Includes trolley/stand combination. Ripping ability of 32 1/3 inches. The rack and pinion telescoping fence system allows the user to make quick and accurate adjustments, while the dust-collection port can connect to a vacuum for greater efficiency.
Cannot handle 4-inch lumber. Rare complaints about component quality.
This powerful, smooth-operating table saw is lightweight and compact with onboard storage for easy transport. It is reasonably priced, made by a reputable manufacturer, and built tough with a metal roll cage to ensure durability on the job site.
No stand included. (Stand is available at an additional cost.)
This is a highly accurate machine that features a powerful worm drive to help you accomplish the toughest tasks. The unit features a built-in dust port that accepts a standard 2 1/2-inch vacuum hose to help keep the work area clean.
Assembly instructions for the stand can be difficult to accurately interpret.
The clever design of this unit makes it easily portable; just grab and go. Blade changes are fast and simple and the dust collection system is efficient. The unique design of this model makes it a versatile tool that is able to accomplish a wide range of cuts.
It can be difficult to achieve a longer straight cut when using this model.
Rack and pinion system allow users to make narrow adjustments for more accurate cuts. Engineered with a dual-field motor that withstands heat for higher efficiency. Compact structure is portable, so users can easily transfer it to their preferred workspace. Durable and long-lasting.
More fragile than some users had expected.
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A table saw is the centerpiece of any home workshop, and it’s often the very first power tool to be cranked up at the start of any woodworking task. They’re essential for the necessary task of sizing wood for each project – whether narrowing the width of boards, cutting plywood sheets, or tackling specialized cuts like grooves, slots, and tenons. Because of their important role in DIY and professional construction, choosing the right table saw is critically important.
Table saws come in a number of sizes, but most fall within four main types: portable table saws, contractor saws, cabinet saws, and hybrid saws.
Often called benchtop, job site, or worksite saws, portable table saws are typically made of lightweight materials, such as an aluminum table top, so that they’re easy to move from place to place. Sometimes they’ll have wheels attached to make shifting them around even easier. The motors on portable saws are also much smaller than on other types of table saws, and are typically less powerful.
Because of their lighter build – ranging from 60 to 100 pounds – and less powerful motor, portable table saws generally suffer from greater vibration, less stability, and much less cutting power than other types of table saws.
Because of the way the saw is constructed, parts like the fence often can’t be swapped for aftermarket parts.
However, these saws can be plugged into any 110 volt outlet, and are priced between $250 and $600. It’s a tradeoff many professionals and hobbyists alike don’t mind making, so they have the tool they need to complete basic crosscutting or ripping tasks, no matter where they are.
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.
Much more stable than benchtop saws, but still portable.
Can cut through thicker woods and some hardwoods.
Will have trouble cutting through thick hardwoods.
Cabinet saws are the prime choice for professional woodworkers. A more powerful induction motor, usually 3 to 5 HP, is enclosed in a cabinet, as part of a super-sturdy overall construction. This type of table saw is ideal for making smooth, straight cuts through hardwoods without worrying about excessive vibration. All that power and stability comes at a price, though. Low-end cabinet saws start around $2,300 and can go past $5,000 for industrial table saws.
Has enough horsepower and torque to easily make smooth, straight cuts, even in thicker hardwood boards.
Generally anchored to the workshop floor (or certainly very hard to move).
Draws much more power than smaller table saws, so a dedicated electrical circuit needs to be installed.
Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
Combines many of the best features of high-end table saws with the desirable lighter weight and lower price of portable saws.
Light enough to shift around the shop.
Cutting hardwoods may be iffy for less powerful hybrid models, so you need to get to know your hybrid table saw’s particular quirks, and test how well it performs under load.
As with any large, bladed power tool, safety is paramount.
All table saws come with gate guards that help protect your hands from touching the blade. They also have safety stop features to minimize injury if your fingers do come in contact with the blade.
Some include pusher tools that enable you to continue guiding a board smoothly for a complete cut while keeping your hand away from the blade. Don’t remove or alter the safety features of your table saw.
Always wear safety glasses, and make sure you’re completely alert when working with a table saw.
If you have no experience with table saws, consider getting professional instruction, such as taking an extension course.
This way you can gain some practical hands-on experience, learn how to safely operate the saw, and get an even better idea of which type of table saw you’d ultimately like to purchase.
Ripping: This is the term used for making long cuts down the length of a board, along the grain. This is done to adjust the width of a board.
Crosscutting: This is a cut made across the grain of a board – such as when sawing a board in half, or just trimming a couple of inches off the end – to adjust its length.
Dado cutting: This is a specialty cut that creates a trench, groove or notch (also called a rabbet) in a board. This type of cut is used most often in making furniture. Dado sets, which include special blades and inserts, make it easy to accomplish these specialty cuts, but it is possible to accomplish some dado cuts using a basic table saw setup.
Table saw blades can also make angled cuts with just a few simple changes to the blade setting or the miter gauge.
To get the longest life out of your table saw – whether it’s a small benchtop or a full-size monster of a cabinet saw – follow a few important steps.
Check the drive belt: Check the drive belt on your saw’s motor for wear. Replace it when heavy wear becomes evident.
Check the blades frequently: Check the blades frequently and change them if they begin missing too many teeth.
Make sure the wood you’re cutting doesn’t have any metal in it: Used boards may have old nails embedded in them. Those pieces of metal will damage a spinning saw blade and could injure you.
Use the table saw only for jobs that it’s intended to handle: A benchtop saw isn’t designed for nor really capable of cutting through hardwoods, particularly thick boards. Even if you accomplish that task without the blade stalling or losing teeth, you’ll shorten the life of the motor.
Clean up sawdust and scraps: Not only does it keep your workshop looking good, but keeping the blade and table free of debris will make your next cutting job that much easier.
You should perform periodic, in-depth maintenance by cleaning sawdust and resin buildup from around the blade and interior areas of the table saw. Steel wool works well to remove resin, and any moving parts should be lubricated appropriately.
Fortunately, table saws need very little maintenance relative to the amount of use they get. They really are the workhorses of the woodworking world.
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