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Router Table Expert

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Buyers Guide for 10" Table Saw for Woodworking

Before the days of electricity, woodworkers and furniture builders did their work without the help of a table saw. Today, nearly every wood shop contains power tools, and the table saw is the centerpiece of a craftsman's power tool arsenal. A potential buyer is greeted with many different table saw choices, and the selection process can be difficult. A few basic guidelines will cut through the confusion. If you need a router table buyuing guide you should read and get all information needed.

A Tool for Everyday Woodworking Use

Before buying any power tool, the woodworker needs to ask, "what am I going to do with this?" If the tool is only going to be used on rare occasions, or for small projects, it wouldn't make sense to buy the biggest, baddest tool in the state. Big and bad cost more and more, and in the case of a table saw, that can mean thousands.

The most popular size for a table saw is 10 inch, which refers to the diameter of the saw blade that the saw uses. A 10 inch table saw has the capacity to cut through three inch thick wood, if the saw motor has adequate power. Ten inch saw blades are very common, and most sharpening businesses will have equipment that can re-sharpen most blades of this size.

Several manufacturers make a 10 inch table saw that can be placed on a bench top or a pair of sawhorses. These are the entry level tools, and are meant for the hobbyist or other woodworkers who only use a table saw for light-duty cutting. Prices for these power tools will start at less than $300.

Big Jobs Call for Big Power Tools

A popular choice for many woodworkers is the Contractor table saw. This saw is a stationary power tool that features an open legged base. It can commonly rip a piece of wood 24" wide, or more and has a motor with 1 1/2 horsepower. This saw will have an adequate rip fence and miter gauge, and can be outfitted with various after market improvements, if needed. These saws will hold their own in most shops, and prices can range from $600 to around $1000.

A step up from this tool is the Cabinet table saw. These heavy duty tools will commonly have 3 or 5 horsepower motors, 50" rip capacity, an enclosed base, upgraded rip fence and miter gauge. Most of these saws have cast iron table tops, and their extra weight will reduce vibration. As 10" table saws go, these are the top of the food chain. Everything about them is heavy duty and built to stand up to the rigors of a busy shop. The Cabinet table saw comes at a price; expect to pay over $3000 for many models.

So, which of these power tools is the one to buy? In a nutshell, it will probably boil down to how seriously a woodworker is involved in his/her work. The small saw is fairly painless on the checkbook, but it isn't meant to deliver the performance of the larger tools. If woodworking is a new hobby or something to do on the weekends, the Contractor saw might do the trick. But, if a woodworker is going to make his/her living in the shop, and the tools of that shop will be used all day, every day....a table saw is no place to pinch pennies.

Not an easy choice, especially since money doesn't grow on trees.

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