Even though you do not always have to own a mini table saw, thanks to a lack of space, I do understand that this is the main reason why people find themselves searching for this tool.
However, a mini table saw does have different uses from cutting pipes, to cutting plastic to also helping model makers produce prototypes and cut small pieces of wood.
For me, this tool is highly versatile, and it’s capable of being used in more areas than you ever thought possible. Yet, most people can feel put off by the idea of it being a “mini” version, and I see that as wrong.
So, to change your mind and perhaps even convince you to go out and get your own version, I’ve pulled together six different uses for a mini table saw.
Yes, you can indeed get more out of your mini table saw than you ever thought possible, and all it takes is being clever in your approach.
Now, I know you won’t want to use this tool for all six uses, but I also feel that becoming aware of what’s possible will make you stop and think about things. It may get your mind thinking about how this tool can help you with different projects in the future, and it could turn out to be one of the best small tools you ever purchase.
You see, what I tend to find is that people jump to a tool that comes with the most power or the most considerable capabilities. While I accept those tools have a place, the average DIY’er is guilty of over investing in tools that can offer way more than they ever need to use. That’s a problem, as it means you spend more money than required, and that is cash you could have invested in other areas of your workshop.
But I’m not going to sit here at this moment and tell you which mini table saw is best. That’s for another time. Instead, it’s all about its capabilities, so let us get on with the first use.
Use 1: Cutting Small Pieces of Wood
The first use is perhaps the most obvious in that a mini table saw is perfect for anyone who needs to cut small pieces of wood. Now, the size you can cut will depend on the model, but there will be some real limitations due to the dimensions of the tool and also the size of the blade.
But at the same time, a mini table saw also takes up less space than a full-size version. It’s quick and easy to set up as well, so if you have a series of small cuts to make, then it makes so much sense to use a mini table saw.
Yet, my point about the size of the blade is really important. For example, you may get your hands on a mini table saw with a cutting depth of ½” while others push over the 1” mark. But also, you need to think about the width of the piece you can cut and not just the depth.
Generally, a mini table saw will offer little in the way of the rip capacity. The table aspect is where the “mini” part really comes into its own, and that has a real knock-on effect with what you can then cut.
Honestly, I would be using only small pieces of wood with a mini table saw. You cannot cut long boards into smaller pieces with this saw. For that, you would need to use something along the lines of a circular saw or miter saw to get boards cut down to something that then becomes workable on a mini table saw.
But considering a mini table saw is quick and easy to set up and also not taking up too much space in your workshop, then it is perfect for those tiny cuts that take seconds to make.
My only advice with this is to double check with the model what the maximum dimensions are regarding cuts before you purchase. It does vary by a great deal, and I certainly don’t want you buying one that comes up short compared to your needs.
Use 2: You are a Model Builder
Aside from working on larger projects that may occasionally require smaller pieces of wood to be cut, I see a mini table saw as the perfect solution for model builders. Let’s face it, you will hardly be spending time cutting large pieces when building models.
But I want to mention another key point when it comes to this particular use: the versatility of a mini table saw.
Depending on the model you own, you can create a series of different cuts with the blades from just one machine. Also, there is the opportunity to adjust certain aspects, such as cutting depth and also the speed, so you do have a tremendous amount of control over what’s going on with the cut.
I see this as being a huge deal. A model builder will tend to be looking for some very specific outcomes, or the entire model can literally fall apart, and a mini table saw does allow you to do exactly that.
This is all possible thanks to micro adjustments and having gauges on the table saw. It makes it significantly easier to line everything up, and the saw blade will produce a smooth cut allowing you to then carry on with your project.
I do see this as being one of the primary uses of a mini table saw. A model builder can potentially use the smallest saws out there, where the maximum cutting depth is perhaps ⅝”, but that’s just not an issue in my eyes.
I just feel that a model builder will often be working on such small pieces of wood that anything above a “mini” tool makes it all far too cumbersome and even dangerous. You still get the same accuracy with one of these tools, but honestly, it’s just significantly safer when you go ahead and use a tool that is scaled down when working with smaller materials.
Use 3: Cutting More Than Just Wood
A mini table saw may be small in size, but it does pack a considerable punch. That is why it can work well with cutting more than just wood. With the correct approach, you can cut plastic, aluminum, and even acrylics.
I find this to be quite impressive, and it shows the versatility of this tool which stretches far beyond what you would expect from something of this size. Actually, it tends to be one of the things that surprise people the most with mini tools. We fall into the trap of believing they come with significant limitations, but that’s not always the case.
I think the problem here is that people tend to believe that size is everything. Yes, I know it does mean you are limited when it comes to dimensions and the size of what you can cut, but these mini table saws have a considerable amount of power. Actually, if you were doing some sort of power to size ratio, then they would score better than the more prominent table saws with a massive rip capacity.
You need to remember that some mini table saws can offer speeds of up to 9000 RPM, and that’s massive when you see the physical size of some of the table saws.
