As woodworkers, we know that sometimes small things can make a big difference. We also know that safety is paramount, especially when working with power saws.
The featherboard is one simple but important table saw accessory that can improve cutting ability, protect fingers, and reduce the chance for kick back.
In this article, we have reviewed our 5 best feather board for table saw below to help you choose the one which best fits your needs.
5 Best Table Saw Featherboard – Reviews
1. Magswitch Table Featherboard Universal
If you are looking for a strong, versatile featherboard that can handle both right side and vertical positioning, the Magswitch Table Featherboard will meet those needs and more.
Easy to adjust knobs control of magnetic force to hold the featherboard solidly in place. The flexible fingers are perfect for outfeed and infeed uses.
Because of the magnetic attachment, there is no miter slot limitation. Place the board where you need it most.
As part of the Magswitch accessory line, the universal featherboard can serve as the base for stacked featherboards when you are working with tall pieces.
Its base attaches to the table with to MAG switches, each providing 95 pounds of holding force while still remaining easy to take on and off.
The double-sided, low profile design allows cutting from both sides of the blade. The body is durable plastic and metal, weighing a scant 1.15 pounds. At approximately 6.9 x 3.9 x 2.1 inches, this compact accessory carries a lot of benefits with its small footprint.
2. Kreg PRS3020 True-FLEX Featherboard
Made of durable plastic composite, the Kreg True-FLEX offers a wedge-lock to work in T-slots and standard 3/8” x ¾” (9mm x 19mm) miter slots.
The twin pack lets you place one on the side of the table and the other at the top of the fence. This particular setup encourages even pressure on the workpiece, preventing imperfect cuts and improving safety.
The trademarked Wedge-Lock System adjusts to the machine you are working on. Whether you are woodworking on a router or a table, the Wedge-Lock will hold the featherboard firmly in place. No additional hardware is needed.
At about 9 x 3 x 7.5 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds, it is easily fitted and stored. The fingers apply a consistent, even pressure throughout the process, delivering a safe, quality cut.
3. Milescraft 1406 FeatherBoard for Router Tables, Table Saws and Fence
This is a board of a different feather! The Milescraft 1406 boasts a unique split rail miter board design to give maximum hold while providing consistent tension during the cut.
You can also pre-load the tension setting for even more exact pressure levels.
Setup is fast and easy because of the dual slide motion with side to side and forward action. All mounting hardware you need comes with it for nearly any cut with ¾” and 5/8” wide miter bars and bolts for T-slot applications.
The adjustment knobs are ergonomically designed for easy loosening and tightening. All mounting hardware is included to place it on the left or right side of the blade.
The Milescraft 1406 can be attached to most standard table saws, fences, and router tables.
You can set the tension before you load for cutting consistency and to prevent kick-back.
4. Magswitch STARTER KIT – Reversible Featherboard
Magswitch is known for its workholding attachments, and this Starter Kit serves as a basis for all of them.
It includes a Universal Mounting Base, the Reversible Featherboard Attachment, and two MagJig 150s.
The reversible featherboard works on right feeds and left feeds. The two MagJigs provide 150 lbs of force to keep the featherboard immobile. This results in a smooth, clean cut and less dangerous kickback.
At 8.5” x 4” x 2.3” inches and 2 lbs, the reversible featherboard can be used on small tables, band saws, and fences.
It can be placed anywhere on the cast iron or steel fence. The low profile makes it ideal for smaller tables.
The included jigs can be used separately if you have other jigs or fixtures.
The base works for all the other Magswitch Workholding system attachments when you are ready to expand your line.
5. Premium Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard
The Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard uses a clean and simple spiral design to require only one knob for fast, smooth adjustments.
This helps keep your project moving even when using boards of multiple widths. Rather than having to make numerous adjustments, a quick flip of the dial and you are good to go.
Beginning woodworkers will especially appreciate the ease of controlling the wood for accurate cutting, only using one hand at once.
The single-pivot featherboard holds the wood tightly against the fence for smooth, quality cuts. This also improves safety because of reduced kick back. It can be used on either side of the fence.
It is designed for a ¾” miter slot and won’t fit into a 5/8” one. However you can contact Hedgehog about a replacement 5/8” miter clamp.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Feather Board For Table Saw
Given the variety of featherboards on the market, how do you know which to choose?
Let’s take a look at some of their key features.
Ease of Setup And Adjustment
If it takes too long to get the featherboard into the right position, it defeats the purpose of being truly helpful. Look for featherboards that can lock quickly anywhere along your standard miter slot.
Many will have a slot for adjusting the width of the piece and your finger pressure. Certain models have a hold-down attachment included, but this may or may not be useful depending on the size of the piece you are cutting.
Magnetic featherboards allow you to adjust the board anywhere along the fence without worrying about miter slots.
This adds versatility to the board, but limits the tables they can be used on to cast iron and steel. Some magnetic featherboards hold much better on cast iron, but don’t bond as securely to steel.
It is important that your featherboard maintain a consistent pressure on the wood throughout the cut.
