why do you need the best table saw - An Informational Guide

Best Table Saw reviews

Find our best table saw top 5 recommendations

THE BEST TABLE SAWS FROM THE MOST RELIABLE MANUFACTURERS

There are many table saws from big brand names that are popular in the market. From the famous DeWalt table saw to the Ryobi table saw, it is hard to choose the best table saw for your needs when you are not equipped with enough information on pros and cons of each.

That is exactly why today, we are listing the 5 best table saw products with full reviews so that you can buy one with complete confidence. Before that, though, we’ll guide you on your way on what makes the best table saw. Researching any power tool is not easy with so many sites offering information overload.

BENCHTOP, CONTRACTOR, HYBRID & CABINET TABLE SAW REVIEWS

We’re here to help. After our selection of table saw reviews, we’ll show you some of the elements to consider when buying the best table saw for your money and needs.

But before we do that, let’s describe the four most popular table saw types and help you choose what kind of table saw you actually need to buy.

BENCH TOP

A bench top saw does not come equipped with a dedicated stand. As the name hints, you’ll need to fix it to a bench top or work surface of some sort.

Although you will still need somewhere to attach it, most bench top saws are light enough to carry around. You can move from job to job without a problem.

Bench top saws are expressly designed to be inexpensive, portable and compact. Aluminum, composites and plastic help achieve these lightweight units. You’ll get a smaller table and a limited rip capacity.

If you don’t work with large sheets and you just fancy cutting up some pine or plywood, a bench top saw is ideal.

CONTRACTOR

Contractor or jobsite table saws are a lot more rugged than bench tops.

The name, unsurprisingly, comes about as it’s a very popular saw for contractors. If you need a table saw capable of coping with commercial projects but light enough to move from jobsite to jobsite, go for a contractor saw.

Don’t confuse this with a really heavyweight saw for constant heavy commercial use. These are stationary contractor saws but they are not as versatile. For most regular cutting, though, the portable version is a smart choice.

Contractor saws are more precise than bench top models. With direct drive motors, they are also more powerful and durable. Superior fences, large rip capacities – up to 24 inches – and enhanced alignment adjustment set contractor table saws apart.

The folding stand often comes with wheels so contractor table saws are highly maneuverable.

HYBRID

Hybrid table saws can be confusing. You can think of a hybrid as falling between an older style of contractor saw and a full-blown industrial cabinet saw.

With hybrids, some have full enclosures while others have open leg stands. This makes it quite tough to differentiate the full enclosure hybrid from the industrial cabinet saw.

CABINET

The most powerful type of table saw cabinet saws hit the spot in every category.

As mentioned, the look is similar to a hybrid with a full enclosure. Looks can be deceptive, though… The core design purpose is for this saw to stand up to constant heavy use in a commercial setting. This is not a tool you buy for casual woodworking at home. These bulky, heavy units are built to last the distance. They can weigh up to 500 pounds. You’ll get accuracy and rigidity not available in lesser types of table saw. Other table saws call for regular adjustments. With a cabinet saw, you won’t need to do this as often once it’s set up properly. 240V motors developing 3-5HP mean there’s very little the best cabinet table saw won’t rip through with ease.

Large sheets of hardwood are no problem at all.

Who Needs Table Saws?

Carpenter on Table Saw

We’ll now take a peek at what you should think about when looking for the best table saw.

Now you’ve read through the basics and read some table saw reviews, you should have a good idea of what kind of saw best fits your needs. From the table saw accessories to the table saw stand, at this point you should know which is the perfect model for your needs.

Whether it’s for use in the home workshop or on the job site, the best table saw is an invaluable woodworking tool.

When it comes to ripping boards quickly and cleanly, there’s little to rival a table saw. You can perform a truly impressive array of cuts with a table saw. There are few power tools to rival its flexibility.

From casual woodworkers right through to factory shops and jobbing builders, table saws are in high demand.

Buying Guide

There’s plenty to think about when you’re looking for the best table saw.

