If you like to work with wood a table saw is the most useful tool you will buy. If you are starting a hobby like woodwork, or a DIYer that works with wood a lot, it is a tool that you should have in your tool shed. If you are looking to buy a table saw, then I recommend you check out some online reviews. You should also use a specialist site such as The Sharp Cut for their recommendations and also their reviews of the best saws on the market. Before buying a table saw, you need to ensure it will do the things that you want it to do.
Why Do You Need a Table Saw?
Not only will a table saw cut large pieces of wood and plywood with ease, it can also do mitre cuts, bevel cuts and crosscuts. It is also great for making repetitive cuts. It is probably a fairly indispensable tool to have in your workshop. However, it will probably also be the most costly tool in your workshop so think about what features you need before you buy it.
Health and Safety
Without doubt, a table saw has the potential to be a dangerous tool. However, this is only if used without following normal health and safety precautions. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, when using your table saw, and concentrate on what you are doing.
Types of Table Saw
There are 3 main types of table saw:
- Cabinet saw. Large, heavy and expensive. It normally has a cast iron table. Motors are usually 3 to 5 HP. Generally, they use 220-volt electricity.
- Contractor’s saw. Light and designed to be portable. It normally has an aluminium table. Motors are usually less than 1 ¾ HP. Generally, they use 110-volt electricity.
- Hybrid saw. A combination of both cabinet and contractor’s saw. Motors are usually less than 2 HP. Generally, they use 110-volt electricity but can often be switched to 22-volt if available.
It is the weight of the table that makes the table saw stable. This is why cabinet saw tables are made of cast iron. A hybrid may be a mix of cast iron and aluminium. The table needs to be smooth and flat and if possible should reduce the vibrations.
The fence is the third feature that distinguishes between the different types of table saw.This is a bar on the table saw that acts as a guide for the wood as it moves through the blade. The fence needs to stay parallel to the blade and be easily adjustable. It should remain static and rigid when the saw is in use but it should be easy to adjust before using the table saw.
The blade should be around 10”. This gives you lots of cutting options and allows you the flexibility of swapping blades. You should be able to adjust both the height and angle of the blade.
Clearly, if you are cutting wood with a table saw, there will be a large amount of sawdust. Generally, cabinet saws have a dust collection port whereas contractor saws are designed so the sawdust falls straight through the bottom. Hybrid saws could have either option.
If you are going to be working inside, then you need to be able to collect the sawdust. You don’t want to be breathing in a lot of sawdust neither do you want it to go everywhere within your workshop.
Your table saw will either be motor driven, most common in a portable table saw, or belt driven through an induction motor. Induction motors are quieter whereas motor driven are noisy but require less maintenance.
You will find there are more table saws available than you probably initially thought. Many of them will have different features, so think about what you want before you buy your table saw. Also think about your own circumstances and how often you think you would use a table saw. Also consider, where you are going to put, and use, your new table saw. If it becomes difficult to get to or you have to move it every time you want to use it, you probably won’t use it at all.