That’s why we’ve created this handy guide! As usual, our trusty team have taken a comprehensive look at all the options out there. We’ve looked for portable units that don’t sacrifice power or accuracy for their small size. You’ll find our Top Three recommendations below, along with a few additional choices for new woodworkers and demanding professionals.
Makita joins DeWalt with an external riving knife release so you don’t have to reach into the throat to loosen it. We actually ran into an issue with the design because of a slightly bent plate holding the knife in place. That aside, the intent of the design is sound and should make for an an easier experience. Because of the external release, Makita screws down the throat plate in place. You should only need to get in there for blade changes if everything functions properly.
It features an 1850W motor which delivers more than enough power for any heavy-duty task and DIY project. Dewalt is well-known for designing quality tools, and they didn’t disappoint with this particular model either. The fence system offers 610mm of rip capacity. As you may assume, even though it’s a portable unit, you can easily cut large pieces of wood to a particular size.
This type requires a heavy-duty circuit because it’s driven by a powerful 3 to 5HP motor. The blade is driven by three parallel V-belts which ensure a smooth operation and an efficient transfer of energy. Needless to say, if you have big plans, you might want to consider investing in a high-quality cabinet saw. Prompted, it’s going to cost you a significant amount of money, but it pays out relatively quickly.
Even though is seems pretty irrelevant, the position of the On/Off switch is quite important, especially if you’re a frequent user of these tools. In today’s models, the switch is usually leveled with your knees. The main thing you should look for is the size of the OFF switch. It has to be big enough so that you can turn the unit off immediately either with your knees, elbows, or hands. The so-called panic button is one of the crucial elements of every unit, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Hybrid models vary widely, so there aren’t any strict pros and cons that apply to all models. They’re generally quite powerful, and you can find them in both 110V and 220V configurations. They’re easy to install on wheeled bases, and work well in both stationary or mobile setups. However, these tend to be quite heavy, and they take up more space than other portable options. They’re a good compromise for ardent DIYers who dream of a cabinet model, but don’t quite have the money or the permanent shop space.
One of the most widely used power tools for carpenters is the table saw. For carpenters that don’t work exclusively in the shop a portable jobsite table saw is essential. For this Head-to-Head we’re focusing on corded portable 10″ jobsite table saws. We are not including cordless table saws in this test as we plan on doing another head-to-head exclusively for cordless table saws later this year as several are available now.
A magnetic switch is also good from a safety standpoint but may not be necessary on these smaller versions. A magnetic switch prevents the saw from starting back up if it loses power during a power outage. Basically, the power outage will turn off the saw. This is good because if for some reason the power were to come back on when you were not near the machine, the material could be shot out of it or damage the saw.
The accuracy and safety of any given saw is dependent upon the blade being parallel to the rip fence. Since we tested the amount of difference in parallelism between the saw blade and the miter slot in the previous test, we need only to see if the miter slot is parallel to the rip fence to see if the saw has a parallel relationship between the blade and the rip fence.
If you’re a professional woodworker, you should expect a standard hookup on any saw. However, you’ll find that no portable table saw does a perfect job collecting sawdust. Since these aren’t enclosed tools like a cabinet saw, there are lots of ways for dust to find its way to your floor and spray around your shop. You’ll want to look for the most enclosed, effective design possible, and pair it with a vacuum system that’s got some heft.
However, it provides a bit less room to work, and it’s not as easy for newer woodworkers to use. The power/stop switch is rather small, and this one doesn’t have a digital angle display like the Grizzly. We highly recommend it to working professionals who need maximum cutting capacity in a minimal footprint. It’s also a good choice for ambitious DIYers who are short on space, but really know their way around a table saw.
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.
Lack of mobility is the cabinet saws major drawback. Some cabinet saws need proper electrical wiring set up and often weigh a huge amount because of cast iron table tops and full cabinet like stands. But if your setting up a new wood shop or have a work space or wood shop of your own then there is no better investment you can make other than purchasing a cabinet table saw.
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.