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.
I was hoping to see the JET in there. But glad you didn’t waste your time with it. I bought it a year and a half ago and it’s a piece of crap. It has not held up at all, I keep it in my construction trailer and it has its own cubby hole and is secured with straps. It has fallen apart. The fence has no adjustments and is off 1/4” front to back, From the factory. I have to spend so much time trying to adjust rip fence, and then I can’t turn my guys loose with it because they won’t take the time to adjust and check for accuracy. Just really disappointed in the product. I am waiting for the testing done on the cordless saws because I am upgrading.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
You want to rip down lumber with your table saw. For this you’ll need a fence. You just can’t make an accurate rip cut without one. Check the fence sits on the rails firmly. You should be able to adjust it easily in both directions. A T-square fence is the most common type. Made from welded steel, it’s precise, user-friendly and durable. Some fences are mounted with bolts. Others are welded onto the head of the T-square. Miter gauges are priceless for making cross-cuts and other more advanced cuts. This gauge acts as a guiding device. It moves in the miter slot. You can angle between 45 degrees and -45 degrees. For angled or square cross-cuts or other specialty cuts, a miter gauge fully delivers.
The DeWalt DWE7499GD table saw earns a third place finish in the safety category thanks to their GuardDetect technology. This doesn’t prevent you from using the saw without the pawls and blade guard in place, but it does require you to physically indicate you are aware they’re not in place. Ideally, this gives your mind one last opportunity to consciously note the additional care that needs to take place before cutting.
The blades are the primary factor to consider when shopping for a saw as they hugely determine the performance of your table saw. The blades will only be effective if they are set at a correct depth of cut. The table saw will also perform best if only the correct blade for the cut is fitted, as a proper blade will enable you to achieve a precise and smooth cut. When purchasing a blade, go for the one with a correct setting blade. Consider the cutting depth also as this will determine its suitability for the job. You should also ensure that the table saw is equipped with splinter guard as this will help in minimizing splintering of the board’s top surface. Splinter guard also enhances accuracy because when it is lined up at the start and finish mark the saw will cut with precision. A suitable table saw should also have a 20mm arbor as this guarantees the stability of the blade and hence, safety in the workplace.
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
You can store and transport the Bosch upright or on either of its sides. In between our tests, we found that the saw neatly stored away on its side on a workbench shelf. On the other hand, the DeWalt can only be stored or transported in its upright position. While it may possible to rest the saw briefly on one of its sides, there is the potential to damage the power cord, plug, or the ends of the telescoping fence rails.
On the other end of the handyman spectrum, you’ve got the seasoned professional with years of experience under his belt. We all know the type: he’s the guy that expects only the best, and DEWALT more than delivers with their patented DWE7491RS. This wood-slicing machine is the cream of the crop when it comes to cutting through even the toughest materials. The DWE7491RS measures 26¼" x 22", so it’s a relatively large apparatus — you’re going to want to make sure that you have plenty of space in your garage for this table saw.
We spent over 30 hours researching and testing 10 different brands of table saws and found that maximum speed, cord length, and cut depth were most important. The DEWALT DW7480 table saw scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. This 48 pound table saw is perfect for using at home or taking with you to the job site. It has a powerful 15 amp motor and 24” rip capacity that makes it a favorite with everyone. The 2 ½” dust collection port allowed us to connect the saw to a shop vac and reduce the amount of dust that was in the garage.
But with top quality saws come features that some people may find well worth the extra investment, substantial though it may be, and thus our discussion starts with pricier models. At the top price range for table saws, you can often get a saw with safety technology that will automatically halt its blade the instant it encounters human flesh. (The process literally takes but a few milliseconds.) The knowledge that your fingers and hands are safe from major injury caused by a rapidly rotating, razor sharp blade is more than convincing enough for many people to invest in these technologically marvelous table saws.
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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.
