How do you tell what the best table saw is? With so many table saw choices on the market it’s hard to know which table saw is the best fit for you and your woodworking needs. Not for long. We’ve taken the leg work out by doing all the measuring, tracking, and researching for you. We’ve compiled year-over-year performance and pricing information for over 3 years to help you choose the table saw that is ideal for you and your project. Search no more, find your table saw below.
We were impressed with the Bosch Glide Miter Saw which was revealed in 2010 and revolutionized the depth required by a saw in close quarters. Building on their solution-based approach to products, the company has finally addressed the need for a truly portable full-power jobsite table saw. The Bosch GTS1031 table saw can be carried by its single handle, which is balanced in the middle, and all accessories are safely and securely stored on-board. This was demonstrated wonderfully by none other than Jason Feldner at the 2011 Bosch Media Event, who came running into the room with the Bosch GTS1031 table saw in one hand and a GTA500 stand in the other. Weighing in at a manageable 52 pounds, and this is one 15-amp jobsite table saw that does a great job of balancing portability and raw cutting power.
The advent of ever better motive power that came with 19th century developments led to ever more efficient and ever more compact power saws. The first recognizably modern table saws date to the latter decades of that century. With compact and powerful electric motors developed and refined throughout the 20th century, tables saws were widely available and were both compact enough for home use, yet powerful enough for nearly any lumber ripping task.
Safety is a prime concern for Bosch. From the SquareLock Rip Fence through to the patented SmartGuard System to lessen any chance of kickback, your security and comfort is taken care of. The blade guard and riving knife are quick-release. This takes away any excuse for not putting the guard back in place because it would be too much trouble, something that’s an accident waiting to happen.
It’s the best of the three at keeping your shop clean. The SawStop has a blade guard and arbor enclosure that’s engineered and sculpted to maximize vacuum suction at the cutting edge. Plus, the guard hugs tightly to the blade, and like the Jet, opens at each side so that whichever way you’re cutting, dust goes down the vacuum chute instead of off to the side of your workspace. It’s lab-tested to be up to 99% effective, and it’s certainly the most impressive dust collection system we’ve seen to date.
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.
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.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are other portable table saws that are lighter than Bosch’s GTS1031 (who’s name sounds like a cross between a fast production car and a tax document). The key with the Bosch is that it’s jobsite tough. Give the other saws some wet lumber or run them all day long and you’ll smoke the motor, bog them down, or send them off a second story porch in frustration. Bosch seems to have designed the GTS1031 with two things in mind: portability and power. Portability, because all of the accessories store right on-board, and they do so securely, so they won’t fall out, even if the saw is bumped and tossed around – as jobsite saws tend to be.
These table saws are all probably made in China where there’s apparently no meaningful out-going quality control. While the *average* quality from a given manufacturer might be great, you could also be unlucky get a piece of junk because *everything* made on the production line ships out. It’s a preferred business model these days – the prices are much cheaper but the manufacturers trade that off against dealing with significantly increased returns and the need for much more customer service.
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).
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.
Ridgid seems to get mixed reviews from users, maybe due to its lower price point, but continues to impress us in head to head competitions. With this edition, Ridgid’s 15 amp motor powered through cuts better than any other saw we tested. Sure it was close, but it consistently beat out each competitor. That power does come with more vibration than some of the others though.
Skilsaw produced the only worm drive table saw in our group and we had high expectations, especially given the high RPM count. In the end, the power is definitely at the professional level and settled in tied for fourth overall with DeWalt. This was the lightest, most compact saw in the group. Like DeWalt, the lack of an outer housing leads to more efficient cooling but drops storage for an extra blade.
One thing you’ll love about the riving knife is that it allows for adjusting the table saw without using any special tools, for non-through and through cuts including, pictures frames, grooves for shelves, but also cheek cuts for furniture, rabbets and dadoes. There’s also the possibility to store different tools or anything else you may find under the tablet board and given the fact it’s expandable and convenient, it’s going to make using the Delta 36-L552 an even more amazing experience. For dust collection, the table saw comes with a bi-level dust extraction system which offers superior dust collection capabilities.
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.