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What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

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Junior Contributor

What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

G'day, I'm starting out in wood working and am seeking suggestions or recommendations of the "best" table saw to buy. By best,I mean features available on the saw.

By way of background, I plan to start small making wooden jewellery boxes or something similar and then I would like to progress to timber inlay preferably making my own inlay. From there I want to develop my skills to the point where I can make "fine" furniture such as wall units, buffets, chests of drawers and so on. So this tells you where I am now and where I want to get to over time.

As to the table saw, I can't afford anything greater than $1,000 so I am limited to job site table saws. However, in doing my research to date, some of the features I'd like to include are as follows:

  • Fence that remains parallel to the blade – most important
  • Rack and pinion movement
  • Micro adjustment to the fence
  • Dust extraction (to a shop vac)
  • Dado blade fitment

One saw that I have come across is the Hitachi 10-Inch Job Site Table Saw C-10RJ but I'm really shooting into the dark at the moment.

Not sure what else to tell you other than thanks in advance.

Regards,

Chris

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Junior Contributor

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

Hi Chris,

 

Your having the same issue I was having. I have had a few 'cheap' table saws and have now decided it was time to spend abit more then I wanted. I found most of the $1000 table saws and below, dont stay flat or square for long. As they have a pressed steel top, plus the fences are poorly designed in my view. But saying that, the Hitachi is a good saw, I also looked at the Bosch GTS10J, the dewalt has a good one but thats over $1000, there lower price one isnt that good. An option if you save a touch more is the SB-12 for $1309. A touch more then what you want to spend but its cast iron top, dust extraction and the fence is alot more sturdy, plus you can get wheels to move it around the garage. You will need to spend min of $2000 for one to suit a dado stack, which is annoying. But I use a router and a straight edge for that issue. The table saw Ive got on order is the ST-254, Its got everything I want and need, plus I have the room in my garage. Also remember, get the right tool the first time, may end up cost more in the long run when you keep upgrading or it doesnt have a good warranty.

 

Hope this helps you out a little

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Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

Hi @BigFella1956,

 

Many thanks for your question, I trust this will be an interesting topic to cover for our members.

 

I see @Razzer has already given a helpful reply which is fantastic.

 

Let me start by mentioning several other knowledgable members @Brad, @ProjectPete, @woodenwookie, @r23on and @Poppop who might like to contribute their thoughts. I know @Brad covered this topic quite extensively in a recent table saw discussion.


The ability of a fence to be in parallel with the blade is directly related to whether it locks at the front and the back of the table. Make sure you select a model that doesn't just lock at the front of the table. Most good quality table saws come with adjustment grub screws to ensure the blade is calibrated to be in parallel with the fence.

 

Generally, table saws have a standard hand adjust and locking mechanism for fence adjustment. You can make or buy a micro-adjustment jig for a table saw fence, but I can't find a machine that comes with one.

 

Almost every table saw in the $1000 range will come with a dust extraction port, you might need an adaptor to suit your shop vacs hose size.

 

Many saws will be able to be retrofitted to have a dado blade installed. This is generally not recommended by manufacturers or specified on the feature lists as fitment normally requires removal of safety devices and table insert plates.

 

I've had a chance to check out the Hitachi 10-Inch Job Site Table Saw C-10RJ and it certainly seems like a great machine and it ticks all the boxes you have mentioned. Another saw worth considering would be the Bosch GTS 10 J Professional

 

I look forward to hearing the opinions of our other members and can't wait to see what machine you go with.

 

Please let me know if you need further assistance or had any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

Hi @BigFella1956,

 

In addition to the previous discussion that @MitchellMc linked to, here's a couple of others that you might also find useful:

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing what you choose, and more importantly, how you can put it to good use!

 

Jason

 

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Trusted Contributor

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

I have a Bosch with a sliding table, I think they are discontinued now. Dust does get in the slider fairly easily.

Looking at Carbatec prices for add on to the whatever base unit you get.

Laminate cutting blade $159

Dado stack 30mm bore $399

Rockler multi track 2.25 $68.90

Rockler flip stop 2.25 $40.90

Makes sense if you are going down the pro route to join a Mens Shed or local woodwork club to get the 15% discount at Carbatec but not on Festool or Veritas products. They sell things not found at your local Bunnies store.

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Super Contributor

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

Hi Big Fella

You can ask a thousand people the same question and all will give you their thought and in most case very good thoughts. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself:-

What is it that I am going to do?

is the table going to be transportable? Left in a fixed place 

Size -how big do I need/want (want)

Flexibility off the table, in other words the range of task I can do with it.

Dust extraction 

And how much am I wanting to spend???

If you are looking at fixed position table. Having use one for many years I would not go past the SawStop.

I would even consider the Sawstop Jobsite Saw Pro for mobility. The table is the only one that I know off that has a built in safety cut off and is granted not to cut your fingers off. In both cases they are pricey, however I am a believer buy once because in the end you finish up buying another costing the same.

As pointed out join a woodworking group and get that 15% from Carbatec.

If you want to check it out

https://www.carbatec.com.au/sawstop-jobsite-saw-new-2019-pro-model 

https://www.carbatec.com.au/sawstop-contractor-saw-with-36-t-glide-fence?SearchId=8535280&SearchPos=... 

 

 

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Junior Contributor

Re: What is the "best" table saw for someone starting out in wood working?

G'day r23on, I think you're quite right - I have got different responses from different people and likewise, you're questions are valuable to me, some of which I am attempting to answer already. I'll check out Sawstop as well. Sage advise all round, thank you. Chris

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