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.


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.
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.

Perfect for both hobbyists and craftsmen, the PCS31230-TGP252 from SawStop is a 3 HP cabinet saw that delivers excellent performance while featuring the company’s patented safety system to ensure maximum safety during use. The safety system is similar to that of the G0690 from Grizzly where the blade stops in milliseconds after it comes in contact with flesh. Designed and built in order to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users, the PCS31230-TGP252 features an exacting finish and feet and a superior dust collection system. For increased precision and added strength, the PCS31230-TGP252 features a fifty two inch T-Glide fence system, but also an extension table and rails.

The DeWalt DWE7499GD table saw earns a third place finish in the safety category thanks to their GuardDetect technology. This doesn’t prevent you from using the saw without the pawls and blade guard in place, but it does require you to physically indicate you are aware they’re not in place. Ideally, this gives your mind one last opportunity to consciously note the additional care that needs to take place before cutting.
I got the Hitachi 1 1/2 mouths in the motor died. Says it has a 5 year warranty. I’ve been trying for weeks to get it resolved. Ended up giving up and headed to buy another saw. I understand having products be faulty it’s a numbers game it has to happen to some one. How ever the complete no help to resolve it from Hitachi. Is a problem after a week of back and forth they said they would set up a pick up time to ship and get it repaired over a week still no call back for a pick up. I can’t say enough avoid this headache. I’ve been a contractor for a decade and have had may tools break or need repair. First experience I’ve had that’s made me swear off a brand.hope this will save some one from wasting money and time

This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.

One notable feature on the Bosch is an arbor lock button, enabling easy blade changes. Changing the blade on most table saws is an onerous task, requiring the user to reach under the saw with one wrench to hold the arbor still while using another wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place. Because of the difficulty involved, many users choose to continue using a dull blade, rather than expend the effort to change it. Dull table saw blades can result in poor cutting ability, split-out, burn marks, and possibly dangerous kickbacks. The arbor lock button helps to eliminate some of the difficulty involved in blade changes, taking some of the dread out of the process. Popular Mechanics referred to this feature as, “so handy it ought to be an industry standard”. It is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer this feature.
However, with proper use, table saws are generally safe tools, advanced blade stopping technology not needed. Therefore considering a saw without such safety features is fine for the cautious DIY user or for the professional carpenter and/or builder. Take into careful account the actual table size of the table saw you are considering. If you are going to be completing rip cuts in large sheets of plywood, then you need a saw with a table large enough to support these big pieces of lumber.
​If you decide to get a table saw with a one point five to two HP motor, then it’s going to operate at the standard household 120V circuit. When using a 2HP motor, you should expect it to draw between eighteen to twenty four amps. Also, keep in mind that in this case, the saw needs to be the only device that operates on a twenty amp circuit. The realistic limit of a one point five to 2 HP table saw is hardwood of up to two inches thick. If you need to cut thicker hardwood, then you’ll need a more powerful motor.

With that said, the Dewalt DWE7491RS (another jobsite saw) has an amazing fence. It also has a greater ripping capacity – so if this additional functionality is more important to you than portability, it might be something to consider. Although keep in mind that it’s also 30lbs heavier, and the stand is much worse than that of the Bosch (which we’ll discuss later in this article).
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.
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.
But, their price point reflects that. If you want the absolute best table saw money can buy then you can go pay $10,000 and it’s yours. We always accept a certain number of tradeoffs depending on what our budget allows So, if I am only doing a few DIY projects a year, I am not a carpenter by trade, and my budget is limited, the SKIL table saw may be right up my alley.

