List Of 19 Awesome Table Saw Alternatives!

Table saws are one of the most versatile and commonly used power tools for woodworking. However, they also come with their fair share of dangers and downsides. From kickback injuries to replacing worn-out parts, table saw ownership requires vigilance and proper safety protocols.

For many hobbyist or professional woodworkers, a table saw may not make sense for their needs or shop space. Luckily, there are several table saw alternatives that can handle ripping, cross-cutting, dados, rabbets, and other functions normally done on a table saw. While no single tool replicates all table saw abilities, exploring alternatives allows you to find the right complement of tools for your woodworking.

1. Circular Saws

One of the most direct table saw replacements is a good circular saw. Often called “skil saws” after the popular Skilsaw brand, circular saws are portable and easy to use for breaking down sheet goods, cross-cuts, rips, and more.

With the right blades, circular saws can even achieve cuts nearly as precise as a table saw. Choose a worm drive circular saw like the Skilsaw Mag 77 or a lighter sidewinder saw like the Makita 5007MG. Fit them with a quality Diablo or Freud blade to get clean, splinter-free cuts.

Benefits of circular saws:

  • Portable and compact
  • Excellent for breaking down plywood and dimensional lumber
  • Fraction of the price of a table saw
  • Easy to use with straightedge clamps as makeshift fences
  • Safer than table saws for many operations

Downsides of circular saws:

  • Not as precise as table saws for jobsite accuracy
  • Requires more skill to get straight rip cuts
  • Can’t handle dado stacks or molding head cutters

For many home DIYers and professionals, a good circular saw can replace 90% of table saw functions.

2. Track Saws

Track saws take the circular saw to the next level of accuracy. They feature a circular saw mounted on a guide track that ensures flawlessly straight cuts. Popular options like the Festool TS 55, Makita SP6000J1, and DeWalt DCS520T1 offer superb precision and ease of use.

Benefits of track saws:

  • Extremely straight and accurate cuts
  • Portable and easy to use on sheet goods
  • Plunge feature allows interior cuts like pocket holes
  • Guide rails extend for full sheets or collapse for portability
  • Available in corded and cordless battery-powered models

Downsides of track saws:

  • Requires purchasing separate guide rails
  • More limited cutting width capacity
  • Can’t do dado stacks or molding head cutters
  • Higher cost than circular saws

For finish carpentry, cabinetry, and furniture-making, a quality track saw is hard to beat for combining portability and table saw-like accuracy. Often called “the other table saw” by experienced carpenters, they are highly recommended table saw alternatives.

3. Miter Saws

The classic miter saw is an underrated table saw alternative for hobbyists. Basic miter saws start around $100, cut up to 45-50° miter angles, and require little space in a shop. With the right technique, you can achieve straight, square crosscuts only 1/32″ off of perfect.

For home DIY projects, trim carpentry, or cabinetry, a miter saw and circular saw combo handles many key table saw tasks. Miter saws also provide angled cutting versatility no table saw can match.

Benefits of miter saws:

  • Extremely quick, accurate cross cuts
  • Compact size takes minimal shop space
  • Much safer than table saws
  • Affordable starting prices, even for 12″ models
  • Easy angled cutting versatility

Downsides of miter saws:

  • Limited rip cut capacity, usually less than 8 inches
  • Not designed for dados and rabbets
  • No grooving abilities
  • Can’t handle full sheets well

For small home shops or DIYers, a good miter saw can remove the need for a table saw for cross-cutting tasks.

4. Compound Miter Saws

Stepping up from a basic miter saw brings you into the world of sliding and compound miter saws. These add sliding rails for extended crosscut capacity, along with compound angles for cutting bevels and complex angles.

Top brands like DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee sell excellent 12″ sliding compound miter saws from $400-$800. Many finish carpenters opt for a 10″ sliding compound miter saw for ultimate portability and functionality.

Benefits of compound miter saws:

  • Increased cutting widths, up to 16″ on a 12″ saw
  • Compound angles expand cutting versatility
  • Quick and accurate for picture frames, trim, molding and more
  • Sliding function helps saw longer boards and sheet goods

Downsides of compound miter saws:

  • Significant investment over basic miter saws
  • Less commonly used compound angle adjustments
  • Limited dado abilities compared to a table saw

For DIYers or professionals focused especially on finish carpentry and complex angle cutting, sliding compound miter saws provide impressive cutting capacities similar to a table saw.

