Kickback (if you didn’t already know) is one of the most common accidents with table saws. In order to prevent this you can make use of the riving knife (you may also find this referred to as a splitter). When the material gets pinched by the blade at a certain angle kickback occurs, but thanks to the riving knife there is no chance of this happening.
Cabinet saws are the prime choice for professional woodworkers. A more powerful induction motor, usually 3 to 5 HP, is enclosed in a cabinet, as part of a super-sturdy overall construction. This type of table saw is ideal for making smooth, straight cuts through hardwoods without worrying about excessive vibration. All that power and stability comes at a price, though. Low-end cabinet saws start around $2,300 and can go past $5,000 for industrial table saws.
If you’re a home DIYer, dust collection shouldn’t be a big worry. You can always hook the saw up to your shop vac, but if you’re only working with it occasionally, you’ll be fine to simply get your sawing done, and clear the exhaust port afterward. However, if you’re working on a professional jobsite, you should plan to collect at least most of the dust from your portable table saw via a vacuum system.
You can use these saw to cut plywood and other sheet goods, but their compact size makes this a challenge—and a potential safety hazard, if you don't have an extension table, rollers or a human partner to help support the wood on the infeed and outfeed sides. Stick with a circular saw for larger plywood rip cuts, but both of these saws can be workable backups (provided you don't need to rip widths of more than 16 or 18 inches.)
Ridgid seems to get mixed reviews from users, maybe due to its lower price point, but continues to impress us in head to head competitions. With this edition, Ridgid’s 15 amp motor powered through cuts better than any other saw we tested. Sure it was close, but it consistently beat out each competitor. That power does come with more vibration than some of the others though.
There’s a lot to like about this saw. The stand is easy to set up and very sturdy. We like the smooth-operating table extension and the blade guard’s hold-up feature and ease of installation. The only downside we found is that the motor mount is less rigid than those on the other saws we tested. We suspect that’s why the cut quality on our torture test was not as good with this saw.