Video: How to Choose a Table Saw

A step-by-step guide to finding the table saw that’s right for you.
 

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[MUSIC PLAYING] When you need to do quick rip cuts, a table saw is your go-to tool. But which one do you need? Don't worry. You got this. There are two types of table saws, stationery models and job site models. Stationery table saws are designed for ripping large pieces of wood, including breaking down sheet plywood, with high performance motors and premium parts to offer the greatest cut capacity, stability, and support. If you have a workshop and need a table saw that can stand up to frequent and demanding use, a stationary table saw is ideal. Job site table saws come in two models-- compact or contractor. Compact models are lightweight, generally don't include a stand or a wheel base, and are great for home renovations or on the go jobs. They are made to be transported easily and carried around on the job sites. Contractor models give you a larger range of cutting capacity, more features, and often have a collapsible scissored or wheeled stand that's attached to the saw. Make sure to check the fencing system. You need one that gives you a reliable parallel alignment with the blade when you lock the rip fence in position. This is the best way to get accurate ripping, clean cuts. Finally, choose a saw that has the features that matter to you. Look at the rip or cut capacity that the saw offers to both the left and right side of the blade. If you're doing basic work, such as trimming deck and fence boards, a rip capacity of 20 inches or lower is sufficient. However, if you're venturing into more varied work, such as custom carpentry, you'll need more options. Look for a saw with a minimum of 24 inches to the right of the blade. A soft start feature will manage the intensity of motor startup, offering you more refined performance and minimizing the chance of tripping a circuit breaker. Constant speed control lets you maintain your speed under an unexpected load, like a knot in the wood. This reduces the chance of kickback and helps ensure you don't get a burn in the material. Check the bevel angle range on your saw. Generally, you'll see a range of about minus 2 degrees to 45 degrees, which is sufficient for most jobs. If you want added versatility, look for a saw with a beveled range that exceeds past 45 degrees. A saw with a dado capacity allows you to add a dado blade for different kinds of woodworking, such as cabinetry. Look for a good dust collection feature that helps keep your workspace clean and safe. Some models can be attached to a wet dry vac. Dust collection reduces the amount of dust and particles that accumulate inside the machine, helping to prolong the machine's life. Now that you know what you're looking for in a table saw, remember that safety is imperative during use. Read the instruction manual before operating. Make sure to use the blade guard and kickback pawls that come with your cable saw, and always wear proper safety gear. Don't worry. You got this.
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