If there’s one stationary tool that’s essential for any serious home projects, it’s the table saw. Anyone who’s serious about DIY projects around the home will find them almost indispensable and with a little bit of creativity they can be used to replace all but the most specialized tools.
Picking one out can be a serious pain, though, and that means a lot of research. We did that for you, and we’ll show you five of the best that are currently on the market, followed by the information you need to make sure that you end up with exactly the right tool for your needs.
Top 5 Table Saws
|Name||Unloaded RPM||Table Size|
|SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch with Folding Stand||5,000rpm||20”x26”, extends to 20”x36”|
|Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite||3,650rpm||20”x 29 ½”|
|SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 10"||5,300rpm||20”x 23 ½”|
|DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite||4,800rpm||22”x 26 ¼”|
|DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site||4,800rpm||22” x 25”|
What is a Table Saw?
- Top 5 Table Saws
- What is a Table Saw?
A table saw is a tool which provides a stable platform in order to cut large pieces of wood to size. There is almost always a fence present to allow you to slide the wood forward without any risk of damage to yourself as well.
They utilize a powerful motor in order to spin a rotary saw blade which can make short work of nearly any kind of wood, leaving you with a smooth cut.
They can be used for both chopping pieces to size and “ripping” or cutting along the vertical axis of a piece. In many cases, the blade can be positioned at an angle as well in order to provide you with an angled cut instead of just slicing along the vertical axis.
What are the Advantages of a Table Saw?
A table saw is among the most valuable tools available to a home handyman. They can be used for most tasks with a little bit of ingenuity.
By providing a large, flat surface on which to cut, you can make alterations to larger pieces of lumber to suit them to your purposes very easily.
Their primary advantage over more mobile tools, like a circular saw, comes from the fact that the solid base allows you to move the workpiece through the blade, rather than the blade through the piece. This little distinction of action allows you to make precise cuts with a startling amount of ease.
In addition to that, blades which can be tilted make it easy to do fittings for things like trim and molding.
While they’re not suitable for all tasks, the addition of a table saw to your workshop will give you capabilities you simply can’t attain with simpler tools.
What Types of Table Saw Are Available?
While table saws all do pretty much the same thing, there’s a few different varities that you should be aware of.
Bench top table saws are the smallest and most portable. For the most part these will fit easily on the average work bench and allow you to use them almost anywhere. They’re also called job site saws.
They’re usually less powerful than other types, but they make up for it with increased mobility. Most won’t cause you too much trouble if you need to move them around as you’re making your cuts.
Contractor saws come with a stand and a very powerful motor. The motors of these are generally more powerful than bench top saws since the support is built right into the saw. They’re commonly used around the house, despite their name, particularly by those with a dedicated workspace.
They’ll take up a little bit more floor room, but they can usually be found at a fair price and make a good middle ground for the home craftsman.
Cabinet saws have a heavy base and an extremely powerful motor. These are often custom built by the person using them and almost always require a dedicated circuit to handle the amperage from the motor.
American saws are generally just that, but those found in Europe are often configured with a multi-tool base.
In all honesty, for most DIYers a cabinet saw is entirely overkill and the extra money spent on one would be better spent on tools that expand your capabilities like a wood router or miter saw.
What Should I Look for in a Table Saw?
When it comes time to pick out a table saw, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. So, picture what you plan on doing with your saw and keep the following in mind to get a good picture of what you think you’ll need.
The size of your table affects a lot when it comes down to it. While most tables can be expanded in some capacity or the other, it’s important to make sure you get as close as you can to the right size table when you decide on saw in the first place.
A wider table also takes up more room wherever it’s at. If you have limited space, it might be better to work with a smaller table initially and figure out a way to expand it later.
Fencing is a subject of hot debate, but it does make a difference.
Most modern fencing consists of the same size and types of parts so the big thing you’re looking for is to save money by getting a good one right out of the box. If you can get what you need initially you can save some money down the road.
The main thing you need in a fence is stability. This is for both precision and safety reasons. A fence which slips and slides is going to cause kickback, no matter what safety features are on the saw.
Most people are fine with a jobsite table saw. They’re a bit smaller and more portable, and they don’t take up a huge amount of floor space in your garage or workshop.
Serious professionals prefer cabinet type table saws, but they’re prohibitively expensive and require a large, dedicated area to ensure they can be used properly.
Smaller table saws are pretty standardized in their power ratings. Nearly all of them will come in with 15A motors that run between 3500rpm and 5500rpm. What matters more is the quality of the motor which will always be reflected in the cost of the saw.
High RPMs are nice, since they’ll make quicker work of softwood and things like plywood, but the saw is inevitably going to get bogged down if you’re cutting hardwood. Lower RPMs are actually preferable in these cases, since high RPM saws can burn the wood if it doesn’t slow down enough.
Worm drive motors lower vibrations however, which results in cleaner cuts at the end of the day. They’re preferable if all other things are near equal about a saw.
There are a lot of cheap, solidly performing saws on the market which have one almost-fatal flaw: they can’t be upgraded.
One of the best things about table saws is the ability to upgrade them over time by adding extensions and other pieces to increase their versatility. By going with one that can’t be upgraded, you may be doing yourself a big disservice down the road.
However, if you’re not heavy into woodworking, you don’t really need to worry about this.
The cost of a tablesaw is nearly always a matter of its function with a few exceptions. There haven’t been any new developments in this realm of tools that have suddenly raised the price by significant amounts. Most development is just in higher rpms and fencing attachments.
Pick the one that you think is best for what you’re planning on doing, rather than just nabbing the most expensive one on the market. Most home handymen will find something convenient is of much more use than something which is heavy duty but never used to it’s full capacity.
The investment in a table saw is probably one of the best things you can do to add some serious woodworking capabilities to your shop. Tasks which previously seemed monumental will now be able to be handled in a matter of moments with pretty much any table saw, and a good one is going to become a long lasting companion. Pick one up now and get serious about your capabilities, you won’t regret it.