Table Saw Blades Vs Circular Saw Blades: What’s Different. Circular saw table saw

Table Saw Blades Vs Circular Saw Blades: What’s Different?

Table saw blades and Circular saw blades are both used to cut wood. Both have unique features that make them better to be applied in different circumstances. So, before you purchase either one, make sure you know what the difference between the two types of blades is. So, what is the difference between a table saw blade and a circular saw blade? Table saw blades and circular saw blades are not the same. Table saw blades are bigger blades with a wider kerf that are found on table saws. Circular blades are smaller and thinner blades that can usually be found on circular saws, but they can be used on a table saw for certain applications. There is a difference between a table saw blade and a circular saw blade, but why are they different? Despite their differences, can you swap the blades of a circular saw and use it on a table saw? Which type of saw is better, and why? All of these questions we explore below.

Table Saw Blades Vs. Circular Saw Blades: What’s Different?

There are multiple differences that distinguish a table saw blade from a circular saw blade. Below, we analyze two of these main differences.

Size Of A Table Saw Blade Vs. A Circular Saw Blade

Table saws blades are 10” in diameter and have a teeth range of anything between 24 – 80 teeth per blade. The more teeth on the blade, the smoother the cut. They also have a kerf of 1/8”, which is the width of the wood that is cut away when shaping the wood. Circular saw blades are mostly 7¼” with smaller circular blades being 4 ½”. The number of teeth one can expect to find on these blades can range from anything between 14 and 40 teeth. The kerf of these blades can range from a low 1/16” up to 3/32”.

Application of the blades and their saws

Table saws blades Table saw blades are used in table saws, which are stationary saws that are fixed to a table, and the workpiece is moved through the cutting blade by the operator. Table saws are excellent if you wish to have a lot of accurate and ‘clean’ cuts to your work. This is, usually, in cases where you work with wood that must be assembled and require very precise clearances and accurate fits. Unfortunately, table saws are not very portable and, thus, are only suited for – or most efficient in – larger workshops. It is important to note that with table saws you have to bring the work to the table (saw), and you cannot bring the table (saw) to the workpiece. In summary, a table saw is a stationary circular saw that is fixed to a table with a slit in the table where the table saw protrudes from. Since you have a table to which your blade is fixed, you can adjust the cut depth of your saw by adjusting the height of your saw and how much it should protrude from the table. Circular saw blades Circular saw blades, however, are used on circular saws. Circular saws are portable saws that you can use wherever you wish, which is especially good if you are working with stationary woodwork. These saws are handheld saws that are not powered by a stationary motor but powered by batteries, an electric motor, or an electric cord. Because circular saws do not require to be stationary, they are considered to be one of the most dynamic and versatile power saws that one can possess in a workshop. The problem with these saws, however, is that they are not as accurate as a table saw. Table saws are firmly fixed where they are, whereas portable saws are subject to scenarios where you have to do the precision cutting yourself, as opposed to feeding a piece of woodwork into the blade in a controlled manner.

Can You Use A Circular Saw Blade On A Table Saw?

The results you get will most likely vary from person to person, blade to blade, the different wood pieces you use, and other minor factors. That said, some have tried using a circular blade on a table saw and got the following results:

  • When it came to the cutting of oak wood, the rip cut came out very well. There were no loose strings on the surface of the cut, and it looked clean. On the other hand, the cross-cut did not come out very well, and it was not very clean.
  • When it came to the double-sided melamine, the ripping did not turn out as well as it did for the oak wood. It was not very clean, and there were stubble surfaces where the cut was made.
  • When it came to good quality plywood, the ripping turned out better than what it did compared to the double-sided melamine wood, but poorer than compared to that of the oak wood. The cross-cut, however, turned out very poorly and not very clean.

So, in summary, you can definitely use a circular blade on a table saw when you wish to cut wood. That said, it might not always give you the finish that you were looking for.

Which Is Better, Table Saws Or Circular Saws?

We have now explored the difference(s) between a table saw blades and circular saw blades, and we have looked if you can fit a circular blade on a table saw. Now, let us look at which type of saw, including its blade, is better to use. We will look at five metrics to make this judgment.

