Table Saw Buying Guide

Home / Table Saw Buying Guide - June 7, 2017 , by admin

There is no doubt that the table saw is both literally, and in the actual sense at the cutting edge of modern woodworking technology. It is also the lifeblood of any wood workshop. Because of the central role it plays, it is important for the buyers to have important purchase considerations at their disposal when they decide to acquire one. Such concerns range from cost, safety, and voltage among other technical factors.

Type: Cabinet saw, Contractors saw, Hybrid saw

The cabinet saw is the largest, priciest and weightiest, weighing up to 600 pounds. The implication here is that its mobility is limited to the workshop or any other workstation. It is also believed to be the most efficient.

Contractors saw, on the other hand, is a portable option. Therefore, it is lighter than the cabinet saw. Just as the name suggests, it is for use by the contractor on a job site. It has about a third as much horsepower as the cabinet saw.

The hybrid saw is the halfway house between the two options outlined above. It has less than two horsepower. The design is largely up to the manufacturer. Because of this, manufacturers make different tradeoffs on voltage among other technical specifications.

Power Considerations

The amount of energy consumed and its availability is also a valid point that the buyer has to take into account. In most cases, high voltage (220V) is usually found in the workshop and therefore is best suited for the cabinet saw. On the move, voltage fluctuations demand that the contractors saw are designed to take in 110V. The hybrid saw, on the other hand, lives true to its composite nature by taking in either 220V or 110V. The buyer should be aware that greater voltage allows the power saw to handle a heavy workload.


The buyer should ensure that the fence is accurate, easy to adjust and always in line with the blade. The bevel adjustment is mainly up to the customer’s preference. However, the left tilts are considered safer while the right tilts are more available in the market.

The open cabinet dust collector is preferred so that the saw and the blade are kept cleaner. The closed cabinet also ensures that the workman has little dust collection to do indoors. The meter gauge should also be sturdy and easily configurable.

Safety considerations

Safety is of paramount importance when dealing with the table saw. Thus, the buyer should ensure that their choice of table saw comes with a large paddle switch to allow the workman to turn off the saw with their lower limbs while keeping their hands on the job. They should also look out for anti-kickback pawls to grab any wood that kicks back. The blade guards also come in handy to protect the workman’s hands from the blade. Most importantly there is the blade brake which is available in some versions to stop the blade when it comes into contact with the human body.

In a nutshell, buying a saw for the workman is a critical decision for the woodworker. Critical considerations on powering, type, safety, and design, therefore, come in handy to help them make the right choice. The better knowledge the buyer has about each power saw, the better the productivity, safety, and economy will be derived from its use.