Tips & Tricks: Types of Table Saws

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 11-15-2011 01:50 PM 2109 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18615 posts in 3579 days

11-15-2011 01:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saws tips tricks

What are your tips/tricks re: Types of Table Saws?
- cabinet saws? bench? contractor? hybrid? Differences and expectations?

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

8 replies so far

View mainwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 2067 days

#1 posted 11-15-2011 02:42 PM

I have never owned a bench saw, or a Hybrid. So I can’t speak to them. I have owned a contractor saw, and found it OK. I have a Cabinet saw (Powermatic), with a 52” top. It is well worth the high dollars I spent on it.
I work alone and the 52” top makes it so much easier to work plywood. The cabinet saw is much heaver and more solid than the contractor saw (no vibration). With a good blade it makes cleaner cuts than the contractor saw. A contractor saw on the other-hand is moveable and semi-portable (for those who work in their garages or have to take the saw to a work-site).

I would not trade my Cabinet Saw for any thing else I can thank of.

-- Measure twice, cut once, and hope for the best.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2856 days

#2 posted 11-15-2011 03:38 PM

I have an older but still viable Delta/Rockwell contractors table saw. I have it as accurate as I can get it but it’s not as powerful as some of the new saws and it would need some major fence upgrade to make it a high end tool.

I compensate for this by using it mostly for ripping wood after it’s been jointed. It does a good job of that. Then I have a nice 12” compound sliding Bosch miter saw for most of my crosscuts. Between the two I manage to get all the cuts I need.

Someday though… a Sawstop. Recommended it to my nephew. He’s young and hoping to keep all of his fingers. Anyway, it’s a very well made piece of equipment.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8089 posts in 2847 days

#3 posted 11-15-2011 04:02 PM

Mine is a late 70’s Shopsmith MK V with a Jointech saw train and router table added.
I replaced the stock miter gauge with a Kreg and, with the Jointech fence, it’s a far more accurate machine, now.
This old lady has worked through several house remodels, numerous kitchen cabinet jobs and an untold number of smaller case work projects.
I wouldn’t trade it for a Powermatic or General, (strictly emotional attachment) but I’d sure love to have a good cabinet saw!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View shipwright's profile


7084 posts in 2217 days

#4 posted 11-15-2011 04:12 PM

Delta Unisaw with Unifence. The saw is great but the Unifence is the star. Absolutely accurate and more optional setups than any other fence I’ve seen.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3398 days

#5 posted 11-15-2011 06:26 PM

Same as Paul, in the cabinet shop, it’s a Unisaw and Unifence.

I also added a Jet sliding crosscut table to it, which is a really nice piece of equipment, and of course an ezee-feed infeed table.

But on jobsites, using a contractors saw is a necessary evil. One of the things is miss about the cabinet saw, while on these job sites is the quiet power they provide. Most smaller saws have a motor that screams. That noise is irritating to me. I gave away a small contractors saw due to the noise it made.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2402 days

#6 posted 11-15-2011 11:08 PM

At 5 foot nothing, its difficult to find machines for the shorter individual to feel comfortable at. While I would love to have gotten a cabinet saw, I opted for a contractor’s saw. I bought a Z series contractor and mounted it to a cabinet so that it would be comfortable to work at and be relatively safe at the same time. This saw has served me well for years now and if I have any complaints it would have to pertain to the fence. The fence is a Shop Fox and while it has served me well and functions fine. It does have its draw backs when it comes to adding an out feed table as opposed to a Bismeyer fence that would allow an out feed table to be attached directly to the table saw.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2388 days

#7 posted 11-16-2011 01:20 AM

Combination machine (SCM Minimax) with sliding carriage and scoring unit. Great machine but loses points because you can’t leave the saw set up if you want to use the planer.
Roller stands will steer your sheet off if they’re not perpendicular to the blade.
If you have a small table saw you take to jobsites, put it against the bulkhead of the van in case some asshole makes you do an emergency stop. Don’t leave it on site in case plasterer/painter/sparky uses it as a step. Lessons learnt.

View StumpyNubs's profile


6830 posts in 2219 days

#8 posted 11-16-2011 03:11 AM

Contractors saws are what most of us have. Cabinet saws are what most of us want. But when we finally get one, we realize that the contractors saw was more than adequate for the kind of work we do, and without the wrath of the missus over spending three grand for a new tool!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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