A table saw is a major investment in the arsenal of any craftsman, but unless you take proper care of the saw, it's a wasted investment. You can start by keeping all the paperwork and manual in a safe place that is easy to find in case something happens that you need the information to fix. Also, send the warranty card in as soon as you bring the table saw home; the sooner, the better.
Basic maintenance is key to caring for your table saw. No matter whether you use the saw once a week or less than once a month, you need to perform routine maintenance. This means checking alignments, as a piece that is out of alignment can cause binding or kickback, and even minimal use can knock the internal components out of sequence. At the same time, you should check for any loose pieces - fasteners, connections, screws, etc.
During a routine maintenance check, look at your blades to ensure they are still sharp, have all of their teeth and are free of warping. If even one of these factors is present, you need to immediately replace the blade. You should also check the belt tension and clean out all the sawdust, which can clog the table saw and cause damage. This is also the perfect time to check for any damage to the table saw and to look for rust spots. If you do find any rust, it can easily be cleaned away with a product designed for use on cast iron - just be sure to wipe off the sawdust first because it can be pushed further into the machinery during cleaning.
To keep your table saw running at its optimal performance, you should only use it for short periods of time if at all possible. Leaving the saw running for hours at a time can wear down the motor and limit the life of your saw. If the table saw becomes too clogged, you can try using a small air compressor to push out the debris; they usually work very well at doing this. It's important to frequently clear out sawdust built up inside the machine because sawdust can hold moisture, causing your saw to rust.
Caring for your table saw can prolong its life and can be done very easily in only a few hours a month. Above all else, you should check with the manufacturer's suggestions on caring for and maintaining your table saw.
By Jennifer Eblin