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.
If you are a woodworking professional, you'll want a cabinet saw in your workshop. These are the heaviest, sturdiest and most precise table saws, with powerful motors that require a 220-volt electrical outlet. Cabinet saws require a large, dedicated space because of their guide rails and large tables (often with big extension wings). Then also tend to have the best safety and dust-control features. Woodworkers with enough space (and money) usually make a cabinet saw the permanent centerpiece of their workshop, though a few cabinet saws have mobile bases. Cabinet saws cost $1,600 and up.
Buying a table saw can cover a lot of bases. You have everything from DIY models to professional production level cabinet table saws. In this article, we’re looking what is arguably the most popular – jobsite table saws. They’re on the less expensive side and are highly portable compared to their shop counterparts. That makes them go-to tools for framers, jobsite carpenters, and Prosumers.
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.
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.
These are the best choice for long jobs where you’ll get yourself set up at a job site, and need a saw that enables you to make all your big, long cuts without traveling back and forth between the site and your shop. While you won’t want to move these units around frequently, they’re great for seeing a contract through to the end from the worksite.
The CNS175-TGP36 SawStop is a 10 in. contractor table saw with a 45 degree bevel and a rip capacity of 36.5 in. Other than that, we think this is a pretty cool table saw for a few different reasons. First, the price is about half of all other SawStop table saws, and we know money talks (actually, it yells)! Second, like all other SawStop table saws, it has the integrated flesh sensing technology, so you can be sure you’re going to keep all your digits. Also, it has some pretty impressive power; it’s powered by 15 A motor so you’ll be able to tackle whatever you need. The last of our favorite features is its portability. For being a contractor saw, it’s pretty easy to pack up and move around.
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.
Skilsaw produced the only worm drive table saw in our group and we had high expectations, especially given the high RPM count. In the end, the power is definitely at the professional level and settled in tied for fourth overall with DeWalt. This was the lightest, most compact saw in the group. Like DeWalt, the lack of an outer housing leads to more efficient cooling but drops storage for an extra blade.
The type of woods you cut will determine how powerful a motor and how fast a blade speed you need from your portable table saw. If you’re going to be dealing primarily with thinner boards and softwoods, you don’t need anything hugely powerful. If you’re working with hardwoods or thicker softwood stock you should look for a more powerful motor. Likewise, if you’re only an occasional woodworker, you needn’t worry about finding a motor that won’t burn out.
As for my blades, I replaced the blade that came with the saw right away. It is terrible and would have been better to be not included at all. I replaced it with a Freud industrial 24 tooth glue-line rip blade and a Freud Diablo 80 tooth plywood and crosscut blade (I find it easier to just buy new plywood blades since the glue does a number on them, not to mention the wear and tear caused by MDF). As an all-around blade, I keep a 50 tooth Tenryu Gold blade. It is quieter somehow, and does a cut almost as good as either the rip or crosscut blade. Great for making quick cuts without always changing blades. I will use it for most ripping, but will switch to the ripping blade when I have a lot of ripping to do, or will be going thicker than about 1.5” in hardwood.
The machine has a more conventional rip fence/rail arrangement. The right half of the rail assembly folds out so the saw can achieve its full 30″ of rip capacity — wider than any other model here — but the fence would not slide smoothly over the rails without catching on the hinge joint. While the rip fence did maintain its locked settings, it lacks the heft and build quality of the competition.