Table saws are undoubtedly one of the most popular tools when it comes to tasks like woodworking. Be it for rips or cross-cuts, they are surprisingly versatile and provide accurate results compared to something like a circular saw.
However, if you are a beginner, you might be baffled about your path to the table saws. And that is wholly justified, what with the plethora of options and hundreds of brands out there.
Now, you may be wondering, which ones are the best table saws for beginners? Well, not only have we compiled the top products for you, but there is also a guide to get you familiar with the jargon. Let’s get moving, then.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Table Saws for Beginners
- What to Look for Before Buying?
5 Best Table Saws for Beginners
Your entrance to the planet of table saws needs to be a well-thought-out one, as it will determine how your projects will pan out. And here are the tools we think are the best.
1. Bosch GTS1031 Table Saw
For most beginners, portability is crucial. It allows for a more versatile experience and the ability to carry it around to your workplace. Our first pick is a Jobsite table saw, which is one of the most portable sizes – making it the one of the best table saws for small shop.
And to improve upon that experience, it also comes with a one-handed carrying handle. This feature allows for more effortless movement. But that is not enough; a tool like this also needs to be capable of handling heavy tasks.
This saw features a sturdy all-steel base to ensure that it is also quite durable. Now, let’s talk about the blade. It uses a 10-inch carbide table saw blade with 24 teeth, which is versatile.
In terms of the rip capacity, it goes up to 18 inches (to the right). And on the left, the rip capacity is around 7.75 inches. Judging by this saw’s size, this capacity is decent and should be enough for your needs.
When it comes to its precision, this tool uses a square lock rip fence that makes sure your workpiece stays in place, and you get a consistent and clean cut. Moreover, it has a riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.
These work in conjunction to ensure that you do not get any kickbacks from the blade when cutting. Furthermore, it includes a quality dust chute that allows for impressive debris control.
2. Dewalt DW745 Table Saw
Here, we have a compact table saw from Dewalt. And as you probably know, they are one of the veterans when it comes to producing tools for the wood or metalworking arena.
The first highlight is that this product is only 22 kilograms in weight, which is quite remarkable. You can move around with it without any hiccups. Moreover, there are shoe bevels (0 to 45) for beveled cuts.
And as you know, the motor is one of the most crucial sides of a table saw. This one has a powerful 1850 watt 15 amp motor that can output 3850 RPM. Moreover, the maximum rip capacity stands at 20 inches to the right.
On the left, that number is 12 inches. It also has an excellent fence system. You can do a superb job of cutting large sheet materials, thanks to its 610 millimeters of rip capacity.
When it comes to the tabletop, it is the part that goes through most of the abuses and hardships. Thankfully, this saw has a cast tabletop, which allows for accurate cuts. It also has overload protection to keep the machine safe.
Lastly, it uses a 24-tooth series 30 blade, which is quite versatile. And you get a quick bevel lock, dust port reducer, and blade spanners. All in all, this is a superb product for the money.
3. Skil3410-02 Table Saw
Now, we have a product that comes with its own bench. And no, it is not as weird as it sounds. This table saw has a folding stand, which means you can take it to your workplace, unfold it, and get to work.
And needless to say, we like how portable and easy to use it is. In terms of the stand’s quality, this 67-lb saw uses a heavy-duty steel stand that is surprisingly durable, and you can fold and unfold it rapidly.
The bevel angle range is 0 to 47 degrees. Another crucial bit is the material and size of the top. It has a 20” x 26” cast aluminum table that extends to 20” x 32”, which hits a pretty good spot of convenience.
It also has a self-aligning rip fence. This feature allows for accurate and flawless measurements. In terms of the cut height capacity, the blade can go up to 3-1/2” – this will be handy for cutting thicker or multiple materials.
Moreover, you get the EZ view measurement system that will help you achieve accurate settings. It also includes a 10-inch carbide-tooth blade and 5000 RPM motor, which is remarkable.
4. Craftsman Evolv Table Saw
Ensuring proper safety mechanisms for a table saw is crucial, even more so for beginners, as things can get complicated initially. This product on our list provides all those while being very budget-friendly.
For instance, it has a push stick to keep your hand away from danger. Moreover, the anti-kickback pawls also work to ensure that there are no kickbacks while cutting, which is appreciated.
Moreover, the blade guard assembly also does a decent job of keeping things safe. Now, for the rest of the items, this 50-pound table saw has a powerful 15 amp motor that cuts through materials with ease.
You also get a 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade, which does a good enough job for most applications, although you might need something better for professional workloads. It also has a steel tabletop measuring 25” x 17”.
Thanks to this size and the quality cast aluminum, things become much more effortless. You can also tilt the blade from 0 to 45 degrees, which is standard for most table saws. In terms of the maximum cut depth, it goes 3 inches.
That height is 2.5” at 45-degree, however. We also like how effortless it is to adjust the miter gauge in this product. You can achieve smoother cuts even in tricky situations, thanks to that.
5. Bosch 4100-10 Table Saw
For our final pick, we have another product from the good old Bosch. And given their performance throughout all their tools – it’s no surprise. This saw is a rather powerful one that can handle a lot of high-end tasks.
At first, it has a 15 amp motor standing at an impressive four horsepower milestone. This strength results in a substantial 3650 RPM, which can cut through most materials effortlessly. It also comes with a decent blade.
You get the usual carbide-tipped blade in this one too. However, with great power comes great weight. Hence, this one is slightly heavier at around 110 pounds. But you will not mind once you see its cast aluminum top.
It will provide you with a vast workspace and material support with a ripping capacity of 30 inches. Moreover, the soft-start circuitry helps it start with a lower intensity to avoid tripping your breakers.
