Portable saws are usually light and smaller than the other types. The three basic types of portable saws are compact, bench top, and jobsite saws. Because they are designed for portability, the materials of which they are made sometimes lack sturdiness and stability. However, that’s not a reason to be alarmed; a vast majority of these units are absolutely safe for work.
Our table saw review quickly showed that today’s portable table saws are light-years ahead of the small-saw offerings from a decade ago. They feature big-capacity cutting, greatly improved safety features and attached stands for easy setup. And saws in the upper price range rival stationary saws in accuracy and quality of cut. We limited our review to saws that included a stand with wheels and ones that could rip at least 24 in. wide, only the best table saw for our readers!
Delta 36-L352 10 in. contractor table saw is a heavy duty table saw. This big guy is no joke! Its 15 A, 3 HP motor is not only powerful but smooth. This Delta table saw also has a HUGE rip capacity of 50-52 in. and a 82 in. table, so there won’t be much this table saw can’t handle. Its integrated BIESEMEYER fence system, precision bevel gauge, and bevel dial work together to help you get highly accurate cuts down to the nearest 1/4 degree and 1/64 in. Now that’s accurate! Other notable features are its bi-level dust extraction system which helps you keep your work space clean, large blade opening, and SURE-LOCK dual front cranks for easy access. This table saw is ideal for the pros.
A table saw has two main ways it can seriously hurt you. One is obvious and that is having any part of your body come into contact with the blade. Any table saw you are seriously considering should have a blade guard installed. The clearer the better. And make sure you leave it on. The blade guard can’t do its intended job from a workbench or shelf.
The whole thing is a bit more versatile than the Dewalt, thanks to expanded fence rails and an extended trunnion set. It has a wider rip capacity than the Dewalt. This one uses a traditional sliding-rail fence which gives you a rip capacity up to 25 inches. The fence locks at either side, like the Dewalt’s. It also has a wider bevel range, tilting up to 47 degrees.
For carpentry projects or as a starter saw, the DeWalt DW745 receives solid reviews. Though it doesn't have the capacity of the Bosch, owners say it's well made and easy to adjust. The rack-and-pinion fence earns kudos for accuracy. The saw weighs just 45 pounds and can even be hung on a workshop wall for storage; an optional is also available. The three-year warranty is another plus.
Both saws provide great cutting performance, and should handle most homeowner and DIY wood-cutting needs with ease. The saws are marketed as job-site saws, meaning they're designed for construction and home-improvement applications where extreme precision and accuracy is not typically required. This does not mean they're poorly suited for fine woodworking, though. You might not achieve the same precision as with a full-size stationary table saw, but out test cuts were by no means sloppy. And upgrading from the simple miter gauges included with both saws to an after-market miter gauge (such as an Incra model) or a cross-cut sled should improve the accuracy of straight and angled cross-cuts.
That’s where we come in! As your saw experts, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at all the models on the market right now, to help you find the best table saw for your projects and your lifestyle. We compared dozens of options, drawing on our own collective experience as well as professional ratings, and reviews from buyers who spent time using these saws in their homes. We compared specs, features, reliability ratings and more, to find the absolute best options out there right now.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.
The stand is collapsible and wheeled like others, but it’s not the gravity-rise style. You’ll have to use a foot to stabilize it while you pivot it up or lower it down. The lower locks are released with your feet and there’s some question about the long term durability of the releases. An open housing design has two major results – motor cooling should be more efficient but it trades off storage for an extra blade. There’s really way too much to talk about here, so check out our full review of this model.
The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.
Which leads to a problem. A standard blade should not have that kind of space around it. Fortunately, Bosch sell very inexpensive throat plate blanks that can become zero clearance inserts. I have one for each of my three main blades and a fourth unused one that I put aside just in case. While I can make my own, it just isn’t worth the hassle as these are pretty affordable.
Built on the 4100’s foundation, The Bosch REAXX exhibits similar performance with a few improvements. Despite what we’ve seen online, the REAXX did seem to have better cutting power than the 4100. (see Editor’s Note above) The narrow throat plate opening also gave it much better dust collection, allowing only the finest material to make its way out. It shares the top ranking gravity rise stand with the 4100.
Another indication of how hard a table saw is working is monitoring the amperage (AMP) draw under loading conditions. We measured the amp draw for each saw using all three materials again at the same time we were recording RPMs. The first graph below shows the amp draw for each saw cutting plywood compared to the no-load amp draw. The white bar on the left indicates the no load amps and the colored bar on the right shows the maximum amp draw during the cut.
Speaking of safety, this particular model offers a satisfactory level of it. First of all, the tool-free adjustments come in handy if you’re in a middle of a project. In case you need to make a quick adjustment, you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing and commit your attention to fine-tuning. Instead, you can do it on the go, without any additional tools. Furthermore, the convenient guarding system keeps your fingers and hands safe at all times. Don’t forget to wear protective gear; it can make a difference between life and death.
While other cabinet table saws may not offer you a clear cut every single time, that’s not the case with the SawStop ICS51230-52. This model features industrial fence system which ensures that every time you cut something, the cut is going to be very accurate and perfectly straight. One last thing to keep in mind is that the unit includes a standard base, while the mobile base and jobsite cart are sold separately.