Table Saw vs Circular Saw: Which Should You Get? (And Why)

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

If you are asking yourself this question you’re in the right place. It also means that you have some serious cutting to do but you can’t figure out which saw to get.

Since it is a capital investment, it is important to invest in a saw that you’ll use frequently, is easy to handle, and will give you the least hassle to maintain.

Generally, both saws will achieve the same cutting result. They both feature a circular blade for cutting and both can make rip cuts, crosscuts and miter cuts.

But, that is where the similarity ends because they both have different styles of operation. And unless you’re an experienced woodworker, it might be a little confusing to determine which one to go for.

This article will help you determine which one is the best for you.

Our top pick for the table saw is the Delta 36-5052 10-Inch Table Saw. It delivers the best performance because it comes with a Biesemeyer style fence system. This heavy-duty fence design is the standard for precision cutting, especially for a professional table saw.
If you’re considering a circular saw, we recommend the Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw. This saw is designed for professional use but also comes with features that enable a casual user to have an easier time handling and using it.

Table Saw vs Circular Saw: Our Reviews

ProductDetails
1. Delta 36-5052 10-Inch Table Saw

  • 15-Amp Induction Motor
  • 5/8" Arbor
  • 44" Table Height
  • 2.5" Dust Collection Port with 4" adapter
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2. Shop Fox W1819 10-Inch Table Saw

  • 3 HP motor with a triple belt drive
  • 5/8" 4300RPM Arbor
  • 34" Table Height
  • 4" dust collection port
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3. Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw

  • 15-Amp motor that delivers 5800 RPM
  • 56-degree bevel with positive stop at 22.5 and 45-degree
  • 10.6 lbs lightweight
  • Built-in LED lights and dust blower
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4. Skil 5280-01 Circular Saw

  • 15-Amp motor that delivers 5300 RPM
  • 51-degree bevel with a positive stop at 45-degree
  • 7.25-inch carbide tipped blade
  • Single Beam Laser
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1. Delta 36-5052 10-Inch Table Saw

The Delta 36-5052 10-Inch Table Saw is a contractor saw built for the professional woodworker and shop owner. It features a cabinet style base with in-built wheels for mobility and an RH extension table with support legs to keep the machine sturdy and straight.

The saw features a professional grade fence system designed in the Biesemeyer style with dual rip windows to provide accurate and reliable cuts.

It comes with a 15-Amp induction motor that operates quietly with minimal vibration. It’s blade brake stops the blade in seconds of the power being turned off and it allows for an easy and tool-less changeover.

Specs

  • SK5 steel blade
  • 180-degree rotating hand grip
  • Cuts up to 1/2-inch diameter
  • Four feet in length

Pros

  • Extension wings allow for a 52″ RH rip capacity
  • Heavy-duty Biesemeyer design fence system
  • Quick assembly cabinet style base
  • Tool-less assembly for the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls

Cons

  • Hard to read owners manual
  • Lightweight particle board extension table

The Delta 36-5052 table saw is designed for the professional contractor. Every part of the machine is made to be precise and to provide stability and durability of the machine.

Rating – 3.9/5

Delta Power Equipment Corporation is a manufacturer of power woodworking tools such as table saws, miter saws, jointers, and other woodworking tools.

The tools are designed for professional and experienced woodworkers who require precise and reliable equipment that deliver high-quality products.

Delta produces professional-grade table saws which include stationary tables saws and portable saws.

The table saws feature cast iron tables and extension wings that allow for stability with minimum vibrations, a heavy-duty Biesemeyer fence system, and a cabinet-style base. The saws come with in-built wheels for mobility and a 5-year warranty.

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2. Shop Fox W1819 10-Inch Table Saw

The Shop Fox W1819 10-Inch Table Saw features professional-grade construction for safe and reliable operation and durability. It features a precision-built cast iron table, extension wings, and trunnions.

It comes with a camlock T-fence and a miter fence with a flip stop that allows for making accurate cuts on longer workpieces.

The combined mass of the cast iron table and extension wings help to soak up the vibration produced by the mechanical parts of the saw. This keeps the saw stable and in calibration to give you accurate cuts.

