Look for a blade guard and splitter assembly. The guard will keep your fingers and sleeves away from the blade, while the splitter will keep your wood from re-binding together and jamming the blade, or causing kickback. Kickback is one of the biggest hazards of using a table saw, aside from coming in contact with the blade. Make sure you have either a splitter assembly or a riving knife on any cabinet saw you use.
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 centuries, the job of the sawyer was, quite simply, to saw logs into lumber. Working in two-man teams, a pair of sawyers would use massive saws -- called whipsaws or pitsaws -- to cut felled trees into workable planks with their own muscles as the motive power. The job was exhausting and often dangerous, yet necessary to create the precious lumber used to build everything from homes to railroad bridges.
If the blade you purchase has a .092” kerf (i.e. Irwin Marathon 80T, FreudLU83R010) you will most likely have issues with binding on the back end of the cut. To be safe, find a blade that has a kerf of around .098” (i.e. Freud Avanti TK905 50T) and this should take care of the problem. You should also take note that every blade Bosch makes should also work with the Bosch 4100-09.
If you’re going to use your table saw every day, make sure you spend a bit more money for something of the heaviest build quality, with extended warranty coverage from a company with a great reputation for service. If you’re going to be using your cabinet unit only periodically, you probably don’t need to buy something premium. You’ll be able to get by with something around the $2,000, since you won’t be spending enough time cutting to really appreciate the design touches and tweaks that make the more expensive units more of a pleasure to use.
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 first things many Pros do is permanently (and intentionally) lose the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. While they are a pain to install and store onboard, their ability to reduce the risk of injury is significant. Table saws are responsible for thousands of injuries every year and there are plenty of guys running around with stories of how they got injured. So practice installing them until it feels natural and then actually use them onsite.
Our table saw review quickly showed that today’s portable table saws are light-years ahead of the small-saw offerings from a decade ago. They feature big-capacity cutting, greatly improved safety features and attached stands for easy setup. And saws in the upper price range rival stationary saws in accuracy and quality of cut. We limited our review to saws that included a stand with wheels and ones that could rip at least 24 in. wide, only the best table saw for our readers!
This portable jobsite table saw head-to-head includes 8 saws from; Bosch, Delta, DEWALT, Hitachi, Makita, Ridgid, SawStop and Skilsaw. Originally, we had also to include Ryobi as a budget friendly option for DIY’ers or guys just starting in the trades. However, we were not able to adapt that saw to our testing rigs so we pulled it from the testing (you may see some photos with the saw but again we’re not including it in the results).
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.
Ridgid seems to get mixed reviews from users, maybe due to its lower price point, but continues to impress us in head to head competitions. With this edition, Ridgid’s 15 amp motor powered through cuts better than any other saw we tested. Sure it was close, but it consistently beat out each competitor. That power does come with more vibration than some of the others though.
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.
Due to the position of the motor, dust collection is often an issue with these units, especially in comparison to the cabinet type. However, an industrial vacuum is usually a small and worthy investment which should solve the issue effectively. The main advantage of this type is the fact that it’s much cheaper than its nearest equivalent – the cabinet type.
Ergonomics is the science of designing and producing tools that improve a worker’s efficiency while reducing discomfort, fatigue, and risk of injury. Ergonomically enhanced tools can include helpful features such as angled handles, riving knives, safety switches, and non-slip coatings. Whether you’re shopping for ergonomic tools or just trying to select the right one for the job from an existing collection, the key things to consider are whether or not the tool eases your work and prevents you from straining in ways that could lead to injury. Ergonomic guidelines in tool design can help maximize human performance on the job by making the job easier for the worker, improving safety and decreasing injuries.
A riving knife is a piece of metal that comes included with your new saw. It’s shaped like a surfboard fin. Sadly, not all models come with this crucial part. If you purchase a model without it, make sure you design one for yourself as soon as possible. The construction of this piece is not a big deal at all; you can cut the shape in a matter of minutes and install it. Its purpose is to prevent the wood and debris from getting caught in the back of the blade which consequently kicks back thus jeopardizing your safety.
For those of you who are looking to up your DIY game but don’t have enough capital to make the Dewalt DW745 happen for your home shop, this Craftsman is a decent budget choice. It’s powerful, lightweight, and extremely affordable. We don’t think you should expect too much from this one, though, since it has a very light table and a fence that won’t line up quite as precisely as you’d need for furniture-making or professional-grade projects. It’s cheaply-made, and doesn’t have as user-friendly a design as our other choices. For the home carpenter, though, this should do the trick for all your basic framing cuts.
What if a contractor uses their job site saw for high quality built-ins or high tolerance finished cuts? In that case, saw accuracy is critical for that work. In this use case, if the saw is immediately put into use, success depends upon the out-of-the-box accuracy from the manufacturer. The quality of the cuts and more importantly the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer.
