It wouldn’t be entirely wrong if we say that table saws are a woodworker’s best friend. While most of their work can be easily done with a handheld saw, some jobs require more power and precision than you can get with a simple saw.
If you’re a woodworker or a DIY enthusiast, then you can do a lot of wonderful things with a table saw. You can easily use it to cut through large pieces of wood without extra effort, making this tool a valuable addition to your workshop.
If you’re wondering, “What is a table saw?” or “How does a table saw work?” there’s no need to worry. We’ll cover all the basics about table saws and how they can be used safely. Let’s get to it then.
What Is a Table Saw?
You might already be familiar with some types of saws, such as chain saws, hand saws, and many others. As the name suggests, table saws involve a certain table or workshop setup.
A table saw features a circular blade mounted underneath the surface of a table, and a small part of the blade protrudes above it. This part is used to saw through wood. You have to guide the piece of wood you want to cut towards the blade.
Markings and measurements on the table allow you to cut the wood at different angles with greater precision. An arbor is used to hold the saw in place, and it also enables you to modify the cutting angles or depths.
A table saw brings about great benefits in the woodworking industry, and it’s an essential tool to have. Plus, it also takes the load off your hands, as you don’t have to hold the saw for a long time. You can also find portable table saws that can be transported from one location to another but having one in your workshop or garage is quite handy.
Is A Table Saw Different Than the Scroll and Miter Saw?
Table saws are quite different from other types of saws, but they’re quite similar in design to other circular saws, such as the scroll and miter saws. A miter saw is also connected to a table or a frame and is used for more precise cutting work.
A miter saw is more portable than a table saw, and its function allows you to make accurate crosscuts by guiding the blade down towards the piece of wood you want to cut. On the other hand, a scroll saw is similar to a band saw but has a longer and narrower blade. It’s more suitable for detailing and pattern work.
Scroll saws are available in electric and pedal-powered variants, which is another major difference between them and a table saw.
What Is A Mini Table Saw?
Although a table saw is highly useful for your workshop, the chances are that you might not have sufficient space to accommodate it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to do without it. If you have space constraints, you can opt for a mini table saw, a smaller version of the table saw but does the job well.
Mini table saws provide you with a wide range of benefits over full-sized table saws. First of all, they’re compact and take up less space. Secondly, they’re much more economical than the former, making them a valuable addition for DIY enthusiasts. Also, they can be easily assembled and can also be transported with much less hassle.
However, a mini table saw doesn’t provide you with the same power as a traditional table saw, and it also doesn’t come with the full features that they provide.
Are Table Saws Dangerous?
If you compare them to other types of saws, table saws are considered much more harmful and dangerous. The reason for this is the sharp blade that protrudes from it. If you’re not careful, you can accidentally strike your hand against the blade, which can be quite catastrophic.
Injuries caused by table saws cause thousands of deaths every year, which is why most people hesitate to use them. However, you can protect yourself from any deadly injuries or accidents by using proper safety procedures, such as using cut-resistant gloves and installing safety switches for your table saws.
Table Saw Safety Tips
If you think about it, every power tool can be dangerous for you if you don’t use it properly or don’t equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Therefore, you can employ certain safety tips to ensure the safe operation of your table saws. As mentioned above, installing a safety switch is one of the best ways to prevent any accidents.
Here are some safety tips that you should always follow before starting any task:
- Clear out your table saw of any raw materials, tools, or any other equipment used in the woodworking process. Once you turn the saw on, it shouldn’t collide with anything else.
- Make sure to clear out a safe space of 2 feet around the table so that you have enough space to maneuver the wood pieces properly.
- Check the type of blade that you’re using for the job. Make sure that it’s suitable for the purpose you’re using it for. Also, check for the tightness of the nut that holds the blade.
- Inspect the safety features of your table saw and check if each component is working properly. This will help you stay safe, even if the saw malfunctions.
- Keep clear of the electrical cord so that it doesn’t wrap around your feet or cause you to trip.
- Use safety gear like safety goggles, face shields, cut-resistant gloves, and other suitable equipment. This will protect you from wood chippings or any slip-ups you might make.
In a nutshell, table saws are a wonderful power tool to use for cutting wood with greater accuracy and precision. Not only are they useful for cutting all types and lengths of wood, but they also ensure convenience and utility. They can be used for crosscuts, miter cuts, ripping, rabbeting, and many other applications.
We hope this article helps you understand what a table saw is and how you can safely use it for all your woodworking and DIY projects. All you need to do is go out, choose a suitable table saw, clear some space for it, and install it in your workshop. Then, ensure you adhere to safety procedures while using them for your projects.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.