May 5, 2022
I was reading through a forum the other day, and one question that kept cropping up is the question about how much power the table saw uses. Well, such a question is relevant, especially if you want to keep tabs on the power consumption of your power tools. It is indeed crucial to know the power rating of the table saw, especially if you are just kickstarting your woodworking activities and trying to build your tool arsenal from scratch.
The power your table saw would need would usually depend on the motor size of the table saw. For example, a standard table saw with a 2-hp motor will require around 1,725 watts to go on running. Meanwhile, a high-end table saw equipped with a higher hp motor will necessitate more power to keep running. In this post, we will discuss more the power requirements of table saws, so just keep on reading.
Factors to Consider About the Power Usage Your Table Saw
Different table saws come with varying power requirements. For example, in a DIYer workshop, you will usually find a table saw that consumes up to 8.3 amp with two hp motor. This ordinary table saw would use around 1,000 watts, almost the same electricity consumption as a freezer. But with different table saws, the value would differ. Below are the three factors you should consider to know the power usage of your table saw:
Watt is the measurement of power. It is the rate at which electric power moves into your power tools. Moreover, it is the electrical unit used for the energy generation rate or consumption.
Volt is the electrical energy’s potential for moving. It is comparable to the water pressure. It is also the measurement used for the force that drives electrons along a circuit.
The amp or ampere is the electrical current measurement. Current, of course, is the amount of electrons flowing along a circuit. Thus, an amp is equivalent to 120 watts at 110V.
Of course, if you’re the ordinary DIYer who occasionally uses a table saw, you might not need to understand all these concepts. Nevertheless, it will be best to have a working knowledge of these concepts to provide your table saw with the correct energy to work efficiently. Knowing your table saw’s wattage, amperage, and horsepower will likely give you an idea of how much power it will consume while it starts and runs.
How Many Watts Does the Typical Table Saw Use?
After learning about the three important electrical units of watts, volts, and amps, you are now better positioned to measure your table saw’s power usage. So, let us first ask how many watts, volts, and amperes your table saw would need to start and run.
To determine the watts, amps, and volts, you need to be mindful of the horsepower of the table saw. As mentioned above, a typical hobbyist table saw runs on a two-horsepower motor. Thus, it will need around 1,725 watts to run efficiently.
Of course, you also need to factor in your manner of using the table saw if you want to run it smoothly. You can cut a two-inch-thick wood with such a motor. Yet, if you would further cut larger wood, you will be taxing the motor too much. So, it will be best if you use a table saw with a higher horsepower rating.
The electric consumption of your table saw will be less if it has less horsepower. However, if your table saw comes with a higher horsepower rating, it will consume more power. Besides, you will need more power to start the table saw and less energy to keep it running.
At this point, it will be best to understand the difference between starting watts and running watts. A typical table saw, for example, might need around 3,700 watts to kickstart its motor. But it will only need 1,000 watts to keep itself running smoothly.
As a table saw increases in horsepower, it also necessitates more starting watts and higher running watts. Besides, the materials you cut also affect your table saw’s power consumption.
If you would cut softer materials, your table saw will quickly breeze through the cutting process without needing more power. Yet, if you would use it to cut more rigid materials, the motor of your table saw will grind harder and consume more power.
How Many Amps Is Your Table Saw?
You will need to supply your table saw with the minimum power required to make it run. Besides, you will need to provide the table saw with the needed starting and running wattage to keep your table saw working efficiently.
Yet, it will be best if you also understand the implication of the amps rating of your table saw. A table saw, for example, will have an eight to sixteen-amp rating. This amp range will be enough to run a table saw.
If two table saws have the same amp ratings, it is wrong to assume that they are not the same. Two circular saws might have the same amp ratings, but one table saw might be more efficient in transferring power to the saw blade.
The formula for getting the power consumption of a power tool like the table saw is Ampere multiplied by Volt. If you got a 10-amp table saw multiplied by a 110-volt supply, you would get around 1,110 watts. Watts, of course, is used by power companies to measure consumers’ electric consumption.
How Can You Supply Power to Your Table Saw?
If you’re a globetrotter traveling from one country to another, you will soon realize that you need to get an adapter or converter to use some of your tools in some countries. So, you will need to use different plugs.
If you purchased a table saw, for example, in Paris, you might not be able to use it in Washington. If you buy one in Tokyo, you won’t be able to use it immediately in the Philippines.
The reason is that different countries have different supplied electric voltage. In the United States, the supplied voltage is 120 volts. If you go to India, you will discover that the supplied voltage is 230 volts.
So, if you’re living in Washington, for example, or California, the voltage supplied to your home’s power outlets is 120 volts. So, almost every tool you need to power will work with your 120-volt outlets.
You can power many table saws via the 120-volt power outlet. Moreover, the standard 120V power outlet utilizes three wires: one neutral wire, one live wire, and one ground wire. A 240V power outlet, however, comes with two live wires, one neutral wire, and one ground wire.
20-ampere Vs 15-Ampere Breaker
You might get confronted with the question of whether to use a 15-amp breaker or a 20-amp breaker. A 15-amp electrical circuit utilizes a 14-gauge wire and usually has a 15-amp breaker. Meanwhile, a 20-amp circuit needs to be served by 10- or 12-gauge wiring.
Remember that this setup is not interchangeable. If you’re unsure which circuit to install in your shop, you should consult a professional electrician to ensure that your shop has the correct power supply you need for your power tools.
What If the Workshop Doesn’t Come with a 240V Outlet?
If your shop doesn’t come with a 240V outlet, you would need to have a table saw that functions with a 120-volt. It will be good to note that setting a 240V outlet will never be easy. In fact, you will not find any adaptor that could convert the 120V-outlet into a usable 240V outlet.
Thus, you need to install a 240V outlet for your 240V table saw. It also entails changing your breaker. It also necessitates installing circuitry from your breaker box running to your workshop. So, if you’re not good with electrical wiring installation, you should avail of the service of a professional electrician.
Extension Cords for Table Saw
When using an extension cord for your table saw, you want to ensure that you use the appropriate one. If you got a 16-amp table saw, you could use the #12-gauge extension cord. Such an extension cord can handle most table saws for small workshops.
Nevertheless, if you use a longer extension cord of up or more than 50 feet, it might be best to go for the #10 gauge. Such an extension cord will convey power better than the #12 gauge.
You can likewise utilize something that features a 240-volt outlet. But such an extension cord is not often available in the market. Nevertheless, you can buy this extension cord online.
If your device devours much current, it will be best to refrain from using a longer cord, for you might short out your device. For this reason, you should go for the shortest cord available.
It will be good to note that wood knowledge will never be enough when setting up your workshop. You also need to have a fundamental understanding of electrical circuitry and electricity. In this way, you can set up the electrical circuitry of your workshop safely while providing your power tools with the needed amount of power to achieve peak performance.
As mentioned above, you need to have a working knowledge of amps, volts, and horsepower. You also need to ensure that your electrical circuitry fits the power demands of your power tools. With such knowledge and the appropriate electrical circuitry, you can assure yourself that you will have enough power for your circular saw.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.