Table saws come with a variety of features and options. The best table saw is durable, made of quality parts, and has only the features needed to tackle the jobs you plan to take on.
Table saws come in different varieties. Professional models come with a heavy cast iron table. Cabinet saws are among the most expensive. They’re designed so the motor rests below the table. The housing is usually a bit heavier than more portable models. The heavier wings and fence add to the weight. Cabinet saws are used mainly in professional wood working shops. Cabinet saws usually come with 3hp to 5hp motor.
Dewalt DW745 Portable table saws are easy to carry and designed mainly for contractor type work. However, many models are used at home, by those who enjoy DIY projects. The table if often made of lightweight aluminum and the motor is situated outside the saw. The table may fold, for greater ease in taking the saw to a job. Portable table saws typically come with a 1 3/4 hp motor.
A hybrid saw combines some features of both. The features vary greatly, from one brand to the next. Some manufacturers make hybrid saws the same or similar height as cabinet saws, so they can be used in workshops.
Along with the type of table saw, a buyer should consider other features. Below, some common and important features are discussed.
The fence is used to guide the wood at an even pace, while keeping it aligned properly. A fence should be sturdy. If it flexes too much, it can cause kick back when the blade hits the wood. A sturdy, locking fence can prevent the saw blade from jamming on the piece of wood being cut.
The ability of the fence to do its job can easily be checked in the store. It should be easy to adjust, stay locked in place properly, and should stay aligned with the blade at all times. If it does not, it will likely be more of a hassle to use the saw when you get if home.
The tilt is the angle or bevel of the blade, as it cuts the wood. On most saws, the tilt can be adjusted from 0 to 45 degrees, though some offer greater adjust-ability. For most jobs, a 45 degree tilt is all you will ever need, even if you’re cutting trim or molding.
3. Dust collector
Many table saws come with a 4 inch dust collector, particularly cabinet saws. The dust collecting port is usually located near the back of the cabinet and includes a system for drawing the dust away from the saw. Portable saws don’t usually have a dust collector. They are usually used outdoors or at open job sites, so the dust collector is not needed, as the shavings and dust will fall to the ground. Hybrid saws may or may not have dust collection systems, depending on the brand and model. If you want to use a portable saw, but plan on using it mostly indoors, you can purchase a dust collection system.
4. Blade guard
A blade guard is a necessity for any table saw. It covers the top of the saw blade and prevents the user’s hands from getting near the blade. Some guards are more well designed and don’t get in the way of the job. Others are a hassle. It may be helpful to hold the saw, to see if the blade guard will be a problem.
Currently, there is one brand that makes it saws with a blade brake, that stops the blade when it comes into contact with a body part. This brand is more expensive than others, but the feature can be a life saver for those with concerns about safety. However, for most users the best table saw will be designed with an effective guard. Adhering to standard safety tips will further help prevent serious injury.