What is Circular table saw and it’s types: What you should know

What is Circular table saw and it's types: What you should know

What is a circular table saw?

The circular table saw is an electric cutting tool. It is a circular or circular saw placed on a table, with a cutting guide. The saw is turned on and rotates at great speed while the user pushes the piece to cut on the guides. It is very powerful and very precise equipment, ideal for professional jobs. Although they are present mainly in carpentry and mechanic workshops, nowadays there are circular table saws at very affordable prices, being easy to find them in DIY fan houses, as they are the perfect instrument for projects of this type.

What does a circular table saw consist of?

The circular table saw mainly consists of a cutting disc that is in the center of a horizontal table. On this table, you will find most of the tools (motor or axes, among others). The saw is in a fixed position and the operator pushes the parts to be worked on the disc to make the cut quickly and precisely. As already mentioned, the circular table saw can be the first tool present in a carpentry workshop and are the center of this activity, since the parts return several times to the cutting table, due to the different options available to it. Circular table saws allow you to make cuts in:

  • Straight-line in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Transversal through the grain of the wood.
  • Miter and bevel, that is, at an angle.

What types of circular table saws are there?

It is important to know the different types of circular table saws that exist, mainly because there is a discrepancy regarding their names, which can cause confusion for a consumer with little experience. Many people refer to circular saws and table saws with the same expression even though they are very different tools.It is also common to associate the circular table saw with certain semi-portable models. In reality, table saws are divided into several types and, as indicated, there are static and semi-portable models. This confusion is quite common, even among manufacturers. This is because most incorporate a table that can be installed in several places.

Semi-portable saws

Bench saw: 
  • It is the lightest and most affordable table saw.
  • It has no wheels or support.
  • It is mounted on a work bench.
  • Made of aluminum, plastic and other lightweight materials.
  • For DIY and home use.
  • Cutting of soft and plywood.
Compact saw:
  • More powerful and with better precision than the bench saw.
  • It has support to support itself.
  • With a dust removal connection.
  • The table can be cast iron.
  • Driven by a universal motor.
  • Straight and angled cuts in solid wood and fiber boards.
  • Light and DIY jobs.
Saw with wheels:
  • It is the most robust and heavy semi-portable saw.
  • With anodized aluminum surfaces.
  • It has a support that can fold to save space.
  • It has wheels for easy transport.
  • Cutting wood, solid wood, parquet, plating boards and plastic.
  • Ideal for construction professionals.

Stationary saws

Contractor, hybrid or cabinet saw:
  • High standard, expensive, heavy, bulky and very durable machine.
  • Used in large workshops, industries and specialized schools.
  • They can do all types of work on hardwood, pine, plywood, pressure-treated wood or thick metal sheets.

What components are present in a circular table saw?

Now that you know what it is, what it consists of and how many types of circular table saws are on the market, this is the time to go a little deeper into its main components. Knowing them is essential, as the operation of the tool will largely depend on them. Next, check out more details about this equipment.

  • Saw table: Made of anodized aluminum or wrought iron. Some models include cutting guides for easy work.
  • Saw blade protector: Indispensable for safety, this element covers the cutting disc when the machine is stopped.
  • Dust extraction hose: This component is not present in all saws, as it is a compliment. It serves to absorb the dust as the cut is made.
  • Guide for parallel cuts: Another additional accessory. It serves to mark the cut.
  • Folding table extension: An extension, equipped with hinges and safe to increase the cutting space, ideal for large pieces.
  • Miter calibrator: System for tilting the saw blade or material for miter cuts.
  • Eccentric lever: Used to adjust the cutting settings.
  • Adjusting and securing the handle: Another safety element for securing the cutting materials.
  • Handle to adjust the cutting height: It allows to adjust the cutting.
  • On and off switch: It is what gives power to the engine and what puts the saw into operation.
  • Push rod: Used to push the material to be cut. It is essential, as you should never push the material with your fingers.
  • Base legs: Used to hold the tool. Most have some adjustment system to calibrate the height and level.
  • Cutting blade: Serrated circular discs. Attached to a shaft that rotates at high speed

What are the accessories for a circular table saw?

