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.
As mentioned, the look is similar to a hybrid with a full enclosure. Looks can be deceptive, though… The core design purpose is for this saw to stand up to constant heavy use in a commercial setting. This is not a tool you buy for casual woodworking at home.These bulky, heavy units are built to last the distance. They can weigh up to 500 pounds. You’ll get an accuracy and rigidity not available in lesser types of table saw.Other table saws call for regular adjustments. With a cabinet saw, you won’t need to do this as often once it’s set up properly. 240V motors developing 3-5HP mean there’s very little the best cabinet table saw won’t rip through with ease. Large sheets of hardwood are no problem at all.
Though you’ll still want to wear safety gear when using this table saw, it has safety features that will keep you safe too. One of those features is an emergency stop. One touch of the bright green power button brings the motor to life, but when you lift up on the emergency stop that surrounds the power button, you can stop the motor in its tracks. This button has a convenient design that lets you hit and lift it with your leg or knee too.
Rockwell diverged from the crowd with this offering. For starters, the riving knife, anti-kickback pawls and blade guard are connected and remove as a unit. If you do remove them to make a non-through cut, you have to install the separate riving knife first. It’s not difficult, just different. This is the only saw with a right-tilting motor. We prefer left-tilting motors because it’s safer to make bevel cuts with the fence on the right side of the blade. There’s no port for attaching a vacuum cleaner, but there’s a large dust bag that does a good job of collecting sawdust. This saw cuts 3-9/16 in. at 90 degrees, 1/16 in. more than the next closest competitors, allowing you to rip a 4×4 in one pass. And like the Ryobi saw, it has a 30-in.-wide rip capacity.
Bosch’s REAXX and SawStop were neck and neck with near perfect cleanup at the collection point and only a slight amount of dust coming out toward the user. What did make it out was even less coarse than the other Pro level saws. Both saws have narrower throat openings for the blade that reduce the amount and size of material that can make it out. In the end, SawStop produced less top dust than Bosch did to earn the win.
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.
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.
The maximum depth of cut on a saw tells you how thick of a material you can cut through cleanly. Be careful when you’re looking at depth of cut ratings, since you’ll usually find two separate specs listed. One is for cutting at 90 degrees, the blade’s normal setting, and one is for cutting at a 45 degree bevel, which is generally the furthest a table saw blade will pivot. Most of us will only need to be concerned about the 90-degree rating, but if you cut lots of angles, you should check the 45 degree rating as well.
The fence on this system is easily the winner. With clamping on just the front side, it self-aligns better than any other in the group and offers excellent stability. While SawStop didn’t have the most powerful feel to the cuts, it was very smooth with little vibration. Feature preferences aside, the only (slight) negative we agreed on was that the bevel lock stuck a little bit compared to others.
Unlike a lot of competing models, this one is updated regularly. Previous buyers appreciated the thoughtful tweaks, which made it clear that Dewalt listened to feedback from folks who used the first versions. Recent buyers noted the improved rack and pinion teeth, which help the fence lock into position with less play. They also appreciated the reinforced rails, which felt a lot less flimsy than the old version.
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.
When you’re setting up your table saw fence, slide it into position by pressing the front of the fence forward against the table with both hands. This will allow the entire fence to slide square to the table. Hold your final position with one hand while locking it down with the other. This should help you avoid many of the accuracy issues that come from an off-square fence.
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.
All the articles on this website are short and punchy without much filler, but because there is so much to learn about table saws it will still take you the better part of an afternoon to read through them all. For those who don’t have that kind of time, or those who already know a great deal about table saws, this is the section that will take you to the best table saw for your needs.
I was hoping to see the JET in there. But glad you didn’t waste your time with it. I bought it a year and a half ago and it’s a piece of crap. It has not held up at all, I keep it in my construction trailer and it has its own cubby hole and is secured with straps. It has fallen apart. The fence has no adjustments and is off 1/4” front to back, From the factory. I have to spend so much time trying to adjust rip fence, and then I can’t turn my guys loose with it because they won’t take the time to adjust and check for accuracy. Just really disappointed in the product. I am waiting for the testing done on the cordless saws because I am upgrading.
The riving knife and blade guard actually have a quick-release so you can easily remove it. This is important because, in the past, these elements were so hard to install once removed people would simply leave it off. Now that there is a quick-release feature it makes it much easier to put back on and avoid the involuntary donation if OSHA decides to visit the job-site.
Kobalt’s KT1015 Table Saw features value pricing with a decent rolling stand. We initially had questions about its dual-locking fence, but found that it actually worked quite well. There’s plenty of wobble in it, but if you follow our Pro Tip on adjustments in the fences section, you can lock the front end in square then stabilize it with the back lock.
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.
Probably one of the things that users will love most about this table saw is the solid granite surface which offers a seamless work area and excellent support. Another advantage of the Steel City 35955 is the fact that it comes with powerful magnets which allow swift changes without having to worry about using any type of tools. Since there’s a built-in mobile stand, you can easily position the saw around your shop without requiring the help of a second person.
The accuracy and safety of any given saw is dependent upon the blade being parallel to the rip fence. Since we tested the amount of difference in parallelism between the saw blade and the miter slot in the previous test, we need only to see if the miter slot is parallel to the rip fence to see if the saw has a parallel relationship between the blade and the rip fence.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.