Cabinet saws are the prime choice for professional woodworkers. A more powerful induction motor, usually 3 to 5 HP, is enclosed in a cabinet, as part of a super-sturdy overall construction. This type of table saw is ideal for making smooth, straight cuts through hardwoods without worrying about excessive vibration. All that power and stability comes at a price, though. Low-end cabinet saws start around $2,300 and can go past $5,000 for industrial table saws.
The integrated blade carries an electrical signal. Once it comes in contact with human skin, the signal changes because of the skin’s conductivity and the blade immediately stop. Although some people don’t like the process of resetting the blade, it’s quite easy, and it takes only a couple of minutes. If you think about it, it’s better to hassle by resetting the blade for five or six minutes instead of losing a few fingers.
The SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 is truly a woodworking marvel, packing a 15-amp Dual Field motor into a surprisingly lightweight yet durable 49-pound frame. Whether you’re an amateur carpenter or a contractor with years of experience under his toolbelt, SKILSAW’s workhorse of a table saw is an invaluable addition to your repertoire thanks to its raw torque and unparalleled 25" ripping capacity, meaning tearing through thick sheets of plywood has never been easier.
The weak point of this rolling stand is the base where all the weight sits. I really like the Bosch rolling miter saw stand, which is what convinced me to buy this setup. When you compare the miter saw to this table saw, it's a night and day difference. The miter saw from Bosch has thicker and larger diameter metal tubing. It clearly weights more, but it's on wheels, and has yet to show any fatigue from constant use.
After spending hours doing a lot of research and talking to professionals who use these tools on a regular basis we have put together a review for you that not only tells you three of the top table saws on the market today, but we tell you why they are popular and explain a bit about each so you have a good idea of what they are like. This table saw review will put much-needed information right at your fingertips so you can make a good decision on the right table saw for your needs.
I’m not crazy about one feature, and it’s common to three of these five saws: to tip the blade, you unlock a lever behind the blade height hand wheel, then swing the undercarriage up to the angle you need before re-locking the lever. A geared bevel control would make this process a little easier. But, once tipped, Bosch held its angle setting well through my test cuts.
Setting up or taking down Craftsman’s spring-assisted stand is a six-step process, involving various release latches. It’s not intuitive like that of Bosch or RIDGID. And, once the stand is folded down, don’t lift the handles up too far when rolling the saw around, or the stand drags against the floor. A shorter woodworker might find this less of a problem than this 6′ 3″ tester did. I also found that the stand’s narrow stance and light weight couldn’t prevent it from skittering on the floor as I pushed heavy lumber across the top. A word to the wise: weigh the base down for heavy-duty work or for cutting large sheet goods.
I’m trying to replace some lost tools for a doctor inflicted, lawyer cowardice sustained injury. I’ve been a woodworker for more years than I might imagine I am comfortable with saying simply for it seems to have been bestowed upon me from birth. The only comment I have is a general comment. As I’ve noticed from about 20 years ago being introduced do officially being educated at a local community college, everyone there had prestige rights attached to it, a couple of cabinet makers I worked for did also that Porter Cable was the Cadilac of woodworking tools. Well, China… Read more »
Cabinet models are stationary, as a rule. They’re not designed for portable use, and you should plan on keeping them in your shop for their working life. However, some models are compatible with optional wheeled bases, and these are great for folks who want to be able to move their table saw around the workshop, without sacrificing any power, build quality, or stability.
Kickback (if you didn’t already know) is one of the most common accidents with table saws. In order to prevent this you can make use of the riving knife (you may also find this referred to as a splitter). When the material gets pinched by the blade at a certain angle kickback occurs, but thanks to the riving knife there is no chance of this happening.
However, there were some limitations. The rip fence build, with a thin-metal body, is light-duty. At just 23⁄4″ wide, the saw’s narrow throatplate makes it harder to reach down inside for swapping blades or retrieving a fumbled arbor nut. While the white-on-black bevel scale display is easy to read, the thin red hairline pointer that marks tilt angles disappears over the top of it; the saw needs a larger, brighter indicator. There’s a geared mechanism for tilting the blade that engages when you push the blade height wheel in — a good thing — but the bevel lock lever is too short, and I would use care when bearing down on the plastic handle to tighten it.
Rockwell is the “freshman” brand among the other longer-standing benchtop power tool companies represented here, and its table saw revealed some “first rodeo” shortcomings. While the motor was amply powerful for my cutting tests, the blade arbor assembly was 1/16″ out of parallel with the miter slots. It’s a condition called “heeling” without easy adjustment in the manual. So, for my testing purposes I had to set the rip fence askew in order to align it parallel to the blade. The problem would need to be addressed on this sample saw for long-term use.
