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.
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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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