When it comes to choosing the right type of power saw for your day-to-day tasks, whether you are a DIYer and a professional, it can often be quite confusing, considering the range of saws available in the market. Two of the most well-known saws are circular saws and table saws and in this post, we’ll talk about circular saw vs table saw and their differences.
The primary difference between a circular saw and a table saw is that the former is a hand-held tool while the latter is a stationary one, fixed to a table. Other distinctions can also be made, between the two, in terms of precision, versatility, cost, and more.
Our guide below features a comprehensive breakdown of the comparison between a circular saw and a table saw. However, before we get into it, let’s go over the basic definitions of each of these saws!
What is a Circular Saw?
As mentioned before, a circular saw is a hand-held power tool with assorted uses.
To operate it, you basically have to place it on the workpiece and then, move it along. Similar to a table saw a circular saw cannot make curved cuts but you can adjust the height and angle of the cut, as per your needs.
Since they are hand-held, the mobility and versatility, that circular saws offer, make them quite popular amongst DIYers and professionals who have to move around a lot.
What is a Table Saw?
Unlike a circular saw, a table saw lays on a flat surface and possesses a circular blade that pops up through a hole in the surface.
To operate a table saw, you place the material to be cut on the table and guide it slowly along the blade to make the desired cut(s).
With table saws, you can only cut straight lines but the level of accuracy is very high. Some modern versions of this power tool, however, allow you to adjust the angle and height of the cut, allowing you to make different types of cuts.
You will find a table saw in just about any woodworking workshop that comes across because of its range of uses in woodworking.
Circular Saw Vs. Table Saw – Advantages and Disadvantages
When it comes to precise and accurate cuts, a table saw seems to have an edge by a clear margin. This is because of the stability of the table and the design of the tool.
On the other hand, when using a circular saw, since you will be moving the tool yourself, the cuts made would have a greater chance of being subjected to error though you can use a straight-edge or a circular saw guide rails to tweak the accuracy of the cuts.
Though a table saw allows you to perform cross-cuts as well as ripping boards with convenience when it comes to the versatility of the power tools under consideration, a circular saw is your choice.
A circular saw allows you to make a wide range of cuts, including crosscuts, rip-cuts, miter, and bevel cuts, through different materials, such as metal, brick, and even tiles, given that you have equipped the right blade.
On the other side of the spectrum, a table saw is primarily for woodworking though it can also rip through other softer materials, like plastic. It also has a size limitation, so if you have a large-sized workpiece to cut, you may need table extensions to accommodate the workpiece.
A circular saw is a lightweight, portable power tool, which is ideal if you have a variety of projects, at hand, at different places. Moreover, with the cordless version of a circular saw, you can also utilize this tool the places, where there is no power outlet.
On the contrary, as its name implies, a table saw is fixed on a table and is usually immovable. Plus, you’ll need a good amount of space in a room to place it. However, some newer versions of a table saw are relatively compact and lightweight.
Corded and Cordless
While a great number of circular saws come in a cordless version, that is priced quite fairly, only a very few table saws are actually cordless in the market. On top of that, these cordless table saws are too expensive for an average user to buy.
Ease of Use
A table saw is much easier to use than a circular one. This is because when working with a table saw, you don’t have to handle the tool yourself; you just have to turn it on and focus on putting the workpiece through it. With the knowledge of few safety principles and some fundamental operations, you are good to go.
For a circular saw, on the other hand, you will need a lot of practice and experience before you can use it safely and appropriately.
Life of the Tool
If you properly maintain both a table saw as well as a circular saw, you will notice that the former will last for a much longer time.
A circular saw, although performs excellently for a good number of years, before long, will start to deteriorate.
A table saw comes with a dust compartment, meaning that most of the sawdust, produced during the cutting process, goes into it after a project completes. Even if it doesn’t have a dust compartment, you can simply put a dustbin underneath the tale and all the sawdust will go inside it.
On the other hand, there is no such thing as a dust compartment in a circular saw and generally, after a few cuts, you will see lots of dust accumulating around you.
Each part of a table saw is laid right in front of you, which makes it quite easy to maintain.
In the case of a circular saw, oftentimes, to access the damaged part of it, you might have to open up the entire tool and then deal with it accordingly.
The blade of a table saw is exposed at all times so it can pose a threat to your safety, especially if you have children running around and you are not careful.
The blade of a circular saw, on the contrary, is braced by blade guards at all times so even when during the cutting process, you are protected to a considerable extent.
When it comes to the cost of each of the tools under discussion, a circular saw always beats a table saw. So, if you are a bit tight on budget, a circular saw is your choice.
Which of the Two Tools You Should Go For?
The differences between a table saw and a circular saw, mentioned above, should probably have made up your mind on which tool should you go for. In any case, we will streamline everything for you.
If you are a novice at the art of woodworking but you place precision in high regard in your jobs, you should probably start with a table saw since it is much easier and safer to use.
Conversely, if you do already have some experience with a table saw and you need to move around to carry out your tasks, then a circular saw is your best bet since it offers you the usefulness and portability that you are looking for.
It must be kept in mind that instead of a table saw, you can always begin your DIYer ventures with a circular saw. However, to use a circular saw effectively, you will go through a relatively long learning curve and practice so it is recommended that you start off with a table saw and work your way up to a circular saw over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Circular Saw as a Table Saw?
Yes, you can but that will require a lot of experience in handling similar power tools. Some of the steps involved in the process include removing the blade guards, shoe, and adjustment mechanisms.
All of these steps involve safety risks. So, therefore, if you really want a table saw, simply buy one.
Can You Rip a 2×4 With Circular saw?
Yes, you can. But if you are looking for the ideal tool for this job, a table saw is your go-to option.
And there you have it – a complete guide on the comparison between a circular saw and a table saw.
To reiterate, both of these tools have some significant differences in terms of various aspects. A table saw is more precise, easy to use, easy to maintain, long-lasting and safe to use whereas a circular saw is more versatile, portable, and affordable.