  • When it comes to accuracy, table saws win by a large margin. Because the table saw blades are larger, they have the potential to give you cleaner cuts, and the possibility of the saw vibrating and causing you to cut skew is minimalized.
  • When it comes to the service life of the saws, table saws last longer than circular saws.
  • When it comes to price, table saws are significantly more expensive than circular saws.
  • When it comes to convenience, table saws are more convenient if you have woodwork that can easily move to the table saw. If, however, you must have your saw taken to the woodwork, circular saws are much more convenient.
  • When it comes to safety, a table saw will not accidentally cut you as you are carrying it, but you should be careful on how you feed the saw the woodwork. For circular saws, there is a permanent cover plate that ensures that half of the area of the blade is covered.

In conclusion, the better blade depends on the operator’s needs, the operator’s budget, and the type of woodwork that needs to be cut.


In conclusion, table saw blades and circular saw blades may not be identical, but they are similar. The table saw blade is bigger and used for a bigger machine, whereas the circular saw blade is smaller and used for a machine that can be carried around.

Whether you are going to want to purchase a table saw with a table saw blade or a circular saw with a circular saw blade would depend on your needs, but in the article above, we set out some relevant factors that can help you make your decision.

If you are torn, you can purchase both and use the circular saw blade on the table saw, provided take note of the results you can expect to get.

Table Saw vs Circular Saw for Beginners

So you have a big DIY project coming up, but you’re not sure if the collection of tools at your disposal will be enough to get the job done?

Maybe you already own a table saw but have started wondering if a circular saw would be more beneficial?

If you’re in a similar position, you’ll know how tricky it can be to decide which is best for a certain job.

Just as there is with every tool, table saws and circular saws have their own specific uses. At the end of the day, you just want a tool that will do the job easily, professionally, and as efficiently as possible.

So let’s take an in-depth look at each saw and compare its pros and cons to decide which comes first in the battle of table saws vs circular saws.

What Is a Table Saw?

Table saws are a favored option for beginner woodworkers as they are so versatile. They deliver precise uniform cuts and are easy to handle making them an ideal choice for those just starting without cutting saws.

As we have briefly mentioned, table saws get their name from their table-like shape. Attached to their bodies is a circular blade that extends out through a centered slot.

Most table saws are used for woodwork and are very easy to use. These allow you to make specific angular and crosscuts for absolute precision.

Table saw’s blades lift above tabletops and allow you to move through the material easily as you cut it. You push the material through the blade, meaning you are in control of the cut’s direction.

What Can a Table Saw Do?

All table saws cut in a straight line which means they have a far greater rip capacity for ripping boards, but most can tilt their saw blade relative to its tabletop. This allows you to cut miter angles in a dead straight line if need be.

It is easy to adjust the blade for more accurate cuts due to its guardrails on either side. Depending on your desired cut size, you can turn and lock the blade in place with the built-in crank.

Another reason you might consider opting for a table saw, apart from them being able to rip wooden boards or sheets of MDF with precision, is that you can also use a table saw to make angle cuts.

While a table saw might not offer the same convenience as a miter saw when attempting bevel cuts, they will still produce a clean and precise cut with the right adjustments. You’re just going to have to tinker around a bit to make angle cuts with a table saw as opposed to making angled cuts with a miter saw.

This is where the likes of a table saw vs track saw tend to differ, as one is used purely for making straight-line cuts, and the other can make just about any cut.

What Is a Circular Saw?

Circular saws differ as they use a handheld design that is attached to a rounded blade.

Its motor drive has a belt attached to the blade, which rotates, making the blade rotate when powered.

What Can a Circular Saw Do?

Circular saws make very deep and strong cuts without any fuss, and they can be used on a variety of materials such as wood, metal, and plastic.

The mobility of a circular saw makes it a very popular choice amongst carpenters. They are lightweight for easy portability and holding.

On the other hand, these saws are not the best choice for novice woodworkers as it can take some time to get used to using them.

