We’re impressed with how much thought SawStop have put into all the features on this model. It has an extra-large bevel gauge ruler on the side of the cabinet, tool-free, modular guard system, and compatibility with innovative wheelbases which don’t add noticeably to the SawStop’s height or footprint. It also has beveled edges to protect your materials, a very nice touch that our other recommendations don’t have. All in all, it feels like a tool designed by people who use one of these units on a regular basis.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.
Outfeed capacity is almost always the depth of the table. Pros using a jobsite table saw can opt to put a sawhorse or other support to hold the material after it passes the blade. There are a few models running around that give you some extra outfeed support, though. Most of the time, you’ll just have a buddy help guide the cut through from a safe stance on the behind the saw.
Along with thinking about how the table saw will be used now, it is important to also consider how you will be using it in the future. Will your usage increase or decrease? Many woodworkers may turn a hobby into a fulltime profession if they are talented at what they do. Why are these considerations important? Because they will give you better insight into the kind of money you should spend on your table. If you are going to go into business for yourself in a year or two, spending the money for a high-quality table now is a good idea. It will save you from having to buy another table in the future to accommodate your new needs as a business rather than just a hobbyist.
The DeWalt will do you proud for a broad spread of applications. If you’re a home woodworker, you’ll be able to rip sheet material, size material as thick as 3 inches, frame lumber and make cross cuts to your heart’s content. For professionals, the DeWalt is perfect for trim carpentry, installation of hardwood floors, decking or remodeling. There’s very little you can’t do with this beast.
The DeWalt DWE7499GD table saw earns a third place finish in the safety category thanks to their GuardDetect technology. This doesn’t prevent you from using the saw without the pawls and blade guard in place, but it does require you to physically indicate you are aware they’re not in place. Ideally, this gives your mind one last opportunity to consciously note the additional care that needs to take place before cutting.
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.
For this portion of the testing and evaluation we used three different materials (3/4″ AC Plywood, 5/4 Mahogany Decking, and 5/4 Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine Decking) while measuring the saw blade RPM, and the saw motor AMP draw. To compare the saws we’re looking for how much blade speed each saw has under load, and also how much the amp draw increases under load. Think about it like driving a car, a more powerful car will not drop as much speed going up a hill and the engine won’t work as hard.
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.
One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
It also has the highest blade speed. This model has a similar 15-amp motor to our other recommendations, but it’s geared for maximum efficiency. The result is a blade speed that’s nearly 1000 RPM better than the Bosch or the smaller Dewalt. Reviewers marveled at how powerful this one was compared to the size of the motor, which seems underwhelming from the outside. It rips right through oak, cherry, and other planks with no lag or burnout. In fact, we’re hard-pressed to find something this would struggle to cut, provided you equip it with the proper blade.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.