John Frye Table Saw August 28th, 2018 - 10:35:14
The bench top saw, also known as the portable saw, does not come all the way to the floor but is meant to be placed on top of a table for support. This is the more lightweight version of the table saws. They usually can be carried by one person from job to job.
Most table saws - other than small bench top models - are equipped with induction type motors in the 1 - 5 HP range. On larger saws, you'll most often find a "totally enclosed, fan cooled" (TEFC) induction motor. A TEFC motor is designed for continuous duty and is sealed against dust and other contaminants - a significant advantage in a woodshop.
The quality of the table saw surface (or "bed") is extremely important to the overall performance of the machine. The table surface needs to be reliably flat and rigid to properly support the workpiece during a cut. As one of the most massive parts of the saw, the table surface also plays a major role in absorbing vibration. Because of the need for mass, rigidity and flatness, cast iron is the material of choice for the top of a table saw. On a quality saw, the table is made using a hefty quantity of cast iron and state-of-the-art foundry methods. The end result of the casting process is then precision ground to flatness in the .0005'' tolerance range.
The saw should come with a Biesemeyer or similar type fence included in the purchase price. This type of fence locks and aligns itself to a rectangular tube attached to the front of the saw table when you press down on a handle. Fence accuracy and ease of operation will be important every time you touch your table saw and so a cheap fence is no bargain. The fence will probably read measurements along a stick-on measuring tape on the top of the front fence rail tube. You will need to carefully adjust the fence for accuracy. Instructions of how to do this should come with the set-up instructions for the saw.
The bench top model is preferred for those who are looking for a table saw that is portable and less expensive; however, remember that you always get what you pay for. The bench top saw has the least amount of capability out of any of the table saws. With the decreased size and weight of the saw, it is less durable and there are greater restrictions of the size of projects one can do.
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