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Portable Table Saws
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Portable table saws are a wonderful alternative to contractor and cabinet saws. They are equipped to make the same cuts that a full size can make. In fact, they are actually more practical than full-size saws. Portable table saws offer great power, durability, and accuracy. They can handle rips, miters and crosscuts, all while being portable and reasonably priced.

Generally, portable table saws are made primarily from aluminum which makes them light in weight and easy to transport. The box in which they are constructed is equipped with a motor, blade mechanics, controls, and a table top. Legs are an optional addition that can be easily purchased or built. Portable table saws can be used on practically any sturdy level surface.

Often considered one of the most versatile tools in the home, portable table saws have adjustments that can be made for different cuts. Depending upon thickness, the blade can be raised or lowered to accommodate. The blade can also be tilted to make bevel cuts. Unfortunately, portable table saws are limited in power and cutting capacity, but are ideal for transporting to sites and service homeowners with limited space.

Keep in mind that two important accessories to any table saw include the miter gauge and the rip fence. Both of these components serve as safety guides during the cutting process. The miter gauge is a tool that slides in a slot on the table saw and adjusts to different angles. It is used to slide the stock past the blade and hold pieces to make square or mitered cuts. The rip fence an attachment used to guide wood through a cut along the length of a board.

Additional accessories include blade guards. Blade guards are standard on all new saws, but if you have an old saw that is in good shape, you may want to consider installing the appropriate guards. Guards should include a plastic or metal guard over the blade and a splitter. Splitters are more specific to those who will be doing ripping.

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