This article is the place to start, and then you can take it from there. My table saw buying guide has all the essential information on table saws you will need, like their classification based on size, portability, motor type, blade size, and the features they come with. You will encounter each of these terms in all the product reviews, which is why you shouldn’t skip reading it.
Bosch’s Gravity Rise Stand was the best portable design of the group. While several stands share the basic principles, Bosch stood out with large diameter tubing that improves durability, the ease of set up/take down, and the larger pneumatic wheels that helps over less than ideal terrain. SawStop was right behind with slightly narrower wheels while Ridgid wrapped up the top 3 most impressive.
Let’s face it: guys get in each other's’ way at a job site. It’s not always easy to find room to work, so portability is a serious advantage when it comes to making the most out of your space. Luckily for the professionals out there — not to mention hobbyists who prefer to move around rather than work in the same spot everyday — RIDGID’s 15-amp table saw comes with a convenient mobile cart for stress-free transportation.
A little unusual for Bosch’s larger tools, it comes in reasonably light weight at 60 pounds – only Skilsaw and Ryobi posted lighter weights. Like Milwaukee in our 18V impact driver shootout, the Bosch 4100 didn’t really stand out from the crowd in features and performance. It’s solid consistency in every area we tested earned it the top spot in the class.
One of the biggest issues and potential hazards when working with table saws is kickback. Table saw kickback occurs when wood is ejected from the saw at extremely high speed. You can imagine the sort of injuries this can cause. Table splitters are effectively small vertical bits of metal or sometimes plastic that are designed to stop the wood flying back if there is a kickback. Attached to the splitter are anti kickback pawls either side, they look like table saw blades themselves but they are in fact there to grip the wood at stick into it in case of kickback.
As we said in the beginning of this section, many of these saws will be used, right out of the box, for rough cutting materials and the fine accuracy may not matter so much in that application. If this is the case for a saw, the quality of the cuts and more importantly, the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer. So, TBB wanted to see how the various saws compared right out of the box. The results are in and, as a group, these eight saws measured up quite well for out-of-the-box accuracy.
In recent years, there has been a cloud of controversy surrounding the inherent safety issues surrounding the table saw. SawStop developed a flesh detection technology that pulls the blade below the table surface 3 milliseconds after coming into contact with skin. It really created a new class of table saw that, as of June 1st, finally has some competition in the form of Bosch’s REAXX.
The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.
The whole thing is a bit more versatile than the Dewalt, thanks to expanded fence rails and an extended trunnion set. It has a wider rip capacity than the Dewalt. This one uses a traditional sliding-rail fence which gives you a rip capacity up to 25 inches. The fence locks at either side, like the Dewalt’s. It also has a wider bevel range, tilting up to 47 degrees.
Ridgid’s fence is outstanding for its design. Its large front plate helps stabilize it and the whole thing just feels solid. There’s very little play compared to some of the others and we were consistently able to lock it down perfectly square. We like the pinion style bevel adjustment. It’s not quite a good as a separate adjustment wheel, but a great improvement over simple sliding. We also like the independent locks for both height and bevel. It’s not often that a height lock would be required, but there’s an element of confidence that comes from knowing it won’t be going anywhere.
Standard table saws are also called contractor table saws, even if they're really intended for the home do-it-yourselfer. These table saws have open, fixed legs, and they take up more space than a portable or benchtop table saw. They're also heavier – weighing as much as 200 to 300 pounds. On the plus side, their tables are often larger, making it easier to cut 4 by 8-foot panels of plywood or sheetrock. Prices for contractor saws range from around $600 to nearly $2,000.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.