It’s tough to be completely objective when choosing the best portable jobsite table saw since the stock blades vary so widely. Skilsaw comes with a 30-tooth Diablo blade and Makita’s stock 32-tooth blade are both excellent while others could use some help. To make this shootout about the saws and not the blades, we turned to Diablo to outfit each saw with the same accessory.
While I appreciate this review, that Kobalt job site saw is the absolute worst. Uncontrollable blade wobble, terrible fence, trundle bolts that are nearly impossible to get to without tacking the back panel off (of course that doesn’t matter when the blade won’t stay in alignment for more than a day), miter slots that aren’t parallel to each other and also taper toward the backside of the table, and a riving knife without adequate adjustments to align it with the blade. Do not buy that piece of garbage.
The advent of ever better motive power that came with 19th century developments led to ever more efficient and ever more compact power saws. The first recognizably modern table saws date to the latter decades of that century. With compact and powerful electric motors developed and refined throughout the 20th century, tables saws were widely available and were both compact enough for home use, yet powerful enough for nearly any lumber ripping task.
That’s why we’ve created this handy guide! As usual, our trusty team have taken a comprehensive look at all the options out there. We’ve looked for portable units that don’t sacrifice power or accuracy for their small size. You’ll find our Top Three recommendations below, along with a few additional choices for new woodworkers and demanding professionals.
The frame is also improved. Instead of the basic roll-cage on the Dewalt, this one neatens things up with an integrated sub-base. It’s a rugged rubber-like pad which serves as a bumper between the main frame and your truck bed or worksite table. Both the table and the sub base are joined to the main frame, and they provide strength at both ends of the design. As with the Dewalt, you can store your tools and accessories inside, an on hooks outside the Bosch.
Hybrid table saws are the latest thing on the market these days. They’re in between contractor and cabinet table saws in terms of price, power, and precision. These have either half-cabinets or cutaway stands like a contractor saw, but with the super-powerful motor and improved stability of a cabinet unit. They’re heavy, so you should be prepared to use them on a wheeled lift, but they can be transported fairly easily if you have helpers.
Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.
Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
Bosch engineers deserve kudos for the Gravity-Rise stand, and it’s a design some other manufacturers should emulate. Twist one lever, and the sturdy, steel frame folds up or down fluidly to convert from sawing to transport or storage. Eight-inch wheels and lugged rubber tires make this base easy to steer overland or pull up steps. Plus, the base’s stance is wide, giving it sure footing if you are pushing long planks or heavy sheet goods through. It will not tip. But, the stand when erected sets the saw’s tabletop quite high, at 38-1⁄2″. Shorter users may find this to be a bit too tall for comfort.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.
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.
Apart from some short reviews, we’ve also covered some other aspects such as safety and proper use of these tools. Make sure you thoroughly read our articles because they could save your life. The tips we offered are well-known among the professionals, but beginners are always susceptible to various risks, especially if they don’t know how to handle these tools properly.
The weak point of this rolling stand is the base where all the weight sits. I really like the Bosch rolling miter saw stand, which is what convinced me to buy this setup. When you compare the miter saw to this table saw, it's a night and day difference. The miter saw from Bosch has thicker and larger diameter metal tubing. It clearly weights more, but it's on wheels, and has yet to show any fatigue from constant use.
The design is quite good. The SawStop safety system ensures smooth and flawless operation while protecting you from a variety of hazards. However, regardless of the safety aspects, you should always wear protective equipment, especially gloves and goggles. One of the most notable things about the design is the fact that it provides 99 percent dust collection both below and above the table. The riving knife maximizes kickback and also offers protection.
As with the smaller Dewalt we’ve recommended, this one has very inconsistent quality control on the table. Some reviewers cited units with bowed, funky surfaces, while others got units that were perfectly flat. that’s a flaw of the molding process. We also have a bone to pick with Dewalt as far as the coating on these. While we understand that the coating is supposed to help wood slide better, it just doesn’t seem to last very long or hold up well. It also has the same flawed warranty coverage. We’d recommend purchasing add-on coverage.
The bench table saw is the least expensive of the four types of saws. Some models come with a folding stand that is on wheels which makes it very easy to move or reposition without having to lift it all the time. Even though it is relatively light, constant lifting can become tiresome. You can mount these on your workbench which will give it more stability and could possibly reduce the amount of vibration as well. These smaller table saws generally have a 1 hp motor or even smaller and can run on a normal household circuit with no issues.
To learn about how table saws perform in real people's homes, we consulted owner-written reviews at retail sites like Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears. User reviewers don't have the breadth of experience that many experts enjoy, but they can provide keen insights on the model they bought, including things that might not crop up in the relatively short time professional reviewers have to spend with a given saw.
One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
While DeWALT’s DW744X is the only model here without wheels, the saw is otherwise well appointed. It’s got a unique rip fence design: instead of sliding along front and back rails, the fence is fixed to them. To change rip fence settings, you extend the rails out on rack-and-pinion gears. The design keeps the fence parallel to the blade/miter slots and prevents it from deflecting if pushed laterally. A red hairline cursor makes fence settings easy to read, and it passed my ripping tests with flying colors.
The DCS7485T1 60-Volt MAX 8-1/4 in. table saw The DCS7485T1 60-Volt MAX 8-1/4 in. table saw is maximized for accuracy capacity and runtime. The brushless motor delivers the power to cut all common materials the rack and pinion fence allows for fast easy adjustments and provides the capacity to rip 4x8 sheet goods. The DCS7485T1 comes with 1 ... More + Product Details Close
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.