Lorraine Hart

What is the deepest cut possible with a table saw?


This depends on two factors. First is the geometry of the table saw. The relevant factors are the diameter of the blade, the diameter of the arbor flange and washer which clamp the blade on the arbor, and the amount of travel built into the blade raising mechanism. The common blade diameters for table saws are 10 and 12 inches. 10 inch is the standard on consumer type saws. 12 inch is available on commercial and industrial saws. The saw can only cut with the part of blade that sticks out beyond the arbor flange and washer. Arbor washers vary by manufacturer and are also available as aftermarket "blade stabilizers" to improve blade stiffness on a particular saw. On inexpensive saws they are stamped metal, on betters saws they are precision ground flat. The blade raising mechanism on most saws can raise the arbor until the flange almost touches the underside of the throat plate, which is usually about 1/8 inch thick. Generally speaking, a 10 inch table saw can cut slightly over 3" deep. A 12 inch saw will cut 4 inches deep. If you want to know how deep a particular saw can cut, you should check the manufacturer's specification sheet.

12 Inch Vs. 10 Inch Table Saw

The sizes 10 and 12 inches typically refer to blades in reference to table saws. But the designation also applies to differences in physical sizes, framework, power consumption and capabilities. For most weekend woodworkers, the 10-inch saw works fine. It's lighter than the 12-inch saw, which often has a heavier cast iron table. Most 10-inch saws run on 110 power supply which makes it easy to plug in wherever needed. The 12-inch saw typically requires 220 volts. If your garage or shop isn't wired for it, an electrician is required to install the outlet for you. The 10-inch saw is considerably less expensive than the 12-inch saw, with more options concerning style, affordability and availability. Most 12-inch saws are used more often industrially, while 10-inch machines are typically targeted at the consumer or small cabinet shop.

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