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A lot of the modern table saws nowadays will have a dust collection port where you can hook up a vacuum or extraction system to it. We would always recommend that you purchase a table saw with a dust port, always check the size of the port to make sure it fits with either your vacuum or your extraction system, or you can always modify something to make them fit.
Each of the following three styles of table saw is designed with a certain type of user in mind. Whether you’re a first-time woodworker, dedicated hobbyist, or professional construction worker, there’s a table saw out there for you. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what makes a great table saw, we need to discuss the different types of table saws that you might consider purchasing.
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With a maximum cut depth of 3.125 inches and a 32.5-inch rip capacity, the 10-inch blade of this DeWalt table saw handled all the relatively light-duty board ripping I needed from it, but I also tested it against a variety of plywood and other board sizes to assess its capability. The 15-amp motor is fairly standard for this contractor or job site level of table saw, and none of the boards I threw at it caused it to bind—good news, as binding is at best annoying and at worst dangerous.
Often called benchtop, jobsite, or worksite saws, portable table saws are typically made of lightweight materials, such as an aluminum table top, so that they’re easy to move from place to place. Sometimes they’ll have wheels attached to make shifting them around even easier. The motors on portable saws are also much smaller than on other types of table saws, and are typically less powerful.
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A simple push stick comes standard with most saws. If you don’t have a push stick, it’s easy to improvise one by cutting a strip of plywood with a notch cut into one end that will enable you to press the wood down as you feed it through with the stick. While push sticks are very common, they are not the best tool for the job. This is because they don’t give you much directional control. You can ask any experienced carpenter and they’ll tell you that a push handle is far superior. A push handle allows you to press down on the wood that you’re cutting with the force of your hand, giving you much better control.
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Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
It has a brilliantly powerful 15 AMP motor, which can deliver 4,800 RPM of cutting power. Is is normally more than enough for most woodworkers and hobbyists. It has stowable anti-kickback pawls and and excellent riving knife and spreader for accurate cuts. This is a great entry level saw at a great price, definitely worth looking at for your next purchase or project.
It’s a little extra assembly work, but you’ll be grateful you did it later. The blade guard will keep your hands away from the saw and the splitter will help to reduce kickback from the machine and keep the wood flowing smoothly through the table saw. Additionally, if you’re working to cut thin boards, you should use a push stick or a push shoe to make sure your hands stay guarded while you work.
Obviously, given its size, the TruePower 01-0819 isn’t the kind of table saw you’d spring for to take on larger projects that require greater motor power — after all, it’s by no means revolutionary in the torque department. But for those who work with smaller materials or softer wood, the Gino Development TruePower 01-0819 Mini Electric Table Saw is a worthwhile, no-frills buy that’s easy on the wallet and can fit in virtually any space with plenty of room to spare.
One important aspect to consider when buying a new table saw or looking for a new blade is axis adjustment. Being able to adjust the vertical height of the blade allows you to control the depth of the cut, it’s also useful when you don’t need to cut all the way through the wood, especially useful with thick pieces of wood. To help making bevel cuts and joints you can adjust the blade to certain angles that you require.
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"The built-in stand sets this saw apart from competitors since it is actually quite stable out of the box and doesn’t require a custom stand or supports to combat vibration, which are often necessary with cheaper and lighter units. DeWalt sells a nearly identical saw with a less-robust stand, and after viewing it in a big box store, I was glad to have this one."—Justin Park, Product Tester
Along with thinking about how the table saw will be used now, it is important to also consider how you will be using it in the future. Will your usage increase or decrease? Many woodworkers may turn a hobby into a fulltime profession if they are talented at what they do. Why are these considerations important? Because they will give you better insight into the kind of money you should spend on your table. If you are going to go into business for yourself in a year or two, spending the money for a high-quality table now is a good idea. It will save you from having to buy another table in the future to accommodate your new needs as a business rather than just a hobbyist.