Complete Unbiased Reviews and Buyer's Guide for the Best Hybrid Table Saws
For novice woodworkers and professionals alike, purchasing one of the best hybrid table saws available will not be a mistake. Your saw will likely be the most used woodworking tool that you own.
I firmly believe that you should invest in a strong brand name machine and take proper care of it. If you do so, you’ll be pleased with your purchase for decades.
What is a hybrid table saw
A hybrid table saw takes the best elements of cabinet saws (large motor and sturdy build) and contractor saws (lightweight, portable and far more affordable) and combines them to create a table saw that is loved by hobbyists, contractors and millworks professionals alike.
Most table saws are equipped with motors in the 1-¼ to 1-¾ horsepower range. This means they can be used with the standard 110 volt electrical service while still having enough power to get the job done.
The majority of professional and hobbyist woodworkers now consider the hybrid table saw as the standard in table saws and it is seen as the cornerstone of any woodworkers collection of equipment.
What should you look for in a hybrid table saw
Knowing what specs you’ll need in a hybrid saw will help make an informed decision. Here is a list of specs that you should look into before purchasing.
- Horsepower. Anything north of 1 hp will be fine for most projects although most hybrids come in north of 1.25 hp.
- Weight and Wheels. If you are working out of your garage or any non-industrial space, you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to move it. While most hybrids are movable, we recommend staying under 300 lbs. Some will come with wheels or a caster platform as well.
- Less than 15 AMPS. This is a must for US residents. All of the saws we recommend will fall into this category.
- Brand name. There are a few brands to avoid. If you buy any of the products that we feature, you should be fine.
- Belt Driven. In my opinion (and many other experts) belt driven saws are clearly cleaner, more powerful and more accurate.
- In direct drive saws, the motor connects directly to the blade (left)
- In belt driven saws, a belt connects the motor to the blade (right)
What type of woodwork is a hybrid saw designed for
Table saws are the “must have” saw for any woodworker and the hybrid is the most popular sub-category. Because of this, just about any wood project that utilizes a table or cabinet saw you can accomplish with your hybrid saw.
We see a lot of hobbyists doing their cabinet and table projects on hybrids as well as millworks manufacturers that use the hybrids more than anything else in their shop. The versatility of a good hybrid table saw will allow your to accomplish just about anything.
1. SawStop Professional Hybrid Saw Review
Winner for "best hybrid saw"
Winner for "safest hybrid saw"
Yet another Table Saw category that we have to label the SawStop as the winner. Their safety features have simply redefined what it means to work on a table saw and make all of the features offered on competing hybrid saws look obsolete.
In addition to their jaw dropping patented safety system, SawStop offers dozens of sized and options. Pictures is their 1.75 HP saw with 36″ professional T-Glide fence system. In my opinion, this fence is worth springing for.
- Category defining safety features
- Great, US based brand
- Tons of size, power and rip capacity options
- Potential infeed table, outfeed table and router table add-ons.
- The increased safety comes with an increased price tag
2. Jet - ProShop II Review
Winner for "best bargain hybrid saw"
If it wasn’t for the SawStop and their incredible safety, Jet would take the cake as our favorite table saw. While there are many similar models, we believe that Jet’s products proven reliable and are worth every penny. This saw is on the high-end of horsepower for hybrids, has a very sturdy frame for precision cuts and can easily be expanded
- Very low vibration (due to single belt drive)
- Unbeatable brand with a 5 yr. manufacturer warranty
- Competitively priced
- Blade guard & riving knife built-in
- Lemons have been reported
- Some customers have had to make adjustments to the legs in order to maintain a flat cutting surface
3. Powermatic - Table Saw, 1-3/4 HP Review
As a hybrid saw, the Powermatic leans more towards having the power and stability of a cabinet saw than it does mobility of a contractor saw.
