Welcome to the heart of this website – my selection of the best table saws for several specific needs. You see, it’s impossible to select only ONE as the best for all purposes because a table saw should be carefully tailored to your needs. There’s no point in buying a complex cabinet saw if you’re a beginner, you’re probably better off with a solid benchtop saw. The same goes if you’re a professional, only the other way around.
A table saw is a powerful tool that makes short work of even large pieces of lumber, allowing you to make rip cuts down the grain of boards, beams, and even entire sheets of plywood. No carpentry shop or professional construction site is complete without a table saw. Deciding which saw is best suited to a given home workshop, furniture production factory, or building site is an important decision and merits careful consideration.
Even a newbie can go around the table saw section at the local home improvement store and feel that some saws have easier adjustments than others. Some are simply easier while others are downright innovative in various ways. Porter-Cable came out of the value group for the overall win with adjustments that are both smooth and intuitive. Dual adjustment wheels mean that you’ll be able to accurately adjust your blade height and your bevel angle—a feature no other saw in this group has.
A little unusual for Bosch’s larger tools, it comes in reasonably light weight at 60 pounds – only Skilsaw and Ryobi posted lighter weights. Like Milwaukee in our 18V impact driver shootout, the Bosch 4100 didn’t really stand out from the crowd in features and performance. It’s solid consistency in every area we tested earned it the top spot in the class.
Cabinet saws are the prime choice for professional woodworkers. A more powerful induction motor, usually 3 to 5 HP, is enclosed in a cabinet, as part of a super-sturdy overall construction. This type of table saw is ideal for making smooth, straight cuts through hardwoods without worrying about excessive vibration. All that power and stability comes at a price, though. Low-end cabinet saws start around $2,300 and can go past $5,000 for industrial table saws.
The cabinet also has a few other safety features that set it on a level above the Grizzly or Jet. There’s an extra-large, paddle-style power switch which you can easily press with a thigh as well as a hand. The guard works tightly against the blade, so that you have all the workspace you need without sacrificing safety. The riving knife prevents kickbacks, and the left-tilting bevel feature prevents binding.
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.
Previous buyers said they were at a loss to find materials that the Jet couldn’t cut! They said it went like butter, with no lag whatsoever, and almost no vibration at all. Reviewers raved about the motor’s power, and especially complimented how steadily it ran. This is an excellent choice for hardwoods, thick softwoods, and composite boards: absolutely anything that’ll fit.
Due to the position of the motor, dust collection is often an issue with these units, especially in comparison to the cabinet type. However, an industrial vacuum is usually a small and worthy investment which should solve the issue effectively. The main advantage of this type is the fact that it’s much cheaper than its nearest equivalent – the cabinet type.
To adjust blade height you simply operate the elevation wheel located on the front of the saw, and the angle of the blade can be set through a switch which is behind the wheel in case you want to make bevel cuts. The angle can be set anywhere between 0 and 45 degrees, and once you’ve adjusted the bevel angle it can be locked into place using the handle.
We evaluated the flatness of the table by measuring the flatness by placing the edge of a precision ground flat bar across the table and placed feeler gauges in any gaps to measure any difference between the ground bar and the table. TBB took measurements in four directions. As the operator faces the saw, we measured the flatness at the arbor from front-to-rear; we measured the left-to right flatness at the arbor; we measured the flatness from the upper left-to-lower right table corners; and, finally, we measured the upper right-to-lower left flatness between the corners.