Table saws are essential tools for any carpenter or woodworker but their power and exposed blade can make them intimidating for beginners. If your saw has multiple extra features, it can be even more daunting to use.
Tens of thousands of table saw users suffer injuries every year in the United States alone (1). However, there is no reason why you should add to that number, especially if you use one of the many table saws that are designed with beginners in mind.
To help you find the right saw to start your journey as a woodworker or carpenter, we have reviewed five of the best beginner table saws that are currently available. We chose these saws based on how easy they are to use and how smoothly they operate.
- Battery-powered and cordless
- Weighs just 45 pounds
- Easy to store
- Powerful 1,800-watt motor
- Dust collection port
- Roll cage for extra protection
- 4,600 RPM cutting speed
- Folding stand
- Dust port elbow
- Hybrid features
- Very high quality
- 30-inch rip capacity
- Soft-start feature
- Constant response circuitry
- Smart guard system
With so many table saws to choose from, it can be difficult to find one that is beginner-friendly. After looking closely at various models, we have chosen five of the best beginner table saws you can buy today. We chose these models based on their simplicity, ease of use, and how safe they are for novice users.
1. DeWALT DCS7485B Flexvolt Table Saw
Best Overall Table Saw for Beginners
This DeWALT portable table saw is an ideal tool for learning the basics of carpentry and woodworking. It has the power of a corded table saw, but with the extra freedom and versatility of battery operation. It has a 24-inch rip capacity and rack and pinion telescoping fence rails for simple, accurate adjustments. There is also a metal roll cage for improved durability.
If you are a beginner, this table saw has everything a novice woodworker could need. It also has a power loss reset to prevent the saw from starting up unintentionally after a power cut.
The main drawback of this saw is that it doesn’t include a battery charger. You will need to buy one separately, as the saw does not have a power cord. Even so, this saw is light, compact, and very easy to use.
What We Like
DeWALT has squeezed a powerful table saw into a small, lightweight unit. While it’s true that you won’t be tackling large projects with this saw, it will handle most small tasks around your home.
Cordless power tools can go anywhere. This saw is ideal for working onsite and can be invaluable when tackling projects where no electrical supply is available.
Easy to Store
If you are new to woodworking, you might not have enough space for all the tools you need. This makes a compact, powerful table saw a very sensible addition to your toolset.
What We Don't Like
This table saw does not include a charger, which can be a major problem considering it is exclusively battery-powered. As DeWALT tries to standardize its tools, you might already have a suitable charger, but it is important to check when you buy this saw.
This is a great table saw for learning and completing small-scale tasks, but its compact size means you might quickly outgrow it. To avoid having to buy another saw relatively soon after this one, it might be better to buy a larger unit initially.
2. DeWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw
Best Beginner Table Saw for Woodworking
This DeWALT jobsite table saw has a 22-inch blade and a maximum RPM of 4,800, generated by its powerful 15 amp motor. It is as much as twice as heavy as some of the brand’s more compact saws, but this means it also has a larger rip capacity.
It is easy to store and simple to use, as it is designed to be transported and used onsite. This saw offers a maximum cut depth of 3-⅛ inches at a 90-degree angle and 2-¼ inches at 45 degrees, making it perfect for cutting picture and door frames wherever they are needed.
What We Like
The 1,800-watt motor generates all the power required to make angled and beveled cuts in wood.
Dust Collection Point
The dust collection point means you won’t need to worry about sawdust and debris clogging the saw mechanism. This has the added benefit of reducing the amount of time you will spend cleaning it.
This saw is protected by a metal roll cage, helping it withstand the rigors of on-site work. It also improves the unit’s stability, giving it extra support without significantly increasing its weight.
What We Don't Like
No Dado Cuts
This saw’s arbor saw allows you to make dado cuts. However, this requires an optional throat plate which is not included with your purchase.
3. Skil TS6307-00 10-Inch Table Saw
Best Beginner Table Saw for Value
If you want a beginner-friendly table saw but have a limited budget, this Skil saw is a great place to start. It is one of the cheapest table saws we have seen but its lower price doesn’t mean it is of lower quality.
For your money, you get 4,600 RPM cutting, a steel folding stand, a self-aligning rip fence, and a rip capacity of 25-½ inches. This is an excellent budget-friendly saw and one that will be suitable for novices.
What We Like
This saw provides excellent value for money, especially when you consider how effective it is. This means you won’t need to make a large financial investment to get your first table saw.
There are many expensive table saws that don’t include stands, which makes it even more impressive that this one does. Purchased separately, a saw stand could cost over $100, so this adds to the saw’s overall excellent value for money.
Dust Port Elbow
For a budget-friendly saw, this unit has excellent dust collection. This means you can spend more time cutting wood and less time cleaning up.
What We Don't Like
Low-Quality Miter Gauge
While this saw is of good quality on the whole, its miter gauge is less so. This is a shame as it lets the rest of the saw down.
4. Shop Fox W1837 10-Inch Open Stand Hybrid Table Saw
Best Beginner Hybrid Table Saw
If you are confident that you want to pursue woodworking or carpentry long-term, you might consider investing in a Shop Fox hybrid table saw. This table saw is seriously expensive, costing three times as much as some equivalent models from leading brands such as DeWALT.
If you are willing to spend the extra money, this saw has everything you need for professional-grade woodworking. This includes a powerful two-horsepower motor that generates 3,450 RPM. The rip capacity is 30 inches to the left and 15 inches to the right.
This table saw is designed to stay in place once it is set up, so you should look elsewhere if you want a portable model. The benefit of this is that it has a large table, allowing you to cut wide sheets of material. It is also very comfortable ripping through hardwood and cutting dadoes.
