The Pros and Cons of Various Table Saw Types
By Mark J. Donovan
||A table saw is one of the most useful tools a do it yourself homeowner can have. Not only is it essential for major home improvement projects it’s also instrumental in making various types of furniture. There are several table saw types to choose from when shopping for one, and prices can run the gambit. A low entry table saw type will cost you around $150 and a high end one can cost you upwards of a couple of thousand dollars or more. This said, for most do it yourself projects there are a variety of table saw types that are worth owning that will only set you back a few hundred dollars.
Cabinet Table Saws
At the top of the food chain when it comes to table saw types is the cabinet table saw.
The actual saw blade, as the name implies, is encased in a cabinet with a large table top work surface. Due to its large size and weight there is less saw vibration when making cuts, thus it produces finer and more accurate cuts. This said, a cabinet table saw is large and heavy. As a result, cabinet table saws are best for work shops where the wood can be brought to it. In addition, they offer a multitude of accessories and features. For example, with a cabinet table saw there are adjustment knobs for blade height and tilt angle, as well as dust collection adapters.
|Contractor Table Saws
A contractor table saw is one step down from a cabinet table saw. It consists of a saw assembly mounted on an open framed table. It is slightly lighter weight and thus can be moved, albeit with some difficulty, to construction jobs sites. Many contractor table saws come with wheels to help in moving them around.
A good example of a contractor table saw is the DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw with 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity and Rolling Stand. A contractor table saw is also ideal for the home workshop, garage, or large tool shed.
Bench Top Table Saws
Bench top saws are portable table saws that can easily be moved from jobsite to jobsite. The DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 20-Inch Max Rip Capacity – 120V is a perfect example of a bench top saw. A bench top saw can be placed on the floor, or on a table, or bench. Many can also be purchased with a stand to rest them on. Bench top saws are ideal for construction sites due to their portability and light weight. They are also priced more economically than contractor table saws and cabinet table saws, and require less space to use or store. This said, you get what you pay for. Bench top saws are less stable, due to their small size and weight. Thus they typically produce less precise cuts. They also offer few features than the more expensive table saw types.
Hybrid Table Saws
Hybrid table saws are akin to the contractor table saw, but with a few major differences. First, a hybrid table saw is much more compact than a contractor saw, thus requiring less space to use and store. It’s also lighter weight than a full blown cabinet table saw, however it has some of its same features. For example, a hybrid table saw has a large heavy base and table top surface. As a result, it offers reduced vibration when making cuts.
So before going out and buying the first table saw you see, make sure to first evaluate all of the various table saw types on the market and pick one that best suits your personal needs. A contractor table saw or bench top table saw can usually satisfy most do it yourself homeowner needs. If, however, you’re a wood working buff and plan to make furniture then a cabinet table saw may be more appropriate. Also, make sure to consider the blade diameter and horsepower rating on the motor. The larger both are, the heavier duty the saw will be.
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