I feel that beginners out there buying table saws should have some guidance in order to make sure they buy the saw that is the most suitable for them and that is why I have created this small guide.
How and Where You’ll be Using the Table Saw
Before you go out there and purchase a table saw, there are a couple of things you need to take into consideration: 1) where will you be using the saw, and 2) how will you be using it.
Starting out, consider the location and space you have available for a saw. Will you be storing the saw in a garage when you’re done with it? Will you have a dedicated shop for it? Do you need it to be mobile?
Secondly, what do you plan on using the table saw for? You may be looking for a great DIY table saw for a beginner, but you know, there are different levels of DIYers.
Are you into furniture making and plan on using the saw to make box joints, bevels, raised panels and all of that great stuff? Or, are you looking for a saw for home improvement purposes and just need to make those basic cuts in the home?
Regardless of your budget, these are two things you definitely need to take into consideration before getting a table saw. For example, you don’t want to be limited on space, and go out and purchase a huge table saw.
What if you need it to be mobile because you have various residents you need to use the saw at, and you end up purchasing one that is almost impossible to move?
|Top||Bosch Power Tools 4100-10 Tablesaw - 10 Inch Jobsite Table Saw with 25 Inch Cutting Capacity and Portable Folding Table Stand||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||DEWALT DWE7480 10 in. Compact Job Site Table Saw with Site-Pro Modular Guarding System||Prime||Buy Now|
|Top||SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw with Folding Stand||Prime||Buy Now|
The Best Beginner Table Saws
Bosch 4100-09 Table Saw
If you’re a beginner looking for a good table saw, then you may be interested in the Bosch 4100-0 table saw due to the fact that it is powerful, portable, and saves space
Saves Space – The Bosch 4100-09 table saw is made of large cast aluminum. The top offers material support with a 25 inch ripping capacity that will help cover the typical job site rip cutting widths.
Powerful – The circular saw is 15 amps and is capable of delivering a total of 4.0 horsepower and 3,650 RPM. This is more than enough power for rip cutting, ripping, and cross cutting rough and fine materials.
Portable – With the gravity rise wheeled stand, mobility has never been easier. The saw is easy to set up and take down.
Soft Start Circuitry – This helps prevent tripping the circuit breaker.
Safety – The smart guard system contains anti kickback prawls and riving knife, which offers protection. The guard assembly has a barrier, which comes in handy for preventing blade contact, while giving you a good view of the cut you’re making.
The Bosch worksite table is a great choice for the beginner that is looking forward to their work. The 3650 No-Load RPM motor is a great addition as you’ll have reliable performance. The large cutting table surface offers rip stock that’s up to 25” wide.
Dewalt DWE7480 10” Compact Table Saw
The Dewalt DWE7480 10” compact table saw is another great saw that would be suitable for beginners. The blade on this one can be adjusted from 0-45 degrees for bevel applications and you can hook a vacuum up to the 2-1/2’ dust port, making it easy to clean up when you’re done. However, there’s much more to this table saw than what meets the eye …
Rip Capacity – This table saw offers a 24’ rip capacity, making it easy to cut a variety of materials.
Telescoping Fence Rails – The rack and pinion telescoping fence rails will come in handy because they will make fence adjustments smooth, accurate, and fast.
On Board Storage – We cannot forget about the on board storage, which will give you quick acess to the Site =Pro Guarding components as well as the push stick when you’re not using it.
15 Amp – With the 15 Amp, 4800 RPM motor, you will be able to rip through hardwoods like never before.
Metal Base – The metal base on the table saw is much better than the ones with plastic bases. With the metal base, you’ll have greater durability.
This table saw only weighs 48 pounds, which means that it is easy to move from site to site. Also, the table coating on the table helps reduce friction, making for smoother cutting. As far as the blades go, it comes with a 24T carbide blade, which prolongs blade life and enhances the cut quality.
The Skil 3410-02 saw is a portable and compact benchtop saw that is made of top of the line heavy-duty steel. Yes, it is a tad bit heavier, but this is what makes it more durable, and that is a major plus. Many times, portable table saws are too light, making them flimsy and this means they’re less stable, but with this one right here, this is not the case.
Foldable Stand – Despite the fact that it is robust, it is easy to transport from one place to the other and this is all thanks to the foldable stand. However, the downfall here would be the fact that it does not come with wheels, and I understand that for some, it can be a problem to pick up. The table saw weighs a total of 67 pounds, so you may need some help picking it up.
Measurements – This saw measures in at 28.9 x 13×20.9 inches, making it one of the most compact tables saws you’re going to find.
Cast Aluminum Table – The surface of the table is made of cast aluminum.
Motor – The table saw is powered by a 14-amp motor and is 120-volt. It tosses out a total of 5,000 which is quite powerful. Looking at the specs of the mote, it appears capable of taking on almost any task you have in store for it.
Ease of Use – Even if you’re a complete beginner that has never used a table saw before, you shouldn’t have any problems learning how to use this one. The table and fence are well made, so you won’t have any issues getting the hang of cutting with this saw due to the fact that the markings are precise measurements.
Storage Options – This table saw offers onboard storage, which means you will be able to store everything away when you’re done with your work.
