Power saws have revolutionized woodworking, giving DIYers and craftsmen the urge to do various projects in a shorter time. Likewise, table saws and sliding table saws are today's new inventions, popular in the home and commercial workshops.
Though each has its principles on cutting wood, the two have overlapping functions. In this guide, we'll look at the differences between sliding table saws and table saws, keeping in mind the pros and cons of each.
What is a Table Saw?
The most basic description of a table saw is a saw installed under a table surface where a part of it protrudes on the surface.
The saw has an adjustable mechanism that allows the user to cut angles and depths compared to freehand cutting. Table saws provide a lot of convenience and countless woodworking options. Having a table saw set up in your woodworking shop guarantees an efficient and convenient way to make cuts.
Table saws are common in most woodwork shops and homes due to their versatility in handling a wide variety of tasks. Plus, some table saws are portable, and you can carry them to a workshop in case you need to move places.
See our article on the best table saws for small shops.
What is a Sliding Table Saw?
Also known as the European cabinet saws, the sliding table saw is almost similar to a table saw, only that it has a sliding table panel. They are basically the same as a cabinet saw. The only difference the sliding table on the left side of the blade. It is ideal for making precision cuts on wide boards. The sliding table saw can easily crosscut a 30-degree wide panel. It has a better capacity for larger sheets without compromising on accuracy.
Sliding table saws were built to save time and increase efficiency. They are better suited for industrial purposes and can be as long as 6 feet. Due to its size, woodwork enthusiasts really need to free up their workspace when buying a sliding table saw.
Advantages of Table Saw
The availability of a rip fence makes it easy to make seamless cuts without too much hassle. It allows you to hold the wood against the bench, guiding it along with the saw as it cuts across. Typically, a table saw has two horsepower, which is powerful enough to glide through all types of wood. See our article on what is the rip capacity of a table saw.
Table saws are compact and require less power to operate. Table saws have a typical capacity of 1 or 2 horsepower motors which can easily cut through wood up to three inches thick.
Table saws were invented to make more accurate cuts instead of hand saws or jigsaws. The latter also takes up more time and can be difficult to use on hardwood surfaces. Instead, a table saw can keep wood pressed and in the same position while cutting. So, there is more accuracy as you feed it through the saw. Plus, the calibration ensures everything is up to a tee.Our flag ship range are the Maksiwa table saw models.
Since table saws can easily make accurate cuts with precision, they are used in furniture and cabinet-making. DIYers know how convenient it is to have a table saw in multiple projects. They can easily perform rip, crosscut, bevel, and miter cuts. Plus, some models are portable and are used in mobile projects. Table saws have tons of functions, and it is a must-have tool for woodwork enthusiasts. However, there are immobile models used in workshops and commercial spaces.
We also sell Cantek table saw models.
If you have a huge project, you want to use a saw that's accurate and fast enough to complete the bulk. Luckily, table saws were made to achieve these goals. The circular saw blade mounted on the table can clock speeds from 3000 to 5000 rates per minute (RPM). This gives you more time to cut wood efficiently and as fast as possible.
Excellent For Novice Woodworkers
A standard table saw is compact and makes all cuts with ease. There's not too much technicality which makes it an excellent choice for novice woodworkers. The portable version is even better as it does not take up space. Since they have a dainty design, the learning process is easy, and with no time, anyone can master the basics of the woodwork.
Advantages of Sliding Table Saw
Sliding table saws were made to fix a couple of bugs woodworkers faced when using traditional table saws. Their uses are almost the same as table saws, but the sliding feature brings a lot of conveniences. Here are some of the advantages of sliding table saws over table saws.
Though table saws are accurate, slides have changed the game completely. They are made to handle large pieces of wood and process them into smaller pieces accurately. Plus, the track and stop feature allows cutting long pieces of wood a breeze. For sheet goods, the crosscut fence is located at the back of the sliding table.
As opposed to table saws where you'd rough-cut boards into manageable sizes first, as a sliding table can handle materials as long as 6 feet, instead of cutting materials back and forth, a sliding table allows you to glide through the saw at once. As a result, there is less movement with sliding table saws, and the job gets done fast.Our most popular model is the Maksiwa BMS.3200.IR 126 inch.
As America faces more than 30,000 table saw injuries annually, the sliding was made to reduce this number. Though quite handy, the table saw is responsible for more injuries than any other woodworking equipment. The main cause of table saw injuries are kickbacks from incorrect saw adjustments, poor technique, or lack of guard.
The sliding table saw is safer to use as the operator leans on the side of the table, which moves back and forth. You have to lean over the scoring blade with standard table saws, which can get uncomfortable dealing with large stocks.
