People serious about carpentry and DIY projects know that it is important to have different types of saw. Each of the different type of table saw can provide important contributions to any project. However, it can be expensive—not to mention impractical—to have every type of saw. In comes the hybrid table saw. This saw combines the high-powered nature of the cabinet saw with the convenience of contractor saws. Interested? Read on to find about more about the hybrid table saw and our picks for the best hybrid table saw available in 2018.
What is a table saw?
Before we discuss the hybrid table saw specifically, we need to talk about what a table saw actually is. For most serious contractors, carpenters, and DIY workmen, this will be repeat information. But, if you are looking for your very first table saw, here is what you need to know.
A table saw is a circular saw—meaning the blade of the saw is shaped in a circle—that is put on a table or bench. The saw blade of the appliance fits through a slot in the table or bench when it is used for cutting. The motor of a table saw is usually electric and can be driven by a belt or gears.
The circular saw has been around in the United States for a long time. The first known patent for one was issued in 1777, before the American Revolution was even over! In Europe the circular saw is even older, there are records of them in Holland in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first known circular table saw in the United States appears in an 1885 W. F. & John Barnes Co. catalog.
With such a long history it is no wonder that there are many different types of table saws on the market. Each type has pros and cons. So, before we discuss hybrid table saw in more detail, let’s look at your other table saw options.
Different types of table saws
There are many different types of table saw s for you to choose from. We will discuss the hybrid table saw in its own section below, but here are some other types of table saws for you to choose from.
Contractor saws will also be called open-stand saws and were built to be portable enough to bring to a job. In order to accomplish the goal of portability while not sacrificing performance, they are fairly large, often have wheels, and use a 1-2 horsepower (hp) motor. Contractor saw are heavier than benchtop saws but weigh significantly less than cabinet saws. When used in the home, these types of saws do not require new circuitry.
Cabinet saws are what you used to see in factories. They are big, heavy, and are not designed to move. They are typified by their enclosed base and 3-5 hp motors (5-7.5 hp motors are common for cabinet saws in factories). If you want to use a cabinet saw in your home, you will need to install a heavy-duty circuit, usually at least a 240 volt receptible. Because cabinet saws are heavier, they have less vibration and are more durable than contractor saws. They also usually have better dust collection.
These are the lightest full-sized table saws that you can purchase and are probably the most common type found in home garages. They usually have a universal motor, direct drive—thus, no belts or pulleys—and are generally compact in size. An additional pro for the benchtop table saw is that they are designed to be more affordable. However, they are less durable, can be hard to use, and create much more vibration than their contractor and cabinet counterparts.
Mini and Micro
These are the tiny table saws. They usually carry blades with only a 4-inch diameter or less. Obviously, mini and micro table saws will be significantly smaller than any of the full-sized saws. This means that they are only appropriate for cutting smaller pieces. These saws are most popular with hobbyists and model builders.
What is a hybrid table saw?
Our last type of table saw, and the topic of today’s article, is the hybrid table saw. Hybrid table saws are perfect for people who want the functioning power of the cabinet saw and the flexibility of the contractor saw. Hybrid saws are a relatively new occurrence in the table saw market. They tend to be more affordable than traditional cabinet saws but are still on the high side in terms of price.Most hybrid saws use an enclosed cabinet like cabinet saws, which provides increased dust collection. However, they are fairly light and often have wheels for movability like contractor saws. In general, hybrid saws have 1.5-2 hp motors and, so, do not require the installation of a heavy-duty circuit in a standard home.
How to choose a specific type of table saw
There are so many different types of table saws out there that is may be hard for you to choose between them. But, to do that, you just want to consider your wants and needs. Yes, you may want the most bad-assed table saw on the planet, but if you are planning on using it for the occasional cut of a two-by-four, then a cabinet saw may not be the best option.
In order to determine the type of table saw that you really need, we recommend making a list. Put on the list your budget, projects that you will need the table saw for, space, and power requirements.
Budget is probably the most important thing you should consider when purchasing a table saw. How much money you have to spend will determine the type of table saw that you can afford. This is a big purchase one way or the other, but if you don’t have thousands laying around for a table saw, some of the bigger options will be out of your reach.
How you will be using the saw also matters. As mentioned above, if you only plan on cutting small pieces of wood occasionally, then you do not need the bigger table saw options. If you are a carpenter or DIY enthusiast then a larger and more durable saw may be the best option for you.
Space should also be considered when purchasing a table saw. Some of the table saw options can be moved when being used, but they still need somewhere to stay. You definitely don’t want to leave these appliances outside, so make sure you have somewhere big enough to store this big purchase.
Weight can be important depending on the type of table saw you plan on buying. If you are purchasing a table saw that doesn’t move, then you only need to consider getting it into your workspace. However, benchtop, hybrid, and contractor saws all usually come with wheels or are light enough to be moved around. But, you should always check the weight of the product you are considering, just so you know that you can actually lift and move the table saw yourself.
What to look for in a hybrid table saw
If you’ve decided to buy a hybrid table saw, there are a few features and concerns that you need to keep in mind as you shop.
Power: When looking for a hybrid table saw, you need to be familiar with your own power requirements. Most hybrid motoes make 1.5 to 2 horsepower (hp) of power. But, you can find some hybrid saws with up to 5 hp. The more power a motor has, the more amps it needs to run. So, if you buy a model with high hp, then you may need to put in a special circuit in your home. Also, you don’t want to pay for power you don’t need. 1.5-2 hp will cover most projects just fine.
Size and Weight: In general, hybrid table saws are going to be larger and heavier than benchtop table saws, but lighter and more moveable than cabinet table saws. They are similar in size and weight to a contractor table saw. So, you need to make sure that you have the strength to move the saw around and a space to put it before you decide on a specific product.
