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Table Saw vs Circular Saw: Which One is Better for You?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated:

We know that it may be tricky to choose the right saw for you and your tasks. If you are wondering if a table saw or a circular saw is better, then you are in the right place! Today we are going to share with you the most important details about these two machines.

We are going to make a comparison, and we hope that this will be helpful enough for you to choose the tool you actually need based on the tasks you are going to accomplish.

General Overview

In general, there are some main differences between a table saw and a circular saw. The table saw is extremely accurate thanks to its stable-like shape and circular blade. Most of the time it is used for cutting wood. It is easy to use, so a lot of DIYers have it.

The circular saw is most often used by professional woodworkers. It is handheld designed and it has a round blade that rotates fast. It can make deep and strong cuts within different materials.

Both of these tools are very powerful and popular amongst woodworkers. They can work with many different blades and materials, but they also have some cons. We are going to share all of these with you today.

Table Saw

What is it?

A table saw is a powerful, versatile machine that can give you precise cuts. It is easy to use, which makes it perfect for people who are at the beginning of their journey. Their shape is like a table, and they have a circular blade that extends out.

Most of the time, the table saw is used for woodworking, but with some specific blades it can be used for other materials too. In order to make a cut, you need to push the material towards the blade.

However, they are big and require more storage space. Most of them are heavy, so they can not be moved around easily. This makes the table saws bad for people who are working in different locations.

Functionality

In addition, the table saw is pretty functional. It is easy to use, which makes it possible for a lot of people to work with it and complete different tasks. It can be used for cross-cutting and for ripping boards too.

It is equipped with a lot of features but you better do some research, because the features are more about the model you are choosing. They are affordable, but if you want a very powerful model for professional use the price may rise.

Furthermore, they are very strong machines and they are not easily broken. They may not be the best option for making angled cuts, but you can try and if you have experience you will be able to do them. However, it is a big machine and it is not very portable.

Versatility

As we already told you, the table saw comes with a circular blade. These machines are versatile, since they can accomplish many tasks. Most of the time they are used with wood, but other pieces of material can be cut too.

The table saw is extremely precise and can make special angular and crosscuts. Furthermore, these machines can cut in a straight line, which makes them good for ripping boards.

If you want to cut a perfectly straight line, you can do that. If you want to cut miter angles, you can do that too. In addition, you can easily adjust the blades for accuracy. If you want you can also make angle cuts. They may not be perfect, but if you can adjust the blades, they will be smooth and precise.

When to use a table saw?

If you are looking for a powerful machine that can do accurate cuts, is easy to use, and is affordable, then a table saw may be your perfect choice. However, if you are looking for portability and a cordless machine, then the table saw is not for you.

Pros:

  • accuracy in rip-cuts and cross-cuts
  • easy to use
  • long lifespan
  • a lot of adjusting options

Cons:

  • it is not portable
  • you need a lot of storage space

Circular Saw

What is it?

A circular saw is another powerful machine that with the right blade can deal with almost any task. It comes in different sizes, it can be either corded or cordless. It is portable, so you can move it around easily.

The circular saw uses a flat circular blade that rotates at very high speed and can cut through the workpiece with ease. They are favorites of many woodworkers since they are mobile, powerful and they can cut through almost anything.

There are very expensive models, but you can also find affordable ones on the market. They are known for having a lot of safety features. However, they may be hard to  use and their lifespan is not as long as expected.

Functionality

The circular saw has broad functionality. It can cut a wide range of materials if you choose the right blade. Thanks to its sharp teeth it can cut through a variety of materials. It is not very easy to use, so you will need some basic experience.

It can not make perfect cuts, but when using a circular saw you will need more experience if you want to make good cuts. It is very portable, which makes it perfect for people who are working in different locations.

Furthermore, you can get this machine as a corded, or cordless model. There are a lot of options available at the market, so you will have a pretty big choice.

Versatility

The circular saw has an excellent versatility.  It can cut through a variety of materials, especially if you are using the right blades. Its accuracy is not perfect, but if you are skilled enough you can make pretty good cuts.

This tool is considered to be able to make long rip-cuts ,bevel cuts and miter cuts. If you are buying a circular saw then you definitely should get a variety of blades, because this will give it the highest versatility.

When to use a circular saw?

If you are looking for a portable and powerful machine that can cut through a variety of materials with ease, then you need a circular saw. If you have experience, then this is the best option for you.

However, if you are a beginner and you are looking for an easy to use machine, you have a lot of storage and you do not need a big machine then this is not your best choice.

Pros:

  •  can cut a wide range of materials
  • very portable
  • safe machine
  • a lot of options available

Cons:

  • harder to use
  • not very accurate

Similarities between a table saw and circular saw

There are not a lot of similarities between a table saw and a circular saw. Both of the tools can be used with different blades, and both of them are powerful. They are not limited in their cutting capacity, of course, if the right blade is used.

Differences between table saw and circular saw

There are many differences between a table saw and a circular saw. Portability is one of the main reasons. The table saw is a big, heavy machine that is hard to move around, while the circular saw is small, light, and really portable.

The table saw is more accurate, it can offer the perfect straight cut, together with many other precise and smooth cuts. However, the circular saw is not as accurate. Furthermore, the table saw is one of the easiest to use saws, while for using a circular saw you better have some experience.

You can get a circular saw in different options, you can even choose between a corded and cordless model. However, there are not a lot of versions of a table saw. If you want a cordless table saw it may be hard to find, and expensive one.

Conclusion

In conclusion we can say that both the table and circular saws are very powerful machines that are highly appreciated by professionals and DIYers. They have some main differences, so in order to make the right choice you have to consider the tasks you are going to accomplish with the tool.

If you need a portable machine, then you definitely should focus on a circular saw. However, if you have a workshop and a lot of storage space then you can get yourself a powerful table saw. We wish you good luck!

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