Saws come in all shapes and sizes, some are large and bulky while others are lightweight and portable. And whether you are an amateur or a professional finding the right saw to suit your needs is easier said than done.
Matters are made more complicated by the fact most saws can be used to do the same things. Take the circular saw vs table saw, for example, both can be used to make straight cuts along a guide rail.
Speaking of the table saw or circular saw, there isn’t much that differentiates the two. In fact, they are more alike than they are different. Nonetheless, they both offer their own unique sets of benefits.
Now let us look at how these two types of saws differ and what each is best suited for. Basically, in this article, we will be looking at what each saw is good for.
Let’s start with the bigger of the two, the table saw. As the name suggests a table saw takes the form of a large table with a circular spinning blade protruding from under it. Similar to a circular saw, table saws are powered by a motor.
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Popular amongst woodworkers and carpenters these saws are pretty affordable. Hence, why the so loved by woodworkers and carpenters alike. Another reason why they are so loved is that they can do almost anything.
For example, though it will be more difficult than using a miter saw, it is possible to make precise angled cuts using a table saw. Obviously, table saws aren’t designed for this and are more suited to making crosscuts of wood quickly and accurately.
In a nutshell, the table saw is a workhorse suited for cutting wood accurately in large quantities. It is for these reasons that you find table saws installed in most workshops.
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Ever been to a job site? If yes chances are you have seen a circular saw. That is how common they are. Circular saws are handheld power tools that feature a circular spinning blade capable of cutting through virtually anything.
Powered by a motor, circular saws are less common in workshops and more common in professional job sites. Due to them being handheld they are loved by professionals who have to be on the move a lot.
Difference Between Circular Saw And Table Saw
The question that I am sure is now on your mind is whether to choose a table saw or circular saw? Well, it all depends on the kind of project you want to embark on. Both saws are relatively affordable so the price doesn’t really matter.
The number one difference between these two types of saws is in their portability. As already stated circular saws are handheld tools. Thus, they are more compact and portable and can be moved from one place to another with ease.
Table saws, on the other hand, are impractical to move. There are some portable saws out there but even those are bulky and difficult to move. Generally speaking, table saws are more suited to a workshop environment where movement is limited.
Circular saws are more suited to professional job sites where workers are constantly moving about.
Generally, table saws are more accurate than circular saws. Reason being that the accuracy of a circular saw largely depends on the skill of the user. There is always the option of using guide rails to improve the accuracy of your circular saw though.
However, when it comes down to it, a table saw will make more accurate cuts compared to a circular saw. The latter quires trained and skilled hands to cut with the accuracy of a table saw.
Ease of use
In a circular saw vs table saw the ease of use contents the table saw is the undisputed winner. I mean all you have to do is push the wood towards the spinning blade. Its circular counterpart on the hand will require some getting used to.
You will have to train yourself on how to handle a circular saw safely and accurately. Circular saws are notorious for having a deadly kickback.
But when it comes to versatility, the circular saw is unmatched. You can cut almost anything anywhere with a circular saw. If you have one that accepts abrasive discs you can cut metal and with a diamond blade cutting tiles and bricks becomes a breeze.
Unlike the circular type, table saws are mainly restricted to cutting wood. Cutting plastics and other softer materials is also possible. But for woodworking is the main use of table saws.
Which One Best Circular Or Table Saw : Who should buy which saw?
Whether you are choosing a track saw or table saw or between a table saw vs circular saw vs miter saw, the purpose of purchase will matter. All these different types of saws are suited to different projects and environments.
If you are looking to buy your first saw then I recommend going for a good solid table saw. Due to its ease of use, you will have no problem using it. Also, it will give you a good foundation to start with before graduating to the more complicated circular saw.
But if you are a woodworker who has already mastered the table saw, then a circular saw might be a good addition. However, if you are looking to create unique furniture pieces such as picture frames then a miter saw might be a better option.
There is also the option of going for a circular saw and table saw combo in the form of a track saw. Track saws offer the portability of a circular saw and the accuracy of a table saw. They are also relatively easy to use just like table saws.
Another type of saw that is common is the band saw. Used mostly for cutting metal and other thicker materials, the band saw is large bulky similar to the table saw. So how do the two compare?
The band saw vs table saw is one that the band saw will always come out on top. While it does have its shortcomings it can do more than the table saw. Since it can cut through almost anything metal included while the table saw is only good for cutting wood.
Granted the table saw is capable of making more accurate cuts and easier to use, but its bulky nature makes it impractical for small workshops. If you have a small workshop with limited space, then a circular saw will be ideal.
But if you are in the woodworking business for the long-haul then I suggest investing in a table saw. Compared to circular saws, table saws have a longer life span and will serve you for a longer time.
In the long term investing in a table saw will be cheaper than buying a circular saw, which costs less. It is worth noting that while both saws are relatively affordable, circular saws are cheaper. This is another reason why they make for a great second saw.
For projects that necessitate a lot of movements, a circular saw will be the best option. But when you factor all other things, the table saw comes out on top. It is easier to use, more accurate and helps maintain a clean environment.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Table saw
- Delivers highly accurate and precise cuts
- Cleaning up saw dust is easy as the dust collects in one direction
- It makes crosscutting and ripping boards very easy
- It provides easy access to its parts hence it is easy to maintain
- It can be used by both amateurs and beginners.
- Table saws are usually fixed to one spot due to them being difficult and impractical to move
- While it is relatively easier to use the protruded blade can be dangerous especially to inexperienced woodworkers.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Table saw Circular saws
- Circular saws can be used in virtually any environment to cut almost anything
- They feature both corded and cordless models which increases the options available to buyers
- Can be handheld thus it is highly portable for moving from one point to another
- Circular saws are relatively cheap compared to other types of saws, table saws included
- Does not offer precise or accurate cuts
- Getting used to a circular saw may take some getting used to
The best power tool for woodworking is the table saw. It can cut through wood, plastic, plywood and other softer surfaces. And while it is not void of its shortcomings it is easier to use hence ideal for beginners and pros alike.
So if you are wondering whether to go for a table saw or circular saw then I recommend a table saw. However, this is not to say that the circular saw is useless. In some instances, the circular saw is a better option.
For professional job sites, circular saws are very useful. The fact that they can be used to cut a wide variety of materials makes them irreplaceable at a job site. Basically, when choosing between circular saw vs table saw ask yourself why you need the saw first.