Table saws are ubiquitous tools in professional, home, and various woodworking jobs that can potentially cause severe injuries. Table saw manufacturers include blade guards to prevent blade contact, but injuries are a common occurrence despite these measures.
Around 31,000 table saw injuries occur annually. The laceration is the most common injury. Again, about 4,000 accidents involve amputations due to direct contact with the rotating blade of table saws.
So, to save yourself from these hazards, there are several table saw alternatives that I am come up with today. You may choose any from them according to your preferences, keep in mind the caveats, and thank me later!
What Are the Potential Dangers with Table Saws?
Take a glance at some potential dangers that can end up a table saw operator with a life-threatening injury:
If you fall while using the table saw, this can be truly tragic. These occur because the table saw operator is giving excessive force to push his wood through the saw and then falls on the blade.
The loose clothing can easily get caught in the blade, especially if the clothes are hanging on his body. And the body follows when clothes are pulled into the saw.
Sawdust, wood chips, and nails are things that can fly out of this device at a very high speed. These can easily cut the skin or do some serious damage to the woodworker’s eye. And I am sure many of you have experienced some variant of this injury.
The wet wood should never be cut as it can slide, slip, and leave you impaired.
The majority of the injuries are due to kickback. If you cut with a dull blade, it can easily be kicked back at the operator and hurt him.
Again, if the wood moves so quickly, an operator doesn’t have time to take their hand off of it, and it gets pulled across the saw blade.
What Can You Use Instead Of A Table Saw? [The Perfect Table Saw Alternatives]
There are several devices that can rip or cross-cut your workpieces. Let’s check them out –
A Circular saw is a device that uses a toothed or abrasive blade or disc to cut materials utilizing a rotary motion that spins around an arbor. They are the hand-held power tools that people use to cut through just anything.
They can be a substitute for your table saw. But to get the accuracy and smooth cuts like the table saw, you need to make some considerations here.
To get a smooth cut, you should use a blade with a high tooth count. A carbide-tipped blade will be the best type for this cutting. Again, use a blade of the right size that is compatible with your saw.
Adjust the blade at the right depth to make the cutting process easier. It can be attained by keeping the saw under the sheet by quarter inches. If the wood is ¾ inch thick, set the blade at an inch of depth. Use support while cutting woods so that the wood piece stays balanced and doesn’t move around. A circular saw works with blade teeth entering the sheet from below. It goes all the way up and then exits the wood piece. That’s why keeping the better face below will make the cut smoother.
Improving the accuracy is possible by using a square frame structure or circular saw guide rails to line up your cut. Never try freehand cutting if you want to get the optimal result. Freehand cutting won’t let you get the clean, straight edge that you would get from a table saw.
A bandsaw is a power tool with a long and sharp resaw blade that is consisted of a continuous band of toothed metal rotating on two or more wheels to cut materials. Bandsaw blades are thinner than a table saw, and hence they can cut woods into thinner pieces. That’s why band saws are the best and only option for resawing or cutting a large piece of wood into a thinner and smaller piece.
Again, it’s the best tool to make curved cuts smoothly and easily, which you wouldn’t get in a table saw.
Bandsaws cannot fully replace a table saw, but you can do some works of the table saw through it. Table saws can quickly handle a large number of materials.
Though you can use band saws for crosscuts or rip cuts, you’ll never get the raw cutting power of a table saw. But you can cut several pieces of wood of the same size simultaneously through a band saw.
For this, stack the pieces together and secure this stack with masking tape. Adjust the band saw’s foot and feed the stack through the blade and make identical cuts for each of the woods.
Straight cuts aren’t easy with band saws. You need to tune the guide on the band saw finely. Loosen the Allen screw and place a small piece of an index card between the guide and the blade to tune the guide. Again, maintain the saw properly by lubricating the table for smoother cuts.
Use a high-quality band saw with the right type of blade for getting an optimal clean cut with precision. Otherwise, it can create cuts with rough edges. While band saws can make certain bevel cuts, they cannot provide the precision like a table saw.
If you need to cut dados and groves for a project and don’t have a table saw, you’ll need to buy a quality router and the applicable bits.
A router is a woodworking tool with a flat base and a rotating blade extending past the bottom. The spindle may be moved by an electric motor or by a pneumatic motor. You can hold it, or it can be affixed to router tables. This is one of the most versatile power tools.
You can use it to make even and level cuts on both straight and curved edges and replicate those cuts on multiple wood pieces. Again, it can be used for cutting easy dadoes and rabbets.
Track saws are a type of hand-held circular saw which slides on a guide rail during operation to perform long and accurate cuts. These can plunge into the material to a predetermined depth during the cut, ensuring safety and allowing for reduced splintering and tear-out.
The depth-of-cut is not fixed and can be adjusted to be just slightly over the board’s thickness being cut. So, it can also cut shallow grooves into the workpiece, if necessary.
The track saw is good at long rip and crosscuts of heavy or large sheet goods. It is great for solo work. The parts can break down into two or more pieces are all you need to move. The collection point is closer to the dust creation and a bit more contained than a table saw.
A chop saw is a powerful tool specifically designed to precisely cross-cut trim and lumber at different angles by positioning a mounted blade onto a board.
It consists of a powered circular saw that can be set at a variety of angles and lowered onto a board positioned against a backstop. Here, the blade moves, and the wood is fixed.
With chop saw you can do –
- Precise angled or beveled cuts
- Accurate cross cuts
- Crosscuts on the long boards
- Long narrow pieces according to the width of the blade.
- To make door frames, picture frames, window casing
- Cut crown molding, or base molding
Table saws are quite versatile and are crucial to start your woodworking projects. But since the blade is heading upwards of the table, there are some chances of getting injured. You have to take either necessary protective gear or go for any table saw alternative according to your need. Let me know which power tool is your most favorite and go-to device.