Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
It’s the safest of the three by a long, long shot. SawStop became a major brand thanks to a feature that they’ve named their brand after: an accident-proof stopping mechanism for the traditional table saw. The innovative brake system on this model is the best on the market at detecting flesh and stopping the blade immediately. It’s a sure bet for saving fingers or worse injuries in the workshop.
First, consider the types of cuts you’ll need to make, and which types of stock you work with on a regular basis. Think about the largest rip cuts you need to make, and get a cabinet saw with a suitable max capacity for rips. Find the thickest stock you need to cut, and make sure your new machine has a high enough depth capacity to make the cut cleanly. The larger your average stock, the larger a workspace you’ll need on your new cabinet unit. It’s also a good idea to think about bevel and miter cuts which you’ll be making on your table saw. All of our recommendations have the capacity for both, but some come with miter gauges and others don’t.
While other cabinet table saws may not offer you a clear cut every single time, that’s not the case with the SawStop ICS51230-52. This model features industrial fence system which ensures that every time you cut something, the cut is going to be very accurate and perfectly straight. One last thing to keep in mind is that the unit includes a standard base, while the mobile base and jobsite cart are sold separately.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.
The blades are categorized according to number of teeth, diameter, arbor size, kerf size, application and speed. They can also be divided by material. Regular commercial table saws are 10-inch or 12-inch. Teeth usually number from 24-80. Many blades are tipped with diamond, carbon or carbide. This lets you cut through more than just wood. You will also need to think about the tilt of the blade. They are available in left tilt or right tilt. With a left-tilting hybrid or cabinet saw, the motor cover can get in the way of the sliding table. Router table extensions don’t work well on left-tilting saws. 

Now let’s talk power. The 15-amp motor is housed underneath the aluminum table and features replaceable brushes so you can expect long life from the saw. The gearing for adjusting the blade height also looked to be built with durability in mind and was well-greased. Cranking the height on the saw was simple and, unlike many saws I’ve used, even bevel adjustments were a snap and didn’t require a ton of effort to move the blade. We found that we could easily loosen the bevel lock and slide the assembly along its arc until we got to the required angle.

If you’re going to be transporting your unit regularly, you should aim to keep weight to a minimum. Look for something lightweight, with convenient carrying handles, or a stand that can be wheeled around dolly-style at the worksite. Conversely, if you’re only going to be using your portable saw occasionally, you can probably stand a bit more weight.


The first thing you should do before starting up your unit is to check whether you’re wearing all the necessary safety equipment. Gloves are something not many people like to wear. Apart from keeping your fingers safe, they also offer protection against thorns. As you may assume, you’ll work with a lot of thorns flying around. However, gloves aren’t mandatory, and they won’t offer much protection apart from occasional thorns.
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.

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.

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.
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.
There’s a lot to like about this saw. The stand is easy to set up and very sturdy. We like the smooth-operating table extension and the blade guard’s hold-up feature and ease of installation. The only downside we found is that the motor mount is less rigid than those on the other saws we tested. We suspect that’s why the cut quality on our torture test was not as good with this saw.

The price is okay. SawStop is a well-known manufacturer, and they have a pretty good quality control department. In simpler words, it may seem expensive to some, but it’s well-worth the money, especially if you’re a professional. A vast majority of DIY enthusiasts don’t want to make a huge investment in order to tackle a few minor projects; therefore, most of them tend to skip on buying a professional cabinet saw.


For benchtop and jobsite saws with direct drive motors, the motor RPM is the blade RPM. If you’re considering a contractor or cabinet saw, it’s a different story. In any event, Pro table saw RPMs generally range from 4000 – 5000. Don’t let numbers on the lower side dissuade you. There’s a limit to how much power you can draw and each manufacturer has to decide how they’ll channel it between blade speed and torque. So higher isn’t necessarily better.

If you’re looking for the best table saw out there, then there’s no better choice than the Powermatic 1792001K PM2000. This is an amazing cabinet table saw that features a 1-phase, 3 HP motor with rout-R lift and Accu-fence system which set a new standard for innovation through thanks to the saw’s large body design and an incredible range of patented features. Almost each feature of the 1792001K PM2000 sets a new standard by which every other cabinet table saw on the market is judged, so you can have the peace of mind that this is not your regular cabinet table saw.


