A table saw is the centerpiece of any home workshop, and it’s often the very first power tool to be cranked up at the start of any woodworking task. They’re essential for the necessary task of sizing wood for each project – whether narrowing the width of boards, cutting plywood sheets, or tackling specialized cuts like grooves, slots, and tenons. Because of their important role in DIY and professional construction, choosing the right table saw is critically important. At BestReviews, we’ve researched table saws in depth. We’re here to help you decide which type of table saw will best meet your needs.
It’s tough to be completely objective when choosing the best portable jobsite table saw since the stock blades vary so widely. Skilsaw comes with a 30-tooth Diablo blade and Makita’s stock 32-tooth blade are both excellent while others could use some help. To make this shootout about the saws and not the blades, we turned to Diablo to outfit each saw with the same accessory.
The fence on a table saw is one of its defining features and allows for precise, square, and repeatable cuts. Not all fences are equal though and a poorly built fence is a deal-breaker, in my opinion. Not only will a poorly built and implemented fence affect the quality of your cuts, but a fence that moves or is not square to the blade can cause your material to bind and kickback.
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
Before you decide to invest in a unit, you must first know what to look for in order to find the best table saw. Many people think buying a table saw is a piece of cake, but the reality is completely different. There are a few things you should think about before buying one, especially if you don’t have any previous experience. Take a moment and read this article, it will help you a lot.
How big a table saw is, is determined by the largest blade the saw will hold. 8” blades are the smallest that should be used for any home workshop. You can get blades in 9”, 10”, and 12” sizes as well. Most workshops will not really need the 12” blade as this has a very deep cut capability, but for construction firms and larger, commercial shops, the 12” comes in handy.
A 50 rpm deviation at those speeds is approximately 1% variance which is well within the tolerance we should expect from taking the readings at a precise instant of time. The meters were in constant motion and we took the reading off of a single video frame that represented our determination of no-load speeds. We report them as our instruments showed them. 1% is acceptable.
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 are making a cut that will require your hands to get close to the blade, (within 6 inches) use a push stick or two to eliminate the chances of your hand touching the blade. If this is a big concern for you, maybe consider a saw that uses flesh detection to stop the blade. The additional cost of the saw will be instantly appreciated the first time you need it.
If you’re going to have a quality product, you need a fence system that’s perfectly square to the table so your cut is perfectly parallel to the edge. Obviously, framers have a bit more leeway than jobsite carpenters and there’s plenty of variance in fence quality. Cheaper saws have fences that can easily move out of square as they slide along the surface of the table. Avoid these if you want quality results. The fence system needs to be easy to keep square to the blade.
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!
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.
Bosch engineers deserve kudos for the Gravity-Rise stand, and it’s a design some other manufacturers should emulate. Twist one lever, and the sturdy, steel frame folds up or down fluidly to convert from sawing to transport or storage. Eight-inch wheels and lugged rubber tires make this base easy to steer overland or pull up steps. Plus, the base’s stance is wide, giving it sure footing if you are pushing long planks or heavy sheet goods through. It will not tip. But, the stand when erected sets the saw’s tabletop quite high, at 38-1⁄2″. Shorter users may find this to be a bit too tall for comfort.
I also added in a bicycle saddle bag, that attaches easily to the tube frame of the saw. In it, I keep my PPE, and my Grr-ripper push blocks (great upgrade over regular push blocks). I also have a push stick made of wood that was modeled after the plastic one mounted on the back of the saw. The wood one is there now. I read too many stories of injuries after the blade touched the plastic stick, which to me is the whole point of using a stick – to avoid injuries. These things turning to shrapnel seems like a bad idea.
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.
I’m not crazy about one feature, and it’s common to three of these five saws: to tip the blade, you unlock a lever behind the blade height hand wheel, then swing the undercarriage up to the angle you need before re-locking the lever. A geared bevel control would make this process a little easier. But, once tipped, Bosch held its angle setting well through my test cuts.
Consider whether you’ll be working inside or outside, on even flooring or dirt ground. You’ll want to choose the most convenient stand that’s sturdy enough for the kind of cuts you need to make. Pros should pay for a premium stand that doesn’t have any wobble whatsoever. DIYers and framers can probably make do with something lightweight and inexpensive.
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.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
How do you tell what the best table saw is? With so many table saw choices on the market it’s hard to know which table saw is the best fit for you and your woodworking needs. Not for long. We’ve taken the leg work out by doing all the measuring, tracking, and researching for you. We’ve compiled year-over-year performance and pricing information for over 3 years to help you choose the table saw that is ideal for you and your project. Search no more, find your table saw below.
