Even though is seems pretty irrelevant, the position of the On/Off switch is quite important, especially if you’re a frequent user of these tools. In today’s models, the switch is usually leveled with your knees. The main thing you should look for is the size of the OFF switch. It has to be big enough so that you can turn the unit off immediately either with your knees, elbows, or hands. The so-called panic button is one of the crucial elements of every unit, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
This saw has a soft start and also seems to over-rev and then slow down to correct itself upon startup. Strange, and I'm hoping this isn't a precursor to a problem down the road but for now it works fine. The Bosch blade that it comes with was removed and replaced with a Freud. The saw cut like a hot knife through butter and I am very pleased with the overall performance. The miter gauge is a little sloppy in the miter tracks.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
If height adjustments were standardized, we could expect each saw to make them nearly identically. Taking a look under the hood, we discovered several different methods—each with their own effect. Most of the saws employ a bevel gear system that provides smooth and reliable performance. We noticed that many used solid metal gearing, but Bosch used plastic for both the 4100 and the REAXX.
SawStop is the only saw in the group to employ this style fence and they have the best in the group. Ridgid comes in second with a traditional front clamping fence system that has a backside contact point. Its solid construction and wide cast front clamp left us impressed. DeWalt’s came in third with an innovative effort that locks into several points based on where you need it. Rather than sliding along, it stays in place while the rack and pinion system moves it into place. It’s not perfect, but it eliminates a lot of accuracy issues that come from locking the fence out of square on some systems.
Bosch’s Gravity Rise Stand was the best portable design of the group. While several stands share the basic principles, Bosch stood out with large diameter tubing that improves durability, the ease of set up/take down, and the larger pneumatic wheels that helps over less than ideal terrain. SawStop was right behind with slightly narrower wheels while Ridgid wrapped up the top 3 most impressive.
If you’re a home DIYer, dust collection shouldn’t be a big worry. You can always hook the saw up to your shop vac, but if you’re only working with it occasionally, you’ll be fine to simply get your sawing done, and clear the exhaust port afterward. However, if you’re working on a professional jobsite, you should plan to collect at least most of the dust from your portable table saw via a vacuum system.
With both saws offering easy bevel and blade height adjustment, the ease of use comparison focuses mainly on the rip fences. Once the Bosch's rip fence is attached to the table, it moves smoothly across the table when unlocked. But unlocking the fence requires a bit of hand muscle. You can adjust the clamping pressure to alleviate this, but make it too loose and the fence may wobble out of square. Modifying the fence locking lever, or using a cheater bar (such as a push stick) works reasonably well.
Contractor saws are a perfect balance between functionality, manoeuvrability and price. These sorts of saws are perfect if you have bigger projects that you’re working on and will stay on site for a few months. This is due to the fact that they are a lot less portable, but that being said they are a great in-between saw as they still have great rip capacity and overall cutting power.
One of the biggest issues and potential hazards when working with table saws is kickback. Table saw kickback occurs when wood is ejected from the saw at extremely high speed. You can imagine the sort of injuries this can cause. Table splitters are effectively small vertical bits of metal or sometimes plastic that are designed to stop the wood flying back if there is a kickback. Attached to the splitter are anti kickback pawls either side, they look like table saw blades themselves but they are in fact there to grip the wood at stick into it in case of kickback.
RIDGID’s 94-lb. R4510 might not be a saw you want to lift into a truck bed every day, but it’s bound to deliver solid cutting results once you reach your destination. For starters, this saw includes a downright great stand. Step on one lever, and the tubular frame lifts and glides smoothly up into place. The same lever collapses it. It’s sturdy, well-balanced and provides a wide stance to keep the saw from shifting or tipping. Large wheels and rubber tires roll the machine around easily during transport or just to reposition it when set up. The left-most tube is both a working-height handle and side support for balancing extra-long crosscuts. Smart.
As far as the design goes, cabinet saws don’t look much different from the hybrid ones. However, when it comes to sheer power, this type is the most powerful one in every regard. Therefore, devoted professionals who work on massive heavy-duty projects usually prefer cabinet saws over anything else. Each element of a cabinet saw is constructed to withstand a lot of stress and pressure.
