Like any other newbie in woodworking, you might wonder how deep the table saw can cut. It is understandable to ask this question, for you would surely want to gain as much knowledge about the cutting tools you will use in woodworking. However, the depth of cut of the table saw depends on the size of the blade and the cut angle.
If you would use, for example, an 8-1/4” table saw blade, the maximum depth of cut you can make when cutting at a 90° angle is 2-1/5.” Yet, if you cut at a 45° angle, you can cut a maximum depth of 1-3/4.” Therefore, aside from the size of the saw blade, the angle of cut also factors in the depth of cut of the table saw blade.
Different Table Saw Sizes and Their Maximum Cutting Depths
When buying a table saw blade, it will be best to know how powerful your table saw is. Besides, you should know the appropriate blade sizes that your table saw can handle. Below are the different size options you can buy for your table saw in the market today:
8-1/2” Table Saw Blade
The smaller the diameter of the saw blade, the shallower the cut of the table saw blade. In the case of the 8-1/2” table saw blade, you can cut a maximum of 2 1/2” into the wood when you’re cutting at a 90° angle. But if you cut at a 45° angle, you can cut as deep as 1-3/4.”
10” Table Saw Blade
Using a 10” table saw blade, you can cut a depth of 3-1/2” at a 90° angle. However, if you cut at a 45° angle, you can cut a depth of 2/1/4.”
12” Table Saw Blade
Using a 12-inch table saw blade, you can cut a maximum depth of 4” onto laminated wood. This type of table saw blade is also more stable because of its size and weight.
14” Table Saw Blade
If your table saw is equipped with a 14” blade, you can cut up to four inches deep at the right angle. Yet, if you set the angle at 45°, you can cut up to 2-3/4” in depth.
16” Table Saw Blade
A 16” table saw blade can deliver a quick, smooth cut, allowing you to crosscut and rip-cut the wood as thick as three inches.
Things to Know About Table Saw Cutting Depth
Before you even start using your table saw, it will be best to know several facts about table saw. Knowing these facts will give you a general idea of how deep your table saw can cut on your material:
Cutting Depth is Relative to the Size of the Table Saw Blade
It will be good to note that the table saw’s cutting depth will generally depend on the size of your saw blade. So, if you use a larger-diameter blade, you can cut deeper on your material. For this reason, when you shop around for a table saw, you will notice that table saws are marked depending on the largest saw blade diameter it can be equipped with.
The Cut Angle Also Dictates the Depth of Cut
The other fact you need to know is that the angle you will cut will also determine the cutting depth. Most of the cuts you will make using the table saw are either at a 45° angle or 90° angle. If you make a 90° cut, you can go deeper compared to if you are going to make a 45° cut.
The Blade Lift Mechanism Affects the Cut Depth
You might not become aware of this, but the blade’s rising mechanism also affects the depth of the cut. However, this effect is negligible.
Accumulated dust inside the table saw can affect the cut depth!
Aside from the rising mechanism, dust accumulation can also affect the cut depth of the table saw blade. So, you should ensure regular cleanup and maintenance of your table saw to remove the accumulated gunk and dust on your table saw.
Knowledge of the Maximum Cutting Depth of Your Table Saw is Necessary
If you buy a table saw or use one, it will be best to know its maximum cutting depth. Remember that the maximum cutting depth of a table saw may vary from one model of table saw to another. Nevertheless, most 10” table saws can cut up to 3.2” at a 45° angle, while they could cut 3.5” deep at a 90° angle.
As a beginner, you might get confused with the maximum cutting depth of the table saw and think that since it is 10”, it must be capable of cutting a depth of 10”. But that is not the case. The 10” only refers to the diameter of the saw blade it is typically equipped with.
Furthermore, the cutting depth of the table saw does not refer to the radius of the saw blade as other might think. If the size of the saw blade is 10”, therefore, you might think it can cut up to five inches deep. Yet this is not the case, for the table saw blade rotates around a motorized pivot below the arbor.
As the saw blade rotates, it emerges from the table. But it is not the whole length of the blade’s radius that emerges from the table. Only around 3.5” of the saw blade digs deep into the material. Thus, the maximum cutting depth of a 10” table saw is only about 3.5”.
Understanding the Blade Height Adjustment
Your table saw might be cable of 3.5” maximum depth. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you will permanently set the depth of cut of your table saw at 3.5”. You can set the cutting depth at 2” so that the saw blade will not cut all the way through the wood thickness.
You can easily adjust the cut depth of the table saw blade by locating the hand crank beneath your table saw surface. You can rotate this crank to lower or raise your table saw blade’s portion that goes beyond the saw blade plates. The hand crank can help you raise or lower the saw blade by simply rotating it.
As you read through this post, you will learn that there are factors that could determine the cutting depth of the table saw. First, there is the diameter of the saw blade, the cutting angle, the rising mechanism of the saw blade, and the dust accumulation within the table saw. Besides, the maximum cutting depth of the circular saw might vary from one table saw model to another.
As a scrupulous woodworker, you should know the maximum cutting depth of your table saw. Besides, you should carefully consider the factors that could affect the cutting depth of the circular saw to ensure precise cutting depth for your projects.