What Is a Hybrid Table Saw – Best Guide
A hybrid saw refers to a stationary table saw, designed to resemble a cabinet saw which is more expensive, having an internal motor. Therefore, it's a combination of a cabinet maker saw, and the traditional contractor saw. A cabinet maker saw often tends to be heavy and sturdy, usually with a 3-hp motor that requires a 240-volt circuit to operate.
The saw mechanism and the trunnions are typically fitted directly onto the bottom of the cabinet, but when it comes to the hybrid table saws, they are just bolted to the cast iron table's base.
How to Select The Right Hybrid Saw
Hybrid table saws are still table saws that walk the line between the cabinet and the contractor when it comes to design. While these machines come in various styles and designs, all hybrid table saws have an enclosed bottom where the motor is located.
They have a good price point when compared to all cabinet-based designs which typically weigh hundreds of pounds and can also cost you a fortune. Depending on the hybrid model you want, here are some factors to consider when selecting this table saw.
Speed and power
If you are buying hybrid table saws, the power is not an issue. The question is the amount of power you need. In this case, most motors are rated approximately 11/2 HP to 13/4 HP, but there are several exceptions. On the high end of the scale, you will find hybrid table saws with even 3 HP motors. These motors will certainly cut thicker stock more easily but push the limits regarding size. If you are going to rip through thicker stock or hardwood, remember the bigger the saw motor, the better.
Another area you should consider regarding speed and power is the outlet itself. Make sure that you check the voltage carefully since most hybrid table saws can run a 110V outlet although others may need a 220V connection.
Portability and size
Are you purchasing hybrid table saws for your store or is it a machine you will have in your basement or garage? That is a question you must ask yourself since these machines are bigger than what you might be used to.
When it comes to portability, even table saws that leave a small footprint are still heavy. Some will typically weigh more than 500 pounds, so they are difficult to move. You'll also find hybrid saws that are more than 200 pounds, and you will even get several models that come with fitted wheels meaning you can give them a run if need be.
Due to their design, table saws pose a lot of risk to the users. However, there are various built-in safety features installed, but the two features you should look out for are riving knives and guards. Pay attention to the quality and the type of guard.
The riving knife sits behind the saw's blade and prevents any kickbacks so it's something you'll want to consider if you are planning on cutting lots of stock. Also, check the power button and ensure it's comfortable and large enough to access. Padlocks can also be a good idea, particularly if you are purchasing a hybrid table saw for use in a classroom or have kids in your home.
Dust collection is one feature you won't miss on any table saw. It's also an essential feature unless you like a messy workspace or your face full of dust. Saws meant for garages typically have dust collection ports of approximately 21/2 inches while hybrid saws are usually in the 4-inch range. If you will be using your hybrid saw on a daily basis, go for a machine with a big dust port.
If the rotation is important to you, consider a belt drive when looking for an ideal hybrid table saw. The belt drive system utilizes a pulley and a belt to connect to the saw's blade, but a direct drive motor is connected to the saw blade directly. The main benefit of having a belt drive is longevity and torque. Since the motor is fitted far away from the saw's blade, it is less prone to dust and other elements from the blade. The downside of this style is that it's noisier than other models, and you will have to service it more regularly alongside replacing brands.
A hybrid saw is more convenient in a workshop, but it also makes it difficult to move. However, since most traditional saws are stationary in a workshop these days, a hybrid saw makes more sense. This machine doesn't cost any more to make than a traditional contractor saw. As a result, many manufacturers are no longer making the old style contractor saws, but are making more hybrid table saws in their place.