Best Beginner Table Saws of 2020

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Categories Saws
Beginners welcome to use these table saws.

Table saws are daunting to use, especially if you are a novice. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 67,000 workers and DIY enthusiasts suffer injuries from table saws (1). That equates to more than 33,000 visits to the emergency room.

So learning how to use a table saw is crucial for your safety. We show you the best table saws for beginners.

Table of Contents

    How Do I Choose the Best Beginner Table Saw?

    There are several factors you should consider when choosing the best starter table saw. The first important factor is:

    Ease of Use

    This is the most important thing to consider. Like all novices, you want to learn, and there will be a degree of confusion or misunderstanding when you start your table saw journey. But the best beginner table saws should be fairly self-explanatory in the way they operate.

    That said, never use a table saw without reading the instruction manual first.

    So, it is likely that this first table saw is going to be less complicated, and therefore, cheaper than some semi-professional models. It will most likely be portable and lightweight and better suited to smaller projects.

    Remember

    Think of it like learning to drive; you always learn in cars that are safe, reliable, and slow. Try learning to drive in a supercar or a ten-ton truck. It would be heaps more complicated.

    How It Handles

    How your new table saw handles is vital to your gaining an understanding of how to use one safely. The best table saws are easy to use and handle like a dream. If you have a table saw that handles like a bucking horse, you have a lousy table saw.

    It’s going to drain your energy and become frustrating every time you use it. You aren’t going to look forward to sawing wood at all, and that will impede your learning.

    A bad table saw could be the make or break of you as a woodworker. In contrast, with a reliable table saw that handles well, you are going to learn the craft quicker and progress at a faster rate.

    It’s worth remembering that everyone was a novice at some time. So it will take patience as you master your new skills, but you will grow. Soon, you’ll be dishing out advice to novices and remembering when you started out.

    Other Things to Consider

    • How long is the warranty?
    • How much does it cost?
    • What accessories does it come with?
    • How much does the table saw weigh?
    • Does this saw have dado capacity?
    • Does it have a dust collection facility?
    • How easy is it to clean?
    • What is the rip distance on the left and right sides of the table saw blade?

    The Best Beginner Table Saws of 2020

    With so many table saws to choose from, deciding which deserved a place on our list was challenging. In the end it came down to what each table saw excelled at and the different styles of saw available. These are our choices for the best beginner table saws.

    1. DeWALT DCS7485B Flexvolt Table Saw

    Best Overall Table Saw for Beginners

    DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Table Saw, 8-1/4-Inch, Tool Only (DCS7485B)
    Check Price

    This DeWalt portable table saw is an ideal tool to learn the basics. It has the power of a corded table saw, but the freedom of battery operation. It has a 24-inch rip capacity, and rack and pinion telescoping fence rails for smooth and accurate adjustments. Plus, there’s a metal roll cage for added durability.

    For a beginner table saw this has everything a novice woodworker could need. It also has a power loss reset to prevent the saw starting up after a power outage is restored.

    The only downside is that this saw doesn’t come with a battery charger. They are sold separately. That said, this saw is light, compact, and above all, easy to master.

    Why We Love It

    Compact

    DeWALT has been clever with the design because they have squeezed a powerful table saw into a lightweight package. Sure, you’re not going to be tackling large projects with this thing, but it will handle most sawing tasks around the home.

    Cordless

    Cordless means it can go anywhere. So, taking the saw on the road won’t be a problem, even when there are no immediate power sources.

    Easy to Store Away

    If you are a budding woodworker, it’s likely you don’t have space just yet for all the tools you will need, so having a compact table saw that’s easy to store away is a lifesaver.

    Keep In Mind

    No Charger

    This table saw does not come with a charger, which seems bizarre when you think it is the only means of powering this tool. We suspect it is a cynical ploy to get you, the consumer, to shell out more dollars.

    Small Size

    We get that this is an ideal table saw to learn on, but once you’ve mastered the skills you will need, this saw is going to limit what you can do. And that spells extra expense further down the line.

    Additional Specs

    Weight45 pounds
    Rip capacity24”
    Blade size8-¼-inch
    RPM5,800
    Warranty3-year limited

    2. DeWALT DW745 10-Inch Table Saw

    Best Beginner Table Saw for Woodworking

    DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Table Saw, 20-Inch Rip Capacity
    Check Price

    This DeWALT table saw has a 10-inch blade and a maximum RPM of 3,850, created by the powerful 1,850-watt motor. It has a smaller rip capacity compared to the Flexvolt, but the trade-off is that there is no need to buy a separate charger.

