First off, consider how often you’ll put your table saw to use. If you work in the fields of contracting or carpentry, there’s a chance you’ll be using your new machine pretty often — so you may as well invest in a more expensive, heavy-duty table saw that’s sure to last longer than the average model. On the other hand, hobbyists and weekend woodworkers won’t need a pricey piece of machinery — a more compact and inexpensive model should do just fine, especially if you’re only working on smaller projects like birdhouses and DIY wooden models.
This article is the place to start, and then you can take it from there. My table saw buying guide has all the essential information on table saws you will need, like their classification based on size, portability, motor type, blade size, and the features they come with. You will encounter each of these terms in all the product reviews, which is why you shouldn’t skip reading it.
For benchtop and jobsite saws with direct drive motors, the motor RPM is the blade RPM. If you’re considering a contractor or cabinet saw, it’s a different story. In any event, Pro table saw RPMs generally range from 4000 – 5000. Don’t let numbers on the lower side dissuade you. There’s a limit to how much power you can draw and each manufacturer has to decide how they’ll channel it between blade speed and torque. So higher isn’t necessarily better.
It features an 1850W motor which delivers more than enough power for any heavy-duty task and DIY project. Dewalt is well-known for designing quality tools, and they didn’t disappoint with this particular model either. The fence system offers 610mm of rip capacity. As you may assume, even though it’s a portable unit, you can easily cut large pieces of wood to a particular size.
Each one has different power, capabilities, mobility and price points as well. If you’re not sure which type you need, we have outline some specifics on each below that will help you choose. When you begin the search for your table saw, you will need to know the answers to a few questions that will narrow down the choices for you and make choosing much easier.
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.
On the other end of the handyman spectrum, you’ve got the seasoned professional with years of experience under his belt. We all know the type: he’s the guy that expects only the best, and DEWALT more than delivers with their patented DWE7491RS. This wood-slicing machine is the cream of the crop when it comes to cutting through even the toughest materials. The DWE7491RS measures 26¼" x 22", so it’s a relatively large apparatus — you’re going to want to make sure that you have plenty of space in your garage for this table saw.
Hybrid models vary widely, so there aren’t any strict pros and cons that apply to all models. They’re generally quite powerful, and you can find them in both 110V and 220V configurations. They’re easy to install on wheeled bases, and work well in both stationary or mobile setups. However, these tend to be quite heavy, and they take up more space than other portable options. They’re a good compromise for ardent DIYers who dream of a cabinet model, but don’t quite have the money or the permanent shop space.
Goggles are yet another thing people simply don’t like wearing. However, it’s not about comfort but saving your eyesight. As you can assume, there is a lot of sawdust flying around while you’re cutting a piece of wood. In order to prevent it from flying straight into your eyes, you have to wear safety glasses. There are hundreds of models you can choose from, but make sure they are certified as safe. In simpler words, you cannot use the first ones you stumble upon, don’t be afraid to invest in high-quality safety glasses, you’ll be thankful for them.
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.
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.
Now let’s talk power. The 15-amp motor is housed underneath the aluminum table and features replaceable brushes so you can expect long life from the saw. The gearing for adjusting the blade height also looked to be built with durability in mind and was well-greased. Cranking the height on the saw was simple and, unlike many saws I’ve used, even bevel adjustments were a snap and didn’t require a ton of effort to move the blade. We found that we could easily loosen the bevel lock and slide the assembly along its arc until we got to the required angle.
While other cabinet table saws may not offer you a clear cut every single time, that’s not the case with the SawStop ICS51230-52. This model features industrial fence system which ensures that every time you cut something, the cut is going to be very accurate and perfectly straight. One last thing to keep in mind is that the unit includes a standard base, while the mobile base and jobsite cart are sold separately.
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
But if you have the space for the DeWalt to sit upright at a work station or deep storage shelf, then it may be the better choice, thanks to its more comfortable adjustment controls. You won't be able to use a dado blade with the DeWalt (at least not safely), and the rip capacity is slightly smaller, but there's a reason why it's been popular for a while now. It's a great saw that delivers reliable performance.
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.
Methods for tilting the blade to cut bevels vary among the saws. The Porter-Cable saw is the only one with a conventional handwheel bevel control mounted on the side of the saw. The crank gives you great control for setting an exact angle. To set the bevel on the Bosch, DeWalt and Rockwell saws, you simply release the bevel-lock lever and tilt the saw to the preferred angle. It’s easy to go quickly from a 90-degree to a 45-degree bevel with this method. The Ridgid, Craftsman and Ryobi saws have a rack-and-pinion setup. These saws utilize the front crank for setting the bevel.
The 15-amp motor is outstanding, developing up to 4HP and operating at a speed of 3650RPM. This is not quite as pacey as the DeWalt but still more than respectable. The other advantage to this motor is that – for a table saw, at least – it’s pretty quiet. Noise isn’t such an issue out on the job site but if you’re woodworking at home, the quiet motor is a real boon.
Skilsaw produced the only worm drive table saw in our group and we had high expectations, especially given the high RPM count. In the end, the power is definitely at the professional level and settled in tied for fourth overall with DeWalt. This was the lightest, most compact saw in the group. Like DeWalt, the lack of an outer housing leads to more efficient cooling but drops storage for an extra blade.
To get the feel of the cut, we used a two man team to feed from one end of the saw and catch on the other. This helped us reduce the friction that comes from one person trying to hold a board flush against the fence while also keeping downward pressure to keep it level on the table. There was definitely some hesitation at the beginning of each cut that was alleviated once the board was received by the second man on the other side. It was during this middle section that the table/fence friction was at its lowest point and we made our determinations about each saw’s power and cutting speed.
A table saw can be classified in many ways, and I’ve come across terms like contractor, folding, featherboard, hobby, induction, sliding and zero clearance. However, I will conform to the most basic and clear classification and range the tables accordingly. That means I’ll order them by benchtop table saws, jobsite table saws, cabinet saws and hybrid table saws.
If you’re looking for a machine with high capacity, the SKIL 3410-02 has a 3.5-inch cut height with the ability to cut through four times the material on each pass. The consensus among reviewers is that, for such a low price, you end up compromising on miter gauge and saw blade quality. Luckily both of those things can be replaced if you so choose.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
The machine has a more conventional rip fence/rail arrangement. The right half of the rail assembly folds out so the saw can achieve its full 30″ of rip capacity — wider than any other model here — but the fence would not slide smoothly over the rails without catching on the hinge joint. While the rip fence did maintain its locked settings, it lacks the heft and build quality of the competition.