Editor’s Note: If you’re using the Bosch REAXX saw without dust collection, you’re going to want to partially open up the clasp located on the bottom of the saw. This allows the sawdust to exit the blade chamber through a half-inch gap. Failure to do this will clog the output port in a very short amount of time. When you use a dust extractor you can keep this chamber fully closed.
With a 32½" rip capacity and motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛" deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. Happy customers sing this machine’s praises, reporting that it’s as sturdy as a table saw can get — plus, it’s easy to use, and assembling it is a cinch. They do however note that workers looking to produce finer cuts should seek out a replacement blade since the one provided is more suited for fast, rough work.
There were really two major performance considerations we wanted to look at to help determine the best portable jobsite table saw: cutting power and dust collection. Power is an obvious choice. We want to make clean, straight cuts, but we don’t want to spend all day making them. Any saw can be calibrated to be straight and accurate, but some have to be babied more than others to get professional results.
The type of woods you cut will determine how powerful a motor and how fast a blade speed you need from your portable table saw. If you’re going to be dealing primarily with thinner boards and softwoods, you don’t need anything hugely powerful. If you’re working with hardwoods or thicker softwood stock you should look for a more powerful motor. Likewise, if you’re only an occasional woodworker, you needn’t worry about finding a motor that won’t burn out.
Their 15-amp, 120-volt motors cut with greater ease than a circ saw, although they can bog down if fed thick hardwood too quickly. The cabinets are typically plastic, with cast-aluminum tops and extruded-aluminum fences. In these models, the motors are supported by trunnions mounted to the underside of the table. The resulting vibration reduces accuracy. These trunnions are usually made of lightweight steel or aluminum, which are susceptible to wear. And because these saws are small, cutting full-size sheets of plywood or MDF isn't a good idea unless the sheet is supported by a table extension.
Hybrid table saws are the latest thing on the market these days. They’re in between contractor and cabinet table saws in terms of price, power, and precision. These have either half-cabinets or cutaway stands like a contractor saw, but with the super-powerful motor and improved stability of a cabinet unit. They’re heavy, so you should be prepared to use them on a wheeled lift, but they can be transported fairly easily if you have helpers.
This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.
Stands are one of those features where the ends really do justify the means. Some made us wish the manual writers would take a cue from Lego—just make the *@#$! things easy enough for a 7 year old to understand. That aside, SawStop set itself aside brilliantly, taking just 10 minutes to setup. All we had to do was install the wheels and two handles. Even the packaging is designed to make the process easier and the instructions were super-easy to understand. Makita was nearly as simple only requiring us to install the handle and bolt the saw to the stand.
No matter the model or price, a table saw should cut a range of material thicknesses and hold its settings accurately. So, after installing a new Freud hi-ATB thin-kerf blade in each saw, I made repeated rip cuts on MDF, resetting the fence each time to check for consistently thick offcuts. After that, I raised the blade for more rip cuts on heavy, long planks of 2 x 12 Southern yellow pine, before tipping the blade to bevel-rip 2″-thick poplar. Then I switched to a 6″ CMT dado set and made a long dado cut in MDF, so I could check for consistent cutting depth — a sign that the undercarriage is stout enough to handle a heavy blade like this. Overall, my test criteria was stability of the stand, cutting accuracy, reasonable dust collection efficiency and all-around convenience of use. Results ranged from exceptional to mediocre, as you’ll see.
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!
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.
Move the wood to and then "through" the spinning saw blade slowly and steadily. It's alright to use your hands while you're still at least a foot or so from the blade, but once the end of the board or sheet nears the blade, you should use a pushing stick to keep the wood moving and to keep your fingers away from the blade. Even an experienced carpenter can have a lapse in concentration or a slip that can lead to serious injury.
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.
For centuries, the job of the sawyer was, quite simply, to saw logs into lumber. Working in two-man teams, a pair of sawyers would use massive saws -- called whipsaws or pitsaws -- to cut felled trees into workable planks with their own muscles as the motive power. The job was exhausting and often dangerous, yet necessary to create the precious lumber used to build everything from homes to railroad bridges.
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One shouldn’t expect a massive amount of storage, but being a table, it does offer some level of free space. In fact, some models even offer space for fences, gauges, blades, and other necessary equipment. Apart from that, you can always keep the necessary tools in the reach of your hands. It will make the process much easier and also a lot quicker.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
For any kind of professional woodworking and large scale construction work, the cabinet table saw is the one for the job. These types of table saws are often called stationary saws. The motor is protected in a cast iron and steel cabinet that reduces noise and vibration as well. With reduced vibration comes better accuracy which is always the desired effect, especially for professionals. The motor us a powerful 3-5 hp and requires a 220-volt outlet. If you are using it in a home workshop, a special outlet may need to be installed if 220s are not already installed in your garage or shop. Measuring about 28” x 43” and weighing in at over 400 pounds, these table saws were not designed to be portable. The large work surface is ideal for cutting large pieces with ease. Cabinet saws can use a 12” blade with no problem, although a 10” blade is the most commonly used. It is the most expensive of all of the styles of table saws.
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.
If the fence and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading. A negative reading meant that the materials being cut might be subject to being pinched and a kick back more likely to occur.
As with the smaller Dewalt we’ve recommended, this one has very inconsistent quality control on the table. Some reviewers cited units with bowed, funky surfaces, while others got units that were perfectly flat. that’s a flaw of the molding process. We also have a bone to pick with Dewalt as far as the coating on these. While we understand that the coating is supposed to help wood slide better, it just doesn’t seem to last very long or hold up well. It also has the same flawed warranty coverage. We’d recommend purchasing add-on coverage.
If you’re looking for the perfect cabinet table saw out there, then you should look no further than the SawStop ICS51230-52. This is an industrial grade cabinet saw and is also the highest quality, most powerful and heaviest cabinet saw you can currently get. Its fifty two inch industrial T-glide fence assembly, combined with a 5 HP, 230V single phase motor offers safety, versatility, durability and peace of mind that SawStop is so well known for.
SawStop is the only saw in the group to employ this style fence and they have the best in the group. Ridgid comes in second with a traditional front clamping fence system that has a backside contact point. Its solid construction and wide cast front clamp left us impressed. DeWalt’s came in third with an innovative effort that locks into several points based on where you need it. Rather than sliding along, it stays in place while the rack and pinion system moves it into place. It’s not perfect, but it eliminates a lot of accuracy issues that come from locking the fence out of square on some systems.
The design is not bad. The height of this particular table saw is around 35 inches. While some people don’t mind it, we think it could have been designed better. However, the best thing about the design is the fact that you can get both contractor and cabinet style table saws in one unit. Dust control is well-designed. The large 4-inch dust port offers a no-hassle setup, especially with vacuums of lower quality. In simpler words, you don’t need to purchase a super-expensive vacuum for this particular unit; any affordable one should do the job well.