Reply by Richard H

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Posted on Shopping for a Table Saw

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Richard H

489 posts in 2161 days

#1 posted 02-18-2015 08:37 PM

I have used a 1 1/2 HP contractor saw for many years since I first got into wood working and it will do everything you will probably want for a long time to come especially when paired with a decent bandsaw. A bigger saw means more power and the ability to cut larger pieces at higher feed rates which generally results in cleaner cuts with less burning but you can do it on the smaller saws as well. What I tend to do is use my table saw for pieces up to about 1 1/2” thick and use a bandsaw with fence for thicker pieces but I have also used a 5 HP cabinet saw that cut though 3” thick leg pieces like they where butter. The larger cabinet saws also have beefier parts, generally larger work tables, longer fences, are much heavier so tend to run with less vibration and have better dust collection.

I am not sure a cabinet saw is the best first saw unless you are really sure about doing this for a long time. A 10” 1 1/2 HP or so belt driven contractor saw with a 14” band saw mate might be a better option for now than you can trade up in the future if you really find you need the additional capacity.

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