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.
And finally, there are a couple of jobsite table saws running around with flesh detection to drop the blade out of the way if it detects a strike. There’s a significant premium in cost for these saws and there has also been plenty of litigation regarding whether it should be required on every table saw and whether more than one company has the right to manufacturer the mechanism. But they’ll save you a much worse injury in the event of an accident.
As with anything, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of types, sizes, features, colors, weights, what, when, why, where, who…(let me catch my breath). For now, let’s focus on what’s right for you with our Best Portable Table Saw Guide. We’ll start by identifying quality brands that align with your needs. Besides, who wants to buy something that won’t work?
If you’re looking for the best table saw out there, then there’s no better choice than the Powermatic 1792001K PM2000. This is an amazing cabinet table saw that features a 1-phase, 3 HP motor with rout-R lift and Accu-fence system which set a new standard for innovation through thanks to the saw’s large body design and an incredible range of patented features. Almost each feature of the 1792001K PM2000 sets a new standard by which every other cabinet table saw on the market is judged, so you can have the peace of mind that this is not your regular cabinet table saw.
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
Even a newbie can go around the table saw section at the local home improvement store and feel that some saws have easier adjustments than others. Some are simply easier while others are downright innovative in various ways. Porter-Cable came out of the value group for the overall win with adjustments that are both smooth and intuitive. Dual adjustment wheels mean that you’ll be able to accurately adjust your blade height and your bevel angle—a feature no other saw in this group has.
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.
One of the biggest issues and potential hazards when working with table saws is kickback. Table saw kickback occurs when wood is ejected from the saw at extremely high speed. You can imagine the sort of injuries this can cause. Table splitters are effectively small vertical bits of metal or sometimes plastic that are designed to stop the wood flying back if there is a kickback. Attached to the splitter are anti kickback pawls either side, they look like table saw blades themselves but they are in fact there to grip the wood at stick into it in case of kickback.
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.
As power tool nerds, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest developments in the market. One of the most exciting new products to come out in the past decade or so is the hybrid table saw. We think they’re an excellent space and money-saving alternative for home woodworkers who can’t make a cabinet saw work for their circumstances. They’re also a great portable option for folks with bigger job site requirements who have the ability to transport larger tools to off-site applications. One of our current favorites is this Shop Fox:
On the downside, these units are by far the heaviest type of saw, and they’re the most expensive by a long shot. Their cast iron worktops and steel cabinets makes them more of a permanent fixture than nearly any other tool. To move them around your shop, you’ll need an expensive, heavy-duty wheeled base, which can cost even more money up front. They’re best for people who will keep them in one place, and use them on a regular basis.
Finally, make sure you know your long-term options when it comes to maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Check the warranty coverage on your portable unit. Read the fine print, checking whether you’ll be paying for repairs under warranty, or whether the company will be footing the bill. Some manufacturers cover repairs, but not return shipping. Others force you to bring your unit to an authorized dealer, which can be difficult in some parts of the country.
It can seem like plastic is a weight-saver on the part of the manufacturer, but it’s really a cost-saver. You shouldn’t accept shoddy build quality in the name of getting a lighter machine. While no portable unit will include heavy cast iron components like a cabinet table saw, you can find metal alternatives that offer rugged, long-lasting build quality. Instead of plastic, look for aluminum.
Both saws accomplish the same thing, but with different results. SawStop’s feature takes about 90 seconds to recover from compared to roughly 1 minute with Bosch. Bosch developed the REAXX to drop the blade without damage while SawStop usually results in a damaged blade that needs to be replaced. The SawStop employs a brake that must be changed after activation at a cost of $69 each. Bosch uses a dual airbag style cartridge. These run $99 each, but you get two shots out of each one.
I bought this saw to add to my home shop and a radial arm saw I have had for years. I have owned it since 2009. I bought it after reading reviews in woodworking magazines on line. I did buy the left extension, which I use frequently. This saw has been used for multiple projects, including building furniture, cabinets, cabinet doors and a host of other projects for home, family and friends. It has never let me down, working flawlessly. It has never been out of square. And, yes, I do check squareness every time I use it. Cuts are accurate and the table large enough to manage most jobs without adding an extension. The metal construction is particularly appreciated. The blade is easy to replace, the controls and storage on the unit convenient. What I particularly have enjoyed is the portability and the ease of use of the gravity-rise stand. Being able to move tools around and re-arrange my limited workspace to match the job is important to me. I have read the caveats posted by a number of reviewers, but, in truth, those have simply not been my experience. At 71 with a lifetime of using and buying tools and enjoy woodworking, I count this tool as among one of my better purchases.
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.
It’s compact. This one is just over two feet in either direction, and just under 14 inches high. It’s easy to fit in the back of a truck, or even on the passenger seat next to you on the way to your jobsite. It’s light, too. Buyers loved how easy this one was to carry around, especially home DIYers who had to set up and take down their units frequently.
Hybrid models vary widely, so there aren’t any strict pros and cons that apply to all models. They’re generally quite powerful, and you can find them in both 110V and 220V configurations. They’re easy to install on wheeled bases, and work well in both stationary or mobile setups. However, these tend to be quite heavy, and they take up more space than other portable options. They’re a good compromise for ardent DIYers who dream of a cabinet model, but don’t quite have the money or the permanent shop space.
Apart from some short reviews, we’ve also covered some other aspects such as safety and proper use of these tools. Make sure you thoroughly read our articles because they could save your life. The tips we offered are well-known among the professionals, but beginners are always susceptible to various risks, especially if they don’t know how to handle these tools properly.
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.