A table saw is one of the most essential tools for any serious woodworker. But if you’re not using a zero clearance insert, you’re not getting the most out of your saw. A zero clearance insert ensures that every cut is precise and flush with the table surface. It also reduces tear-out, splintering, and other common problems associated with traditional cutting. Let’s take a look at what makes a great zero clearance insert and our top picks for 2021.

What to Look For in a Zero Clearance Insert

When shopping for a zero clearance insert, there are three main things to keep in mind. First, make sure it can fit your saw. Most inserts come in standard sizes, but some specialty models might require custom measurements or adjustments. Second, consider the material and thickness of the insert; thicker materials will offer more stability and durability than thinner models. Finally, think about how often you’ll be cutting on your table saw; if you plan to make multiple cuts per day or week, then investing in a high-quality model might be worth it.

Our Top Picks for 2021

1. Rockler Pro Phenolic Table Saw Zero Clearance Insert –

This professional-grade insert offers maximum stability and precision while remaining easy to install and remove from your saw table when needed. Plus, its phenolic construction makes it durable enough to withstand heavy use without warping or cracking over time.

2. Kreg PRS1045 Precision Router Table System –

The Kreg system includes two inserts—one for making plunge cuts and one for making endgrain cuts—so you get maximum versatility when using this model on your table saw. It also has an adjustable fence so you can customize each cut as needed.

KREG Precision Router Table System, Kreg# PRS1045

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3. Grizzly Industrial T20982 Universal Table Saw Insert –

The Grizzly Industrial T20982 is designed to fit most standard table saws with ease, thanks to its universal design that allows for quick adjustments as needed. Plus, its lightweight aluminum construction ensures that it won’t add unnecessary weight to your setup while still providing plenty of stability during use.  

Product Description 

Phenolic Zero Clearance Insert for Delta Uni-Saw Contractor | Large Grizzly and Large General Purpose Blades. Features: Eliminate The Gap From Factory Inserts, High Quality Construction and Materials, The Perfect Fit. Works with the following saws: Delta Unisaw Contractor Saw; Delta Unisaw Contractor Saw; Delta Unisaw Contractor Saw; Delta Unisaw Contractor Saw;Delta Unisaw Contractor Saw; Delta

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Final Thoughts:

With so many different options available on the market today, choosing the right zero clearance insert can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be! By keeping these three tips in mind—fitment, material/thickness, and usage frequency—you’ll be able to find an option that best suits your needs without breaking the bank. And don’t forget our top three picks for 2021! Whether you opt for one of those models or go with another option entirely, we know you won’t regret getting a zero clearance insert for your table saw!


1. What is a table saw zero clearance insert?

Answer: A table saw zero clearance insert (also referred to as a ZCI) is an essential tool for any woodworker or DIYer. It’s specifically designed to reduce the risk of kickback while maximizing cutting accuracy and efficiency when making cuts on a table saw.

BOSCH TS1005 Zero Clearance Insert Assembly , Red

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The main advantage of using a table saw zero clearance insert is that it creates a much tighter fit around the blade than standard throat plates, which reduces splintering when cutting thin pieces of wood. This can be especially useful if you’re working with expensive hardwoods or veneers as it drastically cuts down on material waste and gives you clean, precise cuts every time. Furthermore, having the blade fully enclosed within the ZCI also reduces noise pollution significantly and lessens the risk of harmful dust particles from entering your lungs while working in your shop space.

Additionally, installing a ZCI helps maintain better blade alignment since it keeps everything snugly in place for each cut—which can even result in easier setup times for repeat operations like dados and rabbets down the line too! In other words, once you have one set up correctly on your table saw and dialed into your project needs--you won’t need to worry about continual adjustments during future tasks; ensuring precision remains consistent during all stages of construction workflows as well!

Overall, using a zero-clearance insert is an easy way to add more accuracy & safety whenever working with small stock thicknesses on projects ranging from furniture boxes & cabinetry builds right through carvings & delicate jewelry pieces like rings & necklaces too! So why not get yourself one today--your tools will thank you later.

2. How do I choose the right size table saw zero clearance insert for my saw?

Answer: Choosing the right size table saw zero clearance insert for your saw can be a bit tricky and it's important to get it right in order to ensure accurate cuts. First, measure the opening of your throat plate—this is the distance between its two sides, typically 5-5/8 inches or 8-3/4 inches. Next, take into account the arbor size—the outer diameter of the blade shaft —which determines which insert you need to purchase: 10” (5/8" arbor) or 12” (1” arbor). To make sure that you're selecting a suitable insert for your saw, look at the product specifications before purchasing one.

