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Incra vs. Vega table saw fence

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Forum topic by Sam_Bone posted 05-27-2021 11:12 AM 908 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sam_Bone

3 posts in 120 days


05-27-2021 11:12 AM

Hi all,
First post here. I’m in need of a fence for my craftsman table saw- the original fence is garbage, as everyone knows, but mine is broken on top of that.
Long story short, I decided on the incra ts-ls 32” fence. However, it’s back ordered for close to 6 months. I could get a Vega pro fence shipped now, but I wanted everyone’s opinion on if it would be worth it to wait for the incra. Important to note is that I don’t need to use the table saw in that time, and can find plenty to work on with my lathe, but it would always be nice to have.
Also, does anyone know of anyone selling a used incra fence? (This is why I started a new topic instead of searching- was hoping someone may have leads on a used fence and didn’t want to read through threads of sold fences).

Any opinions, advice, or help of any kind is sincerely appreciated.
Thanks!
Sam


39 replies so far

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rustynails

956 posts in 3745 days


#1 posted 05-27-2021 11:32 AM

I have had a Vega and a Incra fence on different saws that I have had, both good fences but they are both different on what they are. Ones a system and one is just a fence.

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HokieKen

19125 posts in 2354 days


#2 posted 05-27-2021 12:08 PM

I have a Vega fence and love it but with the exception of the built in micro-adjuster, it’s not really anything different than any of the other quality fences of the same basic design. It is rock solid and reliable though.

The Incra fence provides a lot more functionality and much higher precision and adjustability. The tradeoff of course is either that it limits your ripping capacity because of the way it has to be installed and/or it increases the footprint of your saw significantly. If neither of those are an issue for you, I would probably go with the Incra.

If a more traditional fence is better suited to your work and shop space though, I don’t think you’ll regret having the Vega.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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dbw

611 posts in 2852 days


#3 posted 05-27-2021 12:30 PM

You will soon learn posting on LJ will result in numerous opinions. You will have to sift through them and come to a decision. Here is mine: I’ve had a TS/LS 52” for almost 2 years. I absolutely love it. Once correctly set up the accuracy and repeatability of the Incra is incredible. You can move the fence in either direction by as little as .001” if need be. In addition you can add other Incra products to a TS/LS such as a router table and a Wonder Fence. The Incra is a system which can be expanded in all kinds of ways. In the future you can easily move the entire Incra system to another saw.

For the record Incra has a fantastic tech support dept.

I cannot offer any opinion on the Vega since I’ve never used one.

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

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Sam_Bone

3 posts in 120 days


#4 posted 05-27-2021 12:56 PM

The main concern I have with the Vega vs. incra is the zero-out ability. I’ve seen videos of how simple the incra is to zero, and that and the steel rule in a t-track is I’m sure what leads to such incredible accuracy. Do the Vega fences have this adjustability of the ruler to properly zero the fence? It’s really difficult for me to spend a couple hundred bucks on a fence that’s still going to be reliant on pencil markings when I know for only a bit more I could have the incra where for a lot of things I may not even need to mark my cuts. Thanks for all the info so far, looking forward to hearing more opinions!

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HokieKen

19125 posts in 2354 days


#5 posted 05-27-2021 01:28 PM

Not really. The scale is an adhesive scale on the front rail (at least on mine it is but mine is probably 25 years old) so you can’t move it like the Incra. On mine, you can move the cursor on the fence head to get it precise. However, that should be a “set it and forget it” thing. You set it once and it shouldn’t move.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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therealSteveN

8656 posts in 1790 days


#6 posted 05-27-2021 02:39 PM

Long time Vega user here, and with the micro adjuster I feel it is a great fence. Now if the Incra could just set the cut up for you, and be ready to go when you walked into the shop, well then I would give it the nod. When people rave about an Incra fence being adjustable, they are still talking about that very final last MM to set it just so. Ok, so instead I use my Vega’s micro adjuster for that. To me there isn’t any advantage to spend more $$$.

I’m not sure what the “zero point” of my saw is, I looked in the manual, and General didn’t have that information.

My take on saw cursors are unless you have a right tilter, then any blade changes you make with a left tilt saw will also change your cursor point, unless the blade has the exact same tooth configuration, and distancing. Forget about them if you put in a dado blade.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Madmark2

3063 posts in 1804 days


#7 posted 05-27-2021 02:43 PM

Incra is worth the wait. Talk directly to Neil at Taylor and see if he can’t bump you up the list …

Incra will bump your skills up a level in one go. You’ll work faster, more accurately and with less miscuts than ever before.

No start/test/stop/rap-tap/repeat to “sneak up” on a cut. Set it, cut it, move on. Botched a piece? No problem! The Incra will repeat the cut in seconds +-0.002”!

Need accurate miters and precision length crosscuts? M1000 miter gauge does for crosscuts & miters what the TS-LS does for ripping & routing.

While you’re waiting order a couple of their precision T-rules. Ruler, square and precision (to 1/64”) layout marker. Layout and accurate measurements are a breeze.

Spread the cost of the TS-LS over two tools by adding an Incra router wing & plate to your saw.

The last pieces of the puzzle are to be able to set blade height and bevel angle with the same precision as the Incra does rips, miters, and crosscuts. So you’ll need a digital height gauge:

And also a Wixey angle cube.

To get the same precision in thickness as you’ll have in width and length put a Wixey DRO on your planer:

Don’t forget a good caliper:

Really you gotta have all the toys.

