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Here's the deal:
Table saws can be tricky when you’re trying to crosscut with it, and it’s almost impossible to get those crosscuts square.
Well, never fear, the Cross-cut Sled is here!
And with best cross-cut sleds, you’ll be working to a very professional level in no time at all.
But, here's the catch:
The choice can be confusing and massive, so in this article, I’m going to try to help you whittle down the six best options out there.
Let's jump right into it...
Top Crosscut Sleds
Incra Miter Combo
Rockler Small Parts Sled
Best for the money
Rockler Table Saw Sled
A good choice
For router table
demystifying THE CROSSCUT SLED
How to choose the best sled?
Look out for these-
Types of jobs:
When you’re considering the right sled for you - it’s important to weigh up what sort of jobs you want to get done.
Ask yourself what’s a typical use you’re going to be expecting from the sled.
And don’t forget to consider the size of workpieces you use -
Will they fit the sled you’re looking at?
It’s something that affects us all.
If you’re making furniture, or doing any work that requires repeated and accurate right angled cuts, then look no further than the cross-cut sled.
If you do a fair amount of panel work in your shop or on your hobbyist projects, then a cross-cut sled is a great investment.
Because on panels, you can’t get squarer than a good sled and a table saw.
In addition to that:
It’s a great option for someone that hasn’t got the budget and/or the space to have a dedicated panel saw as well as a table saw.
Also read: Top 5 table saw that accepts dado blades
What do we get with a Sled?
Now, if you’re like me, you want to know how useful a tool will be.
And you might be asking yourself if it’s worth buying a sled when you own a table saw.
And the answer to that is really that virtually all table saw users should own a sled.
Makes cross cutting easier with TS:
This one is no brainer...
Table saws aren’t naturally well suited to cross cutting stock.
Most table saws are set up for ripping accurately, cross cutting can be difficult to get right, and even dangerous without the right jig.
Keeps you safe:
It’s really unsafe to try to crosscut using the fence on your table saw, because the end of your stock is such a small surface to register that it’s almost impossible not to twist your workpiece.
If you twist, just slightly, you’re going to get kickback and hurt yourself, or at best, ruin your work.
Accurate and cleaner cuts:
Cross-cut sleds enable you to make cleaner, more accurate crosscuts on the table saw, and to do that safely.
It’s a square deal:
Sleds keep you in square, time after time, which in itself makes them a really worthwhile investment for any woodworker.
Close the gap:
If you experience a lot of tear-out when you’re using your table-saw day to day, then a good sled will eliminate that for you.
One of the greatest things about sleds is that they close down the wide gap in your saw’s throat plate, which will give you perfectly clean cuts, every time you use one.
Blocked and Locked:
You can also cut very small parts safely and super-accurately with a sled, using clamps so that you keep your fingers well away from the blade.
You can quickly crosscut many parts of the same length simply by clamping a stop block- just any old scrap piece of stock from your shop - to the sled's fence.
Because both the workpiece and the stop both move with the sled.
And because they’re both backed by a fence at a right angle to the blade.
There is way less chance of kickback than when using a mitre gauge - and that’s a simple fact.
The truth is...
When you opt to use a cross-cut sled with your table-saw.
You’re opting to work safer. You’re choosing to work flawlessly.
And you are increasing what your table-saw can do.
The sled really does solve the biggest problem that table saws have – how to crosscut accurately, safely and without tear out.
It adds value to your table saw. it makes it into a more accurate tool - no matter how little or how much you originally invested in it
5 BEST CROSSCUT SLED - REVIEWS
1. Incra Miter Combo - Best Overall
The Incra Mitre Combo is really good value for money and you get the usual build quality we’ve come to expect.
You get two pieces of equipment with this package which together offer great versatility.
It’s a panel show:
First off, you get the Incra 1000SE which gives the ability to do extremely accurate panel work on pieces up to 24 inches in width.
If you do a lot of panels then this piece of kit will have you working pretty much 100% accurately and it’s the sled to go for.
You also get Incra’s Mitre Express unit in this deal, which is perfect for cutting smaller parts and makes working close to the blade very safe indeed.
This package is unrivalled in terms of being an all-rounder for working on pieces both large and small. And the build is awesome.
Little and large:
The incorporated rails, the fence and the hold-down all work really well to produce great results every time.
The stainless steel gauge scale is really easy to read and work with.
Straight out of the box this tool is worth every cent and you can’t go wrong if you want to work big and small to high levels of precision.
