Best Beginner Table Saw: 5 Picks for budding woodworkers

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Woodworking has exploded in popularity over the past few years. More and more people are rediscovering the beautiful art of creating with wood. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you’ve probably heard about table saws. They’re one of the best tools to have for an enormous range of woodworking tasks.

When starting out in the world of woodworking, it can be difficult to know which tool to use. What’s the best beginner table saw? Is it possible to find a good table saw for beginners or does getting started involve a huge learning curve? Does “expensive” always mean “best”? These are some of the questions this page will answer.

Read on to learn what you need to know before finding the best beginner table saw for you!

Best Beginner Table Saw: Top Picks

1. Hitachi C10RJ 10″ 15-Amp Jobsite Table Saw

This table saw makes it easy to get started in the world of woodworking. The safety profile of this saw is excellent. The electric brake is easy to use and stops the blade within seconds of activation. This is an important feature to look out for when finding a beginner table saw.

Recoil and noise are significantly reduced by the soft-start function of this machine. The 10-inch, 40 tooth carbide-tipped blade has a great rip capacity for larger cuts. This machine has a bevel range of 0 to 45 degrees. The 15-amp motor drives the blade at 4500 RPM. This should allow you to smash through even the toughest materials.

A good saw for beginners is one that can deliver on power and performance. This offering from Hitachi is an excellent example.

Pros

  • Safety features make this a good beginner option
  • Powerful 15-amp motor
  • Great noise reduction

Cons

  • The quality of the rip fence could be improved

2. SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw

Some of the best table saws for beginners will make it easy to perform everyday woodworking tasks. This offering from SKIL features an “EZ view” measurement system for accurate settings. This will significantly boost your ability to work effectively. The self-aligning rip fence also supports you when taking measurements.

A portable table saw can be a great option for beginners. If you haven’t worked out your ideal workshop setup yet, a tool that is easy to transport might be worth considering. The tough steel stand on this model can be set up and moved about very easily.

If you’re worried about fitting longer work pieces into your table saw, this is a great beginner table to consider. The surface can expand to 20 x 32 inches making larger projects easy.

Pros

  • Expandable table
  • A more portable design
  • Easy, accurate measurements

Cons

  • The rip fence is a little chunky

SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw with Folding Stand
  • 20-inch x 26-inch cast aluminum table extends to 20-inch x 32-inch for longer work pieces
  • 3-1/2-Inch cut height capacity for cutting through 4x materials
  • Heavy-duty steel stand for fast setup and easy transport. Bevel angle range:0° to 47°
  • Self-aligning rip fence for accurate measurements
  • EZ view measurement system for accurate settings. Cord length: 6 feet

3. Bosch GTS1031

The best beginner saws offer high levels of control. This portable table saw from Bosch delivers on this front. The handy smart guard with anti-kickback pawls and riving knife system gives you a level of control that will be necessary if you’re new to woodworking.

This is one of the best portable options on our list. The balanced design is easy to carry using one hand and the footprint is compact enough for most storage solutions. The rip fence on this saw for beginners is self-aligning, allowing for consistent cuts and excellent performance every time.

One of the most overwhelming things for a beginner can be managing their work environment. The tool storage offered by this beginner table is excellent. There will be plenty of room for your rip fence, smart guard, miter gauge, and wrenches when you’re not working.

Something to consider when searching for a table saw for beginners is dust collection. Dust and debris can be a serious hazard when woodworking. This machine features a dust clear out chute at the back of the tool to keep dust management quick and easy.

Pros

  • This is perhaps the best table saw on this list when it comes to portability
  • Plenty of storage space for your miter gauge and other components
  • A stunning level of control

Cons

  • The blade clamping lever can come use if not engaged properly

4. DEWALT (DWE7491RS) 10-Inch Table Saw

Learning how to quickly adjust your table saw is one of the best things to tackle early on as a beginner. Producing quality work means knowing how to tweak your tool. The rack and pinion fence system on this table saw makes adjustments refreshingly easy.

If you’re looking for a beginner table that can help you establish your kit, this is one of the best options out there. With purchase you’ll receive your saw, along with a 10-inch, 12-tooth carbide blade; a rolling stand; a push stick; a miter gauge; a rip fence; 2 blade wrenches; a blade guard; and an easy-to-follow assembly manual.