The Grizzly G0690 is a very unique and powerful table saw and each part of it says performance and quality. With a 3 HP, 220V, 3-phase Leeson motor, heavy cast iron trunnions, wings and table to its triple belt drive system, this model should definitely last you for a lifetime. It’s not only its impressive build quality that’s going to strike you about it, but also its other features that include a four inch dust collection port, a T-slot miter gauge, a magnetic switch, but also heavy cat hand-wheels, riving knife and camlock T-fence. If you’re a professional who’s been using cabinet tablet saws for a quite a while, you’ll immediately appreciate the quality of the Grizzly G0690.
Optional portable table saw stands are available for both saws. (Bosch's stand is called the GTA500; DeWalt's is the DW7450.) The Bosch features tool-less connection (after initial assembly), while the DeWalt requires the attachment and tightening of four bolts through the DW745's bottom roll cage— though it's nothing a few after-market knobs couldn't fix.
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.
Bigger tables offer more potential for additional extensions. For example, if you’re planning to process a massive piece of wood but you cannot cut it in smaller pieces; a table extension will definitely come in handy. There are a lot of commercial add-ons you can choose from, but you can also construct one yourself if you’re experienced enough. Experimenting with these things never gets old or boring, but keep safety in mind at all times. Make sure it’s completely safe to use the said extension and pay special attention to the amount of vibrations and the overall integrity of the table after you’ve installed the add-on.
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.
Both saws provide great cutting performance, and should handle most homeowner and DIY wood-cutting needs with ease. The saws are marketed as job-site saws, meaning they're designed for construction and home-improvement applications where extreme precision and accuracy is not typically required. This does not mean they're poorly suited for fine woodworking, though. You might not achieve the same precision as with a full-size stationary table saw, but out test cuts were by no means sloppy. And upgrading from the simple miter gauges included with both saws to an after-market miter gauge (such as an Incra model) or a cross-cut sled should improve the accuracy of straight and angled cross-cuts.
It’s tough to be completely objective when choosing the best portable jobsite table saw since the stock blades vary so widely. Skilsaw comes with a 30-tooth Diablo blade and Makita’s stock 32-tooth blade are both excellent while others could use some help. To make this shootout about the saws and not the blades, we turned to Diablo to outfit each saw with the same accessory.
Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge is a blessing for the impatient among us. The folks at Kreg know their customers don’t want to waste time preparing their tools — they want to use them! That’s why the KMS7102 boasts positive stops at a variety of the most common angles: so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.
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.
A gauge will allow you to make very detailed cross and angled cuts. This is a bit of kit that you need to research in great depth as it can make or break the accuracy of your cuts and angles. With a good gauge, you can check blade height, blade angles, miter angles and much more. For further reading checkout Wikipedia’s table saw page and for in-depth air compressor reviews.
A table saw has two main ways it can seriously hurt you. One is obvious and that is having any part of your body come into contact with the blade. Any table saw you are seriously considering should have a blade guard installed. The clearer the better. And make sure you leave it on. The blade guard can’t do its intended job from a workbench or shelf.
I’m no stranger to Bosch’s 4100-09 saw with Gravity-Rise™ stand. I’ve used one several times to build projects for this magazine, including the Serving Tray Cart that appeared in the June issue. So, I was not surprised when it tested impressively here. Rip cuts were on the mark, thanks to a rugged, beefy fence that stayed parallel to the blade each time I reset it. A flip of a red lever underneath unlocks the rails so they slide out and extend ripping capacity up to 25″.
Framing work is full of rougher cuts that rarely makes use of more than one blade at a time. But occasionally you might need dados for an onsite custom build in. If that sounds like you, be sure to find out the saw’s dado stack capacity. It requires a longer arbor and you won’t be able to use your normal throat plate for it. Some manufacturers offer a dado throat plate if they have the capacity for it.
Apart from some short reviews, we’ve also covered some other aspects such as safety and proper use of these tools. Make sure you thoroughly read our articles because they could save your life. The tips we offered are well-known among the professionals, but beginners are always susceptible to various risks, especially if they don’t know how to handle these tools properly.
A magnetic switch is also good from a safety standpoint but may not be necessary on these smaller versions. A magnetic switch prevents the saw from starting back up if it loses power during a power outage. Basically, the power outage will turn off the saw. This is good because if for some reason the power were to come back on when you were not near the machine, the material could be shot out of it or damage the saw.
The stand strays from the idea that jobsite stands need to be wheeled. We can attribute this to its light weight. While it loses points for portability, Skilsaw’s design created the most stable stand of the entire group. Another benefit to going with this simple stand design is that it is certainly responsible for dropping the price point. Skilsaw is definitely the table saw you want to go with if you’re having to move your saw in and out of a truck bed rather than being able to wheel it up in a trailer.
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It’s often overwhelming when looking for new power tools and products online. So many features, specs and brands etc to research and review. So, what should you look for when buying a new table saw? One thing we always mention is to make sure you read as many table saw reviews as you can before purchasing one, this will insure you have the best table saw for your requirements.
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.