Given that circular saws drive with a lot of power, extra care needs to be given when operating one. Hands need to be steady and in place to hold the saw firmly for a precise cut.

Ideal Applications: Table Saws vs Circular Saws

To consider which is the best, we need to look at the range of use for both table saws and circular saws.

Table saws are superbly efficient. Crosscutting and ripping boards are simple for these machines. As long as the fence is set and positioned correctly, it should be easy to cut with a table saw.

One drawback of a table saw is its size. It is not really that portable and usually needs some sort of workshop to operate one effectively. They can also be quite pricey, but that is typically down to their bulk and the options they provide.

Table Saw vs Circular Saw for Beginners

Circular saws are great when it comes to ripping long boards quickly. Although, when it comes to both accuracy and speed, a table saw will be the better option for ripping.

There are a few steps to take to get the perfect straight cut with a table saw as opposed to making a straight cut with a circular saw. Unless you’re using a track saw, there is more of a lengthy setup required to make long straight cuts with a circular saw.

When attempting a long straight cut with a circular saw, it is recommended you use a speed square to ensure standard 90-degree crosscuts.

When making a similar type of cut with a table saw, you’ll just have to measure the length you want your cut and mark it off with the square. You should be able to position your blade and use the square as a guide against the saw’s fence.

What saw blade to choose?

With a circular saw, you’ll need a homemade jig which comes in handy as acts as a fence to get straight rips at any length. This takes more time and requires a little more skill and patience in comparison than when using a table saw.

In short, if you’re a beginner looking for a more versatile saw, a table saw requires less setup time and is a better all-purpose saw for your workshop.

What Materials Can Be Cut With Table Saws and Circular Saws?

Before choosing a table saw vs a circular saw as your new preferred power tool, it is important to know what kind of materials you can cut with each.

Table Saws

Table saws can cut certain materials such as plywood, softwood, hardwood, plastic, aluminum, and brass sheets. You shouldn’t attempt to cut all of the above with a standard crosscut blade unless you enjoy burning through blades and money.

Ideally, if you’re going to attempt cutting any metal with a table saw, you will have to change the blade to a ferrous or non-ferrous metal cutting blade. The blade of choice will depend entirely on the material you work with.

When it comes to lumber, things get a lot less complicated. If you want to cut a series of 2” x 4” in half, table saws are the ideal choice. Long cuts that separate a piece of wood with the grain is called a rip cut.

Table-saws can also perform crosscuts that are perpendicular to the grain of the wood at a Rapid pace.

Most saws cannot perform rip cuts with as much accuracy as a table saw, making them a popular tool for this particular job.

Table saws are perfect for cutting long or wide pieces of material as these can easily rest on the tabletop of the saw. This prevents any need to hold the material when you are cutting through it.

Circular Saws

If you have the right blade attached, you can use a circular saw in a wide range of applications, making a circular saw a great starter option for beginner woodworkers.

These saws can come in a range of sizes, from large, solid saws to mini versions for smaller pieces of material.

Circular saws can cut through concrete and concrete blocks, making them a favorite for masonry work. When operated at a low speed, circular saws can also cut through metal (with the right blade attached) or any plastic type.

Circular saws are also very convenient as you can change or sharpen the blade when required. The one main benefit circular saws have over table saws is their mobility.

You can easily stuff a circular saw in your tool bag and venture out to a job site, making them an ideal power tool for contractors on the go.

Table Saw Vs Circular Saw: Main Differences

Here are some of the main differences you will find in the table saw vs circular saw debate. Knowing these differences and the pros and cons of each can help you decide if a table or circular saw would be better for your job.


As you can see, each saw has its pros and cons. The main difference is the portability of each. Table saws are big, heavy, and very hard to move around.

Circular saws are lighter, smaller, and far more portable. They can also be used as a table saw if needed, while table saws can’t work as circular versions.

Cutting Capacity

Both table saws and circular saws have just about no size limit to their cutting capacities. However, a table saw can become difficult to control if a piece is too long to cut.

