Richard Romanski of Popular Mechanics names his five favorites among 15-amp portable table saws. A slideshow outlines what he likes best about each saw, as well as any downsides. Although it's clear that Romanski has tested these saws hands-on, he doesn't go into any details about his testing methods or name the other saws that didn't make the cut.
Below we’ve included the current pricing (at the time of publishing this article). Pricing includes the cost of the stand and ranges from a low of $349 for the Hitachi to a high of $1,299 for the SawStop. The lowest price isn’t always the best in our opinion, we’re looking for the best value. The Hitachi is an incredible deal at $349 and our top pick for price and value for a saw that has lots of power, a rack & pinion fence, and a solid stand.
I’m not crazy about one feature, and it’s common to three of these five saws: to tip the blade, you unlock a lever behind the blade height hand wheel, then swing the undercarriage up to the angle you need before re-locking the lever. A geared bevel control would make this process a little easier. But, once tipped, Bosch held its angle setting well through my test cuts.
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
Table saws are undeniably the kings of rip cuts on the jobsite and in shops. The concept is simple: Place a motor below a solid table to turn a blade somewhere in the 4000-5000 RPM range through the surface and watch the sawdust fly. The idea may be simple, but the reality is much different. How big should the table be? What size blade should you use? How heavy can you get away with making it?
The machine has a more conventional rip fence/rail arrangement. The right half of the rail assembly folds out so the saw can achieve its full 30″ of rip capacity — wider than any other model here — but the fence would not slide smoothly over the rails without catching on the hinge joint. While the rip fence did maintain its locked settings, it lacks the heft and build quality of the competition.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
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!
If you’re looking for the best table saw out there, then there’s no better choice than the Powermatic 1792001K PM2000. This is an amazing cabinet table saw that features a 1-phase, 3 HP motor with rout-R lift and Accu-fence system which set a new standard for innovation through thanks to the saw’s large body design and an incredible range of patented features. Almost each feature of the 1792001K PM2000 sets a new standard by which every other cabinet table saw on the market is judged, so you can have the peace of mind that this is not your regular cabinet table saw.
Both of these table saws have a port that connects to a shop vacuum for dust collection. The DEWALT features a 2.5” port, while the Bosch has a 2” port. However, neither seems to do all that great a job. The Bosch might fare a little worse as far as the dust port clogging, but the DEWALT has some problems in this area, too. The Bosch is said to spew sawdust on the floor as though there was no dust collection port at all. The DEWALT racks up some complaints about the same problem.
Buying a table saw is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make when it comes to power tools. It is an integral part of most job site equipment, as well as an essential item for most do it yourself projects. Choosing a table saw that fits your particular needs and budget can mean the difference in both profitability and frustration level.
It’s highly portable. The Dewalt is available with a folding stand, which makes it extremely easy to pack up. The guard assembly lies flat, and the fence can be retracted all the way to the table to keep everything neat and tidy. It’s pretty light, too-at just 45 pounds. We also love that the adjustment tools, accessories like the miter gauge, and even the guard components can be stored inside the saw for transport, or when they’re not being used.
The 708494K JPS-10TS from Jet Proshop is a high end cabinet table saw which delivers on all your expectations. Available in either a thirty inch or a fifty two inch rip capacity, this model is built from cast iron and is extremely rugged in order to withstand a lot of abuse and still deliver the excellent results you’re expecting from it. Regardless if you’re a professional or if this is the first cabinet table saw you’re planning to get, the 708494K JPS-10TS won’t disappoint. Its rugged build quality and ease of use are going to make it one of the best table saws currently available.
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.
If you’re going to use your table saw every day, make sure you spend a bit more money for something of the heaviest build quality, with extended warranty coverage from a company with a great reputation for service. If you’re going to be using your cabinet unit only periodically, you probably don’t need to buy something premium. You’ll be able to get by with something around the $2,000, since you won’t be spending enough time cutting to really appreciate the design touches and tweaks that make the more expensive units more of a pleasure to use.
While other cabinet table saws may not offer you a clear cut every single time, that’s not the case with the SawStop ICS51230-52. This model features industrial fence system which ensures that every time you cut something, the cut is going to be very accurate and perfectly straight. One last thing to keep in mind is that the unit includes a standard base, while the mobile base and jobsite cart are sold separately.