Different Types of Table Saws – All You Need to Know

Last modified on September 17, 2022
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Table saws of different types are used in the workshop or for do-it-yourself projects to provide great productivity and cutting precision. Having specific knowledge of the different types of table saws can help you make an informed selection when purchasing a table saw. Learning the fundamental types of table saws is also one of the simplest methods to become acquainted with them.

Saws are classified into two types based on their mobility – portable and stationary. There are more categories within each of those two types, which is what this page is about.

Benchtop, compact, mini, and job site table saws are the four primary types of portable table saws. Because they are intended to be portable, they are often smaller and lighter. To keep their weight low, the use of heavier and tougher materials in their design is also considerably decreased.

Contractor, hybrid, sliding, and cabinet table saws are the four major types of stationary table saws. They aren’t actually portable, but they may be placed on a movable platform and moved around the workplace.

Portable Table Saws

If you work out of a shop or require flexibility in storing your equipment, a portable table saw is an option to explore. Portable table saws are smaller and lighter than stationary table saws. Furthermore, their motor power does not exceed 2HP. They employ direct drive systems, which allows them to be smaller. Benchtop, compact, mini, and job site table saws are the four primary types of portable table saws.

1. Benchtop Table Saw

Benchtop Table Saw

Benchtop table saws are ideal for hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers. The benchtop table saw is lightweight and portable, and it can be cut precisely depending on the measurements. It may have a restricted cutting capability. A benchtop is the greatest choice for cutting anything delicate and tiny, such as particleboard.

Benchtop saws are made of lightweight materials such as plastic, aluminum, or other composite materials to be as compact and light as possible.

Universal motors, weighing 50 pounds with direct driving. They have a sufficient but limited rip capability for the majority of jobs you throw at them. It is OK to cut pine or comparable materials. However, don’t expect to be slicing through thick stock.

The rip fence and bench space on these versions are shorter, making accurate ripping difficult. Making a crosscut with a miter saw may be challenging.

2. Job Site Saw

Job Site Saw

Job site saws, also sometimes referred to as contractor saws, are designed for carpenters or craftsmen who require a tool with reliability and stability. They have on-site rolling stands for extra mobility. A portable table saw was utilized by many contractors.

True contractor table saws, on the other hand, are a very different beast. Contractor table saws are more powerful and have more sophisticated features, such as stronger fences and legs. They also include transportation wheels and dust collecting ports.

3. Compact Table Saw

Compact Table Saw

Compact table saws are bigger than benchtop saws and come with a stand for support while making rip cuts. They have direct-drive universal motors and are made of lightweight materials. Compact table saws are great for beginners. They also can accepts dadoes.

This may be used to lead a huge scale of job load. Another quick aspect of this saw is its accuracy. For heavy-duty use, the internal components are of a better grade. They have a higher rip capacity and create cleaner cuts. Some of them could even resemble contractor models.

Their rip capacity is inferior to that of the models. They’re still aimed at enthusiasts, as well as local tradespeople.

4. Mini Table Saw

Mini Table Saw

The Mini table saw is the newest member of the table saw family, and it is the tiniest of all the saws. Hobbyists and model makers are the primary users. They are extremely portable due to their tiny, lightweight construction, yet they maintain the table saw’s ability to make accurate and exact straight cuts. Although their small size makes them impractical for anything more than precision work, their low cost makes them an appealing alternative for novices.

Stationary Table Saws

Stationary table saws are intended for stability and durability and are significantly heavier than portable saws. Contractor, hybrid, sliding, and cabinet table saws are the four types of stationary saws. They shred through huge sheets of material with precision and force. Cast iron is used mostly for making them. There is a simple reason for this. Stability and long-term use.

1. Contractor Table Saw

Contractor Table Saw

Contractor table saws are heavier and more robust than compact table saws. Their tabletops are made of high-quality materials such as cast-iron metal. Because of the high-quality materials used and the usage of a belt drive system, these table saws are one of the finest for heavy-duty woodworking tasks.

These table saws have dust collecting ports that are semi-portable. Their miter gauges are superior to those found in portable table saws.

Contractor saws are a scaled-down version of cabinet saws that are used by average professionals. Contractor saws were designed to be a portable alternative to full-size cabinet saws, but as their motor got more powerful, they became bulkier and could weigh up to 300 pounds.

2. Sliding Table Saw

Sliding Table Saw

Also known as a European table saw, the sliding table saw maybe maneuvered vertically. The sliding table saw is known to be utilized for large boards and slide items. On the back of the blade of a saw, there is a slide that remains folded under the table of the saw. In most situations, it employs a few layers of induction in the motor, allowing it to do large-scale tasks. As a result, it is more costly than any of the other table saws mentioned in this post. It also features a slide for transferring the cut items to another area.

3. Hybrid Table Saw

Hybrid Table Saw

Hybrid table saws are a cross between traditional contractor saws and full-size industrial cabinet saws. The similarities are largely superficial.

Hybrid table saws are a cross between contractor and cabinet versions. The main distinction is in the trunnion design. For hybrid table saw, assemblies mount on the table from the bottom.

The cabinet saw, on the other hand, is supported by the cabinet’s top, making it easy to adjust. The hybrid has a complete enclosure and an onboard belt-driven motor. Dust collection is improved with full enclosures. The hybrid saws have a 1.5 to 2 horsepower motor and operate on a regular 15/20-amp 120 volt. They also provide a plethora of accessory possibilities.

Contractors’ table saws feature shoddy trunnions and arbor bearings. These hybrid versions feature a superior drive belt mechanism and are more aligned with the miter slot and fence.

Compared to cabinet table saws, hybrid table saws are smaller machines. But they feature strong motors and use less energy. They are appropriate for the majority of woodworkers and hobbyists.

4. Cabinet Table Saw

Cabinet Table Saw

Almost all professional contractors utilize cabinet table saws, which are the most powerful of all saws. Designed to survive for years, they’re made from materials that are incredibly tough and robust. The construction of cabinet saws is durable. Designed from cast iron and steel, they’re strong, reliable, and can handle a lot of work. Cabinet saws do not vibrate. For better dust collection, they’re designed with enclosed cabinets.

Their belt-driven induction motors are quite powerful. They are strong and require a 240-volt power supply. In tandem, they create 3 to 5 horsepower. Upgrades to cabinet saws include extension tables, replacement inserts, and rip fence adjustments, among others. You name it, and it’s a possibility.

These variants have a much higher rip capacity. The only disadvantage of cabinet saws is their size. There are those who weigh more than 600 pounds. It’s not quite portable, but it can be moved around on a mobile base.


To make an informed decision on a table saw, we must first understand the different types of table saws. You can make the proper choice if you have a decent idea.

We attempted to be as thorough and concise as possible; however the classification of saw types is a little hazy. Furthermore, determining the type of saw you are working with might be tricky at times.

Make sure you know what type you need and that you get the correct one for your woodcutting activity.

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