Whether in the woodworking business or DIY projects around the house, a table saw is essential for accurate and efficient cutting. Table saws offer more precision than hand saws and can easily cut through hardwoods.
Even so, before you get one, ensure that you have the appropriate electrical configurations to support the power your table saw will require. That borrows the question: How many amps does a table saw use?
Well, in this blog post, I’ll be doing a comprehensive overview of the energy requirements of a table saw. Expect information on the amperage, wattage, ideal circuit breaker size, and just about everything else related to the power consumption of a table saw. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
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How Many Amps Does a Table Saw Use?
A typical table saw will draw 10 to 15 amps on a 120-volt circuit. That’s not as much, especially considering the nature of work and the convenience it will give you. Even so, the amount of power it needs depends on your chosen settings.
Let’s use a basic example of your ceiling fan. At low speed, it doesn’t draw plenty of power. It only draws a few amps, but when you set the RPM at max, it will require extra power. That’s because it has to work harder to attain the level of performance you want.
Now, that’s how it is with table saws as well. At low settings, the tool doesn’t consume as much power. After all, at this point, it only needs to do light jobs that don’t require high power. But when you increase the load or demand more performance, the power requirements will increase similarly.
And on average, an ordinary table saw with a 2 HP motor will require about 12 to 15 amps to run. The amperage falls more on the lower end when it’s not running at full setting. But as you increase the settings, the amps drawn come closer to the higher end.
At times, it may exceed 15 amps, even if it’s the rated power of your table saw. That may seem alarming, but it’s perfectly normal since the more you use your saw, the less efficient it becomes. But of course, the deviation should be minimal, otherwise, it might be time to factor in some repairs or maintenance work.
How Many Amps Does a Dewalt Table Saw Use?
The amps that a Dewalt table saw requires depends on the model and the tool’s horsepower. But most models will use about 1800 watts when running on full power. This means that the Dewalt table saw will draw about 15 amps of electricity, which is also considered the standard for most power tools.
Dewalt is undoubtedly a big name in the world of power tools. From drills to saws to generators, they manufacture various products. For table saws, the company offers several variants in different HPs, each of which has different power requirements.
For example, the Dewalt DWE7485 Table Saw has a voltage rating of 110V and an amperage of 15, which translates to 1650 watts. It’s worth noting that when the saw runs at lower settings, it may consume less power than the rated wattage.
But also, when operating on full power, the Dewalt table saw could exceed the rated 15 amps. And as usual, the power demand is the highest when you turn the unit on, with a power requirement that’s triple the rated wattage.
But the thing is, Dewalt table saws don’t all need the same number of amperes to work. Depending on the HP, some may require more power than others. Higher horsepower motors mean the unit produces more torque; thus, it needs more amps to function optimally.
How Many Watts Does a Table Saw Use?
A table saw will need to use a certain number of watts depending on the HP rating of the motor. Typically, a 2HP unit will need between 1700 and 1800 watts to operate. The manufacturer sometimes will specify the actual wattage or provide information on the voltage and amperage.
So, always check the specifications of the saw you’re buying to ensure it has enough power for your needs. If all you can see is the voltage and the amps, then you have all you need to find the wattage using this simple formula;
Wattage = Volts x Amps
For instance, assuming that a unit has a voltage of 120 and draws 15 amperes from the power supply, then you can calculate the wattage using this simple formula;
Wattage = Volts x Amps
= 120 x 15
= 1800 Watts
But can’t you use the horsepower to find the wattage?
Yes, you can!
1 Horsepower is equal to 746 watts of power. Hence, a 2HP motor would need 1492 watts of power. But this method doesn’t factor in the efficiency and power factor of the motor. As such, the input wattage required is usually more than that.
Most 2 HP models need about 1750 watts, which is slightly higher than the 1492 you get when you try calculating from the horsepower. The difference of 258 watts is due to the efficiency and power factor of the motor, which are factored in when working out how many watts a table saw needs.
But more often, the manufacturer will provide you the input voltage and the amperage, so you will seldom need to use the horsepower-based wattage calculation.
Is a 15 Amp Breaker Enough For a Table Saw?
Yes, a 15-amp breaker is enough for a table saw if its actual amperage is 12 or below. Usually, a breaker needs to be 125% of the total load to be sufficient. In fact, that’s one of the electrical codes you need to factor in when plugging in any units.