    This saw is lightweight, weighing just 45 pounds. It is compact, easy to store away, and simple to use — ideal for taking it to the job. And best of all, this saw offers a maximum cut depth of 3-⅛ inches at a 90-degree angle and a 2-¼ inches at 45 degrees, meaning it’s perfect for cutting picture and door frames.

    Why We Love It

    Powerful Motor

    The 1,850-watt motor generates all the power you will need to make angles and beveled cuts in wood.

    Dust Collection Point

    The dust collection point means that you don’t need to worry about sawdust and debris clogging the saw mechanism. This dust collection point makes it a breeze.

    Durable

    This saw has a metal roll cage, unlike some models, so that it can withstand the rigors of the woodshop and on-site work. Also, the roll cage adds stability to the saw and makes it feel solid without increasing the weight dramatically.

    Keep In Mind

    Small Rip Capacity

    The rip capacity of this saw isn’t going to set records, so be mindful that for larger sheet material and lumber, you may limit the capacity.

    No Dado Cuts

    The arbor for this saw restricts its ability to make dado cuts. DeWALT states that this model does not accept dado blades.

    Additional Specs

    Weight45 pounds
    Rip capacity20”
    Blade size10”
    RPM3,850
    Warranty3-year limited

    3. Skil 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw

    Best Beginner Table Saw for Value

    SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw with Folding Stand
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    If you want a table saw to learn on but have a limited budget, this Skil model is a perfect place to start. It retails at considerably cheaper than all the saws on this list, but it doesn’t suffer any less for the price.

    You get 5,000 RPM, a steel folding stand, a self-aligning rip fence, and a rip capacity of 24-¼ inches. For the price, this is a lot of saw and one that lends itself well to the novice woodworker.

    Why We Love It

    The Price

    You cannot ignore the fact that this saw is amazing value. It is a lot of saw for the money, and that alone makes it a perfect choice for beginners.

    Folding Stand

    More expensive table saws don’t come with stands, but this does. And when you consider that as an accessory, a saw stand could set you back over $100, it adds to the overall value of this saw.

    Keep In Mind

    Quality

    While this saw isn’t a poor quality, it also isn’t the finest either. The old rule of “you get what you pay for” applies here.

    The Blade

    When you set the saw up, you might want to consider investing in a new, better quality blade. This one will work, but it isn’t the highest quality.

    Additional Specs

    Weight67 pounds
    Rip capacity24-¼”
    Blade size10”
    RPM5,000
    Warranty3-year

    4. Shop Fox W1837 10-Inch Open Stand Hybrid Table Saw

    Best Beginner Hybrid Table Saw

    Shop Fox W1837 10' 2 hp Open-Stand Hybrid Table Saw
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    If you are investing in this Shop Fox hybrid table saw, then you should be sure that woodworking is the hobby for you. This table saw is serious money and three times the cost of the DeWALT models featured here.

    It does have everything a woodshop needs. It has 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. However, this table saw stays put, so if you want something maneuverable, this isn’t it.

    But the good news is that it has a large table which means it works well with substantial sheet materials.

    It also loves ripping through hardwood and cutting dadoes.

    Why We Love It

    Best of Both Worlds

    It’s a hybrid, which means it offers all the stability, capacity, and quality of cabinet table saws, but for a fraction of the price.

    A Step Up

    Unlike the portable table saws, this Shop Fox is going to last the distance, and as you grow as a woodworker, it keeps on delivering. You will not outgrow this saw, which means that in the long run, you could be making a wise financial decision.

    Rip Capacity

    Having a 30-inch rip capacity means that more substantial sheet materials can be catered to, as well as bigger projects. Maybe this is the saw to help you build that decking in the yard?

    Keep In Mind

    The Cost

    Be sure that this is the right saw because once you have bought it, it has to last for years to make it cost-effective. When you compare this to the compact models, it retails at over three times the price.

    Not Portable

    Unless you have a dedicated workshop, and the projects can come to you, this saw is not portable in any way. It weighs 243 pounds, so once it has a home, it stays in situ.

    Additional Specs

    Weight243 pounds
    Rip capacity30”
    Blade size10”
    RPM3,450
    Warranty2-year

    5. Hitachi C10RJ 10-Inch JobsiteTable Saw

    Best Beginner Table Saw for Rip Capacity

    Hitachi C10RJ 10' 15-Amp Jobsite Table Saw with 35' Rip Capacity and Fold and Roll Stand
    Check Price

    If you are looking for a table saw with rip capacity, this is a strong contender. It has a rip capacity of 35 inches, which is better than the hybrid saw we featured.

    This table saw is portable thanks to the way it folds and the large wheels. It means that you can take it to the job site. It has loads of features, like an electric brake that stops the blade in seconds, an oversized power switch, and telescoping table extenders that give you the ripping capacity.

