Unpopular Opinions

Is building a custom-made table saw worth the effort?

DIY and home improvement is becoming more and more popular every day, and i think it’s because of websites like Pinterest and Houzz.com. Working with power tools and creating beautiful pieces of furniture has been my hobby since 2006, the year i got my first circular saw. I now have a lot more diversified set of tools that i know when and how to use, but it’s not always been that way. I’ve tried luck in building my own table saws as well, but miserably failed. Anyway, the point i’m trying to make is that even if you try to build a table saw, make sure to replicate all the safety measures that professional table saws have. But i don’t even think building table saw by yourself is worth the effort and money. Sure, table saws are expensive and you can put together a table saw-like tool for very cheap, but only if you’re an expert. In case you’re an amateur, just like i was, i don’t even recommend that you try, as it’s a waste of time. Unless, of course, you enjoy the process of putting it together, then it might be somewhat justified, but using it will still be very dangerous.

 If you’re forced to do it yourself because of small budget, consider getting portable table saws. They’re very functional and don’t cost that much – few hundred dollars at most. Also, take a look at this article that reviews all decent table saws under 500.

There are a lot of YouTube tutorials about building custom table saws by yourself. And as an experienced table saw user, that makes me quite concerned, because i know consequences of table saw accidents, which are mostly caused by installations that are not properly done. I love building custom tools myself, but i think table saws are something that average joe should not mess around with. One slightest mistake and you could end up losing one of your fingers, or even more. I think it’s especially unnecessary, considering manufacturers are coming up with great tools to protect the user as much as they can. You might not be able to afford new table saw, but do you really need it? With proper tools and knowledge, most of the time, you can use circular saw to do the same job. Plus, if it’s saving money that you’re after, consider buying smaller table saws, which are as functional as big ones. You can get them for even less if you buy them used.

 And after watching some of those videos, your custom table saw won’t cut that precisely either. It might work at first, but the results will be very mediocre. Just remember that you can’t put a price tag on your safety, therefore hundred dollars is not worth even slightest chance of accident.