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.
Next, the rip fence is pretty hard to adjust also, and mine had a few thousandths of a bow, but that bow is way within industry standard for a portable saw. Here's what you do: First, check it for parallel, you might get lucky. (On a side note, there is a fine line between how tight to set the locking arm adjustment screw with this rip fence. Too tight, and when you lock it, you'll loose the self-adjustment feature, too loose isn't good either. Adjust the screw (on the rear of the fence), to where the fence self aligns while still getting tight) If you are like me, mine was 15 thousandths out, then unlock the locking handle and loosen the two screws on top closest to you in THIS ORDER! Loosen the screw closest to the lock handle first, and for a few turns. Next, loosen the screw that is about 6 inches away toward the middle just enough to where the fence will rotate on this screw, but not so much as to be sloppy. Begin experimenting. Pivot the fence back and forth, running your measuring device up and down the fence until you get pretty close. Lock handle and checking for parallel. Again and again. When you finally get pretty close to parallel, then lock the lever and experiment with locking both screws. If it doesn't move and you are within a few thousandths, then voila, you are done with adjusting the blade and rip fence for parallel. The other adjustments are straight forward, and once set up, THIS IS A GREAT SAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck, hope this review helps
Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.
When you purchase your table saw, more than likely it will have standard 10” carbide tipped blade that is good for general purpose use. This blade is capable of cross cutting a 4 x 4. If you replace it with a 40 tooth combination blade you will improve the quality of your cuts significantly and more than likely be much happier with the blade overall. You can get specialty blades also if you are going to be cutting other materials as well.
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.
Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
Sadly, you will have to sacrifice in a few key departments for all that portability and convenience. Portable table saws are the worst choice for cutting larger stock, especially if you don’t have an extension table to add on. They’re also the least powerful sort of table saw, so you shouldn’t plan to cut thick stock or hardwoods on them regularly. Thanks to their light build, portable units are the loudest of the bunch, and their dust collection is usually less than impressive. However, if you’re moving around a lot and need to do rips in the smallest possible space, these are your best friends.
The DEWALT Table Saw is designed with a The DEWALT Table Saw is designed with a 15 Amp 4800 RPM motor that quickly rips through hardwoods with ease. With 24-1/2 in. of rip capacity this saw easily cuts a variety of larger shelving and trim materials. Rack and pinion telescoping fence rails make fence adjustments fast smooth and ... More + Product Details Close
One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.
Framing work is full of rougher cuts that rarely makes use of more than one blade at a time. But occasionally you might need dados for an onsite custom build in. If that sounds like you, be sure to find out the saw’s dado stack capacity. It requires a longer arbor and you won’t be able to use your normal throat plate for it. Some manufacturers offer a dado throat plate if they have the capacity for it.
Strangely, DeWALT provides no power cord wrap. It’s a basic detail the other saws have and this one really needs. The steel “TV tray” type stand sets up fast, and rubber feet hold it firmly in place. When you are done sawing, you’ll have to lift this wheel-less saw to transport it, and there are contoured grips molded into the table edges to make that easier. At more than 50 lbs., though, the saw feels heavy. But the tradeoff for the convenience of wheels is that DeWALT can keep this setup even more compact — probably much appreciated by contractors. The whole works fits in a car trunk.
Table saws in this best table saw review run the gamut in price and quality. You can buy a table saw for as little as $150, and if you use it just to occasionally rip a board, that may be all the saw you need. If you want a saw that’s easy to carry and you don’t need to rip sheets of plywood in half, look for a “compact” saw like the DeWalt DW745 (shown) or the Bosch GTS1031. If you have room for a little larger saw that’s slightly less portable but capable of wide rips, consider one of the best table saws we review here. And finally, if you want to build cabinets or furniture and have a big enough work area, you can step up to a stationary contractor’s saw like the Ridgid R4512 (shown), for about $650.
As with our other models, it takes some assembly. If you get one of the extended models, which we’re recommending here, you should plan to cut the rails down to size before finishing installation. It’s simple to do if you’ve got a good miter or bandsaw, but it is an extra step. With that said, many reviewers complimented the SawStop’s well-written and helpful manual, which made installation significantly easier than other units.
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
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.
We’ve used $2,000 as our minimum spending threshold on these models, because that’s what we’ve found you have to pay for a cabinet model with all the features we consider essential: a precision-machined cast-iron worktop, a versatile fence on sliding tracks, a 3 HP motor with belt drive, an all-steel cabinet, a cast-iron trunnion support, and machined flywheels to adjust the blade settings.
If you’re looking for the perfect cabinet table saw out there, then you should look no further than the SawStop ICS51230-52. This is an industrial grade cabinet saw and is also the highest quality, most powerful and heaviest cabinet saw you can currently get. Its fifty two inch industrial T-glide fence assembly, combined with a 5 HP, 230V single phase motor offers safety, versatility, durability and peace of mind that SawStop is so well known for.
