Last week we discussed the various table saw types that are out there, and what makes one different than another. This week we are going to take the time to help you see which table saw will be the correct one for your woodworking shop.
You need to take the time to consider exactly what you need out of a table saw before picking out the class you should be shopping for. What sort of woodworking do you do? How much time to you spend in the shop?
How much space is available, and how easy is it to access? (Shopping for a full cabinet saw if you have a small shop in your basement isn’t that wise, for example.) Your tool budget, of course, also plays an important role in your saw selection.
If you usually get into your shop for a few hours every week to work on craft projects and light cabinetry, you’re not going to need all the features of a full cabinet saw. If you’re fitting out a small commercial shop and need a table saw that will be working all day, buying a cheap contractor saw is probably going to wind up being a waste of your money and time.
The hybrid saw, as intended, represents a nice “sweet spot” for serious hobbyists and can even be suitable for small commercial applications. You’ll find a decent range of advanced features on the “Supersaw” line manufactured by Jet Tools.
Remember that you need to go into more detail than simply picking out the right type of saw. You also need to consider the features of the specific model you’re considering.
Some contractor saws deliver features you’d expect to see on much heavier professional equipment, like the beloved Accu-Fence system. Powermatic produces a great range of contractor saws that are equipped with precision ground cast iron tops and wings.
You should also bear in mind that not all cabinet saws are created equal. You want to get maximum value and versatility from your investment in this class, so you should carefully review the quality of a saw’s fence system, the sturdiness of its trunnions, and the finish of the top and extension wings before making your final choice.
Manufacturers are pushing the cutting edge forward all the time in the world of table saws. The SawStop brand, for example, delivers outstanding safety features in contractor models priced with the hobbyist in mind.
Because you’re spending a lot of money on your table saw, it’s important to do your homework before making your choice. It’s not always possible to get a first-hand look at all the saws you’re considering, but you can learn a great deal by comparing specs, reading reviews, and learning more about saw manufacturers.
Look at the guy in the image on the left above. You know why he is happy? He got the right table saw for his shop! And it will make you happy if you do so too!