The best table saw is one that stays safe while you’re working. The rolling stand on this machine delivers excellent stability, keeping you secure while getting the perfect cut. The 15-amp motor on this saw table powers the blade at 4800 RPM. This power makes it easy to cut pressure treated lumber and hardwoods.

If your work is likely to involve tougher materials, this might be the best beginner table saw for you.

Pros

  • The powerful motor makes it easy to cut tougher materials
  • Safe and stable rolling stand
  • Rack and pinion system makes adjustments easy

Cons

  • The miter gauge on this table saw isn’t the most convenient to use

5. SKILSAW SPT99T-01 8-1/4″ Portable Worm Drive Table Saw

This is a portable table saw that’s one of the best options out there for beginners. The lightweight and compact design of this table saw make it easy to carry with you wherever you might need it. If you think durability is going to matter to you, then this one is a cut above the rest.

The all-metal construction delivers SKILSAW’s legendary durability. This table saw will be fit for use years down the line. The worm drive gearing here is found on some of the best table saws on the market and offers maximum torque for your ripping tasks. You’ll be able to tear through sheet goods with the 2-5/8-inch depth of cut and 25-inch rip capacity.

The patented dual-field motor delivers excellent performance while staying cooler for longer. The best table saw is one that won’t overheat on you!

This table saw comes with SKILSAW’s “180 Day Stay True Guarantee” and 1-year limited warranty. This makes it a great table saw for beginners who need more peace of mind.

Pros

  • Includes a push stick which is a nice bonus
  • Legendary durability
  • Great rip capacity

Cons

  • The price point might not be easy to swallow for some beginners

What You Should Know About Table Saws as a Beginner

Finding the best table saw for the job isn’t the only thing you’ll need to think about. There are a number of factors that can affect your safety, the quality of your work and the amount of time it takes to get things done. Many saws come with features that will help a great deal, but it’s important to consider the factors we outline below.

The Blade

The blade of your table saw determines the type and quality of cut you’re able to achieve. There’s no point wasting hours researching the best table saws if you’re not going to use the right blade! There are four main types of blade to consider. Depending on your requirements, you might need:

  • A flat top grind (FTG) blade
  • An alternate top bevel (ATB) blade
  • A combination (ATBR) blade
  • A triple-chip grind (TCG) blade

Flat Top Grind Blades (FTG)

These blades use teeth with top edges that are square to the plate of the saw. Some people call these teeth rakers. They plow into the wood in the same way a chisel might cut out chunks from a wood piece. These blades cut quickly and last a long time. What’s important to note, is that these don’t produce a smooth surface.

They’re designed to rip through wood, not leave a clean finish.

Alternate Top Bevel Blades (ATB)

ATBs use teeth that are angled across the top edge, with every second tooth tilted in the opposite direction. This unique shape means alternate top bevel blades shear through wood fibers with clean results. For a cleaner cut, opt for options with a steeper bevel angle. Teeth with a steeper angle will dull more quickly than other configurations.

Most ATBs are promoted as “all-purpose” solutions.

Combination Blades (ATBR)

A combination blade uses 50 teeth that are configured in groups of five. Four ATB teeth are grouped with a following raker tooth. This is where “ATBR” comes from. The first four teeth are there to make clean crosscuts, while the raker teeth support rip tasks.

This is another option that’s marketed as an “all-purpose” design.

Triple-Chip Grind Blades (TCG)

In this setup, the teeth alternate between a raker tooth and a chamfered tooth. The purpose of the chamfered tooth is to rough out the cut. The raker that follows after it is designed to clean it up. These blades are great for sawing dense materials like plastic laminates, corian, brass and aluminum. ATBs would choke quickly on these materials.

Combination Blade” vs “All-Purpose Blade

When getting started with your table saw for beginners, it’s easy to get misled by marketing terms. Two of these terms are “combination blade” and “all-purpose blade”. We’ll need to take a little history lesson to understand the difference.

Back in the past, when the best table saw around looked very different, “combination blades” was the only term being used. This name came from their 50-tooth ATBR tooth configuration that was built to rip cut and cross cut. This type of blade is still widely available for table saws, but there’s a newer configuration available.

The term “all-purpose” usually refers to a 40-tooth ATB blade. These are another great option for making rip cuts and cross cuts into lumber and sheet goods.

Tooth Count

Another thing to consider when working with your new table saw is the number of teeth on your blade. As a general rule, a lower tooth count will result in a faster cut. The tradeoff here is that the finish will likely be much rougher than with other options.

