A table saw is one of the most popular pieces of tools and machinery used for woodworking. It consists of a circular saw powered by an electric motor that is mounted onto a table. In order to cut, material is pushed through the saw on the top of the table.
It is used mostly for large wood projects such as fences, tables, book shelves, etc. When selecting a table saw it is important to know the different types and the pros and cons of each. The following are the four basic types of table saws and what they have to offer.
Bench top Saws
The bench top saw, also known as the portable saw, does not come all the way to the floor but is meant to be placed on top of a table for support. This is the more lightweight version of the table saws. They usually can be carried by one person from job to job.
The bench top model is preferred for those who are looking for a table saw that is portable and less expensive; however, remember that you always get what you pay for. The bench top saw has the least amount of capability out of any of the table saws. With the decreased size and weight of the saw, it is less durable and there are greater restrictions of the size of projects one can do.
Also known as the open-stand saw, the contractor saw is heavier and more durable than the bench top saw. Its circular saw is mounted on a heavy table with an open set of legs. This type of saw is usually preferred for those who have a tool shed at home since it is moderately-priced and does not require any extra voltage than is provided in a regular outlet.
While this model is heavier and less portable than the bench top model, the contractor table saw is still usually moved from job to job (most contractor saws come with wheel attachments to make this easier).
Cabinet table saws have the circular saw attached to a table with a cabinet. It is the largest and the heaviest of the table saws and therefore is not moved around like the other table saws. The cabinet table saw is more durable and has less vibration which makes for a smoother cut.
However, the cabinet saw is more expensive than the other types of saws and usually requires the installation of a heavy circuit. The cabinet saw also has a height and tilt adjustment feature and has better dust collection than the other models.
A hybrid table saw is a lot like the contractor saw with a few key differences. For one thing, it is much more compact than the contractor saw and does not require as much room in your tool shed. The hybrid table saw also offers some of the features of the cabinet saw. With its solid and heavy base, it has the lower vibration of a cabinet saw along with dust control. A contractor saw or a hybrid saw of good quality suits the needs of most woodworkers.
The cabinet saw, contractor saw, hybrid saw, and bench top saw are all types of table saws that will help you in your woodworking projects. Each saw is slightly different to accommodate the certain needs of the woodworker.
One must find what they need out of there table saw before determining what type of model they need. However, for the average woodworking projects, you cannot go wrong with a quality contractor saw.