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At a compact 45 pounds, the DEWALT DW745 Compact Jobsite Table Saw is the lightest table saw in our review. The saw's portability doesn't mean that ripping size is compromised, though. Thanks to extending fence guides, you've got 20 inches available. Depth of cut is on par with many bigger machines: at 90 degrees, it's 3 1/8 inches. At 45 degrees, it's 2 1/4 inches. Power comes from a 15-amp motor with a no-load speed of 3,850 RPM. This is ample enough for serious DIY projects and light-duty construction site 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.
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.
The design is quite good. The SawStop safety system ensures smooth and flawless operation while protecting you from a variety of hazards. However, regardless of the safety aspects, you should always wear protective equipment, especially gloves and goggles. One of the most notable things about the design is the fact that it provides 99 percent dust collection both below and above the table. The riving knife maximizes kickback and also offers protection.
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).
Another important safety feature to consider is a magnetic switch. Magnetic switches are there in case of power cuts or outages and will also protect the table saw motor from over load. Effectively it will switch off the power supply the instant the power goes off ensuring you don’t have a saw blade spinning away in the dark! As you can imagine this is a very useful and must have safety feature when looking to purchase a new table saw.
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.
With this saw, it was a very easy thing to plug it on and get started. The included cord is a reasonable length, but you’ll still need an extension cord unless you happen to be right next to an outlet in your workshop. Raising and lowering the blade is a smooth process and we found the mechanism to be nice and stiff, so you can be very precise with your cut depth. Only time will reveal whether or not this stays tight over the long haul, but it seems to be well-made. Mounting the accessories, like the smart guard system is quick. You just raise the riving knife using the release lever. The riving knife locks into a lower and upper position through the use of two sets of pins. In the upper position it is ready to accept the barrier guard, which you can remove from below the saw. It attaches easily with a lever lock and the anti-kickback device can then be placed on the back of the riving knife such that the teeth are set to grab any wood brought forward by the blade. The physical nature of the barrier guard assembly precludes you from placing your fingers anywhere near the cutting surface of the blade. We (and Bosch) recommend keeping this guard on the saw anytime you are doing “through” cuts. All-in-all, the table saw’s included safety features are more than adequate to keep you from encountering any unfortunate accidents. Removing them, or using the tool improperly, however, will considerably raise your level of risk.
I never – not even with a big cabinet saw – enjoyed cutting down full sheets, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. So, for me, the bigger capacity of the big saws isn’t as attractive as just cutting down the sheets with a track saw. Suddenly, with a track saw and a quality saw the size of the 4100, I can achieve the same results in a smaller footprint, for less money, more safely (I consider a track saw safer than manhandling full sheets alone)
One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.
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.
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.
Richard Romanski of Popular Mechanics names his five favorites among 15-amp portable table saws. A slideshow outlines what he likes best about each saw, as well as any downsides. Although it's clear that Romanski has tested these saws hands-on, he doesn't go into any details about his testing methods or name the other saws that didn't make the cut.
All these saws have fences that extend to at least 24 in. to allow you to rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of plywood in half. And they all have a slightly different way of accomplishing this. DeWalt has the most straightforward method. You just push the fence out on its rails and flip over the board support. On the Rockwell saw, you flip out a hinged fence rail. The only drawback to this fence is that it must remain in the extended position for any cut, so it takes up quite a bit of room. The remaining saws require you to release one or two levers and pull out the fence extension.
Hybrid models vary widely, so there aren’t any strict pros and cons that apply to all models. They’re generally quite powerful, and you can find them in both 110V and 220V configurations. They’re easy to install on wheeled bases, and work well in both stationary or mobile setups. However, these tend to be quite heavy, and they take up more space than other portable options. They’re a good compromise for ardent DIYers who dream of a cabinet model, but don’t quite have the money or the permanent shop space.
The first measurements we looked at with the performance testing was blade speed cutting all three of the test materials. This tests gives us a relative comparison of how much blade speed reduction the motors have under different loading conditions. In our opinion this gives us an idea of how strong the motor/gear box combination is for each saw. For each test we also recorded the “no-load” speed to capture the relative drop in rpm in the blade speed while cutting wood. We used our as-measured no-load speeds instead of the published values from the manufacturers.
Paul – Good catch….I’ve updated that to say Skilsaw not SawStop…thank you! As you can imagine…all the data makes it tough to keep it all straight. I’m not even sure how you’d install that aftermarket fence on these saws. If you do I’d love to see how!! Those really look like they are made to install on cast-iron full size saws. I’d choose the DEWALT with a slight edge over the SKilsaw.