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There is no denying the impressive usefulness of a table saw, but it is not something you find very often in the average home. These saws are not something that should be taken lightly, it is a tool that requires careful consideration, and a sure mind that this is the right tool for you and your requirements. For your benefit, we have configured this tutorial to teach you all about table saws for woodworking, and what the best table saw for beginners, or entry-level table saw is. This starter table saw for beginners is the perfect tool for learning how to use a table saw for home use and your business. Keep reading to go from a beginner table saw worker, to a pro in no time!
Table of Contents
- 1 Table Saws Explained
- 2 Choosing the Right Table Saw
- 3 Beginner’s Table Saw
- 4 Instructions for Using a Table Saw
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Table Saws Explained
Essentially, the name of the machine describes how you would expect it to look and work. Imagine a table that is rectangular, with fixed legs to give it sturdiness. On the one end, there is a blade that rotates super fast and it sits at a vertical angle. This blade will cut through any lumber that you feed through it. Before this invention, small electric saws were unable to cut thick pieces of wood. A table saw allows you to adjust the blade to cut through a variety of material thicknesses. You could even only cut partially into the material, not right through it. This is particularly useful when making butt joints or other special woodwork features.
Table saws are unbelievably accurate because by using the table to bear the weight of the material, you have your hands free to guide the material accurately through the blade. So, it is the wood that moves and needs to be maneuvered, instead of the blade. This is beneficial particularly for the bigger pieces of wood that are hard to manage by oneself. With larger pieces of lumber, it can be difficult to saw a consistently straight line. A table saw is the perfect candidate for large projects that require perfectly straight cuts. One great thing about technology is that it keeps improving, and by golly, have these machines improved over the years since they were first created.
When you buy a table saw these days, you can expect a whole bunch of additional gadgets included with the machine. These kits typically include compartments that collect sawdust, a laser to pinpoint where the blade will cut, X and Y axis, different speeds that the blade spins at, as well as a safety stop button for emergencies. The only thing that did not continue showing up through the evolutions of these machines, is the height-adjustable blade. Mostly likely removed because of safety precautions, this does prevent you from adjusting the height of the blade and depth of the saw when the machine is in static mode.
There is not just one type of table saw, but there are a few variations that you can choose from. One is the free-standing table saw. These will often be found on construction sites or brought to the place where the wooden project is deemed to be installed. This is because it can be transported much easier. After all, it can be collapsed, each brand to its degree. When they are needed on-site, they can be packed up and brought through. The only set-up needed is pulling the legs out from the way they fold into the machine, and then prop up the table.
The other table saw is the Table-top table saw. This name is even more of a giveaway. These are great because you can use an existing table for the support of the saw, and all you do is place the table-top saw on top of the working table. This does mean you will need to find a sturdy enough table to withstand the amount of sawing and the weight of the machine.
Choosing the Right Table Saw
Buying anything online can be tricky because you might not understand how to rate an entry-level table saw, being a beginner table saw worker yourself. Maybe you are looking for a table saw for home use, or a table saw for a woodworking workshop, we will explain what the best table saw for beginners is, so keep reading for the best starter table saw.
What Safety Features are Included
Remember when we mentioned that the height-adjustable feature was taken away from the older table saw models? Well, that was not for a silly cause to irritate us. It was one of the best moves that manufacturers made because it takes half the risk of sawing an arm off by a lot. This is one of the safety precautions that have been changed, amongst others. Safety precautions are the first thing you should consider when you are purchasing a table saw, or just about any machine tool that might be dangerous. If you do not see many safety features, then it is probably not a good idea to purchase that one.
One extremely important thing is to protect your face and your body from any larger pieces of wood particles from flying up and into an eye as you are sawing. This means a safety guard should be present.
The next safety feature we will speak about is the little knife that is in and amongst the blade that works to remove all the little pieces of the material you are sawing from the blade to prevent the machine from getting jammed or from blunting the blade. This knife is called the riving knife.
In terms of universal safety features that will be found on any table saw made by any manufacturer, there is the emergency safety stop button. This pulls the trigger off the machine and switches the blade off. It will look like those typical buttons from cartoons, the big red one that you must not press, but in this case, you should in emergencies. The SawStop table saws are decked out with every feature related to your safety, more so than the features that make the sawing an easy experience, because they have safety as their priority.
One last thing to look out for when buying a table saw is whether it has an auto-stop sensor. These are designed to detect when there is something in the way of the blade that might ricochet if it goes through the blade. The sensors will pick up if there is an obstacle, and the blade will come to an immediate stop.