For any kind of professional woodworking and large scale construction work, the cabinet table saw is the one for the job. These types of table saws are often called stationary saws. The motor is protected in a cast iron and steel cabinet that reduces noise and vibration as well. With reduced vibration comes better accuracy which is always the desired effect, especially for professionals. The motor us a powerful 3-5 hp and requires a 220-volt outlet. If you are using it in a home workshop, a special outlet may need to be installed if 220s are not already installed in your garage or shop. Measuring about 28” x 43” and weighing in at over 400 pounds, these table saws were not designed to be portable. The large work surface is ideal for cutting large pieces with ease. Cabinet saws can use a 12” blade with no problem, although a 10” blade is the most commonly used. It is the most expensive of all of the styles of table saws.
Both of these table saws have a port that connects to a shop vacuum for dust collection. The DEWALT features a 2.5” port, while the Bosch has a 2” port. However, neither seems to do all that great a job. The Bosch might fare a little worse as far as the dust port clogging, but the DEWALT has some problems in this area, too. The Bosch is said to spew sawdust on the floor as though there was no dust collection port at all. The DEWALT racks up some complaints about the same problem.
No matter the model or price, a table saw should cut a range of material thicknesses and hold its settings accurately. So, after installing a new Freud hi-ATB thin-kerf blade in each saw, I made repeated rip cuts on MDF, resetting the fence each time to check for consistently thick offcuts. After that, I raised the blade for more rip cuts on heavy, long planks of 2 x 12 Southern yellow pine, before tipping the blade to bevel-rip 2″-thick poplar. Then I switched to a 6″ CMT dado set and made a long dado cut in MDF, so I could check for consistent cutting depth — a sign that the undercarriage is stout enough to handle a heavy blade like this. Overall, my test criteria was stability of the stand, cutting accuracy, reasonable dust collection efficiency and all-around convenience of use. Results ranged from exceptional to mediocre, as you’ll see.
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.
If you’re looking for a machine with high capacity, the SKIL 3410-02 has a 3.5-inch cut height with the ability to cut through four times the material on each pass. The consensus among reviewers is that, for such a low price, you end up compromising on miter gauge and saw blade quality. Luckily both of those things can be replaced if you so choose.
One notable feature on the Bosch is an arbor lock button, enabling easy blade changes. Changing the blade on most table saws is an onerous task, requiring the user to reach under the saw with one wrench to hold the arbor still while using another wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place. Because of the difficulty involved, many users choose to continue using a dull blade, rather than expend the effort to change it. Dull table saw blades can result in poor cutting ability, split-out, burn marks, and possibly dangerous kickbacks. The arbor lock button helps to eliminate some of the difficulty involved in blade changes, taking some of the dread out of the process. Popular Mechanics referred to this feature as, “so handy it ought to be an industry standard”. It is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer this feature.
Table saws cut more or less the same way as a circular saw (covered in their own report): a round blade, usually 10 inches in diameter, spins as it works its way through the wood. The main difference is that the blade is fixed in place, sticking up through a gap in the table, and the operator moves the wood past the blade instead of moving the saw itself. Table saws support and guide lumber and wood panels as they pass over the spinning blade, making it easier to make accurate repeat cuts than with a circular saw.
Both saws were almost equally quick to setup for use, with the DeWalt coming out slightly ahead. The throat plate, which is thicker and sturdier than Bosch's, is slightly easier to remove and reinsert. The DeWalt's blade cavity offers greater clearance, which makes locking down and loosening the riving knife easier without scraping a knuckle. Dewalt's riving knife adjustment required less wiggling and hunting to get it set properly.
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.
The maximum depth of cut on a saw tells you how thick of a material you can cut through cleanly. Be careful when you’re looking at depth of cut ratings, since you’ll usually find two separate specs listed. One is for cutting at 90 degrees, the blade’s normal setting, and one is for cutting at a 45 degree bevel, which is generally the furthest a table saw blade will pivot. Most of us will only need to be concerned about the 90-degree rating, but if you cut lots of angles, you should check the 45 degree rating as well.