A Detailed Discussion on Types of Table Saws and Their Usage

Generally speaking, the table saw is one of the most widespread saws in the woodworking and crafting industry. It has wide acceptability to all, from the homeowners to the expert carpenters. It has attained so much popularity, mainly because of its versatility at work.

The versatility of the table saw is largely attributed to its broader classifications. In fact, you will find several types of table saws in the market, each with a specific job specialization. During our research on the various kinds of table saws, we found as many as 8 types of power tools.

Today, our discussion includes the table saw types with their uses, advantages, and disadvantages. So, if you plan to get a table saw, read the article to know which table saw type is your best fit.

Also, professionals and beginners will gain knowledge on the specific table saw and its applications in a detailed manner. So, it is a plus for all.

Types of Table Saws

Let us admit it; table saw features incredibly versatile and practical design. That’s why it is an essential tool for both workshops and homeowners. Its several types have enabled everyone to find their most suitable table saw to accomplish all sorts of woodworking and cutting jobs.

There are two broad divisions of table saws; likewise, most power tools. These classifications are-

  • Portable table saw: These saws are lightweight and easily transportable. You will see them mostly in the homes and small repairing jobs. The typical portable table saws are job site table saw, benchtop table saw, and compact table saws.  These table saws are compactly sized, less weighty, and inexpensive too. Hence, most homeowners love working with these table saws.
  • Stationary table saw: As the name suggests, the static table saws are heavy-weight and so has a fixed position. These are seen mostly in the commercial workshops and construction sites for heavy-duty cutting jobs. The stationary table saw classification includes a cabinet table saw, contractor table saw, and a hybrid table saw. These saws are designed with the sturdiest materials available to withstand the most rigid and largest cutting jobs at ease.

Some non-conventional and less common table saw types include mini table saw and sliding table saw.  In the following sections, we will discuss them in detail.

Portable Table Saw

The portable table saw made for light-duty cutting jobs. These are almost handheld or foldable to transport from one location to another. Most homeowners and DIY workers will love working with the portable table saw since it doesn’t need any technical skills to operate the saw.

Also, it doesn’t break their bank account, thanks to the modest pricing of the portable table saw types. However, these saws can’t perform heavy-weight cutting jobs. So, these are not seen in the commercial workshops.

The three most common portable table saws are-

  • Benchtop table saw
  • Jobsite table saw
  • Compact table saw

These three table saws are light enough that you can quickly carry them into different locations. Hence, the name is given portable.

Benchtop Table Saw

Among all the varieties of the table saw, the benchtop table saw is the smallest of all. And as its name suggests, you can literally place the saw on a bench to operate it while cutting different materials. Their design is made specially to work on a bench and so features compactness.

Their compact design blends with the lightweight construction for the best portability for all workers. The benchtop table saw is made of lightweight materials such as plastic, aluminum, or composites to ensure such a lightweight and compact design.

Since the benchtop table saw is made of such light and low-priced material, you will find the power saw an affordable option too. The main drawback of such a lightweight design is its fragility. Many a time, the benchtop table saw will not last for a long time.

The benchtop table saw is made for light-duty cutting jobs. It includes cutting small boards and reducing small stocks into more manageable sizes. The tradeoff of using the benchtop table saw is the limited rip cut capacity.

Regular uses:

You can perform small cuts with the benchtop table saw. You will see its uses mostly in making tiny furniture such as a doghouse, coffee tables, and chairs. You can even use the power tool in smaller construction projects for cutting and installing pipes and wood boards. Also, craftsmen use the benchtop table saw for decorative cuts and woodworking.


  • Compact design lets you work in tight space
  • Lightweight design helps superior portability
  • The setup and application are comfortable
  • The price is reasonable and suits beginners


  • Limits rip cutting capacity
  • Limited power and durability

Compact Table Saw

Although many people don’t believe, the compact table saw is contradictory to its name. It is not so compact as one might think.  The compact table saw comes with a stand for working. The other frame makes the compact table saw larger than the benchtop ones.