The specs of this Powermatic are about on par with the rest of the field. However, Powermatic offers a number of features and motor sizes available to choose from. The Powermatic saws always seem to be heavier and more stable than their competitors. The decreased vibration delivered from these large, solid frames is part of the reason millworking companies and fabricators swear by the Powermatic name.
- Strong brand name and 5 yr. limited warranty
- Easily adjustable blade and fence
- Very accurate cutting and stable feel
- Higher priced than competitors
- 421 Lbs. makes this the largest of the bunch
- 85 decibels make this a bit louder than others
4. Laguna - Fusion F1 Table Saw Review
Runner-up for "best hybrid saw"
Winner for "best hybrid saw for the money"
Laguna has been one of my personal favorite brands for years. They offer a full range of configurations of this hybrid table saw, but I chose the smallest model to review (the Fusion F1)
This saw stands toe to toe with saws that are twice its weight.
- Many variations available
- Lightweight and transportable
- Quality brand name
- Lightweight design makes for higher vibration and decreased accuracy
View the full Laguna Fusion lineup here:
5. Grizzly G0771Z 10″ 2 HP 120V Hybrid Table Saw Review
Winner for "most powerful hybrid saw"
Grizzly is another trusted name in woodworking. The fully enclosed base makes for improved stability, but at the cost of making the saw more difficult to clean, oil and change parts on.
Grizzly offers a full range of well designed table saws which seem to have not changed much over the past 20 years. Models are available all the way up to 7.5 HP cabinet saws for commercial manufacturers and millworking facilities.
Like all of their saws a blade guard and rip fence is built in.
- Limited vibration due to a fully enclosed base
- at 2 HP it has more power than the competition
- Only 1 year limited manufacturer warranty
- More difficult to clean and change parts than other saws
Are hybrid saws good for hobbyists or just professionals
Hybrids really originated out of the hobbyists need for a professional caliber table saw. Therefore, they are great for hobbyists and professionals alike. The only cons to a tablesaw would be:
- at 200 – 300 Lbs. they are likely too large to move from job site to job site.
- They rarely have over 2 horsepower. If you work at a millworking company and cut large, hard woods all day, go with an industrial table saw.
Specs you should look for in your new hybrid table saw
Most of the hybrid table saws on the market today come with motors with power output ranging from 1.5 HP to 2.5 HP. Any larger than this, they typically have an enclosed base and are considered cabinet saws. Typically, this range is enough for a handyman or home woodworker. More power than this is really only necessary if the machine is used very frequently and/or with thick stock of hard woods (maple, walnut, etc.). Also, you should check the power outlet – choose a 110 Volt or a 220 Volt – depending on your workshop set-up. Chances are that you are a standard 110 V outlet if you are in the United States. The EU uses a 220V by default.
The cardinal sin of equipment shopping is more common than you might think. Woodworkers buy a hybrid saw without even considering the size of their garage or workshop. Take measurements and be realistic about how much room you need to move your project. As much as we would all love a 52″ rip capacity on our saws, do we really need it?
Smooth and accurate cutting
The reason you are upgrading from your contractor saw is very likely so that you can benefit from smoother, more accurate cuts. A quality blade and 1.5+HP is really just the beginning to cut accuracy. I’ve found that a large, sturdy base really makes more difference than what people give it. In addition, make sure you are changing your blades frequently and not feeding your wood in too fast. Any quality hybrid saw that you buy will be able to make accurate cuts when used properly. In addition, the equipment will be capable of making beveled cuts, rip cuts, and crosscuts with a higher level of precision and accuracy.
For increased accuracy, make sure your fence and miter gauges are of good quality. Also, if you make a sled, make sure that it is symmetrical. Even small deviations can make huge differences.If the built-in miter gauge doesn’t show the needed precision level, you should change it to an after market gauge.
Flat, stable table:
A flat table is another vital factor that will help you achieve a high level of precision and accuracy in your woodwork. Make sure that the saw you buy is from a reputable company that has been in business for years. Any reputable company will sell you a product that they are proud of and stand behind. This of course means that the tables will be sturdy and well engineered.
