The type of woods you cut will determine how powerful a motor and how fast a blade speed you need from your portable table saw. If you’re going to be dealing primarily with thinner boards and softwoods, you don’t need anything hugely powerful. If you’re working with hardwoods or thicker softwood stock you should look for a more powerful motor. Likewise, if you’re only an occasional woodworker, you needn’t worry about finding a motor that won’t burn out.
We absolutely love the Dewalt DWE7491 that we recommended as our top quality choice above. It’s a powerful, precise workhorse that can handle nearly any cutting job. However, times are changing fast, and workplace safety standards are increasing just as rapidly. If you’re a professional who wants to stay on top of your code, you should consider getting a unit that’s equipped with a flesh-detections safety system.
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.
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.