Table Saw vs. Circular Saw


Old 08-03-03, 09:51 AM
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Table Saw vs. Circular Saw

I have heard a lot of different opinions on what should be my first power tool when starting a workshop. Here is some info about my situation, followed by questions:

I have about a 5' X 8' space to the side of my garage (inside the garage). I would like a workbench and something to cut wood with to start. Current projects I want to begin are: a patio set (52" benches w/ storage, table (about 44" X 44"), custom flower box. Also have plans to install hardwood floors throughout about 1200 sq ft.


What can a table saw do that a circular saw absolutely cannot do?

What can a miter saw do that a table saw or circular saw absolutely cannot do?

What is the point of getting a table saw over a circular saw? Please don't tell me because it makes stuff easier, because I already know that. I am willing to manipulate the circular to get the same results with saw horses, clamps and straight edge guides, but wonder if I'll be limiting myself and if so how.

Based on the info I've given what will be the most practical and valuable purchase for the money?

Thank you all in advance!
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Old 08-03-03, 03:54 PM
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There is absolutely nothing that a miter saw can do that a table saw can't do. (Except carry it to your work - but that doesn't apply here.)

Circular saws are fairly cheap, so go get one of them first.

Then, when you find you can't rip straight, can't cut-off straight, and have trouble with compuond cuts, start looking for a table saw.

Old 08-05-03, 02:15 PM
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A circular saw is designed to cut objects that are fairly large and can be secured before being cut. A CS will have a difficult time ripping a 2x4 (cutting it length-wise).

A table saw can cut smaller objects with ease -- although a jig is needed to keep fingers away. Ripping is the TS strong points, and cross cutting is also much more accurate with a TS.

Its a difference in operation -- moving the saw, or moving the wood. In a lot of cases -- and for increased accuracy - the TS has built in guides -- it is easier and safer to move the wood then the saw.

A lot of good work has been done with a CS and guide rails, but if you want to build furniture for the inside of your house, the TS is the way to go. Get one with a mobile base so that you can put it in the middle of the garage when needed and stored in in the corner when not.
Old 08-06-03, 10:26 PM
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Thank you for the valuable reply. I am looking to start with a Delta TS300. I understand there are accessories I can purchase to make it mobile, which I will definitely invest in. Meantime I have signed up for a basic course on woodworking and postponed my projects until I have a better understanding of good design, wood and tools. Thank you again.

Old 08-07-03, 10:47 AM
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You have made a good choice.
It is an inexpensive but full size saw that should give you good service.

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