Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saw Options

Having a saw is, obviously, very helpful for woodworking. It's pretty difficult to do stuff if you can't cut and while I've mostly asked the stores to cut pieces to length for me it isn't always convenient. I decided to start doing some research to find a saw that fits my constraints: safety, space and cost.

Table Saw -- Recommended by nearly everyone as one of the important tools to have, a table saw is versatile and precise. It requires a lot of space (even the portable contractor's table saw), is expensive, and one of leading tools associated with woodworking accident (I'm not saying that it cause the accident, but rather a lot accident happens when people use the table saw.).

Jig Saw -- Handy and can do my types of cuts, not as expensive to buy, but not very precise.

Circular Saw -- Inexpensive, versatile and portable. Circular saws doesn't take much space and can do rip and cross-cuts. Even though it is common to see homeowners with circular saws it can still be dangerous. Whereas a table saw might kick back the wood back to the user, a circular saw can kick the saw itself back towards the user.

Miter Saws -- Can do many types of cuts, but not rip cuts. Moderately expensive and requires some space depending on the length of the wood being cut. Make sure you don't have your limbs under the blade while holding the materials to cut.

Plunge/Track Saw -- Similar to circular saws, plunge saws are portable and the blade is on the understand. The saw is completely housed inside until used for cutting and can start on the side of the wood. These saws also ride along a rail to give precise cuts. Some have anti-kickback features and with jigs can do the work of table saws. As it is hand-held, it doesn't take much space and for cutting plywood you can go to the wood instead of having to bring the wood somewhere. Moderately expensive.

Based on my criteria, I think a plunge saw fits the most with what I want, but I'd love to hear people's opinions.

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