table saw

table saw

A table saw, also called a tilting arbor saw, is a workshop tool used for straight sawing. A table saw is basically an electric handsaw mounted upside-down on the underside of a steel table top, with the circular blade of the saw protruding through a slot. The axle, or arbor, on which the blade spins can be tilted to cut angles, and can be raised or lowered to adjust the depth of cut. A miter gauge allows the operator to push stock at angles or perpendicular to the blade for cross-cutting. A guide, known as a fence, can be fixed parallel to the blade for rip sawing, or cutting along the length of a workpiece.


The larger the blade, the larger the stock that can be cut. A 10-inch blade is the size used most commonly in home workshops. Another important factor is the size of the table top. Large stock, such as plywood, is easier to cut on a big surface. However, larger table saws are also more expensive and less portable.


In mills and other industrial settings, self-feed or power table saws are equipped with rollers or a conveyor system to hold the lumber and force-feed it into the saw blade.