5. Panel Saws

Panel saws are an interesting middle ground between track saws and table saws. Just as the name implies, they are designed especially for breaking down and ripping sheet goods and panels.

Top options from Festool and Makita feature portable saws with guide rails for sheet goods cutting. The saws ride on bearings or rollers on a rail for straight cuts, similar to a track saw. However, the wider rails allow ripping full 4×8 sheets unlike typical track saws.

Benefits of panel saws:

  • Portable saw for easy use anywhere
  • Wide guide rail capacities of 50″-80″
  • Excellent for breaking down and ripping sheets
  • Close to table saw precision for sheets and panels
  • Significantly safer to use than table saws

Downsides of panel saws:

  • Very high cost of $1000+
  • Limited versatility beyond sheet goods
  • Can’t do dado stacks or molding heads
  • Not meant for general purpose ripping

For a portable saw focused on sheet goods, panel saws bring an excellent blend of power, cutting width, and table saw-like accuracy. However, the premium price makes them prohibitively expensive for many.

6. Benchtop Table Saws

Cheap benchtop table saws are tempting for DIYers with their low prices and wide range of table saw functions. Models from Skilsaw, Delta, Wen, Ryobi, and other brands sell for $200 or less. Don’t expect industrial-level fit and finish, but they can handle rip cuts, cross cuts, dadoes, rabbets, and more.

The biggest trade-off is capacity, with rip capacities of only 22-24″ on many portable table saws. But upgrading to a folding stand can help you handle larger material. For casual hobbyists, a benchtop table saw can be a versatile addition to the garage on a budget.

Benefits of benchtop table saws:

  • Very affordable starting prices
  • Small sizes good for small shops and garages
  • Folding stands available for capacity boost
  • Provide the full range of table saw functions
  • More power than typical circular saws

Downsides of benchtop table saws:

  • Very limited rip capacity compared to full-size saws
  • Less fit, finish and overall quality
  • Not built for constant professional use
  • Questionable safety and precision

Benchtop table saws strike a great value balance but require accepting significant trade-offs in cutting capacity and long-term durability.

7. Jobsite Table Saws

Contractors and professionals needing portable jobsite use should consider table saws built for portability. Brands like DeWalt, Bosch, and Makita make jobsite table saws with collapsible stands, wheeled carts, and decent power and precision.

These saws fold up compactly for transport in trucks and tool trailers. Their lighter weights between 50-90 lbs are manageable for one person to move around. Though capacities top out around 24″ ripping, these portable table saws represent the best blend of power and portability in the table saw world.

Benefits of jobsite table saws:

  • Built expressly for portability
  • Wheeled carts and collapsible stands
  • Ripping capacities of 20″ to 25″
  • Powerful 15 amp motors standard
  • High-end fit and finish for daily professional use

Downsides of jobsite table saws:

  • Higher prices than benchtop saws
  • Lacks capacity for shelving and wide stock
  • Still large and heavy compared to track saws
  • May sacrifice precision for portability

Professional carpenters and contractors should choose jobsite table saws if they require portable table saw power and capacity for daily use. DIYers can also benefit from their balances of quality, capacity, and mobility.

8. Cabinet Table Saws

For professional woodworkers doing constant table saw work, cabinet table saws represent the gold standard for power, cutting capacity, and precision. Saw weights from 300-600 lbs and belt-driven induction motors of 3-5HP provide industrial strength cutting.

Large cast iron surfaces and cabinet-mounted trunnions create a vibration-free environment for the cleanest cuts. Cabinet saws also boast large rip capacities up to 30″ or more and accept dado stacks up to 1/2″ wide. They are built to handle constant daily use over years.

Brands like Powermatic, SawStop, and Laguna sell high-end cabinet saws. Consider adding a router table extension wing to maximize the saw’s versatility in your shop.

