Looking for a mini table saw

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Forum topic by dansnow posted 12-29-2017 09:10 PM 1483 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dansnow's profile


328 posts in 2651 days

12-29-2017 09:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: power tools saws table saw mini saw question

Hey folks, my son is looking for a mini table saw, with 4” or 5 1/2” blade, that can cut up to 3/4” hardwood.  He would like to keep the price at $150 or lower if possible. 

Any suggestions?  Most everything we’ve found so far is doing good to cut 1/4” balsa.

-- Snow's Wooden Toys & Gifts

19 replies so far

View Breeze73's profile


102 posts in 1487 days

#1 posted 12-29-2017 09:50 PM

Not the best tablesaw in the world, but it meets your budget and will cut much more than just 3/4”.|THD|B|0|B-BASE-D25T+Power+Tools&mid=0p1jc3Yk|dc_mtid_8903vry57826_pcrid_74285762149094_product_205216309

A smaller “tablesaw” would need to be handmade and use a circular saw bolted underneath a plywood top. IMO, the Ryobi would be eaiser, cheaper, and safer.

-- Breeze

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1188 days

#2 posted 12-29-2017 10:48 PM

For something that small I think your best bet’s going to be making your own out of a circular saw. Or you could go with something like this: it’s extremely compact pretty versatile for all sorts of things.

View dansnow's profile


328 posts in 2651 days

#3 posted 12-29-2017 10:54 PM

We looked at the blade-runner, but question it making straight cuts like a table saw, which would be its primary function. A 10” saw is too big for cutting the narrow strips he uses. Looked at one on Amazon but when we saw “made in China” with a 6+ week delivery decided to pass.

I have a 5.5” handheld circular saw that we may consider clamping to the bottom of a table. That would give him height adjustment as well as tilt.

Thanks for the suggestions.

-- Snow's Wooden Toys & Gifts

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1188 days

#4 posted 12-29-2017 11:00 PM

How narrow are the strips?

View bandit571's profile


26159 posts in 3489 days

#5 posted 12-29-2017 11:03 PM

Convert a tile saw using a wood blade, instead of the tile blade?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Breeze73's profile


102 posts in 1487 days

#6 posted 12-29-2017 11:17 PM

If a jobsite table saw is too big, then I would look into a benchtop bandsaw. Craftsman’s 10” bandsaw is a pretty good saw and you can usually find one on CL’s for about $100 – $125 in your local area. That said, I have a Jet contractors saw, and I can cut 1/32” strips with it. It’s all in how you set it up.

-- Breeze

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4454 days

#7 posted 12-29-2017 11:32 PM

There used to be 8” and even 6” table
saws sold by companies like Sears, but
now those are only available on the used
market. Smaller blades can be installed.

I’ve looked at model maker saw designs
and I don’t think they are that well suited
to cutting 3/4” hardwoods even if they can
do it.

I prefer to rip thin sections on the band saw.
This obviously requires additional work
to make the sides smooth. It can be done
without too much trouble using a hand plane.

View crowie's profile


3816 posts in 2757 days

#8 posted 12-29-2017 11:50 PM

G’Day Dan, Not sure if you can still pickup a secondhand Hegner MK4 multifunction.

The blade is 6” and that’s the only part of the machine I really use…TOP MACHINE.

I use mine for all my toymaking on Aussie Hardwoods….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View a1Jim's profile


118096 posts in 4383 days

#9 posted 12-30-2017 12:25 AM

View runswithscissors's profile


3107 posts in 2831 days

#10 posted 12-30-2017 01:35 AM

Whatever saw you end up with, a “ripping sled” makes thin strips much quicker, safer, and more precise. Note this is not a jig (though originally I called it that), nor is it a cross cut sled. You should be able to find it with the LJ search feature.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View wichman3's profile


98 posts in 1427 days

#11 posted 12-30-2017 05:29 AM

So what is the issue with the 10” table saw? You can put a smaller blade on the saw (I’ve used 7 1/4” blades on my 12” saw with no problem as long as the arbor hole is the same. A zero clearance insert would keep narrow rips from getting trapped.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2292 days

#12 posted 12-30-2017 05:40 AM

Contractor saw. A sled with t track and hold downs?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Woodknack's profile


13439 posts in 3186 days

#13 posted 12-30-2017 08:29 AM

So what is the issue with the 10” table saw? You can put a smaller blade on the saw – wichman3

This. The circumference of the blade isn’t the most important thing about a saw. You can buy ultra thin kerf 7.25” blades and use them on tablesaws. #1 Most important thing about a saw is a good fence that will not flex or deviate. #2 The blade doesn’t go out of square when angled or raised up and down. #3 Power to make the cut without bogging down. #4 Flexibility in angling the blade. #5 Stiffness and quality of construction to reduce vibration

-- Rick M,

View dansnow's profile


328 posts in 2651 days

#14 posted 12-30-2017 11:37 AM

So what is the issue with the 10” table saw?

- wichman3

My son has a small workbench set up in a spare room in the house. Have a 10” contractors saw with various sleds for bigger stuff.

-- Snow's Wooden Toys & Gifts

View Planeman40's profile


1502 posts in 3567 days

#15 posted 12-30-2017 06:37 PM

Here is the 4” table saw I have had for many years. It does a wonderful job for model making! Will cut pine and other hardwoods accurately and easily. 3”/4” hardwood might be a little much though. It will cut close to 3”/4” though. I/2” is more like it at max. You can occasionally cut thick wood by making a rip slightly more than half way through and then turning the wood over and making a 2nd cut.

No longer made to my knowledge. You can probably find one on eBay with some patience. Be sure to get the one like this! They still make a smaller one that would not work well for you. And yes, it should come with a fence (not shown in the photo).

The real secret to these little saws is finding a 4” blade that is a carbide tipped blade. I have one I bought a few years back carried by Harbor Freight that is a 4” blade that makes a 1/16” kerf. They no longer carry it. The carbide blade avoids the saw blade binding in the cut like the often used metal slitting saw blades do. These slitting saw blades have no set to the teeth so the blade rubs the work at high speed creating heat that expands and warps the blade making it bind in the cut.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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