  • TS-LS $400
  • M1000 ~$150
  • Router wing (less router) ~$280
  • T-rule $20 to $60
  • Igauging Digital Height gauge $60
  • Wixey angle cube $40
  • Wixey planer DRO $60
  • 8” Digital caliper $20

So for about $1100 your shop can machine to thousandths of precision in all three dimensions. Do dado, rabbits and blind cuts with the same precision. Routinely mark to 1/64” and make layout a breeze.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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AMZ

329 posts in 605 days


#8 posted 05-27-2021 03:43 PM

I have a Vega fence (over 20 years!), and it is simply great! As far as the micro adjuster, that is something I do not use (also have not used it on other saws/fences that have had one).

The Vega is constructed very robustly.

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brtech

1163 posts in 4138 days


#9 posted 05-27-2021 04:51 PM

Are you confining yourself to these two? ISTM that putting a great fence on an ok TS is not a sensible thing to do. It will surely work, and be better in an absolute sense than other choices, but is it really worth it?

Retrofitting a Craftsman TS with a Delta fence like: https://www.amazon.com/Delta-Equipment-Corporation-847962005250-System/dp/B079TTTWR2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=delta+fence&qid=1622134035&s=hi&sr=1-1
is a well worn path. I put a Delta T2 on my old CMan TS and it was great.

View Sam_Bone's profile

Sam_Bone

3 posts in 120 days


#10 posted 05-27-2021 06:11 PM

Not that I’m confining myself per se, but I imagine any fence I purchase can (and will) upgrade with me as I move to a newer saw. Much better now on a not so great saw could turn into exponentially better with an eventual saw upgrade.

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SMP

4728 posts in 1121 days


#11 posted 05-27-2021 06:40 PM



Not that I’m confining myself per se, but I imagine any fence I purchase can (and will) upgrade with me as I move to a newer saw. Much better now on a not so great saw could turn into exponentially better with an eventual saw upgrade.

- Sam_Bone

Also look at the cost difference between say one of those fences and buying a sawstop contractor saw or something similar. Where even the stock fence would be a massive improvement over your saw with the best fence.

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Axis39

537 posts in 813 days


#12 posted 05-27-2021 11:30 PM

I have a Shop Fox, and the fence is accurate enough… Had a Ridgid Contractor saw before that, and it was accurate enough. I’ve been tap-tap-tapping table saw fences professionally for close to 4 decades now.

I’m tired of it.

So, I ordered a TS-LS Joinery. The repeatability is very exciting to me. The ability to flip it over and use it for my Router, was another big thing. Then, all the little features… It was kind of a no brainer for me.

But, it won’t arrive until June, probably the end of June. I’ve been waiting a while… That was one of the speed bumps… I kept putting it off, hoping one day the lead time would go away. Making my delay idiotically, self-imposed, and longer. So, i finally just bit the bullet and have been in a cold sweat ever since.

I have owned a Miter 1000SE (I think is the model number) for about twenty years, maybe? I love that darn thing. The angle accuracy alone was enough to sell me on INcra products. But, it’s sturdy, has held up, remained accurate, tight in the miter slot, all this time. I literally use it almost every day these days.

I am sorry I can’t give you any first hand experience on either of the products, but I will say I do not regret my choice of the Incra.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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CWWoodworking

2119 posts in 1395 days


#13 posted 05-28-2021 02:07 AM



I have a Shop Fox, and the fence is accurate enough… Had a Ridgid Contractor saw before that, and it was accurate enough. I ve been tap-tap-tapping table saw fences professionally for close to 4 decades now.

I m tired of it.

So, I ordered a TS-LS Joinery. The repeatability is very exciting to me. The ability to flip it over and use it for my Router, was another big thing. Then, all the little features… It was kind of a no brainer for me.

But, it won t arrive until June, probably the end of June. I ve been waiting a while… That was one of the speed bumps… I kept putting it off, hoping one day the lead time would go away. Making my delay idiotically, self-imposed, and longer. So, i finally just bit the bullet and have been in a cold sweat ever since.

I have owned a Miter 1000SE (I think is the model number) for about twenty years, maybe? I love that darn thing. The angle accuracy alone was enough to sell me on INcra products. But, it s sturdy, has held up, remained accurate, tight in the miter slot, all this time. I literally use it almost every day these days.

I am sorry I can t give you any first hand experience on either of the products, but I will say I do not regret my choice of the Incra.

- Axis39

I’m in the same boat. Waiting on a incra.

I used regular fences up to when I bought a jobsite dewalt and fell in love with the rack and pinion fence.

Got a new job and trying to go back to a regular fence is awful.

Unifence, xacta, beismeyer. I think they all suck compared to the dewalt rack and pinion.

Nobody makes a R&P for bigger saws so I ordered the incra. Hopefully I like it as much as the dewalt.

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Dark_Lightning

4806 posts in 4325 days


#14 posted 05-28-2021 02:43 AM

Well, the Incra TS fence isn’t R&P, but it’s pretty close. I also have an Incra 1000HD miter gauge and an Incra router table. Can’t beat that system. One of the drawers on a travel tool chest that I made out of BB ply squirmed out of square during glue-up, and I didn’t catch it in time. All I had to do to make a new drawer was to set the fence and gauge to the proper dimensions and pop out another drawer. Plus glue-up, of course.

I totally agree that this sort of precision isn’t generally necessary. It depends on the item one is making. Knocking a fence back to where I needed it for making another tool chest drawer would have been an exercise in patience that I have no interest in. OMMV.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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Jeff

230 posts in 601 days


#15 posted 05-28-2021 04:22 AM

I have no opinion for the Vega. I do have the Incra system fence along with many attachments, and they all work well for me. The only thing to keep in mind for the Incra is the arm will stick out and alter the footprint. When the TS is not in use, the blade is lowered, and I bring the fence all the way in.

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