If you’ve shopped online, you know you don’t always get the quality that you think you’re going to get. When making a big purchase like a table saw, you don’t want to make that mistake. If you need to get the most bang for your buck, then you’ve come to the right place. It’s not always obvious which features are important and which are not, but we’ve done the hard work for you.
The shark fin-style riving knife behind the blade keeps cut pieces from binding and causing kickback. The included push stick is useful when using thinner workpieces that don’t allow your hand to be at least 4 inches from the blade. The power button’s flip cover ensures that you only turn the blade on when you mean to, which is a welcome layer of safety.
This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.
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If the piece of wood that you’re cutting does not have a straight edge to run along the fence guide, you won’t get an accurate cut. An uneven edge will move back and forth against the fence guide. A good way to create a straight edge to work with is to fasten the piece that you’re cutting to a piece of plywood that has a straight edge. Using screws or nails, you can attach the uneven wood to the straight piece, so that the straight edge runs along the guide rail. Make sure that the straight-edged wood is narrower than the width of your intended cut so that you only cut the piece that is intended to be cut.
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There are two types of motors used in table saws: universal motors and induction motors. With a universal motor, the power source is linked directly to the blade, providing a whole lot of power. The downside is that these models are generally quite loud. Induction motors, on the other hand, are connected to a belt that then transfers power to the blade. As a result, you get quieter operation and the ability to cut dense materials. The downside is that these models require more preventive maintenance, as you have to adjust the belt’s tension periodically.
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.
This Ridgid table saw is a heavy-duty table saw that comes with its own stand with wheels. It has a strong 115-amp motor at 4000 rpm. It is an updated table saw with onboard storage for your tools like miter gauge, extra blades, rip fence and other saw accessories. This is a durable table saw for different projects and can even take 4 x 4 inches in just one pass. This has a front and back clamping fence to keep your material safe and sturdy as you work.
Over the years I’ve bought quite a number of Bosch power tools, including an 8¼” hand-held circular saw. This is despite my loyalty to more established brands like DeWalt and Festool. I must say, though, the Bosch does lack some of the precision and smooth easy usability of the more established brands. I mean no disrespect to Bosch here, my trusty Bosch circular saw has served me faithfully for more than 15 years and is still going strong. The main thing that makes Bosh tools so irresistible is their price. They are often a good deal cheaper than other major brands, offering the same basic features and seem to be quite indestructible. Though they may lack some of the finesse of the more expensive tools.
A splitter is a piece of metal that keeps the blade from binding in whatever material you are cutting if the saw kerf starts to close up. The splitter is vertical and sits directly behind the blade. This plays a big part in preventing kickback and should be mounted on the motor assembly so it rises and falls with the saw blades movements. You can also get splitters that can be adjusted to fit the width of the kerf.
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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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