So, if you have a 15-amp unit, then get a breaker that can support at least 18.75 amps, meaning that you have to go for the 20-amp piece. The 5 amps will provide enough buffer, ensuring the breaker does not get overloaded and eventually trip.
It is also important to note that if your breaker rating is slightly higher than the unit’s current draw, you should not use it as a universal outlet. Otherwise, the breaker may get overloaded and eventually trip.
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Will a 15 Amp Table Saw Work on a 15 Amp Circuit?
While it’s technically possible to use a 15 amp table saw on a 15 amp circuit, it’s not recommended. Electrical appliances become less and less efficient over time, and a 15 amp table saw may draw more than 15 amps as it ages. This will cause the breaker to trip frequently if used on a 15-amp circuit.
You see, the fact that the National Electrical Code (NEC) suggests using a circuit that can handle 125% of the total current draw doesn’t mean that an appliance can’t run on a circuit that matches its current draw. It just means that it’s safer to use a circuit with extra capacity so that any inefficiencies are buffered.
So, if your saw has a rating of 15 amps, use a circuit with a higher rating. As much as your saw may draw the specified 15 amps on day one, it may draw more in the future. Unfortunately, your breaker size won’t increase as the efficiency of your saw decreases, so it’s best to use a larger breaker from the start.
Is It Possible To Use a 15 Amp Table Saw on a 20 Amp Circuit?
Yes, it is possible and highly recommended to use a 20-amp circuit for a 15-amp table saw. 20 amps exceed the recommended 125% of 15 amps, providing extra capacity to buffer any inefficiencies from the saw when running at full setting.
However, that doesn’t mean that the 20-amp circuit allows you to bring everything onto it. It’s still important to be mindful of the total load, as overloading the circuit will trip the breaker.
In fact, if you’re using a 20-amp circuit for a 15-amp table saw, we don’t recommend plugging in any other appliances onto the same circuit. Doing so will increase the risk of overloading the circuit, leading to a potential fire hazard.
If you want to use other appliances along with the 15 amp saw, get a circuit rated higher than 20 amps. You can consider going for 30, 40, or 50 amps. This way, you’ll be able to plug in multiple appliances without worrying about overloads.
Just ensure that you pay attention to the total load of the circuit and don’t exceed it, no matter how small each appliance’s current draw. That way, you can rest assured that your appliances are running safely and efficiently.
Why is My Table Saw Tripping The Breaker?
Your table saw tripping the breaker is a sign of a problem with either the breaker, the saw, or, even worse, both. But most likely, you’re using an inappropriate breaker size for your saw.
Tripping is a safety measure used by breakers when too much current than the rated capacity of the breaker is flowing. So, anytime the breaker trips, know that whatever you have plugged into it tried to draw more current than the breaker’s capacity.
Here are some likely reasons a table saw trips the breaker:
Inappropriate Breaker Size
If your saw is rated to draw 15 amps and you’re using a breaker with an amp rating of 15, it’s not ideal. As the inefficiencies creep in, the saw will draw more than 15 amps, and your breaker won’t be able to handle that. So, stick to the NEC recommendation of using a breaker that is at least 125% of the saw’s rating.
Sometimes, the problem is with the saw itself. Check for a bad drive motor, worn motor brushes, or a problematic motor overload switch. It’s best to have a professional take a look at it before trying to fix the problem yourself.
Improper Extension Cord
If you’re using an extension cord, ensure that it is rated to handle the amperage of the saw. Extension cords rated for 15 amps will be fine if you’re using a 15 amp saw. Otherwise, you’ll be running the risk of tripping the breaker.
These are just some common reasons a table saw may be tripping the breaker. If you still can’t figure out why it’s happening, get a licensed electrician to help you pinpoint and solve the problem. The expert will examine the power source, the wiring, the breaker, and the saw to help you identify the issue. At times he may even have to gauge the saw’s current draw to come up with the right solution.
Table saw power requirements depend on the model you choose. Even so, most of the saws will draw at least 10 amps when running on a 120-volt electrical circuit and half as many when running on a 240-volt circuit. You can always find out the exact power rating of the saw from its manual.
But it’s important to remember that using an appropriate breaker size is key to avoiding circuit overloads and potential fire hazards. So, ensure that your breaker is rated for 125% of the table saw’s current draw when setting up a saw in your home workshop.
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Remember that a start-up surge can sometimes make the breaker trip. That’s because the saw needs about thrice its typical operating current to start. But if you choose a breaker designed for motors, then it should be able to handle the initial surge and won’t trip.