Specs

  • 3 HP motor with a triple belt drive
  • 5/8″ 4300RPM Arbor
  • 34″ Table Height
  • 4″ dust collection port

Pros

  • Quick-release riving knife and clear polycarbonate guard to protect against kickback
  • Adjustable T-Slot miter gauge with anodized miter fence and flip stop
  • Wide-span cast iron T-fence with positive camlock and HDPE face
  • Angle adjustable 10″ carbide tipped blade
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Does not come with an arbor lock to assist in changing the blade
  • Inefficient dust collection

Shop Fox is one of the top manufacturers of woodworking equipment in America. They have built a strong brand known for producing the best value and quality machines for professional and DIY use.

The Shop Fox table saws are reliable and accurate which makes them a favorite choice for woodworking professionals.

Rating – 4.2/5

Shop Fox is a brand under Woodstock International Inc. and produces a line of woodworking and metalworking products. The brand was introduced into the market at the beginning of the century and has steadily grown into one of the top brands in the country.

Apart from table saws, Shop Fox produces several other types of specialized woodworking equipment for professional and DIY use.

The Shop Fox brand is built on a reputation of producing high quality and reliable stationary equipment at the best value. They feature professional-grade components that deliver reliable accuracy, stability, and performance for a good price.

They also boast of having an excellent customer service that has been developed over the years to make Shop Fox equipment the preferred choice for professionals and woodworking enthusiasts alike.

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3. Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw

The Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw features magnesium components that are designed to provide the least weight possible while allowing the saw to have balance and durability.

It comes with a 15-Amp industrial motor that provides more power for cutting dense lumber and structural panels used in construction projects.

The saw delivers 5800 RPM to cut through 2-1/2-inches. It performs bevel cuts at 56-degrees with positive stops at 22.5 and 45-degrees. It is also designed to be easy and comfortable to use with an ergonomic handle, ruler markings on the base, and LED illumination.

Specs

  • 15-Amp motor that delivers 5800 RPM
  • 56-degree bevel with positive stop at 22.5 and 45-degree
  • 6 lbs lightweight
  • Built-in LED lights and dust blower

Pros

  • Large clearance between the rear handle and blade guard for a better grip with gloves
  • Rubberized levels provide easy handling and adjustments
  • LED lights and dust blower allow for a clear working surface
  • Ergonomic hand grips for easy handling with less user fatigue
  • Ruler markings on the base to enhance the accuracy

Cons

  • The guideline is not clearly visible making it hard to keep the blade aligned to it.
  • Some blade guards get snagged and don’t ride up as you cut

Although this saw is designed for professional users, the design flaw on the blade guard may limit its efficiency when performing professional tasks. Beyond that, the saw delivers high performance, smooth cuts, and excellent service.

Rating – 4.8/5

Makita Corporation is a 100-year old company that is now a global brand with a strong presence in 40 countries worldwide. The company has 10-plants operating out of 8 countries that produce high quality and durable equipment for the professional user.

Makita’s products feature best-in-class products that have innovative design, power, and durability to deliver performance to job sites around the world.

Makita began as an electric motor sales and repair company and by 1970 it evolved into mass-producing power tools and a wide range range of outdoor power equipment.

The reliability of their products is driven by their strong R&D capabilities. This allows them to develop innovative solutions that deliver performance and efficiency that contractors and professional users require for their projects.

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4. Skil 5280-01 Circular Saw

The Skil 5280-01 Circular Saw is a lightweight corded saw that features a laser beam guide to help you make straight and accurate cuts.

It is powered by a 15-AMP motor that delivers 5300 RPM that allows for a cutting depth of 2-3/8 inches. And besides the laser guidance, this saw comes with an in-built dust blower that keeps the work surface clean and visible.

The 5280-01 is designed to use a 7.25-inch carbide tipped blade that is attached to a spindle lock system for easy replacement. It has a 51-degree bevel with a positive lock at 45-degrees.

Although it doesn’t feature an electric brake to stop the blade instantly, it does feature a guarded trigger that reduces the risk of the saw turning on by accident.

