Tablesaws can be one of the most useful power tools of the woodworker. It can be quite an investment, so you want to make sure that you choose the right one for yourself. There are portable saws, cabinet saws, hybrids, and contractor saws. Each class of saw is different and knowing the difference will help you to choose the correct one for your needs.
Portable Tablesaw: The portable saw is great for people who may want to move their saw around from one site to another. You can simply lift up one side, like a wheel barrow, and then the wheels are engaged for easy maneuverability. This saw is great if you keep your tools inside the garage, but do your actual cutting outside of the garage. It is also useful if you’re doing carpentry jobs at other people’s homes. These saws use a smaller motor than the bigger tablesaws, so they might lack a little on power and make more noise, but they are still great for most home improvement.
Keep in mind that portable saws have aluminum tops, as opposed to cast iron, so they are louder with more vibration, and don’t make finely accurate cuts that you may be looking for if you are planning on doing more serious woodworking or cutting more hardwoods.
Contractor Tablesaw: Contractor saws are portable tablesaws with cast iron tops and more precision than the aluminum portable saw. This is what most people use for hobby woodworking. It is an affordable option, but is still loud due to the motor not being enclosed. Some people, like contractors, like having the higher quality saw while still retaining the portability of the portable saw.
Cabinet Tablesaw: The cabinet tablesaw is meant for serious woodworkers. It is made of cast iron and steel parts, has very little vibration, and can cut through thick and hardwoods with ease. This tablesaw has less alignment problems and needs less calibration than other saws. This saw is ideal for woodshops because it can handle pretty much anything that you throw at it. The motor is enclosed and produces a lot less noise than other saws. It does require a 220 volt circuit to operate and weighs over 500 pounds, cost more and is not portable, so consider that before you buy.
Hybrid Tablesaw: A hybrid tablesaw is the saw that most woodworkers can afford without sacrificing some of the qualities that they would like in a cabinet saw. This one would be considered “in between” the portable saw and the cabinet saw. The motor is enclosed, giving you quieter performance than portable saws. Hybrid saws also have better built motors and belt systems than portable saws. They can be used with your standard outlets and are easy to calibrate. This saw gives most woodworkers the performance and precision that they need without having to make a hefty investment in a cabinet saw.
About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.