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.
This is the smallest of all the table saws, typically weighing about 50 pounds or so and designed to sit on top of a table or workbench. Bench style table saws are usually made of steel, plastic and aluminum. They are good for light to medium duty cutting and would not be a good choice if you do a lot of cutting or if you have a professional business. Because it can be lifted by one person and moved around with relative ease, this type of saw is often called a portable table saw. Due to the size of these saws which measure approximately 19” x 27”, they are not designed to rip large pieces of wood. It is also not easy to make mitered cuts. You will notice that there might be more vibration when using this saw as compared to other, larger models. This is due to the lighter weight of the saw. Unfortunately, the vibration can affect the accuracy of the cuts you’re making.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
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.
It can seem like plastic is a weight-saver on the part of the manufacturer, but it’s really a cost-saver. You shouldn’t accept shoddy build quality in the name of getting a lighter machine. While no portable unit will include heavy cast iron components like a cabinet table saw, you can find metal alternatives that offer rugged, long-lasting build quality. Instead of plastic, look for aluminum.
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.
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.