There were really two major performance considerations we wanted to look at to help determine the best portable jobsite table saw: cutting power and dust collection. Power is an obvious choice. We want to make clean, straight cuts, but we don’t want to spend all day making them. Any saw can be calibrated to be straight and accurate, but some have to be babied more than others to get professional results.

The miter gauge gets an “its fine” grade. Ok to support a narrow piece for a crosscut, but not long enough to do much more than that. I upgraded to an Incra miter 1000SE and never looked back. Although a crosscut sled is pretty easy to make (and I highly recommend getting one) I picked up an Incra Miter Express sled for real cheap at a garage sale, so I am happy to use that.
The price is okay. SawStop is a well-known manufacturer, and they have a pretty good quality control department. In simpler words, it may seem expensive to some, but it’s well-worth the money, especially if you’re a professional. A vast majority of DIY enthusiasts don’t want to make a huge investment in order to tackle a few minor projects; therefore, most of them tend to skip on buying a professional cabinet saw.
In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.
The price is acceptable. One cannot say it’s a cheap piece of equipment because it’s not. But, the high quality of production and a great deal of precision justify the somewhat premium price. If you’re a devoted professional, the price shouldn’t be much of an issue for you. The only downside many people reported is the quality control within the company. Many models came with broken or missing parts.
Skilsaw SPT70WT-22 is a portable 10 in. Worm Drive table saw designed for ripping and is the first of its kind to hit the market. This Skilsaw has a powerful Dual-Field 15 amp motor that is powerful enough to handle even the toughest jobs. The motor has a smooth startup and runs cooler, so it lasts longer. With a small, compact size, easy to transport size, this portable saw has a lot to bring to the table. Skilsaw’s SPT99-12 is also this same table saw but also includes a rolling stand which allows you to easily transport and move this saw around the job site.
Paul – Good catch….I’ve updated that to say Skilsaw not SawStop…thank you! As you can imagine…all the data makes it tough to keep it all straight. I’m not even sure how you’d install that aftermarket fence on these saws. If you do I’d love to see how!! Those really look like they are made to install on cast-iron full size saws. I’d choose the DEWALT with a slight edge over the SKilsaw.

As you would expect, the most expensive saws made slightly smoother cuts. But the difference was negligible. The only saw that struggled to make smooth cuts in the super-thick oak was the Ryobi. In more common situations, like cutting 3/4-in.-thick material, Ryobi’s cut quality was fine. We found the blades included with all the saws to be adequate for most ripping tasks. But if you want cuts smooth enough for glue joints, you’ll have to invest in a better blade.

Cabinet saws are the prime choice for professional woodworkers. A more powerful induction motor, usually 3 to 5 HP, is enclosed in a cabinet, as part of a super-sturdy overall construction. This type of table saw is ideal for making smooth, straight cuts through hardwoods without worrying about excessive vibration. All that power and stability comes at a price, though. Low-end cabinet saws start around $2,300 and can go past $5,000 for industrial table saws.
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One thing you must be aware of with a contractor saw is the fact that they can be a lot more difficult to move from job to job, this is something that must be considered before purchasing. For thicker and harder type woods a cabinet table saw maybe the best way to go, especially for the long-term benefits, but for the average mid-sized contractor it’s still a great option. Read More