Which table saw is best?
A table saw is the staple piece of equipment needed for any serious home woodworker or construction professional. It makes ripping larger pieces of wood and sheets of plywood to size easier and is simple to operate.
When you are ready to step up to a heavy-duty saw that can handle anything you throw at it, the DeWalt 10-Inch Table Saw is a great choice.
What to know before you buy a table saw
Type of saw
Table saws come in four types.
- Portable: These are lightweight and travel well. Many construction workers that move from job site to job site opt for this type of saw. They can be plugged into any regular outlet and are more affordable. However, because they are lighter than less portable saws, they tend to be less stable and aren’t capable of handling bigger jobs.
- Contractor: These heavy saws can handle most woodworking tasks. They are great for cabinetry and furniture and have enough power to cut through thicker wood. They are heavy and more expensive than a portable saw.
- Cabinet: When you want to make smooth, perfect cuts through hardwood, a cabinet table saw is what you need. They are incredibly stable and are an immovable part of a woodshop. Unfortunately, this type of saw is costly and requires a dedicated electrical circuit to provide power.
- Hybrid: Hybrid saws bring together many of the best features of the other choices. They are lightweight but have a more powerful motor that can still be used with a standard outlet. In some cases, these saws come on a wheeled stand that makes them easier to move around. Although they are more expensive than a portable saw, they are significantly cheaper than a cabinet table saw.
With stand vs. without
If you select a portable saw, you’ll need to determine whether you will purchase a stand for it or use it on a tabletop. Having a separate stand makes moving around the job site easier, but some stands can be flimsy. On the other hand, if you choose to use the saw on a table, you’ll need to make sure a flat surface is available.
The rip capacity is the largest measurement between the saw blade and the safety fence. This determines the size of wood you can send through the table saw. If you routinely cut large sheets of plywood, you’ll need a bigger rip capacity.
What to look for in a quality table saw
Whenever there is a spinning blade, there is a risk of injury. Minimize this risk by choosing a table saw with plenty of safety features, including:
- Push stick
- Blade guard
- Anti-kickback features
- Sensors (detects conductivity in human skin and automatically shuts off)
- Magnetic switch (prevents the saw from turning back on after a power outage)
Dust collection does more than keep your workshop tidy. It also protects respiratory health by removing large particles and dust created during table saw operation. Many cabinet saws can be vented directly to the outside, but for other versions, look for a vacuum attachment.
You’ll need to match the amount of power in your table saw to the type of work you plan to perform. In a home woodworking shop, 2-horsepower table saws should be sufficient.
How much you can expect to spend on a table saw
From a bare-bones model to higher-end hybrid saws, expect to spend $200- $1,000.
Table saw FAQ
How do you keep a table saw in working order?
A. Routine maintenance keeps your table saw in good working order for safe operation. This includes:
- Removing all sawdust regularly (use a stiff brush and a vacuum as needed)
- Lubricating gears and joints
- Removing pitch from cutting blades
- Cleaning tabletop with oil lubricant and steel wool
- Polishing the tabletop to allow materials to slide easily
- Cleaning plastic parts with mild soap
You will also need to check the alignment of the blade routinely. Your owner’s manual can help guide you through this process.
What can you use a table saw for?
A. Table saws can be used for everything from building furniture to siding a house. They allow you to cut wood to size and create grooves, slots, bevels and tenons for more elaborate woodworking projects.
What’s the best table saw to buy?
Top table saw
What you need to know: This is a good option for professionals and home woodworkers alike.
What you’ll love: The stand has wheels for easy maneuvering in the shop or on a job site. The telescoping fence is easy to adjust. It has a maximum 32.5-inch rip capacity and features a dust collection vacuum.
What you should consider: It cannot cut through 4-inch lumber in one pass.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Top table saw for the money
DeWalt Table Saw Compact 8 1/4 Inch
What you need to know: It’s a compact option that’s great for builders on a budget.
What you’ll love: It has telescoping fence rails for easy and fast adjustments. It’s lightweight for easy portability around the house or jobsite, and it is large enough to rip through 4-foot-by-8-foot sheets of plywood with an overall rip capacity of 24 1/2 inches.
What you should consider: It doesn’t come with a stand, so you’ll need a table or other stable surface.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Worth checking out
Skil Heavy-Duty Worm Drive Table Saw With Stand
What you need to know: This is great for job sites with uneven and rough terrain.
What you’ll love: Heavy-duty wheels on this stand get it to wherever it needs to go. The worm drive is powerful and capable of precise cuts. It features a vent that hooks up to a vacuum for dust collection.
What you should consider: The most challenging part of the operation is setting up the stand, as the instructions are not clear.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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