Some of the components described in the previous section are actually accessories. They are very important when working with a circular table saw, as they make tasks safer or make work easier. Knowing these extras and their functions guarantee you quality cuts and better working conditions.

Next, check out a presentation of the best accessories for a circular table saw.

Basic accessories

Saw blade or disk:
  • It is the most important part of the machine.
  • There are different types of discs according to your saws.
  • The type of disc you choose will depend on the material you are going to cut.
The basis for parallel cuts:
  • Guide to make basic cuts.
Miter calibrator:
  • A fundamental accessory for angular and transversal cuts.
  • They have resistant bases.
  • The angles must be easy to read.
  • Fits easily in the miter.

Safety accessories

Push rod:
  • The piece used to push the material on the cutting blade.
  • It is an essential accessory, especially when working with slats of 120 mm or less.
  • It is important to have more than one push rod.
Safety pusher:
  • For cutting materials less than 30 mm wide.
  • It is flatter than the rods and has a solid surface with a handle-like grip.
Saw comb:
  • Hold the workpiece firmly with the parallel or transverse guides.
  • Prevents the piece from jumping when sliding next to the saw.
  • It has slanted teeth that accompany the passage of the piece.
  • It can be used in any type of table saw.
Insert for the cutting blade:
  • Small piece of metal or wood.
  • Similar to a mouth surrounding the cutting blade.
  • It forms a hole that protects the operator and prevents chips from being fired from the internal parts of the saw.
Cutting blade protector:
  • Essential safety accessory.
  • Manufacturers have replaced classic opaque protectors with transparent models.

What type of circular table saw is most convenient for me and what level of precision can I expect?

This is a basic question when buying a circular table saw. Whether you’re a professional carpenter or a DIY fan. If you are a professional looking for a machine for intensive use, you will have to choose a stationary and high-performance model, capable of cutting all types of wood, including the thickest ones. On the other hand, if you are a DIY fan or are going to use it for light work. It is best to buy a semi-portable model, particularly a bench saw model. The accuracy of these saws is very good and they are also very compact since you can place them on a workbench and store them after use.

How to use a circular table saw?

Now you know what you need about circular table saws. However, unless you are an expert carpenter, you may still have questions about how to use these tools. This is normal, after all, they are powerful equipment and if you are going to work with them for the first time you may be a little scared. To help you out, check out a step-by-step explanation of how to use them.

  1. Before using it. The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the use, its functions and all the controls on the machine. You need to know correctly how to turn the saw on and off. These devices have safety devices, so it’s a good idea to learn how to use them.
  2. Security and protection. Do not remove the protective elements from the circular table saw. Wear suitable clothing and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.
  3. Work space. Place the saw in a space dedicated to work. It must be a suitable place for you to work comfortably without risks for you and everyone in the environment.
  4. Firm surface. If you have no legs, the saw should be placed on a work bench or a firm surface. Before working, use a leveler to ensure that the machine is level.
  5. Secure the wood. To work with it, you must first fix the wood you are going to cut against the table and the guide rulers.
  6. Position. Always stand in front of the machine, so that the on and off button is accessible.
  7. Push the cutting material. Never use your hands to push the cutting material onto the blade. Use the rods or guides. Push the material in little by little, without exerting pressure.
  8. Turn the machine off. Each time you stop cutting, turn off the saw to avoid accidents.
  9. Maintenance. Once you have finished working with it, clean the lower and upper boxes. Also check the condition of the saw teeth after each use and that it is well fixed. Change discs when necessary.

What type of cutting disc should I choose?

This is the next question you should ask yourself. In this case, the cutting discs must be purchased separately, although it is important that you understand how they work. To decide, you must know in advance the type of material you are going to cut, the type of machine on which you are going to install them and also what type of cut you are going to make, as well as the degree of finish.

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