With a single cast iron trunnion system, the Delta UNISAW offers dependable accuracy, smooth and continuous operation, but also vibration free control. Thanks to the fact that it features a fifty-two inch fence system, it’s the perfect choice for woodworking pros, but also people who are just starting out in the woodworking industry, such as hobbyists. Since it also comes with an upfront bevel dial to easily fine tune the blade level, you get a striking accuracy within a quarter of a degree, ensuring precision setups cut after cut.
Standard table saws are also called contractor table saws, even if they're really intended for the home do-it-yourselfer. These table saws have open, fixed legs, and they take up more space than a portable or benchtop table saw. They're also heavier – weighing as much as 200 to 300 pounds. On the plus side, their tables are often larger, making it easier to cut 4 by 8-foot panels of plywood or sheetrock. Prices for contractor saws range from around $600 to nearly $2,000.
This is a truly great saw, except that it is really tough to adjust the blade and rip fence for parallel. Once adjusted though, it is a fine piece of engineering. What I like best is that the saw is built for the job site. It is extremely beefy, but no too heavy. In my opinion, it strikes a nice balance. Its cart stand is the best in the industry, bar none. Once adjusted, the saw returns to its settings extremely well. It is obviously built for the long haul, and should last a contractor many years. I would definitely purchase this saw again. Now with the things that I wish were better. First, adjusting the blade for parallel is just plain hard. Mine was out from the factory by 4 thousandths. It is a trial and error process, and the instructions suck. Here's what to do: 1. Loosen the four screws indicated in the instructions. Starting from behind the saw, center the blade housing in the rear left to right as best you can, then tighten one screw not quite snug (you want the housing to rotate on this screw when you adjust the front). Next move to the front of the saw and loosen the lock lever for blade angle adjustment (the housing won't move unless you do). Now, begin experimenting with holding the housing at 90 degrees with one hand while sliding the housing back and forth with the other until square. When you think that you are close, lightly tighten one of the front housing screws. Check for parallel (look for videos on how to check a table saw blade for parallel), then tighten the blade angle adjustment lever. With these screws and the lever tight and locked, check again for parallel. If it is still good (I got it to 1/1000 inch of parallel), then lock all the screws and check one more time, if it's still good, then you are done with blade housing adjustment.
You’ll also want to consider which features are most important for you. If you need extra space to work, and cut lots of larger stock, you should invest more in a saw that gives you more room. If you’re working with people who haven’t spent their lives working with professional-grade tools, or if you’re trying to meet tough workplace safety standards, you should probably spend a bit more for a unit with a skin-detection system to protect fingers or limbs.
You can opt to extend the warranty coverage to 3 years, all through an external provider. We actually prefer these third-party warranties for power tools because they allow you to deal with people who are on your side, as opposed to company representatives, who can be frustrating to say the least. We think add-on coverage is a great safeguard for any cabinet table saw, and it’s a very reasonable proposition on this model.
From there, the rest of the saws created a top tier of cutting power that wasn’t mind-blowingly better, but definitely noticeable. It took many cuts back and forth between saws to determine which came out ahead of other because they are so close to each other. Bosch’s REAXX took third place overall with SawStop ever so slightly ahead. Part of that simply came down to the fact that SawStop was a little bit smoother cutting. Coming out on top was Ridgid. There was noticeable vibration compared to Bosch and SawStop here, but it was able to muscle through each cut a little bit better than the other two.
Optional portable table saw stands are available for both saws. (Bosch's stand is called the GTA500; DeWalt's is the DW7450.) The Bosch features tool-less connection (after initial assembly), while the DeWalt requires the attachment and tightening of four bolts through the DW745's bottom roll cage— though it's nothing a few after-market knobs couldn't fix.
If you’re going to have a quality product, you need a fence system that’s perfectly square to the table so your cut is perfectly parallel to the edge. Obviously, framers have a bit more leeway than jobsite carpenters and there’s plenty of variance in fence quality. Cheaper saws have fences that can easily move out of square as they slide along the surface of the table. Avoid these if you want quality results. The fence system needs to be easy to keep square to the blade.
Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.
The first is how easy the switch is to operate. Oftentimes, you will approach your table saw with your hands full especially when we are talking about sheet goods. And sometimes you’ll be making cuts that require both hands to be occupied. Now if something goes wrong or you need to turn the saw off for any reason, you need to be able to do so and the quicker the better.
Our top midrange choice comes from Jet, which is a partner brand of the well-known Powermate lineup. This unit is a good choice for folks who need a saw that can cut through absolutely anything, at a reasonable price, and without taking up too much space. It’s more compact than the Grizzly, but it offers even faster saw speeds and more precise adjustments. We recommend it to folks who want lots of power, but don’t have the room for a larger cabinet unit.