You want to rip down lumber with your table saw. For this you’ll need a fence. You just can’t make an accurate rip cut without one. Check the fence sits on the rails firmly. You should be able to adjust it easily in both directions. A T-square fence is the most common type. Made from welded steel, it’s precise, user-friendly and durable. Some fences are mounted with bolts. Others are welded onto the head of the T-square. Miter gauges are priceless for making cross-cuts and other more advanced cuts. This gauge acts as a guiding device. It moves in the miter slot. You can angle between 45 degrees and -45 degrees. For angled or square cross-cuts or other specialty cuts, a miter gauge fully delivers.
Plus, the machined aluminum table is our favorite on the market right now. It also has a smarter motor system than either of the Dewalt’s, thanks to a soft start and automatic speed control to ensure smooth cuts. However, it’s the slowest of the pack, and it doesn’t have quite as good a fence as the yellow competition. We think it’s a great choice for pros who are concerned about accuracy, but can’t spend lots of money on their unit.
Contractor units are the next step up from portable (or jobsite) table saws. A contractor table saw has a worktop and motor assembly that looks a lot like a cabinet model, only it’s missing the cabinet! Contractor units aren’t quite as portable as a job site saw, but they’re about half the weight of a cabinet saw. They pack a lot more power than a portable unit, and their cutaway stands make them fairly manageable for folks who have helpers to assist in getting the saw off the truck and set up at the site.
Included Components (1) Gravity Rise Table Stand, (1) 10 In. 40-Tooth Carbide-Tipped Saw Blade, (1) Standard Throat Plate Table Insert, (1) Smart Guard System, (1) Rip Fence, (1) Miter Gauge, (1) Push Stick, (1) Blade Wrench, (1) Hex Adjustment Wrench (1) table saw, (1) 24-tooth carbide saw blade, (1) rip fence, (1) miter gauge, (1) push stick, (2) blade-change wrenches SPT70WT 10-Inch Portable Worm Drive Table Saw, Rip Fence, Table Insert, Barrier Guard Assembly, Anti-Kickback Device, Miter Gauge, Push Stick, 10-Inch Carbide 24-Tooth Rip Cutting Blade, Blade Wrench, Hex Wrench, Manual bare-tool Bare-Tool Bare-Tool
If you’re going to be transporting your unit regularly, you should aim to keep weight to a minimum. Look for something lightweight, with convenient carrying handles, or a stand that can be wheeled around dolly-style at the worksite. Conversely, if you’re only going to be using your portable saw occasionally, you can probably stand a bit more weight.
Today's table saws also include riving knives, which ride up and down with the blade when its height is changed, rather than splitters that are fixed in place. The problem with the old splitters was that they had to be removed for certain types of cuts, and users might forget to put them back on before making rip cuts. This increased the risk of kickback injuries, which occur when the spinning blade kicks back a piece of wood toward the user with tremendous force, causing serious injury to any part of the body that's hit.
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
There are several types of table saws. The types of jobs or projects you plan to use a table saw for will determine which type you buy. If you want a saw you can take from job site to job site and store it easily, then you will need a table saw that is made to be portable so that it can be easily transported to the job site. Of the portable or work site table saws on the market today, the Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand and the DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 16-Inch Max Rip Capacity are two of the most popular.
The throat plate is the removable piece surrounding the blade that sits flush with the table. Removing it gives you the ability to access the blade for removal or riving knife adjustments. The narrower the blade clearance the better for two reasons. First, it helps keep material from falling into the blade area or lodging between the blade and throat plate. Second, it gives you material support very close to the cut to help reduce tearout as the blade exits the cut.
Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
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The Dewalt DWE7491is the clear choice for the full-time woodworking professional. It provides the widest rip capacity by far, it’s the fastest worker, and it has the best dust collection. The fence is a thing of beauty, and the secondary inner fence is a smart feature for smaller cuts. We think it’s worthy of any full-time woodworker, or DIYer with plenty of shop space and spending money.
When I switched blades, I did find the locking lever for the riving knife very stiff … not sure why. It raises to release the riving knife and pushes down to lock it. I resorted to gripping the lever with a pliers to manipulate it, after nicking some skin on the blade teeth. But, on the softer side, RIDGID provides a nice complement of overmolds on the miter gauge handle and blade height handwheel knob.
You will agree that your ability to hold, controlling and manipulating the saw largely depends on your strength. Since small table saws are lightweight, you should go for a powerful table saw so as to avoid fatigue during small jobs. This also means that if you are working in a forest for a whole day the light weight is of great importance it also helps reduce fatigue. When shopping for chainsaws ensure the saw balances well in your hand. You should also ensure that you can easily shift the saws grip from hand to hand without losing its balance.