Rockwell diverged from the crowd with this offering. For starters, the riving knife, anti-kickback pawls and blade guard are connected and remove as a unit. If you do remove them to make a non-through cut, you have to install the separate riving knife first. It’s not difficult, just different. This is the only saw with a right-tilting motor. We prefer left-tilting motors because it’s safer to make bevel cuts with the fence on the right side of the blade. There’s no port for attaching a vacuum cleaner, but there’s a large dust bag that does a good job of collecting sawdust. This saw cuts 3-9/16 in. at 90 degrees, 1/16 in. more than the next closest competitors, allowing you to rip a 4×4 in one pass. And like the Ryobi saw, it has a 30-in.-wide rip capacity.
One of the biggest perks of a cabinet table saw, aside from the rugged construction and wide worktop, is the sheer power of the tool. You should expect a cabinet table saw to cut absolutely any stock within its depth capacity smoothly and easily. Look for motors with at least 3 HP, and sophisticated belt drive systems which translate that grunt into 4000+ RPM blade speeds. Don’t accept lesser power ratings on a cabinet model: these are the gold standard of table saws for a reason!
TBB measured the accuracy of the factory-set 45 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 shown on the gauge give a result that is relative to the saw table. We 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 45 degree 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.
Each one has different power, capabilities, mobility and price points as well. If you’re not sure which type you need, we have outline some specifics on each below that will help you choose. When you begin the search for your table saw, you will need to know the answers to a few questions that will narrow down the choices for you and make choosing much easier.
It is not a cabinet saw, so judging it by those standards would be unfair. As a portable job site saw this is amazing. Loud and dusty, sure, but that is expected. Easy to use and store, yes. The fence is square to the blade, and is rock solid, as long as you make sure the nut at the back of the fence is set right. The fence is not quite square to the table top, and I can't tweak it, but for construction I wouldn't care. I do other fussier things on the saw, so I will shim out an auxiliary fence. I made a cross-cut sled, which I recommend, and get thin kerf blades. I got a rip, general, and fine finish blades, and I get great results.
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.
Contractor units are the next step up from portable (or jobsite) table saws. A contractor table saw has a worktop and motor assembly that looks a lot like a cabinet model, only it’s missing the cabinet! Contractor units aren’t quite as portable as a job site saw, but they’re about half the weight of a cabinet saw. They pack a lot more power than a portable unit, and their cutaway stands make them fairly manageable for folks who have helpers to assist in getting the saw off the truck and set up at the site.
Built on the 4100’s foundation, The Bosch REAXX exhibits similar performance with a few improvements. Despite what we’ve seen online, the REAXX did seem to have better cutting power than the 4100. (see Editor’s Note above) The narrow throat plate opening also gave it much better dust collection, allowing only the finest material to make its way out. It shares the top ranking gravity rise stand with the 4100.
More expensive models also have more efficient drivetrains, which means they achieve a higher cutting speed for smoother, faster, and trouble-free cuts. Plus, their innovative belt designs and calibrated trunnion supports make the whole cutting experience smoother, quieter, and simpler. You’ll also pay extra for innovative safety features like skin detection, paddle power switches, magnetic switches, and thermal overload protection.
Hybrid saws will often match in terms of power but very rarely have the stability and durability of a cabinet saw, so often they work well in a home work shop where you can add extra stands etc to help. One thing to think about though is that because they won’t be as stable this can often compromise on the quality of the cuts, this is something you must think about when deciding. Read More
But with top quality saws come features that some people may find well worth the extra investment, substantial though it may be, and thus our discussion starts with pricier models. At the top price range for table saws, you can often get a saw with safety technology that will automatically halt its blade the instant it encounters human flesh. (The process literally takes but a few milliseconds.) The knowledge that your fingers and hands are safe from major injury caused by a rapidly rotating, razor sharp blade is more than convincing enough for many people to invest in these technologically marvelous table saws.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
As far as the durability goes, it’s great. The materials used in the production of various components are sturdy and also quite reliable. The accuracy is at a high level meaning you won’t have issues with the precision of this table saw, even if you’re an absolute beginner. On the other hand, make sure you make the necessary adjustments when you unbox the tool, before turning it on. If you don’t know how refer to the user manual, it’s comprehensive and well-written.
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.
Our top midrange choice comes from Jet, which is a partner brand of the well-known Powermate lineup. This unit is a good choice for folks who need a saw that can cut through absolutely anything, at a reasonable price, and without taking up too much space. It’s more compact than the Grizzly, but it offers even faster saw speeds and more precise adjustments. We recommend it to folks who want lots of power, but don’t have the room for a larger cabinet unit.
The stand is collapsible and wheeled like others, but it’s not the gravity-rise style. You’ll have to use a foot to stabilize it while you pivot it up or lower it down. The lower locks are released with your feet and there’s some question about the long term durability of the releases. An open housing design has two major results – motor cooling should be more efficient but it trades off storage for an extra blade. There’s really way too much to talk about here, so check out our full review of this model.
The old designs of table saws did not have the angled capability that newer models have now with their ability to have the blades angled at 45 and 90 degrees. Before these upgraded styles, the table itself had to be tilted which made cutting extremely unsafe. The new styles that accommodate angling the blade for the beveled cuts make things much easier and safer for the user.
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.
And finally, there are a couple of jobsite table saws running around with flesh detection to drop the blade out of the way if it detects a strike. There’s a significant premium in cost for these saws and there has also been plenty of litigation regarding whether it should be required on every table saw and whether more than one company has the right to manufacturer the mechanism. But they’ll save you a much worse injury in the event of an accident.
On the downside, Delta have changed things up over the past few years, and the news isn’t all good. The motor is still made in the USA, but the frame and structure of the saw is all imported. Recent buyers have reported shoddy quality control and very poor customer service since the company was taken over. Even though the Unisaw still gets great professional reviews, buyers’ experiences are so mixed that we’re not comfortable recommending this one as one of our top picks.
While DeWALT’s DW744X is the only model here without wheels, the saw is otherwise well appointed. It’s got a unique rip fence design: instead of sliding along front and back rails, the fence is fixed to them. To change rip fence settings, you extend the rails out on rack-and-pinion gears. The design keeps the fence parallel to the blade/miter slots and prevents it from deflecting if pushed laterally. A red hairline cursor makes fence settings easy to read, and it passed my ripping tests with flying colors.
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:
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.