With the availability of several types of table saws in the market, choosing the right one for your specific requirement has become complex. With more options, it becomes hard to decide on one. However, it is not impossible.
Whether you are a professional woodworker or a contractor, a DIY worker, or a hobbyist, you certainly require following the correct approach and have ample knowledge before you start deciding on the type of table saw.
So, to make it a little bit easier, here we will find out the different types of table saws available in the market to help you determine the correct requirements.
What is a Table Saw?
A table saw is a great power tool mainly used for woodworking projects. With this robust tool, workers will be able to simply complete the task without spending much time. It simplifies woodcutting and ensures accuracy and efficiency in the project.
Whether you are a professional worker or it is a hobby, a table saw can be a great choice to have in your toolbox. When you have to do the exact cutting on wood repeatedly, a table saw can be a time saver without compromising on the quality.
What are the Types Of Table Saws?
Before we go ahead to talk about the different types of table saws, we will initially take a look at their basic types. The primary type is determined by portability. While most table saws are portable, there are some exceptions to stationary table saws. So, let’s dig into the details.
1. Portable Table Saw
Just as the name goes, portable table saws are those which can usually be transported from one place to another. These tools are lighter and smaller in size, which makes them a perfect choice for portability. These tools are made with sturdy and heavier materials that can significantly reduce weight. Most of these variants have 15 AMP direct drive and 120 V motor, which produces power of 2HP. The three primary portable types of table saws are benchtop, compact, and jobsite table saws.
2. Stationary Table Saw
When compared to the former type of table saw, the stationary ones are a little bit heavier and on the larger side. Stationary table saws are known to be more powerful and ensure accuracy. These tools are not portable but can be mounted on a good base that can be transported. These tools generally have cast iron tables and use a belt drive motor to get the power. The three fundamental variants of stationary table saws include cabinet, hybrid, and contractor table saws. With more advanced tables saw you will get better features.
3. Benchtop Saw
As mentioned earlier, benchtop saws are portable table saws. These are mainly designed to maintain lightweight, compact, and available at a reasonable price. These kinds of tools can be an excellent choice for users who are primarily into lighter work in their workshop or garage. Even when these tools do not have transport wheels or a stand, they are categorized as portable due to being compact and lightweight.
Hence, the manufacturer of benchtop saws generally makes use of light materials like aluminum, plastic, and other composite materials. They have smaller tables with limited rip capacity. However, if you are still planning to cut softwood like pine or plywood, it is better not to work on a full-size sheet as it becomes challenging for these compact saws to complete the job.
4. Compact Table Saw
The next is the compact table saw, which is an upgraded version of the previous benchtop table saw. While these tools feature similar functionalities like ensuring lightweight construction and use of a direct drive motor, it has additional features which make them a bit more advanced than benchtop table saws.
The additional features in compact table saw includes stands or table surface, which are generally manufactured with cast iron. There are some examples of compact table saw that resemble a full-sized tool with smaller ripping capacity and tables.
5. Jobsite Saw
Jobsite saws are known for being rugged and have robust construction compared to the other two compact and benchtop saws. This is a common choice for several constructors when they’re looking for a high-end portable table saw. Hence, it is often known as a contractor table saw used by manufacturers.
This table saw is known for being portable and packed. It features robust functionalities and components that provide accurate outcomes. It includes a durable and more powerful direct-drive motor making it an excellent choice for heavy-duty use. It also has other features like alignment adjustment, better fences, and rip capacities.
6. Contractor Saw
A contractor saw is a truly powerful tool used mainly by professionals. This go-to tool features a massive induction motor and belt drive. It is considered a great alternative to a complete cabinet saw; however, a full-sized cabinet saw is known for being highly portable. As designs are advancing, the motors are becoming powerful, and the units are becoming heavier.
