Buying a table saw is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make when it comes to power tools. It is an integral part of most job site equipment, as well as an essential item for most do it yourself projects. Choosing a table saw that fits your particular needs and budget can mean the difference in both profitability and frustration level.
There are two major points that affect post-calibration table saws: fence quality and overall stability. A fence works by grabbing hold of the table edge and clamping into it. The best fences, like Biesemeyer, have three points of contact. They’re just not where you’d expect. All three are on the front, leaving none on the back. With a wide cast metal front clamping system, the front is pulled flush and self-aligns. It requires a solid locking mechanism to ensure the fence doesn’t move during cuts, but it is very possible.
If you need to move your saw around, it comes with a table saw stand that you can put up and down with ease. Fashioned from aluminum pipes with wheels that can handle uneven terrain, move around site without breaking your back. As well as its user-friendly nature, the stand can be stored away vertically so it’s a real space-saver whether at home or on the jobsite.
It has a lot of the same features we love on the Grizzly. The Jet has a cast iron worktop, a full cabinet enclosure, and a fence on rolling tracks along the edge of the table. It has a belt-driven 3HP motor, an electric brake with a magnetic switch, and precision-machined parts for exact cuts. There’s also an included miter gauge with a follow pin that runs in the T-slot on the saw’s worktop. All in all, it’s another complete package that ticks all our key boxes!
A 50 rpm deviation at those speeds is approximately 1% variance which is well within the tolerance we should expect from taking the readings at a precise instant of time. The meters were in constant motion and we took the reading off of a single video frame that represented our determination of no-load speeds. We report them as our instruments showed them. 1% is acceptable.
It’s more compact than the Grizzly, and it uses its space efficiently. The Jet only has one extension table, but it makes the most of it. This one gets nearly the same rip capacity as the much larger Grizzly–to within 2 inches! There’s also a closed-off drawer in the bottom of the cabinet, which is ideal for storing all your smaller table saw accessories.
As for my blades, I replaced the blade that came with the saw right away. It is terrible and would have been better to be not included at all. I replaced it with a Freud industrial 24 tooth glue-line rip blade and a Freud Diablo 80 tooth plywood and crosscut blade (I find it easier to just buy new plywood blades since the glue does a number on them, not to mention the wear and tear caused by MDF). As an all-around blade, I keep a 50 tooth Tenryu Gold blade. It is quieter somehow, and does a cut almost as good as either the rip or crosscut blade. Great for making quick cuts without always changing blades. I will use it for most ripping, but will switch to the ripping blade when I have a lot of ripping to do, or will be going thicker than about 1.5” in hardwood.
Though this table saw will arrive in multiple pieces, Jet includes all the instructions and help that you need to assemble the cabinet and all other parts. The cabinet itself has an enclosed design that keeps the motor and all other components safe from the dust in your workshop and any debris flying around. You also get four legs that attach to the base of the cabinet, which lifts the saw higher in the air to reduce back pain caused by bending over the table.
SawStop was second, also with features no other saw had. The blade height adjustment wheel covers the entire range with one full turn of the wheel. There was some discussion about micro adjustments being more precise for dado and rabbet cuts, but in practice, we found we could easily get to a specific height without trouble. SawStop also moves away from the bevel lock lever and instead integrates it into the height wheel. By pulling the lock toward you, it is released and easily moved to your desired angle. Let go of the wheel and it’s locked back in place without having to hold it and use a second hand to work the lever.
Give yourself a reason to be proud of your job by bringing in a table saw that has what it takes to get quality cutting. Just as the name, Powermatic table saw will ensure your cutting is accurate and interesting. It has a poly-v belt, which maximizes motor efficiency and reduces vibration for noise-free performance. The table saw also features massive dust collection to ensure your working space is clean and accommodative. With 30” Accu-fence system, nothing will be impossible to handle. Additionally, the entire unit is designed with quality material for longevity. The design is also portable making it easy for you to move from one job site to the other comfortably.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are other portable table saws that are lighter than Bosch’s GTS1031 (who’s name sounds like a cross between a fast production car and a tax document). The key with the Bosch is that it’s jobsite tough. Give the other saws some wet lumber or run them all day long and you’ll smoke the motor, bog them down, or send them off a second story porch in frustration. Bosch seems to have designed the GTS1031 with two things in mind: portability and power. Portability, because all of the accessories store right on-board, and they do so securely, so they won’t fall out, even if the saw is bumped and tossed around – as jobsite saws tend to be.
Previous buyers said they were at a loss to find materials that the Jet couldn’t cut! They said it went like butter, with no lag whatsoever, and almost no vibration at all. Reviewers raved about the motor’s power, and especially complimented how steadily it ran. This is an excellent choice for hardwoods, thick softwoods, and composite boards: absolutely anything that’ll fit.
