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.
Table saws will continue to be popular and much sought after tools in any workshop or construction site. There are many terrific styles on the market which is why it is important to do some research and look at the reviews provided here as well as the tips contained in this guide to help you choose the right table saw for your needs, whether you are a professional or a DIYer who loves to work in the workshop making things for enjoyment.
Other features include a battery-powered laser for lining up cuts. I found it to be pretty dim under bright shop lights and not lined up correctly with the blade. It is non-adjustable. A pullout rear extension provides some added support for long rip cuts. Rockwell also offers a couple of unique accessories: a sliding miter table ($179.99) and a power planer-style “Finisher” ($129.99). It mounts on the saw for flattening board edges.
Compared to some of the other miter saws we’ve used – predating the new riving knife requirement, the Bosch GTS1031 guard system is much easier to install and remove when necessary (and to put the saw back into portable mode). We timed ourselves and assembled and tore down the saw in just over 2 minutes – and we were confident that our time would get better with more practice. The table is made of machined cast aluminum and is texture-coated to make it fairly slick – something that really helped when cutting larger pieces of 3/4″ plywood for a workbench surface. As for extending the table – that was super-easy. You just lift the table extension handle upwards and slide the table to the right. This gives you a full 18″ of rip width to the rip fence with your material to the right of the blade. Collapsed, you get up to 10″. Motion of the rip fence and the table extension were smooth. While the fence had some wobble in it at the far end – this completely disappeared when you locked it down – and the shape of the rear of the fence locked it straight every time. It’s a good system and more than adequate for a low-cost portable saw like this. We’ve seen more robust fence systems. But typically the trade-off has been in weight as well as cost.

Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge is a blessing for the impatient among us. The folks at Kreg know their customers don’t want to waste time preparing their tools — they want to use them! That’s why the KMS7102 boasts positive stops at a variety of the most common angles: so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.


The professional level saws saw a separation as well and all were well ahead of the cutting power we saw with the value group. A middle tier of cutting performance started with Makita and Bosch’s 4100 while DeWalt was significantly better. Entering the fray with the only worm drive system, we had high hopes for Skilsaw’s entry. It was solid and smooth—definitely at the Pro level— and close to what the 4100 delivered.
To ensure that our runout measurements were accurate, TBB used a Freud calibration plate. Freud manufactures this ground stainless steel plate to a tolerance of ± .0005 inches in flatness across the plate. While TBB does not have a means to measure the accuracy of this specification, we did put this calibration plate on top of a polished granite calibration table and could not shine a light under any portion of the plate or slip the 0.001 feeler gauge under the edge.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.

Measuring approximately 22” x 38”, the contractor table saw is then next size up from the bench style. It typically sits on an open attached stand or base which may or may not be on wheels. It weighs between 200-300 pounds and is still portable but requires more than one person to lift. This style of table saw is good for woodworking shops, hobbyists, small contractors and DIYers. The 1-2 hp motors have enough power and stability to handle more heavy duty job site work and workshop demands. One of the benefits to these saws is that they still run on standard electrical circuits.

Whether your household’s resident handyman dabbles in amateur woodwork or takes pride in his DIY repair jobs, chances are he doesn’t need a high-end table saw to take care of his most basic needs. The Ryobi 15 Amp Table Saw is the ideal example of a machine that packs a load of must-have features you’d find in a higher-end table saw at a fraction of the price of competing models.
Plus, the machined aluminum table is our favorite on the market right now. It also has a smarter motor system than either of the Dewalt’s, thanks to a soft start and automatic speed control to ensure smooth cuts. However, it’s the slowest of the pack, and it doesn’t have quite as good a fence as the yellow competition. We think it’s a great choice for pros who are concerned about accuracy, but can’t spend lots of money on their unit.
We compiled this set of data and created a ranked set of results by assigning a 1-2-3 rating to the relative values of the test measurements. Then we ranked the saws for overall as-manufactured table flatness. As a point of interest, a typical sheet of copy paper is approximately .004 inches thick. Flatness measurements varied from 0.0 to .09 inches.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.

Even though the trunnion mechanism from Powermatic has been known to be the best there is, further refinements have been made to it in order to make it even better. The conically shaped worm gear drive with better surface area, the high end bearings, but also the cast iron, box style construction combine with the solid and smooth feel of the height and tilt adjustments. Thanks to the adjustable backlash, it’s very easy for users to adjust the mechanism back to the factory fresh feel and clearances.


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.
Jeffery – As Rob explained things we had the RPM measurements running on that meter, and had to watch our video playback to evaluate the numbers (no recording of the numbers digitally). So we tried to take the average no load speed watching the video play back. Is it perfect? No….is a 10% difference a big deal? In this application I doubt it. If we were a full blown testing lab we’d have the data recorded digitally and take full blow averages, but alas we are not.
Even though the trunnion mechanism from Powermatic has been known to be the best there is, further refinements have been made to it in order to make it even better. The conically shaped worm gear drive with better surface area, the high end bearings, but also the cast iron, box style construction combine with the solid and smooth feel of the height and tilt adjustments. Thanks to the adjustable backlash, it’s very easy for users to adjust the mechanism back to the factory fresh feel and clearances.
A 50 rpm deviation at those speeds is approximately 1% variance which is well within the tolerance we should expect from taking the readings at a precise instant of time. The meters were in constant motion and we took the reading off of a single video frame that represented our determination of no-load speeds. We report them as our instruments showed them. 1% is acceptable.

