Table saws

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Table saws3Table saws are vital pieces of equipment for any woodworking workshop.

They provide the accuracy and durability of a hand-held saw along with the efficiency and speed of a power tool.

They also allow the user to cut through various materials such as wood, plastics and metals with the minimum of effort.

What is a Table Saw?

A table saw is a powered cutting tool which contains a mandril mounted adjustable circular saw. The saw is built into a table and powered by an electric motor.

The height of the saw is adjustable to allow the machinist to change the depth and angle of the cut. Table saws traditionally come in four different general classes; benchtop table saw, cabinet table saw, contractor table saw and hybrid table saws.

A benchtop table saw is light and portable. It is usually placed on top of another surface such as a table or a work bench.

Cabinet table saws are larger and heavier than both the benchtop and contractor alternatives. They offer lower vibration and increased durability, but are mainly confined to industry.

A contractor table saw is the saw most favored by hobbyists and people working at home. They can be run off a domestic power source and are relatively cheap to run.

Hybrids offer the affordability, weight and ease of use of a contractor saw along with the power of and accuracy of a cabinet saw.

Safety

As with all power tools, great care and concentration should be applied whenever operating a table saw. The most common injury is not from the blade itself, but from ‘kickback’.

Kickback is when the material being cut is suddenly kicked back at the operator by the saw blade. There are two main causes of kickback; an underpowered saw and an incorrect blade height.

With an underpowered saw, the blade will not have the power to cut through the material and simply propel it through the air.

With an incorrect blade height, the saw tends to catch on the material being cut and rather than cutting through will lift it into the air.

To avoid being hit in the face by a flying piece of wood you should ensure the material is secured at all times, the saw is powered correctly and the correct blade height is applied.

These safety guidelines are not exhaustive and, as always, safety goggles should be worn at all times and the usual safety procedures should be followed.

If you are a woodworking enthusiast, tables saw should be an integral part of your equipment.

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