Dust Collection: Hybrid saws are enclosed like cabinet saws, so their dust collection will be decent, since they have a dust collecting port. However, you should check on the size of that port because it varies from product to product. If it is too small, it could collect the dust much slower, which could hinder certain projects.
Safety features: Hybrid table saws do not have different safety features than other types of table saw. However, a few features should always be present whenever you buy a saw. These include anti-kickback, blade guard, and large on/off switch. You can also occasionally find products with protections for overload and thermal changes, but these are not standard.
Price: Finally, price, the category everyone wishes didn’t exist. Hybrid saws are on the middle of the table saw spectrum in terms of size. But, there is some variation, so make sure to purchase a hybrid table saw that falls within your budget.
Top Five Best Hybrid Table Saws 2018—Comparison table
Shop Fox W1819 10-Inch Table Saw with Riving Knife
#1 Editor’s Choice
40 in. x 45.5 in. x 62 in. (HxWxD)
Laguna Tools Fusion
20 in. x 27 in. x 34.5 in. (WxDxH)
Grizzly G0715P Polar Bear Series Hybrid Table Saw with Riving Knife
26 in. x 30 in. x 43 in.
Shop Fox W1837 Open-Stand Hybrid Table Saw
58 in. x 38 in. x 36 in.
Ridgid R4512 Cast Iron Table Saw
46.3 in. x 30.6 in. x 37.2 in.
Top Five Best Hybrid Table Saws 2018—Reviews
#1 Shop Fox W1819 10-Inch Table Saw with Riving Knife
Shop Fox is probably one of the most respected names in table saws. So, it makes sense that their W1819 10-Inch Table Saw with Riving Knife is our number one pick for top hybrid saw. Its motor can make 3 hp. It also has a magnetic switch with built in thermal overload protection for safety.
In all, the Shop Fox hybrid table saw will cut through any type of wood. It is also constructed out of quality materials and is a smaller size than the typical hybrid saw—so it will fit in smaller spaces. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the W1819 is 539 lbs., so will not be moved around easily.
#2 Laguna Tools Fusion
Laguna Tools Fusion hybrid saw has frame-mounted trunnions, a unique feature among hybrid saws. Most hybrid saws have trunnions on the tabletop. But, mounting the trunnions of the frame makes the Fusion more similar to a real cabinet table saw.The Fusion also has a mounted push stick and fence with a hairline readout. The frame of the Fusion has wheels, so it can be easily moved around. The wheels are a great addition, since the Fusion weighs anywhere from 266-349 lbs.
#3 Grizzly G0715P Polar Bear Series Hybrid Table Saw with Riving Knife
If you want a saw that’s as close to a cabinet saw as its possible to be, then Grizzly’s G0715P Polar Bear Series is the hybrid saw for you. It utilizes the dust control methods of a typical cabinet saw. It is also quite heavy (450 lbs.), so it will be hard to move around your workspace
But, the Polar Bear Series also has a 2 hp motor, so it can cut any piece of wood. It is also reportedly easy to assemble and is quiet and smooth to run. So, for your money, this is a great bet.
#4 Shop Fox W1837 Open-Stand Hybrid Table Saw
Shop Fox has another product on this list of the top hybrid table saws because of the quality of all of their products. You will get your money’s worth out of the W1837 Open-Stand Hybrid Table Saw. It employs 2 hp to cut through any wood. And, at 243 lbs., it is the lightest hybrid saw on our list.
The Shop Fox table saw W1837 also incorporates important safety features into its design. Most importantly, their blade guard assembly has a clear guard, spreader/riving knife, and anti-kickback pawls. What this means is that you can see you cut clearly without having to worry about wood flying or your hands getting caught in the assembly.
#5 Ridgid R4512 Cast Iron Table Saw
The motor on Ridgid’s R4512 Cast iron Table Saw is 13-amps and can make up to 3450 RPMS (revolution per minutes). This means that you will never have to worry about power with Ridgid’s product. It is also one of the most durable—because of the cast iron frame—and is one of the best budget hybrid table saws on our list.Finally, if you want a quiet saw with a stable cabinet construction, then this is the product for you. Nothing about the R4512 hybrid table saw sets it far above the competition, but there are no real downsides either. Essentially, this is an affordable and dependable bet.
Tips and tricks for caring for your hybrid table saw
A hybrid table saw is going to be a significant investment in your tool collection. So, you want to make sure that you treat it with care. You don’t want to have to repeat the purchase in a year or two because you didn’t help keep your hybrid table saw in its peak conditions. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your hybrid saw in tip-top condition.
Make sure to read the manual. This may seem like a less important step, but trust us, every saw a little bit different. The manual has super important information like how much power the saw needs, how to use the saw, and care instructions.
Set up the saw in a big enough location. You need enough room to store the saw and run material through it smoothly. Cramped spaces can cause injuries and damage to the machine.
Align the saw properly. Table saws are not properly aligned right out of their boxes. This makes it essential that you align the hybrid saw properly. Not only will this make it easy for you to cut accurately, but it will extend the life of your saw.
Lubricate and clean your saw regularly. Hybrid saws have a lot of inner parts. Periodically these will need to be lubricated to keep them moving smoothly. You will also want to clean the saw every time you use it to keep debris and dirt from building up near the blade.
Hybrid table saws can be a great option for many homeowners. If you want to buy a high-powered but still moveable and more affordable table saw, then this is the one for you. Keep in mind our top picks for the best hybrid table saws on the market and our buyer’s guide and you have a great head-start on your hybrid table saw purchase.