The quiet, 220-volt motors in these saws cut through the hardest stock, hour after hour, without bogging down. Cabinets are metal and extend to the floor for the best dust collection. The tops are cast iron, wide, and stable, which makes it easy to cut sheet goods. The trunnions are cabinet-mounted, so you get minimal vibration and maximum accuracy. They're also heavy; some weigh over 600 pounds. Once a cabinet saw's in place, that's where it stays.

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Blades come in various types and sizes. There are rip blades for cutting along the wood grains, hollow ground blades ideal for various materials, crosscut blades suitable for smooth and precise cuts, and combination blades for that double up as blades for crosscutting and ripping. Depending on what you do the most, it’s necessary to choose the right blade type and size that will get the job done with the most ease.

The DEWALT DW745 is a smaller version of the DEWALT DWE7491RS. It’s still a good saw in its own right. It comes with a 15-amp motor, just like the larger unit, though it can only handle rips of up to 20 inches. You’ll experience the same power and consequently, the same speed as the larger model, though you can’t cut pieces as large. This model is also meant to be moved, and while it doesn’t have wheels, it has a metal roll cage that will help it survive travel without taking any damage.

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Hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.

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