DIY Tip: Do I Need a Table Saw?
When you are starting out with DIY or woodworking there are several hand and power tools you need to buy, but do you need to buy a table saw?
When you starting out with DIY or woodworking there are a few basic hand and power tools that you need, such as a drill/driver, jigsaw and sander plus a wide range of accessories. But there is one tool that isn't really essential for DIY or woodworking and that is a table saw.
In all my many years of doing assorted DIY and woodworking projects, as well as hosting projects of DIY Divas workshops, I have never had the use for a table saw. I did invest in one quite a few years back, an inexpensive model that was on sale at my local Builders Warehouse and at the price I thought... why not! To cut a long story short, it wasn't worth even the special price and after numerous attempts at using it, it eventually stood in one corner of my workshop and collected dust until I finally sold it on Gumtree.
Consider the space required
While not a large piece of equipment if you invest in an expensive option, they do take up a fair amount of space when you consider that to use this equipment to its full potential you need enough space to cut large sheets of board down to size. You also need to set it up in a space where dust is not going to be an issue, because they do create a lot of dust.
Factor in the noise level
A table saw is most definitely not at the quiet end of the power tool noise spectrum, quite the opposite. A table saw generates a fair amount of noise pollution - not something your neighbours are going to thank you for when you're outside on a Sunday afternoon!
Buy with safety in mind
With my previous experiences with an inexpensive table saw, buying the cheaper model is not a good idea. Mine was rickety and shaky, so much so that I had to keep tightening the nut and bolts that held the piece together. If you are considering a table saw for your workshop, safety needs to be your number one priority, and if that is the case, you're going to want the best table saw on the market... the SawStop.
With the reputation as the world's safest table saw, SawStop includes the technology that you can't cut off a finger or two should you lose concentration. And while you might think I'm being a bit extreme, I have personally taken one of my son's friends to the local hospital to have the top of his finger sewn back on for being too cocky when using a table saw.
Uses for a table saw
A table saw is generally used for cutting large sheet of timber and board down to size. Smaller pieces can be cut on a sliding mitre saw, with a circular saw, or even with a jigsaw. Where you prefer to buy large sheets of lumber or board products, a table saw is the best choice for the project if you are working to timelines, but for the average DIY or woodworking enthusiast, you can have all your timber and board cut to size at Builders, Timbercity or wherever you buy it from. At a very small cost, you simply give these guys the measurements and they will cut it down to size for you.
My recommendation when having your stuff cut down to specific sizes is to take along your tape measure so that you can check for errors before you load up and head for home.