It can seem like plastic is a weight-saver on the part of the manufacturer, but it’s really a cost-saver. You shouldn’t accept shoddy build quality in the name of getting a lighter machine. While no portable unit will include heavy cast iron components like a cabinet table saw, you can find metal alternatives that offer rugged, long-lasting build quality. Instead of plastic, look for aluminum.
This one’s compatible with Jet’s rolling bases. You can mount it on any of the company’s all-metal roller frames, and move it around your shop! That’s ideal for busy shops with a lot of large equipment and not a lot of space to spare. It’s also handy for home craftsmen who don’t have as much dedicated space as they’d like to devote to a table saw. The Grizzly, on the other hand, is much harder to convert to a wheeled base, because it has the dual extension tables.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 are pretty evenly matched in having plenty of power and not-so-hot dust collection. I you’re looking for a light weight saw, the DEWALT comes in ahead since it weighs almost half as much as the Bosch. It is also the less expensive choice by far. The large work table, expanded cutting capability, and its Gravity Rise feature (with solid rubber wheels that make it easy to be rolling across rugged terrain at a jobsite) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.
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.
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!
Some buyers weren’t impressed with the blade adjustments. The knobs and trunnions are similar to those on the DW745, but some reviewers said their units felt a bit clunky on the way down. Again, due to the quality control issues on these models, it’s a good idea to do a very thorough inspection and test of your unit before it’s too late to return it.
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.
Framing work is full of rougher cuts that rarely makes use of more than one blade at a time. But occasionally you might need dados for an onsite custom build in. If that sounds like you, be sure to find out the saw’s dado stack capacity. It requires a longer arbor and you won’t be able to use your normal throat plate for it. Some manufacturers offer a dado throat plate if they have the capacity for it.
SawStop is the only saw in the group to employ this style fence and they have the best in the group. Ridgid comes in second with a traditional front clamping fence system that has a backside contact point. Its solid construction and wide cast front clamp left us impressed. DeWalt’s came in third with an innovative effort that locks into several points based on where you need it. Rather than sliding along, it stays in place while the rack and pinion system moves it into place. It’s not perfect, but it eliminates a lot of accuracy issues that come from locking the fence out of square on some systems.
Like the Bosch, this Dewalt comes with a rolling stand. It’s convenient to set up and take down, since you can do it without helpers or tools. It rolls like a dolly, and opens into a nice, sturdy table. We especially like the splayed legs, since they lend the whole thing a bit more stability than the Bosch version. Unlike the Bosch’s stand, the Dewalt’s has semi-pneumatic tires which won’t ever go flat.
I knew there were jobsite table saws on the market for less than $250, but I never thought they were good enough to get my recommendation. Sure, the SKIL 3410-02 is not a professional saw and may not be versatile enough for contractors, but the stand, power, accuracy and build quality of this table saw are much better than I thought possible in this class.
The blade is a 24 tooth carbide tipped blade that is durable and long lasting. You can even adjust it to a 45 degree angle for those more difficult bevel cuts. If you’re working on uneven ground, you’ll love the rear feet that are fully adjustable so you can level you work space. You’ll get a lot of use out of the onboard storage that will give you easy access to the push stick and guarding components. Weighing only 45 pounds, you can move the table saw from work site to home with ease.
Bosch’s REAXX and SawStop were neck and neck with near perfect cleanup at the collection point and only a slight amount of dust coming out toward the user. What did make it out was even less coarse than the other Pro level saws. Both saws have narrower throat openings for the blade that reduce the amount and size of material that can make it out. In the end, SawStop produced less top dust than Bosch did to earn the win.
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.
I am looking to upgrade from my first table saw which is the Ryobi that you reviewed (had to find something cheap that was decent). I do a lot of rip cuts, as well as fine precision cuts for laminating and joinery required for frames, furniture, etc. I am looking at the Skilsaw and the Dewalt 7480 and cannot decide which would be best for me. Any insight would be helpful!
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
For centuries, the job of the sawyer was, quite simply, to saw logs into lumber. Working in two-man teams, a pair of sawyers would use massive saws -- called whipsaws or pitsaws -- to cut felled trees into workable planks with their own muscles as the motive power. The job was exhausting and often dangerous, yet necessary to create the precious lumber used to build everything from homes to railroad bridges.
Speaking of safety, this particular model offers a satisfactory level of it. First of all, the tool-free adjustments come in handy if you’re in a middle of a project. In case you need to make a quick adjustment, you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing and commit your attention to fine-tuning. Instead, you can do it on the go, without any additional tools. Furthermore, the convenient guarding system keeps your fingers and hands safe at all times. Don’t forget to wear protective gear; it can make a difference between life and death.