One of the most common staple tools in a workshop, the woodworking table saw allows a woodworker to cut lengths of wood straight and flush while the heavy material is supported by the machine's table. Choosing the best woodworking table saw will take a bit of research and patience, and the process should start with the user determining how he or she is likely to use the unit on a regular basis. This will determine what style of table saw is needed to accommodate different carpentry applications.
A benchtop or portable woodworking table saw is exceptionally small and lightweight. It is often used for on-site work that will require the unit to be moved by hand. Of all the woodworking table saw designs on the market, this is perhaps the least capable of different types of heavy-duty jobs, but its portability make it a convenient and useful choice for job sites. This will be the least expensive design as well, and it is likely to feature parts made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and even plastic.
A step up from the benchtop or portable model is the contractor woodworking table saw. This unit will be portable to a certain degree as well, but it will be quite a bit heavier than a benchtop or portable model. The contractor woodworking table saw will feature a larger table in most cases, as well as heavy-duty metal legs or some sort of base. This is the most appropriate choice for most hobbyists as well as some professionals who need a more portable option that will be able to handle heavier-duty jobs than a benchtop model is capable of. The cost of such a unit will be more than a benchtop model but less than cabinet table saws.
Professional wood shops will feature a cabinet woodworking table saw. This unit is so named because of its cabinet-style base that is exceptionally sturdy and usually very heavy. It is not portable at all, though it is capable of handling the most heavy-duty jobs. These units will take up a significant amount of space and can be extremely expensive when compared to benchtop and contractor models.
A relatively new offering is the hybrid table saw, which bridges the gap between contractor saws and cabinet saws. These models aim to combine the functionality and heavy-duty capabilities of a cabinet model with the lower cost and smaller stature of the contractor models. These are quickly becoming the preference for professionals and hobbyists alike.