On the downside, Delta have changed things up over the past few years, and the news isn’t all good. The motor is still made in the USA, but the frame and structure of the saw is all imported. Recent buyers have reported shoddy quality control and very poor customer service since the company was taken over. Even though the Unisaw still gets great professional reviews, buyers’ experiences are so mixed that we’re not comfortable recommending this one as one of our top picks.
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.
Rockwell is the “freshman” brand among the other longer-standing benchtop power tool companies represented here, and its table saw revealed some “first rodeo” shortcomings. While the motor was amply powerful for my cutting tests, the blade arbor assembly was 1/16″ out of parallel with the miter slots. It’s a condition called “heeling” without easy adjustment in the manual. So, for my testing purposes I had to set the rip fence askew in order to align it parallel to the blade. The problem would need to be addressed on this sample saw for long-term use.
When I switched blades, I did find the locking lever for the riving knife very stiff … not sure why. It raises to release the riving knife and pushes down to lock it. I resorted to gripping the lever with a pliers to manipulate it, after nicking some skin on the blade teeth. But, on the softer side, RIDGID provides a nice complement of overmolds on the miter gauge handle and blade height handwheel knob.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
The more table size you have, the more support you have which is always a plus, not only for convenience but safety too. There are right side extensions that can be purchased for table saws that increase the table saw’s capacity to get to the center of a 4 x 8 sheet of wood. Although most saws have a rear band that supports the wood as it exits the saw, an additional safety measure is to rig up an outfeed support of some kind in addition to this rear bar. Be sure that the outfeed support you set up is ¼” lower than the table saw is.
SawStop was second, also with features no other saw had. The blade height adjustment wheel covers the entire range with one full turn of the wheel. There was some discussion about micro adjustments being more precise for dado and rabbet cuts, but in practice, we found we could easily get to a specific height without trouble. SawStop also moves away from the bevel lock lever and instead integrates it into the height wheel. By pulling the lock toward you, it is released and easily moved to your desired angle. Let go of the wheel and it’s locked back in place without having to hold it and use a second hand to work the lever.
When you’re deciding how much to spend, think about how often you use your saw, whether you’re using it as part of a professional workshop or as an avid hobbyist, and whether or not you can expect any return on your investments through your work. We recommend that DIYer spend closer to the $2000 mark, while professionals are more likely to get their money’s worth from something more premium.
Today's table saws also include riving knives, which ride up and down with the blade when its height is changed, rather than splitters that are fixed in place. The problem with the old splitters was that they had to be removed for certain types of cuts, and users might forget to put them back on before making rip cuts. This increased the risk of kickback injuries, which occur when the spinning blade kicks back a piece of wood toward the user with tremendous force, causing serious injury to any part of the body that's hit.
Bosch GTS1031 10 in. portable jobsite table saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor that allows this table saw to rip through any lumber or hardwood quickly and easily. Bosch’s Smart Guard System provides added control while cutting, SquareLock Rip fence ensure consistent and accurate cuts, and an all steel base provides added durability. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention the price. This is the most affordable table saw on our list!
Finding useful reviews on this site is a challenge. A search for "table saw review" turned up a few relevant articles, but they're mixed in with news, tips, and coverage for other types of cutting tools. Most of the actual reviews for table saws are old, and many of the products are discontinued. However, we turned up a few in-depth reviews posted within the past year, as well as a few older reviews for products that are still on the market.
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.
The Popular Woodworking site hasn't published many reviews of table saws recently; the newest one we found was from 2013. There are no comparison reviews and no ratings or recommendations to help you compare different models. Nonetheless, this site is useful because it's one of the few places to find detailed coverage of larger contractor and cabinet saws.
These table saws are all probably made in China where there’s apparently no meaningful out-going quality control. While the *average* quality from a given manufacturer might be great, you could also be unlucky get a piece of junk because *everything* made on the production line ships out. It’s a preferred business model these days – the prices are much cheaper but the manufacturers trade that off against dealing with significantly increased returns and the need for much more customer service.
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.
For ideal usage, the on/off switch needs to be mounted on the front of the saw and should be easy to turn off with your knee or a swat without having to look at it to locate it. Most table saw models have a safety feature that is a plastic key that has to be inserted before the table saw can be turned on. Some may even have a way to padlock the switch.
DeWALT DWE7480 is an excellent table saw, especially if you consider its price. It’s a step up from the highly popular DW745 and slightly more expensive, but I think the larger rip capacity and higher RPM are well worth the extra money. The DWE7480 is still in the lower price region though, and unlike the DW745 you can also get this one with a stand: the DWE7480XA!
If you’re a professional looking for a great table saw for the worksite, you’ll love the features and performance of the DEWALT DWE7480. Equipped with the Site-Pro Modular Guarding System has a rack and pinion telescoping fence rail that will allow you to make fast, smooth and accurate adjustments. This is the perfect table saw for cutting larger shelving and trim easily. With a 15 AMP 4800 rpm motor, you will go through all types of wood, even hardwood, with ease.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 are pretty evenly matched in having plenty of power and not-so-hot dust collection. I you’re looking for a light weight saw, the DEWALT comes in ahead since it weighs almost half as much as the Bosch. It is also the less expensive choice by far. The large work table, expanded cutting capability, and its Gravity Rise feature (with solid rubber wheels that make it easy to be rolling across rugged terrain at a jobsite) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.