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.
Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.
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.
When your skin contacts the blade even slightly, the charge transfers, and a switch flips on the motor, activating an instant brake. The aluminum brake swings into contact with the blade, stopping it instantly. The brake also propels the blade down through the arbor, so it retracts completely below your worktop. That means that other than the initial contact, you won’t touch the sharp edge at all.
It’s highly portable. The Dewalt is available with a folding stand, which makes it extremely easy to pack up. The guard assembly lies flat, and the fence can be retracted all the way to the table to keep everything neat and tidy. It’s pretty light, too-at just 45 pounds. We also love that the adjustment tools, accessories like the miter gauge, and even the guard components can be stored inside the saw for transport, or when they’re not being used.
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.
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.
It has a lot of the same features we love on the Grizzly. The Jet has a cast iron worktop, a full cabinet enclosure, and a fence on rolling tracks along the edge of the table. It has a belt-driven 3HP motor, an electric brake with a magnetic switch, and precision-machined parts for exact cuts. There’s also an included miter gauge with a follow pin that runs in the T-slot on the saw’s worktop. All in all, it’s another complete package that ticks all our key boxes!
The stand strays from the idea that jobsite stands need to be wheeled. We can attribute this to its light weight. While it loses points for portability, Skilsaw’s design created the most stable stand of the entire group. Another benefit to going with this simple stand design is that it is certainly responsible for dropping the price point. Skilsaw is definitely the table saw you want to go with if you’re having to move your saw in and out of a truck bed rather than being able to wheel it up in a trailer.
In our introduction and how-to sections, we’ve talked about some of the key reasons to buy a cabinet-style model. These are the most stable table saws you can find. They produce the smoothest, cleanest cuts. They’re also tools that are built to last a lifetime. We recommend them to any professional with the shop space to install one. They’re also the ultimate choice to ardent hobbyists with plenty of room to spare and an ample budget.
The only dislike that I have found about the Bosch 4100-09’s operation is that unlocking the table causes a tab to pop up above the cutting surface. This tab interferes with the operation of the fence, and could lead to damage of the product. It also comes with only a one year warranty. It does have available rear out-feed extensions available, to help facilitate larger work pieces.
Bosch’s REAXX and SawStop were neck and neck with near perfect cleanup at the collection point and only a slight amount of dust coming out toward the user. What did make it out was even less coarse than the other Pro level saws. Both saws have narrower throat openings for the blade that reduce the amount and size of material that can make it out. In the end, SawStop produced less top dust than Bosch did to earn the win.
Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
I am a general contractor in the Midwest. I used the saw and stand a lot for the 1 week I've had it. Overall the saw works well, dado blades are easily interchangeable, and it's surprising quiet. However, the stand base bent on me today. I had it passively mounted in the rear of my enclosed 7x16 trailer. Opened the door this morning after arriving at the job site and it had sunken over. I thought maybe it had come out of the mount I made, but sadly that was not the case.
The first step to take when using a table saw is to don all the appropriate safety gear that a responsible operator should use. This includes, at the bare minimum, eye protection and thick work gloves. It's also a good idea to protect your ears with ear muffs or earplugs and to consider a mask that will cover your mouth and nose to prevent the inhalation of fine saw dust particles.
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.
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.
The fence on a table saw is one of its defining features and allows for precise, square, and repeatable cuts. Not all fences are equal though and a poorly built fence is a deal-breaker, in my opinion. Not only will a poorly built and implemented fence affect the quality of your cuts, but a fence that moves or is not square to the blade can cause your material to bind and kickback.
It’s powerful. The blade is hooked up to a 3HP motor which can muster a no-load speed up to 4000 RPM! That’s perfect for all your cutting needs, and it’s much better than other inexpensive units when it comes to slicing hardwoods or thicker stock. While many smaller units advertise similar HP ratings, this one actually lives up to the promise, since it uses 220V power.
Overall, the Dewalt's combination blade leaves a slightly smoother finish, but both brands' general purpose construction blades are good enough to start off with. Cross and rip-cut edges were fairly smooth, but users who plan to cut down a lot of plywood will definitely want to invest in a more suitable saw blade. Both saws provided ample cutting power without a noticeable difference in cutting speeds, so we're calling this one a tie.
