Three professional carpenters test ten portable table saws, including two now discontinued. They outfit them all with Diablo 40-tooth general-purpose blades and test them on both 3/4-inch plywood and pressure-treated 2x pine. Each saw earns points for safety features, fence quality, stability, weight, stand design, ease of adjustment, cutting power, and dust collection. Totaling up these scores determines the saws' overall ranking, as well as their "class ranking" against comparably priced brands. Some additional single product reviews of table saws can be found elsewhere on the site as well.

One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.

Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.

While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.
The service coverage under the warranty requires you to either bring the machine to an authorized dealer or ship it back to the company on your dollar. That’s a major downside, and it’s one reason we’re recommending purchasing add-on warranty coverage for this one. If you’re dealing with a third party provider, you can simply get a replacement without having to go through frustrating company reps.
All seven saws in the best table saw testing have some kind of dust control. The Rockwell saw has a completely enclosed motor compartment with a large dust bag that attaches under the saw to catch sawdust. The remaining saws have a shroud around the blade and a 2-1/2-in. port on the back for attaching either a bag or a vacuum cleaner. None were perfect, but at least you can catch most of the sawdust. The Craftsman and Ryobi also include a dust bag that attaches to the vacuum cleaner port.
We used the Freud calibration plate on each of the test saws to measure runout. We removed the new Diablo blade, installed the calibration plate, and raised the trunnion to its maximum vertical adjustment. Before measuring the runout, we placed a black mark on the calibration plate to give a consistent starting position for the runout test. The same iGauging dial indicator provided the test measurements, only this time, the units were set to read out in mm. TBB noticed that in the initial saws, the movements were sufficiently small to need the smaller metric units.
I am looking to upgrade from my first table saw which is the Ryobi that you reviewed (had to find something cheap that was decent). I do a lot of rip cuts, as well as fine precision cuts for laminating and joinery required for frames, furniture, etc. I am looking at the Skilsaw and the Dewalt 7480 and cannot decide which would be best for me. Any insight would be helpful!

Speaking of safety, this particular model offers a satisfactory level of it. First of all, the tool-free adjustments come in handy if you’re in a middle of a project. In case you need to make a quick adjustment, you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing and commit your attention to fine-tuning. Instead, you can do it on the go, without any additional tools. Furthermore, the convenient guarding system keeps your fingers and hands safe at all times. Don’t forget to wear protective gear; it can make a difference between life and death.

If you need to move your saw around, it comes with a table saw stand that you can put up and down with ease. Fashioned from aluminum pipes with wheels that can handle uneven terrain, move around site without breaking your back. As well as its user-friendly nature, the stand can be stored away vertically so it’s a real space-saver whether at home or on the jobsite.
Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.

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.

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.


The body of the blade is made from hardened steel, helping to extend the lifespan and keep up with the tooth quality. The kerf is a crazy-thin 0.098 inch—narrow to keep the cuts fast by reducing the amount of material that needs to be removed. Like most Diablo blades, you’ll pay a bit of a premium up front, but the blade lasts so much longer than others on the market that the cost per cut is much lower.
This one’s compatible with Jet’s rolling bases. You can mount it on any of the company’s all-metal roller frames, and move it around your shop! That’s ideal for busy shops with a lot of large equipment and not a lot of space to spare. It’s also handy for home craftsmen who don’t have as much dedicated space as they’d like to devote to a table saw. The Grizzly, on the other hand, is much harder to convert to a wheeled base, because it has the dual extension tables.
Hello, Thank you for your comment. We apologize for any issues our Top Table Saws of 2018 blog post has caused. It was not written to be a comparative review of the different saws but a list of the top saws that we are currently selling. It would be unfair to compare performance of a portable jobsite table saw to a industrial cabinet saw and then also compare them on price. If you would like to read a very good comparative post we suggest you check out ProToolReviews.com. They are not tied to any manufacturers and have a very unbiased opinion.