It is not a cabinet saw, so judging it by those standards would be unfair. As a portable job site saw this is amazing. Loud and dusty, sure, but that is expected. Easy to use and store, yes. The fence is square to the blade, and is rock solid, as long as you make sure the nut at the back of the fence is set right. The fence is not quite square to the table top, and I can't tweak it, but for construction I wouldn't care. I do other fussier things on the saw, so I will shim out an auxiliary fence. I made a cross-cut sled, which I recommend, and get thin kerf blades. I got a rip, general, and fine finish blades, and I get great results.
With this saw, it was a very easy thing to plug it on and get started. The included cord is a reasonable length, but you’ll still need an extension cord unless you happen to be right next to an outlet in your workshop. Raising and lowering the blade is a smooth process and we found the mechanism to be nice and stiff, so you can be very precise with your cut depth. Only time will reveal whether or not this stays tight over the long haul, but it seems to be well-made. Mounting the accessories, like the smart guard system is quick. You just raise the riving knife using the release lever. The riving knife locks into a lower and upper position through the use of two sets of pins. In the upper position it is ready to accept the barrier guard, which you can remove from below the saw. It attaches easily with a lever lock and the anti-kickback device can then be placed on the back of the riving knife such that the teeth are set to grab any wood brought forward by the blade. The physical nature of the barrier guard assembly precludes you from placing your fingers anywhere near the cutting surface of the blade. We (and Bosch) recommend keeping this guard on the saw anytime you are doing “through” cuts. All-in-all, the table saw’s included safety features are more than adequate to keep you from encountering any unfortunate accidents. Removing them, or using the tool improperly, however, will considerably raise your level of risk.
In my opinion, the Bosch is the clear winner here. While both of the saws are technically portable, the Bosch’s wheeled, easy to set up stand will get you to work quickly, without the need to keep track of multiple parts and accessories. While the DEWALT is much lighter, that difference is negated by the fact that you will be forced to carry it from the vehicle to where you will be using it, rather than pulling it behind you like wheeled luggage.
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.
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.
It is not a cabinet saw, so judging it by those standards would be unfair. As a portable job site saw this is amazing. Loud and dusty, sure, but that is expected. Easy to use and store, yes. The fence is square to the blade, and is rock solid, as long as you make sure the nut at the back of the fence is set right. The fence is not quite square to the table top, and I can't tweak it, but for construction I wouldn't care. I do other fussier things on the saw, so I will shim out an auxiliary fence. I made a cross-cut sled, which I recommend, and get thin kerf blades. I got a rip, general, and fine finish blades, and I get great results.
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.
DIY-ers love this type due to its simplistic yet effective operation. However, it’s not unusual for professionals to invest in these in order to avoid investing in cabinet models and save some money. Speaking of money, you should prepare yourself for a hefty investment if you opt for this particular type. However, most models are well-worth the money. These things last for years and don’t require a lot of maintenance apart from occasional blade replacements and minor adjustments.  They are not as easy to use as portable models, but you’ll learn how to use them in a matter of hours or days, as long as you follow the rules written in the user manual.
Our table saw review quickly showed that today’s portable table saws are light-years ahead of the small-saw offerings from a decade ago. They feature big-capacity cutting, greatly improved safety features and attached stands for easy setup. And saws in the upper price range rival stationary saws in accuracy and quality of cut. We limited our review to saws that included a stand with wheels and ones that could rip at least 24 in. wide, only the best table saw for our readers!
Due to the position of the motor, dust collection is often an issue with these units, especially in comparison to the cabinet type. However, an industrial vacuum is usually a small and worthy investment which should solve the issue effectively. The main advantage of this type is the fact that it’s much cheaper than its nearest equivalent – the cabinet type.
The SawStop Contractor Saw CNS175-TGP36 stands out chiefly on account of its unique safety brake, which stops the spinning blade dead when it senses the presence of skin. However, it's also an excellent saw in other respects: powerful, well built, and easy to assemble, with great dust collection and loads of features. Cost is a major concern, but so is the cost of the injuries SawStop is designed to eliminate.
Look for a blade guard and splitter assembly. The guard will keep your fingers and sleeves away from the blade, while the splitter will keep your wood from re-binding together and jamming the blade, or causing kickback. Kickback is one of the biggest hazards of using a table saw, aside from coming in contact with the blade. Make sure you have either a splitter assembly or a riving knife on any cabinet saw you use.
The Delta 10 in. Contractor Saw features an The Delta 10 in. Contractor Saw features an industry standard tool-free split guard design that allows a true rise-and fall riving knife by using a lever on the inside the throat plate. It has a tool-less assembly of the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls. There is a large easy to ...  More + Product Details Close
Give yourself a reason to smile every time you enter in your workshop by investing in this powerful instrument. DEWALT as a company guarantee quality in all their products for the interests of customer satisfaction. This Jobsite table saw is not exceptional. Its designed to provide precision and last longer. The saw features pinion and rack system that makes adjusting the fence easy and convenient. In other words, you will not strain or shift your concentration while on work. The table saw is designed with a rolling stand that guarantees you professional performance in all your cuts. It also features telescoping fence rails that retract and extend for a small portable package of the saw. Additionally, the table saw is suitable for both wide and narrow rip cutting as the fence can adjust based on the type of material you are cutting. Using a 15amp motor, you are sure that the saw will get the job done within minutes and save you energy cost.
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