Which Is The Best Table Saw For Woodworking?

When it comes to purchasing a table saw, you want the best for the money you have to spend. There are thousands of various table saws with so many different features and functionalities in the market, and you may wonder, which one is the best for you?

A top-notch table saw can crosscut, miter, rip and bevel anything and it stores away easily after you’re done. One of the best parts of such a machine is that you can actually see what you are doing because it sits still while you cut the wood. You also need to hear this: a table saw is not as accurate as an expensive stationary shop saw and it may struggle a bit with thick pieces of lumber. Still, most of them appear to be accurate enough to handle renovation work and general home repairs.

The Types Of Table Saw

Cabinet

Cabinet Table Saw are generally the most powerful and most expensive category of this most essential shop tool.  Manufacturers like Delta, Powermatic, & Jet have been producing many professional quality models for decades and are typically regarded as the best table saw producers. Characteristics range from a 10″ blade with high-powered motors (typically 3 to 5 horsepower, single phase and 3-phase), they are most often “fixed” or permanently located (although some can utilize casters for increased ease of movement), with a fully-enclosed body or “cabinet”, employing large table top surfaces or extensions with a fence that is 50-52 inches in width capacity for your larger material and projects. These are solidly built machines that are stout and quite heavy, with minimum vibration. They give you a feeling of confidence when you push ‘start’. You are “in for a treat” when you purchase and use pieces of equipment as technically superior and capable.

Contractor

Contractor’s Table Saws are a great choice for many reasons. These are often the best table saw option if one wishes to have a saw that is less expensive than the top-line cabinet models discussed above, yet full-featured. Though a contractor saw will not typically have as large a top surface area, the typical fence will accommodate a 24 1/2 to 36 inch “rip”, and for the most part one can accomplish the same processes and tasks as with the more expensive versions. Instead of a cabinet, most contractor models have four (4) legs and also utilize a 10″ blade. The motors typically range in size up to 2 hp.

Portable and Job Site

One of the greatest recent developments in table saw technology, has nothing whatsoever to do with the efficiency of cutting various materials like wood, plastics and metal. Rather, the best table saw available today is easy to transport. Today’s larger models are designed with built-in wheel systems making them so much easier to re-locate from job to job. Most saws are (again) 10″ and deliver plenty of power and safety. The smaller table saws can be set up on a workbench or saw horses, assuming you did not purchase a separate saw “stand” . When the task is finished, you simply pick the saw up and walk away since most of them are very compact and lightweight.

Best Table Saw Reviews

DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)

Best Table Saw from DewaltThis is a 10 inch jobsite table saw, complete with rolling stand and 32½ inch rip capacity.

The Rack & Pinion fence system is such that fast adjustments can be made, smoothly and accurately. The relatively large rip capacity can handle many of the larger stocks, such as trim or shelving pieces.

It comes with a 15 Amp motor that rips through hardwoods easily with a 4800 RPM blade

The stand assembles quickly and is a stable base on which to work and then move to another location.

For cabinet makers or installers, it is designed for ripping filler boards and fine pieces of all types of fibers.

Hardwood floor installers will find it great for all of the many types of wood used in this installation, whether thin pieces of hardwood or wider sheets for the underlayment. Not only the lengths and the trim but also the edge finishing can be handled easily and positively.

Trim carpenters will find this contractor table saw ready for ripping moldings and the wainscoting that is always a beautiful accent for any fairly formal room. The frames around bookcases and the construction of entertainment centers will be enhanced with this ever ready tool. This is not even mentioning the framing lumber that is required for any construction site and many remodeling projects.

As deck builders all know, getting the right tool for ripping deck boards, rail caps and railing is the ticket they need for creating a great looking outdoor entertainment area.

Remodelers need the ability for the cutting and ripping of sheet material, such as those 4 X 8 pieces that are part and parcel of every remodel job.

For all serious home woodworkers, material up to three inches thick can be ripped, cut and trimmed in a way that they may not have though possible as this tool is very well thought out. Cross cutting material used for dados, rabbets, as well as tenons and other fine woodworking tasks can be accomplished with safety and with a positive appreciation of the engineering in a smaller unit that still packs a wallop.

PROSThe 2-1/2-Inch Dust Collection Port is set up to receive a hose from a vacuum system, whether central or portable.

There is a patented material support (26-1/4 inch X 22 inch table) that allows for narrower rip cuts for maximum safety and flexibility.

3-1/8 inch depth of cut at 90 degrees

2-1/4 inch at 45 degrees

Complete set of Site-Pro Guard components, including a push stick for close work. It also comes with a miter gauge to help you with some of those measurements and alignments.

The large heavy duty wheels easily roll over curbs, steps and other jobsite obstacles.

