If you have ever been frustrated with the inaccuracy of cutting with a circular saw, then you may want to consider investing in a table saw. A table saw allows the operator to feed the workpiece smoothly into the blade, which will not slip or otherwise introduce inaccuracies. The table saw does not tire or make mistakes like a human operator using a circular saw would.
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Table saws come in a variety of sizes and forms. The smallest class of table saws, or benchsaws, are great for small renovation jobs and occasional use. You can find this type of saw for under $200. High quality larger table saws will run you about $400, but table saws in this category can handle just about any material and job. Most table saws will come with cheaper all purpose blades that should be replaced for the best possible performance. If you want to save money, there are some great combination blades out there.
There are some very important features common to most table saws that you should observe when shopping. Every table saw should have anti-kickback pawls to prevent the saw blade and the workpiece from jumping backward if the kerf narrows all the way down. A splitter or riving knife will also help to reduce the odds of a violent kickback. The size of the table itself is another important factor to weigh, as this will limit what you can work with.
All table saws should have prominent and easy to find on/off switches. If you have children, it is especially important that you get a table saw with an on/off switch that can be padlocked. Every table saw should also have a blade guard to be safely operated. To safely work with a table saw, you should wear safety glasses and keep the work area clear of any excess material.
As you feed material into the table saw, be sure to stand off to the side instead of in a direct line with the saw. Feed material steadily to the saw and do not rush it, or the saw could end up binding into the material and possibly causing a kickback.
Delta Machinery, Makita, and Bosch Tools are the leading names in table saws. Table saws generally range from as cheap as $200 to more than $400 for the nicer models.