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 saw itself is remarkably compact, measuring just 22.5″ square and a little over a foot in height (13″ to be more precise). With a steel “roll cage” that encloses the 4 HP 15-amp motor and a rubber handle that is positioned in the center of the right side of the saw, this is a tool that you’ll find very easy to toss into the back of a pickup or work van and take to any jobsite. When you carry it deck-inward, the weight of the saw presses in slightly against your leg – which actually steadies the saw somewhat, making it more manageable, though at 52-pounds let’s not go so far as to call this saw a breeze to carry. The Bosch GTS1031 included cord wrap, and the simple design of the frame also makes it easy to store up against a wall inside your shop when not in use. This isn’t a tool that really gets in the way much – it’s out of sight until it’s needed.
The first step to take when using a table saw is to don all the appropriate safety gear that a responsible operator should use. This includes, at the bare minimum, eye protection and thick work gloves. It's also a good idea to protect your ears with ear muffs or earplugs and to consider a mask that will cover your mouth and nose to prevent the inhalation of fine saw dust particles.
For ideal usage, the on/off switch needs to be mounted on the front of the saw and should be easy to turn off with your knee or a swat without having to look at it to locate it. Most table saw models have a safety feature that is a plastic key that has to be inserted before the table saw can be turned on. Some may even have a way to padlock the switch.
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.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
It’s powerful. The blade is hooked up to a 3HP motor which can muster a no-load speed up to 4000 RPM! That’s perfect for all your cutting needs, and it’s much better than other inexpensive units when it comes to slicing hardwoods or thicker stock. While many smaller units advertise similar HP ratings, this one actually lives up to the promise, since it uses 220V power.
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.
The Bosch will deliver a whopping big 25” rip, where the DEWALT maxes out at a 16” rip. Again, if you like the other features of the DEWALT better than the Bosch, this larger rip capacity might not sway your buying decision one way or the other. Personally, i would lean towards bosch, but that’s just me.It truly is the best portable table saw on the market today.
That’s where we come in! As your saw experts, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at all the models on the market right now, to help you find the best table saw for your projects and your lifestyle. We compared dozens of options, drawing on our own collective experience as well as professional ratings, and reviews from buyers who spent time using these saws in their homes. We compared specs, features, reliability ratings and more, to find the absolute best options out there right now.
Both saws accomplish the same thing, but with different results. SawStop’s feature takes about 90 seconds to recover from compared to roughly 1 minute with Bosch. Bosch developed the REAXX to drop the blade without damage while SawStop usually results in a damaged blade that needs to be replaced. The SawStop employs a brake that must be changed after activation at a cost of $69 each. Bosch uses a dual airbag style cartridge. These run $99 each, but you get two shots out of each one.
Just used this saw for the first time today and I love it. Instructions for putting the stand together were not very clear. There's a lot of very detailed reviews here, so there isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said; but one thing I didn't know until using it is that the rear legs are angled further back than the front ones to provide more stability when pushing stock through the saw. Only used it a few times today, but it was a pleasure to use.
Rockwell is the “freshman” brand among the other longer-standing benchtop power tool companies represented here, and its table saw revealed some “first rodeo” shortcomings. While the motor was amply powerful for my cutting tests, the blade arbor assembly was 1/16″ out of parallel with the miter slots. It’s a condition called “heeling” without easy adjustment in the manual. So, for my testing purposes I had to set the rip fence askew in order to align it parallel to the blade. The problem would need to be addressed on this sample saw for long-term use.
If you're currently looking for a cabinet table saw and it's the first time you actually need to buy one, then you should know that they come in a wide range of types, from the larger contractor saws to the portable table saws that most people seem to own. However, buying the right model for you depends on your needs and how you're going to use it.
Hybrid table saws are the latest thing on the market these days. They’re in between contractor and cabinet table saws in terms of price, power, and precision. These have either half-cabinets or cutaway stands like a contractor saw, but with the super-powerful motor and improved stability of a cabinet unit. They’re heavy, so you should be prepared to use them on a wheeled lift, but they can be transported fairly easily if you have helpers.
These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do longer term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use of one of these saws for. However, we feel comfortable that all the table saws in this Head-to-Head are good saws and our testing helps bring to light pros and cons for each saw.
The frame is also improved. Instead of the basic roll-cage on the Dewalt, this one neatens things up with an integrated sub-base. It’s a rugged rubber-like pad which serves as a bumper between the main frame and your truck bed or worksite table. Both the table and the sub base are joined to the main frame, and they provide strength at both ends of the design. As with the Dewalt, you can store your tools and accessories inside, an on hooks outside the Bosch.
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.