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Step 1: Consider Where and How It Will Be Used?

Take a moment to consider two crucial considerations before running out to buy a table saw:
1) How are you going to use the saw, and 2) where are you going to use it?

The first thing to remember is what you want to do with it.
Sure, you’re looking for a DIY saw, but DIYers come in all shapes and sizes.
Do you want to make simple cuts like cutting boards to width and cross cutting stock to length as a home improvement project? Or, are you into making furniture and will use the saw to make bevels, box joints, dadoes, raised panels, and the like?

You can purchase a saw that is capable of conducting the most difficult operation you expect to undertake. Then think about where you want to put the saw and how much room you have.
Is it going to be in a big, dedicated home shop?

Step 2: Pick the Category That Fits You Best

Now that you know how and where you’ll be using the saw, you can look over the different table saw categories to see which one better fits your needs.
Benchtop (or job site), contractor, and cabinet are the three main types.

Bench Table Top Saws:

Table top saws, also known as portable saws or job site saws, are the smallest and lightest, and are most widely used by DIYers who want portability and quick storage while making construction-type cuts.
Most won’t put too much pressure on your home’s electrical system and can be used from a portable stand or workbench. DIYers with restricted working room use these saws.
They aren’t as strong as saws in other categories, and cutting thick stock can be difficult.

Contractor Table Saws:

Contractor table saws are a common option among home improvement enthusiasts.
Most have 1–2 horsepower engines, which are adequate for nearly all tasks.
They have heavy-duty components that provide reliability and precision, weighing between 200 and 300 pounds.
The tables are wide and robust, making them suitable for larger projects.
Some come with excellent fences as standard equipment.
They can also be powered by a regular 120V household outlet.

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Cabinet Saws:

Cabinet saws are the shop’s “King Kong,” and the DIYer who is serious about woodworking loves them.
Simply put, these saws are capable of completing any mission.
They are both powerful (typically 3 – 5 horsepower) and precise.
Wide table extensions and outfeed tables come in a range of sizes and types.
Since these devices weigh more than 450 pounds, they require a considerable amount of dedicated space.

Step 3: Decide What Table Saw Features Are Important To You

It’s time to pick a particular saw now that you’ve settled on the category of saw you want.
It all comes down to personal preference and product features.
Here’s a list of the most critical features to worry about:

Flat top: Precise cutting necessitates a flat tabletop.
Check the saw’s flatness deviation (for a cabinet saw, 0.005″ is normally acceptable).

Fence type: The rip fence should be solidly locked down and completely parallel to the blade.
If your saw doesn’t come with a good fence, you might be able to replace it with one.

Miter gauge: Look for a miter gauge that is reliable and has stops at 45 and 90 degrees.
Also, make sure the table of the saw has a miter gauge slot that is exactly parallel to the blade.

Dust collection: If you’re going to use the saw indoors, make sure it has a dust port so you can plug in a vacuum or dust collector.

Power: Knowing what you may want to cut in the future gives you advantage.
Make sure your saw has enough strength for the job.

Wing additions: Make sure the auxiliary side and outfeed tables can be conveniently connected to contractor and cabinet saws.

Blade factors: Think about how the blade is changed.
You can need to switch blades regularly, so make the process as quick as possible.
Also, make sure the table can accommodate a dado blade if you’ll be making grooved cuts.

Ability to bevel:
Many table saws have the option of tilting the blade to the left for angled cuts.

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