Even a newbie can go around the table saw section at the local home improvement store and feel that some saws have easier adjustments than others. Some are simply easier while others are downright innovative in various ways. Porter-Cable came out of the value group for the overall win with adjustments that are both smooth and intuitive. Dual adjustment wheels mean that you’ll be able to accurately adjust your blade height and your bevel angle—a feature no other saw in this group has.
We rotated the blade to the rear of the saw to enable the dial indicator to contact the same location of the same tooth behind the carbide portion. We positioned the dial indicator to the rear of the saw placed onto the blade and the reading recorded. If the blade and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading.
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.
The saw does not easily detach from the stand. Sometimes it’s beneficial to set the saw up as a bench-top saw, but the DeWALT 7491RS doesn’t come with quick release levers to accomplish this easily. In this case, you would have to use a drill to remove four screws to detach it from the stand. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have to because over time the screw holes will strip.
In terms of cutting results, Craftsman’s 28463 Jobsite Table Saw made a decent showing. It delivered accurate rip cuts, kept its bevel setting for angled ripping and could handle a stacked dado blade without laboring. Dust collection through an enclosed shroud was on par with more expensive machines. I also appreciated the saw’s clear, split guard and a riving knife system that is easy to install and adjust up or down. These are the plusses of what, in this test, is the budget-priced tool.
DIY-ers love this type due to its simplistic yet effective operation. However, it’s not unusual for professionals to invest in these in order to avoid investing in cabinet models and save some money. Speaking of money, you should prepare yourself for a hefty investment if you opt for this particular type. However, most models are well-worth the money. These things last for years and don’t require a lot of maintenance apart from occasional blade replacements and minor adjustments. They are not as easy to use as portable models, but you’ll learn how to use them in a matter of hours or days, as long as you follow the rules written in the user manual.
Look for guards with two independent panels on each side of the blade, so that while you work on one side, the other side keeps dust in the vacuum system, rather than flying off to the side. High-end cabinet units also have splitter and guard systems which are molded like the internal shrouding to amplify suction, so you should look carefully at those features.
The professional level saws saw a separation as well and all were well ahead of the cutting power we saw with the value group. A middle tier of cutting performance started with Makita and Bosch’s 4100 while DeWalt was significantly better. Entering the fray with the only worm drive system, we had high hopes for Skilsaw’s entry. It was solid and smooth—definitely at the Pro level— and close to what the 4100 delivered.
The first is how easy the switch is to operate. Oftentimes, you will approach your table saw with your hands full especially when we are talking about sheet goods. And sometimes you’ll be making cuts that require both hands to be occupied. Now if something goes wrong or you need to turn the saw off for any reason, you need to be able to do so and the quicker the better.
Jet has a strong reputation for providing customers with durable power tools that operate just like professional models but cost less, and that is definitely true of this 10-inch table saw that comes with a riving knife. You’ll like the basic design of this model, which has an intuitive design that allows you to set it up and start cutting faster. It features both a solid cabinet as well as an extension table that stretches out from one end.
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.
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.