Table Saw vs Handheld Saw

Table saws are the workhorses of wood shops. They come in various sizes and styles, but they all have one thing in common: they’re big, powerful, and dangerous. Handheld saws are the exact opposite. They’re small, lightweight, and easy to use.

So which is better? That depends on what you’re looking for. A table saw is a way to go if you need to cut large pieces of wood quickly and safely.

On the other hand, a handheld saw is the better choice if you need something more portable or easier to use for smaller projects.

Price Overview: Table Saw vs Handheld Saw

Table Saw Overview

Two types of saws can be used for cutting wood: a table saw, and a handheld saw. Table saws are stationary tools with a large, flat surface (the table) on which the wood is placed.

The blade of the saw is mounted underneath the table and protrudes up through a slot in the table. The operator uses both hands to guide the piece of wood being cut along the miter gauge, a device that helps keep the blade at a consistent angle relative to the table.

On the other hand, handheld saws are smaller tools that can be held in one hand while cutting. These saws do not have a large table; instead, they have either a small platform or no platform to place the wood.

The operator must use one hand to hold the tool and guide the blade while using the other hand to hold and stabilize the wood being cut.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of saws. Table saws are larger and more expensive than handheld saws, but they offer greater precision and control.

On the other hand, handheld saws are less expensive and easier to transport, but they can be more challenging to use because of their smaller size.

Table Saw Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages, and disadvantages to using a table saw over a handheld one. The following are a few of the benefits:

  • Table saws are more accurate than handheld saws, which is essential when cutting precise joinery or making other fine cuts.
  • They also offer more control over the cut since the workpiece is held down on a flat surface. This can be helpful when working with more extensive or longer pieces of wood.
  • Table saws typically have much more powerful motors than handheld saws, making them better suited for tougher cuts.

On the downside, table saws can be bulky and difficult to move around, especially if you need a dedicated workspace.

They also require more setup time than a handheld saw. And because they’re so powerful, they can be dangerous if not used properly.

Handheld Saw Overview

There are many different types of handheld saws, each with unique benefits. The most common type of handheld saw is the circular saw. Circular saws are great for making quick, clean cuts in various materials.

Another popular type of handheld saw is the reciprocating saw. Reciprocating saws make long, straight cuts in wood and other materials.

No matter what type of project you’re working on, a handheld saw can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular handheld saws on the market today.

Handheld Saw Advantages and Disadvantages

A handheld saw has a few key advantages over a table saw.

  • Firstly, a handheld saw is much more portable than a table saw and can be easily transported to different job sites.
  • Secondly, a handheld saw is typically much less expensive than a table saw.
  • Finally, a handheld saw can be used in tight spaces where a table saw would be challenging to maneuver.

However, some disadvantages come with using a handheld saw.

  • Firstly, it can be more challenging to get precise cuts with a handheld than with a table saw.
  • Secondly, because of their small size, handheld saw blades can heat up quickly and overheat if used for too long.

Key Differences Between Table Saws and Handheld Saws

The following are the key differences between Table Saws and Handheld Saws:

  • Table saws are stationary power tools that remain in one place while in use. On the other hand, handheld saws are portable and can be taken with you wherever you go.
  • Table saws typically have a larger cutting surface than handheld saws, making them ideal for larger projects. On the other hand, handheld saws are more compact and better suited for smaller projects or tight spaces.
  • Table saws usually come with a stand or table to rest the material being cut on, whereas handheld saws do not.
  • Another key difference between table saws and handheld saws is that table saws typically have rip fences (a horizontal bar that runs along the length of the blade) to help guide your cuts, whereas handheld saws do not. 
  • Finally, table saw blades are exposed when in use, which means there is a greater risk of injury if you’re not careful. With a handheld saw, the blade is hidden away when not in use, making it a safer option overall.

Which Saw Is Right for You?

There are many types of saws on the market, so it isn’t easy to decide which suits your needs. For example, a handheld saw might be a good option if you’re looking for a saw to use around the house for small projects. These saws are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for cutting through smaller pieces of wood.

A table saw might be a better option if you’re looking for a saw to use for larger projects or if you need more power and precision. These saws are heavier and require more setup, but they can handle more significant pieces of wood and make more precise cuts.

No matter what type of project you’re working on, there’s a saw out there that’s right for you. Finding the one that best suits your needs is just a matter of finding it.

Which Saw Is Better for Beginners?

There are a few things to consider when trying to answer the question of which saw is better for beginners. The first is the level of experience of the beginner. If someone has never used a saw before, they will probably want to start with a handheld saw.

These saws are typically smaller and lighter, making them easier to control. They also tend to be less expensive than table saws.

If the beginner has some experience with other power tools or wants to get into more serious woodworking, a table saw might be a better option.

Table saws can handle more significant pieces of wood and make more precise cuts than handheld saws. They can be more expensive, but they can also be worth the investment if the beginner is serious about woodworking.


This article helped you understand the differences between a table saw and a handheld saw. A handheld saw is the best option if you’re looking for portability and convenience.

However, a table saw is a way to go if you need precision and power. Whichever type of saw you choose, make sure you take the time to learn how to use it properly and always wear safety gear when operating it.

Read Also: Table Saw Vs Circular Saw

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