Contractor or Table saw, which is the difference...?

Hi,
I was looking pictures of both devices but they look pretty similar...
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Faustino Dina
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On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 08:50:04 -0600, "Faustino Dina"

Howdy,
The difference is principally in the weight (and thus, perhaps, in accuracy)... Those designated as "Table Saws" (or sometimes cabinet saws, or saw benches) are typically heavier in construction with such things as cast iron tables.
HTH,
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Kenneth

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Kenneth answers:

Not so. Both contractor's saws and cabinet saws are table saws. They are just different models of the overall type. There are now the hybrid types, from Jet and DeWalt, and it isn't stretching a point too far to say that benchtop saws are also table saws.
A table saw is nothing but a circular saw with a table.
Charlie Self
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it." George Carlin
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since you're obviously not from around these parts, we'll let this go. This once.
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There are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.
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This
...are you cataloguing me between your "inquisitive idiots" group...?
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Well,if they do, I am insulted! Normally a contractors saw is open base-lighter so they can pick it up and put it in the back of a pickup truck. A cabinet saw is MUCH heavier, has an enclosed base and is usully much more polished & refined with a GOOD fence. Not not all enclosed base saws are cabinet saws but offhand I cannot think of a single cabinet saw that has an open base. Mabe someone else does?
On Mon, 1 Dec 2003 08:50:04 -0600, "Faustino Dina"

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Lawrence Ramsey responds:

Operative word is "they." Contractor's saws range in weight froma bout 230 pounds to 280 pounds. Helpers needed.

A good contractor's saw will also be polished and refined, with a good fence, sometimes the same fence or a shorter-railed version of it that is on the company's cabinet saw. It will differ in lighter (not light) weight: cabinet saws typically weigh from 400 pounds to over 525 pounds, most have closed bases versus open stands on the contractor's saws, and most also use 3 belts to transfer power to the blade from an internally located motor, while the contractor's saw has a single belt (some models had a flex shaft and some models may still have direct drive, two things to be avoided in any full-scale table saw).
Charlie Self
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it." George Carlin
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Heck, Charlie, I have always loaded a Delta Contrcator's saw by myself- for over 30 years and I am fifty. Course I also move a Jet 17" drill press by myself and it was a mite difficult to put the head on but after that, no problem. I did have to ask someone to help me load my Mini-Max S45 18" bandsaw but the motor was a hoss. Sorry, maybe I forgot most folks don't want to do that. Oh well----.
\\On 01 Dec 2003 15:19:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

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Lawrence A. Ramsey wrote:

I'd think for something like that you'd want more than one hoss power.
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There are 3 basic kinds of table saws; cabinet, contractor, benchtop. A contractor saw looks like a table saw because it is a table saw.

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As far as function goes they are the same but the construction is different. in, of course the base, but also in the way the motor is attached to the trunnion's, and the weight and make up of those essential parts. Then there is the motors and horse power.
In the past, and not all that long ago, a contractors saw was meant to be hauled from site to site and handled by every ham handed apprentice on the site. The cabinet saw was found in high end cabinet shops custom woodworking shops and was built for extreme accuracy and long hours of running. Also much better dust collection then the contractors saw.
In those days, to get the contractors saw to give the accuracy of a cabinet saw it took an investment in upgrades that usually cost as much as the saw itself.
Because of the upsurge in popularity of woodworking as a past time good contractors saw now come equipped to provide accuracy that rivals the cabinet saw. It's motor is still smaller then that of a cabinet saw, usually 1 1/2 to 2 HP Vs 3 + HP but that just means you have to be a bit more patient when cutting thick or heavy stock. Dust collection is still a problem for the contractor saws but there are aftermarket things to help in that area. The inner workings haven't changed much and the trunnions and such are still lighter and attached differently in the contractors saw and the lack of vibration dampening cast iron in the contractors saw can mean more, well, vibration.
While a cabinet saw could be expected to long outlive a contractor saw in a commercial shop, in a home shop, the contractor's saw provides good accuracy and, since the usage is far less demanding, a long useful life.
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JOAT asks:

It hasn't changed, but I did note not too long ago, one of the testers on Tools of the Trade or Fine Homebuilding complained about the DeWalt (I think) bench top saw being too heavy at 65 pounds. So, figure...Lawrence says he loaded contractor's saws by himself. I have too, more often than I like to recall, but it was absolutely never a pleasant experience. Grunt, haul, sweat, grunt, haul, lift, shove and then spend 15 minutes tying the sucker down.
To me, 65 pounds sounds reasonable, not overweight, when compared to 250 or more, but it's kind of a "To each his own" deal.
Charlie Self
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it." George Carlin
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T. wrote:

Age doesn't help either. I used to pick up a 258 pound entertainment center, balance it on my shoulder, and carry it out to the customer's car. About seven years later, if I managed to lift such a thing, I'd destroy both of my knees in the process, and probably my back.
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A contractor is a person, a table saw is a device that cuts wood.
Brian.
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As one of the other fellows said, there are basically four types of modern saws today. The cabinet saw, the contractor's saw and the portable, or benchtop saw and finally, the hybrid saw.
The portable would include saws like the Dewalt, Makita, Bosch and Delta portables. These are the "New" generation of worksite saws that were designed to be carried to job sites.
The "contractor" saw is heavier as others have said and was originally meant to be moved from job site to job site. They usually have a 1 and 1/2 hp motor that is mounted on a steel mount that is placed outside the saw cabinet. The trunnion, etc, is mounted to the bottom of the saw table itself.
The cabinet saw is described as the other fellas said. But in addition, the trunnion, etc, is not mounted on the bottom of the saw table...it is mounted to the cabinet itself. This is supposed to reduce the vibration.
And finally, the new "hybrid" saws.... They attempt to be a cross between a cabinet saw and a contractors saw. The motor is mounted inside the cabinet, but the trunnion is still mounted on the bottom of the table.
But ALL of them are still "table saws".
Terry
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