have the Incra I’d go for Very Super Cool Tools fence. Allen ( has some really cool well though out products and videos on how to and fully explains his new fence system. Similar to Woodchuck2010 setup.

-- Bill eastern Washington Home of beloved ZAGS

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127 posts in 1600 days

#15 posted 09-09-2016 02:03 PM

I bought a Beismeyer fence this spring from Home Depot as I had a gift card. I put it on my 70’s era Unisaw and it works well. It bolts right on to the Unisaw. No time no drilling and potential mistakes. It locks up solid and can be adjusted easily square to the blade. Their packaging is for shit and the boxes are open on the ends but some how all the parts are fine and in good condition.

The Beiesmeyer doesn’t have a an adjustment to set the fence 90 degrees to the table top. You have to adjust the guide rails which is heavy and cumbersome. It would be nice if they improved the face of the fence to accept Jigs so I don’t have to drill to mount t-track

I had an old Vega on my Powermatic and It flexed at the rear of the fence. I don’t have that issue on the beismeyer. It wasn’t a nightmare but I could never get it to hold square to the blade. Their micro adjust was useful but not a deal breaker for me. It would have to be a bargain for me to consider it.

I”d like the VSC extrusion, but not enough to buy it.

Look at the elegant solution but HUTCH here on lumber jocks.

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