Table saws are an extraordinary asset for your toolshed. These tools bring forth a unique way of cutting materials efficiently. Being accurate is not the only advantage.
Some types of table saws can also be portable, as well as cost-effective. Understanding the different types should give you an insight as to what you might need.
In this article, we shall discuss different types of table saws. Here, we will give you a brief overview of all the table saws, so that you can find the perfect tool for your toolshed.
Different Types of Table Saws
All the table saws can be placed into two categories, stationary and portable. Let’s get to know both of the tables saw types.
1. Stationary Table Saws
These table saws tend to eradicate the functionality of portable use. Made strictly to stay in one place, this saw tends to be very powerful. These units are usually bought by professional craftsmen, cutting thick heavy materials. However, in some cases, stationary table saws can be very versatile.
Some stationary table saws can even be moderately portable. With functionalities made to make the transport of the table optimized.
The stationary table saw can be handy for heavy-duty work but tends to be inadequate for intricate work. There are, however, three subcategories to this specific type of table saw — each with their unique functionality and use.
The Cabinet Saw
The cabinet saw is named specifically because it houses the mechanism behind a cabinet.
- A Powerful Motor
Stored inside a cabinet lies a powerful motor of (3hp -5 hp). However, in some industrial sites, finding a cabinet saw with a (5hp – 7hp) motor is not uncommon. These machines have a superior level of power behind the blades.
Even with all that power, however, this specific category of the saw can be exact, precisely because of its adjustment settings. Most units have a height and tilt adjuster making your woodwork as intricate as possible.
- A Spacious Table Top
This specific category of a table saw usually has an amazing tabletop for work. Space is apt for any crafts work and can be extremely versatile when cutting wood. Astoundingly, however, this table saw is very quiet. As the machinery is placed inside of the cabinet. Most of the noise is usually not that noticeable.
- The Electrical Circuits
The cabinet saw is usually wired with a (220V) circuit. Meaning it’s not connected to your socket, like most household appliances.
Like most stationary table saws, however, these usually aren’t meant to move around as much. Making portability not an option in the slightest. Cabinet saws have an easy to replace the blade as well. Compared to the other units as well, it comes with a miter gauge.
- Brilliant Fences
The fences on most units are also straightforward to use and accurate. The tables are also enormous, giving you the perfect workspace you might need. Housing a fantastic enclosed base is also great for collecting the sawdust. Meaning, you will have a cleaner workspace than most.
These machines are capable of cutting through most materials, with precision and speed.
- Some Additional Information
They can rip through most materials with a tolerance of (1/32 inch) because of its finely tuned rip fence.
However, you will not find these machines in the toolshed of a hobbyist. Weighing in roughly around (500 pounds), they can be challenging to carry around. You will, however, see them most commonly, in factories and other industrial work areas.
The Contractor Saw
Once a very commonly sought after tool amongst most artisans. The contractor table saw was undoubtedly perfect for most professional craftwork. However, in recent days, most professionals are opting for the Jobsite saws.
- Have the Ability to Be Portable
Even though the contractor saw is much more durable, and is capable of cutting through thicker material.
These saws are comparatively bulkier and tend to come with wheels on the bottom for portability. On other different models, however, the motor is usually placed on the back, which can then be taken off before transport.
- The Build
On most occasions, these table saws are made with dense and thick material such as cast iron and stamped metal. People tend to not move them around as much after buying them and strictly keep them in one specific workspace.
- Gigantic and Powerful
Compared to most other categories of table saws, the contractor is monstrous. The blade is usually attached to a base with a motor.
These saws tend to use motors of (1hp-2hp), which is perfect for most jobs. However compared to its brethren, the power is delivered from the back end of the saw, making it more stable.
- What Makes It Different?
The most significant difference between the contractor saw and other saws is the motor it uses.
Most manufacturers use induction motors for their units, which tend to be belt-driven. The contractor saw, has one or two rubber v-belts depending on the unit itself. Weighing in around (200- 300 pounds) it can easily be classified as a semi-portable machine.
