How Much Power Does a Table Saw Need?

how much power does a table saw need

You might be about to plug your table saw into an extension cord in your workshop or, more likely, on a job site, and find yourself wondering if the extension cord can hold up to the power requirements of the saw. So how much power does a table saw need

The amount of power a table saw needs depends on the size of the motor. A typical table saw you would find in a home workshop is about 2 horsepower and requires approximately 1,725 watts to run.  ​A ​t​op rated table saw with a motor​ with have higher horsepower will require more power to run.

An ordinary table saw takes about as much power as a washing machine, but some table saws require much more. In this article I will go through all the power requirements of a variety of table saws.

The Power Required for Table Saws

When purchasing a table saw, it is important to consider how much power the table saw will need, especially if you want to be able to run it on a generator from time to time or if you’re off gridding it with solar panels.

When considering the power needs of a table saw, it is important to factor in that it takes a table saw more power to start than it takes to run.

Example:

  • A table saw that requires 1,800 watts requires about 4,500 watts on start up.

In addition, the power required by a table saw’s motor is a good indicator of how much power a table saw can exert over the lumber you are cutting. A 2 horsepower table saw can usually only cut through a board that is about 2 inches thick and may struggle with hard woods.

If you plan on cutting through thicker lumber or hardwoods like oak or mahogany, then you will need a table saw that has a higher horsepower.

This table will break down the power needs of a variety of table saws of different horsepower.

Table Saw Power Requirements and Horsepower

Table Saw

Horsepower

Amps

Voltage

Watts

General International 13 Amp 10” Table Saw

2

13

120

1,560

Bosch 10” Worksite Table Saw

4 max HP

15

120

1,800

SawStop Contractor Saw

1.75

14

120

1,680

SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw

7.5

9

480

4,320

Grizzly 12-inch Extreme Table Saw

5

​18

220

3,960

Grizzly 10” 2HP Portable Table Saw

2

​15

115

1,725

Grizzly 14” 10HP 3-Phase Sliding Table Saw

10

​28


220

220

How to Supply Power to a Table Saw?

Most table saws used in home workshops do not operate on a standard 120-volt outlet, but some of the more powerful saws require a 240-volt outlet.

120 Volt Outlet vs 240 Volt Outlet

Almost everything we need to power up works with 120 volts including many table saws. In the US, a standard 120-volt outlet uses three wire:

  • 1 live wire
  • 1 neutral wire
  • 1 ground wire

This system uses the outlets and plugs you use every day.

The 240-volt outlets in our homes look distinctively different from the 120-volt outlets. If the plug on your table saw does not look like the one you are used to, it is probably because it is a 240 volt. (Unless you somehow managed to buy an imported table saw!)

You may have seen a 240 volt plug before, but not often. They are used with home appliances that require a lot of power like dryers, stoves, and hot water heaters.

A 240-volt outlet is different from a 120-volt outlet in the number of live wires it has running to it.

A 240-volt outlet has:

  • 2 live wires
  • 1 neutral wire
  • 1 ground wire

Workshop Doesn’t Have 240-volt Outlet?

If you don’t have a 240-volt outlet in your workshop, you may want to consider a table saw that will work with a 120 volt instead.


There is no easy way to go about setting up a 240-volt outlet. No adaptors or extension cords that will convert your 120-volt outlet into a 240 outlet. If you need 240, you will have to install a 240-volt outlet.

This involves swapping out a breaker, running wire from the breaker box to your workshop and installing and connecting the outlet. It is not exactly the easiest job if you aren’t familiar with wiring, especially if your workshop is not near your breaker box.

Extension Cords

You can use extension cords with your table saw, but you want to make sure you get the right one. A #12 gauge extension cord will work with a 16 amp table saw, which would cover most saws used in home or small workshops.

If you are using an extension cord that is longer than 50 feet, you may want to go with a #10 gauge as it will carry power more efficiently than the #12 gauge. (Source)

You can also use an extension cord with a 240-volt outlet. They are not always available in store, but you can order them online at most home improvement stores’ websites.

2 Lower Powered Table Saws

If you’re looking for a table saw that doesn’t require a lot of power and is for a light duty job, these two table saws will see you through.

General International 13 Amp 10 Inch Table Saw

The General International 13 Amp 10 inch Table Saw is one of the least expensive table saws you can get, and it doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but it is one of the least powered. It may be powered enough to cut through 1 ½ inch pieces of wood, but it may get bogged down with anything much bigger than that.

DeWalt Flexvolt 60V Table Saw

The DeWalt Flexvolt 60V Table Saw is a portable table saw that runs on battery power, but because it runs on battery power, it cannot do all that a traditional table saw could do. It comes with a battery that gives 6 amps over a 1 hour period. It is designed for ripping plywood and OSB sheets.

Its portability and the fact that it can work without being plugged in makes it appealing to many woodworkers who work on site. As long as your batteries are charged, you will not need access to an outlet.

2 High Powered Table Saws

These two table saws require more power than some of the others, but they are great, reliable tools made for professional woodworking.

Bosch 10” Worksite Table Saw

If you’re looking for something with more power than your average table saw, but still offers some portability, you may want to consider the Bosch 10” Worksite Table Saw.

It has a strong 4 max HP motor which would likely handle any of your wood cutting needs effortlessly. Bosch is known for making quality products, and the table saw is no different. It is a popular choice with woodworkers of all levels.

Grizzly 12-inch Extreme Table Saw

If you regularly need to cut through pieces of lumber that are up to 4 inches thick, this may be the table saw for you. The Grizzly 12 inch Extreme Table Saw has a 7.5 horsepower motor will give plenty of power to the saw. Its 12 inch saw blade allows for extra deep cuts.

While you could use this saw in a large home workshop, it is mostly used in a professional environment, because you pay for the extra power this machine can deliver. It costs $2,850 not including shipping. The extra horsepower isn’t needed for most woodworkers.

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