Photo: Anastassios Mentis
If you're frustrated with the clumsiness and lack of accuracy of a circular saw in ripping material (cutting it to width along the board's length) and in trimming small pieces, you may want to consider a bench-top table saw. These little machines can crosscut, rip, miter, and bevel anything from 1x material to 4x4s smack on the layout line, and they store away easily when you're done. The best part is you can see what you're doing because the machine sits still while you feed it the wood.

A bench-top saw is not as accurate as a larger and more expensive contractor's saw or stationary shop saw, and it struggles a bit more with thick pieces of lumber. But most models are tough and accurate enough to handle typical home repairs or renovation work, especially when you get into the more expensive machines. Turn the page to learn what to look for in a table saw and which saw is right for you, as well as some helpful techniques from This Old House master carpenter Norm Abram.

Ask TOH users about Power Tools

Contribute to This Story Below