Also, if you need to rip a piece of board precisely, you’ll have to use a tracking guide such as a long piece of plywood or a circular saw.

The Cost

Circular saws are more affordable than table saws but don’t tend to last as long.

Nonetheless, with proper maintenance, both tools should last a good amount of time.

Cut Accuracy

Table saws are typically better at offering dead straight cuts. Its circular blade makes it easier to handle the saw, along with judging the depth and length of your desired cuts.

Circular saws can become weak in your hands, making mistakes far more likely.

Table Saw and Circular Saw FAQ

If you still have questions regarding a table saw vs circular saw and which one is most appropriate for the job? Read on for the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions.

Which Table Saw Is the Best for Home Use?

Some of the more effective and powerful table saws ideals for home use include the DeWALT DWE7491RS and the Bosch 4100-10.

The DeWALT listed comes in as the best table saw for home use overall because it provides you with the perfect combination of power and performance.

The Bosch has an impressive gravity-rise frame allowing you to modify the height as needed. If you are looking for a cabinet table, then the SawStop is quickly becoming a popular option and boasts of high performance.

What Is the Difference Between Table Saws and Miter Saws?

The biggest difference between a table saw vs miter saw is the versatility factor. A table saw proves to be much more versatile because a miter saw can’t cut larger pieces of wood.

Overall, a table saw can make almost any cut a miter saw can make. Plus, dollar-for-dollar, there isn’t much difference at checkout if you’re going with a high-priced miter saw or a benchtop table saw.

table, blades, circular, different

The only determining consideration when choosing between a table saw and a miter saw should be space. Table saws will take up far greater space in your workshop than a miter saw will.

What Is the Difference Between a Circular Saw and a Skill Saw?

When talking about a circular saw and skill saw, you will find that a circular saw is simply a broader term for a tool category. When you speak of circular saws, you can be talking about everything from miter saws to table saws.

Every skill saw can be considered a circular saw. However, not every circular saw is considered a skill saw. A circular saw is most commonly used for making cuts in a straight line on lumber. It is a useful addition to any DIYer’s arsenal.

Overall, there really is no difference between a circular saw and a skill saw. It really just comes down to verbiage. A skill saw is commonly referred to as a Skilsaw, which the SKIL company produces.

Can You RIP With a Circular Saw?

A table saw is usually the better choice for ripping lumber, but if you don’t have a table saw and your rips don’t have to be precise, you can use a circular saw. Choose the right platform, and clamp the circular saw to the platform.

Make a reference to the cut, and then adjust the circular saw to the appropriate width. Adjust the blade, so it is parallel to the face of the platform. Adjust the blade’s height and readjust the parallel. You can then begin to rip your narrow board.

Why Type of Blade Do You Need for a Circular Saw?

A standard circular saw blade can be used to cut wood or wood composites. The number of teeth the blade has determined the speed, type, and cut finish. Fewer teeth cut much faster, while more teeth can create a much finer finish.

What Type of Blade Do You Need for a Table Saw?

The blade types for a table saw are determined by the blade’s teeth’ shape or grind. If you will be doing joinery work, then a 50-tooth all-purpose blade is what you need.

For cutting MDF materials, choose a 50-tooth to the 80-tooth blade. Anything 60-tooth and up allows for better cuts if you are working with denser materials. Plastic laminates require an 80-tooth crosscut blade.

Lastly, when it comes to either circular saw blades or table saw blades, the one blade you do want is a sharp one. That’s why you should be checking and sharpening your table saw blade or circular blade when need be.

How Accurate Is a Table Saw?

When properly set, and with a high-quality Diablo blade attached to it, a table saw can prove to be incredibly accurate.

We recommend you go with the SKILSAW SPT99-12 reviewed above for the best accuracy.

It is lightweight but still houses a powerful motor that can tackle most, if not all, woodworking jobs. Plus it’s a great starter option for those on a budget, but still seeking a top-notch table saw.

What Is the Best Circular Saw for Cutting up Floorboards?