On the downside, these units are by far the heaviest type of saw, and they’re the most expensive by a long shot. Their cast iron worktops and steel cabinets makes them more of a permanent fixture than nearly any other tool. To move them around your shop, you’ll need an expensive, heavy-duty wheeled base, which can cost even more money up front. They’re best for people who will keep them in one place, and use them on a regular basis.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 both have 15 amp motors, so power shouldn’t be a problem with either of these job site table saws. The DEWALT has a high torque motor that is capable of delivering a no-load speed of up to 3,850 rpm. The Bosch 15 amps and a no-load speed of up to 3,650 rpm. The difference between the two is not something that would be noticeable without sophisticated equipment, and will not affect performance in any significant manner. The noticeable difference between the two is that the Bosch 4100 comes equipped with a soft start motor that is lacking on the DEWALT DW745. This will cause a noticeable load on your power source, and may affect other tools and lighting attached to the same source during startup.
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.
I’m trying to replace some lost tools for a doctor inflicted, lawyer cowardice sustained injury. I’ve been a woodworker for more years than I might imagine I am comfortable with saying simply for it seems to have been bestowed upon me from birth. The only comment I have is a general comment. As I’ve noticed from about 20 years ago being introduced do officially being educated at a local community college, everyone there had prestige rights attached to it, a couple of cabinet makers I worked for did also that Porter Cable was the Cadilac of woodworking tools. Well, China… Read more »
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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.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you’ll definitely find something of interest. On the other hand, professionals can also find good pieces of information on this page. The models we’ve covered all work as advertised, and you can rest assured that they are of high quality. The only thing you need to do is determine how much money you want to spend and which type is the best suiting one for your requirements.
The safety brake feature is a real step forward in engineering, but it does have a few downsides. The aluminum brake works with single-use cartridges, so you’ll have to replace the cartridge if you trip the sensor. Likewise, the impact of the brake, stopping the blade in milliseconds, will destroy your blade, so you’ll have to replace that as well. It’s a small price to pay for keeping your fingers or limbs, but it’s probably a good idea to stock up on cartridges and blades
Sadly, you will have to sacrifice in a few key departments for all that portability and convenience. Portable table saws are the worst choice for cutting larger stock, especially if you don’t have an extension table to add on. They’re also the least powerful sort of table saw, so you shouldn’t plan to cut thick stock or hardwoods on them regularly. Thanks to their light build, portable units are the loudest of the bunch, and their dust collection is usually less than impressive. However, if you’re moving around a lot and need to do rips in the smallest possible space, these are your best friends.
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.
Finally, make sure you know your long-term options when it comes to maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Check the warranty coverage on your portable unit. Read the fine print, checking whether you’ll be paying for repairs under warranty, or whether the company will be footing the bill. Some manufacturers cover repairs, but not return shipping. Others force you to bring your unit to an authorized dealer, which can be difficult in some parts of the country.
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. $2,300 and up). The warranty is two years for the saw and five for the motor.
Stands are one of those features where the ends really do justify the means. Some made us wish the manual writers would take a cue from Lego—just make the *@#$! things easy enough for a 7 year old to understand. That aside, SawStop set itself aside brilliantly, taking just 10 minutes to setup. All we had to do was install the wheels and two handles. Even the packaging is designed to make the process easier and the instructions were super-easy to understand. Makita was nearly as simple only requiring us to install the handle and bolt the saw to the stand.
Hybrid table saws were produced by many manufacturers as they found there was a gap in the market for a table saw between the contractor saw and the cabinet saw. Contractors wanted something with the power and functionality of a cabinet saw but not necessarily the heavy weight of a cabinet saw. One good other point for the hybrid saws is price, cabinet saws are often very expensive because of the cast iron table tops etc. so a hybrid is a great saw if you’re looking for something slightly cheaper.
If you’re a professional woodworker, you should expect a standard hookup on any saw. However, you’ll find that no portable table saw does a perfect job collecting sawdust. Since these aren’t enclosed tools like a cabinet saw, there are lots of ways for dust to find its way to your floor and spray around your shop. You’ll want to look for the most enclosed, effective design possible, and pair it with a vacuum system that’s got some heft.
One shouldn’t expect a massive amount of storage, but being a table, it does offer some level of free space. In fact, some models even offer space for fences, gauges, blades, and other necessary equipment. Apart from that, you can always keep the necessary tools in the reach of your hands. It will make the process much easier and also a lot quicker.
Skilsaw SPT70WT-22 is a portable 10 in. Worm Drive table saw designed for ripping and is the first of its kind to hit the market. This Skilsaw has a powerful Dual-Field 15 amp motor that is powerful enough to handle even the toughest jobs. The motor has a smooth startup and runs cooler, so it lasts longer. With a small, compact size, easy to transport size, this portable saw has a lot to bring to the table. Skilsaw’s SPT99-12 is also this same table saw but also includes a rolling stand which allows you to easily transport and move this saw around the job site.
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.
To avoid such scenario, you can take a moment and check our full reviews out. We offer more than enough insight into the capabilities of particular models we consider are worth checking out. Therefore, if you’re in a dilemma about which table saw to buy; don’t hesitate to refer to this article. The more you know about a certain unit, the fewer problems you’ll have when the moment of purchase comes.
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.
Not everyone needs to use the miter gauge on a table saw since there’s typically going to be a miter saw around. If you do, you’ll like the positive locking detents at common angles. This saw felt like it was the weakest when pushing our 2x PT material through. Despite the ranking, it doesn’t feel under-powered – you just need to take your time. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on this model, but for $279, we don’t have many complaints.