Benefits of cabinet table saws:

  • Industrial cutting power up to 5HP
  • Heavy weight and mass for vibration-free operation
  • 30″ or larger ripping capacity
  • Cabinet mounted trunnions for precision
  • Built for constant professional use

Downsides of cabinet table saws:

  • Large footprint requiring significant shop space
  • Very high prices, $2,000-$5,000
  • Heavy and extremely difficult to relocate
  • Potential overkill for hobbyists

For professional shops producing high volumes of work, a premium cabinet table saw is the best stationary saw money can buy. The power and precision make them incomparable for fine woodworking and carpentry.

9. Hybrid Table Saws

Splitting the difference between contractor saws and cabinet saws are “hybrid” table saws. They blend professional power and capacities with lower weights and prices accessible to serious hobbyists.

Saws like the Ridgid R4520 and Grizzly G0715P offer cabinet mounted trunnions and 3-5HP motors starting around $1,000. They’re built for frequent use with nice fit and finish. While not as heavy duty as full cabinet saws, they provide significant “quasi-industrial” cutting abilities.

Benefits of hybrid table saws:

  • Better power and capacities than jobsite saws
  • Precision from cabinet mounted trunnions
  • Fit and finish for frequent use
  • Costs accessible to home woodworkers
  • Excellent middle ground choice

Downsides of hybrid table saws:

  • Less capacity than full cabinet saws
  • May lack power for thick hardwoods
  • Weigh 200-300 lbs, not easily portable
  • Pricier than portable saws

For passionate hobbyists or semi-pros, hybrid table saws hit a great sweet spot between price, power, precision and capacity. They can serve as a lifetime saw for home shops.

10. Radial Arm Saws

Once upon a time, radial arm saws were a staple of home workshops. Their overhead arm allowed effortless crosscuts across a range of materials and sizes. Compound miter capacities also simplified angled cuts.

While radial arms saws faded with the rise of miter and chop saws, they still work excellently for long crosscutting tasks. Vintage and used radial arm saws are widely available at low prices. With care and patience getting an older saw tuned up, they provide great table saw support on a budget.

Benefits of radial arm saws:

  • Excels at long, wide crosscuts
  • Miter and compound cutting versatility
  • Large total cutting capacity
  • Affordable used prices, often under $200
  • Classic tool with vintage appeal

Downsides of radial arm saws:

  • Used models take restoration work
  • Limited ripping abilities
  • Big footprint in small shops
  • Perceived safety risks

Radial arm saws deserve a revived place in home shops needing an overhead saw for big crosscuts. They complement table saws while avoiding competition for space.

11. Reciprocating Saws

Oscillating reciprocating saws aren’t precision saws, but their unmatched versatility makes them problem-solving heroes. With pruning, demolition, and metal-cutting blades, “recip” saws can tackle any material quickly.

Basic corded models start under $50. Cordless saws from Milwaukee, DeWalt, and others provide power and portability. While you may still need other saw types for fine cuts, a good reciprocating saw can save the day on dirty demolition, scrubby landscaping, and metal fabrication jobs.

Benefits of reciprocating saws:

  • Aggressive cutting power
  • Versatility for all materials
  • affordable prices, even for cordless
  • Portability for use anywhere
  • Timesaver for demolition and alterations

Downsides of reciprocating saws:

  • Very rough, imprecise cuts
  • Unsafe for delicate materials
  • Not for finished woodworking

Recip saws are must-have problem solvers for any tool collection needing aggressive cutting versatility beyond normal saw precision.

12. Chops Saws

Chops saws or cut-off saws excel at slicing metal, plastic, and light wood stock to length. Their compact sizes and abrasive composite blades make them the go-to for plumbers, electricians, metal workers, and fabrication shops.

Affordable 14″ models with fast cutting speeds make chop saws versatile. Their vice-like clamps hold material securely for straight cuts even on small pieces. Safety guards and easy blade changes maintain safe, efficient operation.

