Dewalt is one of the leading names in power tools, with its table saw a must-have in the shop of carpenters, contractors, and hobbyists. If you are one of the millions of wood-working enthusiasts who calls one of these handy saws your own, you may be wondering how to adjust the bevel to make angled cuts.
While there are a number of knobs, gauges, and handles that may make this process seem intimidating, it is really not that difficult if you know what to look for. Read on to find out our 7 simple steps for adjusting the bevel on a Dewalt table saw.
Unplug the Saw
Make sure the saw is powered off and unplugged before attempting to adjust the bevel. Accidentally hitting the power switch or experiencing some kind of unexpected electrical shock while performing work is one of the most common ways accidents occur in the shop.
Clean the Surface
Even the slightest miscalculation in angle can cause a project to fail. Therefore, wipe the surface of the saw clean of any standing sawdust or other debris before you begin calibrating.
Unlock the Bevel Tilt
The blade angle will be locked in place to prevent any wobbling during work. To release the bevel and make an adjustment, you must pull a small lever.
This lever is located beneath the table, behind the tilt wheel. The tilt wheel looks like a very small steering wheel and is immediately recognizable.
The bevel lever is locked when it is perpendicular to the table. To release the bevel, turn the lever in a counterclockwise direction until it is parallel to the table.
If you gently tug on the tilt wheel and notice the blade rocking from side to side, the bevel has successfully been released.
Determine the Desired Angle
Before adjusting the bevel, you must determine which angle you need for your cut. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.
The first is to use the built-in angle gauge on the table saw. This is located below the table, just to the right of the lock lever and tilt wheel. It is marked from 0 to 45 to denote the angle of the blade’s tilt. You can turn the tilt wheel and lock the lever in place once the arrow points at the desired angle on the gauge.
While simple, this is not the most accurate means of adjusting the bevel on your Dewalt table saw, as it tends to be off a fraction of a degree in most cases. This may seem inconsequential, but the smallest imperfections can be quite noticeable when working on intricate projects.
Therefore, a better way of calibrating the desired angle is with a digital angle gauge. This handy little tool attaches to the saw blade via magnet and can yield a digital angle reading down to the nearest tenth of a degree. Turn the device on, gently rock the tilt wheel, and watch the gauge fluctuate as it detects the changes in angle.
Find the Correct Angle
Once you have determined that your calibrator is working correctly, it is time to hone in the correct angle. Simply turn the tilt wheel to activate the bevel, making the angle smaller or larger, as needed. Stop turning when you have reached the desired reading.
Lock in the Bevel
Carefully holding the tilt wheel in place, move the lock lever in a clockwise direction back to the “locked” position. It should be pointing down, perpendicular to the table. This will keep the blade from deviating off the desired angle as you make your cuts.
Secure the Cam Adjustment Knobs
The cam adjustment knobs are handy tools for locking your Dewalt table saw into a “permanent” angle. Most commonly, they are adjusted to lock the blade angle at 0 degrees, as the majority of cuts made with a table saw will be perpendicular to the board.
However, if you make a high percentage of oddly angled cuts, it may be worthwhile to set something other than 0 as your home base. Look for a pair of phillips-head screws on the front-facing portion of the tool beneath the table. They will typically be located at either end of the angle gauge.
Tighten these screws until they are snug up against the bevel. By using these adjustment knobs, your saw will automatically revert back to the predetermined angle each time you release the bevel tilt, without you having to use the angle gauge each time. Just remember to open the knobs, as necessary, if you need to move the angle off of your “home base.”
In Summary: Adjusting the Bevel on a Dewalt Table Saw
Using the bevel is an important part of getting the right angle on your cuts. However, if you are inexperienced with your Dewalt table saw, it may be a little intimidating trying to figure out how to do it. By using the 7 simple steps listed above, you can adjust the bevel on your Dewalt table saw the right way, every time.