Consider the Incra Mitre Combo if:
You do a lot of panel work but you also want to work very safely and accurately on smaller pieces of stock.
You want a unit with a very good hold-down system.
You don’t do any panel work
2. Incra Miter5000 - Premium Pick
So, the Incra MITER5000 is in at number two on the list and it’s a very nice piece of kit indeed.
It’s up there in terms of price, as we’ve come to expect with Incra equipment.
But we’ve also come to expect precision stuff from Incra and that’s certainly what you get for your bucks here.
Off the scale!
Again, with this sled, the gauge is really nicely done and there’s a total of 364 half-degree markings over the full 180 degrees of the scale. It’s clearly denoted and easy to use so accuracy will be high with this unit.
On the fence:
The fence is sturdy and this sled features all the standard Incra kit.
The rails and the included hold-down make fixing down your workpiece easy and very secure.
All in all, this is a quality piece of equipment and it’s as good as anything that Incra have produced.
Incra boast accuracy and this sled is no different. It’s all very well-manufactured and rigidity is excellent.
When you use this sled, you just feel the quality and results are extremely precise no matter what the task.
It’s pricier than out top pick but I think that’s justified in the ease and accuracy of use.
Consider it done!
This sled has to be considered if you’ve got the budget available.
There’s no doubt that the construction and engineering here is all you’ll ever need if you’re doing enough mitre work and cross cutting with your table saw.
Not our number one but it’s a true winner in its own section of the cost-range.
Consider the Incra Mitre 5000 if:
You have the budget and you’re a serious user of the table saw for mitre work.
You prioritize great hold-downs and super-accurate work.
Your budget is tight.
You’re an occasional user of the sled.
3. Rockler Table Saw Small Parts Sled - Budget Pick
The Rockler Small Parts Sled is another hit from the popular and trusted manufacturer of our top pick here.
This is a budget pick at a very reasonable cost but that doesn’t tell the whole story of why this makes it onto our list.
Small is Beautiful:
What you get here is a sled that’s an absolutely brilliant option for small parts work.
The build quality is as good as anything on this list and if you do a lot of intricate work – musical instruments, models, finer joinery.
Then you’ll look around a long time before you find anything as suitable as this.
Nice and easy:
Everything is made easy for you with the Rockler Small Parts Sled. Straight out of the box. Check that this fits your particular saw before you buy because this won’t fit all saws. But once it does you won’t look back when undertaking smaller jobs.
Safe and sound:
Tear-out on small work pieces is eliminated with this jig.
You can make your own dowels and it’s great for smaller tenons.
The hold-down that fits the T-tracks on this unit is optional – at a very reasonable cost and it’s a must.
It’s worth the little bit of extra money when you buy this sled.
Build is from melamine coated MDF and aluminium and everything is rigid and feels great.
Consider the Rockler Small Parts Sled if:
You do a lot of finer, or smaller work.
You do fine joinery and smaller mortise and tenon work.
You want to work on larger parts.
4. Rockwell RW9266 - Darn Cheap
Ok, moving on. The Rockwell RW9266 sled really is just for making square cross cuts.
It’s a piece of kit designed specifically for the Rockwell Bladerunner saw.
In fact, many would argue that this piece of kit should have been supplied with that saw.
This isn’t a sled for mitre cuts.
It’s purely for cross cut applications and the quality of construction is a little questionable.
It’s wholly made from plastic so expect a tiny bit of flex and you may have to nurse this item through cuts.
For the cost, you can’t really go too far wrong and it’s definitely worth the dollars because it will enable you to get nice square cross cuts on the Bladerunner saw.
Keeping it simple:
There’s not a great deal of deliberating to do with this item. If you have the Bladerunner then buy it.
You won’t be too much out of pocket and you won’t go too far from wrong once you apply this extra piece of equipment to that saw.
It’ll have you making accurate square cuts straight out of the box.
Consider the Rockwell RW9266 if:
You own the Rockwell Bladerunner saw.
You’re on a very tight budget.
Your budget stretches to a better build quality
5. Rockler Table Saw sled - A Good Choice
The Rockler Cross-cut Sled has some really nice features that make it easy to use. It’s clear that some thought went into the design of this.
It’s been made for convenience of use, and that’s great news for woodworkers.
Hits the mark:
The scale on the mitre gauge is easy to read. It’s marked in graduations of half a degree.
The fence is a hefty aluminium effort and it slides and moves easily and smoothly.