Otherwise, you risk sloppy cuts and great possibility of kick-back. Opt for a model proven to provide firm, even tension from beginning to end.
It is important that your board is constructed of high quality materials. You never want flimsy plastic that might break and damage your wood, or worse-injure you when you are working with power saws.
The best featherboards are a combination of premium grade composite plastic and metal.
Featherboards can vary in their overall size, so you want to choose one with a footprint that will fit your tools well. Larger featherboards may add an unwanted bulkiness to your table.
Smaller profile featheboards are best suited to smaller tables.
Miter Slot Positions
Non-magnetic featherboards will use standard miter slot positions as part of the means of attaching to the table. Check the listed slot sizes to make sure they conform to your saw.
Sometimes what is considered ‘standard’ by a saw manufacturer is not the same ‘standard’ on the featherboard.
What Comes In The Box?
If the featherboard requires hardware to attach it to the saw, make sure it is included with it or makes it clear what you need and that it is easy to find.
Saving a few bucks on the initial purchase price may backfire if you have to go get extra pieces to safely attach the board.
Does it work with more than one kind of saw?
It’s always best if you can have one accessory that can be used with several tools. Some featherboards are intended only for table saws. But others can be used with band saws or routers.
If you use these other tools frequently in your woodshop, then you may want to have a featherboard that can accommodate all of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a featherboard’s ‘profile’?
It is the height from the saw’s table top to the top of the adjustment dials. Lower profile featherboards are usually used on smaller table saws.
How many featherboards do I need for a table saw? One or two?
That depends on the size of your table and the size of the featherboard. However, be careful not to use one beyond the blade because it could cause serious kickback.
I’m a beginning woodworker. What is the purpose of a featherboard?
Most tools straight out of the box come with the basics to get going, but they don’t include very-nice-to-have accessories.
If you are just building your workshop, the featherboard should be one of the first accessories you purchase, whether you intend to use it with a router, a band saw, or a table saw.
A featherboard helps ensure that your wood stays in place against the fence throughout the cut. Not only does this result in a better cut, but it is a huge safety plus.
Besides holding the wood firmly, they are great for smoothing out uneven dadoes and rabbets as well as getting rid of bumps on moldings.
Can I use A featheboard On My Jig Saw?
Featherboards aren’t made for jigsaws because they are intended to get your piece up parallel to the blade. There are other guides like resaw and roller guides which work better with jigsaws.
Featherboards help with dado cuts?
The featherboards will hold the wood in place as you push it through your router. It can also help smooth the bottom of dadoes or rabbets.
How does a featherboard work?
For most featherboards, the lower part sits in the miter groove, where it tightly locks with knobs on the top. This enables it to hold your wood with just the right amount of pressure up against the fence.
As you push the wood through, the featherboard keeps your hand away from the side of the wood (and that sharp blade!).
New and experienced woodworkers alike value featherboards for the increased safety they provide and the smooth cuts they help produce.
Can I rip cut with a featherboard?
Yes, provided your featherboard is strong enough to hold the wood firmly. Don’t use too much pressure and be certain to feed the wood in straight.
If you attempt to rip cut a long piece of wood and it doesn’t go in correctly, you increase the chances of it moving. Some woodworkers use 2 featherboards to prevent this.
Can I replace the miter slot bar with a t-bolt and use it in the t-track on the fence face?
No. You can’t replace miter slot with a t- bolt. This goes against the basic design and may lead to slippage.
Where does the name featherboard come from?
Featherboards have rows of slots that look like fingers that run in in only one direction, rather like feathers. This is how they ensure the even pressure and accuracy and protect your fingers at the same time.
How do you position a featherboard?
Sometimes this takes a little bit of trial and error practice. If you place the featherboard too close to the fence, it can be tough to feed the piece through. The wood is squashed between the saw and the accessory.
But if you position the board too far out, it won’t give the pressure you need to hold the wood in place.
One trick some woodworkers try is to take about 1/8” off the first feather and then place that end against the stock. Then they attach the featherboard parallel to the fence. This usually gives just the right amount of pressure.
Overall, the Magswitch Table Featherboard Universal gets our vote for the Best Overall Featherboard. Small but strong, this well-crafted accessory holds wood with an even tension.
Its ability to cut on both sides of the blade easily, its easy assembly. It’s completely reversible, including for infeeding and outfeeding operations.
For those primarily concerned with easy adjustment, the Premium Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard offers the only one-handed adjustment knob in the list we reviewed.
This may be especially helpful to newer woodworkers, although even the pros appreciate keeping things simple.
Woodworkers just starting out with few accessories would benefit the most from the Magswitch STARTER KIT. With the base, 2 powerful 150 Mag Jigs, and a Reversible Feather Board.
This kit offers several quality Magswitch pieces. The base can be used with future Magswitch accessory purchases.
Sometimes accessories for our tools may seem more nice-to-have than need-to-have. But a featherboard falls into the need-to-have camp.
It works like another pair of hands to hold the wood closely parallel to the blade. This allows you to keep your hands safely away but still end up with just the cut you need to make.