Best Type of Saw for a beginner

Beginner woodworkers often ask me – what’s the best type of saw to get started? The truth  is, that it depends. There are thousands of woodworkers around the world who approach their work differently, so there’s thousands of different opinions on which kind of saw is the best. Then there are marketers, who want you to believe that you have to have certain tool. That’s a bold lie, either. Woodworking tools are interchangeable and you can get by without having one of them, as long as you have others. I will express my opinion and try to defend it today, but by no means am i suggesting that it is universal truth. But enough about me, let’s dive in. So you have a project that you’d like to complete, let’s assume that it is simple piece of furniture. Depending on the budget, you have few different options.

If you have high budget, your obvious choice would be the table saw. It is more versatile and powerful than any other saws out there, and it’s just perfect all around. Probably every woodworker out there will agree that table saw is the most useful tool. But it is also expensive and pretty dangerous. Of course, there are few safety checks, but still a disadvantage. On the other hand, if you are on tight budget, there’s another reigning champion of tools – circular saw. They are much cheaper than table saws, and just as functional. Although, you may need more time to get the same project done, according to this one tutorial i read about choosing a mini circular saw. Circular saws are just as capable as table saws in terms of functionality, but there’s also learning curve. Some advanced tasks are just too difficult to complete on straightforward circular saw, so people choose table saws instead. But if your budget allows it, the combination of the two is definitely best option.

A lot of people, including self proclaimed gurus will say that circular saws can’t be used for doing the same jobs that table saws do, but i don’t think so. It’s just much harder and requires higher level of expertise, so if you’re just a beginner, your best bet is to get both, or give up on that complicated projects. If you’re beginner, you should start small and easy anyway.  If you insist on having perfectly precise cuts, and have never used circular saw before, definitely go for the table one. You can find used for around two hundred dollars, and that’s pretty good deal. I would be looking for good deals on craigslist. Plus, when you’re using circular saw, just expertise and experience won’t cut it. You’ll need few additional tools for it to be as effective as table saw. But for cheapskates like myself, i’d definitely recommend circular saw. It’s very functional for the price and you just can’t go wrong with nice worm drive saw.

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