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.
First, consider the types of cuts you’ll need to make, and which types of stock you work with on a regular basis. Think about the largest rip cuts you need to make, and get a cabinet saw with a suitable max capacity for rips. Find the thickest stock you need to cut, and make sure your new machine has a high enough depth capacity to make the cut cleanly. The larger your average stock, the larger a workspace you’ll need on your new cabinet unit. It’s also a good idea to think about bevel and miter cuts which you’ll be making on your table saw. All of our recommendations have the capacity for both, but some come with miter gauges and others don’t.
Both saws provide great cutting performance, and should handle most homeowner and DIY wood-cutting needs with ease. The saws are marketed as job-site saws, meaning they're designed for construction and home-improvement applications where extreme precision and accuracy is not typically required. This does not mean they're poorly suited for fine woodworking, though. You might not achieve the same precision as with a full-size stationary table saw, but out test cuts were by no means sloppy. And upgrading from the simple miter gauges included with both saws to an after-market miter gauge (such as an Incra model) or a cross-cut sled should improve the accuracy of straight and angled cross-cuts.
As we already said, people tend to remove the safety elements to speed up their projects. Needless to say, it’s a huge mistake. Those things are there for a reason, and they should remain installed at all times. As soon as you mingle with the parts, you’ll jeopardize the integrity and your own safety. Even the best table saw cannot protect you enough if you mess with the parts on your own.
It has a smart fence design that allows for a wide rip capacity in a small package. The Dewalt’s rails telescope, which allows them to extend further than the competition without adding to the machine’s packable footprint. That means you can make rips at up to 20 inches without needing any extensions or other accessories. The rack and pinion system allows you to set a precise fence setting without wobble, even on a flexible rail. It locks at both the front and back, to make absolutely sure you’re getting an accurate rip every time.
The Popular Woodworking site hasn't published many reviews of table saws recently; the newest one we found was from 2013. There are no comparison reviews and no ratings or recommendations to help you compare different models. Nonetheless, this site is useful because it's one of the few places to find detailed coverage of larger contractor and cabinet saws.
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.
Every woodworker knows the plague of working in a dusty environment. The SawStop has a fantastic dust collection system so you can enjoy your cutting without your eyes being strained. Almost all of the dust is wicked away both above and below the table. Up above, the blade does all the legwork and there’s a neatly designed shroud which pulls all this dust away from the blade. The 4-inch port means you can slip your shop vac on with no issues.
Plus, it’s simply a great table saw in its own right. It’s powerful, efficient, and quiet. It cuts through all kinds of stock smoothly and easily, and the dust collection system helps it clean up after itself. Previous buyers who upgraded to this one said that the transition from their old cabinet units felt like switching from a family sedan to a sports car. We recommend it to anyone looking for the absolute best quality, for small to midsize pro shop work or the passionate home woodworker.
No matter what you need a table saw for, the three listed above are great choices to consider when you’re doing your shopping around. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a serious DIYer, any one of them will have all the features, power, and portability that you could want in a table saw. All of the ones listed here, and most others have warranties and 30-60 day money back guarantees to give you a chance to see if you like them so your purchase won’t be a waste if you don’t, you will be able to get your money back, but we’re pretty sure that if you choose one of the three that we have detailed for you, you’re going to be able to join the many, many customers who are very happy with their purchases.
Bosch GTS1031 10 in. portable jobsite table saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor that allows this table saw to rip through any lumber or hardwood quickly and easily. Bosch’s Smart Guard System provides added control while cutting, SquareLock Rip fence ensure consistent and accurate cuts, and an all steel base provides added durability. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention the price. This is the most affordable table saw on our list!
Plus, the machined aluminum table is our favorite on the market right now. It also has a smarter motor system than either of the Dewalt’s, thanks to a soft start and automatic speed control to ensure smooth cuts. However, it’s the slowest of the pack, and it doesn’t have quite as good a fence as the yellow competition. We think it’s a great choice for pros who are concerned about accuracy, but can’t spend lots of money on their unit.
Safety and precision are usually at a high level. Some models even offer a sliding table as an option to mitigate cross-cutting. Needless to say, hobbyists love the sliding feature because it saves a lot of time and most importantly – nerves. As far as the driving mechanism goes, there are three possible options – single V-belt, serpentine belt, and a multiple V-belts.
A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.
For ideal usage, the on/off switch needs to be mounted on the front of the saw and should be easy to turn off with your knee or a swat without having to look at it to locate it. Most table saw models have a safety feature that is a plastic key that has to be inserted before the table saw can be turned on. Some may even have a way to padlock the switch.
Table saws can be tougher to evaluate on paper since they don’t include torque measurements. Each of the table saws we tested have 15 amp motors, but vary widely on no load speed. The ones with lower RPM values are bleeding off speed in exchange for torque. While the right balance is always tough to achieve (and is a moving target with every new motor development), here’s where each saw prioritizes speed.
Give yourself a reason to be proud of your job by bringing in a table saw that has what it takes to get quality cutting. Just as the name, Powermatic table saw will ensure your cutting is accurate and interesting. It has a poly-v belt, which maximizes motor efficiency and reduces vibration for noise-free performance. The table saw also features massive dust collection to ensure your working space is clean and accommodative. With 30” Accu-fence system, nothing will be impossible to handle. Additionally, the entire unit is designed with quality material for longevity. The design is also portable making it easy for you to move from one job site to the other comfortably.
With this saw, it was a very easy thing to plug it on and get started. The included cord is a reasonable length, but you’ll still need an extension cord unless you happen to be right next to an outlet in your workshop. Raising and lowering the blade is a smooth process and we found the mechanism to be nice and stiff, so you can be very precise with your cut depth. Only time will reveal whether or not this stays tight over the long haul, but it seems to be well-made. Mounting the accessories, like the smart guard system is quick. You just raise the riving knife using the release lever. The riving knife locks into a lower and upper position through the use of two sets of pins. In the upper position it is ready to accept the barrier guard, which you can remove from below the saw. It attaches easily with a lever lock and the anti-kickback device can then be placed on the back of the riving knife such that the teeth are set to grab any wood brought forward by the blade. The physical nature of the barrier guard assembly precludes you from placing your fingers anywhere near the cutting surface of the blade. We (and Bosch) recommend keeping this guard on the saw anytime you are doing “through” cuts. All-in-all, the table saw’s included safety features are more than adequate to keep you from encountering any unfortunate accidents. Removing them, or using the tool improperly, however, will considerably raise your level of risk.
Not everyone needs to use the miter gauge on a table saw since there’s typically going to be a miter saw around. If you do, you’ll like the positive locking detents at common angles. This saw felt like it was the weakest when pushing our 2x PT material through. Despite the ranking, it doesn’t feel under-powered – you just need to take your time. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on this model, but for $279, we don’t have many complaints.
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.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.