July 26, 2022

Skill saw vs Table saw

When choosing between a skill saw and a table saw, start by noting that a skill saw is not a circular saw although they are almost the same. A skill saw is an earlier version of the circular saw. A table and a skill saw have some features in common, but the focus goes on the differences as you pick your favorite. Look closely at the power, weight, blade, accuracy, and fence system as you pay attention to your preferences. Below is an overview of both saw tools, their pros, cons, features, and similarities. 

Overview of a Skill saw

A skill saw is well known for its ability to fit into tight spaces and work without gas. All skill saws are circular saws since they all have circular blades that spin fast to remove wood (Howstuffworks). 

Most old-timers keep referring to powered circular saw as a skill saw. These two terms should not be synonyms. A skill saw comes with a basic design consisting of a motor, blade, blade guard, and base. Circular saws can be fixed to radial arms. 

To adjust the depth of cut, loosen off a thumb turn nut and set the base to the depth desired to make your cut. When cutting, the blade guard retracts out of the way, allowing the saw to cut through the material. However, a skill saw comes with its drawbacks.  

Always start your cut at the end of the material you are cutting. The dust extraction system could have been more efficient due to the saw blade side opening. Consistency and exact cutting accuracy from a side fence are not guaranteed. A skill saw is a handheld circular saw that cut materials by moving its toothed disc in a rotatory motion. Although it runs on electricity,  it has few models that can run on gasoline and a hydraulic motor.

A skill saw is straightforward. It is an old version, capable of cutting different types of material. Use minimal effort in cutting if you follow the process. Make sure you clamp the wood material using a machine vice. Tighten the vise to avoid movement of the Skilsaw.

Pros

  • Ideal for tight spaces
  • Works without gas
  • Fast
  • Simple design
  • It gives a smooth finish

Cons

  • A poor dust collection system
  • It could have been more accurate 

Overview of the Table saw

A table saw is a flat machine with a built-in blade that makes multiple cuts. It has a circular blade that produces two types of cuts. The rip cut is the cut you make on a wood, following the grain. Cutting against the wood grain and slicing the wood in half is cross-cutting. The cross-cut has to work on a thin piece of wood. 

What makes it unique is the ability to withstand longer and wider materials. It is bigger and ideal for materials that require longer cuts. There are table saws that come with additional shelf space. The shelf is either on the right or left side of the blade. 

Sawing-Through-Laminate-with-a-table-saw

Some models have onboard accessory storage that keeps extra blades, the miter gauge, and the rip fence. There are also industrial table saws with large surfaces and workbench table saws that are ideal for DIY enthusiasts. 

The solid base makes the tool sturdy as it stays in place. Connect your tool to a dust management system to keep safe from diseases caused by inhaling saw. The blade on a table saw is fixed. The height is adjustable as you raise it lower or higher, depending on the thickness of the wood you are working on. 

The blade is stationary. For accuracy, the blade guard and rails guide the material. There are four types of table saws. These are the bench, contractor, cabinet, and hybrid table saw. The contractor and the cabinet table saws are portable for household activities. The cabinet table saw combines the two, and the hybrid table saw is a heavy-duty table saw.

Pros

  • Onboard accessory storage 
  • Adjustable blades
  • Accurate
  • Effective dust management system
  • Specific table saws for different locations

Cons

  • It makes noise
  • A bit unstable

Favorite Features | Table Saw vs Skill saw

Motor

The cutting power of a table saw is measured by the size of the horsepower. Light duty bench saws are compatible with the 3/4hp to 1.5hp cut up to 5/8 inch thick material. Large table saws come with 2hp to 5hp motors. The cabinet table saw is compatible with the 5hp saw motor. Make sure that the table saw has a powerful cooling system. 

A skill saw became better with the introduction of lithium-powered inbuilt batteries. You can take it anywhere without being worried about the power source. 

Blade 

A table saw is named after the blade size. Table saws come with circular blades, and the 10inch is the standard blade. The blade is adjustable depending on the material you are working on. The toothed skill saw blade has a rotary motion that produces torque against the material’s edge. That makes it easy to cut materials. 

The motion is rapid as the skill saw leaves narrow slits,  giving the manufacturer a smooth finish. However, sometimes it requires filing before final delivery, depending on the material and features. Sometimes it burrs after cutting through the metal or plastic, removing them using sandpaper. You are not guaranteed a gibe edge.

The saw has Tungsten carbide tips that make the cutting efficient. The saw blades are on shafts that rotate and transmit the rotatory motion to the saw blade. That is why it requires more power when compared with other models. Using more power makes it easy and quick to cut the material.

Portability 

A skill saw has the ease of carrying it anywhere. It has so much stability that you can cut without much recoil reaction. That helps one cut the lumber quickly. There is no need to place the lumber on the table and hold it while the table saw cuts it. It even performs better than a chop saw. You can cut a wood piece, and it remains stable.

A table saw comes with portable models like the DeWalt 10-Inch Table Saw DWE7491. However, that does not stop Dewalt from making table saws with a wider table without compromising size and weight. 

What could be better

Skill saw

  • It could have been more efficient on the dust collection system.
  • It could have been more accurate from a side fence.

Table saw

  • Noise reduction would work.
  • It could have been more stable when making cuts.

Similarities

  • They are both portable
  • They cut different materials

Key Differences

  • A table saw has a more efficient dust collection system than a skill saw. 
  • A skill saw is more stable than a table saw. 
  • A table saw has a stationary blade, unlike the skill saw. 

The verdict | Skill saw vs Table saw

Your best pick depends on your preference based on convenience, workability, and availability. If you are working in tight spaces, need a deep cutting capacity, or want more power, you might consider a skill saw. For longer and wider materials, a table saw performs better due to its table. Above all, you have seen how each saw tool works, its pros and cons. 

David D. Hughes
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