One of the first things many Pros do is permanently (and intentionally) lose the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. While they are a pain to install and store onboard, their ability to reduce the risk of injury is significant. Table saws are responsible for thousands of injuries every year and there are plenty of guys running around with stories of how they got injured. So practice installing them until it feels natural and then actually use them onsite.
We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
We absolutely love the guard on this model. Like the Grizzly, the Jet is equipped with a riving knife or splitter, a blade guard, and kickback awls. The Jet’s our favorite of the two to use, because the whole system is modular: you can take it apart or put it back together without using any tools! The splitter (or riving knife) attaches to the same arbor component as the blade, so no matter how you bevel, and no matter what size blade you use, the splitter always lines up without needing any adjustments.
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!
The only (somewhat) recent review of table saws at Wood Magazine pits nine 3-HP cabinet saws against various sizes of wood and plywood, fed both by hand and with a power feeder. The short version of the review available on the website names the top picks and notes areas in which all nine saws performed adequately. For full details, however, you need to check out the printed magazine.
Delta has also improved the tabletop geometry on this model which means that you’re going to get more surface area stabilization. The base is also made of durable cast iron and since it offers easy access to the off/on switch, using the Delta UNISAW is a breeze. Other user friendly features include the convenient dust extraction system, large blade opening for easily changing the blade and fine-tuning the riving knife, smart storage for simple organization and fast access.
The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.
The most critical safety feature on a table saw is the blade guard. It’s all that separates your fingers from the rapidly rotating blade. You need this to be transparent or it will make measuring awkward. The last thing you want is to be tempted to remove an unfit guard. Check closely for a clear, flexible blade guard. Safety is paramount when operating a table saw.
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.
Another important safety feature to consider is a magnetic switch. Magnetic switches are there in case of power cuts or outages and will also protect the table saw motor from over load. Effectively it will switch off the power supply the instant the power goes off ensuring you don’t have a saw blade spinning away in the dark! As you can imagine this is a very useful and must have safety feature when looking to purchase a new table saw.
As far as performance, the fence could be a bit better in its locking in – square front to rear – but you get used to being able to set it square and use the rear adjustment knob so that it stays put. Some folks have complained about motor burn outs – but having experience now with 17 saws – over 6 years or more – I haven’t encountered the problem (maybe we’ve been lucky?)
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.
If you want to take the saw with you and use it in a different location, you can purchase the optional MB-PCS-000 integrated mobile base which features 2 stationary casters and 2 pivoting casters. Furthermore, it’s also possible to upgrade the mobile base assembly to a one thousand pound lift capacity, add a hydraulic piston lift and 4 independent pivoting casters.
As accidents and injuries are common when using large power tools like this one, it’s important that you look for safety features such as a dust collection system. Inhaling the sawdust that comes off the wood can make you sick, but this system does a good job of removing the dust from your work area. The collection port itself has a convenient on the cabinet too.
One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.
Both the riving knife and the blade itself has a quick release design that lets you remove each one in minutes after accessing the arbor lock and without using any special tools either. The blade guard has a similar design that allows you to remove and replace it without any tools. This guard does a good job of keeping your hands and any other body parts safe as you use the saw.
Home Depot sells around 60 models of table saws on its website, and the top models get hundreds of reviews from users. We found four portable saws with ratings of 4.5 stars or better from 250 users or more, and one contractor saw gets ratings just shy of 4.5 stars overall from more than 650 owners. Individual reviews are fairly short and include ratings for quality and value.
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
We were impressed with the Bosch Glide Miter Saw which was revealed in 2010 and revolutionized the depth required by a saw in close quarters. Building on their solution-based approach to products, the company has finally addressed the need for a truly portable full-power jobsite table saw. The Bosch GTS1031 table saw can be carried by its single handle, which is balanced in the middle, and all accessories are safely and securely stored on-board. This was demonstrated wonderfully by none other than Jason Feldner at the 2011 Bosch Media Event, who came running into the room with the Bosch GTS1031 table saw in one hand and a GTA500 stand in the other. Weighing in at a manageable 52 pounds, and this is one 15-amp jobsite table saw that does a great job of balancing portability and raw cutting power.