Table Saw Vs. Circular Saw

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Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional contractor, they saw space can get a bit confusing. Why are there so many saws out there, and which ones are most appropriate based on your needs?

As you get more familiar with the industry, it begins to seem less overwhelming, but there is still the need to compare different types to ensure you are making the most optimal choice based on your workload and workpieces.

The circular saw and table saw often fall in a comparative space, especially since both technically use round rotating blades. So, what are they and how do they differ? It’s time to dive into the good stuff!

Table Saw

The table saw is a good place to start. Essentially, it’s a stationary cutting option, since it’s characterized by a table with a circular saw affixed to a motor. The assembly is technically beneath the table, with the top section of the saw protruding out from the table’s surface. 

When you start the machine, the blade begins to rotate, and you push your workload towards the saw blade to get the cuts that you want. 

It’s an incredibly common tool, especially in the more professional world.

Circular Saw

the circular saw is just that. You have a flat rotational circular blade that you use to make your cuts. In this case, the tool is handheld, as opposed to being mounted within a table.

People who are more along the hobbyist side of the spectrum or those who need to move with their saws more frequently are more inclined to go for a circular saw.

Key Differences

Now, you understand what each of these saws does well. So, do you get a table saw or a circular saw? Hold on to that thought for a moment as you explore the differences to understand where each may shine.

Learning Curve

It can’t get much easier to use than the table saw. Remember that the blade is stationary because of its fixed position on the table. Therefore, you only need to worry about pushing the wood towards the saw.

It’s going to maintain its orientation without any human intervention.

The circular saw being a handheld unit means that you need to learn how to handle it safely and accurately enough to get the desired cuts.

Maintenance and Cleanup

As far as maintenance goes, your circular saw is not going to require too much from you. However, your table saw is a complex tool that has numerous components that require some level of maintenance for continuously smooth operations.

Post-work cleanup is way less difficult if you are using a table saw since you are not going to be getting sawdust everywhere. Most of it is going under the table, so once you have some dust collection mechanism under it, there is not much to worry about. 

The circular saw doesn’t have the same kind of orientation, which means there’s going to be sawdust everywhere. This is particularly disadvantageous if you are using a shared space. Even if not, it makes for a pain where cleaning is concerned.

Note that the maintenance requirement of your table saw, while a bit difficult, is offset by the typical longevity of these designs.

Read More:   Skil 3410-02 Table Saw Review: Excellent Features, Accurate Cuts, Self-Aligning Rip Fences


There’s not too much that needs to be said here, right? Simply put, your circular saw is portable while your table saw isn’t. It’s not impossible to move the table saw, but it would be highly inconvenient to do so.


Precision is a weird area to contrast. By default, the table saw gives more precise cuts. It’s stationary, and that static orientation determines the kind of accuracy that you get.

However, the circular saw is a bit more variable and depends on the capability of its user. If you have a professional with very steady hands in the equation, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that things can get just as precise with the circular saw. It’s just way less likely.

When to Choose Each

So, now you know what constitutes each saw type and where the differences lie. The only question now is when do you choose a circular saw and when do you choose a table saw?

If power and accuracy are important to you, then there is nothing like the table saw. On the flip side, if whatever you do means frequent moving around, then a circular saw is better since you need something on the more mobile side of the fence.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

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Itamar Ben Dor
Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.