Table Saw Reviews
Table saws are the go to tool for any woodworker. The table saw creates more precision cuts and faster operation than operating a hand held circular saw. Some table saws come with a table for use in a workshop. Others are portable and can be moved to different locations with ease. We have selected portable table saws with the power to get the job done with fast accurate cuts and the mobility to take them where the work is.
Baseball Buying Guide
Table Saws could be the single most important equipment any wood shop owner and worker would ever need. A table saw, or saw bench, is a wood working apparatus that features a circular blade attached on an arbor. Table saws are often driven by electric motor and protrude through the exterior of a table for additional support when the wood is being cut. Table saws are not just any simple cheap equipment. It is very costly so choosing improperly would greatly and negatively affect a person’s finances. An ill-advised purchase would also lead to a highly unproductive work. It is therefore important to know the different types of table saws, their uses, and additional features before purchasing one.
Types of Table Saws
Cabinet Table Saw
To start, a person should be aware of the four kinds of table saws. The first type is the cabinet table saw. This particular table saw is the biggest and most expensive of all four. It is also very heavy, as it would often have a weighty cast iron table attached to a smooth surface and a heavy-duty trunnions and gearing. On average, it weighs around 600 pounds total. It is called a cabinet saw because the motor is placed inside a cabinet underneath the saw table. Cabinet table saws have a power range of 3 to 5 horsepower (HP) or 2 to 4 kW. The cabinet saw offers bulkier construction for minimal vibration and higher durability.
The second type is the contractor’s saw. This is best for people who take their work from one place to another, as this table saw is lighter than a cabinet saw, weighing around 200 to 300 pounds. Since the main feature of this saw is mobility, the effect is a lower accuracy rate and power range, falling at 1HP to 3 HP for larger tables. This is said to be the most versatile has it has an acceptable power range;well enough for heavy-duty job but not too large that standard electrical circuits can be used. This is recommended for building contractors for on-site work or for homeowners.
Bench Top Saw
The lightest and smallest is the bench top saw. It is placed on top of a table or workbench. It weighs just around 50 pounds and is portable, compact, and light, making it best for light duty cutting. Since it weights a little, it often results to stronger vibration, affecting the accuracy of the cut. It is the least expensive and has the smallest power range, with a ceiling of 1HP.
Hybrid Table Saw
The last type is the hybrid table saws. This is a combination of the two aforementioned types. It provides the portability and lightness of the contractor’s saw and the improved dust collection of the cabinet saw.
Uses Based On Wood Thickness and Horsepower
Before choosing the type of table saw, a person should first identify the main purpose of the table saw and the type of wood it would often end up cutting.
For homeowners, a table saw running on 1 to 2 HP is enough. Table saws with this power range would only require a circuit of 120 volts, perfect for a standard household. This power range will be able to cut hard wood 2 inches thick or less.
For people who would often cut wood thicker than 2 inches, a stronger table saw is needed. A 3-inch hardwood would need a 3 to 5 HP power range. Table saws with this type of motors would require a 240-volt circuit. For a rule of thumb, a person should always check the amps as this measures the power of the motor. For a stronger cutting power, get a table saw with a higher amp.
Blades and Resulting Cuts
The blade of the table saw often controls the resulting cut. Different blades are created for different kinds of cuts so it is best to know which blades would give the best results for a chosen work.
For clean cuts across the wood grain, the crosscut blade is recommended, while rip blades are best for cuts running along the direction of the grain. For people who would be focusing on ripping, mitering, and crosscutting, they should consider investing on table saws with combination blades.
Must-Have Features in Buying a Table Saw
The most important feature to look for in a table saw is the safety features. One of the most vital safety features a table saw could ever have is the rip fence. This is a guide running parallel to the table. It holds the wood in place, thereby preventing binding. A person should choose a table saw with a long fence, as this offers better control over the cutting and provides allowance for wider cuts. Micro-adjust rip fences also offer finer control over the work while the extendable rip fences are able to slide out or fold to provide for wider rip cutting capabilities.
There are also table saws with flesh sensor. The flesh sensors stop the saw blade and shuts down the motor instantly the moment it detects flesh too near the blade. The break is engaged so suddenly that the ensuing lurch makes the blade fall below the table level. Though this feature may come at a steep price, it is still a highly recommended and almost necessary safety precaution.
A kick switch is also a feature that has recently become quite famous. A table saw with a kick switch could be shut down with the foot, hip, or knee motion. This is done as a safety precaution for moments when the hands of the user cannot be safely removed from the wood while cutting.
Cutting wood with table saw is not always a straightforward action. There are models that permit the blade to tilt to the right or to the left for angled cuts. A person choosing a table saw that has a blade-tilt should consider buying the left-tilt blade rather than the right-tilt, as the left-tilt blades are commonly safer to use.
In connection to angled cuts, another feature that a person should consider is the miter gauge. This feature offers a guide when making crosscuts and miter cuts. It improves the accuracy of the cuts by helping with the 45 and 90 degree angles.