When you’re setting up your table saw fence, slide it into position by pressing the front of the fence forward against the table with both hands. This will allow the entire fence to slide square to the table. Hold your final position with one hand while locking it down with the other. This should help you avoid many of the accuracy issues that come from an off-square fence.
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.
All these saws have attached, collapsible stands with wheels that allow you to roll them around when they’re folded up. A few, like the DeWalt, Rockwell and Ryobi, can’t be wheeled around after they’re set up. But the biggest difference between stands is in how easy it is to set them up. The Ridgid and Bosch have nearly identical stands that work great and require you to only flip or depress one lever to unlock the stand. These are our favorites. The DeWalt stand is the sturdiest of the bunch and very intuitive. It sets up like a card table with legs that fold out and snap into place. The remaining candidates for best table saw have several different stand systems that aren’t quite as easy to set up but that work fine once you get the hang of them.
As you would expect, the most expensive saws made slightly smoother cuts. But the difference was negligible. The only saw that struggled to make smooth cuts in the super-thick oak was the Ryobi. In more common situations, like cutting 3/4-in.-thick material, Ryobi’s cut quality was fine. We found the blades included with all the saws to be adequate for most ripping tasks. But if you want cuts smooth enough for glue joints, you’ll have to invest in a better blade.
Plus, it’s simply a great table saw in its own right. It’s powerful, efficient, and quiet. It cuts through all kinds of stock smoothly and easily, and the dust collection system helps it clean up after itself. Previous buyers who upgraded to this one said that the transition from their old cabinet units felt like switching from a family sedan to a sports car. We recommend it to anyone looking for the absolute best quality, for small to midsize pro shop work or the passionate home woodworker.
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.
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.
Setup was nearly as simple as SawStop’s with just a narrow margin between them. We only needed to attach the handle and bolt the saw down to the stand. The stand is a gravity rise style, but requires you to bend down to ground level for collapsing and extending it. It’s a reasonably solid platform, though a lot of movement throughout the day will leave your back sore.
Another indication of how hard a table saw is working is monitoring the amperage (AMP) draw under loading conditions. We measured the amp draw for each saw using all three materials again at the same time we were recording RPMs. The first graph below shows the amp draw for each saw cutting plywood compared to the no-load amp draw. The white bar on the left indicates the no load amps and the colored bar on the right shows the maximum amp draw during the cut.
DeWALT DWE7480 is an excellent table saw, especially if you consider its price. It’s a step up from the highly popular DW745 and slightly more expensive, but I think the larger rip capacity and higher RPM are well worth the extra money. The DWE7480 is still in the lower price region though, and unlike the DW745 you can also get this one with a stand: the DWE7480XA!
As far as performance, the fence could be a bit better in its locking in – square front to rear – but you get used to being able to set it square and use the rear adjustment knob so that it stays put. Some folks have complained about motor burn outs – but having experience now with 17 saws – over 6 years or more – I haven’t encountered the problem (maybe we’ve been lucky?)
Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.
SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 10 in. 3HP table saw is a high performance cabinet table saw that features a durable cast iron table, 44 x 27 in. of total space, and is super durable, making it an ideal table saw for professionals. In addition to its industrial capabilities, this SawStop table saw also boasts a couple other practical features including a Flesh Sensing Technology, dissipative arbor belt to prevent hazardous charges, and an easy-to-change brake cartridge.
Most table saw blades come in 8, 10 or 12inchs in diameter, but you can also get a lot smaller and larger sizes if you require special cut sizes and cut depth sizes. When looking for a new blade when it comes to sizes, blades are measured in two sizes mainly, the mounting hole and the total blade diameter, make sure you take the mounting hole size in to consideration when buying a new blade as this could be something very easily over looked but could cause an issue.
Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.
For carpentry projects or as a starter saw, the DeWalt DW745 receives solid reviews. Though it doesn't have the capacity of the Bosch, owners say it's well made and easy to adjust. The rack-and-pinion fence earns kudos for accuracy. The saw weighs just 45 pounds and can even be hung on a workshop wall for storage; an optional is also available. The three-year warranty is another plus.
When the blade touches flesh, a brake will stop the blade and the blade drops down below the surface of the table. The operator will presumably leave with only a small nick or no injury at all. These systems definitely bump up the price of the saw, but it’s a major safety feature and just might be able to save you some very expensive medical bills, along with your fingers.
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.
Most shippers will expect you to have a forklift to get the crate off the truck, so if that’s not something you can arrange, you’ll want to opt for “lift-gate” delivery or an installation plan that involves the shippers bringing the saw to your actual workshop. Be prepared to spend a fair bit of money for delivery ($100-$250), especially if you can’t get the saw off the truck and to the workshop on your own.