RIDGID’s 94-lb. R4510 might not be a saw you want to lift into a truck bed every day, but it’s bound to deliver solid cutting results once you reach your destination. For starters, this saw includes a downright great stand. Step on one lever, and the tubular frame lifts and glides smoothly up into place. The same lever collapses it. It’s sturdy, well-balanced and provides a wide stance to keep the saw from shifting or tipping. Large wheels and rubber tires roll the machine around easily during transport or just to reposition it when set up. The left-most tube is both a working-height handle and side support for balancing extra-long crosscuts. Smart.
After cutting a bunch of wood with this saw, we really liked the balance of power and portability of Bosch GTS1031 – and I think that’s what this saw is all about. For raw Performance, the unflappable motor-blade combo earned a stiff 8/10 in our tests, while its affordable $399 price tag put it at a solid 9/10 in our Value scale. Sure, you can get cheaper portable table saws, but you’ll find it a challenge to track down the combination of power and portability the Bosch GTS1031 offers. Bosch’s gravity rise-equipped 4100-09 remains a compelling alternative or those wanting an integrated stand. It occupies an additional 15″ in width and 8″ in length and is a full 3.5″ taller. But it only tacks on 8 pounds in weight. If you’re cutting larger pieces of wood or need a saw with a stand, the 4100-09 may be your baby, but the new Bosch GTS1031, with its “toss it in the truck” form factor is our new sweetheart tool. While it has an available GTA500 folding table stand accessory, the real advantage of this saw is it’s stand-free portability – so don’t make it into something it’s not. After using this tool, we think you’ll want to take it with you, as-is, just about everywhere!
The Grizzly is our top choice for folks who need lots of room to work, plain and simple. Thanks to its dual extension tables, this one has the widest rip and fence capacity of the three units we’ve reviewed here. We also love that it makes full use of the space under the worktops, so you’ll get plenty of storage room to make up for its larger footprint.
The miter gauges on these saws range from downright flimsy to cabinet-saw quality. All the saws except the Craftsman and the DeWalt also have T-tracks—a nice feature that captures the miter gauge bar, making it easier to start wider crosscuts. Because the Ryobi and DeWalt saws don’t have a standard miter gauge slot, you can’t use accessories that require a 3/4-in. slot.
While you may be tempted to skip straight to the reviews, they are a bit on the technical side and contain plenty of terms you might not be familiar with just yet. My suggestion would be to start by reading the informational articles which will provide you with a decent amount of knowledge on table saws. After that, I sincerely doubt you would be caught off-guard while reading anything in the review section.
TBB used the same iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the as-delivered factory fence to the table miter slot. We started by placing the fence in a locked position about 1” away from the blade on the opposite side from the miter slot. We adjusted the throw of the dial indicator so that we took the readings on the indicator, as before, in the middle of the indicator’s range of movement.
We had a number of these saws – and I bought one for my own use (travelling to my kids houses and for garage use) since my old Unisaw with sliding table isn’t exactly portable. My take on the blade – is that the old 40T one (Bosch CBT1040A) was not worth anything much – so the change to a 24T blade can’t hurt (zero time anything is still zero). They generally bundle saws with cheap blades to keep the overall price down – but when I was buying in many multiples – I would have been happy for $10 off each if I had a “no-blade” option.
I really do like your site and being on Long Island there is a familiarity to the way y’all work. You are quick to respond to comments and put in a great effort but…. This review I feel you miss the mark. Out of box accuracy is important but. Ore important to a pro user is tool able to be adjusted to be near perfect and how does it hold this position. No comments on how solid the fences are, ie deflection movement, ease of micro adjust, etc. all the fancy self feed stuff etc, what saw feels the most powerful? Smoothest ? All theses kizmos are for the manufacturers to hype. Your strengths are that you actually use these machines, so your strengths are to BE MORE opinionated or biased not less because your opinion has meaning or weight. Let the know knowings use the kizmos and just give us your real opinions based on real use. Just my 2 cents.
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.
One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.
As with the smaller Dewalt we’ve recommended, this one has very inconsistent quality control on the table. Some reviewers cited units with bowed, funky surfaces, while others got units that were perfectly flat. that’s a flaw of the molding process. We also have a bone to pick with Dewalt as far as the coating on these. While we understand that the coating is supposed to help wood slide better, it just doesn’t seem to last very long or hold up well. It also has the same flawed warranty coverage. We’d recommend purchasing add-on coverage.
The table measures up at 29 inches by 21.5 inches. The 4100-09 is not suitable for dealing with large stock or sheets of wood. Made from aluminum, you’ll meet with no resistance as you slide the timber toward the blade. The only negative with the table is the way it’s finished with an anodized coating. This is fine to start with but tends to wear over time, something that doesn’t just look unsightly but can ultimately affect accuracy. This is a surprising oversight from Bosch and one we hope they rectify in future iterations of this fine table saw.

When using the side extension, a tape moves along so you won’t have to remember what measurement to lock the fence on or read a double marked measurement guide. It’s an innovation we like, but there are questions as to the long term durability of the tape itself. Like Ryobi, Ridgid uses a magnetic throat plate to secure it while leaving access simple.


Portable or “jobsite” table saws are the absolute opposite of cabinet models. These are the lightest, most travel-friendly table saws on the market. These are easy to pack up and store in the back of a pickup truck or work van, and they can be set up pretty much anywhere. You can fit them to folding stands, use them on countertops, or sawhorses. We love them for quick contractor jobs, and they’re the ideal tool for general handymen who do a lot of shorter jobs rather than extended carpentry fittings. These are also a great entry-level choice for DIYers who don’t need a massive table saw, but need something that they can pack away at the end of the day. And, of course, they’re the least expensive table saws you can buy!
As mentioned, the look is similar to a hybrid with a full enclosure. Looks can be deceptive, though… The core design purpose is for this saw to stand up to constant heavy use in a commercial setting. This is not a tool you buy for casual woodworking at home.These bulky, heavy units are built to last the distance. They can weigh up to 500 pounds. You’ll get an accuracy and rigidity not available in lesser types of table saw.Other table saws call for regular adjustments. With a cabinet saw, you won’t need to do this as often once it’s set up properly. 240V motors developing 3-5HP mean there’s very little the best cabinet table saw won’t rip through with ease. Large sheets of hardwood are no problem at all.
Portable table saws, or “jobsite” models, as they’re often called, are your best bet for working with larger stock or longer cuts on the go. These units provide the cutting width and depth of a big table saw in a compact, portable package that’s easy to throw in the back of the pickup after a day’s work. They’re ideal for pros working on smaller jobs, handymen who need a basic table saw that won’t break the bank, or home DIYers looking for a tool that’s easy to pack away during the workweek.
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
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