Different Types of Table Saws (With Uses)

Table Saw Types

A table saw is a kind of woodworking device in which the blade is fixed to the table via the motor.

The blade protrudes through the surface as you push the plywood into the teeth of the blade.

The motor rotates the blade for fast cutting.

Table saws are known for being quite useful, durable, and fast, especially if your job involves cutting large sheets of plywood regularly.

In fact, the table saw is so popular that it would be difficult to find a proper workshop without one.

Table saws specialize in crosscutting and rip-cutting of wood. They are fast, accurate, and reliable when performing this task.

That is why virtually all professional workshops that deal in plywood have a table saw on their premises.

Different Types of Table Saw

Working at maximum speed and efficiency while maintaining a safe environment means finding the right tools for the job.

That is quite true when discussing table saws. Whether you are working construction, at a woodshop, or doing your own work at home, the table saw will probably be the centerpiece of your cutting efforts.

But table saws are not all the same. In fact, each type of table saw has its benefits along with issues. This means that you will need to choose the right one that is best suited to the work you mostly do.

This article aims to provide you with the major choices so you can make the best-informed decision about which one to purchase.

Before getting into specific types, there are two basic categories of table saws, stationary and portable.

If you are on the move, then a portable table saw should be considered.

For those who will put the table saw in one place and keep it there, then the stationary models are preferred.

Now we can proceed to the specific types of table saws available on the market starting with the portable versions.

1- Mini table saw

The mini table saw is a dream come true for those who want a portable table saw for their work.

Lightweight, portable, and powerful, the mini table saw is perfect for making sharp, straight cuts. However, they are not suited for larger pieces. This type of table saw is primarily designed for detail work.

Plus, their small size makes them the perfect starting saw for those who are just getting into woodworking.

For DIY projects, arts and crafts, and making small repairs, this is a perfect saw at an affordable price.

2- Benchtop table saw

Not quite as small as the mini, but it does have more power and durability, the benchtop is a great solution for those who have sawing needs on a smaller scale.

It’s not powerful enough to rip up large boards to size, but you can make simple home repairs quickly and easily using this saw.

You can purchase blades that will cut through either metal or plastic. Plus, the 20” rip capacity of certain benchtop saws makes them a great choice for job sites.

This is the perfect saw for repairing small furniture, creating small construction projects such as installing small pipes or building a doghouse, decorative woodwork, and arts and crafts.

3- Compact table saw

A step up in size from the benchtop, the compact version is quite popular thanks to its power and size.

It is large enough to do small construction jobs, yet lightweight and portable enough to make it relatively easy to move from job site to job site. The added size does make it sturdier than either the benchtop or the mini.

This table saw is most often used for creating furniture, small to medium size DIY projects, and small construction projects.

4- Jobsite table saw

As the name implies, this is a table saw designed to be used on most job sites. That means it is a device better suited for professional carpenters and construction workers.

The power, size, and durability make it a great option for most job sites. This table saw normally comes with its own built-in stand and can handle many types of jobs typical at most job sites.

The uses for this table saw include creating medium to large furniture, heavy-duty home improvement, and DIY projects, and professional construction and carpentry uses.

If you are not going to move the table saw around and you have plenty of room, then a stationary table saw is probably the best bet.

What follows are several choices of stationary table saws…

5- Contractor table saw

Although you will find this type of table saw used at job sites, it’s not a portable model. Its size and weight mean that it takes two people to lift it.

However, thanks to its weight you can make precision cuts with a saw that is considerably more powerful compared to the portable models.

While the contractor table saw has seen better days in terms of popularity, it is still quite powerful with a 52” rip capacity. This means that it will stand up to tough jobs thanks to its durability and reliability.

You will find this table saw used for creating medium to large furniture, professional construction and carpentry jobs, heavy-duty home improvement projects, and DIY.

6- Hybrid table saw

Perhaps because its size, weight, and functions fall between the contractor and cabinet table saws, this version is called a hybrid. Basically, this version is a more compact and affordable cabinet table saw that maintains strong reliability.

Using low-vibration motors that are belt-driven, the hybrid does not have the sheer power of a cabinet table saw, but it is a popular choice for those who work from home or have their own woodshop.

Popular uses of the hybrid table saw include any construction project where precision cuts are desired, large home repair projects, and woodworking jobs of all types.

7- Cabinet table saw

The biggest, the baddest, and perhaps the best, the cabinet table saw is the top dog of all table saws. The massive rip capacity, the sheer power, and the accuracy of the cuts make this table saw second to none.

You can often find this table saw as the centerpiece of woodworking shops around the world. Of course, they are also the biggest, most expensive table saws around that are not portable.

The most common uses include all types of furniture making, woodworking at the professional level, large construction projects, and anything requiring accuracy and precision in terms of cutting. 

Final Thoughts

Table saws are not cheap, but they are affordable.

Plus, they are available in different types all of which are relatively easy to use, so you can apply them to many woodcutting tasks with some basic skills, learning, and practice.

But do remember that the table saw is not as good for certain cuts as saws that are specially made for such tasks, but it can be used in most cases if such cuts are only occasional in nature.

For example, a miter saw is better for creating an angled cut, but you can do the same with a table saw if you know the right technique and have additional tools.

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