While I appreciate this review, that Kobalt job site saw is the absolute worst. Uncontrollable blade wobble, terrible fence, trundle bolts that are nearly impossible to get to without tacking the back panel off (of course that doesn’t matter when the blade won’t stay in alignment for more than a day), miter slots that aren’t parallel to each other and also taper toward the backside of the table, and a riving knife without adequate adjustments to align it with the blade. Do not buy that piece of garbage.
We had a number of these saws – and I bought one for my own use (travelling to my kids houses and for garage use) since my old Unisaw with sliding table isn’t exactly portable. My take on the blade – is that the old 40T one (Bosch CBT1040A) was not worth anything much – so the change to a 24T blade can’t hurt (zero time anything is still zero). They generally bundle saws with cheap blades to keep the overall price down – but when I was buying in many multiples – I would have been happy for $10 off each if I had a “no-blade” option.
Both saws were almost equally quick to setup for use, with the DeWalt coming out slightly ahead. The throat plate, which is thicker and sturdier than Bosch's, is slightly easier to remove and reinsert. The DeWalt's blade cavity offers greater clearance, which makes locking down and loosening the riving knife easier without scraping a knuckle. Dewalt's riving knife adjustment required less wiggling and hunting to get it set properly.
The maximum depth of cut on a saw tells you how thick of a material you can cut through cleanly. Be careful when you’re looking at depth of cut ratings, since you’ll usually find two separate specs listed. One is for cutting at 90 degrees, the blade’s normal setting, and one is for cutting at a 45 degree bevel, which is generally the furthest a table saw blade will pivot. Most of us will only need to be concerned about the 90-degree rating, but if you cut lots of angles, you should check the 45 degree rating as well.
Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.
The body of the blade is made from hardened steel, helping to extend the lifespan and keep up with the tooth quality. The kerf is a crazy-thin 0.098 inch—narrow to keep the cuts fast by reducing the amount of material that needs to be removed. Like most Diablo blades, you’ll pay a bit of a premium up front, but the blade lasts so much longer than others on the market that the cost per cut is much lower.
You will need specialty blades for cutting materials such as plywood, masonry, hardwood and metals. Other specialty blades are used for dado cuts. Most dado sets have multiple rows of teeth and chippers and they are typically much wider than traditional blades. Be sure that the model of table saw you have can accommodate the type of specialty blades you want to get so you don’t waste your money on a blade that won’t fit.
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.
What if a contractor uses their job site saw for high quality built-ins or high tolerance finished cuts? In that case, saw accuracy is critical for that work. In this use case, if the saw is immediately put into use, success depends upon the out-of-the-box accuracy from the manufacturer. The quality of the cuts and more importantly the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer.
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.
For this portion of the testing and evaluation we used three different materials (3/4″ AC Plywood, 5/4 Mahogany Decking, and 5/4 Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine Decking) while measuring the saw blade RPM, and the saw motor AMP draw. To compare the saws we’re looking for how much blade speed each saw has under load, and also how much the amp draw increases under load. Think about it like driving a car, a more powerful car will not drop as much speed going up a hill and the engine won’t work as hard.
While your table saw is unplugged, take the time to clear and clean the work surface, removing any debris that could negatively impact the smooth path of the wood you will be cutting. Then, lower or raise the blade to where the blade gullet (the curved section between each blade tooth) is equal with the top of the piece of wood to be cut. Also, make sure that your saw's dust exhaust port is clear and open and that a bag is in place to catch any excess sawdust.
After spending hours doing a lot of research and talking to professionals who use these tools on a regular basis we have put together a review for you that not only tells you three of the top table saws on the market today, but we tell you why they are popular and explain a bit about each so you have a good idea of what they are like. This table saw review will put much-needed information right at your fingertips so you can make a good decision on the right table saw for your needs.