A table saw can be classified in many ways, and I’ve come across terms like contractor, folding, featherboard, hobby, induction, sliding and zero clearance. However, I will conform to the most basic and clear classification and range the tables accordingly. That means I’ll order them by benchtop table saws, jobsite table saws, cabinet saws and hybrid table saws.
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.
Dewalt has refined the DW745's design, most notably improving the blade guard and safety measures. What stands out about the DW745 is its rack-and-pinion rip fence that moves along telescoping rails at the front and rear of the table. This means that once the fence is set square, it should stay square. However, the DeWalt's maximum width for a rip cut is 16 inches, compared to 18 inches for the Bosch. But most users will make large rip cuts with a circular saw, so the 2-inch difference in capacity isn't a big deal.
I like the clever design of the stand on this saw which allows it to collapse or open by operating a single lever. The unit has two transport wheels which allows for easier relocation and the stand doubles as a pulling handle. It measures 39 x 30 x 20 inches which makes it pretty compact. The distance between the floor and the work surface is 37.5 inches. To make the stand as durable and corrosion-resistant as possible Bosch has given it a powder-coat finish.
The table measures up at 29 inches by 21.5 inches. The 4100-09 is not suitable for dealing with large stock or sheets of wood. Made from aluminum, you’ll meet with no resistance as you slide the timber toward the blade. The only negative with the table is the way it’s finished with an anodized coating. This is fine to start with but tends to wear over time, something that doesn’t just look unsightly but can ultimately affect accuracy. This is a surprising oversight from Bosch and one we hope they rectify in future iterations of this fine table saw.
While the sheer price of this Bosch unit might be cost-prohibitive for most buyers, we think it’s the full-time professional’s ideal mobile unit. With the REAXX flesh-detection system onboard, it’s one of the safest table saws on the market, portable or stationary. The system detects flesh and stops itself instantly, without leaving a mark on the hot dog test.
When you’re thinking about build quality, you should consider how often, and how intensively you’ll be using your portable table saw. The more you’ll use it, the more you should invest in a sturdy unit that’s built to handle all that use. If you’re only an occasional DIYer, on the other hand, you can probably stand to have a few more plastic parts on your unit, since you aren’t going to be putting it to the rest as often.
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.
Most shippers will expect you to have a forklift to get the crate off the truck, so if that’s not something you can arrange, you’ll want to opt for “lift-gate” delivery or an installation plan that involves the shippers bringing the saw to your actual workshop. Be prepared to spend a fair bit of money for delivery ($100-$250), especially if you can’t get the saw off the truck and to the workshop on your own.
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.
I just purchased this saw last week. It took several hours to assemble. everything was there and I had no problems putting it together. Not hard but time consuming. The first job was to rework some vertical drawers. It did a good job fence worked great as did the riving knife. Saw was quitter than I expected. overall I am very happy. The only problem was that I had to weight a couple of extra days for delivery due to all parts not arriving at the same time.
I really enjoyed your review and appreciate the significant time and effort put into it. How did you acquire the machines? Were they evaluation units provided by the manufacturers or did you buy them (randomly, like Consumer Reports)? If they were provided to you the cynic in me says you probably got cherry picked units. In looking at the various machines on line and checking out their comments, it’s quite clear pretty much all of them have a manufacturing distribution of performance and metrics e.g. for accuracy all the units you tested have comments ranging from great to truly awful. Same thing for build quality. I spent quite a while looking at the Dewalt but all the negative reviews on quality and accuracy turned me off it. I certainly do see many more positive reviews than negative reviews for the Dewalt, but it does leave you with the feeling that a dice roll is partly involved in buying a recommended table saw.
If you’re going to use your table saw every day, make sure you spend a bit more money for something of the heaviest build quality, with extended warranty coverage from a company with a great reputation for service. If you’re going to be using your cabinet unit only periodically, you probably don’t need to buy something premium. You’ll be able to get by with something around the $2,000, since you won’t be spending enough time cutting to really appreciate the design touches and tweaks that make the more expensive units more of a pleasure to use.
The Bosch weighs in at 52 lbs. While you could carry it one-handed, and it feels well-balanced, it would throw your personal balance way off and tire your arm. The DeWalt is a little lighter at 45 lbs., but it feels even lighter than that, and its weight distribution makes it feel less fatiguing to carry back and forth. (You can also carry the Dewalt saw one-handed by its handle or roll cage, but you probably won't want to.)
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).
Our biggest surprise while running the best table saw review tests was in the cutting power and the quality of cut: There wasn’t much difference among them. All these saws ripped through 3-in.-thick oak without hesitating. We tried this test with the stock blades that came on the saws. Then we repeated the test using a top-quality blade in each saw.
