There are a lot of woodworking power tools that you need in your workshop to handle various tasks. If you are a beginner, knowing which tools you need to buy first can be confusing because there are miter saws, table saws, and circular saws. Many woodworkers find it hard choosing between a table saw vs circular saw.
Sometimes it can be hard to buy both of them so you need to compare them extensively to determine which tool will suit your projects well. Luckily, this guide will give you a comparative review of the two types of saws. This will help you understand how each tool works, its difference, and which one you need for your projects.
What is Circular Saw?
A circular saw is a power saw that uses a flat blade to cut through different materials like wood, plastic, and metal-based on the type of blade you choose. These saws are designed with a handle featuring an off/on trigger switch. They also have an arbor that works well to keep the blade in place. Additionally, circular saws have a blade guard to protect you from getting into contact with the rotating blade.
You can adjust the height or bevel adjustments to meet your needs, however, you should follow the instructions given in the manual. Circular saws come with different types of blades which include-
- Standard blades
- Continuous rim blades
- Abrasive blades
- Turbo-rim blades
- Segmented blades
- Stacked dado blade among others.
What Are Circular Saws Good for?
Circular saws are great for DIY projects where cutting metal, wood, concrete, plastic, bricks, and tiles are needed. The main use of a circular saw is to create straight and curvilinear cuts. The tool can also make rips and crosscuts like a table saw. You can also make bevel cuts with a circular saw and with more practice, you will find making straight cuts effortless.
Circular saws are common among professionals and DIY enthusiasts because they have a higher sawing capacity and are cut with precision. Therefore, if you would like to use the tool in your workshop or construction site, the tool will help you handle various tasks.
You can either choose a manual or electric circular saw. It is also possible to find a circular saw with a table or choose to buy a circular saw table separately. But today, everyone opts for an electric model.
Pros of a Circular Saw
- The saw is portable so you are not confined to a single place.
- Circular saws provide versatile cuts like plunge, bevel, cross-cut, and finishing cuts.
- Many circular saws have extra features to enhance their usage.
- You can get circular saws in both right and left-handed models.
- The tool comes at an affordable price.
Cons of a Circular Saw
- These tools don’t have a dust disposal system since they are handheld.
- It doesn’t make precise cuts like a table saw.
What is Table Saw?
This is a tool that uses a circular blade to cut through materials. The rest of the construction is on a work surface or else a table and the cutting blade will appear in a hole on the surface. Table saws are popular among many woodworkers because of their high level of accuracy when making straight lines. However, a table saw cannot cut curved lines.
Using a table saw is easy because you only need to place your wood on the table. The tool has a guide mechanism that will help you as you push the wood against the blade to get accurate cuts.
Today, you can get table saws that allow you to adjust the height and the cutting angle to give you flexibility in your projects.
What Are Table Saws Good for?
Table saws are great if you want to achieve precision in your projects when cutting straight lines. You only need to set the too for the type of cut you want and leave the rest for the table saw to do. You should push the wood to the blade so that the table saw can make exact cuts every time you use it.
Apart from making straight cuts, you can also use a table saw to make crosscuts and rips. Since it is easy to operate, a table saw is a great tool for beginners.
Unlike circular saws, table saws have a dust collection feature so you can get a clean working environment. Additionally, table saws require less maintenance, and using them is straightforward.
Pros of a Table Saw
- The tool provides accurate and precise cuts and is easy to use.
- Table saws are easy to maintain.
- You can perform crosscuts and rips with a table saw.
- They have an efficient dust collection feature.
- Table saws offer speed and versatile use.
Cons of a Table Saw
- Most of them are fixed so they remain in a fixed place.
- Table saws come at an expensive price.
- They might be dangerous especially for beginners.
Quick Comparison Chart
|Features||Table Saw||Circular Saw|
|Accuracy||Very accurate||Need steady hands and skills|
|Portability||It is less portable||You can take the tool anywhere|
|Price||It is expensive||Affordable|
|Level of skill||Beginners and professionals||Needs some skill to use it|
|Ease of use||Needs set-up||Needs set up too|
|Lifespan||Can last a lifetime if maintained well||The lifespan is reasonable|
|Material||Majorly wood||Wood, plastic, metal, tile, bricks, and concrete|
|Cuts||Rip, square, dado, and miter cuts||Rip, dado, miter, square, and cross cuts|
|Ideal for||Bulk jobs that need speed and precision||Onsite jobs that need a general-purpose saw|
Table Saw Vs Circular Saw – In Detailed Analysis of Main Differences
Table saw vs circular saw; what is the difference between the two? This is a question that will cross your mind when deciding whether to buy a circular saw or table saw. Well, the final decision of selecting either a table saw or circular saw depends on the nature of your projects. We will check a few differentiating factors between circular saw and table to give you a better understanding.
