The advent of ever better motive power that came with 19th century developments led to ever more efficient and ever more compact power saws. The first recognizably modern table saws date to the latter decades of that century. With compact and powerful electric motors developed and refined throughout the 20th century, tables saws were widely available and were both compact enough for home use, yet powerful enough for nearly any lumber ripping task.
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.
While you may be tempted to skip straight to the reviews, they are a bit on the technical side and contain plenty of terms you might not be familiar with just yet. My suggestion would be to start by reading the informational articles which will provide you with a decent amount of knowledge on table saws. After that, I sincerely doubt you would be caught off-guard while reading anything in the review section.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
Other features include a battery-powered laser for lining up cuts. I found it to be pretty dim under bright shop lights and not lined up correctly with the blade. It is non-adjustable. A pullout rear extension provides some added support for long rip cuts. Rockwell also offers a couple of unique accessories: a sliding miter table ($179.99) and a power planer-style “Finisher” ($129.99). It mounts on the saw for flattening board edges.
The Jet is a good midrange choice for people who like to keep things simple, and buy for the long term. The Jet has the longest warranty coverage of our three picks, and it comes with an excellent track record for reliability and durability. Many of its features are tweaked to be slightly more user-friendly that the Grizzly’s, and this unit is much easier to fit in a shop than the hulking Grizzly.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
Welcome to the heart of this website – my selection of the best table saws for several specific needs. You see, it’s impossible to select only ONE as the best for all purposes because a table saw should be carefully tailored to your needs. There’s no point in buying a complex cabinet saw if you’re a beginner, you’re probably better off with a solid benchtop saw. The same goes if you’re a professional, only the other way around.
In my opinion, the Bosch is the clear winner here. While both of the saws are technically portable, the Bosch’s wheeled, easy to set up stand will get you to work quickly, without the need to keep track of multiple parts and accessories. While the DEWALT is much lighter, that difference is negated by the fact that you will be forced to carry it from the vehicle to where you will be using it, rather than pulling it behind you like wheeled luggage.
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.
It has all the safety features you need. This one has a big, brightly-colored stop button connected to an electric brake, so you can easily bring the blade to a halt. The stop button panel also has a thermal overload switch built in, so it’ll automatically switch the saw off if the motor becomes too hot. We also love that there’s a magnetic switch in the same panel, which prevents the machine from turning itself back on if power cuts out in your shop while you’re working.
TBB used an iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the blade position to the table miter slot. This instrument has an accuracy of .0005 inches. As part of the table saw set-up, TBB installed a new Diablo blade in each saw and these never-before-used blades were used in the measurement test. To ensure that any wobble in the blade did not enter into the test results, TBB marked a single tooth as the reference point for the measurement. The blade position was moved to the front of the saw to allow the iGauging dial indicator to hit the tooth immediately behind the carbide tooth, The iGauging dial indicator was calibrated and the indicator had a reading of zero.
You can opt to extend the warranty coverage to 3 years, all through an external provider. We actually prefer these third-party warranties for power tools because they allow you to deal with people who are on your side, as opposed to company representatives, who can be frustrating to say the least. We think add-on coverage is a great safeguard for any cabinet table saw, and it’s a very reasonable proposition on this model.
Setting up both saws was quick and easy, since their factory-adjusted blades and fences were square and parallel to the tables' miter gauge slots out of the box (this is one of the reasons to buy a $350 table saw over a $100 one). Both saws had similar setup procedures: Attach the fence, raise the riving knife, attach anti-kickback pawls and attach the blade guard. There is no on-board stowage space for the DW745's rip fence, but this does not really affect the setup time or effort by much.
It’s easy to use, quite safe, and most importantly – it’s a high-quality piece of equipment for a more than reasonable price. If you don’t like what you see, don’t hesitate to read some of our other reviews, there might be something of interest for you. As far as this particular model goes, it should turn out to be a worthy and cost-efficient investment. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences.
This Portable Table saw includes an industry standard This Portable Table saw includes an industry standard tool-free split guard design that allows a true rise-and fall riving knife by using a lever on the inside the throat plate. It has a Tool-less assembly for the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls. It's perfect for mobile contractors and the Do-It-Yourself ... More + Product Details Close
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
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:
Clint DeBoer When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader. He has a degree in recording engineering and has been involved in multimedia and/or online publishing in one form or another for the past 21 years. In 2008, Clint was one of the founders of the Pro Tool Reviews online magazine. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions.
If you decide to get a table saw with a one point five to two HP motor, then it’s going to operate at the standard household 120V circuit. When using a 2HP motor, you should expect it to draw between eighteen to twenty four amps. Also, keep in mind that in this case, the saw needs to be the only device that operates on a twenty amp circuit. The realistic limit of a one point five to 2 HP table saw is hardwood of up to two inches thick. If you need to cut thicker hardwood, then you’ll need a more powerful motor.
