In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.
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.
One term you may hear when reading about table saw accuracy is blade runout. Runout is a term that describes whether or how much the outside edge of a saw blade wobbles while being held by the motor shaft. Sometimes, operators measure runout by using a saw blade. In that case, the very use of a saw blade presumes that the specific blade is perfect or nearly perfect in its flatness. Using a saw blade that has any warping will not give a clear indication of blade runout.
When you’re thinking about build quality, you should consider how often, and how intensively you’ll be using your portable table saw. The more you’ll use it, the more you should invest in a sturdy unit that’s built to handle all that use. If you’re only an occasional DIYer, on the other hand, you can probably stand to have a few more plastic parts on your unit, since you aren’t going to be putting it to the rest as often.
When you are woodworking, dust and debris can be a serious bugbear. There’s good news with the DeWalt, though. Connect the DWE7491RS to your favorite vacuum and keep your workspace blissfully free of fine particles. The 2 ½-inch dust port at the rear and 1 ½-inch port off the top of your blade makes for a powerful combination getting rid of dust from above and below.
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.
It’s more compact than the Grizzly, and it uses its space efficiently. The Jet only has one extension table, but it makes the most of it. This one gets nearly the same rip capacity as the much larger Grizzly–to within 2 inches! There’s also a closed-off drawer in the bottom of the cabinet, which is ideal for storing all your smaller table saw accessories.
Due to the position of the motor, dust collection is often an issue with these units, especially in comparison to the cabinet type. However, an industrial vacuum is usually a small and worthy investment which should solve the issue effectively. The main advantage of this type is the fact that it’s much cheaper than its nearest equivalent – the cabinet type.
Three professional carpenters test ten portable table saws, including two now discontinued. They outfit them all with Diablo 40-tooth general-purpose blades and test them on both 3/4-inch plywood and pressure-treated 2x pine. Each saw earns points for safety features, fence quality, stability, weight, stand design, ease of adjustment, cutting power, and dust collection. Totaling up these scores determines the saws' overall ranking, as well as their "class ranking" against comparably priced brands. Some additional single product reviews of table saws can be found elsewhere on the site as well.
Framing work is full of rougher cuts that rarely makes use of more than one blade at a time. But occasionally you might need dados for an onsite custom build in. If that sounds like you, be sure to find out the saw’s dado stack capacity. It requires a longer arbor and you won’t be able to use your normal throat plate for it. Some manufacturers offer a dado throat plate if they have the capacity for it.
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.
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.
The 15-amp motor is outstanding, developing up to 4HP and operating at a speed of 3650RPM. This is not quite as pacey as the DeWalt but still more than respectable. The other advantage to this motor is that – for a table saw, at least – it’s pretty quiet. Noise isn’t such an issue out on the job site but if you’re woodworking at home, the quiet motor is a real boon.
DIY-ers love this type due to its simplistic yet effective operation. However, it’s not unusual for professionals to invest in these in order to avoid investing in cabinet models and save some money. Speaking of money, you should prepare yourself for a hefty investment if you opt for this particular type. However, most models are well-worth the money. These things last for years and don’t require a lot of maintenance apart from occasional blade replacements and minor adjustments. They are not as easy to use as portable models, but you’ll learn how to use them in a matter of hours or days, as long as you follow the rules written in the user manual.
A little unusual for Bosch’s larger tools, it comes in reasonably light weight at 60 pounds – only Skilsaw and Ryobi posted lighter weights. Like Milwaukee in our 18V impact driver shootout, the Bosch 4100 didn’t really stand out from the crowd in features and performance. It’s solid consistency in every area we tested earned it the top spot in the class.
Table saws are versatile enough to earn a spot in every home shop—even if that shop shares the garage with the family car. The market offers a range of saws, from $200 portable, less accurate saws to heavy and very accurate cabinet saws costing thousands. All the table saws shown here have 10-inch blades that can cut though stock up to 3 inches thick, and they meet the Underwriters Laboratories' safety standards to prevent kickback. Keep reading for an extensive roundup of table saws, from portables to hybrid models.
Other features include a battery-powered laser for lining up cuts. I found it to be pretty dim under bright shop lights and not lined up correctly with the blade. It is non-adjustable. A pullout rear extension provides some added support for long rip cuts. Rockwell also offers a couple of unique accessories: a sliding miter table ($179.99) and a power planer-style “Finisher” ($129.99). It mounts on the saw for flattening board edges.
That’s where we come in! As your saw experts, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at all the models on the market right now, to help you find the best table saw for your projects and your lifestyle. We compared dozens of options, drawing on our own collective experience as well as professional ratings, and reviews from buyers who spent time using these saws in their homes. We compared specs, features, reliability ratings and more, to find the absolute best options out there right now.
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.
Cabinet table saws are the best choice for full-time professional woodworkers with a dedicated workshop. If you have a spacious shop, these are some of the most efficient, versatile cutting tools you can buy, especially for larger stock. With 3+ HP motors, they’re by far the most powerful machines you can get your hands on. Plus, their heavy, machined build quality gives you a precision and smoothness in your work that really compliments the professional. They have the most effective dust collection systems of any table saw, and durability that can last more than a lifetime.
For homeowners without the luxury of a huge garage to fit their enormous table saw, DEWALT’s DWE7480 is a compact alternative to bulkier machines with the same wood slicing power. Measuring 25.8" x 26.5" x 13.9", the DWE7480 hosts a 15-amp motor that cuts at an unbelievable 4800 rpm with a ten-inch blade, meaning this small package packs big performance — and with adjustable rear feet that are designed to allow users to level their table saw on uneven surfaces, you’ll be sure to get a clean, precise cut every time, no matter how rugged the terrain. An additional dust port makes collecting your sawdust a breeze — especially if you attach an optional shop vac extension.
