Purchasing a cabinet table saw is a big investment in your career or hobby, so you want to make sure that you get this purchase right. The cabinet table saw is the most used piece of equipment in most joinery workshops, so here are a few things to think about before you make a great purchase that will help you achieve perfection in your work for many years.
Top 2 Recommended Cabinet Saws:
|Model||Table Size||No-Load RPM||Max Cut Depth (45º / 90º)||Rip Capacity (Right / Left)||Weight (Saw / Extension Wings)|
|SawStop PCS175-PFA30 Table Saw|
Check Price on Amazon.com
|44" x 27"||3 650||2-1/4" / 3-1/8"|
|30" / 12"||247 lbs. / 70 lbs.|
|Jet 708675PK XACTASAW Table Saw|
Check Price on Amazon.com
|29" x 20" (29" x 42" with extension)||4 300||2-1/8" / 3"|
|50" / 13"||510 lbs. combined|
How Does A Cabinet Table Saw Differ From Other Table Saws?
Cabinet table saws are the king of table saws, and as such, have many distinguishing features. Table saws are notoriously heavy, partly because of the amount of machinery and parts required, but also to minimise vibration which helps to keep cuts perfectly square. Cabinet table saws normally have induction motors that push at least 2 hp, but sometimes up to 5 hp. The most obvious feature is that they host a cabinet mounted trunnion, which is where the blade is mounted and have good movability of blade angle and height.
Cabinet saws are also known to be far more precise and easy to adjust than their counterparts, and have a near perfect dust collection facility due to the cabinet underneath.
What Should You Check For When Buying A Cabinet Table Saw?
When buying a table saw you need to think about several things such as:
Cabinet table saws can range from the $1000 mark all the way up to tens of thousands for specialist joinery workshop quality gear. If you are a hobbyist, you won’t need to spend more than $1,000 – $2,000, but for the contractor, it will depend on your style of work. If you make custom doors and other large projects including single sheets of material, you’ll need to spend more.
Most cabinet table saws come equipped with an electronic brake, and most will come with an automatic “off” switch which will stop the saw restarting randomly in case of power failure – but be sure to check. Quick release riving knives are also something to consider if safety is on your mind.
Size and space available
The weight of a cabinet table saw is irrelevant (most will be over 500 lbs), there is no way you’ll be transporting it around, but the size is relevant. Often a saw will be around 35” from the ground and can be over 60” long x 40” wide. Do you have enough room for this in your space? Also remember that you will be feeding long pieces of material in so you need to account for that.
The dust collection on cabinet table saws is far superior to most other models, but still be aware of different saws dust collection specs. If dust is of concern to you, you should be looking for a cabinet saw that vacuums the dust down, and a 4” dust port.
Check the maximum rip capacity on your rig and have a think about what sort of material you rip. If you are making custom furniture and joinery for commercial projects you will want to look at saws with a max rip of over 25”.
Dado blade capabilities
Ensure that your cabinet table saw of choice can run a stacked dado set and/or a wobble dado if you perform dado cuts at all.
Most cabinet table saws will not be able to run on normal residential power outputs. Make sure that you purchase a single phase table saw if you are going to be using it at home, or else get friendly with an electrician and get them to bring 3 phase power into your house. Note: this will be expensive to do and is not necessary to hobby work.
The majority of cabinet saws are on 3 phase power, and as such are only used in industrial workshops.
What Features Are Worth Paying For On A Cabinet Table Saw?
A cabinet table saw is a great piece of equipment, but make sure that you grab some extra features so that you can get the absolute best work possible. Here are a few things to look for if you want to give yourself the edge:
A smooth sliding fence
There is nothing worse than a sticky or rough fence. A quality fence that runs a cam lock or rack & pinion will put your work into the super accurate territory instead of hoping for the best.
There is no way that a manufacturer can know exactly what sort of work you will be doing, so a standard blade is often not the best for your application. There are blades for cutting every material known to man, carbide tipped, multi tooth and hundreds of brands. Purchase a few different ones so that you can experiment to find the one best suited to your work.
Where does your work go after you cut it? If you are doing long cuts and just sending them out the back of the saw your risk damaging your work, or worst, snapping it. Setting up your own outfeed table is a good idea, but you can also buy them with your saw.
Some extra things to think about might be a power cord size – you don’t want to have to run extension cords in a busy workshop. Extra safety features, size and RPM of the motor and blade size. Although the size of the motor and the RPM might seem like vital components to think of, unless you are a seasoned woodworker who knows exactly what they prefer, it won’t make too much of a difference if this is your first cabinet saw. You’ll get used to it and get to know it intricately, however make sure you get one that is at least 2hp.
What Sort Of Projects Will A Cabinet Table Saw Best Suit?
A cabinet table saw is truly a one stop shop for woodwork projects. You can construct tiny projects with the ability to make incredibly fine adjustments to your materials, and you have the torque, power and blade size to chew through wood of almost any size. There is not really anything that you can’t do with a full size cabinet saw – and that is reflected in the price.
Cabinet table saws are regarded as the cream of the crop in the industry, so they are pricey compared to portable table saws and smaller contractor saws.
Who Is A Cabinet Table Saw Most Beneficial To?
If you are a beginning woodworker, a cabinet saw will help you to learn faster and become a master craftsman much faster. You won’t have any problems that sometimes come with operating on a machine too small for the job, and you will learn how to become a great machinist.
For a hobbyist, unless you have several projects under your belt and seriously want to take things to the next level in terms of perfection, then a cabinet saw is not a necessity. A smaller saw will do for most D.I.Y folks, however if you are adamant that you want to take your joinery and carpentry skills to the next level, a cabinet table saw will definitely allow that.
Of course for the contractor and worker who makes his living from turning raw materials into beautiful pieces of furniture, doors, frames, houses and huts, a cabinet table saw is a seriously wise investment.
Make sure to check out our list of table saw ranking categories for more recommendations.