Table Saw

Build your knowledge about table saws

There is a wide variety of different saws serving a wide range of purposes. If you're looking for something to cut nimble little curves and angles, then an electric jigsaw or saber saw might be to your liking. However, if you're interested in making straight and precise cuts of long, flat board – then there's really no better option that the table saw (sometimes called a sliding table saw), a stationary device that is perhaps the most versatile woodworking tool. If you're planning on buying just one saw for your garage or backyard shed, then this is the one to invest in.

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The table saw consists of a circular saw blade mounted on a platform called an arbor, and is powered by an electric motor. In most cases, the circular saw sticks up from the surface of the platform, providing support for the operator, which makes slicing through planks of wood extremely easy. When investigating table saws, it's important to consider the different versions available.

Benchtop Table Saw

The benchtop is a portable table saw that uses a direct drive via universal motor. They can't cut through the densest materials, but their lightweight design makes them portable and cheap. Just be careful with their underpowered motors.

Contractor Table Saw

Larger and more durable than the benchtop, the contractor table saw uses a 1- or 2-horsepower induction motor across one or two belts. Despite the name, the contractor is rarely used on job sites by commercial teams and is most often employed by DIYers or hobbyists in their homes.

Cabinet Table Saws

Boasting a heavier frame characterized by a closed, cabinet-style base, many cabinet table saws use 3- to 5-horsepower induction motors to power through denser materials than the lighter alternatives. Cabinet table saws are rarely used by common hobbyists, since home use requires the operator to install a heavy-duty circuit capable of 220 volts. Most table saws use a large 10-inch blade that can rip through most cuts of wood very quickly and efficiently. Operators should be trained and experienced on smaller table saws before moving up to this one.

Whichever table saw you choose, it's important to maintain it in order to stay safe at all times. Replacement parts like a table saw fence, table saw extensions, table saw routers and table saw stands are critical in keeping your device operative for the long term. Saw blades can be replaced as well, and keeping them sharp is extremely important in keeping your table saw safe.