Choosing the Right Table Saw for Your Shop

Of all the modern tools in a woodworking shop, the table saw is perhaps considered the most important as it is the most productive and versatile tool available. This tool can quickly make straight cuts, cross cuts, miter cuts, rip cuts, and even apply shapes to wood edges. A quality table saw can make any woodworking task easier and faster.

If you are working in a wood business, or just planning to start your own woodworking shop, or simply wanting to remodel your own home, you should consider making a table saw your first and most important tool purchase. Here, we will help you find the best table saw selection for you.

Type of Table Saw

Keep in mind that there are different types of table saw. Before you get into more detailed features, you have to identify first what type of table saw is right for your needs – is it a stationary, portable or contractor table saw? Each type offers varying degrees of power, capabilities, and mobility. Each type also comes with a varying price range.

Stationary or cabinet table saws are the largest, heaviest, and the most expensive type of all the available saws in the market. They are typically built with heavy cast iron and designed with powerful motors for solid performance, making them a great choice for busy workshops with heavy-duty requirements.  Contractor and portable table saws, on the other hand, are typically lightweight so they can be transported from jobsite to jobsite. They are designed with enough power, accuracy, and stability, and usually offered at affordable price. However, the contractor table saws are much heavier than the portable ones. Although they are movable and portable, contractor table saws still require two people to lift them for transport. If you operate a small business and spend most of your time on a job site, then a contractor table saw is an ideal option for you.

The type of table saw to consider should depend on the kind of woodworking you do, the amount of available space your shop has, and the cost of tool your shop can afford. If you only have a small budget at hand, then opt for models that meet your budget. Some of the most popular models for under $500 bucks are the Dewalt DW745, Bosch-GTS1031, and Rockwell RK7241S. Of course, since table saw is considered a significant investment, it’s also important to take into consideration your future needs when buying one.

Table Saw Features

Once you’ve identified the type of table saw that is right for you needs, the next important thing to consider is the features of the saw. A table saw with right features will make you more efficient and help you complete your projects faster. Typically, high-quality cabinet saws contain the best features, but this doesn’t mean that you will not find the same features in some lighter and affordable models. Depending on the kind of work you do, some contractor saws offer certain features that are enough for the job. Take your time to look at the quality of all the saw’s components when buying to make sure you’ll get the best tool that is up to the task. Some of the features you should consider when buying include the following:

  • the type of blades
  • the quality of fences
  • the size of the table
  • the efficiency of power and motor
  • the safety components

You would also want to consider choosing a table saw with additional accessories to maximize your tool’s performance, including a dust collection system, extension table, and tenoning jigs.


Whether you’re just remodeling your home or making wood projects, buying a table saw is really a must so it should be given a careful consideration. While you may not be able to test all the types of table saws you see in the market, particularly online, you can read reviews and compare features and prices to find the best one.

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