If height adjustments were standardized, we could expect each saw to make them nearly identically. Taking a look under the hood, we discovered several different methods—each with their own effect. Most of the saws employ a bevel gear system that provides smooth and reliable performance. We noticed that many used solid metal gearing, but Bosch used plastic for both the 4100 and the REAXX.
Portable saws are usually light and smaller than the other types. The three basic types of portable saws are compact, bench top, and jobsite saws. Because they are designed for portability, the materials of which they are made sometimes lack sturdiness and stability. However, that’s not a reason to be alarmed; a vast majority of these units are absolutely safe for work.
Like the Bosch, this Dewalt comes with a rolling stand. It’s convenient to set up and take down, since you can do it without helpers or tools. It rolls like a dolly, and opens into a nice, sturdy table. We especially like the splayed legs, since they lend the whole thing a bit more stability than the Bosch version. Unlike the Bosch’s stand, the Dewalt’s has semi-pneumatic tires which won’t ever go flat.
Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast-iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
While it’s bargain-priced, it has very impressive cast iron and steel construction, with all the same essential features as our other top table saw recommendations. On the downside, it’s the slowest of the three in terms of blade speed, and it has the shortest warranty coverage. This one also lacks some of the sophisticated safety features and creature comforts of our more expensive recommendations.
Jet also gives you different choices when it comes to the extension wings. Some customers prefer the cast iron wings because they add more weight and keep the table from shifting, but others prefer the stainless steel wings that are durable and easier to use. No matter which wings you choose, you’ll find that you can quickly and easily attach them to the table’s surface to extend the total amount of workspace you have.
We made a few test cuts with ¾-inch plywood just to get a feel of the motors we were working with. It became clear pretty quickly that not all 15 amp motors are equal. Once we knew what to expect, we moved to pressure treated 2x pine material in 7-1/2 foot lengths. Why 7-1/2? Our test material started at 15 feet and it seemed silly to have some at 8 feet and others at 6.
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.
The professional level saws saw a separation as well and all were well ahead of the cutting power we saw with the value group. A middle tier of cutting performance started with Makita and Bosch’s 4100 while DeWalt was significantly better. Entering the fray with the only worm drive system, we had high hopes for Skilsaw’s entry. It was solid and smooth—definitely at the Pro level— and close to what the 4100 delivered.
We recommend something with this technology for new woodworkers, instructors, or folks who work in a busy shop with lots of movement around them. They’re also a safe bet for buyers who simply like to take as many precautions as possible. The only downside to these systems is the price. You’ll find them on machines closer to the $3,000 mark, as a rule.
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.
One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
The SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 is truly a woodworking marvel, packing a 15-amp Dual Field motor into a surprisingly lightweight yet durable 49-pound frame. Whether you’re an amateur carpenter or a contractor with years of experience under his toolbelt, SKILSAW’s workhorse of a table saw is an invaluable addition to your repertoire thanks to its raw torque and unparalleled 25" ripping capacity, meaning tearing through thick sheets of plywood has never been easier.
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.
As we already said, people tend to remove the safety elements to speed up their projects. Needless to say, it’s a huge mistake. Those things are there for a reason, and they should remain installed at all times. As soon as you mingle with the parts, you’ll jeopardize the integrity and your own safety. Even the best table saw cannot protect you enough if you mess with the parts on your own.
Safety and precision are usually at a high level. Some models even offer a sliding table as an option to mitigate cross-cutting. Needless to say, hobbyists love the sliding feature because it saves a lot of time and most importantly – nerves. As far as the driving mechanism goes, there are three possible options – single V-belt, serpentine belt, and a multiple V-belts.
Obviously, given its size, the TruePower 01-0819 isn’t the kind of table saw you’d spring for to take on larger projects that require greater motor power — after all, it’s by no means revolutionary in the torque department. But for those who work with smaller materials or softer wood, the Gino Development TruePower 01-0819 Mini Electric Table Saw is a worthwhile, no-frills buy that’s easy on the wallet and can fit in virtually any space with plenty of room to spare.
