How to Know if a Table Saw is Worth Buying?

Piece of wood laying on a table saw

If you have worked with wood, you are probably aware of the effort and precision required when using a hand saw. Woodwork can become quite a hassle if not done with the right tools. So instead of struggling with a hand saw, we suggest using table saws as they are way more efficient. You may wonder how much a table saw is worth. We’re here to answer your question.

How Much is a Table Saw Worth?

The price of a table saw varies depending on the type and the specific features it has. Portable table saws are cheaper in comparison to stationary table saws. If you’re on a budget, you can also get good quality table saws ranging from $250 to $500.

Furthermore, this is your chance to grab a decent deal as the prices of table saws in the market have dropped lately.

You can save money, through the table saw, by doing things on your own, instead of paying thousands of dollars to a contractor. Most importantly, table saws usually last a long time, making them highly cost-effective.

Before jumping into buying a table saw, take a quick look through our buyer’s guide so that you’re well informed when you select the table saw of your choice.

Table Saw Buyer’s Guide

To ensure the best results, you need to be well acquainted with the table saw you use. Select a model that fits most of your preferences.

Motor Power

This might seem a bit confusing, but the motor power is an important feature when it comes to table saws. If your table saw is underpowered for your task, it won’t be of much use, and you’re better off using a hand saw. Therefore, the more horsepower your saw has, the better it is.

You can also guess the potential of the motor power through the available voltage. Smaller table saws use up to 15 amps while larger table saws can use a range of 18 to 24 amps.

If you want to determine what horsepower works best for you, here are a few general guidelines:

  • For wood 2 inches or less in thickness, a 2 hp motor is powerful enough
  • For wood 3 inches in thickness, a 240 V motor between 3 hp to 5 hp is best

Drive Types 

Table saws are available in two drive types: direct drive and belt drive.

Direct Drive Models

Direct drive table saws are directly connected to the motor itself. All power from the motor is directly transferred to the blade to minimize power loss. Direct drive motors are usually found on portable table saws due to their small size and lightweight. 


  • Produce fewer vibrations in comparison to a belt drive
  • The belt does not need to be replaced often, so minimum maintenance
  • Cheaper


  • Noisier than belt drive motors
  • Tends to coast which can be dangerous

Belt Drive

A belt drive motor has a V-belt and pulley system which helps in transferring power to the blade. Although some power is lost in the process, these saws are made to cut through thicker pieces of wood.


  • Since the motor is further from the blade, less dust collects on the motor
  • More powerful
  • Less noisy in comparison to direct drive


  • Expensive
  • Have a greater kickback which makes then a bit dangerous

The Different Types of Table Saws

Depending on portability, there are two types of table saws available: portable table saws and stationary table saws. 

Portable Table Saws

These portable table saws are smaller and lighter, which mostly uses the direct drive of 15 amps and a 120V motor with a maximum limit of 2 hp. There are three basic types of portable table saws:

    • Benchtop Saws

These table saws are compact and light, which makes them easy to carry by a person. Benchtop saws are designed for light work. However, one downside is that they don’t have a stand or transport wheels. They work best for plywood or softwood.

    • Compact Table Saws

Compact table saws share many features with benchtop saws. They have a lightweight design that uses a direct drive motor. In addition, they come with stands and some compact table saws come close to full-size table saws, only their rip capacity is comparatively smaller.

    • Jobsite Saws

These are best for contractors. Jobsite saws are not only portable but also way sturdier than benchtop and compact table saws. They’re more suitable for heavy work as they have more powerful direct drive motors. 

In addition, they also have various other features like riving knives, dust collecting portals, and onboard storage areas. These table saws also have a high rip capacity in comparison.

Stationary Table Saws

Stationary table saws tend to be larger and sturdier with more power and accuracy. They are not portable and use a belt drive motor to function. They often have cast iron tables; other times you might also see granite or aluminum tables tops. There are three types of stationary table saws:

    • Contractor Saws

Contractor saw tables have a large belt-driven outboard induction motors, which make them perfect for professional use. They weight up to 200 to 300 pounds and are not portable.

    • Hybrid Saws

Hybrid saws are slightly more difficult to categorize. As the name suggests, these saws are a hybrid between contractor saws and cabinet saws.

    • Cabinet Saws

Cabinet saws produce the most power out of all different types of table saws. They are sturdy, durable and can handle heavy loads of work. They are very precise and long-lasting. Usually, they weigh more than 500 pounds and have a powerful motor that runs on 240V and between 3 to 5 hp.

Safety Features

Safety first, safety second, and safety third. It is the most important aspect to keep in mind when buying a table saw. Here are a few safety features that should be included on your table saw:

    • Blade Guard: This is the most important feature as it effectively keeps your fingers away from the saw blade.
    • Riving Knife: It is attached to the blade. The riving knife prevents the wood from getting caught up in the blade.
    • Magnet Switch: This feature protects the motor from going into overload. Furthermore, in case of a power outage, it also sets the table saw to off mode, making it safer.


Table saws save you the trouble of hiring a contractor and spending thousands of dollars on simple projects which you can easily work on your own.

Given the decreasing prices and the large variety of table saws available, we can assure you that this is a worthy investment. You can hit the shops now that you know how much a table saw is worth.

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