Not everyone can be experts at once, and using a table saw can be a perilous task for a beginner woodworker if untrained and uninformed. Nonetheless, everyone needs to start at some point and the good thing for beginners is that they have the luxury to learn from professionals today. Making your first table saw purchase as a beginner is easier when you know the essential things to consider when choosing the right type for your woodworking projects.
It is not enough that you are willing to shell out some money to buy the best out there as it may not be the type of table saw appropriate for your needs and skills. Oftentimes, some beginner woodworkers would be overenthusiastic and purchase the advanced type that most professional woodworkers use when all they need is the basic version. While it is practical to get a table saw that can both make simple cuts as well as the more complicated ones, it should not be your only consideration. Safety should always be your top priority.
Things to Consider When Finding the Best Table Saws for Beginners
When looking at a wide variety of table saw options whether online or offline, it is important to remember that just like in every tool, gadget, or machinery, not all of them are built the same way. For instance, all table saws from the very basic one to the more advanced type can provide a straight cut but not all of them come with an optional stand, a rack and pinion fence capability, or reliable safety measures.
There are subtle differences that can be overlooked if you do not know what to look for. It is one of the most complicated tools in a workshop, so knowing what to expect will help in narrowing the choices. Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing the best table saw for a beginner:
Usability and Convenience
Never subject the beginner to work on some machinery that is too complicated to operate. Stick to the simple ones that are user-friendly with basic rules to follow. The longer you keep on getting confused with its operating, the longer it would take you to finish a project. Even with huge workshops, the newbies are given simple tools to work with until they gain more experience before they move on to the next level of machinery.
When you hear the phrase, “not all of them are created equal,” it does not only refer to the machinery itself but also to the add-ons or accessories that come with the table saw. It does not hurt to plan and look for the optional upgrades for the table saw you are considering. Some of these accessories will make the cutting job easier to achieve including a dust collector, mobile base, push stick, miter gauge, owner’s manual, featherboards, etc.
Stability and Safety
While a table saw is specifically designed to be used on top of the table or any stand, there are table saws that have legs. With the kind of machinery that can cut wood pieces or planks, it is very important to ensure that it would remain stable and unmoving during its operation. No one can get a precise cut without the stability of the table saw.
Safety during machinery use should always be a top priority. Do not underestimate the power of the table saw. Each time you need to cut a piece using a table saw there is always the possibility that you will cut more than what is planned. The fingers would be the first to go if you are not careful. Some people find safety measures ridiculous and took them as an insult to their intelligence.
In every workshop that uses laser-sharp blades, accidents do happen and these safety features will serve as insurance to avoid injuries. Be wise and look for any of the following: blade guards, splitters, anti-kickback pawls, riving knife, sensors, magnetic switch, and push stick.
Top 5 Recommended Table Saws for Beginners
Key Features: 8-¼ inches blade cut depth, 24-½ inches rig capacity, accurate controls, 15 Amp with 110V, 53.3lbs, 26.65 x 14.08 x 27.15 inches (size dimension), rack & pinion fence rails, accurate controls, dust port, safety features.
This DeWalt DWE7485 is a definite example of a quality power tool with the same powerful machine that is found mostly in heavier table saws but with half the weight. This was specifically designed to make it more compact and lightweight materials were used for easy transport.
It uses an 8.5-inch blade that comes with a clear blade guard offering an unobstructed view. A smaller blade such as this would mean fewer kickbacks and less energy for spinning. The table saw has rack and pinion telescoping fence rails which makes it easy to use especially for beginners. It allows the accurate adjustment of the fence. The 24.5-inches of rip capacity to the right of the blade can handle 4 x 8 sheets of plywood. Adjusting the angle of the blade from 45° down to a maximum of 90° is a convenient option with an easy-to-reach adjustment console.
While there is no foolproof system, it has anti-kickback pawls to help secure it when you cut and avoid flying parts. Also, it uses DeWalt’s Modular Guard System which makes it easy to disconnect certain parts without having to disassemble the entire system. Two optional dust ports are available for easy dust collection and cleanup.
Key Features: 15 AMP, no load speed of 4800 RPM, 10” blade diameter, 5/8” arbor size, 3-1/8” depth of cut, 24” rip capacity to the right, rack & pinion fence telescoping rails, locking mechanism, blade guard, Site-Pro Modular Guarding System, 48lbs weight with heavy-duty stand.