When cutting floorboards, you need something that can cut the tongue before you lift the board. A circular saw is ideal. It will also leave you with a clean edge while cutting through hardwood very easily.

table, blades, circular, different

Using Circular Saw Blades on Table Saw

If You Were an Average Homeowner, Which Saw Would You Want First?

If you are a homeowner who will be making long and straight cuts, you may want to choose a circular saw or even consider buying track saw. It is good for a range of uses around the home, including general woodworking jobs.

However, the table saw is also another efficient tool, that if used safely, a table saw will most certainly make short work of both crosscutting and ripping boards.

A table saw is not going to be as portable as a circular saw due to its size. It really comes down to what kind of jobs you have at home. Once you determine that, you can decide which saw would be the best first purchase.

In Conclusion

It is hard to say which is the outright winner between the table saw and the circular saw.

Depending on the material you need to cut and the way it needs to be cut will require each tool at different times. Each has unique designs that make them stand alone in their uses.

The circular saw has a wider range of uses. With practice, you should be able to do anything with this type of saw. There’s also its added bonus of easy portability that helps it stand out.

If you’re a beginner, table saws are the way to go. They will help you get precise cuts and are highly convenient if you have enough space.

If you had to choose between the two, the circular saw is probably recommended for its affordability and portability. Invest in a quality model, and you’ll be cutting with absolute ease.

table, blades, circular, different

I’m Ray, a lifelong carpenter who’s spent the better part of my life working on construction sites on the West Coast of the United States.

In that time I have literally seen it all within the building industry as a professional contractor.

There’s not much I haven’t encountered over my 30-year career, hence the reason why I’m one of the core contributors at The Tool Scout. Plus, merely writing about work, sure does beat doing actual work. ‍♂️

Table Saw vs Circular Saw: Which is Best and When to Use Each

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Two popular types of power saws are the table saw and the circular saw. Both of these saws can be used in a variety of applications, offering you the ability to cut large and small pieces of material to length.

But, you may be wondering which is the better saw, and when to use each one? We took a look at the table saw vs circular saw and provided our analysis below.

What is a Table Saw?

A table saw has a blade that extends from underneath the surface of a tabletop, similar to a miter saw but more with a general-purpose. Table saws tabletop acts as the support platform to rest the material to be cut on. Table saws blade lifts out above the tabletop, allowing you to move material through the blade as you cut it.

You use table saws by pushing material through the blade, allowing you to control the direction of the cut. Similar to a miter saw, table saws cut exclusively in a straight line. Most table saws have ​an ability to tile the saw blade, relative to the table top, so you can cut miter angles in a straight line.

Table saws are highly accurate, in large part because of the table saws fence that serves as a guide while you work. The accuracy depends on how straight and continuously you push material through the blade. Steady movements produce clean cuts along the wood, and is one of the reasons a table saw is chosen. Check this S KIL 3410-02.

  • 20-inch x 26-inch cast aluminum table extends to 20-inch x 32-inch for longer work pieces
  • 3-1/2-Inch cut height capacity for cutting through 4x materials
  • Heavy-duty steel stand for fast setup and easy transport. Bevel angle range:0° to 47°
  • Self-aligning rip fence for accurate measurements

Table Saw Applications

Table saws are best used for making long, straight cuts. For example, if you need to cut ​a series of 2″x4″ in half, a good table saw would be the best tool to use. Because of the table top surface, fence, and blade, you can accurately guide the wood slowly.

These long cuts that separate a piece of wood with the grain are often called rip cuts. Table saws can also perform cross-cuts, which goes perpendicular to the grain of the wood. Most saws can’t perform rip cuts, at least not with much accuracy. Table saws, though, excels at the rip cut.

Anytime that you need a long or wide piece of material cut, a table saw is your go-to saw as you can easily rest these large materials on the tabletop of the saw without issue. This prevents the need to awkwardly hold the material as you try cutting it. You can simply guide the material through the blade to cut it to the straight length or width that you need, and is also very precise.

Table saws can cut ​pieces of plywood as well as both soft wood and hardwoods. You will also see table saws used to cut sheets of plastic, aluminum, and brass.

