One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
A riving knife is a piece of metal that comes included with your new saw. It’s shaped like a surfboard fin. Sadly, not all models come with this crucial part. If you purchase a model without it, make sure you design one for yourself as soon as possible. The construction of this piece is not a big deal at all; you can cut the shape in a matter of minutes and install it. Its purpose is to prevent the wood and debris from getting caught in the back of the blade which consequently kicks back thus jeopardizing your safety.
These saws are extremely lightweight thanks to the materials they tend to be built with (plastic and aluminum) but they are more than capable of getting the job done for small and soft woods like plywood or pine. They typically come at a very affordable price and are perfect for light duty wood cutting work. However, if you need the table saw for contracting, you’re going to want a job site saw. Jobsite table saws are much bigger than either of the other two models, but they are still fairly easy to transport.
However, with proper use, table saws are generally safe tools, advanced blade stopping technology not needed. Therefore considering a saw without such safety features is fine for the cautious DIY user or for the professional carpenter and/or builder. Take into careful account the actual table size of the table saw you are considering. If you are going to be completing rip cuts in large sheets of plywood, then you need a saw with a table large enough to support these big pieces of lumber.
Delta 36-L352 10 in. contractor table saw is a heavy duty table saw. This big guy is no joke! Its 15 A, 3 HP motor is not only powerful but smooth. This Delta table saw also has a HUGE rip capacity of 50-52 in. and an 82 in. table, so there won’t be much this table saw can’t handle. Its integrated BIESEMEYER fence system, precision bevel gauge, and bevel dial work together to help you get highly accurate cuts down to the nearest 1/4 degree and 1/64 in. Now that’s accurate! Other notable features are its bi-level dust extraction system which helps you keep your workspace clean, large blade opening, and SURE-LOCK dual front cranks for easy access. This table saw is ideal for the pros.
I am looking to upgrade from my first table saw which is the Ryobi that you reviewed (had to find something cheap that was decent). I do a lot of rip cuts, as well as fine precision cuts for laminating and joinery required for frames, furniture, etc. I am looking at the Skilsaw and the Dewalt 7480 and cannot decide which would be best for me. Any insight would be helpful!
This next factor to take into consideration when it comes to buying a table saw is more of a safety feature but one that you’ll want to look for in every table saw. It’s basically an automatic switch that turns of the table saw when you walk away. It’s often the case with some cheaper table saws that when you’ve finished using the table saw and forget to flick the power switch, the unit will remain on. This leaves anyone who goes near the table saw open to a considerable amount of danger.
In 1999, a Dewalt table saw came out that was considered one of the first hybrid saws. They are made with strong motor parts and the drive system is more advanced. The substantial trunnions in most hybrid saws are attached to the bottom of the saw to make the blade and the miter slit meet exactly and easier. These are much smaller than the cabinet saws.
The TruePower 01-0819 may look like a miniature version of a table saw — and that’s because it is! Ideal for hobbyist modelers and DIYers looking to tackle minor jobs, the 01-0819, while lacking the same power and performance as its larger, pricier counterparts, is a steal at under $50. A must for any toymaker’s workbench, this bite-sized machine measures in at 8.5" x 7" x 7", and while it lacks important parts like a guide fence, it gets basic 1/2" wood or foam board cutting jobs done, slicing through softer materials with ease.
The throat plate is the removable piece surrounding the blade that sits flush with the table. Removing it gives you the ability to access the blade for removal or riving knife adjustments. The narrower the blade clearance the better for two reasons. First, it helps keep material from falling into the blade area or lodging between the blade and throat plate. Second, it gives you material support very close to the cut to help reduce tearout as the blade exits the cut.
Best of all though, the precision fence and locking miter gauge allow you to dial in the exact angles of bevel and compound miter cuts for complex trim and finishing work. You never have to worry about setting up multiple times for the same cut because the PM2000 is designed to let you “set and forget” while you get your multiple precision cuts made without needing to fiddle with the controls every time. While it is large and extremely heavy, this is definitely the tool of a professional woodworker that will provide performance that meets or exceeds even the most demanding tasks in your woodshop.
If you’ve read through those reviews and still feel a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve created a buyer’s guide because we know it can be very hard just by reading reviews. After all, some models are going to work better for some people than for others, and the only way that you’ll know which one is right for you is by understanding your options when it comes to table saws. By reading this general information about table saws, you should gain the knowledge you need to make a well-informed decision about your future table saw.
Purchasing a quality model is one of the most important investments of a wood-worker. It is a necessary item that is seen in every woodcutter shop. Without this equipment, you won’t be able to complete all your projects based on the hardwood. We all agree that this is a dangerous tool. Also, after doing some research we can truly say that it causes several injuries to the user. However, it also has a lot of advantages besides this drawback. Therefore, in you are interested in finding out more about the advantages of using such a tool, take a look below.
Bengt – We appreciate the feedback as it always helps us get better. Having said that I think some of your concerns were evaluated and included in the results in ways that may not be entirely clear. We adjusted each saw after checking the blade/fence measurements and had no issues getting them adjusted (I may add some text to reinforce that in the article). We don’t do long term testing in this type of article as it’s simply not feasible…so making a statement about whether the saw holds those adjustments isn’t feasible. We evaluated the fences and ranked them in the ergonomics section, we even did lateral load testing on them as part of that ranking.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast-iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
Welcome to the heart of this website – my selection of the best table saws for several specific needs. You see, it’s impossible to select only ONE as the best for all purposes because a table saw should be carefully tailored to your needs. There’s no point in buying a complex cabinet saw if you’re a beginner, you’re probably better off with a solid benchtop saw. The same goes if you’re a professional, only the other way around.