Specs

  • 15-Amp motor that delivers 5300 RPM
  • 51-degree bevel with a positive stop at 45-degree
  • 25-inch carbide tipped blade
  • Single Beam Laser

Pros

  • Spindle lock for easy blade changing
  • Reasonably priced for DIY projects
  • Has a laser guide beam to guide straight cuts
  • Features a guarded trigger to minimize accidental startup
  • Lightweight 6.95 lbs for easier handling with less fatigue
  • Features a wide footplate for stability while cutting

Cons

  • Lacks an electric brake
  • Performs only light-duty work

5280-01 is a light-duty circular saw that only works well for consumer use. It is also reasonably priced for occasional DIY projects.Its cord is 6-feet long which gives you some range of motion while cutting. Rating 4.6/5

Skil manufacturers high-quality power tools for casual DIY use. The tools are innovative and are built to professional-grade standards at a reasonable price.

The company has more than 90-years of experience in designing and manufacturing tools for any woodworking project that you need to accomplish.

Skil offers a high-performance battery to power up their tools. The battery systems are feature industry-leading innovations that give you more run time, longer battery life, and super-fast charging time.

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Table Saw vs Circular Saw Overview

Let’s break it down and look at the differences, uses, and advantages that each type of saw has to offer.

What Is A Table Saw

A table saw is a woodworking tool that features a circular blade mounted underneath a table. The blade is held by an arbor which is fixed on a gear system that raises and lowers the blade through a slot on the table.

The table saw is used to make rip cuts, cross cuts, the miter cut. You can add jigs to add versatility to your table saw.

Key Features to Look Out For

  • Most table saws feature an induction type motor with 1 HP- 5 HP power range. For heavy-duty work, a TEFC motor allows for continuous running and offers lower maintenance.
  • Cast iron tables with a .0005 ground to flatness tolerance range are preferable for precision. Table extension wings increase the working surface area and can be made of cast iron to increase the table mass for greater stability.
  • An accurate rip fence for better quality and precision of the cut.
  • A base mounted trunnion allows for easier alignment of the blade to the miter slot and the fence.

Pros

  • Makes more accurate cuts because the blade is fixed and once aligned with the fence, it makes precise and repeatable cuts
  • Is easier to use and doesn’t require an experienced hand to operate
  • Allows for dust collection which makes the working environment cleaner

Cons

  • Non-portable and requires workshop space to set up.
  • It requires you to lift the material to be cut on to the table
  • Has a higher safety risk than the circular and costs more to buy

Here is a video that shows the basics of how to use a table saw.

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a handheld electric saw that features a circular blade attached to an arbor. The saw is mostly used for DIY and construction jobs to cut wood, plastic, MDF, and other materials. Circular saws are compact and offer great mobility and versatility of different cuts.

Apart from rip cuts, crosscuts, miter, and bevel cuts, circular saws work with jigs and other attachments to make precise cuts for joinery and notching. The saws come with an adjustable base that can be adjusted for depth and to make 45-degree angled cuts.

There are generally two types of circular saws; the Worm Drive circular saw and the Sidewinder circular saw. The main difference between them is the placement of the motor relative to the blade.

Key Features to Look Out For

  • The power of the motor should be considered depending on the material that you want to cut and the frequency of use. Professional saws have a bigger motor that goes beyond 1700-watts.
  • You can choose between an electric brake system and a manual brake system. The electric brake stops the blade immediately and allows you to move quickly to the next cut. The manual brake system takes 5-7 seconds to stop the blade.
  • The type of blade depends on the material to be cut. The commonly used blades are tungsten carbide tipped.

Pros

  • Allows for easy mobility to cut the material away from the workshop
  • Can make a variety of cuts on a wider range of materials
  • More affordable to buy and maintain than the table saw

Cons

  • The accuracy of the cuts is dependent on the experience of the user
  • Less durable and requires more frequent maintenance than the table saw
  • It requires some experience to use
  • Does not allow for dust collection while working

Check out this video for some basic tips on how to use a circular saw.

Final Thoughts

The final decision comes down to one thing. Are you working out of a workshop or do you have various job sites that require a mobile saw? If you have a workshop you would probably have space to set up a table saw and if you don’t, a circular saw would be a better choice.

Our favorite table saw is the Delta 36-5052 10-Inch Table Saw. It is a compact tool that allows you to attach an extension table to increase the working surface to cut large pieces. It features professional-grade components to deliver precision and performance.

The Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw also allows you to cut large boards. It allows you to measure and cut your pieces on-site, a convenience that a professional contractor and woodworker will appreciate.

After assessing your needs, we hope this table saw vs circular saw review has given you all the details you need to pick the right tool to get the job done.

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