Dust capture from this saw is pretty bad. I was shocked that a European brand would ignore the dust collection to this extent – at least I was until I discovered that their version of the 4100 does have quite a few more pieces that help pull most of the dust from the airstream. There is a plate that encloses the rear around the vacuum port and a bottom grid that allow airflow to the motor while still shaping the airstream to drive the dust to the vac. I added the plate, but decided against the grid. Instead, I added a sheet of ¼” plywood and put a 4” vacuum port in it that I hook up to my dust collector. I also replaced the blade guard with the European version that has a dust port built in. Minor upgrades, but dust capture has gone from terrible/non-existent to pretty acceptable. Bosch also sell a bag that will capture whatever dust would get tossed out the back of the saw, but that isn’t much, so I consider it a waste. I did buy it, and it works well on other tools, but it is not IMO a must-have for the 4100
A 50 rpm deviation at those speeds is approximately 1% variance which is well within the tolerance we should expect from taking the readings at a precise instant of time. The meters were in constant motion and we took the reading off of a single video frame that represented our determination of no-load speeds. We report them as our instruments showed them. 1% is acceptable.
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.
We’ve used $2,000 as our minimum spending threshold on these models, because that’s what we’ve found you have to pay for a cabinet model with all the features we consider essential: a precision-machined cast-iron worktop, a versatile fence on sliding tracks, a 3 HP motor with belt drive, an all-steel cabinet, a cast-iron trunnion support, and machined flywheels to adjust the blade settings.
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.
Along with thinking about how the table saw will be used now, it is important to also consider how you will be using it in the future. Will your usage increase or decrease? Many woodworkers may turn a hobby into a fulltime profession if they are talented at what they do. Why are these considerations important? Because they will give you better insight into the kind of money you should spend on your table. If you are going to go into business for yourself in a year or two, spending the money for a high-quality table now is a good idea. It will save you from having to buy another table in the future to accommodate your new needs as a business rather than just a hobbyist.
Kobalt’s KT1015 Table Saw features value pricing with a decent rolling stand. We initially had questions about its dual-locking fence, but found that it actually worked quite well. There’s plenty of wobble in it, but if you follow our Pro Tip on adjustments in the fences section, you can lock the front end in square then stabilize it with the back lock.
Cabinet models are stationary, as a rule. They’re not designed for portable use, and you should plan on keeping them in your shop for their working life. However, some models are compatible with optional wheeled bases, and these are great for folks who want to be able to move their table saw around the workshop, without sacrificing any power, build quality, or stability.
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.
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.
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.
With that said, the Dewalt DWE7491RS (another jobsite saw) has an amazing fence. It also has a greater ripping capacity – so if this additional functionality is more important to you than portability, it might be something to consider. Although keep in mind that it’s also 30lbs heavier, and the stand is much worse than that of the Bosch (which we’ll discuss later in this article).
In addition, a top-quality fence should move smoothly and have a scale that’s accurate and easy to read. Our favorite is the DeWalt fence. The rack-and-pinion system keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the micro-adjusting knob allows easy and precise fence positioning. Runners-up in this category for best table saw are the Ridgid and Bosch saws. They both have superb fences, with the added advantage of T-slots for attaching accessories like featherboards.
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.
Often called benchtop, jobsite, or worksite saws, portable table saws are typically made of lightweight materials, such as an aluminum table top, so that they’re easy to move from place to place. Sometimes they’ll have wheels attached to make shifting them around even easier. The motors on portable saws are also much smaller than on other types of table saws, and are typically less powerful.
There’s also a secondary flip-down fence which allows you to make narrower rips. We love this feature, which should really become industry standard in the near future. It helps you make smaller cuts without needing to have your fingers close to the blade. Reviewers loved it, and said they found themselves using the feature much more frequently than they’d anticipated.
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.
One thing you must be aware of with a contractor saw is the fact that they can be a lot more difficult to move from job to job, this is something that must be considered before purchasing. For thicker and harder type woods a cabinet table saw maybe the best way to go, especially for the long-term benefits, but for the average mid-sized contractor it’s still a great option. Read More
The design is not bad. The height of this particular table saw is around 35 inches. While some people don’t mind it, we think it could have been designed better. However, the best thing about the design is the fact that you can get both contractor and cabinet style table saws in one unit. Dust control is well-designed. The large 4-inch dust port offers a no-hassle setup, especially with vacuums of lower quality. In simpler words, you don’t need to purchase a super-expensive vacuum for this particular unit; any affordable one should do the job well.
We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
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.
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.