Table Saw Vs. Circular Saw: Which One Do You Need More?

The table saw and the circular saw are probably the most popular tools that any woodworker would need for most of his project. Also if you start building your tool collection, these are the tools that you should consider buying first and foremost. For many people, the choice of table saw vs circular saw is quite simple. They would go for a circular saw and think that they wouldn’t need to buy a table saw.

But does it as simple as that? Well, it is worth knowing that each woodworking tool is designed to do a specific task. They simply couldn’t interchangeable or replaceable. That is the reason why, for a specific task, you need to find the most suitable tool. Only when you are able to do so, you can finish your woodworking project efficiently, easily, and quickly.

So if you are considering between 2 types of tools- the table saw and the circular saw, don’t quickly come to your own decision without any justification. Take a look at the short article below for the comparison with these two types if you want to make a more informed choice.


1. The Circular Saw: What You Can Do With It

There is a simple reason why the circular saw is popular.  It can do a lot of tasks. And it covers all of the tasks that table saw can do. It is powerful. It can work on a wide range of materials. And it is fairly easy to use in most of the cases. A circular saw is a handheld tool. As a result, you can easily pick up the tool and bring it to any place that you want.

But if it is that simple, there wouldn’t any hot debate between these tools. In fact, a circular saw needs to be powerful enough in order to cover all of the tasks that a table saw can do. In addition, you really need to know how to handle this tool correctly in order to perform all of these tasks including ripping lumber, lapping joints, and insetting boards. All you have to do is to adjust the proper depth for the cuts on the blade of the circular saw.

In addition, you need to know how to incorporate other tools so that you can perform your woodworking project with the most precise cuts. For example, if you want to have a precise 90-degree square cut, besides the circular saw, you should use a speed square. It is a guide to help you cut at the perfect angle. Or in case you want to rip board or cross cut in the straightest line, you should use a shooting board or a “rip-fence jig”.

It is worth mentioning that the there is a potential of jamming on the saw. As a result, it could lead to severe accidents. You need to pay a lot of attention when you handle this type of saw. Also, if you don’t pay attention to the functionality of the blades or so, your circular saw can be broken down easily, for no apparent reasons.

2. The Table Saw: What You Can Do With It

As I mentioned above, a circular saw can do many things. However, in some cases, it requires extra tools if you want to do a better job. A table saw can help you do these tasks without having to use extra tools. Also, if you are a beginner at DIY woodworking projects, it is easy for you to use the table saw as you don’t really need to have a steady hand to have precise cuts.  After all, with the help of the miter or the rip fence, it is harder for you to make mistakes rather than precise cuts. You have the guides to help you with moving the wood during the process of cutting. All you need to do is to pay attention to the angle of the cutting.

The tasks which can be done easily with the help of a table saw are cross cutting as well as ripping boards.

In addition, while the circular saw makes cutting a small piece of wood easier, a table saw is better when it comes to cutting larger objects. If your woodworking projects involve a lot of thick woods and slabs, a table saw proves to be a better tool.

3. Which Tool Is Better- The Table Saw Or The Circular Saw?

After reading the above parts, it can be concluded that a table saw and a circular saw are two different things. They have their own strengths and weaknesses.

A Circular Saw


The most significant feature of a circular saw is that it is more versatile than a table saw. You would be able to do most of the woodworking tasks with a circular saw. And not just that! You can use a circular saw to cut large pieces of wood, as long as you secure them with clamps.

While a table saw can be heavy and hard for you to move around, a circular saw allows you to use it anywhere. Also, you don’t have to have a lot of space in your working station in order to operate a table saw.

A circular saw would be cheaper than a table saw of the same quality and power. If you are on a budget, a circular saw is a more economical choice.


A circular saw would not be as helpful as a table saw, especially when you want to rip boards or make a straight cut. You need to learn quite a lot and have to have sufficient upper body strength in order to make precise cuts with this tool.

It also lacks reliability. You need to have proper knowledge in handling this tool to prevent yourself from getting hurt during the process of cutting wood.

Another thing that you might not like about a circular saw that I didn’t mention above is about the sawdust disposal. When using a circular saw, sawdust will fly off everywhere, especially when you have to change the angle of the cutting. You have to clean up after cutting wood. Not to mention that these pieces of sawdust flying everywhere can cause troubles to your eyes as well as your respiratory system. (Hence, always wear your protective equipment before working)

4. Final Verdict

So now you know all about the circular saw and the table saw as well as what they can do and what they cannot do. In my opinion, if you start to build a workshop on your own, you should invest in a circular saw first. It is quite cheap and functional, so it makes the perfect sense to have it as your essential tool. It is versatile, flexible and cheap. However, keep in mind that circular saws are not so durable tools. Hence, you need to replace these types of tools every now and then.

And if you start working on your projects, having troubles with ripping, cutting off with straight cuts and cutting compounds not so precisely, you can think about buying a table saw. And if most of your woodworking projects involve ripping boards and cutting straight lines, you can think about buying a table saw. It is not as versatile, flexible, nor cheap. However, it can help to make smooth and precise cuts.

Most of the famous brands such as Bosch and DEWALT offer both models of table saws and circular saws with decent qualities, prices, and durability for your consideration.

I hope that with all of the information above, you would be able to understand the hotly debated questions regarding the table saw and the circular saw. Now you will know which woodworking tool is better, when you should use the circular saw and when you should use the table saw. With your knowledge about the pros and cons of each tool, you can choose the right tool for the right project and finish your woodworking project easily and efficiently.

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