When you purchase your table saw, more than likely it will have standard 10” carbide tipped blade that is good for general purpose use. This blade is capable of cross cutting a 4 x 4. If you replace it with a 40 tooth combination blade you will improve the quality of your cuts significantly and more than likely be much happier with the blade overall. You can get specialty blades also if you are going to be cutting other materials as well.
We spent a lot of time setting up and taking down the saws to see how well the stands worked and how easy it was to install and remove the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. Then we ran a torturous ripping test with 3-in.-thick slabs of oak to find the best table saw. And finally, we used the saws for more conventional tasks like cutting plywood and ripping framing lumber as another test to determine the best table saw.
Skilsaw SPT70WT-22 is a portable 10 in. Worm Drive table saw designed for ripping and is the first of its kind to hit the market. This Skilsaw has a powerful Dual-Field 15 amp motor that is powerful enough to handle even the toughest jobs. The motor has a smooth startup and runs cooler, so it lasts longer. With a small, compact size, easy to transport size, this portable saw has a lot to bring to the table. Skilsaw’s SPT99-12 is also this same table saw but also includes a rolling stand which allows you to easily transport and move this saw around the job site.
For ideal usage, the on/off switch needs to be mounted on the front of the saw and should be easy to turn off with your knee or a swat without having to look at it to locate it. Most table saw models have a safety feature that is a plastic key that has to be inserted before the table saw can be turned on. Some may even have a way to padlock the switch.
The Popular Woodworking site hasn't published many reviews of table saws recently; the newest one we found was from 2013. There are no comparison reviews and no ratings or recommendations to help you compare different models. Nonetheless, this site is useful because it's one of the few places to find detailed coverage of larger contractor and cabinet saws.
With that said, the Dewalt DWE7491RS (another jobsite saw) has an amazing fence. It also has a greater ripping capacity – so if this additional functionality is more important to you than portability, it might be something to consider. Although keep in mind that it’s also 30lbs heavier, and the stand is much worse than that of the Bosch (which we’ll discuss later in this article).
Portable table saws, or “jobsite” models, as they’re often called, are your best bet for working with larger stock or longer cuts on the go. These units provide the cutting width and depth of a big table saw in a compact, portable package that’s easy to throw in the back of the pickup after a day’s work. They’re ideal for pros working on smaller jobs, handymen who need a basic table saw that won’t break the bank, or home DIYers looking for a tool that’s easy to pack away during the workweek.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.
The more table size you have, the more support you have which is always a plus, not only for convenience but safety too. There are right side extensions that can be purchased for table saws that increase the table saw’s capacity to get to the center of a 4 x 8 sheet of wood. Although most saws have a rear band that supports the wood as it exits the saw, an additional safety measure is to rig up an outfeed support of some kind in addition to this rear bar. Be sure that the outfeed support you set up is ¼” lower than the table saw is.
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.
You should test the cutting depth of a saw when it is not cutting a bevel. This aspect helps in determining accurate and maximum cutting at 0 degrees. In considering bevel cutting, you should ensure the base plate is adjustable. Look out for adjustment allowance that your saw offers you such as 45, 50 or 90 degrees. The table saw should also be a feature with the flush housing so as to allow the table saw to cut very close to the edge of the wall. It is necessary to look out for this feature as will allow you to cut flooring to size at ease
TBB used an iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the blade position to the table miter slot. This instrument has an accuracy of .0005 inches. As part of the table saw set-up, TBB installed a new Diablo blade in each saw and these never-before-used blades were used in the measurement test. To ensure that any wobble in the blade did not enter into the test results, TBB marked a single tooth as the reference point for the measurement. The blade position was moved to the front of the saw to allow the iGauging dial indicator to hit the tooth immediately behind the carbide tooth, The iGauging dial indicator was calibrated and the indicator had a reading of zero.
Ryobi’s RTS21G comes in as the only table saw in the group under $200. It’s lightweight, reasonably compact, and we got acceptable jobsite cuts with the upgraded Diablo blade. The throat plate uses magnets to hold it in place while leaving it easy to remove for blade access. Using a threaded rod to push the height adjustment up, you’ll notice it’s easier and smoother on the way down. The stand folds up and can be Velcro-strapped to the back, though it’s a bit wobbly compared to the others when ready for action.
Table saws can pose a serious risk of injury, since part of the spinning blade comes up above the surface of the table where it can come into contact with the user's hand as it guides the wood. Thanks to voluntary safety standards introduced by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in 2007, pretty much all table saws now come with blade guards that minimize the risk. Modern guard systems are easier to remove and replace as needed – an important feature because inconvenient blade guards are apt to be left off the saw.