In other words, a malfunction might mean an injury. This distinction could not be more pronounced in any other job site equipment than a table saw. I have personally witnessed devastating injuries on a number of occasions that could have easily been avoided by the use of safety equipment that comes standard on most brand name saws. Liability for a job site injury can be a serious setback for well established companies, but for small, independent contractors it could mean the difference between business and bankruptcy.
It’s just as powerful as our other recommendations. The SawStop has a 3HP belt-driven motor, and like the Jet, it uses a tweaked multi-belt drive system to transfer maximum power from the drive shaft to the blade. That makes for as powerful a cabinet saw as any on the market. This one slices smoothly through anything you can feed into it. It also has a slightly thicker max cutting depth than our other recommendations, so it’s the better choice for sturdy stock.
And finally, they all include a blade guard that can be removed and reinstalled without tools. Because a few sawing operations, such as non-through cuts, require you to remove the blade guard, we like saws that make this task easy. The Bosch, DeWalt and Ridgid saws have well-designed blade guards that are easy to remove and reinstall. The blade guards on all but the Porter-Cable and Craftsman also have a feature that holds the blade guard in the raised position to allow better blade visibility for setting up cuts.
On the downside, Delta have changed things up over the past few years, and the news isn’t all good. The motor is still made in the USA, but the frame and structure of the saw is all imported. Recent buyers have reported shoddy quality control and very poor customer service since the company was taken over. Even though the Unisaw still gets great professional reviews, buyers’ experiences are so mixed that we’re not comfortable recommending this one as one of our top picks.
The blade guard is the most noticeable and the most important safety element of every saw. Its purpose is very simple – it keeps your fingers away from the blade. Many people decide to unscrew this part and take it off to speed up the cutting process, but that’s a huge mistake. In fact, a massive percent of injuries happen because people alter the safety mechanisms in order to work faster. Risking your life for a few hours of effective work isn’t worth it, to say the least.
That’s why we’ve created this handy guide! As usual, our trusty team have taken a comprehensive look at all the options out there. We’ve looked for portable units that don’t sacrifice power or accuracy for their small size. You’ll find our Top Three recommendations below, along with a few additional choices for new woodworkers and demanding professionals.
If you decide to get a table saw with a one point five to two HP motor, then it’s going to operate at the standard household 120V circuit. When using a 2HP motor, you should expect it to draw between eighteen to twenty four amps. Also, keep in mind that in this case, the saw needs to be the only device that operates on a twenty amp circuit. The realistic limit of a one point five to 2 HP table saw is hardwood of up to two inches thick. If you need to cut thicker hardwood, then you’ll need a more powerful motor.
You can store and transport the Bosch upright or on either of its sides. In between our tests, we found that the saw neatly stored away on its side on a workbench shelf. On the other hand, the DeWalt can only be stored or transported in its upright position. While it may possible to rest the saw briefly on one of its sides, there is the potential to damage the power cord, plug, or the ends of the telescoping fence rails.
It’s not until you get a bunch of saws side by side in the shop that you start to see the difference between a $300 saw and a $500 saw. While the motors are all 15-amp, the more expensive saws have features like soft start to prolong motor and gear life, electronic feedback to maintain blade speed and gearing to maximize torque. If you look under the saws, you’ll see that the more expensive saws also have much beefier motor carriages and better-quality blade-adjusting mechanisms.
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.
The blades are categorized according to number of teeth, diameter, arbor size, kerf size, application and speed. They can also be divided by material. Regular commercial table saws are 10-inch or 12-inch. Teeth usually number from 24-80. Many blades are tipped with diamond, carbon or carbide. This lets you cut through more than just wood. You will also need to think about the tilt of the blade. They are available in left tilt or right tilt. With a left-tilting hybrid or cabinet saw, the motor cover can get in the way of the sliding table. Router table extensions don’t work well on left-tilting saws.
If you’re a home DIYer or pro working mainly from a shop, you may have a wide table or countertop big enough to use the saw without any accessory stand. We would caution against working on sawhorses, though, as they can be wobbly and unsafe. It’s far better to spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy stand than to take risks with a rickety, improvised setup.
The service coverage under the warranty requires you to either bring the machine to an authorized dealer or ship it back to the company on your dollar. That’s a major downside, and it’s one reason we’re recommending purchasing add-on warranty coverage for this one. If you’re dealing with a third party provider, you can simply get a replacement without having to go through frustrating company reps.
It’s more compact than the Grizzly, and it uses its space efficiently. The Jet only has one extension table, but it makes the most of it. This one gets nearly the same rip capacity as the much larger Grizzly–to within 2 inches! There’s also a closed-off drawer in the bottom of the cabinet, which is ideal for storing all your smaller table saw accessories.
Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast-iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
While a miter saw is indispensable, having a great table saw is a wonderful way to broaden the scope of your woodworking. Whether you want miters or bevels, rips or compound cuts, the best table saw is a highly versatile woodworking equipment. Not only can you perform a healthy range of different cuts, you can also hook up various accessories to your table saw. Table saws are truly multi-purpose in the workshop.
No matter what you need a table saw for, the three listed above are great choices to consider when you’re doing your shopping around. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a serious DIYer, any one of them will have all the features, power, and portability that you could want in a table saw. All of the ones listed here, and most others have warranties and 30-60 day money back guarantees to give you a chance to see if you like them so your purchase won’t be a waste if you don’t, you will be able to get your money back, but we’re pretty sure that if you choose one of the three that we have detailed for you, you’re going to be able to join the many, many customers who are very happy with their purchases.
We evaluated the flatness of the table by measuring the flatness by placing the edge of a precision ground flat bar across the table and placed feeler gauges in any gaps to measure any difference between the ground bar and the table. TBB took measurements in four directions. As the operator faces the saw, we measured the flatness at the arbor from front-to-rear; we measured the left-to right flatness at the arbor; we measured the flatness from the upper left-to-lower right table corners; and, finally, we measured the upper right-to-lower left flatness between the corners.