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.
The rip fence has a nifty flipping action so you can hold 2 different positions. This is an awesome feature if you’re cutting especially narrow workpieces. One of the dangers of ripping substantial pieces of lumber is breakage or the saw itself toppling over. The rail extension gives wonderful stability and allows you the freedom to undertake ambitious projects in complete safety.
As far as the design goes, cabinet saws don’t look much different from the hybrid ones. However, when it comes to sheer power, this type is the most powerful one in every regard. Therefore, devoted professionals who work on massive heavy-duty projects usually prefer cabinet saws over anything else. Each element of a cabinet saw is constructed to withstand a lot of stress and pressure.
Bengt – We appreciate the feedback as it always helps us get better. Having said that I think some of your concerns were evaluated and included in the results in ways that may not be entirely clear. We adjusted each saw after checking the blade/fence measurements and had no issues getting them adjusted (I may add some text to reinforce that in the article). We don’t do long term testing in this type of article as it’s simply not feasible…so making a statement about whether the saw holds those adjustments isn’t feasible. We evaluated the fences and ranked them in the ergonomics section, we even did lateral load testing on them as part of that ranking.
There are two major points that affect post-calibration table saws: fence quality and overall stability. A fence works by grabbing hold of the table edge and clamping into it. The best fences, like Biesemeyer, have three points of contact. They’re just not where you’d expect. All three are on the front, leaving none on the back. With a wide cast metal front clamping system, the front is pulled flush and self-aligns. It requires a solid locking mechanism to ensure the fence doesn’t move during cuts, but it is very possible.
The dual extension tables (rear and side) offer 50% more table space than most rectangular units. We also appreciate that Grizzly have put all the space under the worktop to use, with steel-frame shelving built in as standard. You can use it for scrap wood, tools, and accessories: you can even fit a full tool chest under there! It’s a good space-saving touch for busy shops.
Bosch GTS1031 10 in. portable jobsite table saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor that allows this table saw to rip through any lumber or hardwood quickly and easily. Bosch’s Smart Guard System provides added control while cutting, SquareLock Rip fence ensure consistent and accurate cuts, and an all steel base provides added durability. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention the price. This is the most affordable table saw on our list!
You can’t talk about the best portable jobsite table saw without talking about portability. Portability boils down to a couple of important features. First and foremost, weight has a huge impact on how easily you can transport the saw, especially if it has to go into the bed of a truck rather than a trailer. If you’ve got a trailer, then a wheeled stand becomes your best friend. We looked at both.
As mentioned, the look is similar to a hybrid with a full enclosure. Looks can be deceptive, though… The core design purpose is for this saw to stand up to constant heavy use in a commercial setting. This is not a tool you buy for casual woodworking at home.These bulky, heavy units are built to last the distance. They can weigh up to 500 pounds. You’ll get an accuracy and rigidity not available in lesser types of table saw.Other table saws call for regular adjustments. With a cabinet saw, you won’t need to do this as often once it’s set up properly. 240V motors developing 3-5HP mean there’s very little the best cabinet table saw won’t rip through with ease. Large sheets of hardwood are no problem at all.
The first thing people notice about this unit is its design. The rolling stand is specially designed to mitigate the transport of this saw. In simpler words, whenever you need to move it, you can do it by simply rolling the unit on its wheels. One more notable thing is the 2-inch dust collector port. You can easily connect it to a vacuum and extract the dust efficiently and without much hassle.
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.
If you’re a home DIYer or pro working mainly from a shop, you may have a wide table or countertop big enough to use the saw without any accessory stand. We would caution against working on sawhorses, though, as they can be wobbly and unsafe. It’s far better to spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy stand than to take risks with a rickety, improvised setup.
One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
6. Clamp rip fence to check if it holds securely at front and rear. If rear is not clamped securely, un- clamp fence and turn rear clamp adjustment screw 6 clockwise for increased clamping. Try clamping the fence to verify if it self aligns and clamps tightly at the front and rear. Overtightening of the rear clamp adjustment screw 6 will cause the rip fence to be non-self aligning (Fig. 23). Overtightening may cause friction or “chatter” when fence is moved side to side.
If you want to have a quick and accurate cut of wood, look no further than a table saw. When buying a table saw the main thing you put into consideration is its power. A good table saw should have enough power to cut through wet timber as well as hardwood. However, there are certain features which help in foreseeing the overall performance of a table saw.