For those looking for something small, these benchtop table saws are just right. Used by contractors who need portable table saws, they’re suitable for quick placement in vehicles and setting up at project sites. Typically, the unit weighs less than 65 pounds and comes equipped with a universal motor. Depending on the model, some come with handy fences. A fence is the part of a saw mounted parallel to the blade, ensuring safe and fast multiple rip cuts.
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A table saw is among the most dangerous power tools in your workshop. If not operated correctly, table saws can cause lots of harm. Different types come with varied safety measures and features like flesh sensors, auto-reset switches, anti-kickback pawls, among others. Finding one with all these features comes at a price, but what is cost compared to your safety?
Contractor saws are a perfect balance between functionality, manoeuvrability and price. These sorts of saws are perfect if you have bigger projects that you’re working on and will stay on site for a few months. This is due to the fact that they are a lot less portable, but that being said they are a great in-between saw as they still have great rip capacity and overall cutting power.
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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"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
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.
Ironically, it’s the more experienced carpenters that are more likely to get injured whilst using a table saw. Research has shown that most injuries are reported by carpenters with more than 18 years of experience. The reason for this is complacency, people tend to become more relaxed over the years. So it’s important to maintain a healthy respect for the machine that you’re working with and never forget the possible danger that you face, no matter how proficient you become.
The DeWalt doesn’t go above and beyond here but has some standard safety equipment as part of its Site-Pro Guarding System. The Blade Guard Assembly is a standard clear plastic set of guards that allows the wood to be fed to the blade but shields you from putting hands on the exposed blade in a slip. The guards will lock in a raised position when you need to see the blade—for example, when adjusting the blade height—which lessens the temptation to remove this safety feature when it’s in your way.
The SawStop SNS175-TGP36 HP Saw is one of the best stationary table saws on the market thanks to its incredible design and impressive build. The saw is able to fit larger dado blades and has an impressive maximum cut depth for you to work with. Additionally, thanks to the left blade tilt, you’ll be able to get work done faster thank you ever thought possible because the tilt helps to prevent boards from being stuck up against the fence. You’ll also be able to get work done quickly and efficiently thanks to the impressive safety system that was built into the saw.
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The bench table saw is the least expensive of the four types of saws. Some models come with a folding stand that is on wheels which makes it very easy to move or reposition without having to lift it all the time. Even though it is relatively light, constant lifting can become tiresome. You can mount these on your workbench which will give it more stability and could possibly reduce the amount of vibration as well. These smaller table saws generally have a 1 hp motor or even smaller and can run on a normal household circuit with no issues.
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.
It has a very impressive table size for a portable saw (29” X 21½”) with an extended width of 40.5”. It also has a very easy tool-free operation for adjusting the guard system and apart from a regular riving knife, the Bosch also has anti-kickback pawls for even safer use. The Smart-Guard safety system seems to be one of the best that you’ll find on a table saw, which is something many users will appreciate. You’ll also have the benefit of onboard storage.
Once you’ve made sure that the table saw is unplugged and there aren’t any extra materials in your workspace, you should turn your attention to the miter slot. See also related: Top 10 Miter Saws here. You’ll want to make sure that the miter (click here for sliding miter saws) slot is parallel to the blade. It is important that all measurements are precise and exact – nothing short of parallel will do. Once you’ve measured the blade and the miter slot, you’ll need to check the fencing as well.
For ideal usage, the on/off switch needs to be mounted on the front of the saw and should be easy to turn off with your knee or a swat without having to look at it to locate it. Most table saw models have a safety feature that is a plastic key that has to be inserted before the table saw can be turned on. Some may even have a way to padlock the switch.
It’s best to avoid this issue entirely by making sure that there is no material that could catch on any of your work material and jeopardize your health or safety. Now that you’ve got the basics down for how to properly dress for working with your table saw, you’re ready to inspect your equipment. To start with, you’ll want to make sure the table saw is unplugged before examining it and making sure you’re good to go.
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