- Certain Drawbacks
However, on specific models and units, dust collection is an issue and can be very problematic. Nonetheless, these tools can be excellent for the avid woodworker. It is exceptionally sturdy and can be perfect for any Jobsite.
Often called the open-stand saw, the contractor saw is exceptionally versatile. Most people who tend to buy the contractor table saw are usually, contractors and hobbyists.
The Hybrid Saw
This type of saws is exceptional amongst most in the category. They are mighty and can be often seen in industrial work environments.
- The Motor
These saws tend to use a (1.5hp- 2hp) motor. Using single v-belts or multiple v-belts, depending upon the unit. The hybrid saw, however, can be very similar to contractor saws and cabinet saws. Having similar features and functionalities as well.
- Better Functionalities
However, there are a few things that set it apart. The different motor, as well as the larger rip capacity, are some of the few parts. Not to mention the hybrid saw also has a better dust collector than the other products.
One of the best attributes of the hybrid is its price. Costing similar to that of a contractor saw, but having twice as more efficiency.
- Electrical Circuits & Affordability
Most hybrid saws use approximately around (110V-220V). The hybrid table saw possesses many similarities to that of a cabinet saw. Some might even say that the hybrid saw is a miniature version of the cabinet saw.
The reason why this specific type of saw is rising in fame is mainly because of its pricing. It is much cheaper than a cabinet table saw and can be used very similarly.
- Efficient & Accurate
The main difference between the hybrid saw and the cabinet is its motor. These units tend to have a mountable heavy-duty trunnion as well. Making for much more precise adjustments.
This table is more than perfect for most woodworking projects as well. Not to mention you get to have the functionality of a cabinet saw, without breaking the bank.
2. Portable Table Saws
Easily one of the most important table saws. The portable saws are usually used mostly by professional craftsmen. These are perfect for intricate woodwork.
- The Benchtop
One of the most popular choices for any woodworker. The Benchtop can be very efficient and portable. Giving you the ability to work anywhere, with precision and efficiency.
- The Motor & the Blade
The benchtop uses a (2.8 amp) motor, with a blade rotational speed of about (2460 Per minute). These specific machines are great for creating cuts of up to (3-8 inches) deep and (9 inches wide). Which tends to perfect for the avid hobbyist or enthusiast.
Also, the benchtop also comes along with (3-8 inch) wide blade, used for cutting. As well as a dust port to collect the sawdust. A miter gauge for added readings, and a fence.
- Light Body with an Adjustable Top
This type of table saw is one of the most popular. The reason for it being so is mostly because of its lightweight body and accuracy. It is easier to carry to any workspace.
As most benchtop table saws are large enough to handle (12 x 12) material, they are capable of being exceptionally versatile. Not to mention that the worktable can be leveled up to (45 degrees) for more comfortability.
Giving you the ability to handle most types of wood, and give it any cut you might want. However, the table surface on it is not as large. Limiting distinct possibilities and making it a tad bit difficult to work on at times as well.
3. Jobsite Saws
The Jobsite saw is very similar to a compact saw without some of its functionalities. They tend to be very portable and extremely handy for construction work.
- High Torque Motor
This machine, in general, tends to use a high torque motor. Instead of using power. In most cases, the Jobsite table saws tend to be just roughly under (100 pounds). Making it capable of carrying it around as well.
Moreover, this category of table saw tends to be very expensive. Making it not the perfect choice if on a budget. However, the functionalities far outweigh the most cons for this saw.
The Jobsite saw usually tends to use a universal motor to power its blade. And with more expensive models, you can find high gear-driven functionalities as well.
These types of table saws tend to be far more portable than you would expect. With certain models having foldable legs and movable parts. The Jobsite saw is also very powerful, with most units housing a (3,650 RPM) motor, as well as a (10 inch) blade.
