February 15, 2022

Types of table saw cuts

Rip Cuts

​Rip cuts are a table saw’s strong suit, and they’re perhaps the most well-known cut the tool is ideal for. A rip cut rips a material lengthwise, usually with the grain, where the table saw shines.


When you rip a cut with a table saw, it simply splits the wood into two pieces. On the other hand, Crosscuts are a more complex technique because you can’t hold the wood piece rigid in one location when cutting. It is because cutting crosscuts requires the use of a crosscut sled. The crosscut sled will give you a more stable platform to perform straight and square cuts.

Dado cuts

When you need to precisely fit two or more pieces of wood together, the dado cut is the way to go. You can use Dado cuts to make furniture, cabinets, and other woodworking tasks. For Dado cuts, a specific saw blade is an ideal option. As a result, it’s a good idea to get a table saw that can produce dado cuts.

Bevel Cuts

Table saws can adjust the angle of the blade, allowing for bevel cuts. Tilt the saw blade to the desired angle and use an angle measure to double-check its correctness. Turn on your saw, and you’ll be able to feed rips or crosscuts at a steady angle as usual.

Cutting Rabbets and Grooves

A table saw makes these regularly used joint cuts more accessible and accurate. Rabbets are cut from the board’s far edge, whereas grooves come closer to the center.

Cutting Joints

Aside from rabbets and grooves, a table saw can do several joint cuts. As previously stated, this may need removing the blade guard and riving knife; in these cases, be highly cautious when cutting joints. The following are some typical table saw joints:

  • Lap
  • Tenon
  • Dado
  • Dovetail
  • Reinforced mitre
  • Finger

Table saw cutting depth

A 10″ table saw can make a maximum cut of 3,5″ deep, and a 12-inch table saw can earn a top cut of 4 inches deep. A 10-inch circular blade, which can cut up to 3.5 inches deep, is used by the great majority of table saws. A 12-inch blade that cuts up to 4 inches deep is used on other table saws.

Blade DiameterCutting Depth
5 1/2″1.5″
7 1/4″  2.5″
10″    3.5″
12″ 4″

How thick of wood can a table saw cut?

Most saws with a blade capacity of 6 inches or more can cut through 2-inch dimensional timber at a 45-degree angle in a single pass. At 90 degrees, a 5-3/8-inch saw can cut through 2-inch dimensional wood in one pass, but at 45 degrees, it takes two passes. 

Most saws’ blade raising mechanisms can elevate the arbor to the point where the flange almost reaches the throat plate’s bottom, which is usually approximately 1/8 inch thick. In general, a 10-inch saw can cut somewhat more than 3″ deep. Cutting 4 inches deep with a 12-inch saw is possible.

Can you crosscut with a table saw?

A few accessories are required while crosscutting lumber on the table saw. You may always use a table saw to crosscut. A miter gauge comes with most table saws, and it supports a workpiece as it passes past the blade. 

You can add lengthy backer boards to help longboards and prevent tear-out as the blade exits the back of the workpiece. You may also buy an aftermarket miter gauge, which sometimes comes with useful extras like a retractable fence or flip-down stops for repeat cuts.

It is tremendously beneficial to support the board where it hangs over the table saw while crosscutting longboards. You can use a support stand or make something out of a sawhorse for this. A crosscut sled is also a must-have table saw attachment.

What type of cut should you not perform with the table saw?

The following are cuts you shouldn’t try cutting with a table saw

Do not cut PVC pipe 

Cutting plastic piping with a table saw is not a good idea. On the saw blade, the PVC pipe will melt or rip. With a table saw, you won’t be able to make clean cuts through PVC pipe, and the material will catch and spin on the blade, generating deadly kickbacks.

Curved cuts are not possible

A high-quality table saw is designed to create precise, high-speed cuts. It’s not intended to make curved cuts. If you feed the material at an angle, the spinning blade will grasp it and launch it into the air. It is referred to as kickback. Straight cuts are the best approach to avoid kickback.

Make no backward cuts

While other types of saws are helpful to make climbing cuts, you should never do it on a table saw. The blade will bite, pull, and push the wood aside, causing it to backfire.

Cutting ferrous metals, such as cast iron or steel is impossible.

If you need to cut metal, a table saw isn’t the best tool for the job. When ferrous metals collide with the blade, they produce sparks. The thrown sparks might burn your hands and ignite any sawdust or wood in your workspace. The other hazard is metal fragments flying through the air.

Make no freehand tapered cuts.

A tapering jig is required if you wish to make a tapered cut and can be used to guide the wood at the desired angle carefully. On a table saw, a slightly inclined cut is not ideal. A backlash will occur if the blade catches on the material.

Do not cut anything freehand on a table saw without a miter gauge or rip fence. Also, never try to force a board through with your hands because the breadth of your rip cuts is sometimes highly tiny, and the fence is near to the blade.

How thick can an 8-inch table saw cut?

The 8-inch blade will most likely only be able to cut 3 inches deep, but it will be able to complete more rotations per minute, slicing through materials quickly. If you want to make deep cuts in boards or pieces of wood, first assess the sort of blade you’re using on your table saw, and keep in mind that with a 12-inch blade, the most depth these saws can cut is four inches.

Can I rip a 4×4 on a table saw?

Yes, you can rip a 4*4 on a table saw but only with a 12″ blade. You can use a miter gauge to cut a 44 across the grain. If you have a 10″ table saw, you have to make two passes to cut all the way through. To begin, lift your blade as high as it will go. It should be moderately more than 3 inches tall. Make a primary crosscut, and then flip your 44 over. Minimize the height of your blade so that it can cut through the remaining material, but not too high for safety reasons. With a 12″ cutter, a high-end table saw can cut a 44 in one pass, with a maximum cut of around 4 inches.

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