A comprehensive guide to help you understand benefits of a hybrid saw and helps you decide whether it deserves a place in your workshop.
One of the most advanced innovations in the Woodworking industry is the development of hybrid saws.
Power-tool manufacturers created hybrid saws by combining the best features of 3-hp cabinet table saws and 1-1/2-hp open-leg contractor saws.
The hybrid saws, in looks, are very similar to cabinet saws. The base is closed and because of that dust and noises, which generate during the cutting process, is captured within.
But that doesn’t mean hybrid saws are not powerful or flexible. In terms of performance, and adjustment capabilities, hybrid saws are similar to contractor saws.
Following are some of the best features of hybrid saws:-
Hybrid saws offer great cutting capacity in lesser power
A few hybrid saws, with 110-volt induction motors each, and power rating ranging from 1-1/2 to 2 HP were tested against market’s best contractor saws and cabinet saws, the result was astounding.
In order to find out the true power of hybrid saws, a test was conducted with full kerf 24 tooth blade to rip 2″ inch thick red oak.
Some of the hybrid saw beat both contactor saws and 3 HP cabinet saws in ripping that piece of red oak apart.
Sturdy fence and mitre gauge will bring out best performance
All the hybrid saws available in market come with T-style fences. At worst, these fences bring about a deflection between .003″ and .006″ while cutting a wooden work piece.
These deflections can be mitigated with use of a properly aligned blade guard or a splitter.
If these deflections are not mitigated, or even these increase to make than .007″, the work piece cut-off could wander back into the teeth of the blade and may slightly spray sawdust outwards.
Also, if a splitter in not used, large deflections can produce kickback.
Other factors to consider while buying hybrid table saws:-
Safety guards wear over time and require replacement. Since most of them difficult to remove from the hybrid table saw, most people leave them off; this is not the right approach.
Some of the next-gen table saws come with quick-release system, which reduce the hassle of installation completely. These next-gen hybrid saws come with separate riving knives.
These riving knives are mounted at the back of the blade and maintain kerf opening which in turn prevents kickback.
Different kind of wooden materials produce different amounts of dust. You thus need to consider the dust collection ability of your hybrid table saw as well. Most modern table saw offer dust collection in the following three ways:-
- they have a dust collector for dust and debris
- they have a shroud around the blade to capture corral dust
- they are designed to deposit dust at the corners of the machine
Aligning the blade at the table top
In this area, some table saws inherit some features from contractor saws, and some from cabinet saws.
The ones that inherit contractor saw, mounts directly to the underside of the table saw and require loosening of 4 to 6 bolts, which is not an easy task.
Others inherit from cabinet saws, they allow easy alignment of miter slots to the blade, and thus are easier to use.