Table Saw vs Band Saw: What’s the Difference?
Chances are, you’ve probably seen, or at least heard of, both table and band saws. Both of these saws are incredibly popular and incredibly useful. You can find them in just about any hardware shop, and many, many people use them for a variety of purposes.
This, of course, begs the question: What, exactly, distinguishes these two saws from each other?
In this article, we’re going to be answering that exact question. You’re going to learn what features make these saws different from one another. As well as which of the power tools is right for you, based on the purposes and intentions you have.
What Is A Table Saw?
When comparing table saws to band saws, it becomes apparent that table saws are far more popular than band saws. Part of this is because of their overall popularity, which has lead to lower costs and a wide variety of different models being produced.
When you use a table saw, you’ll quickly discover that it is meant for a very specific kind of cut. Straight cuts, to be specific. More often than not, these cuts are meant to take place on thin boards. Boards that are around four-to-six inches thick. These cuts can be as long, or as short, as necessary.
Making these cuts is easy for a table saw, due to the long circular blade. Most table saws support various extensions that enable you to cut wider boards.
One thing to note, however, is that table saws come with blades that only work for cutting lumber. Lumber that isn’t particularly thick, as mentioned earlier.
If you own a table saw and want to cut things like plastics or specific metals, you’ll need a separate blade, for one very specific reason. The teeth on the average table saws blade aren’t very fine, or close together. This makes working with those materials a much greater challenge.
Now, while table saws don’t have as much flexibility when it comes to what materials they cut, they do cut more. Table saws have large blades that enable cutting to take place quickly and efficiently. It also ensures that more material is cut.
What Is A Band Saw?
With a band saw, the first thing you’ll notice is just how flexible your choice of angles is. You can cut rips, curves, angles, bevels, among others. With a table saw, you don’t have anywhere near this level of versatility and flexibility.
Along with that, most table saws come with blades that offer a similar amount of flexibility. Using a band saw, you can cut a variety of different materials such as plastics, various metals, wood, as well as a variety of other materials.
The thickness of the wood is another factor to take note of. With a band saw, you can cut thin wood and thick wood. Table saws don’t give you the ability to cut wood that is thicker than six inches.
Unlike table saws, though, band saws don’t cut as much material. The blades are far more narrow and tight. They are making it a lot harder for more efficient and quick cutting to take place. However, the cutting is always precise, even when cutting at strange or unusual angles.
Which One Is The Right Saw For Me?
Let’s get this out of the way first. A table saw is generally considered the “main fixture” of any hardware space. There’s a reason for this: it’s a great tool.
While it is basic, it remains a great tool that offers you some basic, but completely necessary, features. If you want to make clean, and precise straight cuts, then you cannot go wrong with a table saw. A good table saw is an absolute necessity for any hardware space or worksite.
But, it does offer less overall versatility than a band saw. You can’t cut particularly thick wood. You can only cut in straight angles. And, unless you purchase special blades, you can only cut wood.
Now, if you don’t need any of those things, then you can stick with a basic table saw. It will be more than enough for your needs.
A band saw, on the other hand, gives you a lot more flexibility.
You can cut thick wood and thin wood. You can cut in many different angles. And you don’t always need to purchase special blades to cut different kinds of materials.
Ultimately, the choice comes down to whether this is flexibility is something that you need or want. If you don’t need it, then a table saw is more than enough. If you do need it, or want the option, then a band saw is ideal.