What We Like
Best of Both Worlds
This is a hybrid saw, which means it offers the stability, capacity, and quality of a cabinet table saw, but at a lesser cost.
A Step Up
Compared to a portable table saw, this Shop Fox unit is suitable for professional-level carpentry on a larger scale. This means you won’t outgrow it as you might with some other saws, making it a much longer-term investment. This goes some way to balancing out its greater cost.
A 30-inch rip capacity means you can cut large sheets of material, making this saw ideal for big projects such as garden decking
What We Don't Like
You should think carefully before buying this saw. It is an excellent model but you will need to get years of use out of it if you want it to provide value for money. You can buy a good table saw for a third of the cost, so this unit is a significant investment.
This saw might be unsuitable unless you have a dedicated workshop and your work can come to you. It is intended to be left in place, as it weighs 243 pounds. This might mean having to buy a smaller table saw if you want to work onsite.
5. Bosch 10 Inches Worksite Table Saw
Best Portable Beginner Table Saw
Even if you are a beginner, practicality is still important, which is why this portable Bosch worksite saw is a great option. It has a Gravity-Rise wheeled stand, enabling you to easily move it wherever it is needed. You can also set it up and take it down with a single action.
For a portable table table saw, this unit has plenty of cutting power. With 15-amp power and a four-horsepower motor, this saw will give you the ability to cut and cross-cut various materials.
What We Like
This unit’s soft-start circuitry means it is less likely to trip your circuit breaker due to a sudden surge of power. This also reduces any vibrations when the blade starts spinning, making the entire unit more stable.
Constant Response Circuitry
Constant response circuitry is another excellent feature found in this table saw. It ensures the saw maintains its high speed even when when cutting harder materials. This means consistent cutting speed throughout your project, making the saw much more user-friendly.
Smart Guard System
This unit includes a riving knife and anti-kickback features to protect you while you use it. The guard also acts as a barrier to prevent the blade from coming into contact with other objects while still providing a clear view of your work. This means you will never need to feel out of control while cutting materials.
What We Don't Like
Hard to Assemble
Some customers found this table saw difficult to set up. Even after setup, some struggled to get everything positioned exactly where they wanted. Others found that it was hard to get the rip fence stabilized so it would stay in place.
|Blade size||10 inches|
|Product||Best||Weight||Rip capacity||Blade size||RPM||Warranty|
|DeWALT DCS7485B Flexvolt||Overall||45 lbs||24”||8-¼-inch||5,800||3-year limited|
|DeWALT DWE7491RS Table Saw||Woodworking||90 lbs||32.5”||22”||4,800||3-year limited|
|Skil TS6307-00 Table Saw||Value||51.2 lbs||25-½”||10”||4,600||3-year|
|Shop Fox W1837 Open Stand||Hybrid||243 lbs||30”||10”||3,450||2-year|
|Bosch 10 Inches Worksite||Portable||109 lbs||30”||10”||3,650||Not specified|
How Do I Choose the Best Beginner Table Saw?
Table saws all have the same basic design, with a circular blade rising through an opening in a flat worktop. However, there are many extra features designed to provide more precise cuts, including miter cuts and bevels. If you want a table saw that is beginner-friendly, here are the main things you should keep in mind:
Tips for First-Time Table Saw Users
There are some simple rules you can follow to make your table saw safer to use. Most of these tips are relatively minor but they can be the difference between an injury happening or avoiding it, and they will improve your overall skillset.
Adopt the Correct Stance
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with more weight on the lead foot. As you push the stock toward the blade, maintain your center of gravity to stay balanced. This means you will be able to move back from the saw if any incidents occur, instead of falling toward it.
Don’t Wear Loose Clothing or Long Sleeves
Wear snug clothes that don’t have long, loose sleeves. Loose clothes and long sleeves can dangle down and get caught on the blade, potentially yanking your hand or arm toward it. This could lead to serious injury, so always keep your arms free from any loose objects such as bracelets.
Use a Push Stick
A push stick is essential for protecting your fingers. It allows you to guide the material while keeping your hands at a safe distance from the blade. This also means that, if a kickback occurs, your hands will be out of the firing line.
Set Up an Outfeed Support
You can set up an outfeed support using one of two easy methods. The first is to clamp two lengths of 2 x 4 wood to your table saw. This means that when you feed long or wide material through the saw, it is supported.
The second way is to set up a support table to the rear of your table saw to take the weight of the material that is not supported by the worktop. The outfeed table should be slightly lower than the table saw to ensure the stock can move smoothly.
Make a Plywood Straight Edge
Wood from your local lumber yard might be warped rather than straight. If you need a perfectly straight edge, simply screw a strip of plywood to the lumber and push the plywood hard against the fence. When you run it through the saw, you should achieve a neat, straight cut.
Fit a Fence to the Miter Gauge
Most miter gauges are narrow and offer little or no support when you make crosscuts. By fitting a wooden table saw fence to the miter gauge, you can increase the capacity of the miter, providing better stability when you cut.
To achieve this, screw a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 piece of wood onto the gauge, making sure it is tall enough for the blade to not cut through it.
Lengthen Your Fence
When you need to rip-cut longer pieces, you can increase the length of your rip fence by bolting a long board to your fence. This increases the capacity of your cuts and makes it easier to keep your wood positioned properly.
Kickbacks are among the most common and potentially harmful dangers of using a table saw. Thankfully, you can minimize the risk of one happening by adding a cut-off block.
Attach the block to the rip fence and position the fence an appropriate distance from your blade. This should typically be the thickness of your block plus the length of your cut. You will need to ensure that the material you are working on doesn’t come into contact with the block.