Some buyers weren’t impressed with the blade adjustments. The knobs and trunnions are similar to those on the DW745, but some reviewers said their units felt a bit clunky on the way down. Again, due to the quality control issues on these models, it’s a good idea to do a very thorough inspection and test of your unit before it’s too late to return it.
Portable table saws, or “jobsite” models, as they’re often called, are your best bet for working with larger stock or longer cuts on the go. These units provide the cutting width and depth of a big table saw in a compact, portable package that’s easy to throw in the back of the pickup after a day’s work. They’re ideal for pros working on smaller jobs, handymen who need a basic table saw that won’t break the bank, or home DIYers looking for a tool that’s easy to pack away during the workweek.
We made a few test cuts with ¾-inch plywood just to get a feel of the motors we were working with. It became clear pretty quickly that not all 15 amp motors are equal. Once we knew what to expect, we moved to pressure treated 2x pine material in 7-1/2 foot lengths. Why 7-1/2? Our test material started at 15 feet and it seemed silly to have some at 8 feet and others at 6.
SawStop has an excellent stand and they’ve cleverly hidden the tool/miter/riving knife storage box under the side extension. Move the table extension and the box presents itself. Like DeWalt, two riving knives come with the saw—one with safety guards and one without. This keeps you from wondering how the pawls and guard go on the riving knife. Blade height fully adjusts with only one turn of the wheel. Not everyone was on board with this, citing less accuracy for dado and rabbet cuts. In the end, we showed we could be as accurate on the height as any of the other saws, so it’s a win.
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.
I knew there were jobsite table saws on the market for less than $250, but I never thought they were good enough to get my recommendation. Sure, the SKIL 3410-02 is not a professional saw and may not be versatile enough for contractors, but the stand, power, accuracy and build quality of this table saw are much better than I thought possible in this class.
For carpentry projects or as a starter saw, the DeWalt DW745 receives solid reviews. Though it doesn't have the capacity of the Bosch, owners say it's well made and easy to adjust. The rack-and-pinion fence earns kudos for accuracy. The saw weighs just 45 pounds and can even be hung on a workshop wall for storage; an optional is also available. The three-year warranty is another plus.
Just used this saw for the first time today and I love it. Instructions for putting the stand together were not very clear. There's a lot of very detailed reviews here, so there isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said; but one thing I didn't know until using it is that the rear legs are angled further back than the front ones to provide more stability when pushing stock through the saw. Only used it a few times today, but it was a pleasure to use.
Apart from some short reviews, we’ve also covered some other aspects such as safety and proper use of these tools. Make sure you thoroughly read our articles because they could save your life. The tips we offered are well-known among the professionals, but beginners are always susceptible to various risks, especially if they don’t know how to handle these tools properly.
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.
While a lot of other Dewalt saws let us down in the dust compartment, the company have made big strides with this model. It has an internal canvas housing around the blade chamber, which keeps dust from spraying around inside the machine, without having the limitations of a rigid shield. It’s not perfect, but it does much better than the Bosch or the cheaper Dewalt.
One thing manufactures noticed over the years was that when people used the splitters in normal straight cuts it worked well but it’s biggest downfall came when contractors wanted to do cross cuts. What would happen is that people would remove the splitters to make the cross cuts but then forget to fixed them back in place. One brilliant table saw safety feature is the riving knife. The Riving knife is attached directly to the blade mechanism, this allows it to always be attached not matter where or what angle the blade is.
Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.
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.
The frame is also improved. Instead of the basic roll-cage on the Dewalt, this one neatens things up with an integrated sub-base. It’s a rugged rubber-like pad which serves as a bumper between the main frame and your truck bed or worksite table. Both the table and the sub base are joined to the main frame, and they provide strength at both ends of the design. As with the Dewalt, you can store your tools and accessories inside, an on hooks outside the Bosch.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.
To get the feel of the cut, we used a two man team to feed from one end of the saw and catch on the other. This helped us reduce the friction that comes from one person trying to hold a board flush against the fence while also keeping downward pressure to keep it level on the table. There was definitely some hesitation at the beginning of each cut that was alleviated once the board was received by the second man on the other side. It was during this middle section that the table/fence friction was at its lowest point and we made our determinations about each saw’s power and cutting speed.