The larger design has enabled the power saw to equip with a powerful motor and large blade to accommodate better cutting capacity. Another benefit of using the stand of the compact table saw is that it raises the operational level. So, you won’t have to bend your back uncomfortably to accomplish the cutting jobs.

Since you won’t have to bend the back much, you also get rid of work fatigue. Thus, you can concentrate more on work. Moreover, the inclusion of the stand with the table saw stabilizes the working surface. It helps you cut the materials with increased accuracy and smoothness.

The compact table saw is made of rugged materials to withstand the medium-duty cutting jobs. Most manufacturers will use cast iron or aluminum to construct the compact table saws. It ensures a long-lasting service without any fragility like the benchtop models.

It even has a sliding table with sleds. The sliding table helps in bevel and angle cuts better.

You have to remember that the table used in the compact models is a short one; it is not a full-sized table. Hence, it limits the cutting capacity and an ideal option for large projects. The power tool uses a universal direct motor. It has a limited power that is similar to that of the benchtop model. So, you shouldn’t expect much-enhanced power from the compact table saw.

The best uses of the power tool are in light to medium-duty cutting functions.

Regular uses:

You will see its application in making small furniture in construction sites and at homes. Also, most DIYers use the compact table saw for crafting and decorative cuts.


  • The rip capacity is more than satisfactory
  • The sturdy design helps it lasts for a long period
  • A perfect power tool for home and small construction sites
  • The stand height is adjustable for working comfort


  • The table surface is small
  • It can’t cut lumber and hardwood smoothly

Jobsite Table Saw

The Jobsite table saw is the only table saw type that is used by professionals in massive construction sites. It is portable yet sturdier enough to accommodate different cutting jobs in the commercial workshops and construction sites.

The portability of this table saw helps professionals transport the power tool into different projects easily. Also, you can move the Jobsite table saw from one location to another on the same construction site. So, you won’t have to transport the woodblocks and plywood boards all the way to the cutting machine. It makes your woodworking life comfortable and more manageable.

What’s more, the sturdier construction of the Jobsite table saw helps you cut larger blocks too. You can even manage the lumber cuts with it. All these cutting facilities have been made possible thanks to the heavy-duty design of the power tool.

The construction is hardier than the compact and benchtop models who speak of its durability in tackling heavy-duty cutting jobs. The heavy-duty construction is well-supported by a folding stand. The stand is positioned on the wheels and is easily foldable underneath the blade. So, you can move the Jobsite table saw quickly and easily too.

Likewise, the compact and benchtop models, the Jobsite table saw also uses the direct-drive motor. However, the good news is that the direct drive motor used in the Jobsite model is more potent than the two previous versions.

So, the powerful motor of the Jobsite saw is suitable for performing large and heavy-duty cutting jobs. Also, the power tool has a larger table as a working surface. It enables the rip cutting capacity of the machine impressively.

The Jobsite table saw also has sledges for smooth and precise bevel cuts. It even had a dust collection porthole to keep the workplace clean. Finally, the guide bar fence allows you to adjust the cutting line for more accurate cuts.

Regular uses:

The Jobsite table saw is the only portable power tool that professionals love using in their workshops and construction site’s project completion.  You will see its application in medium to large cutting jobs, furniture making, and home renovation jobs.


  • The construction is sturdy enough to last for an extended period
  • The Jobsite saw is a perfect combo of stationary and portable table saws.
  • You can use the power tool to cut metals, plastics, and large lumber


  • The saw is expensive
  • Not suitable for amateurs

Stationary Table Saw

As the title suggests, the stationary table saw is positioned permanently in a static location. You can’t move it once you have installed the saw in your workshop. Also, it is used only by professionals and not meant for home uses.

Contractor Table Saw

The manufacturers upgraded the Jobsite table saw with powerful motors and a large cutting surface to manufacture the contractor table saw. The induction motor used in the power tool operates with the belt drive system.

The belt drive motor is efficient and causes less energy loss. So, the overall cutting speed of the contractor table saw. The powerful belt drives the motor with enhanced efficiency, and cutting speed suits professional workshops, furniture making, and massive construction sites.

