These saws are the most difficult ones to categorize. The simplest explanation would be that they are somewhere in the middle between contractor and industrial cabinet saws. They are driven by an inboard belt motor. These units usually have open leg stands, but there are some models with closed ones – hence the whole confusion and difficulty in categorizing.
The Bosch 4100-10 10 In. Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand delivers both professional rip capacity and outstanding portability for a tool that can get the job done, wherever it is. The powerful 15-Amp saw delivers 4.0 max HP for outstanding productivity. It also incorporates soft-start circuitry for smooth but quick ramp-up to the operating speed to manage the intensity of motor start-up and minimize the possibility of tripping a circuit breaker. It includes Constant Response circuitry to help maintain speed under load, and overload protection.
But with top quality saws come features that some people may find well worth the extra investment, substantial though it may be, and thus our discussion starts with pricier models. At the top price range for table saws, you can often get a saw with safety technology that will automatically halt its blade the instant it encounters human flesh. (The process literally takes but a few milliseconds.) The knowledge that your fingers and hands are safe from major injury caused by a rapidly rotating, razor sharp blade is more than convincing enough for many people to invest in these technologically marvelous table saws.
There are several types of table saws. The types of jobs or projects you plan to use a table saw for will determine which type you buy. If you want a saw you can take from job site to job site and store it easily, then you will need a table saw that is made to be portable so that it can be easily transported to the job site. Of the portable or work site table saws on the market today, the Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand and the DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 16-Inch Max Rip Capacity are two of the most popular.
Located right next to the hand wheel on the front is a panel that features both a power button and a stop switch. The power button helps the motor come to life quickly without requiring that it heat up first, and you can press down on this button to turn the saw off at the end of the day. The emergency stop switch helps you stop the blade in the middle of a project to prevent accidents caused by clothing or skin coming into contact with the blade.
The maximum depth of cut on a saw tells you how thick of a material you can cut through cleanly. Be careful when you’re looking at depth of cut ratings, since you’ll usually find two separate specs listed. One is for cutting at 90 degrees, the blade’s normal setting, and one is for cutting at a 45 degree bevel, which is generally the furthest a table saw blade will pivot. Most of us will only need to be concerned about the 90-degree rating, but if you cut lots of angles, you should check the 45 degree rating as well.
Make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not, especially if you’ll be using your machine commercially (many warranties are strictly for individual, not commercial use). It’s also a good choice in this case to purchase add-on warranty coverage from a third party at the checkout. We recommend these policies for most portable table saws, since most manufacturers have either very short warranty coverage, or longer warranties which require you to foot the bill for service calls or for returning the machine to the maker.
All table saws sold in the U.S. come with a riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a split blade guard. Because some cuts can’t be made with these safety features installed, they are removable. If you’re looking for a fun party game, see who of your uninitiated friends can install both correctly without a manual. While each one is different, their nature means you can use the saw without them installed. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you those cuts are more dangerous, so avoid it if you can.
From dust collection and onboard storage through to on/off switches and table extensions, most reputable table saws come equipped with everything you’ll need to rip up the wood of your choice. Whether it’s making your life easier with wheels enabling height and tilt adjustment or a safety feature like the magnetic switch, the functionality of table saws is impressive. You can upgrade the blades, get various jigs or dado blades and generally enhance the way your saw performs.
Now let’s talk power. The 15-amp motor is housed underneath the aluminum table and features replaceable brushes so you can expect long life from the saw. The gearing for adjusting the blade height also looked to be built with durability in mind and was well-greased. Cranking the height on the saw was simple and, unlike many saws I’ve used, even bevel adjustments were a snap and didn’t require a ton of effort to move the blade. We found that we could easily loosen the bevel lock and slide the assembly along its arc until we got to the required angle.
Jet also gives you different choices when it comes to the extension wings. Some customers prefer the cast iron wings because they add more weight and keep the table from shifting, but others prefer the stainless steel wings that are durable and easier to use. No matter which wings you choose, you’ll find that you can quickly and easily attach them to the table’s surface to extend the total amount of workspace you have.
It’s just as powerful as our other recommendations. The SawStop has a 3HP belt-driven motor, and like the Jet, it uses a tweaked multi-belt drive system to transfer maximum power from the drive shaft to the blade. That makes for as powerful a cabinet saw as any on the market. This one slices smoothly through anything you can feed into it. It also has a slightly thicker max cutting depth than our other recommendations, so it’s the better choice for sturdy stock.
As with our other models, it takes some assembly. If you get one of the extended models, which we’re recommending here, you should plan to cut the rails down to size before finishing installation. It’s simple to do if you’ve got a good miter or bandsaw, but it is an extra step. With that said, many reviewers complimented the SawStop’s well-written and helpful manual, which made installation significantly easier than other units.
I knew there were jobsite table saws on the market for less than $250, but I never thought they were good enough to get my recommendation. Sure, the SKIL 3410-02 is not a professional saw and may not be versatile enough for contractors, but the stand, power, accuracy and build quality of this table saw are much better than I thought possible in this class.
Both saws accomplish the same thing, but with different results. SawStop’s feature takes about 90 seconds to recover from compared to roughly 1 minute with Bosch. Bosch developed the REAXX to drop the blade without damage while SawStop usually results in a damaged blade that needs to be replaced. The SawStop employs a brake that must be changed after activation at a cost of $69 each. Bosch uses a dual airbag style cartridge. These run $99 each, but you get two shots out of each one.
Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.