The whole thing is a bit more versatile than the Dewalt, thanks to expanded fence rails and an extended trunnion set. It has a wider rip capacity than the Dewalt. This one uses a traditional sliding-rail fence which gives you a rip capacity up to 25 inches. The fence locks at either side, like the Dewalt’s. It also has a wider bevel range, tilting up to 47 degrees.
Blade guards are an important safety device and should never be removed from the saw. You want to find one that rises up parallel to the table so it is always on top of the material you are working with. The purpose of this blade guard is to protect you from the spinning blade. While some woodworkers find them annoying, the safety they provide is well worth the inconvenience.
Richard Romanski of Popular Mechanics names his five favorites among 15-amp portable table saws. A slideshow outlines what he likes best about each saw, as well as any downsides. Although it's clear that Romanski has tested these saws hands-on, he doesn't go into any details about his testing methods or name the other saws that didn't make the cut.
A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.
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.
The quiet, 220-volt motors in these saws cut through the hardest stock, hour after hour, without bogging down. Cabinets are metal and extend to the floor for the best dust collection. The tops are cast iron, wide, and stable, which makes it easy to cut sheet goods. The trunnions are cabinet-mounted, so you get minimal vibration and maximum accuracy. They're also heavy; some weigh over 600 pounds. Once a cabinet saw's in place, that's where it stays.
Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
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.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 both have 15 amp motors, so power shouldn’t be a problem with either of these job site table saws. The DEWALT has a high torque motor that is capable of delivering a no-load speed of up to 3,850 rpm. The Bosch 15 amps and a no-load speed of up to 3,650 rpm. The difference between the two is not something that would be noticeable without sophisticated equipment, and will not affect performance in any significant manner. The noticeable difference between the two is that the Bosch 4100 comes equipped with a soft start motor that is lacking on the DEWALT DW745. This will cause a noticeable load on your power source, and may affect other tools and lighting attached to the same source during startup.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
DIY-ers love this type due to its simplistic yet effective operation. However, it’s not unusual for professionals to invest in these in order to avoid investing in cabinet models and save some money. Speaking of money, you should prepare yourself for a hefty investment if you opt for this particular type. However, most models are well-worth the money. These things last for years and don’t require a lot of maintenance apart from occasional blade replacements and minor adjustments.  They are not as easy to use as portable models, but you’ll learn how to use them in a matter of hours or days, as long as you follow the rules written in the user manual.
Safety is a prime concern for Bosch. From the SquareLock Rip Fence through to the patented SmartGuard System to lessen any chance of kickback, your security and comfort is taken care of. The blade guard and riving knife are quick-release. This takes away any excuse for not putting the guard back in place because it would be too much trouble, something that’s an accident waiting to happen.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.
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.
The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.

Perfect for both hobbyists and craftsmen, the PCS31230-TGP252 from SawStop is a 3 HP cabinet saw that delivers excellent performance while featuring the company’s patented safety system to ensure maximum safety during use. The safety system is similar to that of the G0690 from Grizzly where the blade stops in milliseconds after it comes in contact with flesh. Designed and built in order to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users, the PCS31230-TGP252 features an exacting finish and feet and a superior dust collection system. For increased precision and added strength, the PCS31230-TGP252 features a fifty two inch T-Glide fence system, but also an extension table and rails.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 are pretty evenly matched in having plenty of power and not-so-hot dust collection. I you’re looking for a light weight saw, the DEWALT comes in ahead since it weighs almost half as much as the Bosch. It is also the less expensive choice by far. The large work table, expanded cutting capability, and its Gravity Rise feature (with solid rubber wheels that make it easy to be rolling across rugged terrain at a jobsite) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.
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.

Some buyers weren’t impressed with the blade adjustments. The knobs and trunnions are similar to those on the DW745, but some reviewers said their units felt a bit clunky on the way down. Again, due to the quality control issues on these models, it’s a good idea to do a very thorough inspection and test of your unit before it’s too late to return it.