Table saws by their very nature are inherently dangerous. With that said, there are some great safety features available these days. Have a look at the patented blade break system available on all SawStop saws. In addition to this break, most of the saws come with a riving knife – a way to avoid kickbacks. However, you should also check other must-have safety measures such as blade guards to avoid misplacing appendages or products on stationary blades.
When you are busy cutting your wood project, a flash sensor can ensure that your saw does not kickback and throw wood across your shop. It may not avoid the kick entirely, but this particular kind of sensor can cause immediate shut-down to the motor within only 0.01 seconds. You get a great advantage when your hybrid table saw accompanies this flash-sensor technology.
Additional configuration & adjustment options:
An easy way of adjusting the blade-alignment and cutting angle is a welcome feature for all craftsman and DIYers. Easily adjustable blades save you time on your project and help to ensure smooth and accurate cuts; thus, resulting in a better quality of your woodwork. Also, the height of the blade can be adjusted, the bevel, and the sliding T-fence should come with the easy-to-adjust knobs and locks that can be operated with just your hands. This should help you work comfortably with your new hybrid table saw.
Additionally, the machine’s parts should be easy-to-lubricate when needed. A beginner level carpenter or wood craftsman should be able to make adjustments without experiencing any issues. By the time you’ve had your saw for a month, you’ll be able to adjust all of it’s features with your eyes closed.
Another crucial factor you must consider is the drive belt’s design. The drive belt responsible for delivering power to the blade and a thin or warn out drive belt will cause a vibrating and shaking motion while operating a hybrid table saw. This of course should be avoided.
You may want to opt for a high quality poly-V belts to the ordinary V-belts. This will minimize vibrations to a great extent. All saws that we recommend come with quality belts and motors.
The dust collection system is one of the most important creature comforts that helps sway woodworkers too or away from a specific brand or product. Make sure the dust collection port is a minimum of 2″ on hybrids. This will help you in finding compatible dust collectors that will work with all of the equipment in your shop.
Remember that you will risk your health and workshop’s cleanup issues without a proper dust collection system.
Saw functionality and design
Here is a brief video by the folk’s at Woodgears that illustrates the hybrid saws functionality.
Considerations when selecting a hybrid table saw
The first features to look out for is your saw’s power. This typically works hand in hand with the speed. If you plan to cut harder or tougher woods, or thick woods such as maple or walnut, then find a saw that has upwards of 2 HP. Generally, you’ll want a saw with 3HP or above if you’re a commercial woodworker. Hobbyists can get away with 1.5hp in most cases
A lot of people choose hybrid saws based on their portability and their cutting ability. Of course, if the saw has both these features, it would be the definition of a hybrid. If you want a saw with good maneuverability, choose a hybrid saw that either comes with a mobile base or has one that is sold separately that it is compatible with. However, hybrid saws will never be light enough to haul from job site to job site.
When it comes to saws, the safety features are very important. Such features will ensure that you aren’t in any danger while you use the saw. Some common safety features of hybrid table saws include a blade guard and SawStops safety break. The break will save your fingers while the blade guard will help you and other from accidentally touching the blade, regardless if the saw is on or off.
Finally, you should also look at the price of the product. Most people look at such machines as an investment, and this is the right way to look at them. Search for a saw which will fit into your own budget. I’d highly advise that you don’t sacrifice the quality of the saw for a low price. Quality products will make great cuts for decades, while cheap products are replaced within a year.
Instead, choose one with a reasonable price but is of high-quality. If you have the resources, you may also go for a high-end hybrid table saw with a hefty price such as a Powermatic or a SawStop. USA Supply Spot is the dealer we recommend to give you the best price.
What practical features of a hybrid table saw should you look for?
Aside from the features that are specific each saw (listed above), it would also be very beneficial to understand the practical features that come with every saw. These features will make it easier for you to use the saw at its highest capacity.
