For all DIY-ers, and especially beginners, safety of their work should be number one concern. That’s why i think the first tool beginners usually start with are circular saws, obviously because they’re cheapest and most effective saws out there, that can be used for almost anything. Whenever someone asks me for advice about getting into woodworking and DIY, first tool i recommend is circular saw, because it’s the best. And it is safest too, at least compared to bigger worm drive and table saws, but there are still few precautions you need to take in order to be perfectly safe. Actually there are lots of safety precautions you should know of, but most important one, i think, is wearing goggles. Also, i’d strongly recommend protection for your ears, just in case you have sensitive ears and are prone to losing your hearing.
In my experience, table saws are the most dangerous, but most effective saws at the same time. Their power to cut through things serves as both – advantage and disadvantage. You need to be very careful while setting up your table saw, or you might be risking your fingers while working on it. I’ve read somewhere that most accidents happen while working on table saw, and that’s why i’m stressing the importance of being careful when working on it. The blade is designed to pull things in, so even slightest mistake might be fatal. I also recommend wearing special clothes and gloves, because casual clothes constrict your precision and wearing them is not worth the risk. Companies have designed safety tools like kickback pawls to make table saws even more secure, and they do actually work. But i’ve been noticing that people are starting to remove those safety measures, claiming that it wastes them time and doesn’t effectively work. I am very concerned and somewhat upset at these people, because they prefer to risk their well-being for slightly more comfort. I feel like even today, a lot of accidents happen because of such ignorance and arrogance. People claim to be better at knowing what is safe and which safety measures are required, which is very arrogant to me, and it might take several years, but such attitude guarantees you a serious injury.
In all hobbies, especially if it’s as dangerous as woodworking, you need to follow certain rules that people more experienced than you have stated.
Then there are miter saws and worm drive saws too, which are somewhere between circular and table saws, in terms of danger. Long story short, the safest saw for a beginner is definitely a circular saw. Plus it’s cheapest and does all kinds of work, so if i had to choose perfect saw for a newbie, it would certainly be small circular saw.