Lost again in the saw department- What different size Table Saws are best suited for?

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Forum topic by CharlieW posted 01-31-2013 12:19 AM 1343 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 2188 days

01-31-2013 12:19 AM

As some of you know I’m outfitting my shop and spending hours looking at and debating the merits of various brands and models of table saws. As I was looking at the 4 sizes of saws in the Hammer line, the 31×31, the 31×48, the 48×48, and the 79×48,

I started wondering what type of project would each of these saws be best at?. As one who is focused on expanding my skills in building boxes and furniture, is the big saw just to much of a luxury? or worse yet, will I outgrow the small saw as my skills improve? With a $2000 price difference between the smallest and largest capacities, it’s a very important question. I’ve been asking myself which of these saws is in the sweet spot and I haven’t figured it out yet. Anybody willing to help me bring some clarity to this I would very much appreciate it.

For what it’s worth, here is the direction I’m going with other equipment:

MM16 Band Saw
Hammer A3-31 jointer/planer
Delta 18-900L Drill Press

Thanks guy’s,


4 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile


1330 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 01-31-2013 04:45 PM

I have the Hammer K3 Winner 48×48. All of the K3 saws are the same “body”. The only difference is the size of the table extensions and a longer slide on the two larger models. For home workshop everyday use the two smaller saws would work well. If you are going to be doing a lot of casework using large sheets of plywood or similar materials, the two larger saws are made to handle that.

Be aware these saws are fairly large for the home workshop and the sliding table needs some room, so be sure to plan for the appropriate space. I mounted my saw on four large cast iron casters with urethane tires (from Harbor Freight) so I can shift it around whenever I need to run long boards through. At 800 pounds, it takes a hefty shove with the bump of a hip to get it to move, so don’t worry about locking casters. Be sure to calculate the proper weight per caster. My casters can take 300 lbs each (total of 1200 lbs, well within the total limit). Harbor Freight had the best deal on casters by far.

Also, these saws don’t just dump the sawdust into the base of the saw. They are set up to be connected to a vacuum system to suck the sawdust out, So you need to plan for that. For what its worth, standard 4” plastic plumbing drain pipe and fittings from Lowe’s or Home Depot will do just fine to make the connections.

And a “heads up”. There are two safety features that disconnect the power. One does this when you slide the cover aside to change the saw blade, the other is a red “emergency off” button on the side of the saw. So when you wire up the saw and it doesn’t work, make sure these two items are reset. Ask me how I know.

And one last thing just to make you annoyed. I won my saw in a drawing by Hammer last October so it didn’t cost me a dime (except for the casters). :)


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 01-31-2013 04:49 PM

as stated, they are all the same saw, just have different max capacities. If you plan on working with full sheet stock (4’x8’) then the largest model is the one for you. If you plan on doing smaller scale work, then find the model with the capacity that will match your line of work.
the 31×48 and 48×48 seem like an overall good fit for most hobby/home-shop use – but again, woodworking is very personal and our requirements can be very much different. also make sure you have the floor space for these larger ones.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieW's profile


28 posts in 2188 days

#3 posted 01-31-2013 05:09 PM

I modified my floor plan for the larger one and it takes up half the shop. I wonder which would have better resale value? Some say the larger one because many folks getting a slider want the larger capacity but the larger one takes up so much floor that I wonder if the midsize would be better.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#4 posted 01-31-2013 05:21 PM

If you get a slider with more travel, you’ll be able
to use it for straight-lining lumber and forego
a lot of edge jointing.

79” of travel is enough to rip a 6’ standard pantry
side on the sliding carriage. This has benefits,
but the non-pro doesn’t need to cut pantry
parts out that often.

Most rectangular tables fall under 48” wide so imagine
you’ve made a 42” wide table top out of 6/4 oak
and you don’t want to spend a day planing and
sanding saw marks off the end grain. The slider
on a good saw can make that end cut pretty
clean and minimize the end grain finishing time.

No matter what size slider you get, you’ll need
an outrigger to crosscut 4×8 sheets accurately.

I don’t think the outrigger (not to mention a
larger sliding carriage) is worth the footprint in my small
shop personally. I built a vertical panel saw
to handle full sheets and it is a real back saver.

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