A lot of woodworkers don’t like this feature, primarily because it get’s in the way while they cut. Professionals have been in the shop long enough that they know to watch out for the blade, but this isn’t always the case with newbie woodworkers. A saw’s blade guard sits on top of the blade to help keep your (and others in your garage or shop’s) extremities safe from harm.
On the other hand, the riving knife is a metal plate which moves with the blade of the saw. Its main purpose is to prevent the risk of kickback while you work. It can also be a splitter located behind the blade to serve the same purpose. This is another practical safety feature for you to consider when choosing saws.
Table saw 101
When it comes to woodworking, there’s no tool that is more important or that you will use more frequently than your table saw. Its versatility, power, quality and relative ease of use make it a very popular and most certainly a very useful tool. There are table saws that can be bought for $200 at Home depot. However, if you are looking for a hybrid saw, you have graduated from those tools and are a more serious woodworker.
Depending on the type, table saws can be very portable and suited for contractors who often change worksites. While some of the less powerful table saws for example are perfect for DIY enthusiasts and novices.
The table saw is essentially just a table of varying with that has a slit in it (also of varying with) for a blade. This blade is typically 10″ in diameter, but are also sold in 8″ and 12″ models. The blade is mounted on an arbor to keep it tight and all of this is powered by an electric motor. Hybrid saws typically run 110 V, although you will find some that require 220V.
Modern table saws have the ability to adjust the blade’s height as well as its angle. This allows you to set the width of your stock or how deep in your stock you wish to cut.. The higher the blade sticks out through the tabletop, the deeper you’ll be able to cut in the working material.
Angled cuts are great for craftsman and DIYers that work around the home. Even novice DIYers know that you will need to make varying angled cuts in order to join pieces together. This is true for furniture as well as trim and molding etc. Hybrid saws (and other table saws) allow you to turn your blade to a mitre or any other blade angle up to 90 degrees.
Table saw hierarchy
woodworkers have varying terms to describe the size, power and mobility of the table saw that they have in their workshop or on their jobsite. The primary ones are:
- Benchtop (small “home depot” style saws)
- Jobsite (~1hp, has a mobile base and can be loaded in a truck)
- Contractor (slightly larger & more powerful than the jobsite saw)
- Hybrid (a hybrid from the contractor to the cabinet)
- Cabinet (large, powerful and immobile. A staple for furniture makers)
- Panel (larger than cabinet saw, has enormous rip capacity. Immobile and takes large space and expertise to operate.)
All of these table saw types have their purpose, features, strengths and weaknesses. Not all of them are designed to do the same job and to provide the same quality. For instance, the cabinet saw and panel saw are great for making cuts on large items and can be run for several hours per day. However, they are completely immobile and cannot be moved from jobsite to jobsite.
For example, Benchtop and Jobsite table saws are very similar power tools and in general are the easiest to use. The Benchtop table saw is built for hobbyist woodworkers and DIYers so that they can complete projects around the house. Don’t bank on it lasting as it has a small, weak motor. It lends itself to being moved easily and is great for small projects and garages due to its lightweight design.
The Hybrid table saw is somewhat more powerful and heavier than the previous hobbyist benchtop and jobsite saws. Then you have the Cabinet and Panel table saws who are the heavy-duty saws and have the most powerful motors and largest rip capacities in most cases.
The best dealer for saws of all sized is USA Supply Spot. They offer award winning, US based brands and great customer service.
The final word on hybrid table saws
The key to finding the best hybrid table saw is by going through the key features and checking them off based on your requirements. If you already know that you need a hybrid table saw, your task is now to select a brand, safety features, power necessity and what electrical hookups you have available.
In this article, I have tried to incorporate a blend of high power, additional extras and essential safety features, while remaining somewhat affordable.
Before you set off on the shopping journey, we recommend that you set a budget between $1K – $3K. This will immediately filter out a few low-end products and some of the cadillac saws with extra, unnecessary features. But, in doing so, be sure not to compromise on quality just to save some money. Find retailers such as USA Supply Spot that offer great deals on quality products.