Pick a Table Saw But Not Just Any Table Saw
When you decide it is time to invest in a new piece of equipment it is a really good idea to create a list of criteria to use for evaluation. This helps you to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. A table saw is such an essential component of your workshop I thought you would find it useful to know what criteria I use to evaluate and select my table saw(s).
Few accessories are as important as a good fence. Today almost all fences are a modification of the time tested, shop proven Beismeyer style fence. This fence uses a 3 point contact on the fence head to ensure that it locks square to the blade every time; once it is adjusted that is. The repeatability of this fence means you don’t need a tape because it is already built into this system. It is a very accurate measuring system – learn to trust it and you won’t be sorry.
Whenever possible I opt for a 3 H.P. motor so that I have the ability to cut anything. Sometimes, however, home shops don’t have 220 volt power readily available. If this is the situation you are in then you will want to look at a hybrid saw, which is a very good alternative.
If you do have 220 volt power but not the budget for the 3 H.P. then your best option is to go ahead and get the hybrid saw and rewire it for 220 volt. In this case a 1 1/2 H.P. hybrid motor that is wired on 220 volt will get you the performance of a 2 H.P. motor. It’s a simple way to get more power even if you can’t spring for the bigger motor.
#3 Riving Knife
What the heck is a riving knife you ask.? A riving knife is the new style splitter mechanism that is directly behind the blade, but a riving knife moves with the blade keeping a constant distance between it and the blade. A riving knife moves with the blade since it is attached to the trunnion while a splitter is attached to the frame of the saw and as the blade is lowered the distance between the blade and splitter increases therefore the chance of a kickback can actually get worse and that is one reason most people will remove it along with the guard.
I know how much everyone loves blade guards but, even if you are the guy that throws his away as he is un-crating the saw you will want to put a riving knife on your saw. It does not get in the way and since most table saw injuries are caused by kickback this will eliminate this danger. Take my advice – save your fingers with this handy knife, you’ll be very glad you did.
WARNING- If you use thin kerf saw blades make sure the riving knife on your new saw will accept them.
#4 Dust collection
Dust collection may be the last thing you are thinking of when deciding which saw you want to buy. In fact you may not even have a dust collector right now. I can almost guarantee, however, that before too long you are going to want one. What I’m saying is that before you make the final decision on your saw please check, and maybe even double check, that your new saw has a port that you can attach that dust collector to. (And, when you do get that dust collector please don’t hesitate to send me a note of thanks for reminding you about the port!)
#5 Availability of Parts and Service
There’s nothing worse than finding a good deal on a discontinued model of saw only to realize that finding parts and service for the “good deal” is almost impossible. When you invest in a major piece of equipment like a saw you want it to last for years, if not decades.
Since 1954 Circle Saw has offered parts repair and replacement to our customers. And, we are an authorized warranty center for Jet, Powermatic and Saw Stop. The bottom line… you can buy with confidence from Circle Saw.