A table saw is a powerful and versatile machine that can be used to cut through a wide range of materials such as wood, plastics, meat, and metal.
Table saws come in different types and sizes. They have many features that allow them to change functions as needed for the specific application.
This guide provides an overview of table saws for purchase including their advantages/disadvantages and key features.
This may contribute to improved productivity in many different industries such as lumber mills where logs are cut into boards or factories where metal sheets are cut into parts.
For households, they can make projects faster by doing the cuts themselves rather than having someone else do it for them (e.g., an employee). While some people may use a table saw at their workbench, others will have both a table saw and a band saw. In this case, it is beneficial to have two different types of saws.
Table Saw Buying Guide: Pros & Cons
Pros of having a Table Saw
It makes jobs easier by doing the work for you. For example cutting lumber or metal rather than repeatedly using a circular saw or the hand grinder. The machine itself can also be used for other materials such as wood, plastic, and metal; this allows the machine to be versatile because it can cut in almost any direction. The other advantage is that most tablesaws come with easy-to-use features that help make certain types of cuts simpler to make.
Cons of having a Table Saw
A table saw is not a cheap machine to purchase, making it out of reach for many people. The machine is also very large, heavy, and bulky which can make it difficult to transport when you need to move or store it.
Some people find that the saw is not as powerful as they would like for their application needs. This means they will have to adjust their processes to match the limitations of the saw which may lead to additional costs in order for them to meet all their cutting specifications at a reasonable price. However, there are also many companies that make modifications and improvements that makes tablesaws more powerful than originally designed.
Table Saw Buying Guide: What to Consider
1. Look for a table saw that is flexible enough to meet your needs. Some companies make specialized tablesaws that can do only a few types of cuts while others make larger saws that can handle a wide range of different applications. Look for features such as easy-to-use blade changes and the type of adjustments and features that can help you meet your specific cutting needs.
2. The right size table saw is also important for several reasons. If you have to move or store it, you want to ensure it will fit in the space you’ve chosen for it without taking up too much of the space. The table saw should also be large enough to handle the types of materials you plan on cutting. If you are making large cuts such as lumber that will require a lot of space, make sure you buy a saw that has the proper sized cutting surface or is able to be modified to meet your needs.
3. Safety for the people operating and around the table saw is critical. The machinery can cause serious harm if used improperly so always read your manufacturer’s instruction manuals before using a saw or any additional equipment it may come with such as an attached dust collection system.
4. Be aware of any additional costs from the saw brand, store or others with which you will be dealing with. This includes cost of safety gear, additional accessories such as tablesaws, extension bars and blades, and other factors such as shipping charges or taxes that may be added to your purchase price.
5. Maintenance is another consideration when buying a table saw. It is important to know how often the blades need to be sharpened or the table should be oiled or edged before cutting objects of something heavyweight like metal sheets. Some companies have their own specific servicing guidelines for their table saws which can either improve blade life and durability or help prolong the machine’s lifetime by maintaining it properly.
Table Saw Buying Guide: Types of Table saws
Jobsite Table Saw
A Jobsite Table Saw, also known as a Contractor Table Saw, is a type of table saw that is small, lightweight, and affordable. These types of saws are perfect for those who need a portable, compact machine for jobs on the go. They also work well in setting up at a jobsite to increase the productivity and efficiency of their workbench.
The best table saw in the market is the new Jobsite DeWALT DWE7491rs portable saw, a successor to the DeWALT DW745 benchtop saw.
Cabinet Table Saw
A Cabinet Table Saw is a larger, heavier-duty, and more powerful version of the Jobsite Table Saw. They are typically stationary table saw used in woodworking shops with more specialized demands. Cabinet table saws are also ideal for those who require a more rigid structure to support longer pieces of stock while cutting.
One of the most well-known cabinet saw in the market is the Powermatic PM1000.
Hybrid Table Saw
A Hybrid Table Saw is a table saw that is part cabinet saw and part jobsite table saw. This type of machine may be stationary or portable depending on the user’s requirements. The hybrid, like the cabinet and jobsite, has many different features for cutting purposes such as adjusting rip fence positions or modifying guarding to have deeper blade administration.
Table Saw Buying Guide: Key Features
Most often a beginner should also know how to use a table saw as well as knowing the best features for their table saw. Most table saws come with a similar set of features. This section provides examples of what to look for when purchasing a table saw.
With the ability to cut from the top surface and down through the bottom table, you can slice your materials into different thicknesses with ease.
The depth is determined by the size of the blade. A more powerful saw can cut deeper than a smaller one, so it is important to know what you will be using your saw for before making the decision on which blade size to get. Some blades are also thicker than others allowing them to cut deeper into materials.
Part of knowing the cutting depth is also knowing the best possible cuts that a model can make. Especially when being compared to other tools for woodworking, for example can the model make a tongue and groove table saw vs router?
Table Saw Base
The base of a table saw usually features a large work area for you to use as well as an attached guard that keeps other people or pets from getting too close whilesawing. You can also find tablesaws that come with a motorized stand so you can easily raise the machine for better access to difficult-to-reach areas.
