Tami Skinner Table Saw August 23rd, 2018 - 14:24:06
There are four main classes of table saws: contractor saws, benchtop table saws, cabinet saws and hybrid saws. When deciding between portable and floor standing table saws, the main thing you're trying to do is balance durability with portability. Since most portable types of equipment do not have the same durability features, they typically do not last as long as their less portable counterparts.
There are many things you will want to consider before purchasing a new table saw for your shop. There are three main types of table saws: (1) the lightweight, inexpensive and portable contractor's saw, (2) the cabinet saw, so-named because it has an enclosed cabinet as opposed to open base and (3) the new breed of so-called "Hybrid" table saws which fill the price gap between contractor's saws and cabinet saws. This discussion will be only concern cabinet saws because, in my experience, nothing less will do for a shop that produces fine woodworking. Smaller saws lack both the accuracy and capacity of cabinet saws.
Some shops are small enough to require that all machines be able to roll around on the floor. The theory is that you pull out only the machine you are using at the time. In planning your shop, you should decide if your space requirements will mean that everything has to roll, some machines but not others have to roll or all machines can remain in their own positions permanently. Many cabinet saws offer the optional extra of some sort of mobility device. In the case of a table saw, you don't want it rolling around while you are pushing lumber through it and so the wheels must retract enabling the saw to rest on its cabinet base on the floor.
Saws specifically designed for hobbyists and home use are usually outfitted with motors under 3 HP and can be operated on standard 110 volt residential circuitry. In general, motors in this class are powerful enough for routine cutting of sheet goods and hardwoods up to 1'' thick. Professional-class saws, on the other hand, have motors in the 3- 5 HP range and require a 220 volt power supply. Motors in this category are designed to stand up to hours of continuous duty, and have enough power to cut thick, heavy hardwood stock without bogging down.
A table saw is the most common piece of large woodworking equipment found in shops around the world. Table saw are very versatile, and if you can only have one piece of woodworking equipment, a rigid table saw is probably the best one to choose. These more portable types of table saws offer versatility and ease of use with the convenience of portability.