Benefits of chops saws:

  • Fast precise cuts in light metal and wood
  • Small size perfect for rental shops and garages
  • Low cost versus metal band saws
  • Clean cuts without sharp burs and edges
  • Easy blade changes for various materials

Downsides of chops saws:

  • Limited capacities below 4×4″ wood
  • Not meant for precision woodworking
  • Quick blade wear cutting metal and masonry
  • Limited usefulness outside fabrication work

For anyone cutting a lot of small dimensional lumber, pipe, tubing, etc, a chops saw is indispensable. The affordability and simplicity perfectly fit fabrication shops and work trucks.

13. Scroll Saws

Delicate woodworking like fretwork, marquetry, and puzzles require a scroll saw. The ultra-thin blades and gentle cutting action prevent tearing on intricate patterns. Variable speed control with a foot pedal allows following lines precisely.

Top brands like DeWalt, Delta, and Wen offer 16″ and 20″ scroll saws with quality construction and features. Don’t expect aggressive cutting pace, but scroll saws enable projects like yard art, jigsaw puzzles, toys, and decorative surfaces impossible on other saws. Patience and technique combine with this specialized tool.

Benefits of scroll saws:

  • Delicate, intricate cutting abilities
  • Low vibration for ultra-fine work
  • Variable speed foot pedal control
  • Coping abilities for inside cuts
  • Essential for fretwork and marquetry

Downsides of scroll saws:

  • Very slow cutting speeds
  • Limited usefulness outside scrolling
  • Thin blades subject to frequent breaks
  • Challenging learning curve for novices

Scroll saws open up creative, delicate cutting outside the ranges of standard saws. The specialty tool suits dedicated scrolling enthusiasts.

14. Oscillating Multi-Tools

Oscillating multi-tools don’t replace full-size saws, but their speed and convenience complete many DIY jobs. The narrow, vibrating triangular blade fits flush in tight spaces other saws can’t reach.

Affordable corded and cordless models help tackle flooring removal, flush cutting, plunge cuts, detail sanding, grout removal, and quick scraping jobs. The versatile head accepts saws, sanders, scrapers, polishers and more. Top brands include Fein, Rockwell, and DeWalt.

Benefits of multi-tools:

  • Flush cutting excels in tight spaces
  • Rapid scraping and sanding abilities
  • Simple plunge cuts like pocket holes
  • Speed on small jobs
  • Versatile heads for sawing, sanding, scraping

Downsides of multi-tools:

  • Very short blade limits capacities
  • Can’t compete with full saws for big cuts
  • Creates much debris and dust
  • Excels more at finishing than true sawing

For quick detail cuts and renovations in awkward spots, multi-tools are magic. They complement full-size saws without significant overlap.

15. Handsaws

Unplugged handsaws seem antiquated alongside power saws, but they still serve woodworkers effectively. High-quality handsaws like Japanese pull saws offer precision power saws struggle to match. Portability and quiet use make them ideal for camping, worksites, and remote areas.

With experience, hand tool experts can break down lumber and execute joints with stunning skill just using handsaws, planes, and chisels. While slower than machines, this handsaw technique deeply connects woodworkers to their materials and craft. Combining hand and power saws gives the best of both worlds.

Benefits of handsaws:

  • Precision cutting exceeding power saws
  • Portability for remote work
  • Quiet for use anywhere
  • Satisfaction of hand tool woodworking
  • Low cost for multiple saws

Downsides of handsaws:

  • Very slow and laborious for volume cuts
  • Difficult to cut thicker/harder wood
  • Challenging techniques to master
  • Not practical for high production
  • Requires combination with power saws

Handsaws maintain relevance through their portability, economy, and cutting finesse. While power saws dominate overall, handsaws still claim specialty precision advantages.

16. Coping Saws

Coping saws feature thin, narrow blades held in a deep H-shaped frame for detail cutting. The shape allows scooping out interior cutouts like jigsaw puzzle pieces, fretwork, or scrollwork. Affordable coping saws give hobbyists precision options beyond power jigsaws and scrolls saws.

Benefits of coping saws:

  • Delicate interior cutout ability
  • Cheap cost for hobbyists
  • Cut turns and curves power saws can’t
  • Quiet for use anywhere
  • Faster than scroll saws

Downsides of coping saws:

  • Very limited thickness capacities
  • Hand fatigue using extensively
  • Challenging narrow blade to control
  • Slower than power jigsaws overall

Coping saws bring scrolling and curves to hand tool cutting. They tackle light hobby cuts bandsaws and jigsaws would struggle with. The adjusting frames boosts their versatility.