Ease of Use and Size of Tool
Two aspects oppose each other but are just as important as the other to get the most out of your table saw. The one is that if you have too much power it can cost you a lot in electricity bills, and will make your sawing experience difficult. The other is that too little power will be just as difficult to saw with because the blade will struggle to get through the wood or other materials.
There is a table saw that you place on a bench as opposed to a table, which can make it much lighter because it is smaller than the tabletop-sized table saw. A bench-mounted table saw is considered to be amongst the best options for a table saw for beginners because of its light weight. Added benefits include the fact that they do not cost as much as the bigger table saws for tabletops. This way you can get comfortable with using this type of saw without having to pay through your teeth for the bigger saws.
You will not be stuck without any customer care service from the manufacturers of this type of table saw either, because as technology has evolved, so have the requirements of retail, meaning you can go online and log a query about any topic with the manufacturer’s customer service. This was not something people could do in the past. You would buy the machine, and it would be all up to you to figure out how it works (or won’t work) from then on out.
The perfect starter table saw for a woodwork beginner will be a saw that is built for safety and endurance. You will be a little clumsy at first with the machine, especially when sawing large pieces of wood, so you need a tool that can withstand the bumps and grazes without suffering damage or seriously injuring you in the process.
If you think of a construction site, the table saws look something similar to a bench-mounted table saw even though their power is much more impressive, mostly because the blade is much bigger. This means the actual table where the blade is situated needs to be much sturdier to support the size of the glade without it flying off in a mid-spin. This table saw for woodworking, and other materials is also a great entry-level table saw because it is hardy and can withstand a bit of jostling. They can cut right through very thick pieces of wood, and you can adjust the height of the blade when it is not static so that you can change the depth of the cut you make with the blade.
These tabletop table saws can be transported to any worksite where you may need them. All you need to do is fold in the legs because they are collapsible like a camping table. The motor for this type of table saw is impressively powerful. It can generate enough speed so that the blade rotates extremely fast.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys all of the fun and fancy extra trimming on your vehicle and other gadgets, then you might appreciate this tidbit. Additional features might make your woodworking feel more professional, but they are not entirely essential. However, you might appreciate a table tilt for your table saw, allowing for sawing the wood at angles, or a vibration transfer to mute the machine’s shaky feeling as the motor spins the blade, or possible chuck variation, or table composite.
These are all helpful features, but as a beginner, you might want to avoid all the fun stuff, and choose a table saw that is basic, but safe and easy to use, and then when you are more skilled, you move on to one that is more advanced but trickier to use.
Beginner’s Table Saw
Now that you know which factors you should consider when choosing a table saw you’re probably wondering what’s out there. Fortunately, we have selected three table saws that we consider to be the best entry-level table saws on the market today including their pros and cons for your convenience. You can’t go wrong with any of these, so let’s have a look at how they match up against one another.
Most Recommended: DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite
If you are familiar with the brands that manufacturer tools at all, you will be familiar with the name DeWalt. This company is one of the highest in popular demand for many tools from drills to table saws. This specific table saw is designed especially for on-site jobs, like construction sites or home renovations. The motor runs at 15 AMP, so you should make sure the site has sufficient power. The RPM is 5800, indicating that it is quite loud when in action, but that is to be expected from a tool of such magnitude.
The size of this tool must not intimidate you, because it is remarkably light when you pick it up for transportation. This means you might still have to hit the gym later, but at least you will not break your back when lugging the machine around from job to job. Along with their lightweight characteristics, they are simple to use, so they are great starter table saw options.
Best Rated for Value: MAKITA 10″ Table Saw
Like Dewalt, from the above-mentioned table saw product, Makita is alongside them in their reputable ability to manufacture great tools. They are particularly famous for the drills that they make, but their saws and table saws are just as wondrous. Their table saw, or the Makita 10” Table saw is the ideal candidate for beginners who are slightly intimidated by the large spinning blade. Makita took the concerns of their learning patrons and added extra safety features to help ease their discomfort and facilitate a smooth learning process.
Some of the features for safety that were included are a guard for the glade that is transparent. This protects your hands from the blade so you can get more accurate with it without as much stress over losing a finger. Because the guard is transparent, you can see the blade spinning, and you can also see the wood that is being fed, and how the blade slices through. Let’s face it, we would all like to keep all 10 fingers, right? Well, this is their fail-safe for you.
The motor for the Makita 10” table saw runs at 15 AMP, so it is very high-powered and can get the job done in no time at all. This is helpful if you are working with time constraints. Not only that but there is a built-in table tilt for this table saw. You can tilt it to 90 degrees, making it very versatile in the jobs you can undertake.
