Those who have been in the woodworking business for many years can remember that, about 20 years ago, there were only two types of table saws. The first one was a large cast-iron contractor saw which had a horsepower of 2.5 and which weighed about 250 pounds. The second model was a bit portable since it weighed about 200 pounds and was mainly used for basic functions. Due to their size, moving them was not an easy task.
However, these table saws have evolved with time to the compact table saws that we have today. The current models come with very advanced features and they are very lightweight as compared to the previous models. In this article, we shall discuss more about them, find out what is the best table saw and why you need them for your projects.
What are compact table saws?
Compact table saws are bigger than portable saws and they usually sit on a stationary stand. They use a universal motor and some of them contain small-toothed belts which drives them. Other models feature cast-iron tops which makes them look like the large contractor saws.
However, compact table saws have a smaller table and are made of lightweight materials as compared to other types of table saws. Unlike other table saws, compact table saws are easy to notice because they have a stand for boosting stability when making a rip cut. They are also made of quality materials that make them durable and highly reliable.
Compact table saws are the best for contractors or woodworkers who move around frequently since they are very easy to carry. In terms of performance, they work almost the same with the larger table saws. For example, you can use them to rip full sheets of plywood just like when you are using a larger table saw.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Compact Table Saw
Below are some of the key things that you should heck when buying a compact table saw.
For those who love portable tools, a compact table saw is one of the best options because of its lightweight design. If your job requires you to use the saw in different places, a compact table saw will be the best. However, you need to ensure that it is comfortable enough for you when cutting. It should also have a good grip for easier carrying.
If you are using a compact table saw for rough projects, you do not need to change the blade. However, if you want to cut with precision or to cut accurately, you need to look for a high quality blade. Most of the premium blades are a bit slow but they provide clean cuts and accurate results. They are also expensive but they are worth the price.
Compact table saws are powered by a universal motor. This means that their performance highly depends on the strength of the motor. If you want to get the best results, you need a unit with at least 15 amp. If you are searching for a compact table saw that will give you the best performance, you should avoid the cheap ones since most of them are not powerful.
To get the most accurate and efficient cuts, the fence should be straight and should also be parallel to the blade. It should also be easy to adjust.
Safety Accessories You Must Have When Using Compact Table Saws
Compact table saws come with everything you would require to get the job done. However, you need some safety gears that will keep you safe anytime you are using the compact table saw. They include;
Since compact table saws are used for cutting, you need to ensure that your hands are very safe from the blades. Look for gloves that are made of heavy duty and tough materials because some materials will easily allow the blade to penetrate . Apart from protecting you from the blade, they also ensure that you are safe from lose work pieces and flying debris. In addition, grooves will give you a better grip when handling different materials.
Some compact table saws are a bit loud which can lead to discomfort especially when you are using them for long hours. What you need to know is that long-term exposure to loud noise can damage your eardrums and may also lead to some serious hearing problems. Therefore, it is advisable to use some accessories such as small headphones, earplugs and full ear coverings which will keep away sound as you work. However, these accessories should be very comfortable when wearing them.
Irrespective of the type of saw you are using, you must always ensure that your eyes are protected. Therefore, you need to have safety goggles anytime you are using the compact table saw.
If you are looking for a comfortable and more stable table saw that will give you a great performance, you can never go wrong with compact table saws. They are lightweight and are the best for almost all types of cutting projects. These saws are also ideal for those with a limited space in their workshop or those who move around a lot. However, you should pick a model that is powerful enough for your projects.