Buying a table saw is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make when it comes to power tools. It is an integral part of most job site equipment, as well as an essential item for most do it yourself projects. Choosing a table saw that fits your particular needs and budget can mean the difference in both profitability and frustration level.
The saw itself is remarkably compact, measuring just 22.5″ square and a little over a foot in height (13″ to be more precise). With a steel “roll cage” that encloses the 4 HP 15-amp motor and a rubber handle that is positioned in the center of the right side of the saw, this is a tool that you’ll find very easy to toss into the back of a pickup or work van and take to any jobsite. When you carry it deck-inward, the weight of the saw presses in slightly against your leg – which actually steadies the saw somewhat, making it more manageable, though at 52-pounds let’s not go so far as to call this saw a breeze to carry. The Bosch GTS1031 included cord wrap, and the simple design of the frame also makes it easy to store up against a wall inside your shop when not in use. This isn’t a tool that really gets in the way much – it’s out of sight until it’s needed.
At first glance, the Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw may seem to be nothing exceptional. However, it's powered by the best motor in its class, and it does everything well. True, the motor is a 15 amp unit like the others on our list, but it produces 4 HP where the others produce only 1.5 to 2 HP. This is a noticeable step up in a vital area! The wheeled frame is extremely helpful for moving around your shop or garage, but keep in mind that those tires aren’t heavy-duty; you have to be careful with them on a worksite littered with nails and screws.
The Bosch 4100-09 offers many advanced features, making it a very capable table saw for woodworking. The air-filled wheels and gravity rising stand makes this table saw functional and lightweight. Set up and tear down of the table saw is a breeze. This technology allows the table saw to be moved from place to place, even over the most rough and challenging areas of the work site. The 4100-09 weighs 39 pounds, making it the perfect portable table saw. Although it is lightweight, it is very durable and stable.
Service can be expensive on these models, so you should see if the company will be covering repairs, of if you’ll be expected to foot the bill. Add-on plans are a great way to minimize your liability if something goes wrong. By purchasing a third-party warranty, you can have a much better customer service experience. The warranty provider will deal with the company for you, so you don’t have to negotiate or deal with frustrating runarounds.
More power is also associated with more control. More control also gives you the ability to cut tougher materials. Furthermore, more control allows you to use bigger blades with ease. For instance, a 1500W of the motor will result in swift movement of the blade as it spins. High RPM of the blade gives the user a greater chance of achieving accurate and precise cut. So, when shopping for a table saw, look out for a skill saw with the higher motor rating.
If you want to increase your safety, get a saw that has a flesh sensor. Doing so though will increase the price quite a bit, so only get it if you can afford it or care very much about your safety. A flesh sensor will stop the saw in as little as 0.01s after it comes in contact with your skin. While the blade will be damaged beyond repair, you’ll be safe.Now that you know a bit more about the factors to consider when getting a cabinet table saw, let’s take a better look below at some of the best models you can currently buy.
When you purchase your table saw, more than likely it will have standard 10” carbide tipped blade that is good for general purpose use. This blade is capable of cross cutting a 4 x 4. If you replace it with a 40 tooth combination blade you will improve the quality of your cuts significantly and more than likely be much happier with the blade overall. You can get specialty blades also if you are going to be cutting other materials as well.
The throat plate is the removable piece surrounding the blade that sits flush with the table. Removing it gives you the ability to access the blade for removal or riving knife adjustments. The narrower the blade clearance the better for two reasons. First, it helps keep material from falling into the blade area or lodging between the blade and throat plate. Second, it gives you material support very close to the cut to help reduce tearout as the blade exits the cut.
Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
We spent a lot of time setting up and taking down the saws to see how well the stands worked and how easy it was to install and remove the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. Then we ran a torturous ripping test with 3-in.-thick slabs of oak to find the best table saw. And finally, we used the saws for more conventional tasks like cutting plywood and ripping framing lumber as another test to determine the best table saw.
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.
As with anything, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of types, sizes, features, colors, weights, what, when, why, where, who…(let me catch my breath). For now, let’s focus on what’s right for you with our Best Portable Table Saw Guide. We’ll start by identifying quality brands that align with your needs. Besides, who wants to buy something that won’t work?
Setting up both saws was quick and easy, since their factory-adjusted blades and fences were square and parallel to the tables' miter gauge slots out of the box (this is one of the reasons to buy a $350 table saw over a $100 one). Both saws had similar setup procedures: Attach the fence, raise the riving knife, attach anti-kickback pawls and attach the blade guard. There is no on-board stowage space for the DW745's rip fence, but this does not really affect the setup time or effort by much.
While other cabinet table saws may not offer you a clear cut every single time, that’s not the case with the SawStop ICS51230-52. This model features industrial fence system which ensures that every time you cut something, the cut is going to be very accurate and perfectly straight. One last thing to keep in mind is that the unit includes a standard base, while the mobile base and jobsite cart are sold separately.