A table saw is a great woodworking tool that makes DIY home furniture easier. It has a protruding circular saw blade that is powered by an electric motor to cut woods. It is so versatile that you can do almost all kinds of cuts you need for your project.
If you are planning to buy one, ask yourself this question first: “which table saw should I buy?” Before making your purchase, know what are the types and uses of table saws. This way, you will be able to make the most out of your table saw.
Benchtop or Portable Table Saw
A benchtop table saw is also called a portable table saw because of its portability. It neither comes with a stand nor legs.
You can simply clamp them to a surface or attach to any stand even if that stand is something you just made. A benchtop usually has universal brush motors with a blade that measures up to 10 inches.
The other parts of the table saw are made of strong and durable materials such as steel, aluminum and plastic.
Since they are portable, these table saws are created to be lightweight so you can bring it anywhere. However, you might want to use it for basic woodworks because it can only offer just enough precision and power.
Users say that it is hard to make a straight and cross-cutting cut using a benchtop because it is small and has less distance from the front edge to the saw blade. Another drawback is the strong vibration when working.
On the other hand, they tend to be the cheapest among the other kinds, too. Therefore, they are suitable for beginners or those who are just making their first projects in the comfort of their garage.
If you are done being a beginner woodworker and now ready to level up, choose a contractor saw. This tool works better with more accuracy and is more powerful than a benchtop.
In addition, the contract saws have fixed legs and larger table made of a lightweight steel. Sometimes, the legs have attached wheels to them for easy transport.
You can find a contractor saw that is powered by a motor that directly drives to the saw blade without a belt. On the other hand, you can also find a contractor saw with a motor that hinges off the rear and uses one or two belts to drive the blade.
Meanwhile, it is still only ideal for hobbyists. If you are asking which table saw you should buy that is affordable and great enough for most works, this one will do.
It is one of the most inexpensive types that will get you finishing wood projects of any kind. One disadvantage you have to know is the problematic dust collection when the motor hangs off the rear of the saw.
Cabinet Table Saws
The most powerful and heavy-duty type of table saw is the cabinet table saw. It has a closed cabinet base and runs on induction motors that are 3 to 5 hp. If you are going to use it at your home, you should plug it into 220 V outlet.
Instead of two, there are three parallel v-belts that drive the blades and cuts wood straight and clean. They are made heaviest among the other types for a lot of reasons.
One of them is to minimize the vibration while you work for more accurate results. Another reason is to increase durability.
Other features a cabinet table saw has are the improved dust collection and cabinet-mounted trunnions for easy height and tilt adjustments.
Overall, the weight of the cabinet tables ranges from 200 – 600 lbs. due to heavier cast iron and other durable materials.
Hybrid Table Saws
If you are confused about which table saw should you buy between contractor and cabinet, perhaps you might want a hybrid table saw. This particular type of table saw is combined with the qualities of the above-mentioned table saws.
They are cheaper and only have a 1.5 or 2 hp motor. Aside from this, they also have an enclosed cabinet base for dust collection.
It is ideal for hobbyists who work at home because you only need to have 110 V to have it running. Basically, this table saw sits in between the contractor and cabinet table saws.