Table Saw Research

I’ve been doing some research about the various cabinet saws out there, specifically looking for something to upgrade to after selling my Triton after many years of reliable service. I’m sure this will be a recurring theme until the final decision is made, but here are some initial observations and considerations.

I have not had an opportunity to actually use any of these tools in anger, so my opinions and observations at this point are tempered by that.

I’m not looking at the contractor’s saw – they are a compromise, minimising weight and cost in preference for portability. They certainly have their place, and many perfectly successful workshops have them, but I am strongly influenced to head towards a full cabinet saw (personal preference, and perhaps because I have done my time with a Triton Workcentre, I’m looking for that quantum leap in this upgrade, and not just another short step).

For the top, (other than a select few unusually made from granite, which I’m not sure if they are even in Australia, and then can’t use that incredible MagSwitch technology!), they should be cast iron, with ideally 2 mitre slots, one either side of the blade. The blade itself will typically be 10″ or 12″ (at additional cost), with a splitter (and/or riving knife), and guard. Power ranges from 1.75HP to 3Hp (and beyond if you have 3 phase power available – I don’t).

There are some fundamentals that the unit MUST comply with:

– solid, stable support of the blade throughout its movements, a flat table top, a good fence, and nothing that specifically compromises the use or the safety of the unit. You might well ask – hang on – what about safety, the switch, ability to take dado blades etc etc. I haven’t forgotten these, but without a flat top and a good fence, there is no point looking at the unit any further. Motors can be upgraded, after-market guards can be added. (Ok, so can a fence, but really, if they can’t get the fence and top right, then I’m guessing the rest of the machine is pretty much toast as well). Dado blades are not everyone’s cup of tea either.

This is not a comprehensive list either – my requirements are being refined as I go as I learn more about these machines, and what I require.

So after tossing all this into the pot, and turning on the gas, these are the models that are starting to rise to the surface.

saw-soup.jpg

I’m sure a few others are in there – more stirring and heat required!

So far, they are in no particular order

Saw Stop 10″ Cabinet Saw

Carbatec TS10L

Carbatec TSC-10HB

Jet 10″ SuperSaw

Each has its merits, and drawbacks, which will be broken down into more detail in the near future.

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