ALl good advice so far. let me try and change that.
My old Oliver is a right tilt and my wife's new Hitachi is left. I like and am confortable with both. More on that in a minute. Which is more common? We market a product to woodworkers that requires us to know which direction of tilt their table saw is. From our records, I can assure you with good accuracy the average is a hair over 3 out of 10 saws being right tilt. So nearly 70% of the tables saws currently in shops aorund the country are left tilt. So? So what. that's what I say.
Keep in mind this includes saws recently purchased by woodworkers and saws that are many years old, so this is in no way a reflection of the ratios being offered by manufacturers and available today, which would be a reflection of what they percieve as "most wanted". I don't know what that is.
All that doesn't help you decide, but history usually has a reason and IMO this is no exception. For someone starting out, most good saws today have fences that will work on both sides of the blade, and miter slots on both sides as well. This is a characteristic i would really want if I were you. Are you heavily dominant with one hand over the other? Are you somewhat adept with your "weak" hand? Not at all? Let's dig into this a bit since it hardly ever gets discussed in detail.
I used to think I was ambidextrous but have recently been told by my doctor when the topic came up (discussing my rotator cuff surgery) that my ability is known as "cross-dominace"
. When he said "
You aren't ambidextrous in the true sense, you are what is referred to as cross-dominant . . "
I assured him I wasn't into that sort of thing and was 100% heterosexual.
Anyway stay with me I am going to make a point one day and this might be the time. this is often overlooked, or at least under-appreciated when choosing table saws IMO. What it means is a person cannot do everything 100% equally well with either hand like somone with 100% equal dexterity can, but does certain
things better in one hand than the other, often with inexplicable reasoning, although the abilities may be close or far apart to some degree, either way.
I am a good exapmle so I'll use me. I can saw (hand or powered), hammer, throw, punch, cast, shoot (guns and basketball), and split wood, virtually equally from one side to the next. Writing with my left is only about 80% as good with my left as my right, but in the batting cage I swing a better bat as a lefty than as a righty. I throw a football better as a righty but still pretty well with the left (better lately since the rotator pain). I am no knife-throwing champion but pretty good - and you'd think since I throw a baseball and football better righty, that I could throw a knife better as a righty too but no, I can throw a consistent 3 turn stick with my left but only 2 with my right and it isn't consistent.
i wonder how all this translates into the woodshop. it don't really, I am just typing too much. But what I am about to say now isn't usually discussed much when this topic comes up of choosing a table saw, so here goes Kevin's Rules of Selecting Table Saw Blade Orientation Based on Operator Handedness Concerning Dominance and Economy of Motion:
: In general this only applies to someone not already used to one orientation over the other.
: This is only my opinion.
: I don't know everything.
: Nor am I under the illusion
that I know everything.
: This is a general statement and is only my opinion because I don't know everything and don't think that I do.
: Please re-read the above Preface, Caveat, Caution, Disclaimer, and Warning
: I vouch that I have fullfilled the directive of the above Summary
Kevin's Rules of Selecting Table Saw Blade Orientation Based on Operator Handedness Concerning Dominance and Economy of Motion:
: A person who is heavily dominant with the use of his right hand is going to be more comfortable, and safer, using a left tilt saw.
: A person who is heavily dominant with the use of his left hand is going to be more comfortable, and safer, using a right tilt saw.
: You can't rule Charlie he is so damned independent and bucks authority at every opportunity so ignore him.
: A person who is ambidextrous or cross-dominant can use either blade orientation and be equally comfortable, or close to it.
: None of the above rules apply to everyone in every situation, no matter the prescence or lack thereof in relation to hand dominance or degree of dexterity.
: If you are already used to your current saws blade orientation, the best advice you have gotten so far is from Suz who said . . . .
"IMHO I would advise you getting a new saw that tilts in the same direction as the one you have now."Rule Golf
: Think about it over at least 9 holes with your buddies before you decide.