Compared to some of the other miter saws we’ve used – predating the new riving knife requirement, the Bosch GTS1031 guard system is much easier to install and remove when necessary (and to put the saw back into portable mode). We timed ourselves and assembled and tore down the saw in just over 2 minutes – and we were confident that our time would get better with more practice. The table is made of machined cast aluminum and is texture-coated to make it fairly slick – something that really helped when cutting larger pieces of 3/4″ plywood for a workbench surface. As for extending the table – that was super-easy. You just lift the table extension handle upwards and slide the table to the right. This gives you a full 18″ of rip width to the rip fence with your material to the right of the blade. Collapsed, you get up to 10″. Motion of the rip fence and the table extension were smooth. While the fence had some wobble in it at the far end – this completely disappeared when you locked it down – and the shape of the rear of the fence locked it straight every time. It’s a good system and more than adequate for a low-cost portable saw like this. We’ve seen more robust fence systems. But typically the trade-off has been in weight as well as cost.
While DeWALT’s DW744X is the only model here without wheels, the saw is otherwise well appointed. It’s got a unique rip fence design: instead of sliding along front and back rails, the fence is fixed to them. To change rip fence settings, you extend the rails out on rack-and-pinion gears. The design keeps the fence parallel to the blade/miter slots and prevents it from deflecting if pushed laterally. A red hairline cursor makes fence settings easy to read, and it passed my ripping tests with flying colors.
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.
Measuring 30.31" x 17.32" x 41.81", this powerhouse boasts a heavy duty 10" blade that can cut up to 4" x 4" of material in a single pass. For the handyman who likes to keep all of his tools within arm’s length, RIDGID’s table saw comes with convenient onboard storage so swapping out blades or accessing your tools is just a short reach away. Buyers are crazy for this table saw, and they report that it easily fits into the corner of their garages. Plus, quick and easy assembly means you can get to work straight out the gate.
The Delta Unisaw is a heavyweight in woodworking circles. It’s been on the market for years, and it’s a stalwart through and through. It has a super-powerful 5 HP motor which can blast through the toughest hardwoods and composite materials quickly. It also features one of the most precise bevel adjustments on the market, down to 1/4 degrees! It has a solid, single-cast trunnion which provides excellent vibration dampening, and an extra-heavy case iron base. In short, this is a hulking beast of a machine, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a shop favorite for years.
Table saws can pose a serious risk of injury, since part of the spinning blade comes up above the surface of the table where it can come into contact with the user's hand as it guides the wood. Thanks to voluntary safety standards introduced by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in 2007, pretty much all table saws now come with blade guards that minimize the risk. Modern guard systems are easier to remove and replace as needed – an important feature because inconvenient blade guards are apt to be left off the 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.
Last but not least, you need to pay attention to the dust collecting capabilities of a particular model. Portable units usually have a weak dust-collecting capacity, but they aren’t foreseen for large projects. However, all other types do feature some kind of dust collecting system. The first thing you should check is the diameter of the dust port. The larger it is, the less debris you’ll have flying around. Also, check out the vacuum requirements because some models work only with super-expensive vacuums. As you can assume, the thing that’s lacking with those models is cost efficiency. However, if you don’t have budget limitations, feel free to invest in a high-end vacuum, it makes a huge difference.
Below is a graph showing the average measured decibels for the saws (for each of the materials we tested). As you can see the saws range from 93.7 db to 97.9 db. OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for up to 90 db, from 95 db up the exposure limits start dropping quickly starting at 4 hrs for 95 db so clearly these saws all need hearing protection. We ranked the quietest 3 saws as a 2, and the remaining saws as a 3 and felt none should rank a 1 due to the need for hearing protection.
One of the biggest perks of a cabinet table saw, aside from the rugged construction and wide worktop, is the sheer power of the tool. You should expect a cabinet table saw to cut absolutely any stock within its depth capacity smoothly and easily. Look for motors with at least 3 HP, and sophisticated belt drive systems which translate that grunt into 4000+ RPM blade speeds. Don’t accept lesser power ratings on a cabinet model: these are the gold standard of table saws for a reason!
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.
The Delta 10 in. Contractor Saw features an The Delta 10 in. Contractor Saw features 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 of the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls. There is a large easy to ... More + Product Details Close
Once again our team has put some serious time and effort into our Head-to-Head evaluation to bring you the most comprehensive information available. For this evaluation, we broke things into several categories including: Precision & Accuracy, Performance (power), Price, and Ergonomics. For each of these categories we’ll rank the saws and at the end we’ll name the Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw based on all the results combined.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.