The fence on a table saw is one of its defining features and allows for precise, square, and repeatable cuts. Not all fences are equal though and a poorly built fence is a deal-breaker, in my opinion. Not only will a poorly built and implemented fence affect the quality of your cuts, but a fence that moves or is not square to the blade can cause your material to bind and kickback.
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.
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.
You’ll want to look for metal framing, and a design which allows for all the most delicate components to be stored inside the tool’s body. If you’re a DIYer who won’t be travelling with your saw often, you probably don’t need to worry about finding such a heavy-duty frame. Many portable units will fit easily on the passenger’s seat, so you won’t have to deal with wear and tear so much.
Clint DeBoer When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader. He has a degree in recording engineering and has been involved in multimedia and/or online publishing in one form or another for the past 21 years. In 2008, Clint was one of the founders of the Pro Tool Reviews online magazine. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions.
If you’re looking to use a wheeled base, you’ll want a standard rectangular unit, not a cabinet with multi-directional extension tables. Double check to make sure the model is compatible with wheeled bases, and make sure you buy your base from the same manufacturer, so you have a guarantee that they’ll work together. No matter what, don’t skimp on your base! Remember that the frame and wheels have to hold up a machine that weighs 1/4 ton or more, so it needs to be incredibly sturdy.
Measuring in at 19.9" x 23.4" x 13.4", the SPT70WT-01 is compact enough to fit into any aspiring handyman’s garage, but powerful enough to tackle anything you throw at it on the job site, meaning it’s an ideal entry-level table saw for the amateur hoping to turn his hobby into a career. Sturdiness, durability, and anti-kickback technology make the world’s first worm drive table saw a revolutionary machine. Satisfied buyers can’t get enough of this balanced wood-devouring behemoth.
Another excellent choice for the hobbyist or at-home handyman, the SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw is a great value, giving you a durable build and quality performance at a wallet-friendly price. It doesn’t have the same brand recognition as some of the more expensive options on this list, but reviewers love this machine and say that it’s perfect for woodworking and DIY projects.
The machine has a more conventional rip fence/rail arrangement. The right half of the rail assembly folds out so the saw can achieve its full 30″ of rip capacity — wider than any other model here — but the fence would not slide smoothly over the rails without catching on the hinge joint. While the rip fence did maintain its locked settings, it lacks the heft and build quality of the competition.