The Search for the Right Table Saw
If you’re looking for an affordable table saw that can accommodate demanding contractor needs, hobby woodworking and even some moderate cabinetry, we generally recommend you choose a hybrid table saw. But that raises another question: What is the best hybrid table saw?
There are many hybrid table saws on the market, each with their own list of specifications, safety features and form factors. The best hybrid table saw should have a decent belt-driven system and generally greater functionality than the standard contractor saw without being as expensive or specialized as a cabinet saw.
Though now discontinued, the DW746 DeWalt hybrid table saw was an example of a well priced, highly accurate and generally durable table saw.
Specs, Features and Questions
Hybrid table saws neatly fill the gulf between portable contractor models and expensive cabinet saws, but that doesn’t mean choosing the right one is a simple feat. Because so many options have popped up since the innovation of hybrid table saws, there’s a lot to consider when considering which one to buy.
Here are a few questions you should ask when looking at hybrid table saws.
What Safety Features Does the Saw Have?
Safety should be the first consideration of any woodworking setup and table saws are no exception. These are a few of the features that are a worthwhile component of any decent hybrid table saw.
You should only consider table saws that include this feature. A proper riving knife significantly reduces the risk of kickback – arguably the most common factor in table saw-related injuries.
If you can, make sure the riving knife has the same curve as the saw blade. It should maintain its relative position as you raise, lower and rotate the blade.
Some hybrid table saws even sport a quick-release riving knife assembly. This isn’t necessary, but it is extremely convenient.
There are more variations on the blade guard design than there are table saws, but there are some features that are common to higher quality guards.
For example, a quick-release blade guard allows easy removal for more complicated cuts and fine-tuning. It’s worth checking if the blade guard can be mounted without removing the riving knife.
You should also make sure the blade guard system contains multiple pivot points. In our experience, a blade guard with a single pivot point is more likely to obstruct the wood or become stuck.
Serpentine Belt Drive
In addition to ensuring good power output, a quality belt driven system is just safer. A belt breaking or slipping while you’re in the middle of a rip is a very dangerous experience, so ensure the belt and pulleys show no signs of damage or careless installation.
What is the Hybrid Table Saw’s Amperage?
Because of their high power requirements, cabinet saws cannot be run on an average residential power supply. Fortunately, this is not the case with hybrid table saws.
The aforementioned DeWalt hybrid table saw draws 15 amps and 120 volts, allowing it to be used by any woodworker with a typical grounded residential outlet.
How Does the Saw Deal with Dust?
As any carpenter can attest, sawdust is a persistent nuisance. It makes a huge mess, can obscure your work and can be dangerous if it’s inhaled or ends up in your eye.
Check for a blade shroud in the base of the cabinet. This will eject sawdust away from the work area and keep you clean and safe.
We also recommend table saws with shop vacuum hose attachments, as this will save you the extra step of cleaning up sawdust later.
So, What is the Best Hybrid Table Saw?
Now that you know what specs and features we think are the most important, you’d probably like to know which hybrid table saw we think you should buy.
For most woodworkers, that distinction goes to the Grizzly G0715P 10-Inch Polar Bear Series Hybrid Table Saw. This saw has all of the features we’ve focused on and a few extras.
However, not all woodworkers have the same needs. Although it does not offer the suite of setup and convenience features as the Grizzly, the DW746 DeWalt hybrid table saw can be very affordable if found used and is an excellent option.
In conclusion, the answer to the question at the heart of your research – what is the best hybrid table saw? – varies depending on your needs and how much you’re willing to pay. Just keep our list of recommended features in mind and you will find the hybrid table saw that is perfect for you.