Generally speaking the equipment you will be introduced to can be divided by shape into two major categories. Is the blade or abrasive linear or circular? The answer to this question separates the woodshop equipment into two groups; circular and linear shaped blades.
These categories can be further refined by identifying the desired action you wish to perform or the end result you which to achieve. What am I trying to do to this piece of wood?
Are you making a shape?
Are you making the material shorter?
Are you making the material thinner?
The answers to these important questions help you to determine the most appropriate piece of equipment by narrowing your focus to one of the first three groups or families of saws, which are defined and grouped by shape and process or cutting action. These groups are defined as Linear,Hybrid,and Circular blades.
Your choice of equipment will then be assisted by considering the following: the size of the material to the size of blade, and your ability to control the material from the beginning of the cut to the end. Your level of experience and comfort will also have an impact upon the equipment you choose. Don’t be a victim of habit. Consider safety first.
Combined, all of these considerations will help you identify which piece of equipment will perform the tasks you desire in the safest way. Ask before you start cutting!