The type of woods you cut will determine how powerful a motor and how fast a blade speed you need from your portable table saw. If you’re going to be dealing primarily with thinner boards and softwoods, you don’t need anything hugely powerful. If you’re working with hardwoods or thicker softwood stock you should look for a more powerful motor. Likewise, if you’re only an occasional woodworker, you needn’t worry about finding a motor that won’t burn out.
Likes: Cuts extremely well and has excellent stability. Its blade guard and riving-knife assembly are locked and unlocked by a lever located conveniently along the table's left edge. A simple, separate shark-fin riving knife can be used when the guard is too big for narrow rip cuts. We appreciate the antiglare surface on the tape ruler that measures the distance from the blade to the fence.
Now let’s talk power. The 15-amp motor is housed underneath the aluminum table and features replaceable brushes so you can expect long life from the saw. The gearing for adjusting the blade height also looked to be built with durability in mind and was well-greased. Cranking the height on the saw was simple and, unlike many saws I’ve used, even bevel adjustments were a snap and didn’t require a ton of effort to move the blade. We found that we could easily loosen the bevel lock and slide the assembly along its arc until we got to the required angle.

In the commercial construction business, we typically buy a job site saw for each project and use it up during the course of an 18-month job. When these saws hit the site, they are unboxed, assembled and immediately put into use. We rip stacks and stacks of sheet goods with these saws and the tolerances of the cut materials are not very critical. However, that example represents the portable saw use within our commercial crews’ business.
That’s one major safety hazard which you can completely eliminate with one simple feature. In addition to the magnetic switch, be sure to look for thermal overload protection on the motor. You shouldn’t have any problems with burnout on motors this powerful, but it’s an important safety feature to have just in case, especially for folks who work with thicker hardwood stock. Thermal overload protection shuts the motor off automatically if it’s getting dangerously bogged down.
No matter the model or price, a table saw should cut a range of material thicknesses and hold its settings accurately. So, after installing a new Freud hi-ATB thin-kerf blade in each saw, I made repeated rip cuts on MDF, resetting the fence each time to check for consistently thick offcuts. After that, I raised the blade for more rip cuts on heavy, long planks of 2 x 12 Southern yellow pine, before tipping the blade to bevel-rip 2″-thick poplar. Then I switched to a 6″ CMT dado set and made a long dado cut in MDF, so I could check for consistent cutting depth — a sign that the undercarriage is stout enough to handle a heavy blade like this. Overall, my test criteria was stability of the stand, cutting accuracy, reasonable dust collection efficiency and all-around convenience of use. Results ranged from exceptional to mediocre, as you’ll see.
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.

It’s heavy-duty. Like all great cabinet saws, the Grizzly is built from parts that can last a lifetime or more. It has a cast-iron table, that’s precision-ground to be exactly level, with no warps or imperfections. The trunnion supports holding up the motor are also solid cast iron, which means that they don’t translate much vibration to the work surface at all. The paint on the cabinet and extension frames is powder-coated, and the miter gauge and riving knife are solid steel. Both extension table surfaces are made with a coated, engineered composite, which stands up well against dings or scuffs.
Though this table saw will arrive in multiple pieces, Jet includes all the instructions and help that you need to assemble the cabinet and all other parts. The cabinet itself has an enclosed design that keeps the motor and all other components safe from the dust in your workshop and any debris flying around. You also get four legs that attach to the base of the cabinet, which lifts the saw higher in the air to reduce back pain caused by bending over the table.
In terms of features, the SawStop ICS51230-52 comes with a patented safety system that prevents injuries and serious accidents and offers users the highest level of protection during use. Thanks to its 5HP, you can easily cut hardwood of 5 inches or even thicker without having to worry about the saw choking. Also, thanks to the toll-free fast change mount, you can transition between riving knives and guard in just a few seconds.

Besides that, materials are expensive, and when you ruin even a couple of pricey work pieces with a saw that doesn’t provide accurate cut you will end up paying far more for that cheap saw than you anticipated. Having a good saw that you can depend on for accuracy and efficiency is a solid business move for any contractor. Both the DW745 and the Bosch 4100 have a true riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a blade guard to prevent kickback and possible injury.

Under the table, you’ll find plenty of space to store away your accessories. This is valuable if you’re working on site and don’t want to keep hunting down bits and pieces. You’ll be able to stash your arbor wrench and Allen wrenches close to hand. The rip fence also flips upside down and can be stored under the table. It’s this kind of attention to detail for a jobsite saw that’s always appreciated.


You can’t talk about the best portable jobsite table saw without talking about portability. Portability boils down to a couple of important features. First and foremost, weight has a huge impact on how easily you can transport the saw, especially if it has to go into the bed of a truck rather than a trailer. If you’ve got a trailer, then a wheeled stand becomes your best friend. We looked at both.
Measuring in at 19.9" x 23.4" x 13.4", the SPT70WT-01 is compact enough to fit into any aspiring handyman’s garage, but powerful enough to tackle anything you throw at it on the job site, meaning it’s an ideal entry-level table saw for the amateur hoping to turn his hobby into a career. Sturdiness, durability, and anti-kickback technology make the world’s first worm drive table saw a revolutionary machine. Satisfied buyers can’t get enough of this balanced wood-devouring behemoth.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.

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.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
We took all of the data from the RPM and AMP measurements and added them to come up with the final performance rankings. For each saw we added up the total percentage decrease in RPM’s (for each material type) and added that to the total percentage increase in AMP’s (for each material type). This gives us a relative comparison of each saw over all 6 sets of data.
We took all of the data from the RPM and AMP measurements and added them to come up with the final performance rankings. For each saw we added up the total percentage decrease in RPM’s (for each material type) and added that to the total percentage increase in AMP’s (for each material type). This gives us a relative comparison of each saw over all 6 sets of data.
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.
The obvious starting point for an analysis of which saw is best suited to the needs of a given person (or company, school workshop, and so forth) is the budget at hand. Even the most affordable table saws of a quality meriting serious consideration cost more than 200 dollars; such units are small but still capable of many tasks. The top of the line table saws come with price tags topping out at well over 3,000 dollars and can handle almost any lumber you would ever need cut and then some; more often than not these mighty saws are more tool than needed, so to speak.

In recent years, there has been a cloud of controversy surrounding the inherent safety issues surrounding the table saw. SawStop developed a flesh detection technology that pulls the blade below the table surface 3 milliseconds after coming into contact with skin. It really created a new class of table saw that, as of June 1st, finally has some competition in the form of Bosch’s REAXX.
More expensive models also have more efficient drivetrains, which means they achieve a higher cutting speed for smoother, faster, and trouble-free cuts. Plus, their innovative belt designs and calibrated trunnion supports make the whole cutting experience smoother, quieter, and simpler. You’ll also pay extra for innovative safety features like skin detection, paddle power switches, magnetic switches, and thermal overload protection.
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