But it does mean your mini table saw does have the capacity to cut more than just any old type of wood you get your hands on. Yes, it can cut plastic, aluminum, and acrylics, and it can do so with ease.
However, you do still have the limitations of the size of what it can cut, and that is the key thing you need to keep in mind. As mentioned elsewhere, do check the dimensions and what’s possible with a particular model before purchasing to avoid any kind of disappointment.
Aside from that, it’s also the old issue of limitation with size thanks to the overall dimensions of the mini table saw.
Use 4: General Projects with Limited Space
I think I need to mention the space issue here because it really is such a key component when it comes to a mini table saw.
Now, I must clarify that even a mini table saw comes in various sizes. However, what you will find is that the rip capacity does change quite considerably, and it’s undoubtedly significantly different from what you would get with a larger table saw.
Also, a mini table saw offers a sense of portability as it’s also nowhere near as heavy as a full-size version.
I love this fact about a mini table saw as there are times during better weather when you want to work outdoors, and then it can be annoying heading back inside to make a small cut. It’s better when you can have everything out there in the fresh air allowing you to enjoy the weather while still getting on with your project.
But even with that point regarding portability, the earlier one regarding the space issue is my main concern.
Look at the amount of space you would require in a workshop for a table saw offering a 50” rip capacity. Those table saws are enormous, and then you need to be able to walk around the entire table when required.
A mini table saw doesn’t have the same issue.
Even a portable saw with a rip capacity of 24” requires significantly less space, and I see a model of that size as being highly useful for most DIY’ers. I just don’t feel most people would then have to use a larger rip capacity for the majority of projects.
I think one of the key things here is to look at the available space, both for using the saw and storing it, and then determine what that relates to regarding a table saw. However, no matter the size you end up using, I know you will be amazed at the saw’s capabilities.
Use 5: Creating Prototypes
This is one use most people would overlook, but if you are trying out something new for a project, then creating what is really a prototype can prove highly useful.
The thing about a prototype is that it’s smaller in size, and you are trying out methods to see if it can work. Think about this as an example.
Let’s say you want to try out a new method or technique with a brand new tool. You don’t want to go ahead and cut wood or metal and pull everything together to then find out it doesn’t work.
A mini table saw is the perfect solution for this. You can set things up in next to no time and get to work, and it doesn’t have to then dominate the space in your workshop.
I do love this approach. I have a small table saw, and if I’m working on a project and unsure as to how something could fit together, then grabbing some scrap pieces of wood and cutting things on a smaller scale does make a difference in knowing how to proceed. A mini table saw makes it easier to work with your own measurements and get the results you wanted.
I see this as allowing you to make significant progress with your project and to also avoid major mistakes when you are trying to figure out what to do next. It boosts my confidence to then press on with what I’m doing as I’ve already carried out a test run with a prototype before diving head first into my main project.
That’s the reason why I’ve included this as one of the uses of a table saw. I see it as being highly effective, and it just gives you the opportunity to really play around with things and sort things out in your mind. It’s incredible how it has the ability to stop you from making a mistake that could potentially ruin your entire project.
Use 6: Cutting Pipes
Let’s say you are carrying out some sort of plumbing project. It may involve the need to cut the occasional pipe. If so, then a mini table saw is more than capable of helping you out here. Actually, it would pretty much be my tool of choice.
Now, I’m not talking about huge pipes here, but then how many people would be working on a project that would involve that in the first place?
I admit that this is all about thin pipes where there’s not a lot of metal to cut through. Also, it’s better when it’s a softer metal or you will put too much pressure on the blades. Again, it’s the high RPM figures and high power in mini table saws that help here. Without that, you would be unable to cut through any metal, and yet mini table saws are set up to be capable of doing exactly that.
Now, I have to stress that a mini table saw would struggle with anything over 1” when it comes to cutting a pipe. That number will also drop depending on the exact model you own. If you do feel you will be cutting items such as piping regularly, and you don’t have the space for a full-size table saw, then moving up to a portable version is best.
Is a Mini Table Saw Worth it?
So, do I feel a mini table saw is worth the money? Considering they offer so much versatility, then I would suggest it’s going to end up being value for money, even if you feel you will hardly ever use it.
As I’ve said repeatedly, they offer ample power for the size of the tool, and the number of cuts they can make goes above and beyond what you expect. Also, as they take up little space, I see them as the perfect tool for a small workshop that would simply open up so many new projects.
In addition, a mini table saw does not have to break the bank. You literally have options available that cost next to nothing to purchase, and even basic models are still capable of performing so many tasks that it will blow your mind.
Basically, if you are invested in carrying out various projects around the home, then I would get a mini table saw. Before you know it, you will be using this tool more often than you ever expected, and that’s a cool thing in my book.
So those are my six different uses of a mini table saw but don’t think for a second that this represents the absolute limitations of this tool. It really doesn’t, but my aim here has been to effectively introduce you to what is possible even when we are talking about ‘mini’ versions of different tools.
But before you go ahead and dive into using your mini table saw. I recommend checking out these other articles that will help you gain a better understanding of the tool and also what’s possible with it.