If you are in the market for a new table saw then you may be a little bit bewildered by all of the different types of table saws that are available.
Some are small and compact whilst others are big immovable cabinets. There are different rip capacities and various in-feed and out-feed configurations.
Types of Table Saws
The best way to discuss all of the different types of tables saws is to split them into two distinct groups:
- Portable table saws
- Stationary table saws
Portable Table Saws
Because they are designed to be portable these kinds of table saws tend to be a lot lighter and will generally have a lot smaller capacity and power than a stationary saw.
They are usually powered by a smaller 15 Amp motor and have a no-load speed range of between 3,500 and 5,000 rpm.
Bench Top Table Saws
Bench top saws are usually considered to be the lightest and most portable of all table saws. They can of course be mounted on a stand or rolling stand but most users will just leave then mounted on a work bench.
Saws like the DW745 and DWE7480 are extremely popular choices here.
Some people will mount them in a small rolling cabinet that is easy to move about a work shop.
Generally speaking they will have a much smaller rip capacity and will be built to a much less sturdier design. All of this is in the name of weight saving so there is a trade of for that added portability.
Job Site Saws
Job site saws are a step up in terms of build quality to the smaller bench top saws. They are most commonly used by contractors on a site and will usually have some form of stand.
They will most certainly have a larger rip capacity and will be built from much heavier components.
The rip capacity is normally some where around 24″. The fence will usually have a much more accurate fence adjustment. The motors too are usually a lot more robust and can with stand a lot more use on a busy job site.
They are normally sold with a stand as part of a package. The stand can either be a normal folding leg only design or they may have what is called a rolling stand. A rolling stand will not only have folding legs it will also have integrated wheels on the frame to make transport much easier.
Stationary Table Saws
Most stationary saws will generally be referred to as a cabinet type table saw. Although there are a couple of other types like a contractor or hybrid saw they are rarely used today.
- Cabinet saw
- Contractor saw
- Hybrid saw
Cabinet saws are usually the larger table saws that most people are used to seeing in a woodworking shop or large garage.
They are considered to be the absolute best in terms of features, accuracy and power.
Most professional wood shops will make a considerable investment in their cabinet table saw, and they would expect the saw to put in several decades of faithful service.
Given that weight is actually a help here and not a hindrance, cabinet style table saws are made from only the best materials.
All of that extra weight is what helps them to be sturdier, stronger and a lot more capable at cutting.
These saws along with hybrid saws lie somewhere in between a smaller contractor type saw and a full blown cabinet saw.
Although the are somewhat portable they are usually only used on a site that will be worked on for some time that requires a bit more power than your average portable saw.