This makes accurate adjustment a breeze and ensures nice tight mitres every time.
There’s no catch:
The melamine coating on the half-inch thick table is also a really great touch and everything moves nicely over it with no catching or snagging.
This is a great sled in terms of everyday use.
It all feels nice to work with and it’s the attention to detail and the extra quality in the build that puts this sled at the top of the list as our best overall pick.
Sometimes a manufacturer just nails it and Rockler have certainly done that with this sled.
What a feeling!
It all feels great and the well-marked scale for mitre cuts and a lovely melamine table just make this great to work with.
It’s a truly good cross cut sled and it does everything you want it to. A great addition to any table saw setup.
Consider the Rockler Table saw Cross-cut Sled if:
You want to weigh up great quality and budget.
You need decent build quality at a reasonable cost
You’re an avid user of all things Incra system, and you can afford the extra cash
6. MLCS 9779 Cross-cut Sled - For Router Table
This is a wildcard selection because it’s not designed for the table saw at all. Instead, the MLCS 9779 is a cross-cut sled for the router table.
And it’s a very useful piece of equipment – if you do a lot of work with the router table and want to produce consistent and accurate mitre work.
What’s your angle?
This is the one for you if you do a lot of dado work and you want to be able to do that safely at defined angles of operation.
For louvres you won’t really find a better tool.
Comes with a stop block. T
he base is manufactured from extremely durable melamine coated MDF and this unit will fit most router tables.
There’s a nice T-track system and the cutter opening is an inch wide which gives great scope in terms of router bits.
If you’re doing louvre work, then you can’t get past this unit.
It’s a great idea and provides a really good alternative to the cost of a table saw setup where all you really need to do is cut accurate angled dadoes.
For the cost involved, even if this is something you don’t do every day, the unit price still justifies having one of these in the shop.
It’ll be a priceless addition to your tool collection on the occasions that you do need it.
Consider the MLCS 9779 if:
You already have a router table set-up.
You occasionally or regularly need to cut angled dadoes safely and accurately
You don’t have a router table setup or dado cuts just aren’t in your repertoire.
So which Cross-cut Sled is the fairest and squarest
We,ve just looked at six great options. Each with their own special features and there should be one to suit all woodworkers and budgets.
And the winner is:
Out stand-out winner here in terms of all factors is the Rockler Table Saw Cross-cut Sled and it’s a deserved winner.
Jack of all trades:
It beats the competition on versatility. It also wins when you consider outlay.
Yes, the Incra and the Small Parts Sled - also from Rockler - are great picks at what they do.
But it beats both the Incra efforts on cost and it slays the Small Parts Sled for versatility in size.
Compared to the Rockler, the Rockwell unit just doesn’t cut the mustard - never mind the stock. And the MLCS unit doesn’t really compare to any of our other picks because it’s for the router table.
Although that’s a great option if the router is your weapon of choice or if you want to cut angled dadoes.
All in the build:
You can perform almost any task with the Rockler Cross-cut Sled and we’ve also found out that it’s built very well.
It gives you a great range in size of workpiece and that melamine coating makes adjustments and everyday workshop use so nice.
The fact of the matter is:
Earlier in this article, when we weighed up the benefits of having a cross cut sled for the table saw, we wanted to achieve certain things.
No more kickback:
The Rockler sled goes great when looking to eliminate errors and in reducing waste.
It also enables fast, safe and accurate cross cutting on the table saw - and that’s so important.
It gets rid of that dangerous twisting and you work very safely when using this unit.
Clean as a whistle:
Clean cutting is exactly what you get with the Rockler. And square is its middle name.
You get that registration that you need to produce perfect perpendicular cuts every time.
That regular repeated 90 degree angle cutting that all woodworkers and furniture makers need is yours with the Rockler - and it’s effortless.
Clear your throat:
The Rockler also closes that throat gap and really fits the bill when you’re looking to cut out that dreaded tear-out - the thing that arguably wastes more project work pieces than any other problem on the table saw.
The Rockler wins because it can perform pretty much any job you’ll want it to perform.
And it does that for a reasonable cost and to a high-quality finish. It does all of the things that you want a cross-cut sled to do - and it does them extremely well.
It’s the perfect solution to all of your table saw woes and it’s top of our list for that reason.
So, what are you waiting for anyway?
Get working with your Rockler Cross-cut Sled and get busy producing high-quality work on your table saw. You just can’t go wrong!