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a handheld saw using a circular blade. This type of saw can be driven by electricity, gasoline, motor, or battery. Cordless circular saws are also very popular, making them a high-quality option for on the job site as there is no cord to contend with.

As a circular saw’s blade spins, it chips away at the surface it is cutting. You have to move the saw with your hand across the length or width of the material you are cutting. The best circular saws come with an electric brake to be safe. Check this Milwaukee 2645-22 18-Volt M18 Jig Saw.

  • The product is easy to use
  • The product is durable
  • The product is manufactured in China
  • Tool free shoe bevel with positive stops allows for quick and accurate shoe adjustment

Because using a circular saw relies on you to guide it, with no additional guides to help, the cuts that it produces are not totally precise. If your hand wavers, you will produce inaccurate cuts. But, a circular saw blade is very efficient at cutting quickly – both rip and cross-cuts.

​Circular Saw Applications

A circular saw can be used in a variety of applications, especially with the right type of blade attached. Circular saws are used in a wide array of projects, ranging from home DIY creations all the way to professional construction sites.

From larger, robust circular saws all the way down to a mini circular saw, these power tools are best used to make fast, quick cuts where precision isn’t vital. It isn’t that a circular saw isn’t accurate – it just can’t compete with the precision of table saws.

You can also use a circular saw to cut masonry work such as joints in concrete or through concrete block. Circular saws ​also work for cutting metal when operated at low speeds or for cutting through any type of plastic.

You can easily change out or sharpen a circular saw blade, making this tool very convenient.

Table Saw vs Circular Saw

Table saws and circular saws e main similarity – both have circular blades that spin to cut material. When the saw blades cut the material slowly, the blades make a very accurate cut.

While both blades spin as these power tools cut, the table saw extends upward while the circular saw extends downward. Table saw or a circular one, the blades do chip away material as the blades cut, but these power tools require you to guide them through the sawing process.

This is where we start to see the pros and cons and differences in a table saw vs a circular saw.

Table Saw for Accuracy

With a table saw, you have a stable platform and table saw fence to help stabilize and guide you through the cutting process. The platform, or table, gives you a large resting spot for the material, while the guide provides a mechanism to push the material through the saw. Think of this tool like training wheels for your power saw.

These two safety features make a table saw highly precise and help you make accurate cuts. If you take the time to set up your guide properly, you can make cuts that are precise down the 1/64”. This level of precision can’t be matched by a circular saw.

​Table Saw for Large Projects

When you need to make a lot of the same cuts for a large project, a table saw is a perfect solution. Lets say that you need to cut a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood in half, like we discussed in our previous example. When you use a table saw, you would set your table saw fence for the correct dimension, and use the saw for the cut.

Now that the fence has been set, you can send more pieces of plywood through the saw to make the same cuts, and each subsequent cut takes hardly any time. If you’re working on a large project, a table saw can save you a lot of time.

Circular Saw for Speed

When you need to make a quick cut, nothing beats the best circular saw. Circular Saws feature incredible ease to use to make a quick cut. And, they are very simple to use.

Because circular saws are hand saws, you use your hand to guide the saw through the cut. This means you don’t need to spend any time setting up the saw blade heights and table fences, like you do with a table saw.

Circular saws are also faster because you can bring the saw to the specific job site. A table saw, on the other hand, typically requires you to bring the project to the saw.

​Circular Saw for Cutting Abilities

Another difference between a table saw and a circular saw is its cutting capabilities. Table saws can perform both rip cuts and cross-cuts with accuracy, but can not cut any notches or bends. If you need to make any of these cuts, a circular saw can handle them.

Mind you, a circular saw isn’t best for cutting​ some of these types of cuts in wood. In this case, you would probably want to use a jigsaw, which has a better ease of use for this purpose. However, because of its convenience, a circular saw does have a wider range of cutting capabilities.