These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do longer term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use of one of these saws for. However, we feel comfortable that all the table saws in this Head-to-Head are good saws and our testing helps bring to light pros and cons for each saw.
The first thing people notice about this unit is its design. The rolling stand is specially designed to mitigate the transport of this saw. In simpler words, whenever you need to move it, you can do it by simply rolling the unit on its wheels. One more notable thing is the 2-inch dust collector port. You can easily connect it to a vacuum and extract the dust efficiently and without much hassle.
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.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
All seven saws in the best table saw testing have some kind of dust control. The Rockwell saw has a completely enclosed motor compartment with a large dust bag that attaches under the saw to catch sawdust. The remaining saws have a shroud around the blade and a 2-1/2-in. port on the back for attaching either a bag or a vacuum cleaner. None were perfect, but at least you can catch most of the sawdust. The Craftsman and Ryobi also include a dust bag that attaches to the vacuum cleaner port.
The TruePower 01-0819 may look like a miniature version of a table saw — and that’s because it is! Ideal for hobbyist modelers and DIYers looking to tackle minor jobs, the 01-0819, while lacking the same power and performance as its larger, pricier counterparts, is a steal at under $50. A must for any toymaker’s workbench, this bite-sized machine measures in at 8.5" x 7" x 7", and while it lacks important parts like a guide fence, it gets basic 1/2" wood or foam board cutting jobs done, slicing through softer materials with ease.
Overall, I really like this saw. I have used it for trim work, and for cabinetry work. I worked for a guy who had the older model (the 4000) which is pretty much identical except that it does not have a riving knife (best safety upgrade ever) and it is still going strong after well over a decade of daily use. I wish there was more table in front of the blade, and I wish the dust capture was better, but it is a tremendously good saw and I consider it (with the addition of a track saw for full sheet handling) to be a viable alternative to a big cabinet saw.
Dust capture from this saw is pretty bad. I was shocked that a European brand would ignore the dust collection to this extent – at least I was until I discovered that their version of the 4100 does have quite a few more pieces that help pull most of the dust from the airstream. There is a plate that encloses the rear around the vacuum port and a bottom grid that allow airflow to the motor while still shaping the airstream to drive the dust to the vac. I added the plate, but decided against the grid. Instead, I added a sheet of ¼” plywood and put a 4” vacuum port in it that I hook up to my dust collector. I also replaced the blade guard with the European version that has a dust port built in. Minor upgrades, but dust capture has gone from terrible/non-existent to pretty acceptable. Bosch also sell a bag that will capture whatever dust would get tossed out the back of the saw, but that isn’t much, so I consider it a waste. I did buy it, and it works well on other tools, but it is not IMO a must-have for the 4100
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.
But, their price point reflects that. If you want the absolute best table saw money can buy then you can go pay $10,000 and it’s yours. We always accept a certain number of tradeoffs depending on what our budget allows So, if I am only doing a few DIY projects a year, I am not a carpenter by trade, and my budget is limited, the SKIL table saw may be right up my alley.
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.
Setup was nearly as simple as SawStop’s with just a narrow margin between them. We only needed to attach the handle and bolt the saw down to the stand. The stand is a gravity rise style, but requires you to bend down to ground level for collapsing and extending it. It’s a reasonably solid platform, though a lot of movement throughout the day will leave your back sore.
SawStop has an excellent stand and they’ve cleverly hidden the tool/miter/riving knife storage box under the side extension. Move the table extension and the box presents itself. Like DeWalt, two riving knives come with the saw—one with safety guards and one without. This keeps you from wondering how the pawls and guard go on the riving knife. Blade height fully adjusts with only one turn of the wheel. Not everyone was on board with this, citing less accuracy for dado and rabbet cuts. In the end, we showed we could be as accurate on the height as any of the other saws, so it’s a win.
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Bosch 10” table saw has it all in terms of precision and accuracy. It has a riving knife system for high material controls and visibility in cutting. The blade is designed with anti-kickback pawls to ensure once you start cutting, you will get accurate results to the end. The entire unit is designed with heavy-duty material for durability. The square lock rip fence has adjustable style to guarantee continued accuracy and precision in all your work. Additionally, the table saw has an easy to transport design with additional tabletops handles for portability. You can also regulate the cutting speed of the table saw to the place you are comfortable.