The DEWALT DWE7480XA is some sort of an upgrade to the popular DeWalt DWE748 DEWALT DWE7480XA 5 that comes with an adjustable durable stand to add stability and convenience to be used in any jobsite. It uses a metal roll base cage instead of plastic ones. The company won several awards for this table saw due to its reliable features that are suitable for beginners whether for home or commercial use.
It shares the same powerful motor of 15 amps but with a slight difference. Instead of an RPM of 3,850, it enjoys a 4,800 RPM. The table saw can be quite loud but workshops workers are used to this noise, and earmuffs can easily alleviate the discomfort if it becomes a problem. The 24-tooth carbide blade can last long even with prolonged use at high speeds. Beginners won’t have a problem in adjusting the blade as it offers a simple setup in changing the angles of the blade tilt and depth. The rip capacity is considerably more than enough for most jobs with its 24-1/2 inches to the right of the table and 12 inches to the left.
The rack and pinion telescoping fence rails provide accuracy and flexibility as fence adjustments can easily be made. The locking mechanism makes it more convenient and safe from accidents. Dust collection won’t be a problem as the dust after a day’s work goes into an aluminum dust port which can be connected to a 2-½ vacuum.
Expect additional features including a miter gauge, a push stick, and a blade guard along with the Site-Pro Modular Guarding System with this table saw.
Key Features: 15 AMP, no load speed of 5,300 RPM, 10” blade diameter, 5/8” arbor size, 3-1/2” depth of cut, 25” rip capacity to the right using an extension, worm drive motor, dual copper windings, self-aligning fence, 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade, 52lbs total weight.
The SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 is quite similar to most table saws of the same size, but its specialized worm drive motor provides a high torque capacity and maximum power. It has dual copper windings that allow continuous ripping through materials and doing heavier cuts. The speed is unmatched by most table saws available in the market today. With this powerful motor, you might expect a loud noise, but it is quiet enough.
The self-aligning fence with a locking mechanism provides safety along with the anti-kickback system and the safeguard system. The on-board storage for tools is a great feature as well. No stand comes with it but can be purchased separately if needed.
Key Features: 15 AMP, 120 V, no load speed of 5,000 RPM, 10” blade diameter, 5/8” arbor size, 3-1/2” depth of cut at 90° and 2-½” at 45°, 20 x 26 inches cast aluminum, 24-½” rip capacity, carbide-tooth blade, foldable steel stand, other accessories, 67lbs total weight.
The SKIL 3410-02 table saw makes cutting wood pieces quite convenient for beginners. Setting it up as well as storing it away after using it is relatively easy. The total weight of 67 pounds makes it simple for anyone to transport it from one workshop to another. Having a heavy-duty foldable stand offers stability and convenience during the cutting operation. Installation is effortless with its quick-mount system. All you need to do is unfold the stand, fit the table saw properly to it, and you can start cutting. It uses the EZ view system and a self-aligning rip fence for accurate cutting. There is no need for additional measuring tools for a precise cut.
This table saw is best used for DIY projects, and beginners would enjoy its simple features without getting intimidated by its operating system. The downside is that it does not have a dust port, which is probably the reason why it has a lower price tag as compared to other table saws.
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw (RK7323)
Key Features: 5.5 AMP, 120 Volts, no load speed of 3,000 RPM, 4” blade diameter, 5/8” arbor size, 1-1/2” depth of cut, four blades for different applications, 16.1” x 17.5” x 8.3” size dimensions, dust port, 17lbs total weight.
Compared to the other table saws mentioned above, this Rockwell BladeRunner X2 is a lightweight portable tabletop saw. It may not be as powerful as the others but it is capable of cutting not only wood pieces with 1-1/2” depth cut capacity but also with PVC pipe (1-¼ depth cut), aluminum (3/8” depth cut), ceramic (3/8” depth cut), and steel (1/8” depth cut).
The table saw includes four different blades and was designed for easy tool-less blade changes. It has a decent stroke length of ¾” which is great in scroll cutting. The on-board storage compartment makes it convenient for any application changes and avoids misplacing any of the blades. The dust port makes it easy to collect dust and eliminates the chance of too much mess after a day’s work.
With several options available, it is wise to spend time knowing the specifications of each table saw. No table saw is perfect for all situations and woodworking projects because you need to match the power tool to your needs and skills. Focus on durability, efficiency, portability, and safety. Make sure to check its usability as well. Remember that the more complex and confusing the table saw is, the longer it would take you to finish a project. Choose something user-friendly.