The old designs of table saws did not have the angled capability that newer models have now with their ability to have the blades angled at 45 and 90 degrees. Before these upgraded styles, the table itself had to be tilted which made cutting extremely unsafe. The new styles that accommodate angling the blade for the beveled cuts make things much easier and safer for the user.
Measuring approximately 22” x 38”, the contractor table saw is then next size up from the bench style. It typically sits on an open attached stand or base which may or may not be on wheels. It weighs between 200-300 pounds and is still portable but requires more than one person to lift. This style of table saw is good for woodworking shops, hobbyists, small contractors and DIYers. The 1-2 hp motors have enough power and stability to handle more heavy duty job site work and workshop demands. One of the benefits to these saws is that they still run on standard electrical circuits.
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.
Like the last SawStop table saw that we looked at, this one is quite heavy and provides the stability that you need when working with plywood or any other type of wood. You can use the foot pedal on the bottom to operate the saw, but you’ll also find four wheels on the bottom of the cabinet. All four of those wheels swivel in a 360-degree direction to help you move the cabinet to any location.
Plus, the machined aluminum table is our favorite on the market right now. It also has a smarter motor system than either of the Dewalt’s, thanks to a soft start and automatic speed control to ensure smooth cuts. However, it’s the slowest of the pack, and it doesn’t have quite as good a fence as the yellow competition. We think it’s a great choice for pros who are concerned about accuracy, but can’t spend lots of money on their unit.
Delta 36-L352 10 in. contractor table saw is a heavy duty table saw. This big guy is no joke! Its 15 A, 3 HP motor is not only powerful but smooth. This Delta table saw also has a HUGE rip capacity of 50-52 in. and a 82 in. table, so there won’t be much this table saw can’t handle. Its integrated BIESEMEYER fence system, precision bevel gauge, and bevel dial work together to help you get highly accurate cuts down to the nearest 1/4 degree and 1/64 in. Now that’s accurate! Other notable features are its bi-level dust extraction system which helps you keep your work space clean, large blade opening, and SURE-LOCK dual front cranks for easy access. This table saw is ideal for the pros.
Reviewers recommend these models for easy transport to jobsites and for easy storage in a small workshop. Portable table saws come in two types. Benchtop saws sit on top of a workbench and are light enough to pick up and carry; jobsite saws are mounted on folding stands, usually with wheels for easier transport. The main drawbacks of a portable saw are its lower power and smaller table, which makes it tricky to cut larger lumber and sheet material such as plywood. Prices for portable saws start at less than $200, but the best-rated models typically cost $300 or more.
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.
Plus, it’s simply a great table saw in its own right. It’s powerful, efficient, and quiet. It cuts through all kinds of stock smoothly and easily, and the dust collection system helps it clean up after itself. Previous buyers who upgraded to this one said that the transition from their old cabinet units felt like switching from a family sedan to a sports car. We recommend it to anyone looking for the absolute best quality, for small to midsize pro shop work or the passionate home woodworker.
Table saws will use one of two different kinds of drive configurations; Direct-drive motors and Belt-drive motors. In a direct-drive motor, they will link directly to the blade itself and transfer all of the power of the motor to the blade. They tend to last longer than belt drive motors and there is no belt to replace or worry about getting worn out. Belt drive motors transfer power from the motor to the blade through a belt. In this type of configuration, the motor can be offset away from the sawdust which helps the motor last longer. In general, belt drive motors need more preventative maintenance than direct-drive motors do. If you have a belt drive motor, check the tension of your belts as well as checking them for wear periodically to ensure your continued safety.
Because we’re passionate woodworkers who care deeply about the quality of the tools we work with, we have a tendency to recommend that even the most budget-conscious buyer spend a little more to get something high-quality. However, we know that some DIYers might have the ambition to take their woodworking to the next level with a table saw, but might not necessarily have the funds.
Table saws will continue to be popular and much sought after tools in any workshop or construction site. There are many terrific styles on the market which is why it is important to do some research and look at the reviews provided here as well as the tips contained in this guide to help you choose the right table saw for your needs, whether you are a professional or a DIYer who loves to work in the workshop making things for enjoyment.
The cabinet itself is 19-3/8-inches deep by 19-3/8-inches wide, which makes it the same size as the last SawStop model we looked at on our list of the best products. Included with this cabinet is a 20-inch by 27-inch cast iron table that extends out from the cabinet. This table is durable enough for regular use and will give you more space for working.
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.