One of the most widely used power tools for carpenters is the table saw. For carpenters that don’t work exclusively in the shop a portable jobsite table saw is essential. For this Head-to-Head we’re focusing on corded portable 10″ jobsite table saws. We are not including cordless table saws in this test as we plan on doing another head-to-head exclusively for cordless table saws later this year as several are available now.
It’s compact. This one is just over two feet in either direction, and just under 14 inches high. It’s easy to fit in the back of a truck, or even on the passenger seat next to you on the way to your jobsite. It’s light, too. Buyers loved how easy this one was to carry around, especially home DIYers who had to set up and take down their units frequently.
Goggles are yet another thing people simply don’t like wearing. However, it’s not about comfort but saving your eyesight. As you can assume, there is a lot of sawdust flying around while you’re cutting a piece of wood. In order to prevent it from flying straight into your eyes, you have to wear safety glasses. There are hundreds of models you can choose from, but make sure they are certified as safe. In simpler words, you cannot use the first ones you stumble upon, don’t be afraid to invest in high-quality safety glasses, you’ll be thankful for them.
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.
From dust collection and onboard storage through to on/off switches and table extensions, most reputable table saws come equipped with everything you’ll need to rip up the wood of your choice. Whether it’s making your life easier with wheels enabling height and tilt adjustment or a safety feature like the magnetic switch, the functionality of table saws is impressive. You can upgrade the blades, get various jigs or dado blades and generally enhance the way your saw performs.
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.
On the other end of the handyman spectrum, you’ve got the seasoned professional with years of experience under his belt. We all know the type: he’s the guy that expects only the best, and DEWALT more than delivers with their patented DWE7491RS. This wood-slicing machine is the cream of the crop when it comes to cutting through even the toughest materials. The DWE7491RS measures 26¼" x 22", so it’s a relatively large apparatus — you’re going to want to make sure that you have plenty of space in your garage for this table saw.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 both have 15 amp motors, so power shouldn’t be a problem with either of these job site table saws. The DEWALT has a high torque motor that is capable of delivering a no-load speed of up to 3,850 rpm. The Bosch 15 amps and a no-load speed of up to 3,650 rpm. The difference between the two is not something that would be noticeable without sophisticated equipment, and will not affect performance in any significant manner. The noticeable difference between the two is that the Bosch 4100 comes equipped with a soft start motor that is lacking on the DEWALT DW745. This will cause a noticeable load on your power source, and may affect other tools and lighting attached to the same source during startup.
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.
Both saws accomplish the same thing, but with different results. SawStop’s feature takes about 90 seconds to recover from compared to roughly 1 minute with Bosch. Bosch developed the REAXX to drop the blade without damage while SawStop usually results in a damaged blade that needs to be replaced. The SawStop employs a brake that must be changed after activation at a cost of $69 each. Bosch uses a dual airbag style cartridge. These run $99 each, but you get two shots out of each one.
The miter gauges on these saws range from downright flimsy to cabinet-saw quality. All the saws except the Craftsman and the DeWalt also have T-tracks—a nice feature that captures the miter gauge bar, making it easier to start wider crosscuts. Because the Ryobi and DeWalt saws don’t have a standard miter gauge slot, you can’t use accessories that require a 3/4-in. slot.
You should test the cutting depth of a saw when it is not cutting a bevel. This aspect helps in determining accurate and maximum cutting at 0 degrees. In considering bevel cutting, you should ensure the base plate is adjustable. Look out for adjustment allowance that your saw offers you such as 45, 50 or 90 degrees. The table saw should also be a feature with the flush housing so as to allow the table saw to cut very close to the edge of the wall. It is necessary to look out for this feature as will allow you to cut flooring to size at ease
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you’ll definitely find something of interest. On the other hand, professionals can also find good pieces of information on this page. The models we’ve covered all work as advertised, and you can rest assured that they are of high quality. The only thing you need to do is determine how much money you want to spend and which type is the best suiting one for your requirements.
It has the widest rip capacity of the three. This one can handle materials up to 32 1/2”, which makes it ideal for folks who work with sheet stock on the go–especially when you consider the extra 22” you’ll have to the left of the blade. That’s thanks to the same rack and pinion fence as the smaller Dewalt. It’s even better on a larger scale, where the differences between this design and the sliding rail style you find on Bosch become very apparent. Reviewers agreed that this one felt much sturdier, smoother, and locked more securely than other portable units.
To make our recommendations for the best table saws, and the best table saw bargains, we consulted comparison tests and single-product reviews in tool-related publications such as Pro Tool Reviews, Woodworker's Journal, Popular Mechanics, Tools of the Trade, and Fine Homebuilding. Many of these reports are several years old, but most of the models tested are still available. Most professional reviews focus on portable table saws, but we found a few that cover contractor and cabinet saws.
The most critical safety feature on a table saw is the blade guard. It’s all that separates your fingers from the rapidly rotating blade. You need this to be transparent or it will make measuring awkward. The last thing you want is to be tempted to remove an unfit guard. Check closely for a clear, flexible blade guard. Safety is paramount when operating a table saw.