As your woodworking skills increase, you might want to tackle more complex projects. A table saw yields much more accurate cuts than a regular saw, so consider investing in this tool. Use our buying guide to discover which table saw is right for you.
A table saw is the anchor of a tool inventory because it's the most versatile and used of all tools. It's capable of a wide variety of uses, with few limitations. To better understand its capacities, read our buying guide to learn about different kinds of saws.
On a table saw, the blade is in a fixed position. The operator pushes the workpieces past the blade to make one of several types of cuts.
Table saws also come with a variety of standard components.
Making long, straight rip cuts (with the grain) and repeated crosscuts (against the grain) is much easier, quicker, and more accurate with a table saw. At the most general level, table saws can be divided into two types: portable or stationary.
These are usually set up in one location as a permanent fixture and have more power than portable saws. Added power enables the saw to run knives and cutters designed to mill and remove large amounts of stock. Stationary saws usually accept more accessories than portable saws.
Table saws use one of two types of drive/motor combinations: direct-drive or belt-drive.
In this configuration, a universal motor links directly to the blade and transfers all the power to the blade. These motors are typically found on portable saw blades. They provide a lot of power in a small package, but can be very loud.
These typically feature an induction motor and a belt that transfers power to the blade. The motor can be offset away from the sawdust, enabling it to last longer. Induction motors are quieter and capable of cutting denser materials. Make sure to periodically check the belts for proper wear and tension.
Most table saws use 10 inch circular saw blades. Different blades are suited for different types of cuts and materials. When purchasing a blade, make sure it’s compatible with your table saw and the type of work you do.
A few common blade types include:
Always unplug any power tool from its power source before servicing, adjusting, or changing accessories. Follow the device manufacturer’s operating, maintenance, and safety instructions, including those on wearing safety gear.