It has been said many times that a table saw is the heart of any workshop. Buying a table saw is a major purchase, but it will be well worth it. However, depending on what type of table saw you buy, it can be quite expensive to get one. Fortunately, nowadays you can get the best affordable table saw without breaking the bank. To do that, there are some things you definitely have to consider.
Before putting down an investment on a table saw, it is important that you know and determine the type of table saw that will be best for you. There are essentially three types or categories of table saws available on the market today.
This type of table saw is designed to be sturdy, durable and high-performing. They are often the choice of most professional woodworkers. Table saws often have tough cast iron parts, a huge table top, a strong fence and a full cabinet. However, a drawback is that they are quite heavy, weighing 400 to 600 pounds.
This type of table saw is designed to be more portable than a cabinet table saw. It is lighter in weight and can be moved from one workspace to the next without much difficulty. It often has a 3 to 4 horsepower motor that can cut 3 inch thick wood pieces. Because it is lightweight, do not expect it to have the features that a cabinet table saw has.
Like the name suggests, the hybrid table saw is a “hybrid” between the cabinet and the contractor table saw. It has the durability and performance of the cabinet saw but the portability and mobility of a contractor table saw. Most home wood workers have found this to be the best affordable table saw for them. It has the same motor power as a contractor and has a partial cabinet wherein the motor is contained.
Now that you have been honest enough to know that you are not yet a master wood maker, look at the space in your workshop. Remember that the type of table saw you purchase will depend on how big of a work space you have.
Your workspace will limit the kind of table saw you can get and almost instantly take some table saws out of the running. There are several table saws that can fit well in limited workspaces so a little bit of research will let you know which one would be a good option.
If you have the funds then the question between need vs. want is non-existent. However, if you are looking for something a little more affordable without going broke then you would have to weigh up what you want and what you actually need when it comes to a table saw.
Create a list of things you want in your table saw and start from there. Be honest about how you plan to use your table saw. You may want to create more complex wood projects but do you have the appropriate skill or is that something you want to learn? If so, something with few bells and whistles will do for now. Be realistic and think how often you will use the table saw and what you plan to build using it.
Safety first is an old adage in workshops that must not be put aside. When looking for a table saw, try to consider ones that have built-in safety features like sensors, a riving knife and splitters and anti-kickback pawls. Fortunately, these features are now standard in most table saws, including those that are in the low-priced end of the spectrum.
With this simple guide, you can find a table saw that will best suit your needs without you having to spend hundreds of dollars. Take the time to shop around and do your research and you will get to bring one home at a good price.
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