A riving knife is a piece of metal that comes included with your new saw. It’s shaped like a surfboard fin. Sadly, not all models come with this crucial part. If you purchase a model without it, make sure you design one for yourself as soon as possible. The construction of this piece is not a big deal at all; you can cut the shape in a matter of minutes and install it. Its purpose is to prevent the wood and debris from getting caught in the back of the blade which consequently kicks back thus jeopardizing your safety.
Portable or “jobsite” table saws are the absolute opposite of cabinet models. These are the lightest, most travel-friendly table saws on the market. These are easy to pack up and store in the back of a pickup truck or work van, and they can be set up pretty much anywhere. You can fit them to folding stands, use them on countertops, or sawhorses. We love them for quick contractor jobs, and they’re the ideal tool for general handymen who do a lot of shorter jobs rather than extended carpentry fittings. These are also a great entry-level choice for DIYers who don’t need a massive table saw, but need something that they can pack away at the end of the day. And, of course, they’re the least expensive table saws you can buy!
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 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.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
If you’re a professional woodworker, you should expect a standard hookup on any saw. However, you’ll find that no portable table saw does a perfect job collecting sawdust. Since these aren’t enclosed tools like a cabinet saw, there are lots of ways for dust to find its way to your floor and spray around your shop. You’ll want to look for the most enclosed, effective design possible, and pair it with a vacuum system that’s got some heft.
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.
Just used this saw for the first time today and I love it. Instructions for putting the stand together were not very clear. There's a lot of very detailed reviews here, so there isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said; but one thing I didn't know until using it is that the rear legs are angled further back than the front ones to provide more stability when pushing stock through the saw. Only used it a few times today, but it was a pleasure to use.
Table saws cut more or less the same way as a circular saw (covered in their own report): a round blade, usually 10 inches in diameter, spins as it works its way through the wood. The main difference is that the blade is fixed in place, sticking up through a gap in the table, and the operator moves the wood past the blade instead of moving the saw itself. Table saws support and guide lumber and wood panels as they pass over the spinning blade, making it easier to make accurate repeat cuts than with a circular saw.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.

We’re loving the guard system on this Bosch. It’s modular, like the Dewalt’s, so you won’t have to use any tools to set it up, take it down, or make adjustments. Like the Dewalt, this unit has a clear guard, with independent panels, kickback pawls, and a riving knife. The riving knife on this one is a standout feature for us, since it adjusts to three different positions, depending on what kind of cut you’re making. It’s a smart design tweak that saves you needing to have several differences riving knives

While the sheer price of this Bosch unit might be cost-prohibitive for most buyers, we think it’s the full-time professional’s ideal mobile unit. With the REAXX flesh-detection system onboard, it’s one of the safest table saws on the market, portable or stationary. The system detects flesh and stops itself instantly, without leaving a mark on the hot dog test.
With that said, the Dewalt DWE7491RS (another jobsite saw) has an amazing fence. It also has a greater ripping capacity – so if this additional functionality is more important to you than portability, it might be something to consider. Although keep in mind that it’s also 30lbs heavier, and the stand is much worse than that of the Bosch (which we’ll discuss later in this article).
While your table saw is unplugged, take the time to clear and clean the work surface, removing any debris that could negatively impact the smooth path of the wood you will be cutting. Then, lower or raise the blade to where the blade gullet (the curved section between each blade tooth) is equal with the top of the piece of wood to be cut. Also, make sure that your saw's dust exhaust port is clear and open and that a bag is in place to catch any excess sawdust.
The thing you might not like about it is the non-flat table top. Many people find this downside as quite a burden, especially if you’re processing perfectly flat wood. Also, the protective coating on the top side of this model is pretty subpar. In fact, it barely protects anything. Consequently, it will peel off quite quickly. As far as the price goes, it’s okay, but it could have been a bit cheaper.

A table saw has two main ways it can seriously hurt you. One is obvious and that is having any part of your body come into contact with the blade. Any table saw you are seriously considering should have a blade guard installed. The clearer the better. And make sure you leave it on. The blade guard can’t do its intended job from a workbench or shelf.
6. Clamp rip fence to check if it holds securely at front and rear. If rear is not clamped securely, un- clamp fence and turn rear clamp adjustment screw 6 clockwise for increased clamping. Try clamping the fence to verify if it self aligns and clamps tightly at the front and rear. Overtightening of the rear clamp adjustment screw 6 will cause the rip fence to be non-self aligning (Fig. 23). Overtightening may cause friction or “chatter” when fence is moved side to side.
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