Once it gets started, the constant response circuitry makes things running smoothly even with continuous load. And even if you lose power, the restart protection will prevent unwanted startups, which is appreciated.
To ensure portability even with the weight, it comes with the GTA47W wheeled stand so that you can move it around when needed. In addition, the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls are impressive as always.
What to Look for Before Buying?
Your wood chisel and table saw can determine how well you can finish your ongoing project. And there are some essential bits that you need to look out for when buying things like these to wood carving patterns for beginners.
Your table saw’s size will play a massive role in how powerful a motor it can hold, how portable it will be, and how big a project it can handle.
These products are generally lighter and smaller. As the name suggests, you could even use this on a table or workbench, as they’re quite portable. They typically do not come with support stands and use blade driven motors.
Moreover, you can use these saws for moderately large projects, especially for DIYers and beginners.
Unlike the benchtop ones, these are more common with mounting stands. And as you can imagine, they are relatively larger than benchtop products. Even with this, the portability of this design is still impressive.
Compact saws are slightly larger than benchtop designs. You will usually find that they use small toothed belts, which makes them quite powerful. While they are somewhat similar to contractor saws in appearance, their table size is smaller.
These are more geared towards professional applications, although they are not as common these days. Nowadays, other large table saws are more usual in this arena.
Cabinet saws are arguably the most impressive design in terms of power and features. However, they are also some of the most expensive ones, so there is that too. In terms of portability, these are not portable at all.
Therefore, these require a lot of storage space. Moreover, they are only necessary for large-scale projects, which are highly unlikely for beginners. So, going down this road would not make much sense.
These saws are also quite large and are well-suited for heavier workloads. You can find hybrid table saws in various styles. For instance, they mostly come with enclosed cabinet designs, but you can also find open leg styles.
You can usually find these into two categories – direct-drive and belt-drive.
This kind of saw uses a universal motor that can directly drive the blade. You can find these in the more portable products, which is somewhat due to their power limitation. These can usually produce up to 2 horsepower.
While this is adequate for beginners and even some professionals, they cannot provide it if you need more power. Moreover, they are a bit louder compared to the other types of motors, the belt-drive ones.
These are much more powerful and are more common for the stationary table saws. So, the chances are that you will not need them as a beginner. These motors have belts that transfer the power to the blades, as you probably have guessed.
This mechanism can produce up to 5 horsepower on a 120V circuit, which goes even higher on 240V. Moreover, these motors are much quieter too. However, your wallet might take a hit if you want one of these.
A rip fence essentially refers to the cutting guide that your saw has. This guide runs throughout the table (parallel to the blade’s cutting plane). Products like circular saws do not have this feature.
If it works as intended, it will lock the wood/board to the board and not let it move out of its position. Without a fence, performing a rip cut would become extremely difficult.
There are a bunch of other features that are crucial and help improve the user experience.
- The Arbor
The arbor (also known as the shaft) is a shaft where you mount your blade. Mostly, the diameter of the arbor hole is around 5/8”.
- Tilt and Elevation
If your saw has an elevation hand wheel, you can adjust the blade’s height. This wheel can come in handy in many scenarios, as it can create a variety in the cutting depth.
On the other hand, you can tilt your blade up to 45 degrees if the product has a tilting wheel. As you can imagine, it can come in handy as well.
Note: Most of these features will not be available to you, even if you get the top hand saws for cutting wood.
Whether you're operating a table saw or the best cordless jigsaw, this bit is one of the most crucial aspects and somewhat overlooked by beginners.
- Splitters and Riving Knives
Both of these ensure the user’s safety when operating. Although their job is in the same ballpark, we recommend riving knives. That is because a riving knife will sit behind the blade and travel up and down with it.
This mechanism prevents any kickbacks, and you can replace the knife if need be. A traditional splitter does a pretty decent job too. However, it does not move along with the blade, which allows for a slight kickback due to the distance.
- Push Sticks
Maneuvering the material with your hand near an extremely sharp blade seems somewhat daunting. Well, that is because it is dangerous. A push stick (AKA push block) does that job and keeps you safe.
- Magnetic Switches
These switches are beneficial in case of a power outage. What they do is automatically shift the power button to the off position. This feature is handy, as it also ensures that it will not start working once the power comes back.
- Blade Guards
Having a blade guard means that it will not shower you with the debris from the cutting material. Moreover, it also plays a part in protecting you from dust and potential kickbacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it okay to use extension cords with my saw?
You can use extension cords without any risk as long as you ensure a few things. The cable needs to handle the same amount of power as the cutting saw and be of high quality. You can also find suggestions from the manufacturer about it.
2. Is a splitter worse than riveting a riveting knife?
It is not worse, per se, as it still does a decent job protecting you. However, a riveting knife will move up and down along with the cutting blade, which results in minimal kickbacks and makes it more effective.
3. Which is the best table saw for a beginner?
While the answer is subjective, a few essential things make a saw suitable for a beginner. For instance, it should have proper safety measures, be comparatively affordable, and be relatively straightforward to operate for learning purposes.
4. Is my circular saw enough?
Circular saws are quite versatile and very portable. However, a table saw gives you more precise cuts and superb longevity. Many smaller versions are quite mobile, as well, which makes them a great choice.
5. What does rip capacity mean in my saw?
The ripping capacity is measured by the distance from the blade to the highest distance your saw’s fence can go to the right side. You can find various lengths, with the larger ones going up to 50”.
The ones mentioned above are undoubtedly some of the best table saws for beginners. They are affordable, the learning curve is not steep, and you can get started right away. But before you do that, do make sure that you are wearing your safety gear. And if you are looking for a Grizzly product to match with your other woodworking equipment, consider giving our Grizzly table saw review a read as well.