Methods for tilting the blade to cut bevels vary among the saws. The Porter-Cable saw is the only one with a conventional handwheel bevel control mounted on the side of the saw. The crank gives you great control for setting an exact angle. To set the bevel on the Bosch, DeWalt and Rockwell saws, you simply release the bevel-lock lever and tilt the saw to the preferred angle. It’s easy to go quickly from a 90-degree to a 45-degree bevel with this method. The Ridgid, Craftsman and Ryobi saws have a rack-and-pinion setup. These saws utilize the front crank for setting the bevel.
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.
It’s not until you get a bunch of saws side by side in the shop that you start to see the difference between a $300 saw and a $500 saw. While the motors are all 15-amp, the more expensive saws have features like soft start to prolong motor and gear life, electronic feedback to maintain blade speed and gearing to maximize torque. If you look under the saws, you’ll see that the more expensive saws also have much beefier motor carriages and better-quality blade-adjusting mechanisms.
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.
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.
The SawStop Contractor Saw CNS175-TGP36 stands out chiefly on account of its unique safety brake, which stops the spinning blade dead when it senses the presence of skin. However, it's also an excellent saw in other respects: powerful, well built, and easy to assemble, with great dust collection and loads of features. Cost is a major concern, but so is the cost of the injuries SawStop is designed to eliminate.
There’s a lot to like about this saw. The stand is easy to set up and very sturdy. We like the smooth-operating table extension and the blade guard’s hold-up feature and ease of installation. The only downside we found is that the motor mount is less rigid than those on the other saws we tested. We suspect that’s why the cut quality on our torture test was not as good with this saw.
TBB measured the accuracy of the factory-set 90 degree stop by using a Wixey WR365 digital inclinometer. This device has an accuracy of 0.1 degree. We placed the Wixey gauge on the table and calibrated the inclinometer to the table by zeroing out the gauge. After that calibration, the measurements give a result that is relative to the saw table. We moved the blade to an approximate position of 70 degrees off vertical. TBB attached the gauge to the blade and used the saw mechanism to adjust the blade incline to the point at which the blade or trunnion hit the factory-set 90 degree vertical stop and recorded the measurement. TBB ran the test twice to ensure the repeatability of the measurement. In every case, the result came out to within 0.1 degree of the prior test.
For benchtop and jobsite saws with direct drive motors, the motor RPM is the blade RPM. If you’re considering a contractor or cabinet saw, it’s a different story. In any event, Pro table saw RPMs generally range from 4000 – 5000. Don’t let numbers on the lower side dissuade you. There’s a limit to how much power you can draw and each manufacturer has to decide how they’ll channel it between blade speed and torque. So higher isn’t necessarily better.
Make sure you know what’s covered and what’s not, especially if you’ll be using your machine commercially (many warranties are strictly for individual, not commercial use). It’s also a good choice in this case to purchase add-on warranty coverage from a third party at the checkout. We recommend these policies for most portable table saws, since most manufacturers have either very short warranty coverage, or longer warranties which require you to foot the bill for service calls or for returning the machine to the maker.
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.
In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.
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.
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 »
If you need a table saw that can travel, the Bosch 4100-09 consistently earns high marks. Reviewers praise its power, accuracy, easy setup, and easy blade changes. They also love the gravity-rise wheeled stand, which rolls smoothly and snaps open or folds flat in a single lever-activated motion. Finally, they appreciate the convenience of the blade guard system, complete with riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.
You’ll want to look for metal framing, and a design which allows for all the most delicate components to be stored inside the tool’s body. If you’re a DIYer who won’t be travelling with your saw often, you probably don’t need to worry about finding such a heavy-duty frame. Many portable units will fit easily on the passenger’s seat, so you won’t have to deal with wear and tear so much.
Setting up or taking down Craftsman’s spring-assisted stand is a six-step process, involving various release latches. It’s not intuitive like that of Bosch or RIDGID. And, once the stand is folded down, don’t lift the handles up too far when rolling the saw around, or the stand drags against the floor. A shorter woodworker might find this less of a problem than this 6′ 3″ tester did. I also found that the stand’s narrow stance and light weight couldn’t prevent it from skittering on the floor as I pushed heavy lumber across the top. A word to the wise: weigh the base down for heavy-duty work or for cutting large sheet goods.
After spending hours doing a lot of research and talking to professionals who use these tools on a regular basis we have put together a review for you that not only tells you three of the top table saws on the market today, but we tell you why they are popular and explain a bit about each so you have a good idea of what they are like. This table saw review will put much-needed information right at your fingertips so you can make a good decision on the right table saw for your needs.
With a 32½" rip capacity and motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛" deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. Happy customers sing this machine’s praises, reporting that it’s as sturdy as a table saw can get — plus, it’s easy to use, and assembling it is a cinch. They do however note that workers looking to produce finer cuts should seek out a replacement blade since the one provided is more suited for fast, rough work.