Dust Collection System
Some saws will come with a dust collection port where a dust collector can be attached to capture sawdust that would otherwise blow all around your work area. Some of these saws also come with dust collection bags that are located on the saw. These bags make it easy to remove the sawdust after you finish cutting.
Most modern table saws feature a high performance dust collection system right on the saw. This makes collecting sawing dust easy and convenient. Dust bags are usually located in the table saw base and these are easily emptied.
Usually available at a drop-in system, this helps keep the blade sharp after lots of use. There may also be clamping wheels that hold the blade while it is being sharpened so it can stay properly aligned during your work. This prevents the blade from twisting when being sharpened and helps reduce the chances of cutting yourself as you take care of this maintenance task.
Most table saws come with a standard power cord that can be plugged into a standard 120 volt outlet. If you purchase a saw that is also portable, it may come with a smaller cord that can be plugged into an adapter to provide power to the saw.
Table saws come with safety features to keep users safe during their work. A pneumatic brake system can help stop the saw at the right time. Some saws have a blade guard that protects your hands and fingers from injuries. In addition, some table saws come with a blade tracking system that helps keep your work pieces in line. Most table saws have some form of kickback protection to help prevent injury while things are being cut or pushed against the blade.
The miter gauge is used to adjust the angle of the blade. The miter gauge can be adjusted from 0 degrees to 90 degrees in 0.25 degree increments. You can adjust the angle by decreasing or increasing the number of teeth on the riving planes as needed.
The miter slot is used to hold the miter gauge in place. The miter slot makes it possible to cut miters using the table saw.
Fence/Miter Gauge Track
The fence and miter gauge track is used to help keep materials locked into place as they are being cut. This helps to prevent kickback of your work piece and helps protect you from injury.
The blade is one of the most important parts of the table saw. The blade can have either a micro-tooth or cross cut tooth design. A micro-tooth blade cuts much smoother than a cross cut blade and does not need to be replaced as often. If you are cutting a lot of material, you may need to replace the blade more frequently than a micro-tooth blade would require.
A dado blade can be attached to a table saw as a replacement for the standard blade. These blades are used for cutting notches into materials such as wood, plywood, and plastic. Each dado blade is different in width and height of the cuts made.
The riving knife located just behind the blade removes material that sticks to the back of the saw blade to keep your pieces from getting stuck on it while sawing. The riving knife also helps cut down on vibration of the table saw while in operation.
The height gauge allows you to make multiple cuts at different heights with one pass of the board through the saw’s cutting path.
The feed wheel is one of the most important components on your table saw and allows you to control the speed at which your work piece is sent through the cutting area or rip fence. Feed wheels come in two styles, worm drive or direct drive feed wheels.
The blade guard helps protect your hands from injury while cutting.
A planer board can be used as a fence for your work piece while you are sawing. It also helps to prevent kickback from the table saw that can cause injury to yourself or others. You can use a planer board in conjunction with tape or a universal fence to make your cuts even more accurate and precise.
Some table saws come with an extension that provides additional support so you can make longer cuts without having to redistribute your work piece onto two separate tables while it is in the saw. This feature makes many jobs easier around the woodshop without having to lug around extra tables or boards.
A table saw fence is the bar that is mounted across from the blade. The fence is used to guide the cut so you can make straight and accurate cuts.
A cut out is a square or rectangular groove on the side of a table saw blade to help you make angled cuts on your workpiece. Most modern table saws have this feature built-in while others can be added as an accessory.
Cast Iron Table
A cast iron table is a flat surface that is mounted underneath the table saw to provide support for the table saw’s working surface. The cast iron table provides a smooth surface to work on so your pieces can slide smoothly across it.
A rip fence acts as a guide for you when you are making straight cuts with your table saw. The rip fence helps maintain the correct distance between your work piece and the saw blade to ensure that your cuts are accurate and even.
Anti Kickback Pawl
An anti kickback pawl is a safety device that helps keep the work piece on the table saw and prevents it from slipping off of the work surface and potentially being thrown by the blade towards you or another person. The anti kickback pawl is designed to keep your hands away from the blade at all times during use.
The splitter gets installed on top of a table saw’s rip fence. This feature provides an extra line of protection by preventing your work piece from sliding over in front of the blade accidentally while cutting. It also prevents tearout which occurs when wood fibers are ripped out in thin strips along your cut line because they get caught on the edge of the blade.
An outfeed table provides a leg to stand on for your work piece when it is going through the cutting area of the table saw. The outfeed table makes it easier for you to work with longer boards while helping to reduce the amount of lifting that you have to do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I rip cut with a mini table saw?
Can I bevel cut with a mini table saw?
What type of motor is good for a table saw?
What is a biesemeyer fence?
Table Saw Buying Guide
This ends our Definitive Guide on the Table Saw Buying Guide.
We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional Woodworking projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.
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Henry is a long time Trade Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology. Henry has been teaching the trade of carpentry for over 15 years and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of builders. With his posts you will explore some general terms, tools, and techniques that are helpful for the beginning DIY Enthusiast!. He’ll also provide a list of all the best tips needed to start your building journey right away!