Remembering that we are referencing a table saw for beginners, more features will draw just about any newbie to try out this table saw. One extra safety feature is an emergency brake to prevent any kickback. This can be a comforting thought that you can pause the base, even just for a moment to get any valuable limbs out of harm’s way. The other extra features are more likely to help with your aim than protect you. These include a scale meter and a miter gauge, push sticks, and even a magnifying glass for the smallest of projects. The last and most interesting feature that just has to be mentioned, is the fact that the table itself can extend, meaning you can work with longer pieces of material than you might do with other tools.
Top-Rated for Performance: ROCKWELL Blade Runner
Rockwell created the lightweight, easy-to-use Blade Runner for beginners who are nowhere near working on a job site, for a paid job in the near future, because they will need to practice a bit beforehand. This is where the Rockwell easy-to-use Blade-runner comes in handy. As opposed to the typical rotary motion that the blade spins in that cuts the material you feed through, this machine’s blade is made like a jigsaw, and the motor that it runs with is a 15 AMP high-powered motor that reaches its max at about 3300 RPM.
If you like the sound of additional safety features, this tool will be an exciting purchase because it comes with many extra trimmings that make the sawing experience as easy as the breeze outside on a hot summer’s day. The blade guards and the anti-kickback precautions can set the beginner’s mind at ease. They will be able to learn with more accuracy using the Rockwell table saw.
This tool is not only easy to use and safe at the same time, but it is also able to see many different kinds of materials and not just wood. Five additional blades can be attached to the tool if one becomes too blunt. Not all materials that you feed through to the blade are as easy to saw, so some will blunt the blade more easily than others.
Instructions for Using a Table Saw
Now that you are fully aware of what to expect with the average table saw, and the different types that you can choose from, we can start to talk about how to use these machines. This next section will explain how they can be put to work. We will be explicit for the beginners..
Before you start, make sure that you have appropriate protective gear, and that you are actually wearing it. The blade is not something to be taken lightly, because it could take your finger or hand in one second when your concentration lapses.
The protective gear should include a pair of hardy gloves, an eye mask to protect your eyes from any sawdust or any particles that might damage your eyes, as well as a respiratory mask so that you do not breathe said particles into your lungs.
We have mentioned the fact that protective gear is extremely important, but we will mention it again. Before you begin the project and after you have gathered all the tools and equipment you will need for the job, you must adorn yourself in your best gear. Your life is important, so do not take your limbs for granted.
Before you switch the machine on and allow the blade to start spinning, make sure that it is properly attached. This might seem absurd, but it can easily come flying off when the motor starts the blade, which can be extremely dangerous. In addition, make sure that you do a break-check with the emergency brakes that come standard in most table saws.
Feeding the Material
When it comes to feeding the material through the blade for the sawing of it, there is not just one way you can achieve this, but actually, multiple techniques that will help you achieve different results. Out of all the different styles of sawing, a cross-cut and a rip cut are the most popular and commonly used by professionals and beginners alike. If you were unsure what these two terms mean, a rip cut is used to cut the width of your material, and the cross-cut is used to cut through the length of the material. The miter gauges and the rip fence will help you with the adjusting of which cut you wish to make use of.
In addition to the different techniques you can try out, there is also the speed that you feed the material through. It is important for your safety and the efficiency of the sawing that you do not rush through the process and force-feed the machine the material at such a rate that kickback might happen, or you might even damage the machine by jamming it. Be consistent with the speed that you feed the material through. Any pauses might make the straight line that you cut uneven.
There are a lot of things to remember when it comes to buying your first table saw. Of everything to take into consideration, you should pay particularly close attention to the safety features, and only then to the extra features. Finally, make sure you familiarize yourself with your saw and you know how to use it safely and maintain it properly. It is also essential to buy good quality safety gear and wear it every time you use your saw. Losing a finger is not going to be a fun occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Table Saw Is Suitable for Home Use?
From a purely objective perspective, when choosing a table saw to use at home, go for one that is not very heavy and easy to transport, not difficult to operate, has simple maintenance, and is worth the cost in terms of efficiency. The ideal table saw for home use will be versatile and affordable.
Why Use a Table Saw in a Wood Workshop?
A workshop for woodworking or other trades can benefit from a table saw if they need to cut large pieces of material with accuracy that other saws struggle to achieve. You will be able to narrow long sections for a dinner table by sawing rip cuts, or you might need to shorten timber with cross cuts.
Will a Table Saw Rip a 2×4 Board?
Make sure that you have made all necessary blade and table adjustments, including the rip fence. Place the material on the board, and start feeding it through with a consistent motion. Make sure the blade is tilted down at the right angle.