One of the major differences between a circular saw and a table saw is portability. Like I mentioned earlier, circular saws are handheld saws so they have a portable and compact design. This makes it easy to move them from one point to the other effortlessly.
On the other hand, table saws are hard to move so you use them in a fixed location in your workshop. Contrary, you can find a handheld table saw but they are also a challenge to move to different locations even if you have the smallest table saw.
A table saw is great if you want to use it in a workshop where movement is not required. Circular saws are great for professionals who do their work in various places.
You can also differentiate the two types of saws based on their cutting accuracy. For instance, you will get accurate cuts when using a table saw than a circular saw. Achieving accurate cuts on a table saw depends on your skills. You can also choose to use a table saw guide rail if you want to enhance your accuracy when using a circular saw.
In a nutshell, table saws are more accurate than circular saws. Circular saws need skilled and well-trained personnel to use them to get the same accuracy as a table saw.
Circular saws are versatile than table saws because they can cut almost anything at hand. If your circular saw can work well with abrasive discs, then you can do metal cutting easily. If it works with a diamond blade, then you can cut bricks and tiles effortlessly.
On the other hand, you can only use a table saw to cut through wood. This means that you cannot cut plastics with a table saw. It is mainly designed for woodworking projects.
Corded vs Cordless
Circular saws are available in corded and cordless models. On the other hand, table saws are mostly corded so you will find very few cordless table saws and they carry a hefty price.
Ease of use
If you compare circular saw vs table saw the ease of use, you will realize that cutting with a table saw is easier. Circular saws do not cut as easily as table saws. However, if you implement a few techniques, and practice more, you will be able to achieve accurate cuts like in a table saw.
You need to get used to quite some time to use a circular saw easily. This includes learning how to use a circular saw accurately without compromising your safety.
A table saw has a longer life than a circular saw. If you maintain your table saw well, it can give you a lifetime performance. The lifespan of a circular saw is also reasonable and they don’t require much maintenance. Table saws have many internal components that require care and maintenance to give an efficient performance.
When working with a saw, you will expect dust and this calls for cleaning. Table saws produce minimal dust around because most of the dust can be set up to go below the table where you can position a dust collection box. Additionally, you can utilize a portable vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust on the table.
Using a circular saw will certainly through sawdust all over the place. This creates a messy workplace and you need more time to clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing between a circular saw and a table saw highly depends on how you intend to use the tool. The two saws are different hence each is suitable for different tasks. So, determine how you want to use your tool and this will make it easier for you to choose between a table saw and a circular saw.
Table saws are great because both beginners and professionals can use them easily. The tools also offer precise cuts and they have a longer lifespan which makes them cost-effective.
You should use a table saw if you intend to cut straight lines and smooth cuts on wood. Table saws are great for DIY projects that need precise cuts compared to using a handheld tool. Additionally, if you are a serious woodworker, you will find a table saw versatile for your projects.
You can use a circular saw as a table saw when you want to cut longer pieces of plywood. However, you will not achieve smooth cuts with a circular saw as you would when using a table saw. But if you have some skills and techniques, you can produce accurate cuts with a circular saw.
Circular saws are not only affordable but are also safer to use than table saws. While you can still experience serious injuries with a circular saw, there are safer to use than table saws.
You can make a circular saw into a table saw when you want to cut wider boards. Alternatively, if you don’t mind getting rough cuts, a jigsaw can also come in handy.
So, should you choose a table saw vs circular saw? Which one is the best? Deciding which saw to use will depend on the purpose you want to use it. The two types of saws are different and hence suited to handle various projects. If you are purchasing your first saw, then I would recommend a table saw. This is because it is easy to use and it will give you a better platform to upgrade to a circular saw.
If you have mastered the basics of using a table saw, buying a circular saw can make a great addition. Circular saws are also great for professional applications because of their versatility. So, before you decide which tool to buy, determine why you need it first and this will help you differentiate a table saw from a circular saw.