Safety Features – On the benchtop saw, you’re going to find a riving knife. The riving knife comes in handy for preventing kickback. The unit also has a handy blade guard, which is another useful safety feature with this saw. The guard has a fast disconnect mechanism, so you will be able to detach or attach it in only a matter of seconds.
The Skil 3410-02 is a portable and compact benchtop saw that is capable on taking on all of those basic woodworking tasks you need done. It is great for beginners as well as experienced users. This saw has a powerful engine that is mounted on a steel stand. For those that are looking for something with a lot of great features and an affordable price, this benchtop saw would be a suitable option.
The Table Saw Features
Next, you need to consider the different features on the table saw. Here’s a run-down on the common features of table saws …
Fence Type – The table saw should have a rip fence on it that has a solid lock down. The rip fence should be parallel with the blade. If a good fence isn’t available with the saw, then you may be able to purchase a better one for it.
Flat Top – If you’re needing to make accurate cuts, and I’m sure you are, then a flat table would be great.
Dust Collection – For those of you that plan on using the saw inside, check the dust port and see how it’s set up. Many table saws have a dust port that will allow you to connect a dust collector or vacuum to it, making clean up even easier.
Mite Gauge – How accurate is the miter gauge on the saw? A good one will stop at 45 and 90 degrees. The miter gauge slot on the table should be parallel to the blade.
Wing Additions – For cabinet and contractor saws, many like to attach side and outfeed tables. If this is something you prefer, make sure the table saw you’re choosing will allow this.
Power – What type of tasks do you plan on taking on with the saw? Make sure the saw you’re purchasing is powerful enough to take on such tasks.
A big advantage to many of the table saws today is the fact that they have a variety of safety features available. Statistically speaking, table saws happen to be one of the most dangerous woodworking tools in the shop today. So, it would be a good idea to go for a table saw that has a good amount of safety features. Let me give you a more in depth look at some of the safety features you may find on a table saw:
Riving Knife – The riving knife is a metal part that nest behind the saw blade. It is the same width as the blade. The riving knife is responsible for making sure the boards remain separates so that the wood doesn’t pinch onto the blade and cause kickback to occur. A good riving knife should have the capabilities to be lowered or raised with the blade automatically and when using a dado blade on the saw, it should be easy to remove.
Paddle-style Switch – A big paddle-style switch is always good, because then you could use your knee to turn off the saw if you need to.
Blade Guards – Most table saws currently on the market will have a blade guard that is removable. This can be a dual or single piece of plastic that goes over the top of the blade in order to prevent accidental body contact. Depending on the saw you purchase, some of the blade guards seem to get in the way, while others are well-designed. Whenever possible, a quality blade guard should be used.
Anti-Kickback Pawls – Some table saws have anti-kickback pawls. These are spring-loaded pieces of metal that are small and have teeth. When the wood goes past the blade, these pawls will raise up. If the wood kicks back, then the teeth will be there to grab the wood and hold it in place.
When used properly, and all of the guards are in place, table saws are safe to use. However, if you just don’t trust yourself around a table saw, you may want to look into one of those saws that have an automatic blade brake that will instantly stop if the blade comes in contact with skin.
The Different Types of Table Saws
Now that you know the common features to look for in a table saw, it’s time to move forward and learn about the different types.
There are three main categories of table saws: Benchtop saws, contractor saws, and cabinet saws.
Benchtop saws are also referred to as job site saws or portable saws. If you’re looking for the type of table saw that is small and light in weight, then this would be the type you’d want to go for. Many DIYers choose this type of saw when they need something that is easy to store and is portable. Most of these saws aren’t going to pull as much power as the other saws.
DIYers that are limited on working space like benchtop saws. Mind you, they’re not going to be as powerful as the saws in the other categories, but like I said, they’re suitable for the average DIYer. Also take note that the tables have a tendency to be smaller in size, so they don’t support larger stock.
Contractor Table Saws
Another popular choice for the average DIYer would be the contractor table saw. Most of the table saws I this category have 1-2 horsepower motors, so you’ll have enough power to do almost every task that needs done around the house.
They usually weigh between 200-300 pounds and feature heavy-duty parts that will last for many years. The tables provide a good amount of room to work on and give enough support to be able to take on larger projects. They run off of the standard 120v voltage and a lot of them come with good fences as a standard feature.
For those DIYers out there that are into hardcore woodworking, the cabinet saw would be the most suitable for you. Long story short, cabinet saws are capable of taking on every task, regardless of how big or small it may be.
They normally have between 3-5 horespower and are extremely accurate. As far as outfeed tables and extension tables go, there are many choices to choose from. Take note that cabinet saws will require a lot of dedicated space and they can be as heavy as 450+ pounds, so they aren’t going to be mobile.
Most cabinet saws use 220-volt electricity in North America, while most contractor’s saws use 110-volt power. Hybrid saws have a tendency to use 110-volt power, but can be switched to 220-volt power when it’s available. There are benefits to using 220-volt electricity in order to power the table saw. For example, with 220-volts, the saw won’t bog down as much when it’s under a heavy load. Unfortunately, in portable situation, it is rare to have access to 220-volt outside of the shop.
In the end, the saw you choose is fully up to you. However, the ones that I have included on this list are top of the line and have a good rating to them. Just make sure you take everything I told you into consideration and you should do fine with your choice.