Besides, these types of saws are usually sold thinking strictly of professional workers. Workers tend to carry most of their tools to job sites. Portability is one of the most significant factors that sets this tool apart from the rest. Jobsite saws are however very similar to compact saws.
They both have similar functionalities, with both having a form or method they use to make transporting them easier.
- Rugged & Durable
However, Jobsite saws are meant more to be rugged. Meaning they have more exceptional durability, higher rip capacity, and much better fences. Nothing could be better for on the go sawing. They also come with a dust collector and a portable and foldable stand. On occasions, they even use wheels for maneuvering.
These saws serve a great purpose in construction sites, and demolition sites as well. However, using them would not be well advised for a person who is not experienced. These fences, paired with a high torque motor, could be disastrous for a person with little experience.
4. Compact Saws
Compact table saws serve the same purpose as most portable saws. They usually consist of a universal motor, which is placed on a stable stand. This is easily one of the most portable types of table saws on the market.
- Build Quality and Material
Made out of cast iron in most cases, but with a detachable motor on top. These are usually purchased by professionals and independent contractors for intricate woodwork. Instead of using larger machinery like other products. It uses a single belt connected to a motor.
Compact table saws usually don’t have wheels, as it tends to weigh more. These saws, in general, are typically comprised of a folded bottom. Some of these units also have the feature of attaching the unit to a workbench or station.
- Features and Functionalities
It does contain most of the necessary features, however. Such as a miter sled, for tilting your workspace from different angles. Giving you ergonomic comfort. As well as great fences, and a standard (10- inch) blade.
In most cases, they are usually driven by (15 Amp) motors. Generally on most occasions these table saws weight around (24- Kilograms) with a rack and pinion fence systems. They are even on occasions made of a cast tabletop, to help rip through most wooden materials.
- Light-Weight, Compact & Accurate
Compact saws also usually come with bevel locks, for accurate adjustments. These units specifically are generally perfect for ripping through (20- inch) long materials.
The bases of the compact table saw are usually made with varying materials, with most people preferring plastic bases. As they can be very durable and light-weight compared to other materials.
What Can Affect Your Choice?
Below we are going to talk about the factors that can affect your choice while choosing between the different types of table saws.
On most occasions, the work ahead of you usually decides what tool you should have. For example, if you are working with plywood, then something portable should be perfect.
Most work with plywood requires you to work on the job site. It can make using a heavy table saw, rather strenuous since it would require you to carry the wood back and forth between locations. Portable power tools tend to be more accurate. However, they can’t handle heavy-duty work.
Using a larger, more powerful table saw would be well advised when working in your workspace. Larger table saws usually have a lot more functionalities and use.
They can be perfect for cutting up beams, as well as ripping larger pieces of wood. However, they can be a bit bulky, but they make up for it with their power and functionality, which in turn, gives you an amazing ability to try out different types of cuts on your woodwork.
Now knowing what cut you want can also affect your choice. As there are many sorts of cutting techniques, you must learn to choose wisely. Not all kinds of saws are capable of performing different types of cuts.
Knowing what kind of table saw you need for your crosscut should affect the majority of it. Avoid buying a table saw on a whim, and be vigilant and study your work beforehand.
Acknowledging what kind of power you need is also exceptionally important. Be vigilant of the horsepower the motor in your tool generates.
If you buy an overpowered tool for your intricate work, it can prove to be a health hazard. Not to mention, it can also prove to be very unnecessary and expensive.
So? Which one is perfect for you?
Perhaps you need a compact table saw, or maybe you need something more industrial. Nonetheless, this article should help you differentiate between all types of table saws.
Understanding the differences between all the different types of table saws might seem a bit daunting. But now you know better, so you can choose easily.
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This is me Sonnet. I manage a full-time workshop for my clients’ woodworking projects. From a very young age, I’ve been always passionate about DIY projects. And that’s the reason I’m amicable with the woodworking tools. I’m regularly handling a couple of projects like cabinets, furniture, boats, and many more using wood, veneers, and laminates.