Table Saws are not only known for accurate cutting capabilities and ease of use but also for robustness; yes, compared to other electric saws and power tools, the table saw can withstand a lot of use before it starts to break down.
Although a table saw can handle some serious woodworking sessions, that doesn’t mean you can avoid proper care and handling practices and still expect longevity; this tool needs regular maintenance to last as long as possible without breaking beyond repair.
Assuming you use your table saw regularly and take care of it properly, you can expect your saw to last up to ten years; the blade will need to be replaced every two to four years, on average.
That said, the lifespan of your table saw depends on not only how you maintain it but also how often you use it, the type of cutting you do, the original quality of the saw, occasional accidents, and more.
Some of these factors you can’t control, but there is a lot you can do a lot to ensure your table saw lasts as long as it should.
If you want your table saw to ‘stay alive’ for as much as ten years, here’s how to do it.
How-to Maintain Your Table Saw
Maintenance for your table saw must be consistent and should never be forgotten, especially if you’re cutting wood often. Even if you rarely use your saw, you should still be performing these duties regularly – you might be surprised at how far a power tool can deteriorate just from sitting in storage.
Not only is regular maintenance crucial for extending the lifespan of your table saw, but it is also necessary for your physical safety; when you forget to keep your power tool in tip-top shape, it can cause bodily harm to you and others around you.
Another benefit of maintaining your table saw is saved money and time… the less you have to pay for new parts or repairs, the more cash you save as well as precious hours of the day.
So, perform the following duties at least once a year to keep your table saw alive as long as possible:
Log Your Hours
This is one of the easiest yet most important tasks you can do in order to extend the life of your table saw, thus keeping yourself safe.
Simply keep track (not in your head, but on paper or a computer) of approximately how many hours you use your table saw for. This way, you can determine when the time is right to take apart your saw and clean it as necessary.
This is key for a number of reasons:
- The lifespan of a table saw is based on ho many hours it is used, as opposed to how many years it is used for.
- By tracking your hours, you can be ready next time before your table saw starts to deteriorate again – you will know exactly how many hours of use until you need to clean it again, so you can anticipate it for the future which will greatly prolong the usability of your table saw.
It is difficult to know precisely how many hours will pass by before you must clean your saw… it depends much on the quality of the machinery, as well as other factors.
By recording the number of hours you use your table saw, you will get to know how often your maintenance must be performed.
For your physical safety, you should be checking the alignment of your saw before each use.
- the arbor pulleys and motor alignment (they should be flat against each other)
- align the table extensions and throat plate with the table
- the blade, gauge slots, and rip fence should all be parallel to one another
- the miter gauge and rip fence should be at a 90-degree angle to the table
- tilt angle stops should be aligned to their required specifications (this will vary – check your Manual to find out what this means for your table saw model)
Obviously, how much this matters will depend entirely on how long your cutting sessions are, the type of wood you cut, and other facts; despite this, you should make a habit to double-check for misalignment since the failure to do so can result in injury and the deterioration of your saw.
Take the steps to realign your table saw if it is needed, and do it every 5 hours of use, approximately.
Clean The Blades
Cleaning the blades of your table saw is another important step for a long-lasting lifespan; although the blade is actually a separate piece from the machine, a dirty or damaged blade can cause kickback and woodburn which can cause harm to both you and your table saw.
You can use pitch and gum remover to do a thorough blade clean.
Lubricate Gears & Pivots
This is an aspect of table saw maintenance that many woodworkers fail to do regularly; although it takes a bit of effort, it is technically not too difficult and is necessary to keep your saw in good shape.
To lubricate the ‘guts’ of your table saw, follow these steps:
- Unplug your saw (this is the most crucial step of all).
- Open up your saw (this process will vary depending on what model of saw you own – check the manual or Google Search your model to find instructions for doing this).
- Get rid of as much sawdust and debris as you can – a vacuum and brush is all you need.
- Now, lubricate the ‘moving parts’ inside – do this with a dry spray lubricant.
- Put your table saw back together.
- Do this regularly.
A dirty table saw surface will not do your saw any favors; this is another easy task that can significantly increase the lifespan of your table saw.
Simply polish your table top with either paste or auto wax often – not only will this make using your saw easier for you, but it will allow for easier adjustments and cleanup.
Occasionally, certain parts of your table saw will break – it’s just the reality of power tools. Some of these replacements will be expensive, some not; either way, if a part of your table saw is broken, it’s better to replace it the broken part as opposed to the entire saw.
So, if you notice a certain element of your table saw is broken, replace it!
It will be less expensive than trying to continue using your table saw; when you do this, you run the risk of destroying the power tool as a whole, when sometimes all you need is to replace a $20 part.
This is the most obvious yet often disregarded ‘duty’ of maintaining a table saw; although you might have to make the trip down to your local hardware store to buy a new part might seem annoying in the short-term, the long-term repercussions could mean hundreds (or thousands) of dollars spent on buying a new table saw.
When To Replace Your Table Saw
Power tools (such as a table saw) are expensive pieces of machinery with lots of moving parts; as long as you take proper care of your saw, it will last you years to come.
If you notice your saw isn’t working as good as it should be and simple repairs and cleaning aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to replace your table saw – take it into your local hardware store and get a professional’s opinion.
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