I’m no stranger to Bosch’s 4100-09 saw with Gravity-Rise™ stand. I’ve used one several times to build projects for this magazine, including the Serving Tray Cart that appeared in the June issue. So, I was not surprised when it tested impressively here. Rip cuts were on the mark, thanks to a rugged, beefy fence that stayed parallel to the blade each time I reset it. A flip of a red lever underneath unlocks the rails so they slide out and extend ripping capacity up to 25″.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 are pretty evenly matched in having plenty of power and not-so-hot dust collection. I you’re looking for a light weight saw, the DEWALT comes in ahead since it weighs almost half as much as the Bosch. It is also the less expensive choice by far. The large work table, expanded cutting capability, and its Gravity Rise feature (with solid rubber wheels that make it easy to be rolling across rugged terrain at a jobsite) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.
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.
In terms of cutting results, Craftsman’s 28463 Jobsite Table Saw made a decent showing. It delivered accurate rip cuts, kept its bevel setting for angled ripping and could handle a stacked dado blade without laboring. Dust collection through an enclosed shroud was on par with more expensive machines. I also appreciated the saw’s clear, split guard and a riving knife system that is easy to install and adjust up or down. These are the plusses of what, in this test, is the budget-priced tool.
This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.
One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
This is the smallest of all the table saws, typically weighing about 50 pounds or so and designed to sit on top of a table or workbench. Bench style table saws are usually made of steel, plastic and aluminum. They are good for light to medium duty cutting and would not be a good choice if you do a lot of cutting or if you have a professional business. Because it can be lifted by one person and moved around with relative ease, this type of saw is often called a portable table saw. Due to the size of these saws which measure approximately 19” x 27”, they are not designed to rip large pieces of wood. It is also not easy to make mitered cuts. You will notice that there might be more vibration when using this saw as compared to other, larger models. This is due to the lighter weight of the saw. Unfortunately, the vibration can affect the accuracy of the cuts you’re making.
Delta has also improved the tabletop geometry on this model which means that you’re going to get more surface area stabilization. The base is also made of durable cast iron and since it offers easy access to the off/on switch, using the Delta UNISAW is a breeze. Other user friendly features include the convenient dust extraction system, large blade opening for easily changing the blade and fine-tuning the riving knife, smart storage for simple organization and fast access.
Measuring approximately 22” x 38”, the contractor table saw is then next size up from the bench style. It typically sits on an open attached stand or base which may or may not be on wheels. It weighs between 200-300 pounds and is still portable but requires more than one person to lift. This style of table saw is good for woodworking shops, hobbyists, small contractors and DIYers. The 1-2 hp motors have enough power and stability to handle more heavy duty job site work and workshop demands. One of the benefits to these saws is that they still run on standard electrical circuits.
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.
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.
Compared to some of the other miter saws we’ve used – predating the new riving knife requirement, the Bosch GTS1031 guard system is much easier to install and remove when necessary (and to put the saw back into portable mode). We timed ourselves and assembled and tore down the saw in just over 2 minutes – and we were confident that our time would get better with more practice. The table is made of machined cast aluminum and is texture-coated to make it fairly slick – something that really helped when cutting larger pieces of 3/4″ plywood for a workbench surface. As for extending the table – that was super-easy. You just lift the table extension handle upwards and slide the table to the right. This gives you a full 18″ of rip width to the rip fence with your material to the right of the blade. Collapsed, you get up to 10″. Motion of the rip fence and the table extension were smooth. While the fence had some wobble in it at the far end – this completely disappeared when you locked it down – and the shape of the rear of the fence locked it straight every time. It’s a good system and more than adequate for a low-cost portable saw like this. We’ve seen more robust fence systems. But typically the trade-off has been in weight as well as cost.
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.
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.
The 708494K JPS-10TS from Jet Proshop is a high end cabinet table saw which delivers on all your expectations. Available in either a thirty inch or a fifty two inch rip capacity, this model is built from cast iron and is extremely rugged in order to withstand a lot of abuse and still deliver the excellent results you’re expecting from it. Regardless if you’re a professional or if this is the first cabinet table saw you’re planning to get, the 708494K JPS-10TS won’t disappoint. Its rugged build quality and ease of use are going to make it one of the best table saws currently available.
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
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.
The DeWalt will do you proud for a broad spread of applications. If you’re a home woodworker, you’ll be able to rip sheet material, size material as thick as 3 inches, frame lumber and make cross cuts to your heart’s content. For professionals, the DeWalt is perfect for trim carpentry, installation of hardwood floors, decking or remodeling. There’s very little you can’t do with this beast.