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.
Some previous buyers had motor trouble. Their units conked out early, or worked inconsistently. Apparently, that was down to cheap internal bearings used in the first few iterations of the Bosch. However, according to company replies to some reviewers who cited the issue, the problem has been addressed in the last few versions of this model. We’ve also found that reviews from the past few years are much more consistently positive.
In the commercial construction business, we typically buy a job site saw for each project and use it up during the course of an 18-month job. When these saws hit the site, they are unboxed, assembled and immediately put into use. We rip stacks and stacks of sheet goods with these saws and the tolerances of the cut materials are not very critical. However, that example represents the portable saw use within our commercial crews’ business.
A table saw has two main ways it can seriously hurt you. One is obvious and that is having any part of your body come into contact with the blade. Any table saw you are seriously considering should have a blade guard installed. The clearer the better. And make sure you leave it on. The blade guard can’t do its intended job from a workbench or shelf.
One important aspect to consider when buying a new table saw or looking for a new blade is axis adjustment. Being able to adjust the vertical height of the blade allows you to control the depth of the cut, it’s also useful when you don’t need to cut all the way through the wood, especially useful with thick pieces of wood. To help making bevel cuts and joints you can adjust the blade to certain angles that you require.
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 integrated blade carries an electrical signal. Once it comes in contact with human skin, the signal changes because of the skin’s conductivity and the blade immediately stop. Although some people don’t like the process of resetting the blade, it’s quite easy, and it takes only a couple of minutes. If you think about it, it’s better to hassle by resetting the blade for five or six minutes instead of losing a few fingers.
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.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
We’re not alone in loving the Jet’s guard system. We read lots of reviews from pros who said they’d used lots of table saws in their time, but this was the first time they didn’t absolutely hate the guard. In fact, many wrote that they started working with the guard onboard for the first time, simply because it worked so well. It’s certainly one of the most unobtrusive ones we’ve seen!
In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.
In addition, a top-quality fence should move smoothly and have a scale that’s accurate and easy to read. Our favorite is the DeWalt fence. The rack-and-pinion system keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the micro-adjusting knob allows easy and precise fence positioning. Runners-up in this category for best table saw are the Ridgid and Bosch saws. They both have superb fences, with the added advantage of T-slots for attaching accessories like featherboards.
If you’re looking for a machine with high capacity, the SKIL 3410-02 has a 3.5-inch cut height with the ability to cut through four times the material on each pass. The consensus among reviewers is that, for such a low price, you end up compromising on miter gauge and saw blade quality. Luckily both of those things can be replaced if you so choose.
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.
One very popular alternative to the Dewalt is this Bosch unit. It’s a bit more rugged than the yellow saw, and it’s very well-regarded by working woodworkers. We particularly like the machined aluminum table, which is a big step up from the Dewalt’s molded surface. It also has the best rolling stand we’ve seen on the market to date, so it’s a superb choice for folks who work on a lot of jobs sites with mixed terrain.
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.
The body of the blade is made from hardened steel, helping to extend the lifespan and keep up with the tooth quality. The kerf is a crazy-thin 0.098 inch—narrow to keep the cuts fast by reducing the amount of material that needs to be removed. Like most Diablo blades, you’ll pay a bit of a premium up front, but the blade lasts so much longer than others on the market that the cost per cut is much lower.
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.
Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
I’m trying to replace some lost tools for a doctor inflicted, lawyer cowardice sustained injury. I’ve been a woodworker for more years than I might imagine I am comfortable with saying simply for it seems to have been bestowed upon me from birth. The only comment I have is a general comment. As I’ve noticed from about 20 years ago being introduced do officially being educated at a local community college, everyone there had prestige rights attached to it, a couple of cabinet makers I worked for did also that Porter Cable was the Cadilac of woodworking tools. Well, China… Read more »
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.
Table saws are undeniably the kings of rip cuts on the jobsite and in shops. The concept is simple: Place a motor below a solid table to turn a blade somewhere in the 4000-5000 RPM range through the surface and watch the sawdust fly. The idea may be simple, but the reality is much different. How big should the table be? What size blade should you use? How heavy can you get away with making it?
Speaking of safety, this particular model offers a satisfactory level of it. First of all, the tool-free adjustments come in handy if you’re in a middle of a project. In case you need to make a quick adjustment, you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing and commit your attention to fine-tuning. Instead, you can do it on the go, without any additional tools. Furthermore, the convenient guarding system keeps your fingers and hands safe at all times. Don’t forget to wear protective gear; it can make a difference between life and death.