The throat plate is the removable piece surrounding the blade that sits flush with the table. Removing it gives you the ability to access the blade for removal or riving knife adjustments. The narrower the blade clearance the better for two reasons. First, it helps keep material from falling into the blade area or lodging between the blade and throat plate. Second, it gives you material support very close to the cut to help reduce tearout as the blade exits the cut.
As you would expect, the most expensive saws made slightly smoother cuts. But the difference was negligible. The only saw that struggled to make smooth cuts in the super-thick oak was the Ryobi. In more common situations, like cutting 3/4-in.-thick material, Ryobi’s cut quality was fine. We found the blades included with all the saws to be adequate for most ripping tasks. But if you want cuts smooth enough for glue joints, you’ll have to invest in a better blade.
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For the woodworking professional, the 3-horsepower SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw PCS31230-TGP236 is the top pick. Its superior safety features include an excellent riving knife and blade guard system and a unique flesh-sensing blade brake to prevent cuts. Reviewers also praise its performance, exceptional dust control, and overall ease of use. Less expensive versions with 1.75-hp motors are also available (Est. $2,300 and up). The warranty is two years for the saw and five for the motor.
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.
It’s just as powerful as our other recommendations. The SawStop has a 3HP belt-driven motor, and like the Jet, it uses a tweaked multi-belt drive system to transfer maximum power from the drive shaft to the blade. That makes for as powerful a cabinet saw as any on the market. This one slices smoothly through anything you can feed into it. It also has a slightly thicker max cutting depth than our other recommendations, so it’s the better choice for sturdy stock.
We’ve used $2,000 as our minimum spending threshold on these models, because that’s what we’ve found you have to pay for a cabinet model with all the features we consider essential: a precision-machined cast-iron worktop, a versatile fence on sliding tracks, a 3 HP motor with belt drive, an all-steel cabinet, a cast-iron trunnion support, and machined flywheels to adjust the blade settings.
Most shippers will expect you to have a forklift to get the crate off the truck, so if that’s not something you can arrange, you’ll want to opt for “lift-gate” delivery or an installation plan that involves the shippers bringing the saw to your actual workshop. Be prepared to spend a fair bit of money for delivery ($100-$250), especially if you can’t get the saw off the truck and to the workshop on your own.
A splitter is a piece of metal that keeps the blade from binding in whatever material you are cutting if the saw kerf starts to close up. The splitter is vertical and sits directly behind the blade. This plays a big part in preventing kickback and should be mounted on the motor assembly so it rises and falls with the saw blades movements. You can also get splitters that can be adjusted to fit the width of the kerf.
When using the side extension, a tape moves along so you won’t have to remember what measurement to lock the fence on or read a double marked measurement guide. It’s an innovation we like, but there are questions as to the long term durability of the tape itself. Like Ryobi, Ridgid uses a magnetic throat plate to secure it while leaving access simple.
When you purchase your table saw, more than likely it will have standard 10” carbide tipped blade that is good for general purpose use. This blade is capable of cross cutting a 4 x 4. If you replace it with a 40 tooth combination blade you will improve the quality of your cuts significantly and more than likely be much happier with the blade overall. You can get specialty blades also if you are going to be cutting other materials as well.
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.
The CNS175-TGP36 SawStop is a 10 in. contractor table saw with a 45 degree bevel and a rip capacity of 36.5 in. Other than that, we think this is a pretty cool table saw for a few different reasons. First, the price is about half of all other SawStop table saws, and we know money talks (actually, it yells)! Second, like all other SawStop table saws, it has the integrated flesh sensing technology, so you can be sure you’re going to keep all your digits. Also, it has some pretty impressive power; it’s powered by 15 A motor so you’ll be able to tackle whatever you need. The last of our favorite features is its portability. For being a contractor saw, it’s pretty easy to pack up and move around.
While you may be tempted to skip straight to the reviews, they are a bit on the technical side and contain plenty of terms you might not be familiar with just yet. My suggestion would be to start by reading the informational articles which will provide you with a decent amount of knowledge on table saws. After that, I sincerely doubt you would be caught off-guard while reading anything in the review section.
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.
Standard table saws are also called contractor table saws, even if they're really intended for the home do-it-yourselfer. These table saws have open, fixed legs, and they take up more space than a portable or benchtop table saw. They're also heavier – weighing as much as 200 to 300 pounds. On the plus side, their tables are often larger, making it easier to cut 4 by 8-foot panels of plywood or sheetrock. Prices for contractor saws range from around $600 to nearly $2,000.
Table saws in this best table saw review run the gamut in price and quality. You can buy a table saw for as little as $150, and if you use it just to occasionally rip a board, that may be all the saw you need. If you want a saw that’s easy to carry and you don’t need to rip sheets of plywood in half, look for a “compact” saw like the DeWalt DW745 (shown) or the Bosch GTS1031. If you have room for a little larger saw that’s slightly less portable but capable of wide rips, consider one of the best table saws we review here. And finally, if you want to build cabinets or furniture and have a big enough work area, you can step up to a stationary contractor’s saw like the Ridgid R4512 (shown), for about $650.
The fact is, a table saw is designed to remove a large amount of material in a quick and efficient manner. With the volume of waste that is produced by any but the smallest table saws, a shop vacuum is not going to be up to the task. Short of purchasing a standalone dust collection system, the best that you can hope for from a shop vacuum is that it might keep some of the saw dust out of your eyes.
Like the Bosch, this Dewalt comes with a rolling stand. It’s convenient to set up and take down, since you can do it without helpers or tools. It rolls like a dolly, and opens into a nice, sturdy table. We especially like the splayed legs, since they lend the whole thing a bit more stability than the Bosch version. Unlike the Bosch’s stand, the Dewalt’s has semi-pneumatic tires which won’t ever go flat.
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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.
As we already said, people tend to remove the safety elements to speed up their projects. Needless to say, it’s a huge mistake. Those things are there for a reason, and they should remain installed at all times. As soon as you mingle with the parts, you’ll jeopardize the integrity and your own safety. Even the best table saw cannot protect you enough if you mess with the parts on your own.
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.