Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
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.
I also added in a bicycle saddle bag, that attaches easily to the tube frame of the saw. In it, I keep my PPE, and my Grr-ripper push blocks (great upgrade over regular push blocks). I also have a push stick made of wood that was modeled after the plastic one mounted on the back of the saw. The wood one is there now. I read too many stories of injuries after the blade touched the plastic stick, which to me is the whole point of using a stick – to avoid injuries. These things turning to shrapnel seems like a bad idea.
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.
One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.
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.
Clint DeBoer When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader. He has a degree in recording engineering and has been involved in multimedia and/or online publishing in one form or another for the past 21 years. In 2008, Clint was one of the founders of the Pro Tool Reviews online magazine. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions.
But if you have the space for the DeWalt to sit upright at a work station or deep storage shelf, then it may be the better choice, thanks to its more comfortable adjustment controls. You won't be able to use a dado blade with the DeWalt (at least not safely), and the rip capacity is slightly smaller, but there's a reason why it's been popular for a while now. It's a great saw that delivers reliable performance.
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.
Standard table saws are also called contractor table saws, even if they're really intended for the home do-it-yourselfer. These table saws have open, fixed legs, and they take up more space than a portable or benchtop table saw. They're also heavier – weighing as much as 200 to 300 pounds. On the plus side, their tables are often larger, making it easier to cut 4 by 8-foot panels of plywood or sheetrock. Prices for contractor saws range from around $600 to nearly $2,000.
I just purchased this saw last week. It took several hours to assemble. everything was there and I had no problems putting it together. Not hard but time consuming. The first job was to rework some vertical drawers. It did a good job fence worked great as did the riving knife. Saw was quitter than I expected. overall I am very happy. The only problem was that I had to weight a couple of extra days for delivery due to all parts not arriving at the same time.
The purchase of a table saw is no doubt a big investment. But there is a lot of flexibility in this class of tools to find one that fits in with your budget and your wants. Make sure to take into account how you will need to use the tool and where you will need to use it. Heavier models will be sturdier but they will also require more effort to load up when you need to.
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.
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.
Cabinet table saws are the best choice for full-time professional woodworkers with a dedicated workshop. If you have a spacious shop, these are some of the most efficient, versatile cutting tools you can buy, especially for larger stock. With 3+ HP motors, they’re by far the most powerful machines you can get your hands on. Plus, their heavy, machined build quality gives you a precision and smoothness in your work that really compliments the professional. They have the most effective dust collection systems of any table saw, and durability that can last more than a lifetime.
The RK7241S has two sturdy tubular legsets that fold down and lock, and one becomes a convenient handle for transport. The stand stayed put during heavy ripping operations, and lawnmowerstyle wheels make the tool easy to roll. But, once set up, you have to drag or lift the saw to move it, unlike other portables that keep the wheels on the floor during use.
I do not which is the best table saw, but I can tell you which is the worst. The rigid portable saw is a piece of garbage. I have purchased two in the last 4 years and the motor has failed in both, only to find that they do not sell a replacement motor. The Rigid customer service will not respond to any questions associated with the saw or replacement parts. I will not buy another Rigid tool and currently planning to try the Bosch table saw.
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.
To ensure that our runout measurements were accurate, TBB used a Freud calibration plate. Freud manufactures this ground stainless steel plate to a tolerance of ± .0005 inches in flatness across the plate. While TBB does not have a means to measure the accuracy of this specification, we did put this calibration plate on top of a polished granite calibration table and could not shine a light under any portion of the plate or slip the 0.001 feeler gauge under the edge.
Ridgid notches a third place finish as the only saw to include an independent blade height lock. The adjustment wheel raises and lowers with multiple full turns like most saws, but integrates a lock into the center. For the bevel adjustment, the outside of the height adjustment wheel turns a rack and pinion style system to accurately change the blade angle – a feature Makita shares.
The Bosch 4100-09 10 In. Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand delivers both professional rip capacity and outstanding portability for a tool that can get the job done, wherever it is. The powerful 15-Amp saw delivers 4.0 max HP for outstanding productivity. It also incorporates soft-start circuitry for smooth but quick ramp-up to the operating speed to manage the intensity of motor start-up and minimize the possibility of tripping a circuit breaker.. It includes Constant Response circuitry to help maintain speed under load, and overload protection. The Square Lock rip fence is engineered for maximum trueness and great ease-of-use, with the fence able to easily glide along the rail for one-handed operation. The lighter GTA47W Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand has 8 In. treaded rubber-composite tires and a single-action design for easy set-up and transport. It is jobsite-ready with heavy-duty construction. The Smart Guard System is the first modular table saw blade guard, featuring a three-position adjustable riving knife, anti-kickback pawls and non-obstructed-view barrier guard assembly. The table saw provides a 29 In. x 21-1/2 In. square tabletop with a 25 In. rip capacity for ripping 4 Ft. wide sheets goods in half.
Contractor saws are a perfect balance between functionality, manoeuvrability and price. These sorts of saws are perfect if you have bigger projects that you’re working on and will stay on site for a few months. This is due to the fact that they are a lot less portable, but that being said they are a great in-between saw as they still have great rip capacity and overall cutting power.
From the triple belt drive system, to the three-HP motor and the large cast iron table and wings, the Shop Fox W18193 s built like a tank. You’re also going to love the T-slot miter gauge that features a fence extension and flip stop, but also a four inch port for dust collection and camlock T-fence. There’s also a twenty nine and a half inch rip capacity.
Even though is seems pretty irrelevant, the position of the On/Off switch is quite important, especially if you’re a frequent user of these tools. In today’s models, the switch is usually leveled with your knees. The main thing you should look for is the size of the OFF switch. It has to be big enough so that you can turn the unit off immediately either with your knees, elbows, or hands. The so-called panic button is one of the crucial elements of every unit, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Like the last SawStop table saw that we looked at, this one is quite heavy and provides the stability that you need when working with plywood or any other type of wood. You can use the foot pedal on the bottom to operate the saw, but you’ll also find four wheels on the bottom of the cabinet. All four of those wheels swivel in a 360-degree direction to help you move the cabinet to any location.
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.
The Bosch 4100-10 10 In. Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand is a portable table saw with outstanding capacity and capability. The powerful 15-Amp saw delivers 4.0 max HP, with a large machined aluminum tabletop and a wide 25 In. ripping capacity. The Gravity-Rise Stand provides easy setup and take down. The SquareLock rip fence is engineered for trueness. The 4100 table saw also comes equipped with advanced electronics, such as soft start, constant response circuitry and overload protection.
If you are making a cut that will require your hands to get close to the blade, (within 6 inches) use a push stick or two to eliminate the chances of your hand touching the blade. If this is a big concern for you, maybe consider a saw that uses flesh detection to stop the blade. The additional cost of the saw will be instantly appreciated the first time you need it.
A splitter is a piece of metal that keeps the blade from binding in whatever material you are cutting if the saw kerf starts to close up. The splitter is vertical and sits directly behind the blade. This plays a big part in preventing kickback and should be mounted on the motor assembly so it rises and falls with the saw blades movements. You can also get splitters that can be adjusted to fit the width of the kerf.
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.
Home Depot sells around 60 models of table saws on its website, and the top models get hundreds of reviews from users. We found four portable saws with ratings of 4.5 stars or better from 250 users or more, and one contractor saw gets ratings just shy of 4.5 stars overall from more than 650 owners. Individual reviews are fairly short and include ratings for quality and value.