You want the blade to enter the "good" side first, so
in the case of the TS, the blade is rotating down
into the table (so to speak). With a circular saw,
the blade rotates up from the bottom into the
So like Charlie said, you were right!
It might "hit" the bottom first, but it _cuts_ into the top side.
On a decent TS, it shouldn't matter (most times, most materials). If
you are seeing chipout, then the blade or the alignment isn't what it
You'll also find that a hand-held circular can give a much better cut
if you give it a decent blade. They're usually supplied with some
awfully coarse do-everything blade. Most of us though spend our time
slicing down plywood sheets on trestles, for which a finer blade will
give a much less splintered finish.
I work face up whenever possible. it means having your tools well
tuned up and having high quality, sharp blades, but I find I make less
stupid mistakes that way. sometimes you *have* to work face down, like
if the saw bevels the wrong way, but otherwise I avoid it.
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