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Table Saw vs Circular Saw

Table Saw vs Circular Saw

Choosing the right saw for your project can be challenging because table and circular saws have specific advantages and disadvantages. The differences between them will be compared and contrasted in this post to assist you in selecting the right saw for your requirements.

What Is A Table Saw?

A table saw is a tool for cutting wood. It has a tabletop with a saw blade mounted underneath it that sticks out through a throat plate opening. The blade can be raised or lowered and tilted to alter the cut's angle and the cutting depth.

A rip fence is frequently used with table saws to guide the material as it is being cut. The operator positions the workpiece before the blade and presses down to cut. A table saw may handle large materials, like plywood sheets, thanks to its sizable work surface. Transporting table saws may be challenging due to their weight and bulk. They are typically installed on a platform with wheels, which makes them portable.

If they are not used properly, table saws can be quite dangerous. Numerous of the hundreds of injuries caused by table saws each year are grave. Kickback, which happens when the workpiece is pushed back toward the operator by the rotating blade, is the most frequent type of injury. Getting your fingers stuck in the blade is another risk. When using a table saw, it's crucial to read your owner's manual and follow the recommended safety precautions to prevent these risks.

What Is The Purpose Of A Table Saw?

  • RIP CUT – A  rip cut is created by running the blade at a 90-degree angle along the length of a workpiece. DIY furniture or cabinets usually narrow a board's width or cut plywood sheets to the necessary dimensions.
  • CROSSCUT – Boards are cut to the required length using crosscuts, which are performed with the blade angled at 90 degrees and across the grain of the workpiece.
  • BEVEL CUT – With the blade positioned at an angle other than 90 degrees, a bevel cut is created along the length of the workpiece.
  • MITER CUT – When making a miter, the blade is placed at an angle other than 90 degrees and cut against the workpiece's grain. It cuts materials for picture frames, molding, and trim. A miter gauge and a table saw You could use the sled to make miter cuts on a table saw.

What Is A Circular Saw?

A portable power tool with a blade positioned above a base plate is a circular saw, sometimes called a Skilsaw. You may adjust the cutting depth by raising or lowering the blade using a slot in the plate. To alter the cut's angle, the blade can also be angled.

Place the plate on the workpiece and stand behind the circular saw to operate it. You will then push the saw across the material while directing the blade along the desired cut line.

 For several reasons, circular saws are hazardous. First, you can't always see what is in its path because the blade is exposed and cuts beneath the workpiece; if you're not careful, it can easily cut through your fingers. Second, the saw may kick back due to the blade binding in the material, which can also result in significant harm. Because of these dangers, caution is crucial when operating a circular saw. Use the right blade for the material you're cutting, read the manufacturer's safety recommendations, and pay close attention to where your fingers are about the blade.

The key feature of a circular saw is its portability. Because the tools are compact and light, circular saws are simple to move from one job site to another. Additionally, a tiny circular saw makes it ideal for cutting in confined spaces or difficult-to-reach locations where another saw would be challenging to control.

What Is The Purpose Of A Circular Saw?

You can use a circular saw to cut various materials, including metal, concrete, plywood, MDF, and lumber.


The same operations that table saws can carry out, including rip cuts, crosscuts, miters, and bevels, can also be done with circular saws. Additionally:

  • COMPOUND CUT – Circular saws can combine two angles, a miter, and a bevel, into one compound cut. You can accomplish this by performing a miter cut while tilting the blade to one side.
  • PLUNGE CUT – The capacity of a circular saw to create plunge cuts distinguishes it from other tools. When you begin the saw above the workpiece, you do a plunge cut and pivot the spinning blade into the material. Cutting holes in the middle of a material, such as wood, can be done using this technique.

Since a circular saw lacks a fence to direct it in a straight line, one of its disadvantages is that it does not cut as precisely as a table saw. You can use a variety of straightedges, and even a circular saw freehand to increase accuracy.

  • FREEHAND CUT – You must mark a cut line on the workpiece before making a freehand cut. As you position the blade on the material, align it with the mark on the plate. Next, use hand-eye coordination to guide the saw along the cut line.
  • STRAIGHTEDGE – Cutting with a circular saw and a straightedge is much simpler and more accurate than cutting by hand. Depending on the circumstances, a straightedge could be anything from a speed square to a circular saw guide to a level or longboard.

Table Saw vs. Circular Saw: Differences

It's time to compare and contrast table and circular saws now that the fundamentals of each have been addressed.


Table and circular saws' portability is one of their biggest distinctions. Table saws are more cumbersome to transport than circular saws since they are much larger and heavier. Circular saws, on the other hand, are significantly smaller and lighter, making them easier to transport wherever you go.


Table saws are often simpler to use than circular saws and are ready to use right out of the box. This is so that You can make long, straight cuts more easily. Table saws feature rip fences. With a rip fence, you may also create repeatable cuts by setting the fence just once and cutting numerous pieces of wood similarly.

On the other hand, circular saws need to be guided along the line you want to cut. Operating a circular saw freehand can be challenging, and it often requires some practice and expertise to get the hang of it. A circular saw can be used with an optional straightedge, making it easier.


In terms of adaptability, circular saws somewhat outperform table saws. Table saws can only cut materials like wood and plywood in the following ways: rip, cross, bevel, and miter.

On the other hand, circular saws also can create compound cuts and plunge cuts in addition to all those other cuts. With the proper blade, circular saws may cut through metal, tile, brick, concrete, wood, and plywood.


Table saws are the undisputed champions in terms of precision. Because of their rip fence, table saws can easily make long, straight cuts. Although circular saws lack a rip fence, you can increase their accuracy using an additional straightedge or accessories.


If they are not used properly, table saws can be quite dangerous. Although they are typically considered safer than table saws, circular saws can also be dangerous. It's crucial to carefully read the instructions and follow the appropriate safety precautions when using either type of saw.


Table saws typically cost more since they are much larger than circular saws. Basic table saws typically cost less than $200, and basic circular saws usually cost less than $50.

Table Saw Vs. Circular Saw: Which Saw is Best?

Table saws are great for producing smooth, straight cuts in plywood and wood. Table saws are also suitable if you need to make several identical cuts. Table saws cannot cut materials like metal or concrete, but circular saws can do compound cuts, plunge cuts, and other cuts that make them more flexible. Circular saws can be operated manually, with add-ons, or straight-edged. Circular saws are often more accurate than table saws, though.

You usually need both a table saw and a circular saw. Using a table saw to cut complete sheets or substantial chunks of plywood might be risky.

Table saws can be extremely hazardous regarding safety if they are not handled correctly. Although they are typically considered safer than table saws, circular saws can also be dangerous.

A circular saw is an excellent option for starting out or on a tight budget. Nonetheless, a table saw is an investment that is worthwhile if you have the cash and the room. In either case, it's crucial to consider the projects you want to complete and select the saw that will meet those objectives.

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