The Benchtop Table Saw

It has been roughly two hundred years ago, more or less, when the carpenter and the cabinetmaker’s craft of woodworking took a bold new turn. Rather than sawing wood using a straight line of teeth that ground back and forth, the circular saw blade was invented and the rest, as they say, is history. Cutting stock was now continuous and faster than anyone had ever seen. The (simi) modern table saw had been born.

Truth be told, the first “table” circular saws happened to be a little gargantuan when you compare them to the standard home-shop table saws to be found on the current market these days.

Today you are likely to find saws hawked inside mail-order catalogs, home improvement centers, and even department stores. For the homeowner/hobbiest who wants a dependable tool within the capacity of his checkbook, or a professional who has a hard deadline to meet, there is one kind of table saw that shines. It’s the benchtop table saw.

Some Great Characteristics

Without a doubt benchtop table saws are engineered to be extremely portable, but their diminutive size conceals an astounding capacity. Most manufacturers build benchtop machines equipped with ten inch diameter blades which are about the same as full blown cabinet saws.

This convenient capacity, when you combine it with their portability and unbeliabably low price, makes the benchtop table saw one of the handiest tools you can own.

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One of the best qualities of this saw is how light it is. A craftsman can easily carry it around the jobsite, lift it from the bed of a pick up truck, or move it off the garage bench when it is time to use the benchtop drill press.

Most models will be in the range of thirty five to seventy five pounds. It is the clever choice of materials that keep these tools light and tight. The tabletops and motor supporting brackets, or trunnions, are usually made out of cast aluminum and have bent steel supporting braces in many of the cheaper models. The saw bases are for the most part plastic.

Weight and Sizing

Not only are these saws lightweight, they are also very compact. The dimensions of the average table top are right at nineteen inches deep by twenty seven inches wide, but the popular contractor models begin at about twenty two by thirty eight inches.

To maximize tabletop area without losing portability, some feature extention tables of about a six inch area on the saw’s right hand side that slides back from its blade which can bring the total width to approximately forty inches.

How does this benefit? It provides more support when you’re your crosscutting, and in addition, it takes your ripping limit to right over twenty four inches which as you know is the exact center of a full sheet of plywood. Imagine the possibilities…


The price tag hanging on these benchtop saws are already low because of competition but believe me, you can do better. If you are not in dire need of a new saw, why not keep an eye on the sales at your local home improvement center? Or wait around for a holiday sale or father’s day sale. At the very least you can offset the cost of the sale’s tax.

Is a benchtop table saw for you? Most likely, if you want to get the most bang for your buck in a quality tool.