A table saw is one of the significant investments a woodworker makes in the workshop. It is a very useful tool to make all major kinds of cuttings and patterns. Today’s market is a flood of table saws, and choosing the perfect one may seem daunting. Recognizing different types of table saws and having an idea about the important features would help with the purchase decision. So, discuss further the same-
Portable & Jobsite Table Saws
Like the regular table saws, portable saws are designed for the same functionality. A portable table saw comes easy to lift and move around, and hence, it provides the same features but on a smaller scale. The heavy induction motor that gets used in a regular table saw gets replaced with a lightweight motor. Although this makes the operation a bit louder, it is advantageous weight-wise.
Instead of the cast iron, the portable saws use an aluminum frame which makes them lighter. That’s why most beginners choose this as an entry level table saw. However, the aluminum top serves less than cast iron, and hence, it is less durable. Overall, a portable saw works finely at the amateur level, if not for very professional jobs.
Contractor saws are available in the market in two variants: portable and static. Portable table saws do not comprise much of the complicated structure and they are pretty lightweight too. These are approx.. 250 – 350 lb. of the range that works great for the hobbyists or small shop owners who don’t produce much larger wood chunks.
The static contractor saws are great for the professionals. These table saws are not movable since they are heavy and made of cast iron. They use the extension wings, trunnions, gearing and arbor, and heavy motors. As a result, these contractor saws support significant joinery that a portable contractor saw would not handle efficiently.
The saws are named as cabinet saws because of the cabinet-style base. These are designed to be sturdy and meet the needs of a professional woodworker. These saws are manufactured using cast iron and steel and have heavier trunnions, gearing, and arbor assemblies.
They process thicker wood and function for more powerful operation using a heavy-duty motor than their counterparts. They can operate all day long with minimal vibration and advanced features as well.
Hybrid saws fall between a professional-grade cabinet saw and amateur level of a contractor saw. Hence, these saw make a perfect choice for a joiner who wants professional results while accessing the portability.
The hybrid table saws are affordable and come with different styles of base and legs such as from shorter base and legs to fully enclosed ones. These saws use motors in the 1-1/2 – 1-3/4 HP range. The hybrid saws make sturdy, affordable, and well-constructed machines.
Choosing the Right Kind of Table Saw
You should decide the type of table saw as per your joinery needs. If you are someone who wants to experience the nitty-gritty of woodworking, portable table saws are best for you. For more of a serious joiner, who would spend some more time than a beginner, a contractor saw would do fine.
If you spend the time as a hobbyist as well as a professional, you should consider a hybrid table saw. Anything more serious than that or for a professional level of joinery, a cabinet-styled table saw is perfect.
It is important to consider features before finalizing any table saw. You should have a look at the construction material, the type of motor used, the quality of the assemblies, the overall weight, and the additional features.
A top-quality cabinet saw would include the Accu-Fence system and precision ground cast iron table tops along with the extension wings. A 3HP or larger motor is used on a professional table saw. Read the reviews and check what others have to say about a particular table saw before you make the purchase.