These table saws generally have an integrated stand which is known for being highly stable. The rigid wall surface makes it an excellent choice for use for different purposes. However, it has limited portability. These table saws are a good choice for hobbyist woodworkers but generally don’t come with dust collection ports.
7. Hybrid Saw
A hybrid saw is a little bit more complex than others. It has confusion about how to categorize. The old contractor saw, which had a vast motor, is almost similar to a hybrid saw, with the only exception of the integration of a belt drive induction motor. These are the most common features of a hybrid table saw.
The reality is they are categorized somewhere between full-sized cabinet saws and old contractor saws. These tools generally feature open-leg stands, with only some rare models designed with full enclosures. This again adds to the confusion, which makes it complicated for buyers to understand the difference between industrial and hybrid saws designed with full enclosure.
8. Cabinet Saw
The cabinet saw is considered to be the most powerful of all. All the characteristics and features designed on this particular variant are better than other types. When it comes to the looks, you will not be able to determine much difference between a hybrid cabinet enclosed saw. However, the similarities are not at all the same.
Every component used in this tool has been designed to ensure strength and durability. It is primarily included with robust materials for heavy-duty use. These tools are known for being bulky and heavy and providing precise results. This is why it is most commonly found in factories that specialize in woodwork or schools that teach professional contractors.
9. Sliding Or European Table Saw
A sliding table saw, or horizontal panel, is generally used for cutting sheets and panels like MDF and plywood. These are also known as European cabinet saws with 3 to 7HP of three-phase induction motor. The powerful motor integrated into these tools allows users to cut the wooden sheet smoothly.
This variant is designed with a sliding table on its left, which has been mounted on its underside with a folding arm. The sliding table becomes helpful for ripping and crosscutting larger sheets and panels. There are some models equipped with two different blades to ensure the seamless cutting of different materials.
10. Mini Table Saw
As it is easy to understand by the name, the mini table saw has a smaller size compared to other benchtop models. They usually have blades with smaller diameters of 4 inches. It can be said to be a fraction of an ordinary table saw and hence available at a reasonable price. Besides, you can easily carry these tools everywhere.
A mini table saw can be a good choice for model builders, hobbyists, homeowners, or contractors who work on smaller projects. It can cut tiny parts due to its small blade size.
11. Cordless Table Saw
A cordless table saw is known for being a portable choice. People who are constantly on the go mostly use these tools. Many traditional manufacturers use this tool as it can be easily used in indoor spaces. These saws generally include 18V lithium-ion batteries that can be rechargeable to run and complete your work.
A cordless saw can work on wooden and ceramic tiles. It has a water containment feature that makes it reliable to work with a cemetery. Other features include water pumps that are sprayed on tiles while the cutting process maintains the temperature.
12. Worm Drive Table Saw
The worm drive table saw is not similar to the general circular saw. This drive saw is integrated with a motor on its rear side. It is known for being highly powerful, which is driven by the use of two gears present at 90° each. This particular setting is made to increase the engine’s torque and maintain the rotation per minute of 4500.
Its additional force makes it an excellent choice for high-pressure cuts, which a regular circular saw might not be able to perform. If you are primarily into rip slicing, it can be a good choice for you. However, a worm drive table saw requires more space and is not a good choice for budget-friendly requirements.
13. Integrated Foldable Table Saw
The integrated foldable table saw is known chiefly for convenient storage opportunities and portability. However, it is a good choice for light-duty work. These are generally smaller and have specific features, making them an excellent choice for hobby workers and household requirements.
It mainly features legs that can be folded and offers microblade adjustment. Some of the models feature a dust port, which also ensures easy cleaning.
And that’s all about the different types of table saws available in the market. Hopefully, with all the different varieties discussed here, it will become easier to understand the right tool for your requirement. Remember that if you are using it for serious requirements and need to work on heavy sheets of wood, choosing the high-end table saw can be practical. However, if it is for light-duty work, it is not recommended to expense a lot; instead, buy a lightweight tool with features to meet your requirements.