The Grizzly, like the other cabinet models you’ll see here, requires a 220V power supply. If you’re a professional woodworker, you probably already have a 220V hookup. If you’re a home woodworker or DIYer, you’ll need to have one installed, if you haven’t already. It can be an expensive installation, so factor in the cost when you consider how much you’ll spend on your new saw.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.
We spent over 30 hours researching and testing 10 different brands of table saws and found that maximum speed, cord length, and cut depth were most important. The DEWALT DW7480 table saw scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. This 48 pound table saw is perfect for using at home or taking with you to the job site. It has a powerful 15 amp motor and 24” rip capacity that makes it a favorite with everyone. The 2 ½” dust collection port allowed us to connect the saw to a shop vac and reduce the amount of dust that was in the garage.
We were impressed with the Bosch Glide Miter Saw which was revealed in 2010 and revolutionized the depth required by a saw in close quarters. Building on their solution-based approach to products, the company has finally addressed the need for a truly portable full-power jobsite table saw. The Bosch GTS1031 table saw can be carried by its single handle, which is balanced in the middle, and all accessories are safely and securely stored on-board. This was demonstrated wonderfully by none other than Jason Feldner at the 2011 Bosch Media Event, who came running into the room with the Bosch GTS1031 table saw in one hand and a GTA500 stand in the other. Weighing in at a manageable 52 pounds, and this is one 15-amp jobsite table saw that does a great job of balancing portability and raw cutting power.
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.)
The large cutting table surface of the Bosch 4100-09 Worksite Table Saw is roomy enough to handle large work pieces, giving you a ripping capacity of 25”. This is a really great feature if you plan to use the saw to rip solid or plywood panels, or other large materials. I use my table saw primarily for ripping sanded plywood panels for use in cabinetry, and many of my projects would be impossible with a smaller capacity saw. The rip fence glides across the saw cutting table, so you can actually use it with one hand, and locks in place for safety and accuracy. The DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw offers a 16” cut, considerably smaller than the Bosch. It is perfectly adequate for most application, such as ripping dimensional lumber and small trim applications. The type of materials and work pieces you expect to be cutting are a determining factor in your choice of table saws. If you plan on tackling any large scale projects in the future, the rip capacity of your saw is definitely a feature that you should take into consideration.
Makita joins DeWalt with an external riving knife release so you don’t have to reach into the throat to loosen it. We actually ran into an issue with the design because of a slightly bent plate holding the knife in place. That aside, the intent of the design is sound and should make for an an easier experience. Because of the external release, Makita screws down the throat plate in place. You should only need to get in there for blade changes if everything functions properly.
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.
This is the smallest of all the table saws, typically weighing about 50 pounds or so and designed to sit on top of a table or workbench. Bench style table saws are usually made of steel, plastic and aluminum. They are good for light to medium duty cutting and would not be a good choice if you do a lot of cutting or if you have a professional business. Because it can be lifted by one person and moved around with relative ease, this type of saw is often called a portable table saw. Due to the size of these saws which measure approximately 19” x 27”, they are not designed to rip large pieces of wood. It is also not easy to make mitered cuts. You will notice that there might be more vibration when using this saw as compared to other, larger models. This is due to the lighter weight of the saw. Unfortunately, the vibration can affect the accuracy of the cuts you’re making.
On the downside, Delta have changed things up over the past few years, and the news isn’t all good. The motor is still made in the USA, but the frame and structure of the saw is all imported. Recent buyers have reported shoddy quality control and very poor customer service since the company was taken over. Even though the Unisaw still gets great professional reviews, buyers’ experiences are so mixed that we’re not comfortable recommending this one as one of our top picks.
The Bosch 4100-10 10 In. Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand delivers both professional rip capacity and outstanding portability for a tool that can get the job done, wherever it is. The powerful 15-Amp saw delivers 4.0 max HP for outstanding productivity. It also incorporates soft-start circuitry for smooth but quick ramp-up to the operating speed to manage the intensity of motor start-up and minimize the possibility of tripping a circuit breaker. It includes Constant Response circuitry to help maintain speed under load, and overload protection.
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.
A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.
The latest advance in table saw safety is a feature that stops the spinning blade when it senses the presence of tissue, such as a finger or forearm. A company called SawStop was the first to offer this technology, and currently, it holds the exclusive right to sell saws with this feature in the United States. (Bosch introduced a portable table saw with blade-stopping technology in 2016, but was forced to take it off the market after a successful patent-infringement suit by SawStop.) In 2017, the CPSC proposed a new rule to make SawStop's technology mandatory on all table saws, but that rule is still under review. See the Buying Guide for more information.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.