Choosing the right style of the table saw will make your work faster, safer, and more efficient – whether the projects you have in mind are fine woodworking, DIY, or construction. Operating as the central pivot of any workshop, you’ll find yourself returning to this versatile and practical piece of equipment time and time again.
Each type of table saw has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, making them either more or less suitable to your needs. By the time you’re finished reading this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision of which category of saws to research and purchase.
Broadly separated into categories of portable and stationary, there is a wide range of table saw options available to suit every budget, size, and power requirement. In this article, we’ll be introducing you to seven table saws that are especially suited to every job imaginable, from the smallest trim work to cutting whole boards to size.
1. Mini Table Saw
The most recent addition to the table saw family, mini table saws are a hobbyist’s dream come true. Their small, lightweight designs make them exceptionally portable, yet they retain the table saw’s ability to quickly make accurate and precise straight cuts. Though their diminutive size makes them unsuitable for anything larger than detail work, their equally small price tags make them an attractive option for beginners.
2. Benchtop Table Saw
One step up in size, power, and durability from the miniature hobbyists’ saw, benchtop saws offer an economical solution to small-scale sawing needs. While they’re still far from powerful enough to rip whole man-made boards to size, you’ll be able to make basic home repairs in a flash.
Equip your benchtop table saw with specially designed blades to cut metals and plastics, and it may become your go-to choice for weekend projects
3. Compact Table Saw
Larger and more powerful than a benchtop table saw, yet still lightweight and portable enough to use anywhere, compact table saws offer greater power and sturdier construction than their smaller counterparts.
Often resembling miniaturized versions of cabinet table saws, they are a more expensive but longer-lasting option for small projects and home use
4. Jobsite Table Saw
Designed for portable use by professional carpenters and construction workers, jobsite table saws are the most powerful and rugged options available for a go-anywhere table saw. Often made with an integrated stand, they’re a versatile option that’s as useful at a temporary building site as it is when setting up on your back patio.
5. Contractor Table Saw
Originally intended as a more manageably sized alternative to cabinet-style table saws, contractor saws long held sway as the choice of professional woodworkers. In the push for new hardware technology of the past 20 years, however, smaller and more powerful portable saws have overshadowed this once popular style. Still, it finds favor with dedicated hobbyists who appreciate its high power being available at reasonable prices
6. Hybrid Table Saw
Falling somewhere between the size and power of a contractor table saw and the updated technologies of cabinet table saws, hybrid saws can be confusing to properly categorize. In short, they offer the long-term reliability and low vibration belt-drive motors of higher-priced cabinet saws at a more affordable cost – but sacrifice an amount of maximum rip capacity to do so. They’re the high-end saw of choice for anyone short of a professional woodworker or furniture maker.
7. Cabinet Table Saw
The cabinet saw is the king of table saws. All other styles can only dream of achieving the cabinet table saw’s combination of accuracy, power, and huge rip capacity. You’ll most often see them as the centerpiece of professional woodworking shops, where they become the central hub of activity during every construction or furniture making project. They’re big, expensive, and definitely not at all portable