DeWalt DWE7490X table saw is a pretty cool portable table saw. It’s a great blend of accuracy, portability, and power. Weighing only 58 lbs, this table saw might be pint size, but it’s not lacking power. It has an impressive 15 A motor, 28.5 in. rip capacity, 47 degree bevel capacity, and a cut depth of 3-1/8 in (at 90 degrees). Not bad for a portable table saw. Other features we appreciate are its tool free fence adjustments for convenience and its metal roll cage for extra durability. This package also includes a scissor style stand, which allows you to easily pack up this table saw and bring it with you anywhere the job takes you!
How big a table saw is, is determined by the largest blade the saw will hold. 8” blades are the smallest that should be used for any home workshop. You can get blades in 9”, 10”, and 12” sizes as well. Most workshops will not really need the 12” blade as this has a very deep cut capability, but for construction firms and larger, commercial shops, the 12” comes in handy.
If you’re going to be transporting your unit regularly, you should aim to keep weight to a minimum. Look for something lightweight, with convenient carrying handles, or a stand that can be wheeled around dolly-style at the worksite. Conversely, if you’re only going to be using your portable saw occasionally, you can probably stand a bit more weight.
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.

Hybrid table saws were produced by many manufacturers as they found there was a gap in the market for a table saw between the contractor saw and the cabinet saw. Contractors wanted something with the power and functionality of a cabinet saw but not necessarily the heavy weight of a cabinet saw. One good other point for the hybrid saws is price, cabinet saws are often very expensive because of the cast iron table tops etc. so a hybrid is a great saw if you’re looking for something slightly cheaper.
The cabinet also has a few other safety features that set it on a level above the Grizzly or Jet. There’s an extra-large, paddle-style power switch which you can easily press with a thigh as well as a hand. The guard works tightly against the blade, so that you have all the workspace you need without sacrificing safety. The riving knife prevents kickbacks, and the left-tilting bevel feature prevents binding.

While ordering generic no-name products might be fine for something like breakfast cereal, power tools are different. When you use power tools, your safety is at stake. If you pick up some cheapo piece of mass produced junk just because the price is less than a name brand, you might end up paying a lot higher price for it than you counted on. Why? Because generic power tools are not usually held to the quality control and accuracy as big box brands such as DEWALT and Bosch.
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.
The Delta 36-L552 is the right cabinet table saw for boat building cabinet making and also woodworking. It features a fifty two inch Biesemeyere fence, speedometer style scales and also dual crank (up-front) controls with locking cams. Taking a closer look at the inside of the Delta 36-L552, we find a powerful 5 HP motor rated at 220V which is perfect for cutting engineered products such as melamine, MDF, but also hardwoods.
The Grizzly is our top choice for folks who need lots of room to work, plain and simple. Thanks to its dual extension tables, this one has the widest rip and fence capacity of the three units we’ve reviewed here. We also love that it makes full use of the space under the worktops, so you’ll get plenty of storage room to make up for its larger footprint.
We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
One of the first things many Pros do is permanently (and intentionally) lose the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. While they are a pain to install and store onboard, their ability to reduce the risk of injury is significant. Table saws are responsible for thousands of injuries every year and there are plenty of guys running around with stories of how they got injured. So practice installing them until it feels natural and then actually use them onsite.
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.
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.

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.
As for extensions, I have added the TS1002 and TS1003 outfeeds (rear and left side respectively) – They do a great job supporting the workpieces without making the saw the least bit tippy. For my use, I don’t get much use from the left side support, but the rear outfeed is great. Much nicer than setting up an outfeed stand and trying to dial it in.
One of the biggest perks of a cabinet table saw, aside from the rugged construction and wide worktop, is the sheer power of the tool. You should expect a cabinet table saw to cut absolutely any stock within its depth capacity smoothly and easily. Look for motors with at least 3 HP, and sophisticated belt drive systems which translate that grunt into 4000+ RPM blade speeds. Don’t accept lesser power ratings on a cabinet model: these are the gold standard of table saws for a reason!
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.
Replacing the hugely popular outgoing W1824, the W1851 is a brand-new Shop Fox hybrid with the same enclosed cabinet as you’ll find on the W1819 alongside features more in line with a contractor’s saw. We chose to review the W1851 as it’s a more flexible option than the W1819 and appeals to a broader range of woodworkers. We rarely review brand new products but in this case we made an exception… With a brand like Shop Fox, it’s not a case of taking a chance but of betting on a winning team.
We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
6. Clamp rip fence to check if it holds securely at front and rear. If rear is not clamped securely, un- clamp fence and turn rear clamp adjustment screw 6 clockwise for increased clamping. Try clamping the fence to verify if it self aligns and clamps tightly at the front and rear. Overtightening of the rear clamp adjustment screw 6 will cause the rip fence to be non-self aligning (Fig. 23). Overtightening may cause friction or “chatter” when fence is moved side to side.
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