The perfect cut: how to choose a table saw

December 23, 2014

Get the information you need to choose the table saw with the features you require for your home repair and renovation needs.

The perfect cut: how to choose a table saw

If you’re planning on tackling bigger home renovation and repair jobs, chances are you’ll need a fairly robust saw for cutting and ripping longer pieces of lumber. Here’s how to choose a table saw that will give you the features you need at a price you can afford.

Now you saw it, now you don’t

Unless you’re willing to pay a premium price for a contractor’s saw or a stationary shop saw, your best bet is to plan for a bench-top table saw. A bench-top table saw offers a great degree of accuracy and flexibility, without sacrificing portability. It lets you fold it up and put it away when you’re done your project for the day.

Let ‘er rip

Table saws excel in doing the kinds of jobs that most home repairs require. Such things as ripping long pieces of lumber or plywood, crosscuts, mitering and (with an adjustment or two) beveling wood as large as 4 x 4 with more accuracy than many handheld saws can offer, are standard issue for table saws. As well, many table saws include a folding stand that allows the saw to be easily installed in a number of different locations, quickly and easily, while still being portable. The differences in feature sets between models in different price ranges will determine which model best suits your needs.

Budget range is feature range

Whichever model of table saw you choose, you can pretty much expect that the feature set matches the price, which more features offered on the higher priced saws.

  • If you use your table saw only occasionally, you can probably choose a lower-priced model. These will be able to cut up to 2 x material, but will struggle with 4 x wood, causing the saw to shake and vibrate on its surface.
  • The mid-range models are more solid, able to cut roughly half of a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, but can still struggle on cutting 4 x pieces of lumber. Generally, these have more engine torque than the lower end models.
  • The higher-end range of table saws can work great for both general construction and finer work such as cabinetry. These are able to cut through 4 x material, have more fine-tuning adjustment possibilities with the blade and a more powerful motor.

Cutting it out

Unless you have a dedicated workshop and the need of a stationary shop saw, you’ll find that a bench-top table saw offers a great number of features that make home repairs easier. Knowing how to choose a table saw is really a matter of knowing what features you require and the budget you have available.

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