CONS

  1. One owner did not care for the instruction manual for the assembly of the stand. He indicated it was not very clear and had two, competing, illustrations in the two page booklet.
  2. The 10 inch, 24 TPI blade that comes with this contractor table saw may not be the one you will need for very fine work, but they are not expensive and most woodworkers have several anyway.
  3. Several reviewers commented on the ‘fake’ hand tools that come with this contractor table saw. All fasteners are metric, so this is something to think about.

Final Verdict

The best contractor table saw, for you, needs to incorporate all of the features you need and must be able to handle all of the tasks you wish to assign to it.

With owners of the Solo table saw saying things like ‘This saw is a true workhorse’ and ‘A long lumber dream’, this table saw is manufactured by a leading innovator of industrial power tools, including lasers, generators, grinders, routers, planers, nailers saw blades, and many, many more, all of them designed for efficient, easy use and available internationally.

The best contractor table saw for you could very well be the DEWALT DWE7491RS

 

Essential Details You Should Know Before Buying  Table Saw

Best Table Saw GuideThe blade is of utmost importance. When you buy a table saw, it usually comes with a general –purpose 10-inch blade that can crosscut a 4×4. If you choose to replace the blade and pay about $60 on a new one, you should know that the quality of the cuts will dramatically improve.

If you don’t want the pieces to move backward, you also need to focus your attention on anti-kickback pawls. These arms are basically the ones that prevent your material from fidgeting, so never underestimate this detail.

Check the splitter, because it is an essential device which should mount on the motor assembly. In short, this riving knife rises and falls along with the blade and it can even be adjusted to match the width of the kerf.

The rip fence has to lock parallel to the blade and, if it grabs onto and even rides on front and back rails, even better. The table size is also an important aspect and it is always better to go bigger. More often than not, this type of saw comes with a rear bar which is meant to support the material as it exits and you should also have a throat plate which fits around the plate.

Unless you are impossibly tall, the optimal height should be at 36 inches. Know that your saw should be screwed or clamped to a wood table with legs that are wide-spaced.

You will need a blade guard which protects you from the spinning blade and should NEVER be removed and an exhaust duct, preferably one which fits a wet/dry vacuum or one which has a trash can under it to catch the material.

Price tag

Buying a table saw is not that easy, especially if you want to fit into a certain price range and you only want the best machine. Although all table saws have essentially the same features, those that have a higher price tag will perform better and will have greater accuracy, stability and safety.

Of course there are table saws under $200, but you need to be prepared for this: they struggle with cutting a 2x material and cannot handle 4x due to intense vibration. However, if you only need to cut 1x material, you will be just fine with such a saw.

For $200-$400, you will get a midsize saw which can handle any house renovation. These table saws have a better rip fence and also a more stable blade-elevation mechanism and, although they have no problem with cutting a 2x material, it gets problematic if you try to cut 4x.

Naturally, if you go with the table saw which costs anything above $400, you will have a great machine not only for rough jobs, but also for finish carpentry. It has no problem whatsoever with cutting a 4x material and all its pieces resist not only the test of time, but also the test of wood.

Safety Tips on Using a Table Saw

If you decided that you need a table saw, you should also understand that these power tools should always be treated with care. Consider this a safety lesson 101.

When operating table saws, you should ALWAYS wear protective gear and never use such a mechanism which has damaged or dull parts.

Before you try to pick the piece of wood up, push it past the blade and do not try to cut a piece which is clearly too large to handle, because it will prevent you from keeping your cuts in control.

As silly as it may sound, if this is the first time you ever thought of operating a table saw, you should take a course on proper handling techniques. You could even ask somebody at your local hardware store to help, because it is better to be safe than sorry.

Check the wood you wish to work with for flaws, because a loose knot could lead to kickback, therefore to serious injuries and never forget about the blade guard.

Accessories to check

  • Before you start playing with your new table saw, there are some things that could really turn you into a professional, such as:
  • Goggles. Always wear protective eyewear;
  • Push-stick. It makes it easier to safely push the material through a table saw;
  • Saw guides. They guide material through a clean and straight line;
  • Miter gauge system. It gives the table saw a greater speed and accuracy;
  • Clamps for holding down rulers and other tools;
  • Dado inserts.

Always remember:

Eye and Hearing Protection: Always wear special safety goggles and hearing protection. It is very important for all woodworkers. Wear a dust mask when necessary.

Long Sleeves – not allowed: Never work wearing clothes with long sleeves. Also, take off all dangling pendants. It can get caught in the blade and then the bad things can happen

Standing Position: Always avoid standing directly in front of the blade. Positioning your body in line with the blade is very dangerous. Instead, try standing to one side or the other.

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