Is Table Saw essential to have if you’re a beginner?

Posted by Terry on

Buying a table saw as a beginner is highly discussed topic in the community. Some are against it, saying that for getting started circular saw is more than enough, while others can see the benefit in having a table saw, just in case. Of course, nothing is irreplaceable, including table saw. Miter saws and circular saws can easily do the same job as table saw, it’s just more effort and less efficiency that will hold you back from completely replacing table saw. I, myself, do own a table saw and use it every day, but I think that’s just out of my sheer laziness. If I were willing to do a little more work using circular and miter saws, both of which I do have, I could easily get by without a table saw. Now, why would someone not want to have a table saw?
First of all, there’s a concern of safety. All power tools are quite dangerous, but table saws especially so. I recommend to everyone to watch few tutorials and guides that explain the safety rules of working on table saw. I have been using one for two years now, and am still very careful around my table saw. Knowing that one little mistake or misstep can result in lost limb in a matter of seconds, is quite scary.
And then there’s the price. A lot of beginners aren’t showered with money, so they want something affordable to start their first project. Usually that niche is filled by circular saw, which are much more affordable and versatile than any table saw out there. And actually that’s what I recommend as well. If you’re just getting started, you don’t want to make huge commitment of paying five hundred dollars for brand new table saw, just to be bored with it few months later. Try circular saw first, and if your enthusiasm about woodworking prevails, definitely invest in high quality tools, because they’re worth every penny.
If you’re totally convinced that you can’t do without a table saw, another good option for you is lurking on craigslist to find a good deal on used table saw. I have bought new one straight off amazon, but my friends have bought from craigslist and they’re content with the tool they received. You just have to be super careful, because there is no quality control or anything on craigslist, so you have to filter a lot of sellers, who are nothing more than just scammers.
To sum up, I wouldn’t say table saw is essential for beginners, but having one can save you a lot of time. But before doing anything with it, you must carefully go through the safety measures and even with those in place, always be careful.