The table saw is the center of any workshop. Purchasing the ideal table saw is critical since it will impact the quality of your work, your productivity as well as the limitations of what you can actually build on your store.
Table saws come in four classes and I will explain each one and outline the advantages and disadvantages of each one. The table saw you finally buy will be mostly influenced by your budget, this space you have available and sometimes the actual sort of floor you will be working on.
Portal table saws are the most popular choices in most home workshops due to their cost, size and weight. These versions can be installed directly on a workbench or a floor stand. Some woodworkers with tight spaces will really stow them away under their seats, in a corner or even in a cupboard. Even though these table saws provide low cost and portability these saws have a lot of drawbacks. Though adequate for the novice woodworker, cutting precision is somewhat restricted. Inherent play in the job guides and a little cutting a desk can create acceptable cuts for several projects but may be a problem with larger and more complex work. To save cost portals have direct drive motors which operate on 110 volts and are usually limited to one horsepower. Thick heavy cuts are often beyond the capabilities of the sort of table saw. I’ve found that extensive use of those little saws eventually leads to motor burnout, and the engine isn’t replaceable. Though limited in power, the gears are also rather noisy and usually begin with an abrupt jolt of the blade. Most use a primitive pivot system that’s difficult to set and might become quickly clogged with sawdust which makes the mechanism stiff. Even though these saws that serve a function, you will probably need to update as your woodworking skills evolve.
These units resemble bigger versions of the mobile saw variety but with a few substantial improvements. Although usually mounted on a rack with wheels, these components aren’t portable and are restricted to rolling around the store at best. Weighing in most instances over 250 pounds they are not portable. The majority of their weight is at the table and motor surface. Well designed cutting guides with low tolerance levels provides considerably more accurate cutting also. Most contractor saws also have worm gear driven blade tilt systems which are more precise and less prone to jamming because of sawdust buildup. 1 disadvantage of contractor saws is their open cupboard layout, similar to the portable saw. This makes dust collection hard to control. Even as your skill levels grow, contractor saws can provide you with many years of dependable service.
These are a relatively new addition to the category of saws available in the marketplace. They are a cross between contractor saws and bigger cabinet saws, and typically offer more of a cabinet structure to the ground over the builder saw configuration. These saws will often home the belt driven motor inside the cupboard. This makes dust collection more efficient, as well as the saw runs quicker as well. These saws are thicker, typically from the 350 pound range and feature bigger motors beginning at 3 horsepower. Like the contractor saw they’ve worm gear driven blade tilting systems and bigger cast iron tables.
Cabinet saws are both awesome pieces of gear and prohibitively costly for many hobby woodworkers. They’re heavy and take a good concrete floor to rest on. Cabinet generators take up plenty of room particularly when fitted with large table extensions. All operate on 240 volt electricity and engine sizes vary from 3 horsepower to 6 horsepower. Some expensive industrial components run on three phase electricity, not offered in a house. They provide the maximum in cutting precision and capacity and although the majority of the saws discussed utilize a 10″ blade, some cabinet saws function with a bigger 12″ blade which further increases cutting capability. The price and size of the woodworker’s dream restricts these units to big shops with good concrete floors and large budgets.
If you can afford to obtain a new contractor saw outright, consider this among your best options. When it is not on your budget consider a mobile saw as a temporary measure with the plan to upgrade to a contractor’s saw later on. Think carefully before making the jump to a hybrid or cabinet saw. Justify the cost and make sure you have
Forty years ago, I purchased my first portable table saw from an advertisement in the paper (the internet was not invented then!) . Over the last four decades I’ve owned every sort of saw outlined in this article based on what work I was doing and the distance I needed to work with. I still feel the best bang for your buck is the contractor saw. A couple of years ago a fellow was selling one on Kijiji and I managed to purchase his barely used contractor saw for the purchase price of a new portable saw. Obviously the builder saw was a far better bargain, and has functioned well since 2012. I’ve got two other contractor saws I have used for over 25 years. They’ve proven to be solid and durable saws that let me turn out good quality work.
One Final Word Table Saws
When buying a table saw, examine the blade tilt management. Nowadays, the vast majority of saws are left tilt nevertheless some versions are configured for right tilt blades. I’ll go into more detail in another article on all of the benefits and drawbacks of both of these unique configurations. But in general, right handed woodworkers are more harmonious with left tilt versions. Although right tilt versions have some dimension and manufacturing benefits, most woodworkers will discover left tilt blade saws simpler and safer to operate.
Always try to purchase the best saw type you can spend. Cheap mobile generators can create limitations and tend to wear out fast under continuous use. Think about the dust gathering capabilities of this you are considering in addition to electricity requirements (do you will need to put in a 240 volt socket?) .
There are lots of lightly used saws on the market. Think about purchasing a much better designed used saw over a cheaply made fresh one.