As power tool nerds, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest developments in the market. One of the most exciting new products to come out in the past decade or so is the hybrid table saw. We think they’re an excellent space and money-saving alternative for home woodworkers who can’t make a cabinet saw work for their circumstances. They’re also a great portable option for folks with bigger job site requirements who have the ability to transport larger tools to off-site applications. One of our current favorites is this Shop Fox:
The cabinet itself is 19-3/8-inches deep by 19-3/8-inches wide, which makes it the same size as the last SawStop model we looked at on our list of the best products. Included with this cabinet is a 20-inch by 27-inch cast iron table that extends out from the cabinet. This table is durable enough for regular use and will give you more space for working.
Hello, Thank you for your comment. We apologize for any issues our Top Table Saws of 2018 blog post has caused. It was not written to be a comparative review of the different saws but a list of the top saws that we are currently selling. It would be unfair to compare performance of a portable jobsite table saw to a industrial cabinet saw and then also compare them on price. If you would like to read a very good comparative post we suggest you check out ProToolReviews.com. They are not tied to any manufacturers and have a very unbiased opinion.
Perfect for both hobbyists and craftsmen, the PCS31230-TGP252 from SawStop is a 3 HP cabinet saw that delivers excellent performance while featuring the company’s patented safety system to ensure maximum safety during use. The safety system is similar to that of the G0690 from Grizzly where the blade stops in milliseconds after it comes in contact with flesh. Designed and built in order to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users, the PCS31230-TGP252 features an exacting finish and feet and a superior dust collection system. For increased precision and added strength, the PCS31230-TGP252 features a fifty two inch T-Glide fence system, but also an extension table and rails.
Dust capture from this saw is pretty bad. I was shocked that a European brand would ignore the dust collection to this extent – at least I was until I discovered that their version of the 4100 does have quite a few more pieces that help pull most of the dust from the airstream. There is a plate that encloses the rear around the vacuum port and a bottom grid that allow airflow to the motor while still shaping the airstream to drive the dust to the vac. I added the plate, but decided against the grid. Instead, I added a sheet of ¼” plywood and put a 4” vacuum port in it that I hook up to my dust collector. I also replaced the blade guard with the European version that has a dust port built in. Minor upgrades, but dust capture has gone from terrible/non-existent to pretty acceptable. Bosch also sell a bag that will capture whatever dust would get tossed out the back of the saw, but that isn’t much, so I consider it a waste. I did buy it, and it works well on other tools, but it is not IMO a must-have for the 4100
As with our other models, it takes some assembly. If you get one of the extended models, which we’re recommending here, you should plan to cut the rails down to size before finishing installation. It’s simple to do if you’ve got a good miter or bandsaw, but it is an extra step. With that said, many reviewers complimented the SawStop’s well-written and helpful manual, which made installation significantly easier than other units.
To learn about how table saws perform in real people's homes, we consulted owner-written reviews at retail sites like Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears. User reviewers don't have the breadth of experience that many experts enjoy, but they can provide keen insights on the model they bought, including things that might not crop up in the relatively short time professional reviewers have to spend with a given saw.

Sadly, you will have to sacrifice in a few key departments for all that portability and convenience. Portable table saws are the worst choice for cutting larger stock, especially if you don’t have an extension table to add on. They’re also the least powerful sort of table saw, so you shouldn’t plan to cut thick stock or hardwoods on them regularly. Thanks to their light build, portable units are the loudest of the bunch, and their dust collection is usually less than impressive. However, if you’re moving around a lot and need to do rips in the smallest possible space, these are your best friends.
Some previous buyers had motor trouble. Their units conked out early, or worked inconsistently. Apparently, that was down to cheap internal bearings used in the first few iterations of the Bosch. However, according to company replies to some reviewers who cited the issue, the problem has been addressed in the last few versions of this model. We’ve also found that reviews from the past few years are much more consistently positive.
All seven saws in the best table saw testing have some kind of dust control. The Rockwell saw has a completely enclosed motor compartment with a large dust bag that attaches under the saw to catch sawdust. The remaining saws have a shroud around the blade and a 2-1/2-in. port on the back for attaching either a bag or a vacuum cleaner. None were perfect, but at least you can catch most of the sawdust. The Craftsman and Ryobi also include a dust bag that attaches to the vacuum cleaner port.
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