Circular Saw for Convenience

Circular saws are lightweight, hand-held, and can be moved from jobsite-to-jobsite with ease. A table saw is heavier and more complex in its set up. Because of its weight and footprint, this tool is more difficult to move these saws around as easily as you are able to do with a circular saw.

table, blades, circular, different

They do make portable table saws that you can move to a jobsite, but a circular saw is vastly easier to use than a portable table saw. In simple terms – table saws are big, huge behemoth saws and circular saws are small, handheld saws.

It may be easier to control the steadiness of a circular saw as you cut, as the saw is nimble and easier to control. A table saw is stationary, but the large piece of material that they typically cut offers a challenge in some instances. You may not be able to push the material straight in the blade of your table saw unless, of course, you have a fence.

Table Saw Vs. Circular Saw (Types of Cuts, Precision…)

Table saws and circular saws are both versatile, powerful tools for your shop. But they have distinct features that make them especially useful for specific tasks, so it’s important to know when to use each tool.

In general, circular saws are more portable, less expensive, have greater cutting capacity, and are better for plunge cuts. On the other hand, table saws are more precise and better-suited for rip cuts and dadoes.

Cutting Capacity

First, let’s talk about cutting capacity. When you talk about cutting capacity with circular saws, there are two factors to consider: first, the maximum depth of cut, and then the actual maximum width or length of cut the saw can make, if there is any.

Depth of cut is a simple measurement of how far into the wood the saw’s blade can go. Of course, it will vary depending on the diameter of the blade, but most table and circular saws have a maximum depth of cut of 4″.

Table saws’ maximum width of cut is limited by the space between the sawblade and the fence. That’s also called a rip capacity, and on most table saws, it’s 30”. That’s plenty for most boards people cut, but you should keep it in mind if you will need to make rip cuts on very wide pieces of wood.

Because circular saws move freely, there’s no maximum rip capacity with them. But it’s worth considering that the very thing that limits table saws’ rip capacity–the fence–is what makes them more suitable for rip cuts in the first place. Despite not having this limit to cutting capacity, circular saws may not always be the right choice for that cut.

Circular saws have a maximum cutting capacity of around 17 inches. That’s enough for most framing tasks, but it may not be suitable for larger projects. You may need to break the project up into smaller pieces to use the circular saw.


Next, let’s talk about precision. Circular saws are not known for their precision. They’re designed to cut quickly, but the cut can result in a jagged edge if you don’t use proper circular saw techniques. To make matters worse, the blade guard on a circular saw is notoriously difficult to use. If you try to make a precision cut with a circular saw, you’re usually in for a frustrating experience.

Table saws, on the other hand, are very precise. Their precision extends not only to the cut but also to the setup. You can precisely set the width and depth of the cut with a table saw. The table itself gives you the stability that you might not have if you’re relying on a circular saw.

Table saws also have a rip fence that keeps the material from wandering. That’s not the case with a circular saw. There’s no fence on a circular saw, so you have to guide the material manually. That makes it difficult to make a straight cut.


Fortunately, quality saws are available at generally reasonable prices. Circular saws are much less expensive because they don’t have the built-in table that table saws obviously require, but you can still find affordable table saws out there.

Circular saws are relatively inexpensive. A decent circular saw costs anywhere between 100 and 300, although you can find them for as little as 50. Depending on your needs, you might end up paying less than a quarter for a circular saw than what you’d pay for a table saw of equal quality.

While they start at 200, decent table saws aren’t available unless you’re ready to pay at least 450. The most costly table saws may cost up to 2,800, although even for most pros, they aren’t essential.

Maintenance needs are another important component of price. Circular saws are designed to make lots of cuts, so they don’t usually require maintenance. You can just wipe them off after each use and store them away.

Table saws, on the other hand, need to be regularly tuned up to perform their best. They also require periodic maintenance, such as replacing the blade, to stay in good operating condition.


Portability can be very important for professionals that frequently move between job sites.

Most circular saws are lightweight and easy to move from place to place. They don’t require any special trailers or dollies. All you need is a pair of gloves to protect your hands and a place to stow the cord.

Table saws are bulky, heavy tools that are difficult to move. You’ll need a trailer and lots of help to move a table saw around. Even moving your table saw across the shop can be a project requiring multiple hands.