5 Table Saw Alternatives [Both for Pro and Beginners]

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 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 –

Circular saw 

SKIL 2x20V PWR CORE 20 XP Brushless 7-1/4” Rear Handle Circular Saw Kit Includes Two 5.0Ah Batteries and Dual Port Auto PWR JUMP Charger-CR5429B-20, Red
  • DELIVERS UP TO 600 CUTS PER CHARGE (based on 2x4 crosscuts in SPF lumber)
  • CUTS 3X IN ONE PASS – Powers through tough materials with 2-9/16 In. depth of cut
  • CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAW WITH 40V POWER – Powered by two PWR CORE 20 5.0Ah lithium-ion batteries, this 7-1/4 In. Rear Handle SKILSAW puts the cutting performance of a corded worm drive in a cordless saw

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 to 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. 

Bandsaw 

DEWALT DCP580B 20V MAX Brushless Planer (Tool Only)
  • Brushless motor of the electric hand planner provides power and runtime
  • The hand planer featuring 30,000 cuts per minute achieves a fast removal rate
  • 5/64-inch (2 mm.) maximum depth of cut

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 work 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 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. 

Router

DEWALT 20V Max XR Cordless Router, Brushless, Tool Only (DCW600B)
  • Dual LED lights help illuminate the work surface
  • Depth adjustment ring allows for fast and easy height adjustments
  • Electronic brake slows the motor down faster after the unit is shut off; Speed 16,000 to 25,500 rpm

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.

Tracksaw

DEWALT DWS520SK Tracksaw Kit With 59-Inch Track, 6-1/2-Inch
  • 6-1/2 TRACKSAW KIT WITH 59" TRACK
  • 6-1/2 TRACKSAW KIT WITH 59" TRACK
  • 6-1/2 TRACKSAW KIT WITH 59" TRACK

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.

Chop Saw

PORTER-CABLE Chop Saw, 15-Amp, 14-Inch (PCE700)
  • 15 Amp, 3,800 Rpm Motor With Replaceable Brushes Provides Power And Durability For The Chop Saw
  • Quick-Release Material Clamp Of The Metal Chop Saw Allows For Easy Material Cutting And Removal
  • Cutting Fence With Miter Adjustment Of The Metal Cutting Saw Allows Up To 45 Degree Angles To Be Cut

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 a chop saw you can do –

  • Precise angled or beveled cuts
  • Accurate cross cuts
  • Crosscuts on the longboards
  • Long narrow pieces according to the width of the blade.
  • To make door frames, picture frames, window casing
  • Cut crown molding, or base molding

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:

Falling

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.

Loose Clothing

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.

Projectiles

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.

Wet Wood

The wet wood should never be cut as it can slide, slip, and leave you impaired.

KickBack

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.

 Final Words

Table saws are quite versatile and are crucial to starting 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.