Finally, consider opting for a multi-fit insert if possible – these are designed with adjustable tabs that allow them to fit any standard throat plate openings from 4-1/2" up to 9-3/8". This way you won't have to worry about getting exact measurements as you would with traditional inserts and will be able to save some money in case there is ever a change in blade size down the line.

Overall, picking out an appropriate table saw zero clearance insert isn't difficult but does require attention when measuring and considering whether or not a multi-fit option would work better for you. Taking these precautions now will help ensure smooth cutting operations from here on out!

3. How do I install a table saw zero clearance insert?

Answer: Installing a zero clearance insert for your table saw is actually quite easy, and is an important step in making sure that you maximize the safety and efficiency of your woodworking projects. Here are the basic steps:

Measure accurately - Before you install the new insert, use a ruler or caliper to measure the opening of your saw blade. You’ll want to make sure that it’s a good fit so that it won’t interfere with any other components of your machine.

Purchase an appropriate insert - If possible, buy a pre-made template from an established retailer like Rockler or Woodcraft. These templates are typically made out of either hardboard or plastic, and will usually come with simple instructions on how to install them properly.

Install the template – Once you have located the right size for your saw blade opening, place one side onto the tabletop surface where it should sit flush with its edges touching each side of the saw slot (leave enough room at least 3mm from either side). Then slowly slide into place until both sides contact their respective edges; if necessary add shims for maximum accuracy if required. Finally secure any screws available on specific models as indicated in user manuals or vendor websites/directions before attempting to use! Congratulations! You now have safely installed a new zero clearance insert for improved performance & safety!

4. How do I use a table saw zero clearance insert?

Answer: Using a table saw zero clearance insert is an essential skill for any serious woodworker. It helps to prevent tear-out on the backside of a cut and creates cleaner, more accurate cuts. Here's how it works:

A zero clearance insert fits into the slot in your table saw where the rip fence attaches—typically known as the miter slot. The insert is designed to fit tightly within this area, creating a narrow slit or opening near your blade. This isolation helps ensure that wood fibers aren’t pulled out of either side of the cut from too much pressure from above—termed “tear-out” in woodworking circles—and provides far more control over how pieces will be cut than when using standard inserts (where small chips can escape through larger slots).

The first step when using a table saw zero clearance insert is measuring and marking its dimensions so you know exactly where to place it before cutting. You can find this information included with each product; typically, marks should be placed at least 1/8 inch away from both sides and top edges of material being cut along each edge and corner while keeping clearances consistent throughout all four sizes of the workpiece's edges or corners prior to making any cuts. When ready, simply slide your Insert into position until it sits firmly against all four sides, locking in place like that piece had always been there!

Once firmly secured make sure everything looks correct before starting up the saw just one time—just enough power to secure the Insert with ease but not enough pressure or vibration where damage may occur due to unexpected circumstances (such as movement) happening right before cutting material which could cause inaccurate results! Always take extra care here because safety is paramount!

Now that your Zero Clearance Insert is installed you’re ready for action - Cutting beautiful perfect lines without fear! As long as you continue maintaining proper use and handling protocols outlined above you'll get reliable flawless results every time - giving yourself professional level accuracy with no extra stress needed… Enjoying both convenience & confidence knowing your workmanship won't suffer due to tear-outs caused by poorly executed ripping jobs ever again!

5. What are the benefits of using a table saw zero clearance insert?

Answer: A table saw zero clearance insert is a piece of scrap material, like wood or plastic, that’s cut to fit into the throat plate opening of a table saw. The main benefit of using one is improved accuracy. With such an insert installed, there’s less chance of kickback because when cutting pieces using this insert there’s no gap between the blade and the bottom side of the insert which prevents pieces from getting stuck in between and getting thrown backward. Additionally, it provides you with much cleaner cuts because it improves your workpiece support by eliminating any looseness or gaps around your cut line so that you can make smoother, straighter cuts with fewer chips and splinters for better finished results.

Furthermore, these inserts limit tear-outs on thin strips since they effectively compress the fibers as they pass through reducing chipping and tearing compared to not having one installed in your table saw. And finally, they also reduce dust buildup since no more debris will fall into the open space beneath it over time reducing maintenance needs further down the line while still providing maximum visibility during operation.

In conclusion, installing a zero clearance insert in your table saw offers many benefits including improved accuracy & precision; reduced kickbacks; cleaner cuts; reduced tear-outs; less dust buildup; and improved visibility during operation—all making for easier & safer operations as well as higher quality finished results!

SawSert Zero Clearance Fence for Dewalt 12" Sliding Miter Saw - Black Walnut - Fits DWS779 DWS780 DWS782 DHS780 DHS790

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