Choosing bench top band saw
The farm may need different types of saws. The bench top band saw is the all-rounder for do-it-yourselfers.
Especially in woodworking, the bench top band saw – colloquially known simply as a circular saw – is one of the standard machines. Whether it’s firewood for the winter, equal-sized pieces of laminate for the new living room floor or cut-to-size tiles for the bathroom – the table saw is a real all-rounder.
But what exactly can the power tool, which should it meet for DIYers and what are the function and design?
Benchtop band saws with stable table frame for precise cuts
As the name suggests, table saws are equipped with their own table. These special circular saws are also called construction circular saws, and you can use them to precisely cut the desired material while standing, which is easy on your knees and back. The worktop is usually firmly mounted on a sturdy metal frame, and the rotating saw blade is located in its center. The workpiece is pushed over the worktop away from the body in the direction of the saw blade, so that particularly safe working is possible. In addition, thanks to the integrated work plate, even larger beams, boards, and panels can be processed comfortably.
Advantages of a table saw:
- clean cuts
- safe guidance
- efficient sawing
- easy saw blade change
Structure and function bench top band saw
Table circular saws consist of the following elements:
- worktable with stand/underframe
- circular saw blade
- riving knife
The stand of the worktable is usually made of cast iron or steel for a safe stand. The tabletop has an opening through which the circular saw blade passes. The saw blade itself is a steel disc with cutting teeth and is connected to the electric motor via the saw shaft. Behind the saw blade is the riving knife. This ensures that the saw blade does not jam in the kerf. This is important because otherwise the rising teeth could grab the workpiece and hurl it in the direction of the operator.
Other components of a table saw may include:
- Cross fence: angles can be cut with the help of the cross fence.
- Rip fence: This can be used to make parallel cuts. This is practical, for example, when several slats of the same size are to be created from a large piece of wood.
- Angle function: The saw blade tilts to allow miter cuts. The greater the angle is set, the shallower the depth of cut.
Many circular table saws also have a quick stop, also called a motor brake. This ensures that the saw blade is braked significantly after switching off and quickly comes to rest. On the one hand, this is safer for the do-it-yourselfer, and on the other hand, sawing of another workpiece can be started more quickly.
Info: The more teeth a saw blade has, the cleaner the cut. At the same time, however, many teeth also mean a small chip space and the saw blade can become clogged more quickly. The rule of thumb for good results is: longitudinal cuts with a saw blade with few teeth, cross cuts with a saw blade with many teeth.
Areas of application of the table saw
The application possibilities of circular saws are versatile. They are mainly used for longitudinal and crosscuts and for ripping. Especially solid wood and panel materials are cut with it. But a table circular saw is also useful for work at home – for example, for firewood processing. From the large pieces of wood, the table saw can quickly cut small pieces that fit in the fireplace, tiled stove, or fire bowl.
The circular saw is also used when it comes to serial cuts for new laminate or parquet flooring, floorboards, or beams of the same size. Thanks to the rip fence, each cut piece will be the same size. Furthermore, the electric machine can be used for grooving, slotting, rebating, or bevel cutting.
Find the right model
To choose the right table saw, it is important to look at the technical characteristics of the equipment. The following points serve as a guide in the search:
- Power: The devices should have at least 1,000 watts (1,500 is better) to be able to cut hard and thick workpieces such as strong beams or hardwood (oak, birch).
- Idle speed: As a guideline, 2,000 to 6,000 revolutions per minute are recommended. It should be manually adjustable. This can be used to cut wood (highest speed), metals and plastics (medium to high speed) as well as mineral fiber boards (low speed).
- Cutting depth: A greater cutting depth allows for thicker workpieces. Approximately 75 to 90 mm is recommended for home use. This can be used to cut small beams, as well as laminate and firewood.
- Fences: Both parallel and cross fences should be available to cut pieces of the same size (e.g., for parquet flooring) as well as angles (e.g., tile in the bathroom).
- Diameter circular saw blade: approx. 250 mm, in the best case, already included with the machine. As a rule of thumb: large saw blade for quiet and long cuts, small saw blade for shortcuts.
Once the technical details have been clarified, attention should also be paid to which safety elements the machine has: In addition to a protective hood over the circular saw blade, there should be a riving knife behind it as a further safety feature. Overheating protection can also be useful.
As a final point, the size of the work table plays a role: large workpieces can be processed more easily on a larger work surface. Extendable and height-adjustable tables are practical. The base frame of the table should be stable to ensure a safe working process.
The right benchtop band saw model with a table for your workshop
Which model is right for you depends largely on your situation and how often you plan to use your saw.
Compact models for beginners
Beginners interested in handicrafts will benefit from circular table saws with a power of between 1,000 and 2,000 W, which are usually sufficient for most jobs. Beginners will also be interested in compact models that can be set up on a free work surface and quickly put away after use, eliminating the need for extra space in your hobby basement or garage.
Circular table saws for do-it-yourselfers
Homeowners and hobby DIY with their own workshop will reach for a table saw with high power starting at 2,000 W and a sturdy table as well as a large worktop that can be expanded if necessary. Furthermore, additional functions such as a continuously adjustable cutting angle and undercut are useful if you already want to tackle more demanding projects.
Construction circular saws for professionals
For users who regularly need their circular saw for demanding work or want to use it professionally, a model that can also be used as a construction circular saw is recommended. Such a saw is particularly robust and stable, offers a large worktop with options for extension, and also scores with a cutting depth of more than 130 mm. Start table circular saws for professional use with 3,500 W and more.
Tips for safe use of bench top band saws
The rotating blade of a circular table saw can cut through more than just wood and other materials. The following tips will help you work safely and effectively with the sharp cutting tool:
- Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before you get started, and follow the safety instructions.
- Check that the base is stable and does not wobble, and do not use the circular saw table as a workbench or countertop for other DIY tasks.
- Set the depth of cut so that the workpiece being cut is just barely cut through so that pieces of wood that are too large do not come loose and get thrown away.
- Make sure that the riving knife is firmly seated and in alignment with the saw blade. It prevents workpieces from kicking back.
- Wear tight-fitting clothing, head protection, and safety glasses for your eyes and possibly hearing protection when working.
- Use a push stick to push the workpiece across the saw table. If possible, do not hold the workpiece with your hands and take care not to get too close to the saw blade.