If you are a woodworking professional, you'll want a cabinet saw in your workshop. These are the heaviest, sturdiest and most precise table saws, with powerful motors that require a 220-volt electrical outlet. Cabinet saws require a large, dedicated space because of their guide rails and large tables (often with big extension wings). Then also tend to have the best safety and dust-control features. Woodworkers with enough space (and money) usually make a cabinet saw the permanent centerpiece of their workshop, though a few cabinet saws have mobile bases. Cabinet saws cost $1,600 and up.
Dust collection can seem like an afterthought for jobsite table saws. The fact that you’re outside, often on an unoccupied site, negates the need to collect your dust. But breathing that stuff doesn’t do your lungs any favors. That’s why dust collection is so important. Of course, if you’re working inside or in an occupied structure, collecting all that dust will make the cleanup part of your day easier to deal with. Since we’re not talking about concrete dust regulations, even a standard shop vac will be a good bet to help contain the mess.
The more table size you have, the more support you have which is always a plus, not only for convenience but safety too. There are right side extensions that can be purchased for table saws that increase the table saw’s capacity to get to the center of a 4 x 8 sheet of wood. Although most saws have a rear band that supports the wood as it exits the saw, an additional safety measure is to rig up an outfeed support of some kind in addition to this rear bar. Be sure that the outfeed support you set up is ¼” lower than the table saw is.
At a compact 45 pounds, the DEWALT DW745 Compact Jobsite Table Saw is the lightest table saw in our review. The saw's portability doesn't mean that ripping size is compromised, though. Thanks to extending fence guides, you've got 20 inches available. Depth of cut is on par with many bigger machines: at 90 degrees, it's 3 1/8 inches. At 45 degrees, it's 2 1/4 inches. Power comes from a 15-amp motor with a no-load speed of 3,850 RPM. This is ample enough for serious DIY projects and light-duty construction site work.
Overall, I really like this saw. I have used it for trim work, and for cabinetry work. I worked for a guy who had the older model (the 4000) which is pretty much identical except that it does not have a riving knife (best safety upgrade ever) and it is still going strong after well over a decade of daily use. I wish there was more table in front of the blade, and I wish the dust capture was better, but it is a tremendously good saw and I consider it (with the addition of a track saw for full sheet handling) to be a viable alternative to a big cabinet saw.
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.
Home Depot sells around 60 models of table saws on its website, and the top models get hundreds of reviews from users. We found four portable saws with ratings of 4.5 stars or better from 250 users or more, and one contractor saw gets ratings just shy of 4.5 stars overall from more than 650 owners. Individual reviews are fairly short and include ratings for quality and value.
Though this table saw will arrive in multiple pieces, Jet includes all the instructions and help that you need to assemble the cabinet and all other parts. The cabinet itself has an enclosed design that keeps the motor and all other components safe from the dust in your workshop and any debris flying around. You also get four legs that attach to the base of the cabinet, which lifts the saw higher in the air to reduce back pain caused by bending over the table.
This is a truly great saw, except that it is really tough to adjust the blade and rip fence for parallel. Once adjusted though, it is a fine piece of engineering. What I like best is that the saw is built for the job site. It is extremely beefy, but no too heavy. In my opinion, it strikes a nice balance. Its cart stand is the best in the industry, bar none. Once adjusted, the saw returns to its settings extremely well. It is obviously built for the long haul, and should last a contractor many years. I would definitely purchase this saw again. Now with the things that I wish were better. First, adjusting the blade for parallel is just plain hard. Mine was out from the factory by 4 thousandths. It is a trial and error process, and the instructions suck. Here's what to do: 1. Loosen the four screws indicated in the instructions. Starting from behind the saw, center the blade housing in the rear left to right as best you can, then tighten one screw not quite snug (you want the housing to rotate on this screw when you adjust the front). Next move to the front of the saw and loosen the lock lever for blade angle adjustment (the housing won't move unless you do). Now, begin experimenting with holding the housing at 90 degrees with one hand while sliding the housing back and forth with the other until square. When you think that you are close, lightly tighten one of the front housing screws. Check for parallel (look for videos on how to check a table saw blade for parallel), then tighten the blade angle adjustment lever. With these screws and the lever tight and locked, check again for parallel. If it is still good (I got it to 1/1000 inch of parallel), then lock all the screws and check one more time, if it's still good, then you are done with blade housing adjustment.
One term you may hear when reading about table saw accuracy is blade runout. Runout is a term that describes whether or how much the outside edge of a saw blade wobbles while being held by the motor shaft. Sometimes, operators measure runout by using a saw blade. In that case, the very use of a saw blade presumes that the specific blade is perfect or nearly perfect in its flatness. Using a saw blade that has any warping will not give a clear indication of blade runout.
Another excellent choice for the hobbyist or at-home handyman, the SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw is a great value, giving you a durable build and quality performance at a wallet-friendly price. It doesn’t have the same brand recognition as some of the more expensive options on this list, but reviewers love this machine and say that it’s perfect for woodworking and DIY projects.
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.