For many applications though, all that matters is cutting into the wood, so a lower tooth count can be very useful.

A higher tooth count will result in a smoother, finer finish for your projects but will work more slowly.

Safety

Table saws are exciting tools but they deserve respect. If you’re not careful, you can cause serious injury to yourself or others.

Dust and debris are serious hazards to consider when working. Look for a saw that offers good dust collection features. These are usually ports or chutes that attach to most home vacuum cleaners.

Look for safety accessories like a push stick that will protect your fingers when moving workpieces across the table. The last thing you want to do is expose your hands to a rotating blade.

Tables saws with great braking features are a must for woodworkers of any experience level. In an emergency situation, you need your blade to stop – fast. A great table saw will come with an electric brake that gets to work immediately. Look for options with easy controls.

Kickback is one of the most common safety concerns with table saws. Models that offer anti-kickback features as standard are definitely worth considering. You really don’t want your saw to kick back at you; it’s top of the list of reasons that people hurt themselves on tabletop saws.

Your table saw should be durable and dependable. If you can’t trust that the components won’t break, you can’t trust that it won’t hurt you.

Ease of Use

Owning a table saw that you feel confident in using is very important, especially when you’re just starting out. Some of the products on this page have features like self-aligning miter gauge accessories or pinion fence systems. Additions like this can go a long way in boosting your confidence with your saw.

Something as simple as the handles that your table saw uses can make a huge difference. Look for ergonomic designs and well-balanced constructions.

Table saws that make adjustments easy are well worth the money. Machines with toolless switching systems remove a lot of the headaches that used to be associated with table saws.

What you need out of your table saw will also affect what you consider to be an acceptable level of convenience. If you’re only going to be working at home, it might not matter that your saw is very heavy. If your work involves a lot of traveling, you’ll definitely want a lightweight table saw.

While we’re on the subject of convenience, we think the DEWALT (DWE7491RS) 10-Inch Table Saw (number 4 on this list) is one of the best saws around for home use. A number of easy-to-use considerations here make it an excellent option for this context.

Cost

Everyone has a budget to consider. Yours will determine the table saw you’re able to afford. As always, it’s time to consider your requirements. The things you need your saw to do for you will determine the feature set you look for. There’s no point buying a state-of-the-art machine if your projects only need basic crosscuts!

Depending on where you are in the world, prices for table saws may vary wildly. As a general rule, budget saws can be found for around $250 – $300. Much lower than this and you should steer well clear.

You should expect to pay between $350 – $600 for a premium table saw. It’s certainly an investment, but in our opinion, they’re well worth the money.

If you’re looking for a budget option, we think the Bosch GTS1031 is one of the best saws out there. The portability, durability, and performance on offer here are unparalleled at this price point.

Can it Grow With You?

It might sound overwhelming if you’re just starting out, but buying a table saw is just step one. There is an ocean of options available for accessories that can go with your new tool.

These aren’t just frivolous bells and whistles either, many table saw accessories can seriously elevate your woodworking craft. We have a more comprehensive guide to table saw accessories that can be found on this site.

Some of the aspects of your craft that can be improved by accessories include:

  • Your safety. Additions like push blocks and jigs can protect you while working.
  • Your accuracy. Digital angle tools can take quick, effortless measurements for you.
  • Your performance. Options like link belts can boost the productivity and performance of your tool.
  • Your durability. Many accessories can protect from vibration, dust build up and unnecessary damage. This can seriously improve the durability of your tool and save you money long term.
  • Your versatility. There are plenty of add-ons that can make it much easier to tackle a wider variety of different cutting materials.

If you’re looking at a more obscure table saw that might not be compatible with many accessories, it’s probably worth changing your mind. The accessories you’re able to use can be just as important as the table saw you buy.

Conclusion

Many woodworking beginners ask if table saws are even worth it. We hope this page has communicated that the answer to this question is a resounding: yes!

It can be very challenging to wade through the number of recommendations out there. Our goal with this page has been to explain the fundamentals of table saws and available brands, so that it’s a little easier to narrow down your search. We say it every time because it’s worth repeating: consider your requirements closely.

The clearer you are about what you need your shiny new table saw to achieve, the easier it will be to find a tool that works for you. These are expensive tools that are a worthwhile investment, but you need to know what to expect before wasting your money.

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