Why a contractor table saw, not portable or cabinet one?
A contractor table saw provides a perfect balance between its portable and cabinet counterparts. The cabinet models are stationary and fixed. You cannot move them around, however; they are an excellent option if you are working on large-scale projects because they come with tremendous cutting power.
Portable table saws are also related to benchtop designs that are lightweight and offer excellent maneuverability. If you move around a lot from one site to another, then this portability feature make your work easy. Now, contractor table saw sits right in the middle of these two both in terms of the features and the performance.
Regarding cutting power, they are better than portable versions but not than the cabinet ones. A balance between a relatively good cutting strength with the convenience of mobility is what this machine is all about. It is your excellent space-saving option.
Features to consider while choosing a contractor table saw
There are various features that you must consider before buying a contractor table saw which meets all your needs and requirements. By making a hasty decision here, you will end up overspending on equipment which will affect your productivity at the job-site as well. Here are some features that you should look at before making your purchase.
It’s good to know that amperage doesn’t actually refer to the saw power, it’s more about how long it can continuously run within the temperature limit. All the products in this article come with a 15A motor with slight variations in horsepower ranging from 1.75 HP to 2 HP.
However, if you work with hardwoods on a daily basis then you will need a cabinet table saw with higher amperage than 20A otherwise you will wear out your machine in no time, and that will be a waste of money.
Most table saws come with a 10-inch blade. It is suitable for a variety of cuts and can go through different types of materials with relative ease. When you separately purchase a blade, make sure that it is compatible with your table saw design and the work you frequently do. Cabinet style comes with blades bigger than 10-inch, and they are designed to handle large pieces. Some expensive machine versions also have 12-inch blades.
Maximum cut depth
Depending on your project, you’ll also want to consider how deep your new saw can cut the materials. For all our products we’ve put two options – for 0 bevel and 45 bevel, the two extreme points at which your blade can cut. So it’s crucial always to check this figure especially if you know exactly what you’re going to do with your contractor table saw.
Maximum dado width
Most of the table saws offer 13/15-inch or 13/16-inch but you can also find saws that enable you to get 2/4-inch or 3/8-inch dado width as well. However, the later models come at a high price because you can make adjustments to the fence along with the deck. If your work calls for more variety, then you can go for those commercial grade machines.
Table size has a significant role to play when it comes to contractor saws. You cannot opt for a long size because you must keep it maneuverable as well. There are various designs available that have 52-inch table tops as well. Nevertheless, with a large top, you need to compromise on the maneuverability of the table saw up to a certain extent.
The RPM (or revolutions per minute) depends upon the strength of the motor. Most of the table saw models are equipped with 15 to 20 Amp motors that can produce 3000 to 6000 RPM, for instance, Makita 2705X1 offers 4800 RPM. If you want more RPM, then you will need a cabinet saw. However, in most cases, it is better to work with low RPM because it gives you more precision and accuracy.
Many manufacturers offer warranties that range from one to five years (as the Delta 36-5000). If you want higher warranty, then be ready to spend more money.
The warranty covers all issues associated with the faulty parts and components as well as the quality. But it doesn’t cover any problems raised by accidents, misuse, negligence or abuse along with regular wear, so make sure you follow all the safety instructions carefully.
There are some additional features that you need to consider as well. For example, fence and miter gauge also have a significant role to play. Usually, a T-square fence is highly recommended because of its rigidity, accuracy, and performance. For the cross cuts, you will need a quality miter gauge to get your accuracy bang on target.