Choose the right table saw for your project with Lowe's Table Saw Buying Guide.
Table Saw Mobility
Consider how you plan to use a table saw before you buy one. Two types are available:
- Portable table saws make long, straight rip cuts (with the wood grain) and repeated crosscuts (across the wood grain) much more quickly and accurately than ordinary circular saws. Portable table saws perform many of the functions of larger stationary table saws but have a decided advantage in their mobility. High mobility makes them the perfect choice for framing and deck building. They're also a good choice for small shops with limited space.
- Stationary table saws are usually set up in one location as a permanent fixture and generally have more power than portable saws. Added power enables the saw to run knives and cutters designed to mill and remove large amounts of stock. Stationary saws usually accept more accessories than portable saws.
Drive Configuration for Your Table Saw
Table saws are also available in two drive configurations:
- Direct-drive motors are linked directly to the blade and transfer all of the motor's power to the blade.
- Belt-drive motors have a belt that transfers power from the motor to the blade. In belt-drive systems, the motor can be offset away from sawdust generated during operation, causing the motor to last longer. Belt-drive systems require slightly more preventive maintenance than direct-drive systems. So you'll need to check the belts for wear and proper tension periodically.
Table Saw Accessories
The more accessories that a saw accepts, the more applications it can be used for. Typical features include:
- Extension tables mount to the side of the table saw and provide a larger more stable work surface when cutting wide stock.
- Out feed extensions give extra support during long rip cuts.
- Accessory tables increase the versatility of your table saw and can turn your table saw into a router table, shaper or even a scroll saw.
- Sliding miter tables slide in the miter slot, square with the blade and provide very accurate miter cuts.
- Dado heads cut wide, straight slots in a single pass. Dados are especially useful in joinery and shelving applications.
- Mobile bases give stationary saws mobility. Most mobile bases have casters that lock to keep the saw stationary when it's in use. Mobile bases are good options for small shops or shops in shared spaces, so you can roll the saw out of the way when it's not in use.
Table Saw Blade Size
Two common blade sizes for table saws are:
- Eight-inch table saws are a good choice for crafts and other applications associated with thinner stock.
- Ten-inch table saws provide the extra cutting depth needed for angled cuts in thicker stock.