Table or Mitre Saw?

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One man's opinion only. If I could only have one, for the kinds of things I do it would have to be the table saw. Save up for both. :-)
bob g.
SB wrote:

http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId 001&langId=-1&catalogId%01&productId0592&clickfrom=name
http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId 001&langId=-1&catalogId%01&productId0571&clickfrom=name
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wrote:

Neither look really good, if you're going to get one, get the mitre saw, IMO. A bad mitre saw is just going to bog down and annoy you, but a bad table saw can be really dangerous. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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wrote:

Sam,
Why don't you try out a nice japanese-style handsaw? You can get a nice tool that will last you a long time for the same price you'd pay for a junk power tool that is more likely to be dangerous than useful or fun to use. Power tools can be really nice, and great to use, but if you're just learning woodworking, it's a good idea to start off with the basics. A table saw can be a dangerous tool, especially if it is underpowered, the fence is not square, or the top is not sturdy enough- and I'd bet that the saw you're looking at is guilty of all three of these things.
A mitre saw is not nearly as dangerous when it is low-quality, but a good handsaw and a mitre box is just as easy to use. I made a living as a carpenter for several years without many power tools at all, and my work was just as nice as any of the guys with every power tool under the sun. If you want a powered saw, try looking at a handheld circular saw first, but save up your money a little bit, and get a nice one that will do what you want it to. Later on, when you've got a little more money and some more practice, you'll be able to get tools that are nicer and are *able* to make projects that you'll be proud of for years to come.
If you've got a friend around that knows about tools, maybe a neighbor or an instructor at your school, you might want to sit down with them and go over some of your options before you buy anything. I think it's great that you're so interested in woodworking, and I'm not trying to discourage you at all- I'd just hate to hear that you gave it up because you were frustrated by trying to use the wrong tools for the job.
Good Luck!
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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wrote:

You seem to have your heart set on buying a power saw for straight cuts (that is, something other than your jig saw). For the general amount of money that you appear to have available, I think that your best bet, if you just *have* to buy something, is a handheld circular saw. You have to be *very* careful with these. I personally think that you would find something like the following pretty useful:
http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=productDetail&productId6617-79992-FS1800CS
It's reasonably light and it's easier to handle than the typical circular saw. And I suspect that for the type of cutting you are likely to do in the next year or two, it will be fine: I've cut 1" oak with one of these and ripped an 8' soft wood 2X4. You will have to concentrate, or use a guide, to obtain decent straight cuts. You may also want to replace the blade when you scrounge up some more money. I have no idea how long it is likely to last: I haven't had mine very long and I use other saws most of the time. I also don't know if you can get one or how much it would cost in England, but there should be something like it from another company. I would want to actually pick one up and get a feel for it before committing myself to buying it.
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B & Q do a nice range of circular saws at a decent price in their Performance Power range for less than the cost of a poor table saw.
Malcolm Webb
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Is this mitre saw any better?
https://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p 0110065&r!19&g5
Sam
P.S. Can a table saw actually be DANGEROUS I mean wouldn't that be illegal? If they are both not much good on quality, I'm happy, because I won't use it like a professional, will I.

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http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId 001&langId=-1&catalogId%01&productId0571&clickfrom=name
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On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:12:33 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"
No, it's a chop saw. The general problems with chop saws still apply - they're just not much use.
They're _great_ for shopfitting. Lots of quick crosscuts and crude butt joints in ready-finished softwood. For anything else though, they're too inflexible. You just don't need to cut all the way through narrow timber very often, and if you do, a handsaw is lighter, nearly as quick, and keeps you warmer.
If you go "up a notch" http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id !0854&lkidI (Bosch has a clearer picture) http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id "754&recno=1
you find the "sliding mitre saw". This is much more useful. There's a horizontal slide mechanism so they can cut wider timber, but also there's usually a depth stop so that they can cut halfway through something and leave a flat surface. With that, you can start making the complex joints that take real time and effort otherwise.

Yes. There's no way they can be otherwise. It's for slicing up trees! What do you _think_ it's going to do to you ?
This is one good reason why I don't want you to go out and buy a table saw. You're far too likely to injure yourself with it. There are a whole load of 99 quid table saws in the big DIY sheds that I just don't think are safe for untrained new users to carry home and use, or that they're particularly safe for anyone to use.
Table saws are dangerous. To use it safely you need to know how to do so - now we're not _born_ knowing this, so we need to learn it. How ? Usenet is good, but it has limits ! Really you need to be shown by someone who does know (most users don't) and who can show you how to do this with a good saw. It's always easier to learn with good tools, then you can better appreciate what's good or bad about the cheaper ones.
There are two main risks with a table saw. One is sticking your hand in the blade. This is hard to do with modern saws, because the guards (even on cheap saws) are pretty good. Cheap modern DIY saws are often better equipped than older commercial saws.
The best remaining way to stick your hand into a blade is by putting your hand on the timber and pushing _both_ into the blade. Very common mistake, particularly when the blade is hidden halfway in the timber and not visible through the top. You avoid this by using a push stick, not your hands. I feed timber by hand, but _never_ let my hands leave the edge of the saw's table (on my saw this keeps them a safe distance from the blade, even at most stretch)
The second risk is much less obvious. It's called kickback. The saw turns into a catapult and throws the timber at you. This is too complicated to explain in text, because there are several reasons it might happen. Some of the causes are _not_ obvious and as you don't know them already (how could you ?) I'd be concerned about setting you loose armed with a saw and no knowledge. If you can find a copy, Ian Kirby's "The Accurate Table Saw" is a good book to start by reading.
In general, I wouldn't like to use a small table saw. As I posted a few days ago, I want something powerful enough to just cut the timber, not turn it into a wrestling match. Predictable power is much safer than unpredictability.