The large table surface is made with cast iron to ensure sturdiness and durability. The large body increases the rip cutting capacity. Moreover, the enlarged fence size is a perfect match with the enlarged table.

The larger and more stable table with an enlarged fence maximizes the guiding feature of the contractor table saw. It helps you cut comprehensive stocks and thick wood blocks with superior smoothness and accuracy.

The downside of such a powerful and hardware equipped power tool is the increased weight. In fact, the contractor table saw weighs around 250 to 300 pounds. Also, its dust collection capacity is made rugged with the rear motor in the outboard portion.

Regular uses:

The contractor table saw is used by professionals in commercial workshops and large construction sites. It is used for large furniture doing projects too.


  • Strong and durable motor
  • The working surface and fence are large
  • Sturdier surface boosts cutting accuracy


  • Dust collection is messy
  • Expensive

Hybrid Table Saw

The hybrid table saw is a perfect ground between the large cabinet table saw and contractor table saw. It is a heavier and power model too. It operates with the belt drive motor. You will see the hybrid table saw in both open leg stand and closed table stand.

Hence, categorizing the hybrid models is challenging. The large working surface and fence are suitable for accurate cutting jobs. The biggest advantage of using hybrid models is its superior dust collection, which keeps the workplace clean. It is a contrasting feature compared to the contractor table saw.

Regular uses:

Professionals and commercial constructors use the hybrid table saw to accomplish massive furniture making and project completion.


  • Sturdier and stable surface
  • Powerful and efficient motor
  • Easy height adjustment


  • Costly models

Cabinet Table Saw

The cabinet table saw is effectively, and comprehensively the largest and most potent of all table saw types.  They got the name because of their fully enclosed design with the cabinet body.

The cabinet table saw, without a doubt, is by far the best among all the table saws and is positioned right at the top of the pile. The motor might generate an impressive 5HP power. Also, the model has a larger surface for the maximum rip cuts.

So, you can quickly cut the large wood blocks and lumbers into more manageable sizes in the construction projects and workshops. The downside of using the cabinet table saw is its heavy-weight design that will reach up to 500 pounds due to its all hardware inclusion. So, it is always mounted permanently.

Regular uses:

You can perform all sorts of cutting and furnishing chores with the cabinet table saw. The model is also used in detailing jobs for precision and smoothness.


  • Massive rip cutting capacity
  • Most powerful motor
  • Extreme cutting capacity


  • Needs a considerable space for installation

Other Types

There are two other table saw types that are used occasionally. These are-

Mini and Micro Table Saw

The mini table saw models are the smallest of all table saws.  These models are exceptionally portable thanks to the lightweight and compact construction. Also, its easiness in use makes the mini model’s hobbyists and DIYers dream.

The mini and micro table saws are the latest edition in the category and are used widely for detailing jobs. Their lower price range is an excellent boost for the hobbyists too.

Regular uses:

People use it in regular home renovation and repairing works. Also, artisans use the saw for detailing results in their crafting and decorative pieces.


  • Highly portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy use


  • Only for smaller works

Sliding Table Saw

As the name suggests, the sliding table saw comes with a secondary table that you can slide in and out to expand the working surface of the blade. It enables you to cut the large materials without having a large surface of the cabinet or contractor table saw.

The table slides underneath the surface when not at work. You will see many professionals calling it the European table saw too.

Regular uses:

It accommodates an extra space for cutting large materials in workshops.


  • Enhanced working surface
  • Quick sliding function


  • Dust collection is tricky


The table saw is by far the most versatile power tool options for woodworkers and artisans. They use the saw for cutting large materials, detailing works, and furniture making. Since it has a wide range of uses, most manufacturers have developed different types of table saws.  These types have helped the DIYers, homeowners, and professionals use the table saw for more specific purposes.

These different table saw types have made the woodworking life of the craftsmen and artisans easier. When you understand the classification better with their specific uses, pros, and cons, you will also use the table saw better. Therefore, we hope that detailed guidelines on the various table saws have helped you realize how these power saws function and which one you should use.

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