What Is a Table Saw

January 8, 2021

What is a table saw for woodworking

What is a table saw? One of our more common use in woodworking is a tabletop saw; a smaller version of a true table saw used primarily for crosscutting larger pieces of wood. These are great for the beginning woodworker who doesn’t have the big budget of a full-size table saw. As I describe below, a tabletop saw is among the finest tools you could add to your woodworking shop, and whether or not you are planning on purchasing a full-sized saw, this should be the first one. If you’re only planning on installing tables in your garage, or a small shop, you can get by with a tabletop saw or a band saw combination.

Invention of saw

The question remains: what is a table saw? To answer this question, we need to take a brief look back in time to when table saws were first invented. During the early days of powered woodcutting equipment (which dates back to the 18th century), the benchtop table saw was used for basic crosscutting. It is probably no surprise that this type of table saw is still around today. Most of us have used a benchtop model at some point during our own careers.

Belt saws

The most common saw that comes to mind is the ones that have a twin-belt mechanism (one belt over each of the cuts). The table saw would rotate vertically with the “one-eighth inch” bevel angle, while the work piece would be stationary on a 90 degrees angled rip. Crosscutting was a simple matter of adjusting the angle so the ripping action produced parallel lines on either side of the piece being cut. This simple mechanism made this type of saw very efficient and allowed for all manner of complex cutting operations. The most commonly used variations of this saw are those which use a twin-rate mechanism. twin-rate saws will use a different bevel angle (usually much higher than the 90 degrees used for single-rate saws) along with a different bevel width.

While the mechanism is the same, the variation depends upon the type of material being cut. The table saw assembly is where the rubber band, blade, and motor are located. Dust collection is done with a wire dust collection brush.

Tasks of saw

Table saws are used in woodworking for many different tasks. Single or double-cut saws are generally used for cutting thin materials such as plywood, sheet plastic, and other thin sheets. Table saws with longer sawing teeth can also be used to cut larger wood pieces. The longer teeth can cut through thicker woods and even metal. Double or twin-rate saws allow for greater accuracy in cutting both softer and harder materials.

Shape type

Table saws can be either vertical or horizontal. A vertical table has two vertical bars that run across the top of the workpiece. The saw blade can be placed at any point on either bar. This enables the user to move the workpiece up and down without having to move their body. A horizontal table has only one vertical bar and the blade is set at the end of a horizontal bar. The table can be turned towards the user when needed.

Aware from kickback

Kickback is what occurs when the blade catches an edge and moves past the point of where the blade cover stops it. With a vertical kickback the workpiece and the blade are moved past each other and both the blade cover and the workpiece are moved out of alignment. A horizontal kickback happens when the angle between the blade and the workpiece is not a perfect circle. The kickback will cause the workpiece to move past the angle created by the blade cover. Because there are no specific details for what a kickback is, many different names are used to describe the situation; however, all of them are the result of what occurs.


Table saws are designed to make long, detailed cuts through wood. They are also designed to do quick ripping action with wide ribbed cuts. There are many different types of wood and ripping actions. All table saws have a basic blade system that can be altered for various types of cuts, but there are several other systems that are more commonly used in woodworking shops. These include crosscutting, ripping and crosscutting that is also used for making small circular cuts through small pieces of wood.


Hope now you know what is a table saw and you may check out other table saw.

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