In layman’s terms, a miter gauge is a device that allows users to set up the angle of the material being cut with a table saw. And while most table saws come with built-in miter gauges, others, well, don’t — which is why the Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System is invaluable. Whether you’re replacing an old, worn-out gauge or putting it to use in conjunction with a table saw that didn’t come with its own proprietary gauge, the KMS7102 is specially designed with precision in mind. After all, accuracy is vital to successful woodwork.
We evaluated the flatness of the table by measuring the flatness by placing the edge of a precision ground flat bar across the table and placed feeler gauges in any gaps to measure any difference between the ground bar and the table. TBB took measurements in four directions. As the operator faces the saw, we measured the flatness at the arbor from front-to-rear; we measured the left-to right flatness at the arbor; we measured the flatness from the upper left-to-lower right table corners; and, finally, we measured the upper right-to-lower left flatness between the corners.
We hear the term accuracy tossed around when it comes to finding the best portable jobsite table saw, but we really have to narrow down what that means. Every saw we tested has the capability of being calibrated and it should be the first thing you do after setting it up. Like a new miter saw, blade calibration is simply part of delivering professional results.
Cabinet models are stationary, as a rule. They’re not designed for portable use, and you should plan on keeping them in your shop for their working life. However, some models are compatible with optional wheeled bases, and these are great for folks who want to be able to move their table saw around the workshop, without sacrificing any power, build quality, or stability.
The fence on this system is easily the winner. With clamping on just the front side, it self-aligns better than any other in the group and offers excellent stability. While SawStop didn’t have the most powerful feel to the cuts, it was very smooth with little vibration. Feature preferences aside, the only (slight) negative we agreed on was that the bevel lock stuck a little bit compared to others.
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.
These table saws are all probably made in China where there’s apparently no meaningful out-going quality control. While the *average* quality from a given manufacturer might be great, you could also be unlucky get a piece of junk because *everything* made on the production line ships out. It’s a preferred business model these days – the prices are much cheaper but the manufacturers trade that off against dealing with significantly increased returns and the need for much more customer service.
It’s sturdy. This unit also has a metal roll cage frame all around, which helps it handle the rough and tumble of travelling to worksites on a regular basis. It has a locking mechanism to help it stay securely on stands. We’re also super impressed by how well-made the adjustment knobs feel on this one. Buyers reported using this one for several years with no issues.
Under the table, you’ll find plenty of space to store away your accessories. This is valuable if you’re working on site and don’t want to keep hunting down bits and pieces. You’ll be able to stash your arbor wrench and Allen wrenches close to hand. The rip fence also flips upside down and can be stored under the table. It’s this kind of attention to detail for a jobsite saw that’s always appreciated.
Jeffery – As Rob explained things we had the RPM measurements running on that meter, and had to watch our video playback to evaluate the numbers (no recording of the numbers digitally). So we tried to take the average no load speed watching the video play back. Is it perfect? No….is a 10% difference a big deal? In this application I doubt it. If we were a full blown testing lab we’d have the data recorded digitally and take full blow averages, but alas we are not.
When you’re deciding how much to spend, think about how often you use your saw, whether you’re using it as part of a professional workshop or as an avid hobbyist, and whether or not you can expect any return on your investments through your work. We recommend that DIYer spend closer to the $2000 mark, while professionals are more likely to get their money’s worth from something more premium.
If you’re a home DIYer or pro working mainly from a shop, you may have a wide table or countertop big enough to use the saw without any accessory stand. We would caution against working on sawhorses, though, as they can be wobbly and unsafe. It’s far better to spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy stand than to take risks with a rickety, improvised setup.
For the woodworking professional, the 3-horsepower SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw PCS31230-TGP236 is the top pick. Its superior safety features include an excellent riving knife and blade guard system and a unique flesh-sensing blade brake to prevent cuts. Reviewers also praise its performance, exceptional dust control, and overall ease of use. Less expensive versions with 1.75-hp motors are also available (Est. $2,300 and up). The warranty is two years for the saw and five for the motor.