Table Saw Classifications - Making Sense Of All The Choices Part 3 of 3: - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 12-18-2018, 11:32 PM
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post #22 of 23 Old 07-27-2019, 06:00 PM
where's my table saw?
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There are 5 basic types ....

Starting at the bottom of the price spectrum:

Job Site/portable $500.00 or more

Contractor ......... $600.00 or more

Hybrid ............... $800.00 or more

Cabinet ...............$1500.00 or more

Sliding table ........$5,000.00 or more

There's another type, mostly used for cutting sheet goods, a vertical panel saw depending on whether it is a 2 axis it may cost $7,000.00 or double that.

Used prices vary all over the place. My buddy who makes custom doors, got a $15,000 Holzher for $500.00 by being in the right place at precisely the right time. I was there with him to load it up, so I know what it was. I was so envious that I made a 2 axis panels saw for myself from a RAS carriage. It's not a 15K Holzher, but it does work well.

Panel saws reduce the handling issues of large heavy sheets to a great extent, but most woodworkers just make large surrounds for their table saws. Good work support is an important safety feature and should be part of every woodworkers mind set and just as much as picking out the proper table saw.

Fences are THE most used table saw accessory and should be rigid, accurate and self aligning..... Biesemeyer or their clones work very well. Since I own one of each type, I can say with some certainty that you can do good work with any type of saw IF you have it set up properly and the saw will maintain that setting. Power and blade type also are important aspects of selecting a saw. If your thickest cut will be 1 1/2" or less, a 1 HP induction motor will be adequate.

If you're cutting hardwood and 1 1/2" or more, you'll need 2 HP or more.

Dust collection varies all over the place also. Contractor saw made before 1990 have lousy DC. A blade shroud that wraps around the spinning blade does wonders for dust collection. Look for that on any saw you are considering. I fabricated a sheet metal shroud for an older Powermatic 12" cabinet saw and that made a big improvement.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #23 of 23 Old 07-28-2019, 01:23 PM
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Good advice above about the 5 types of table saw. Allow me to add:

Handheld Circular Saws and Track Saws.

Obviously these are not types of table saws. I have observed that people often think about buying or using a table saw where a circular saw or track saw is far better, easier to use, and more appropriate.

I have had a handheld circular saw most of my life, but failed to appreciate what it could do until I got a table saw. While shopping for a table saw, I imagined all the cuts where the table saw would be an improvement over the circular saw. The jobsite table saw I wanted came with a built-in extension that could slide out to support 25 inch rip cuts. Obviously the manufacturer had sheet goods in mind. I could rip cut a whole 4x8, 48 inch wide sheet of 3/4 inch plywood in half on that jobsite table saw!! At the time, I didn't think about the practical aspects of feeding a full sheet of 3/4 inch plywood through a jobsite table saw, perfectly straight against the fence for 8 feet.

It was only after buying the table saw and grasping its limitations that I learned about using guides with my circular saw (and track saws). Yeah, I should have learned more about them decades ago, but it was a gap in my experience. These days, I am as likely to pull out the circular saw, two clamps, and a straight board rather than jumping to the table saw for everything.
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