A table saw is certainly one of the most essential and useful items you can get for your power tool arsenal. While most tasks can be carried out with a handheld saw, a table saw can give you more precise cuts that can enhance the quality of the overall project.
This incredible tool can be used for multiple purposes, and you might need it for each of your projects. If you are new to the woodworking world and are unfamiliar with table saws, it might be worthwhile to do your research and learn about them.
In this guide, we will highlight what is a table saw, its uses, and its different types.
What is a Table Saw?
A table saw is a power tool used to cut wood and other hard materials. Its most basic form consists of a rotary saw blade, which is quite similar to a circular saw. This blade is mounted on a stable surface. The sturdy table holds the saw in place. It also allows you to cut wood at various angles and lengths.
The blade is exposed on top of the table surface, which allows you to make consistent and uniform cuts on all kinds of wood. The continual movement of the blade allows you to feed the blade with material that it cuts continually in a more uniform and accurate way. No matter how many pieces you line it up with, you can expect the same results on each of them.
If you have multiple projects lined up and carry out numerous cutting jobs, you can benefit from having a table saw in your workshop. While it might be difficult to transport and take with you everywhere, you can certainly have it around to carry out any tasks.
Types of Table Saws
Table saws have a general, and basic design that can be found on any kind of table saw you get. However, some may vary in terms of their features and benefits that are suitable for different uses. The most common types of table saws you can use are:
These are the smallest types of regular table saws you can use. As the name suggests, they can be easily mounted on any benchtop. However, despite this, many benchtop table saws come with their own collapsible stand that they can be mounted on.
These are somewhere between portable and large capacity use. These relatively larger table saws can be transported to different job sites, as the name suggests. These are typically large but can also be found in compact sizes.
This is specifically designed for professionals and for heavy-duty purposes. They have the most amount of power and can cut through the toughest and largest wood pieces.
The hybrid table saws are a mix of cabinet and Jobsite table saws. Hence, they are versatile and can provide more stability.
Table Saw Uses
A table saw has multiple applications and can be used for a number of different things. Due to how multipurpose it is, most experienced woodworkers keep it in their arsenal and why you will find it in any woodshop. Here are the different things you can use a table saw for:
The most common use of a table saw is ripping or cutting wood to width. This involves cutting larger pieces of wood into smaller and more manageable pieces. This is typically done to create pieces that are easier to work with. Ripping is always done along the wood’s grain and never with a free hand since it can be dangerous.
The counterpart of ripping is crosscutting since it involves cutting the wood according to length. Unlike in ripping, you will be cutting against the wood’s grain instead of along it. This is considered to be the most basic kind of woodworking task and one that is highly common for most projects.
3. Bevel Cuts
Table saws are considered to be quite versatile since you can make cuts at various angles. One such cut is known as the bevel cut. This requires tilting the saw blade to a slight angle and then creating crosscuts at a uniform angle.
4. Cutting Rabbets and Grooves
These joint cuts are also quite common in most woodworking projects. They are carried out easily, conveniently, and in an accurate manner with the help of a table saw. Rabbets are cut at the edge and the far end of the wooden board, whereas grooves or closer to the middle of the board.
However, cutting rabbets and grooves can be dangerous since it requires removing the riving knife and blade guard. Hence, you should practice extra caution.
5. Cutting Joints
Much like cutting rabbets and grooves, you will also need to remove the blade guard and riving knife when cutting joints. You should be very careful when cutting such joints, as one swift move could prove to be risky.
Additionally, you can make a number of different joint cuts with a table saw. The most common ones include a finger, dovetail, reinforced miter, and tenon.
6. Cutting Dados
Bevel cuts, crosscutting, and ripping are relatively basic cuts. The more complicated ones are the dados, but they can be done with the help of a table saw. It is a very intricate cut that requires experience and practice. You will likely need to carry this cut out if you build shelves and cabinets.
7. Fine Woodworking
Besides the above-mentioned cuts, you can use a table cut to carry out a variety of intricate cuts for fine woodworking jobs. As you become more skilled at woodworking, you can even use different cuts and angles that one would normally reserve for band saws.
Table saws are an incredibly versatile and useful tool for any woodworker. If maintained properly, it can be used for cutting all your wood pieces for years to come. Therefore, investing in a good table saw will definitely pay off in the longer run.