    This table saw is more expensive than the DeWALT models, and sits somewhere in the middle for the price. So while it will cost more, it is a great table saw to own and learn on. At the very least, as you grow in confidence, you won’t outgrow the saw.

    Why We Love It

    Substantial Ripping Capacity

    Anyone who has owned a table saw will know that half of its use is about cross cuts and the other half about ripping wood. Getting the capacity means that cutting extensive sheet material is a breeze.

    Leg Supports

    A table saw with folding legs is invaluable because it means it is free-standing. You don’t have to search for a flat tabletop to place it. This is ideal if you are working on site.

    Oversized Power Switch

    This table saw has many safety features, but this oversized switch is the ultimate, especially when you need to act quickly. Also, this saw has an electronic braking system that activates in a split second.

    Keep In Mind

    The Price

    If you want a beginner’s table saw that lasts the distance, this is a good choice, but you are going to have to dig deep in those pockets. This saw is twice the price of the portable DeWALT models.

    The Weight

    If you want a portable table saw, then consider the weight. After all, it’s you that has to carry it. This saw weighs double the DeWALT saws, at 96 pounds.

    Additional Specs

    Weight96 pounds
    Rip capacity35”
    Blade size10”
    RPM4,500
    Warranty5-year limited

    Beginner Table Saw Comparison Chart

    ProductBestWeightRip capacityBlade sizeRPMWarranty
    DeWALT DCS7485B FlexvoltOverall45 lbs24”8-¼-inch5,8003-year limited
    DeWALT DW745 Table SawWoodworking45 lbs20”10”3,8503-year limited
    Skil 3410-02 Table SawValue67 lbs24-¼”10”5,0003-year
    Shop Fox W1837 Open StandHybrid243 lbs30”10”3,4502-year
    Hitachi C10RJ JobsiteTable SawRip Capacity96 lbs35”10”4,5005-year limited
    Jump to the Full Beginner Table Saw Reviews

    Tips for Using a Table Saw for the First Time

    There are some simple things you can do to make your table saw safer for you. They don’t take much, and they improve your skillset.

    Adopt the Correct Stance

    Make sure you stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with more weight on the lead foot. As you push the stock towards the blade, keep your center of gravity balanced. That way, if something should happen, you would still be able to move away from the saw safely.

    Don’t Wear Loose Clothing or Long Sleeves

    Loose clothing or long sleeves have the potential to get snagged and cause an injury. The last thing you want is for your shirt sleeve to snag on the blade and pull your arm towards the saw.

    Use a Push Stick

    If you value your fingers, a push stick is going to be invaluable. It keeps your hands away from the blade but still allows you to guide your stock. If a kickback occurs, your hands are far enough away to be safe.

    Remember

    Push sticks increase your reach, which means that when you are applying forward pressure towards the blade, you are not overreaching and standing off balance.

    Set Up an Outfeed Support

    You can do this in two easy ways. The first is to clamp two lengths of 2 x 4 wood to your table saw. That way, when you feed extra-long and wide material through, 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 oversized stock. The outfeed table needs to be slightly lower than the table saw.

    Make a Plywood Straight Edge

    Often lumber from the lumber yard is warped and not straight. When you need a perfectly straight edge, finding the solution is simple. Screw a strip of plywood to the lumber and push the plywood hard against the fence. Then run it through the saw for neat and straight cutting.

    Fit a Fence to the Miter Gauge

    Most miter gauges are narrow and offer little or no support when you are making crosscuts. By fitting a wooden table saw fence to the miter gauge, you are increasing the capacity of the miter, and giving better stability when you cut.

    To achieve this, screw a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 piece of wood to the gauge, making sure that it is tall enough for the blade not to cut through it.

    Increase the Length of Your Fence

    When you need to rip cut longer workpieces, 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 against it.

    Cut-Off Block

    If you’ve never experienced a kickback, then when it happens, you are in for a shock. It is one of the most dangerous everyday occurrences with a table saw. Thankfully, you can minimize this by adding a cut-off block.

    Attach the block to the rip fence and place the rip fence at a proper distance from your blade. Typically, this is the thickness of your block plus the length of your cut. You’ll need to make sure that the material you are working on doesn’t come into contact with the block.


    Put Your Cards on the Table (Saw)

    Every woodshop should have a table saw. You cannot function without one. So, when you are starting out and need to learn the ropes, choosing the right table saw will either make or break you.

    Our advice is to keep it simple, rather than going super-advanced. Think about the basics first. You can always upgrade later when you become more confident.

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    About the Author

    Mark Weir

    Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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