The Delta Unisaw is a heavyweight in woodworking circles. It’s been on the market for years, and it’s a stalwart through and through. It has a super-powerful 5 HP motor which can blast through the toughest hardwoods and composite materials quickly. It also features one of the most precise bevel adjustments on the market, down to 1/4 degrees! It has a solid, single-cast trunnion which provides excellent vibration dampening, and an extra-heavy case iron base. In short, this is a hulking beast of a machine, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a shop favorite for years.
SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 10 in. 3HP table saw is a high performance cabinet table saw that features a durable cast iron table, 44 x 27 in. of total space, and is super durable, making it an ideal table saw for professionals. In addition to its industrial capabilities, this SawStop table saw also boasts a couple other practical features including a Flesh Sensing Technology, dissipative arbor belt to prevent hazardous charges, and an easy-to-change brake cartridge.
DeWALT DWE7480 is an excellent table saw, especially if you consider its price. It’s a step up from the highly popular DW745 and slightly more expensive, but I think the larger rip capacity and higher RPM are well worth the extra money. The DWE7480 is still in the lower price region though, and unlike the DW745 you can also get this one with a stand: the DWE7480XA!
Dust capture from this saw is pretty bad. I was shocked that a European brand would ignore the dust collection to this extent – at least I was until I discovered that their version of the 4100 does have quite a few more pieces that help pull most of the dust from the airstream. There is a plate that encloses the rear around the vacuum port and a bottom grid that allow airflow to the motor while still shaping the airstream to drive the dust to the vac. I added the plate, but decided against the grid. Instead, I added a sheet of ¼” plywood and put a 4” vacuum port in it that I hook up to my dust collector. I also replaced the blade guard with the European version that has a dust port built in. Minor upgrades, but dust capture has gone from terrible/non-existent to pretty acceptable. Bosch also sell a bag that will capture whatever dust would get tossed out the back of the saw, but that isn’t much, so I consider it a waste. I did buy it, and it works well on other tools, but it is not IMO a must-have for the 4100
Powerful cutting and portable convenience with the Delta Powerful cutting and portable convenience with the Delta 36-6022. The 1-step release stand and large wheels make it easy to move the saw to any jobsite. The 15 Amp commercial grade motor cuts through the toughest materials. UL approved 3-way guarding system with riving knife for safety and excellent dust ... More + Product Details Close
One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.
A magnetic switch is also good from a safety standpoint but may not be necessary on these smaller versions. A magnetic switch prevents the saw from starting back up if it loses power during a power outage. Basically, the power outage will turn off the saw. This is good because if for some reason the power were to come back on when you were not near the machine, the material could be shot out of it or damage the saw.
We took all of the data from the RPM and AMP measurements and added them to come up with the final performance rankings. For each saw we added up the total percentage decrease in RPM’s (for each material type) and added that to the total percentage increase in AMP’s (for each material type). This gives us a relative comparison of each saw over all 6 sets of data.
The safety brake feature is a real step forward in engineering, but it does have a few downsides. The aluminum brake works with single-use cartridges, so you’ll have to replace the cartridge if you trip the sensor. Likewise, the impact of the brake, stopping the blade in milliseconds, will destroy your blade, so you’ll have to replace that as well. It’s a small price to pay for keeping your fingers or limbs, but it’s probably a good idea to stock up on cartridges and blades
It has the widest rip capacity of the three. This one can handle materials up to 32 1/2”, which makes it ideal for folks who work with sheet stock on the go–especially when you consider the extra 22” you’ll have to the left of the blade. That’s thanks to the same rack and pinion fence as the smaller Dewalt. It’s even better on a larger scale, where the differences between this design and the sliding rail style you find on Bosch become very apparent. Reviewers agreed that this one felt much sturdier, smoother, and locked more securely than other portable units.
For those of you who are looking to up your DIY game but don’t have enough capital to make the Dewalt DW745 happen for your home shop, this Craftsman is a decent budget choice. It’s powerful, lightweight, and extremely affordable. We don’t think you should expect too much from this one, though, since it has a very light table and a fence that won’t line up quite as precisely as you’d need for furniture-making or professional-grade projects. It’s cheaply-made, and doesn’t have as user-friendly a design as our other choices. For the home carpenter, though, this should do the trick for all your basic framing cuts.
Goggles are yet another thing people simply don’t like wearing. However, it’s not about comfort but saving your eyesight. As you can assume, there is a lot of sawdust flying around while you’re cutting a piece of wood. In order to prevent it from flying straight into your eyes, you have to wear safety glasses. There are hundreds of models you can choose from, but make sure they are certified as safe. In simpler words, you cannot use the first ones you stumble upon, don’t be afraid to invest in high-quality safety glasses, you’ll be thankful for them.
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.