You’ll need to consider price as with any purchase. Think, more importantly, about the overall value of money. How often will you use your saw and how much can you comfortably afford? If it’s for work, consider this an investment.

Decide upon which type of table saw is most suitable. Do you want the portability of a benchtop or contractor saw? Perhaps you need the raw power of an industrial cabinet.

Check out some of the key features to consider when firming up your decision:

  • Saw blades
    The blades are categorized according to number of teeth, diameter, arbor size, kerf size, application and speed. They can also be divided by material. Regular commercial table saws are 10-inch or 12-inch. Teeth usually number from 24-80. Many blades are tipped with diamond, carbon or carbide. This lets you cut through more than just wood. You will also need to think about the tilt of the blade. They are available in left tilt or right tilt. With a left-tilting hybrid or cabinet saw, the motor cover can get in the way of the sliding table. Router table extensions don’t work well on left-tilting saws. 
  • Blade guard
    The most critical safety feature on a table saw is the blade guard. It’s all that separates your fingers from the rapidly rotating blade. You need this to be transparent or it will make measuring awkward. The last thing you want is to be tempted to remove an unfit guard. Check closely for a clear, flexible blade guard. Safety is paramount when operating a table saw.
  • Motor
    Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
  • Miter Gauge and Fence
    You want to rip down lumber with your table saw. For this you’ll need a fence. You just can’t make an accurate rip cut without one. Check the fence sits on the rails firmly. You should be able to adjust it easily in both directions. A T-square fence is the most common type. Made from welded steel, it’s precise, user-friendly and durable. Some fences are mounted with bolts. Others are welded onto the head of the T-square. Miter gauges are priceless for making cross-cuts and other more advanced cuts. This gauge acts as a guiding device. It moves in the miter slot. You can angle between 45 degrees and -45 degrees. For angled or square cross-cuts or other specialty cuts, a miter gauge fully delivers.
  • Splitters to stop kickback
    One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.
  • Riving knife
    Some table saws go one better than a splitter. Splitters are fixed. They do not move along with the blade. It also needs to be removed if you’re making cross-cuts or dado cuts. A riving knife, on the other hand, is fixed to the same part as the blade. This means it can move along with the blade. Riving knives don’t get in the way either so this is the best option.
  • Magnetic switch
    A large magnetic switch is a mechanism to stop your saw from overloading. If there is any kind of power outage or interruption, the saw will be flipped to OFF for safety’s sake. It’s much better to err on the side of caution and all good table saws should come with this nifty feature.
  • Accessories
    From dust collection and onboard storage through to on/off switches and table extensions, most reputable table saws come equipped with everything you’ll need to rip up the wood of your choice. Whether it’s making your life easier with wheels enabling height and tilt adjustment or a safety feature like the magnetic switch, the functionality of table saws is impressive. You can upgrade the blades, get various jigs or dado blades and generally enhance the way your saw performs.

Usage and Maintenance Tips

Table saw maintenance

Safety should always be uppermost when you’re operating a table saw. Make sure that you are fully confident of using the saw before getting started.

Take the time to have a good look at the manual. Familiarize yourself with the controls.

This great video shows a table saw in action and some basic tips.

Working with a helper is always preferable and makes handling the wood much less of a strain. Extendable roller stands work well if you need to go it alone.

Don’t be afraid to make multiple passes. There is no sense in overworking your saw, especially if it’s a cheaper, entry-level model. Work slowly and methodically. Enjoy your craft rather than rushing.

Make sure that your saw is fully secured so that you can work without worrying about excessive vibration or your table saw moving around.

Maintenance should be scheduled around hours of use rather than simply time. Note down hours used rather than trying to remember.

Check the alignment of your saw every time you start work. Clean and lube the operating mechanical parts.

Keep the table polished and smooth for best cutting results.

Replace any parts as needed.

Using and maintaining the best table saw is not really so difficult. As with most maintenance, little and often is by far the best policy.

best table saw: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.