Table saws are essential in woodworking and related workshops. Take time to research the best table saw for you before making the purchase since it is a big investment. Table saw reviews can be a valuable research source, as well as friends or family who may actually have a saw of interest you can try out before purchasing. What better way to ensure you are investing in a tool that you will be satisfied with in the long-term.
Table saws can vary by such things as size, power, weight or mobility. Contractor saws, for example, are considered to be heavy duty saws with a motor ranging from one and one-half to two horsepower. Generally, contractor saws come with large tables and solid fences to provide more accurate cutting, and the fences can often be upgraded further. They cut all woods, except the hardest hardwoods, and do so with great accuracy. However, dust collection is not a strongpoint. With regular maintenance, a good model will last a lifetime making it a great investment.
Cabinet saws are also a heavier saw and are, actually, very heavy duty pieces of equipment. Professional cabinet makers often use these saws. They come with a larger table but have a smaller footprint. Cabinet saws have more power with a motor of at least three horsepower, oftentimes as high as five. You may need an electrician to run a line, though, because they all require 220 volts. A benefit of these saws is the quality cutting, which is more accurate than any other saw. They are also the best in dust collection. As would be expected with the increased power and other advantages, the price is also higher than other saws.
Another type of saw is the bench top saw, which is fairly lightweight and a great choice when space is limited. It can be easily moved, set up and carried by one person. But, be sure to check the fence before you buy it since the fence cannot be upgraded later. Finally, sliding table saws can provide a more accurate cut by the table actually moving the wood rather than you securing and moving it. If your saw does not come with a sliding table, there are sliding table attachments available which may be able to help upgrade your saw to one with an easier and more accurate cut.
When evaluating the best saw for you, consider factors such as whether you want a portable or stationary saw, for instance. A portable saw takes up less room and can be easily moved. Most portable saws can do almost everything a stationary saw can do, though stationary saws are often more powerful and have more accessories. Obviously, stationary saws must be set up and left in one place as they are too heavy and large to be moved with ease. They also usually take up more space and are more expensive. Of course, when using any type of aw, be careful and follow the proper safety precautions.