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Four Types of Table Saws

Aug 7, 2008
There are four different types of table saws and they all have advantages and disadvantages. All table saws are essentially stationary saws mounted beneath a metal plate or table. This means that to cut or rip wood you need to move the material into the blade rather than move the saw against the material. The four table saw types are the cabinet table saw, the contractor table saw, the hybrid table saw and the portable or benchtop table saw.

The cabinet table saws for professionals and are large and expensive saws which are contained in their own heavy cabinet. They are large and heavy pieces of equipment which are installed in a workshoop or furniture factory and not moved for years. The cabinet table saw is by far the most expensive of the four table saws but most are designed to last for years if not decades. The cabinet saw has a lot of advanced features such as superior sawdust collection and the ability to take just about every kind of saw blade available. These cabinet saws are powerful and accurate and they often require the installation of a dedicated high voltage electrical line.

The contractor table saw is also called an open-stand table saw because it is a heavy saw mounted on a sturdy stand. The contractor table saw is still a heavy piece of equipment but can run off a regular house circuit. The contractor saw is often used by serious hobbyists and small woodworking professionals because contractor saws offer reliable and accurate cuts for a much lower price than most cabinet saws.

A hybrid table saw is a cross between a contractor saw and a cabinet saw, combining some of the best features of each. Hybrid saws have a heavy solid base for low vibration and usually has the better sawdust collection features of a cabinet saw. These saws are much smaller than a cabinet saw and offer a good affordable table saw solution for many woodworkers.

The benchtop or portable table saw is the smallest of the tables saws and often the most inexpensive as well. The portable table saw is specifically designed to be moved from one location to another, so it is perfect for professionals who need to use their table saw at different job sites. The portable table saw can sometimes be mounted on a stand that has wheels but it is often set up on a workbench as the name implies. Portable table saws often suffer from some vibration problems because they are so light and movable but many are still very accurate saws with a lot of features you wouldn't necessarily expect on a portable table saw. Benchtop saws are often the first type of table saw many amateur wood workers purchase due to their relatively small pricetag.

All four types of table saws are designed to cut and rip wood in a variety of ways. The differences of the saws come from the increased power, accuracy and features which all come with a higher price.
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