I'd rather you used it like a good amateur. "Professional" means you're getting paid for it, not that you're any good. There's a lot of dodgy stuff done on building sites and most "professionals" are working at the low end, not the high end.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 10:12:33 -0000, "Sam Berlyn"

Sam- woodworking is dangerous. accept this.
hardwood is about as dense as bone- so any tool that can cut wood can cut bone. keep your fingers away from the cutters.
power tools do stuff real fast. faster than your nervous system can react to- so when things go wrong they happen before you can realize it and pull your hand away, or duck, or dodge.
that router you bought can kill you. one of the worst shop accidents I've had was with a router. I still have the scars 12 years later. when a router bites you it turns flesh into hamburger- there's nothing to stitch back in, because it's spread all over the walls.
so how come there are any woodworkers left alive to post on this newsgroup?
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http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId 001&langId=-1&catalogId%01&productId0592&clickfrom=name
http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId 001&langId=-1&catalogId%01&productId0571&clickfrom=name
What are these? The Nu-Tool's "budget line"?
I have my own rule: when something very sharp travels at X thousand r.p.m. - DON'T buy the cheapest one there is!
FoggyTown
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At today's exchange rates, those are tremendous bargains if they are good quality machines; buy them both. Otherwise, which one you want depends on what you want to do. You can't use a miter (US spelling) saw for ripping. You can crosscut with the table saw, but setup is a nuisance. There is also a question of space; a table saw is a big space hog needing lots of room for infeed and outfeed, and probably on one side. Try to match the tool to the task. By the way, if they are cheap (as opposed to inexpensive) buy the miter saw - less chance to hurt yourself.
Steve

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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
OK. I thought you were a troll. But you have started replying to answers to your questions without calling names <G>. So you appear not to be a troll. My apologies.
But I feel you keep chasing the wrong things.
You appear to be starting out, and/or on a limited budget.
Unless you simply want :     - nice toys OR     - a shed full of stuff that impresses your friends (and they would not want to know much, if they were impressed by what you are asking about) and then either clutters up the shelves or gets thrown out later,
let go of the idea of all these cheap mounted power tools, and especially the bench/table ones. If you are just starting woodwork, then get other tools.
Clamps, chisels, more clamps, a hand saw, maybe even a circular saw, later, a hand mitre saw, glue(s). Plane(s) and a shooting board. An orbital sander. A mounted circular sander or maybe belt/circular sander for finishing mitres. Make jigs. And there are three very important tools. Skill, knowledge and patience.
First power tools should be a handheld circ saw, and a router. Learn to use them properly, and treat them with respect approaching, but not entering, fear. You can do a lot of work with straight edges and these tools.
There are hand mitre saws around that cut really nice mitres. Crikey! I have cut quite reasonable mitres with a hacksaw, by eye! There was a time when all work was done without any power tools at all.
Learn the work. Wait until you can afford at least decent table saws etc. All you are showing is crappy, dangerous, inaccurate junk.
Table saws and other specialty saws should be special. They also do _NOT_ make the woodworking job _that_ much easier. They make a very small portion of the total job of wood selection, design, cutting, fitting, gluing, sanding, finishing etc a bit easier, sometimes. Take for instance a table saw. Unless you have good, straight wood, you will simply be frustrated, or have a fight to get a good result. Read all the posts about why the cut was wrong, or the edges not parallel etc.
You are not doing dozens of cuts here, if you are making projects at the start. Getting the wood, fitting, clamping and gluing, then finishing a project will mean that you make maybe ten cuts, then spend days finishing the job off. In addition, each of those cuts will probably be different and you have to reset the machinery anyway.
Also, the idea of making woodwork, as a hobby, as fast and cheap as possible is crazy. I know. I have done it, and have seen many other DIY guys do the same. The magazines used to encourage the "build a whole dining setting from scrap in a weekend" idea a bit. Now the "DIY" shows on TV let you do it in 5 minutes! Using no materials at all! <G>.
That should not be the point of woodwork. You will make a mess, get frustrated, and not be fast anyway. The doing of the thing is the point, at least until you turn pro. Then making enough money is the point.

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