17. Bowsaws

No outdoor tool selection is complete without a bow saw. Their vintage-looking triangular frames and wide blades zip through green wood and scrubby limbs with ease. The aggressive teeth cut branches up to 6″ thick.

Bowsaw frames come in rigid metal and foldable wood for portability. The inexpensive saw excels at quick rough cutting and pruning jobs. The wide blade clears cuts to avoid binding.

Benefits of bowsaws:

  • Aggressive cutting of green wood and shrubbery
  • Low cost for homeowners and outdoorsmen
  • Handles branch cuts up to 6″ thick
  • Folding models for easy transportation
  • Vintage style pleasing to traditionalists

Downsides of bowsaws:

  • Very rough cuts with tearout
  • Not for finished carpentry
  • Limited use outside land clearing
  • Fatiguing over extended use

If you need an affordable saw for backcountry logging, property management, or homesteading, a bowsaw is the ticket. Their uniqueness also appeals to woodworkers valuing heritage tools.

18. Backsaws

In centuries past, backsaws were vital companions to miter boxes for fine joinery and carpentry. The stiff metal spines and precisely set teeth prevented buckling and tearing on miters and framing cuts. Today, backsaws still excel for ultra-smooth crosscuts.

Models like the Veritas Dovetail Saw and Bad Axe Saw feature precision-filed rip or crosscut teeth. Quality craftsmanship makes them joys to use on fine furniture joints. Backsaws also teach proper saw technique thanks to the focus required using their short blades.

Benefits of backsaws:

  • Provide extremely smooth, clean cuts
  • Allows precise short strokes
  • Made for accurate joinery and miters
  • Training tools for proper saw skills
  • Timeless designs treasured by woodworkers

Downsides of backsaws:

  • Normally limited to under 12″ lengths
  • Require skill development to use well
  • Niche tool beyond general carpentry
  • Slower than powered miter and chop saws

While backsaws demand respect and skill to use well, they still earn places in modern shops appreciating history and precision.

19. Two-Man Crosscut Saws

Vintage timber harvesting relied heavily on muscle-powered crosscut saws before chainsaws. Today, two-man saws remain useful for selective logging work minimizing machinery. They also appeal to traditionalist woodworkers and preppers desiring manual self-sufficiency.

Far from primitive, new crosscut saws like the Silky Bigboy 2000 utilize advanced tooth geometry for faster, easier sawing than antique designs. While sweaty work reserved for two-person teams, crosscut saws fell substantial timber with impressive efficiency. The workout challenges old-school lumberjacks.

Benefits of two-man crosscut saws:

  • Fells trees and processes lumber manually
  • Allows low-impact selective harvesting
  • Great workout and teamwork activity
  • Prepper/homesteader skill and tool
  • Maintains antique lumberjacking traditions

Downsides of two-man crosscut saws:

  • Very exhausting work over extended use
  • Require 2+ person teams
  • Not for high-production forestry
  • Niche use in modern times
  • Challenging to master technique

Two-man crosscut saws will only see occasional use by niche hobbyists and enthusiasts. But their uniqueness keeps lumberjack history alive for DIYers seeking total hands-on self-sufficiency.

Final Thoughts

Table saws deserve their central place in most shops. However, they carry a premium price along with significant safety risks and operating expenses. Taking time to explore alternatives offers several benefits:

  • Saving money over table saws
  • Adding specialty cutting abilities
  • Increased safety
  • Portability
  • More creative problem solving

With an adjustable radial arm saw, track saw, circular saw, and jigsaw, you can tackle about 90% of typical table saw jobs safely. Combining smart technique with the right tools gives all the cutting capacity you need without the risks and burdens owning consumer or cabinet saws.

Everyone’s needs differ, but analyzing your Expected projects and ideal workflows should expose capable alternatives to standard table saws. Building a customized cutting toolkit saves money while boosting safety and creativity. Table saws will continue dominating woodworking, but they should not be viewed as indispensable shop equipment given the excellent alternatives available today.