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.
The blades are the primary factor to consider when shopping for a saw as they hugely determine the performance of your table saw. The blades will only be effective if they are set at a correct depth of cut. The table saw will also perform best if only the correct blade for the cut is fitted, as a proper blade will enable you to achieve a precise and smooth cut. When purchasing a blade, go for the one with a correct setting blade. Consider the cutting depth also as this will determine its suitability for the job. You should also ensure that the table saw is equipped with splinter guard as this will help in minimizing splintering of the board’s top surface. Splinter guard also enhances accuracy because when it is lined up at the start and finish mark the saw will cut with precision. A suitable table saw should also have a 20mm arbor as this guarantees the stability of the blade and hence, safety in the workplace.
Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.
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.
It’s highly portable. Even though the whole body feels sturdier than the Dewalt’s, it’s still relatively light, at just about 60 pounds. There are handles in both the top and bottom edges of the machine, for easy lifting, and once you’ve got the saw fixed to the base, you won’t have to lift it on your own except for when you’re loading it in the back of the truck/van.
I knew there were jobsite table saws on the market for less than $250, but I never thought they were good enough to get my recommendation. Sure, the SKIL 3410-02 is not a professional saw and may not be versatile enough for contractors, but the stand, power, accuracy and build quality of this table saw are much better than I thought possible in this class.
Each one has different power, capabilities, mobility and price points as well. If you’re not sure which type you need, we have outline some specifics on each below that will help you choose. When you begin the search for your table saw, you will need to know the answers to a few questions that will narrow down the choices for you and make choosing much easier.
Which leads to a problem. A standard blade should not have that kind of space around it. Fortunately, Bosch sell very inexpensive throat plate blanks that can become zero clearance inserts. I have one for each of my three main blades and a fourth unused one that I put aside just in case. While I can make my own, it just isn’t worth the hassle as these are pretty affordable.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
A riving knife is a piece of metal that comes included with your new saw. It’s shaped like a surfboard fin. Sadly, not all models come with this crucial part. If you purchase a model without it, make sure you design one for yourself as soon as possible. The construction of this piece is not a big deal at all; you can cut the shape in a matter of minutes and install it. Its purpose is to prevent the wood and debris from getting caught in the back of the blade which consequently kicks back thus jeopardizing your safety.
The riving knife and blade guard actually have a quick-release so you can easily remove it. This is important because, in the past, these elements were so hard to install once removed people would simply leave it off. Now that there is a quick-release feature it makes it much easier to put back on and avoid the involuntary donation if OSHA decides to visit the job-site.
Another indication of how hard a table saw is working is monitoring the amperage (AMP) draw under loading conditions. We measured the amp draw for each saw using all three materials again at the same time we were recording RPMs. The first graph below shows the amp draw for each saw cutting plywood compared to the no-load amp draw. The white bar on the left indicates the no load amps and the colored bar on the right shows the maximum amp draw during the cut.
While your table saw is unplugged, take the time to clear and clean the work surface, removing any debris that could negatively impact the smooth path of the wood you will be cutting. Then, lower or raise the blade to where the blade gullet (the curved section between each blade tooth) is equal with the top of the piece of wood to be cut. Also, make sure that your saw's dust exhaust port is clear and open and that a bag is in place to catch any excess sawdust.
As we said in the beginning of this section, many of these saws will be used, right out of the box, for rough cutting materials and the fine accuracy may not matter so much in that application. If this is the case for a saw, the quality of the cuts and more importantly, the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer. So, TBB wanted to see how the various saws compared right out of the box. The results are in and, as a group, these eight saws measured up quite well for out-of-the-box accuracy.
From there, it’s all about flesh detection. The REAXX wins out over SawStop in this category thanks to quicker recovery, a two-shot activation mechanism ($99 per cartridge, $49.50 per shot), and keeping the blade from damage. The initial saws to go out also come with a code to get an extra cartridge for free when you register the REAXX. Like I mentioned earlier, the unknown is still the actual reaction time compared to SawStop.
The service coverage under the warranty requires you to either bring the machine to an authorized dealer or ship it back to the company on your dollar. That’s a major downside, and it’s one reason we’re recommending purchasing add-on warranty coverage for this one. If you’re dealing with a third party provider, you can simply get a replacement without having to go through frustrating company reps.
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!
Since this is a high end cabinet table saw, its features are on par with your expectations. This model comes with your choice of cast iron or stamped steel wings. Kickback is also greatly reduced thanks to the quick release riving knife, while the transparent blade guard comes with independent leaves to complete the set of features you’d expect from a Jet Proshop table saw. If you want, you can also get the Jet Proshop table saw in either a thirty inch or a fifty two inch rip capacity. No matter if you’re a professional or if this is the first cabinet table saw you’re planning to get, the 708494K JPS-10TS won’t disappoint. Its rugged build quality and ease of use qualify it as one of the best table saws you’ve ever used.
The DeWalt will do you proud for a broad spread of applications. If you’re a home woodworker, you’ll be able to rip sheet material, size material as thick as 3 inches, frame lumber and make cross cuts to your heart’s content. For professionals, the DeWalt is perfect for trim carpentry, installation of hardwood floors, decking or remodeling. There’s very little you can’t do with this beast.
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.
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.