ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Ultimate Table Saw Guide

Updated on October 26, 2014

The Ultimate Woodworkers Guide to Table Saws

From cabinetmakers to do-it-yourself artisans, the table saw is one of the most important tools in the woodworker's shop. Used primarily for maintaining a straight line while cutting wood, they are also capable of beveling, rabbeting, grooving, and dadoing. The table saw gets used on more projects than any other power tool in the shop.

This is the ultimate table saw guide, you will learn about the different types, as well as maintenance tips for keeping it running efficiently and accurately. You will also learn about table saw blade types and installation tips.

The Facts about Table Saw Blades

An accurate cut starts with blade installation, make sure the arbor, nut, washer and flange are free of burrs or residual buildup. Next, make sure you have the right blade for each task, blades with many teeth cut cleaner, while blades with fewer teeth cut faster.

The Two main types of table saw blades are ATB&R (Alternating Top Bevel & Raker) and ATB (Alternating Top Bevel). Tooth count ranges from 40 to 80 depending on which task you are performing.

Keeping a sharp blade on your table saw not only keeps the saw running longer it helps to minimize bad or rough-cuts in material.

Benchtop Table Saw

The benchtop table saw is the smallest type of table saw, making it is easily transported; however, it is the least powerful. Designed to sit on a workbench, some come with foldable support legs. Ripping width is restricted to around 24" due to the compact table size and ripping long material requires an out feed table. Benchtop table saws are ideal for the do-it-yourself handyman as well as professionals who cut smaller material.

Contractor Table Saw

The contractor table saw is portable but has more power than the benchtop. They are heavier and larger, often-constructed out of cast iron. A stand is attached to provide adequate working height; this often includes wheels for ease of movement around the work area. The motor, which is heavy, is on a hinge and drives the blade using a single belt.

The do-it-yourself handyman with adequate workspace often uses this style. As the name implies, contractors find this saw perfect for moving to the job site for the duration of the job. Cabinetmakers generally start off with the contractors saw due to its lower cost, eventually upgrading to a true cabinet saw. However, these saws make a great secondary saw in the cabinet shop.

Cabinet Table Saw

The cabinet table saw is the most powerful style, also making it the heaviest. They use large amounts of cast iron and steel to reduce vibration and increase accuracy. Distinguished by having a closed cabinet base, this provides improved dust collection. This style requires a dedicated 220V outlet, so moving and setting up the cabinet saw is not done often.

Cabinetmakers, or accomplished furniture makers generally use this style. Professional quality cabinet saws from the most trusted manufacturers in the business.

Maintaining Your Table Saw

Proper care of your table saw is important to its performance, dusting it off everyday, and waxing the surface are crucial to the life of the saw. Waxing the working surface not only makes pushing material into the blade easier it protects the metal from humidity and rust.

A good fence is important if you use your table saw daily, fences might fail over time causing damage to your material. If your fence fails, try to repair it immediately, or purchase a new one. A great fence can make your cuts straighter and more accurate.

Keeping your table saw clean and adjusted takes very little time so take the time to do it for best results. Check the blade alignment in relevance to the fence and the miter groove. Keep the raising gears free of caked-on pitch and resins that build up over time. Make sure the motor, belt and pulley are aligned and in good shape.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)