circular saw

Table Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which is best for Woodworking?

Two benchmark tools in the woodworking world – the table saw and the circular saw.

Because they serve such a similar role within one’s workshop – these two tools oftentimes leave woodworkers scratching their hard hats when trying to determine which one will best serve their needs.

Therefore, to save you the headache of going back and forth between these two saws, we’ve listed out some of the notable differences and similarities between each of these tools.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the mechanics of the circular saw.

The Circular Saw

The circular saw is a staple of almost anyone woodworkers’ workshop. It’s lightweight, easy to transport, and can handle just about anything you throw in front of it.

In fact, circular saws typically weigh less than 15 lbs. Therefore, if you’re someone that travels around a lot, or simply moves around from room to room, you may want to consider picking one of these up.

Furthermore, circular saws are fairly inexpensive. As mentioned by Woodwork Made Easy, circular saws are typically between the price range of $50-$150.

Related: best circular saws under $50

Related: best circular saw under $100

Related: best circular saws under  $200

This makes it a great choice for anyone trying to dip their toes into the world of woodworking. Spending $500 on a table saw may be a bit of a turn-off, especially not knowing exactly what you’re doing and whether you’ll enjoy the hobby. Therefore, a circular saw would probably be a good place to start.

On the other hand, circular saws can be a bit difficult to handle. You’re sort of free handling your cuts when using a circular saw.

You won’t have the same guidance as you would with a table saw.

This isn’t something that should change your opinion if you’re interested in purchasing a circular saw, but it is something to keep in mind. A few how-to videos on YouTube will definitely help you advance your skills when using a tool such as a circular saw.

Related: what is a circular saw?

Related: What is a circular saw base plate (shoe)?

Related: What is spindle lock on circular saw?

Related: Trim saw vs Framing saw: Types of portable circular saws

Related: Circular saw vs skill saw: What is the difference?

My recommended circular saw: PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, Heavy Duty Steel Shoe, 15-Amp (PCE300) is available on Amazon

Now that you know a little more about the circular saw, let’s check out the pros and cons of the table saw.

The Table Saw

The table saw is an excellent tool that will make woodworking a breeze! Although it’s a bit on the pricier side, table saws provide guidance that circular saws simply can’t match.

Rather than handling the saw yourself as you would with a circular saw – the saw on a table saw is built into the table. Therefore, making straight and consistent cuts is a lot easier.

All you have to do is adjust the saw to your specifications, and simply push the stock through the blade. Essentially, it does all the hard work for you!

Although table saws are user-friendly and extremely precise, they do have their downfalls. First of all, table saws are expensive. Don’t be surprised if you have to spend somewhere in the price range of $300-$1,000.

Furthermore, table saws don’t offer the same level of portability that circular saws offer. Although they have various types of table saws, the most portable type being the “jobsite table saw”, you’re still going to have to wheel around a 60 lb. piece of equipment.

A 10 lb. circular saw is definitely going to be easier to transport, as it’s much easier to carry and will easily fit into any type of vehicle.

My recommended table saw: DEWALT (DWE7491RS) 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity is available on Amazon.

Related: read reviews of contractor table saws in different price ranges.

Related: Benchtop vs Cabinet vs Contractor vs Hybrid: What Is the Difference in Table Saws?

Related: What is spindle lock on table saw? (arbor lock)

So, Which Type of Saw Should I Purchase?

The type of saw you decide to go with depends on your personal needs. If you’re just starting out and you want to dip your toes in the water, go with a circular saw. On the other hand, if you’re a little more experienced or you’re fully committed to the hobby of woodworking, go ahead and invest in a good table saw.
It’s also important to consider what kind of portability will work best for you. If you’re travelling around a lot, you may want to go with a circular saw – as you can easily throw it in the back of your car and go. If you have a truck or van, you could look into buying a jobsite table saw. They have wheels and they’re typically a bit lighter than a standard table saw.

Of course, price is obviously a factor to consider. As previously mentioned, table saws are much more expensive. Although they’re much more precise and generally easier to use, you’re going to have to spend a pretty penny on a good table saw. If money is no obstacle, I would highly recommend investing in a table saw. However, keep in mind, almost all professional woodworkers are going to have both of these saws. They will use them both in different situations. Sometimes, it makes more sense to use a circular saw. Other times, it’s a no-brainer that a table saw will handle the task more efficiently.

man using circular saw


Deciding between a table saw and circular saw can be a difficult decision to make. They’re both excellent tools that serve a similar role in a woodworker’s workshop. However, there are various factors to consider when telling these tools apart. Hopefully, with the use of this guide, you’re able to narrow down your decision a little further! Just remember to always stay safe when handling any type of saw – and of course, have fun!

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