What Is Rip Capacity On A Table Saw?

The rip capacity on a table saw is one of the most crucial factors to consider when you are cutting, or ripping wood. Now, this line alone must’ve given you an idea of what rip capacity is, however, we will explain it in detail because many new saw users ask, ‘what is rip capacity on a table saw?’ 

What Is Rip Capacity On A Table Saw

Woodwork is an interesting hobby or profession as you can create all kinds of amazing designs and items with plain wood planks. If you have been contemplating working on a table saw, we can help you begin by knowing the basics about this device and all the things you must know before you turn the power on for work!

What Does Rip Capacity Mean On A Table Saw?

Rip capacity on a table saw is the space between the table saw and the table’s fence. The capacity of the device to cut a long and wide plank is its rip capacity. You can extend this capacity by extending the table on one side so that a longer plank can fit into it. Readjusting the existing fence is easy if the table allows it, otherwise you can buy an extra table and place it alongside the table saw to allow longer planks to fit on it. 

What Does Rip Capacity Mean On A Table Saw

Some Common Rip Capacity of Table Saws Used Most Widely

The most common type of table saw is the portable one that can be carried from site to site according to use. This saw has a rip capacity of almost 28 inches, which is quite reasonable for most home projects like doors, windows and furniture. This rip capacity is considered entry-level because it is from the smallest of the table saw devices. The portable device is one of the lightest and smallest table saws available for woodwork. 

If the portable table saw has a rip capacity of 28 inches, it will allow you t cut a wooden plank of 48 inches width. Standard craftsmen find this saw to be convenient as much of their work can be handled with this tool. 

The contractor saw has a capacity of almost 30 inches, which means that it can cut wood with greater width and the rip capacity is almost two times the rip capacity of a portable table saw. Contractors and craftsmen who have to deal with wider wooden blocks and planks will find this saw to be an excellent match for their needs. 

Professional cabinet table saws are the higher level of professionalism and they have the capacity to cut wider wood planks and blocks. Professional craftsmen and those associated with the building of houses and buildings can rely on this table saw. Heavy-duty ripping jobs are possible with this piece of equipment, which is the most versatile table among all table saws. 

Some Clarity on Table Saw Rip Capacity

Many beginners and new users often mistake the rip capacity of a table saw with the depth of the table saw (have a look at the best table saws designed for beginners). There are numerous features of a table saw that contribute to its price and value. However, if buyers and new users understand these differences they will be able to buy the table saw that is suitable for their work while they understand how to maximize their use of it. 

Saw depth determines how deep into the wood you can cut with the rotary blade. When the consumers get a 12-inch blade table saw, the thickness of wood that it can cut is of around three inches. However, the length of the plank that can be accommodated on the table and the length that can be cut in a single go is the rip capacity. 

How Much Rip Capacity is Needed?

The rip capacity on a table saw is according to the kind of work you need to do. If you are looking for some basic woodwork, then a rip capacity of 28 inches is more than enough. The professional craftsmen can decide whether they need a contractor saw or a professional cabinet table saw. The more the rip capacity, the more stamina and strength the machine has to cut through a thick wood plank of more length. 

Some Common Questions

If I am making cabinets in my home, do I need to use a professional cabinet table saw?

No, you can work with a portable table saw because the wooden planks you will be working on are not more than two inches thick. Small projects can be done with a portable table saw that can allow a rip capacity of almost 48 inches while the thickness of wood that you can work with is around three inches. 

Can I use a professional table saw to cut thinner wood?

Yes, you can cut thin planks on a table saw with higher rip capacity. The idea is that you can use a bigger saw for some small work, but you cannot cut thicker planks on a smaller saw. Once you understand the maximum capacity of each device, you would know that you can work within that maximum range. 

Will my table saw get damaged if I try to cut wood of more thickness than recommended?

Yes, table saw is a cutting device that can burn out or lose its efficiency if forced to exert power on a wooden plank that is beyond its rip capacity. 


Rip capacity of a table saw is the width of wood that they can cut. If the rip capacity of your table saw is less you can attach another table or extend the existing table so that a longer and wider piece of wood can be adjusted. The blade strength of the table saw is proportional to its rip capacity. 

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