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The Best Table Saws To Buy
Why Do I Need A Table Saw?
Any workshop, at home our out one site, will find a use for a table saw. Its the mainstay of woodwork. A table saw will be the first power tool that you start up when you want to do anything with wood. They are the best and quickest tool for cutting wood down to usable size for what you want to make. A good table saw can cut a board down to size, cut up plywood sheets, or making special saw cuts like tenons, slot or grooves. Getting the right table saw is vital for the type of work you are doing, and for having the ability to do a range of jobs. Ideally you want a quality table saw with a versatile range of abilities so that you can do all the jobs you want.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Table Saw?
The table saw you need will depend on what you are going to be doing the most of. There are four main types of saws and they come in different sizes, but basically the main table saws come as either portable table saws, contracter saws, cabinet saws and hybrids.
Portable table saws
These are generally lightweight so that they can be moved easily, made of aluminium. Typically they are known as either jobsite, benchtop, portable table saws or worksite saws. You will see examples which have wheels attached for ease of mobility – useful on the jobsite. The motors tend to be smaller and less powerful because they are portable, and their overall weight might onlybe 60 to 100 pounds.
All this leads to the possibility of vibration issues, reduced stability and less cutting power than the other types of table saw.
But portable table saws will still do the job and they work off any 110 volt outlet. Price range is anywhere from $250 to $600.
That gets you a saw you can use anywhere, and move easily to the next job.
So Whats Good?
Operates on standard 100 volt outlets.
Not So Good?
The blade may stall cutting thick softwoods.
Contractor table saws
If you lift a contractor saw you will find they are a lot heavier than a portable saw – even though you can still move them around. Expect them to weigh anything from 150-300 pounts.
Construction wise they have a pretty powerful motor and a cast iron table top compared to the aluminium of the portable saws. They are not massively expensive though and you can pick pick up a saw for anything from $800 to $2,500.
They can do all you need including the basic cuts and anything you are likely to need doing at home. Probably better if you don’t intend carting the contractor saw around too much, and solidly made and reliable. Being sturdy they have minimal vibration and tend to last a good long time. You just need to be wary of rust.
Much more stable than benchtop saws, but still portable.
Can cut through thicker woods and some hardwoods.
Will have trouble cutting through thick hardwoods.
If you are a pro woodworker a cabinet saw is going to be your choice. The Cabinet saws have a powerful induction motor which is safely concealed in the casing of the saw which is a strong construction. The motor of a cabinet saw is usually about 3-5 HP.
The Cabinet Saws have a price tag on them though, ranging anything from $2,400 to $5,500 for the more serious types. You are not going to be wanting to move it around though. Once you set it up the cabinet saw will stay in place. The Cabinet saw will be able to handle big jobs and be reliable.
Enough horsepower and torque for smooth, straight cuts, even in thicker hardwood boards.
Cost a lot
Uses a lot of power so needs it own circuit.
The Hybrid saw is exactly what it sounds like, a mixture of the light weight of a contractor saw and the better motor and better construction of a cabinet saw.
The are expensive but not too expensive and most hobby woodworkers would manage the cost.
They come in at about $1500 and weigh less than 300 lbs and can be used with a standard 110V.
Mixes up and combines the virtues of the bigger and smaller saws.
The Hybrid saw is sturdy and reliable but still portable around the workshop if need be.
Some hybrid saws are not so great for hardwood cutting. Check out reviews before you buy.
Top Safety Tips For A Table Saw
The most important thing is safety. Saws are big powerful machines and any inattention can result in an accident. So always pay attention and use the guards that come with the table saw.
In respect to this table saws come with guards which help protect you hand from touching the blade and various other safety features to help you keep your fingers
These include pusher tools that you can use to push a piece of wood or board safely you’re your hands well away from the blade of the circular saw. Always keep these guides and on the saw to ensure your safety.
A table saw throws up a lot of sawdust so be sure to wear safety glasses at all times.
If you are new to woodworking and table saws, consider going on a course to get some tuition and learn how to use a saw safely.
Make sure you stand to the side of the midline of the blade of your table saw when ripping or crosscutting in case the piece of wood gets kicked back at you – although there should be a guard in place to prevent this. But for you own safety……
How Do You Make An Accurate Cut With A Table Saw? What Type Of Cuts Are There.?
There are several;
When you make a long cut with the grain down the length of a board this is known as ripping, You would do this to make a board thinner.
It does what it sound like – when you want to cut a piece of wood in half or even cut a bit off the end, you make a cut across the grain.
If you want to make a groove, a notch – known as a rabbet – or a trench you make this specialty cut. Its most often used on table saws for the making of furniture. You can get specialty blades and inserts – Dado sets – which make this easier. However you can do pretty much anything you want even with a standard table saw.
Another thins you can do is do angled cut by changing the angle of the blade – or if you ant to do something like a miter cut you can set the miter gauge up to do so.
How Do You Maintain A Table Saw?
- What do you need to do to keep you table saw working?Like anything you want to last you will need to take care of your table saw. Its not too difficult but you do need to do a few simple things to get the most out of it.
Check the drive belt
Look for wear on the drive belt of you table saw and obviously when it looks like its wearing out replace it.
Keep an eye on the blades of your table saw.
You will probably notice when the blades on your table saw are getting worn, cuts won’t be as clean, there might be some smoke coming off the cut and the teeth may be getting clogged up or even teeth might be missing. If any of these are the case, replace the blade or have it professionally sharpened.
Check for nails, screws and barbed wire in the wood you are cutting.
If you are using old wood which has been salvaged there can be nails, screws or wire deep in the wood. If you cut through a piece of metal it will damage the blade and maybe even fly out and hit you.
Use your table saw for the work its meant to do. Right tool right job.
There are some things that a table saw is not meant to be used for such as cutting through hardwoods. You may get the job done with a lot of pushing and shoving -but you will be damaging the motor and making a problem for yourself in the future.
Keep the saw clean
Sometimes there can be a build up of resin around the blade and the saw – the saw will work much better if it stays there. Wire wool can clean it. There is less risk to your safety and better function of the table saw if you keep the area clean and the table free of debris.
Keep moving parts lubricated
Use a spray or an oil gun to keep the gears and pivot points moving feely – but be sure to remove any dust which will mix with the oil.
If you need more information about table saws check out our info page HERE.
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