Dual-purpose Rip Fence
All saws have a rip fence, but the slider's cast-iron fence has two purposes. First, it can be adjusted to stop cutting pieces longer than 7 inches (shortest crosscut distance). The rip fence also has its ruler calibrated in a way it is easy to read off the rip fence's edge, making it easy to make adjustments.
Ideal For Professionals
The sliding table saw will give you great benefits if you're an enthusiast or a professional woodworker. It has extra space for large wood planks and comes in longer versions of up to 48 inches. In addition, sliding table saws have high accuracy and can do commercial work for large-scale furniture.
Sliding Table Saw Vs Table Saw: Disadvantages
A sliding cabinet saw is efficient while standard table saws are packed with versatility. However, both machines have their drawbacks. Here is how the disadvantages of both table saws compare.
Sliding Table Saw
A sliding cabinet saw takes up a fair amount of room, and you need to free up space before ordering the woodwork machine. A standard sliding table can measure 42 x 45.5 x 41.5 inches, not to mention the area it would take up when using wide planks. It needs a dedicated workstation to do woodworking and allow for movement effectively.
Also, the sliding table saw is quite costly. Depending on the customization and specifics, prices vary anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000. It is an outrageous price for novice woodworkers who might be looking to do projects for fun. The price increases even further if you make adjustments and add things like Saw Stop.
This woodworking machine has a steep learning curve. Knowing how to work around the miter fence, locking fence, switches, and other adjustments. Even with the manual, you still need some time to familiarize yourself and get the hang of things. This can be very frustrating for an enthusiastic novice.
While table saws are one of the most popular woodwork items in the United States, they have several drawbacks.
First off, table saws are machines that cut wood every 370 microseconds, assuming it is a 4000 rpm blade. Half of the scoring blade is exposed to the surface, and cutting wood involves moving your hands back and forth along the edge. So, the chances of injury are extremely high and can sometimes deliver catastrophic accidents. One needs to add extra guards or a Saw Stop feature to reduce the risks.
While the table saw is perfect for working larger pieces of wood, it can be tricky to handle fine details that make the sliding saw appealing. Table saws also need more clearance space when dealing with larger pieces. Since the scoring blade position is fixed, it needs extra space for the wood to be collected on the other side.
Table Saw Vs. Sliding Table Saw: Comparison
The slider is bigger than the standard table saw in all aspects. First, the "sliding table" factor accumulates more space than normal table saws. Standard table saws are smaller, and some models are portable. They are suitable for small projects and DIYers. But, the large sliders also make good commercial tools as they can handle bulk orders and projects.
Both kinds of table saws have good power to cut angles into the wood. The huge difference in table saws are not on the saw itself but the structure of the cast iron table. But since standard table saws have smaller versions, some kinds take lower power than sliding table saws.
Due to their construction, standard table saws have a wide price range, anywhere from $300 to $3000+. The huge gap accounts for all the table saw models with a different sliding table accessory and function. Sliding table saws are a bit pricey and can cost you $4000 to $8,000+. Sliding table saws are highly priced because they are more commercial products and can handle large woodwork tasks.
Our cheapest saw is the Cantek TA10.
Table Saw Vs. Sliding Table Saw: Which is Better?
Overall the decision between a table saw and a sliding table saw will depend on your project. If you're working with smaller pieces with narrow widths, it would be hard not to choose a sliding table saw. At the same time, if you're going to do a lot of precision cuts on large pieces, the sliding table saw would be a perfect fit.
Also, the traditional table saw is an excellent choice for those who want to do simple woodworking tasks. That's because it has a smooth learning curve and does not need any sophistication to start off. However, mid-level woodworkers and professionals looking to produce perfect cross cut sled masterpieces and furniture with tons of details should consider a slider table saw. It is more efficient for large projects, and you wouldn't get tired of moving back and forth like in table saws. Also, the sliding table saw was built with safety in mind, and you're guaranteed to be safe at all times.
There is no clear winner in this table saw vs. sliding table saw contest when it comes to woodworking. The table saw has been the main workshop tool for decades, and currently, over 10 million homes in the US. For those new to this kind of craft, the convenience of a table saw can be appealing, although ultimate safety is a must.
The sliding table saw is better for thicker cuts and appeals to folks who want to get large projects done professionally. But at the same time, your wallet and workspace matter. The sliding table is not cheap equipment, and you can expect to spend thousands of dollars on a single piece (not to mention shipping costs).
The best way to choose which kind of table saw is best for you is to analyze each type's pros and cons carefully. Match the findings with your needs, and you'll have an idea of what to take. Each table saw has its usefulness, and whichever you choose should make your work comfortable, easy, and not cost your entire retirement savings. Happy ripping!
Also see our buyers guide to the best jointers.