When it comes to selecting the best table saw for your needs, there are a number of factors that definitely needs to be considered. After all, you cannot just purchase the very first thing that you see in a tool shop. Aside from actually learning the skills needed in order to cut wood accurately, woodworking also needs various types of tools that will suit the purpose you are aiming. Without any doubt, a table saw is something that can prove to be a good investment on your part, especially if you are a carpenter, woodworker, or even a hobbyist.
In this section, let us consider the different types of table saws.
Portable Table Saws
A suggested by its name, a portable table saw offers real convenience because it is easy to move around. They are generally smaller compared to the other types of table saws, and they are ideal for someone searching for something that is easy to stow away when not in use.
On top of that, there is no need to worry about the overall quality of your work because these table saws are still designed to perform the same work as with their heavier counterparts. The only difference is that they are not equipped with heavier, and much larger induction motors. A portable table saw is usually powered by a compact universal motor. This means that they can be less powerful, and somewhat noisier at the same time.
If you are a contractor who needs to move from one site to another, this is the perfect option for you. These portable table saws can easily be loaded into your vehicle, offloaded, and quickly set up even by a single person alone.
In terms of construction, these portable table saws are generally made out of aluminum, rather than cast iron, thus sacrificing portability and lightness. Sacrificing its weight also means that this table saw has the tendency to be less table. As such, you may have to anticipate more vibrations while using this model. Also, they may not be the best option if you are planning to complete some finishing carpentry work. If you need basic cuts in your small workshop, however, you definitely need a portable table saw at your job site.
Contractor Table Saws
In general, a contractor table saw can be viewed as an upgrade to the traditional benchtop table saw model. In terms of design, it features an open base that comes with a cast iron table, and with a motor that hangs from under its cast iron table. They are also lightweight, but heavier compared to a portable table saw models. The usual weight range is from 250 pounds to 350 pounds.
If you require mobility, a contractor table saw may turn out to be a better option for you. Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIYer who just loves woodworking, a contractor table saw may turn out to be the ideal choice for you. Since it is designed with a light-weight structure, it can be moved easily.
A contractor table saw is also ideal if you want to accomplish a deep cut. This is made possible by the fact that the arbor is driven through a single belt. This, in turn, reduces vibration, allowing you to use this table saw more comfortably. You can also achieve smoother cuts with this table saw.
These contractor table saws are perfect for those with smaller shops. Even though they may still leave a larger footprint compared to benchtop models, they offer better portability compared to cabinet table saws, which are generally much heavier and larger. They are also perfect as job site saws. They come with brushless motors which are generally quieter and powerful compared to universal motors.
Cabinet Table Saws
When talking about table saws, cabinet table saws are usually viewed at the pinnacle, which means that it is the king of all table saws. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as the main tool that any professional woodworker or DIYer should have.
By having one, you can easily cut even the hardest woods or the thickest of stocks quite easily. This is because these models usually come equipped with some real power of between 3 to 5 HP motors, allowing them to cut through even the hardest of woods.
These table saws got its name because of most of their working parts, including the arbor assembly, the trunnions, and the motor, are all concealed and enclosed, similar to that of a cabinet base, extending from the table, going down to the floor base. This cabinet style enclosed the motor, as well as other working parts, thus reducing the noise that is produced by the machine during operation.
These types of table saws are generally the heavier ones, typically weighing over six hundred pounds. Because of their size, they are also usually heavier and are made of cast iron. This type of saw comes with a smooth surface. Under the table, you can find a motor enclosed along with the cabinet.
If the task that you need to be done involves cutting of thick hardwood, having a cabinet table saw is a good option for you. These are the types of saw that are primarily designed for woodworking professionals. Despite its size and weight, it shows less vibration. If you have enough space at home to accomplish the more complex task, getting a cabinet table saw is a good choice.
One thing that you need to know about these types of saws, however, is that they can be somewhat expensive. On top of that, this type of saw table is quite huge, thus requiring a good amount of space.
Hybrid Table Saws
A hybrid table saw combines together the overall functionality offered by a contractor table saw, and the amazing convenience of a cabinet table saw. As suggested by its name, this table saw blends the features of the other table saw models. The base resembles that of a cabinet table saw, though it comes with more trunnions and arbor bearings. It also usually comes with an advanced system along with better gearing when compared to actual contractor saws.
Now, you have a clearer picture of the different types of table saws, making it easier for you to make a decision as to which type best fits your needs. With this in mind, it is recommended to sincerely ask yourself which features you are looking for in a particular table saw and start deciding from there.
When it comes to features, there are certain features that you may also want to learn about, including the following: