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.
With this saw, it was a very easy thing to plug it on and get started. The included cord is a reasonable length, but you’ll still need an extension cord unless you happen to be right next to an outlet in your workshop. Raising and lowering the blade is a smooth process and we found the mechanism to be nice and stiff, so you can be very precise with your cut depth. Only time will reveal whether or not this stays tight over the long haul, but it seems to be well-made. Mounting the accessories, like the smart guard system is quick. You just raise the riving knife using the release lever. The riving knife locks into a lower and upper position through the use of two sets of pins. In the upper position it is ready to accept the barrier guard, which you can remove from below the saw. It attaches easily with a lever lock and the anti-kickback device can then be placed on the back of the riving knife such that the teeth are set to grab any wood brought forward by the blade. The physical nature of the barrier guard assembly precludes you from placing your fingers anywhere near the cutting surface of the blade. We (and Bosch) recommend keeping this guard on the saw anytime you are doing “through” cuts. All-in-all, the table saw’s included safety features are more than adequate to keep you from encountering any unfortunate accidents. Removing them, or using the tool improperly, however, will considerably raise your level of risk.
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.

But if you have the space for the DeWalt to sit upright at a work station or deep storage shelf, then it may be the better choice, thanks to its more comfortable adjustment controls. You won't be able to use a dado blade with the DeWalt (at least not safely), and the rip capacity is slightly smaller, but there's a reason why it's been popular for a while now. It's a great saw that delivers reliable performance.


While the sheer price of this Bosch unit might be cost-prohibitive for most buyers, we think it’s the full-time professional’s ideal mobile unit. With the REAXX flesh-detection system onboard, it’s one of the safest table saws on the market, portable or stationary. The system detects flesh and stops itself instantly, without leaving a mark on the hot dog test.


This type requires a heavy-duty circuit because it’s driven by a powerful 3 to 5HP motor. The blade is driven by three parallel V-belts which ensure a smooth operation and an efficient transfer of energy. Needless to say, if you have big plans, you might want to consider investing in a high-quality cabinet saw. Prompted, it’s going to cost you a significant amount of money, but it pays out relatively quickly.


Setup was nearly as simple as SawStop’s with just a narrow margin between them. We only needed to attach the handle and bolt the saw down to the stand. The stand is a gravity rise style, but requires you to bend down to ground level for collapsing and extending it. It’s a reasonably solid platform, though a lot of movement throughout the day will leave your back sore.
If height adjustments were standardized, we could expect each saw to make them nearly identically. Taking a look under the hood, we discovered several different methods—each with their own effect. Most of the saws employ a bevel gear system that provides smooth and reliable performance. We noticed that many used solid metal gearing, but Bosch used plastic for both the 4100 and the REAXX.
It’s expensive. This one will cost you over $3000. That’s no casual purchase, and the high price tag makes this cost-prohibitive for some buyers. However, you really can’t put a price on the peace of mind that comes with having a unit with this sort of safety system onboard. Our advice? If you can muster the cash, and will get your money’s worth out of the machine, it’s well-worth the price.

It's not really a great choice for professional woodworkers, but for home do-it-yourself users looking for a more than competent contractor saw for their workshop, the Ridgid R4512 is a terrific value. It lacks the SawStop's safety features, but comes in at less than a third of its price. Build quality is first rate, most users say, with a cast iron table that does good job of damping down vibration. Users add that it cuts smoothly and accurately.
We’re not alone in loving the Jet’s guard system. We read lots of reviews from pros who said they’d used lots of table saws in their time, but this was the first time they didn’t absolutely hate the guard. In fact, many wrote that they started working with the guard onboard for the first time, simply because it worked so well. It’s certainly one of the most unobtrusive ones we’ve seen!
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 scales that indicate the width of cut fall into one of two categories: continuous and separate. Of the seven we’re reviewing, DeWalt, Ridgid and Rockwell are continuous. You simply line up the fence with the desired measurement. The other four best table saw options—Bosch, Craftsman, Ryobi and Porter-Cable—require you to lock the fence in a specific position on fully extended rails, and read the dimension on a separate scale. We prefer the continuous scales and really like the tape measure–type scale on the Ridgid.

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.
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.

The accuracy and safety of any given saw is dependent upon the blade being parallel to the rip fence. Since we tested the amount of difference in parallelism between the saw blade and the miter slot in the previous test, we need only to see if the miter slot is parallel to the rip fence to see if the saw has a parallel relationship between the blade and the rip fence.
It's not really a great choice for professional woodworkers, but for home do-it-yourself users looking for a more than competent contractor saw for their workshop, the Ridgid R4512 is a terrific value. It lacks the SawStop's safety features, but comes in at less than a third of its price. Build quality is first rate, most users say, with a cast iron table that does good job of damping down vibration. Users add that it cuts smoothly and accurately.

Portable or “jobsite” table saws are the absolute opposite of cabinet models. These are the lightest, most travel-friendly table saws on the market. These are easy to pack up and store in the back of a pickup truck or work van, and they can be set up pretty much anywhere. You can fit them to folding stands, use them on countertops, or sawhorses. We love them for quick contractor jobs, and they’re the ideal tool for general handymen who do a lot of shorter jobs rather than extended carpentry fittings. These are also a great entry-level choice for DIYers who don’t need a massive table saw, but need something that they can pack away at the end of the day. And, of course, they’re the least expensive table saws you can buy!
Besides that, materials are expensive, and when you ruin even a couple of pricey work pieces with a saw that doesn’t provide accurate cut you will end up paying far more for that cheap saw than you anticipated. Having a good saw that you can depend on for accuracy and efficiency is a solid business move for any contractor. Both the DW745 and the Bosch 4100 have a true riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a blade guard to prevent kickback and possible injury.
Table saws can be tougher to evaluate on paper since they don’t include torque measurements. Each of the table saws we tested have 15 amp motors, but vary widely on no load speed. The ones with lower RPM values are bleeding off speed in exchange for torque. While the right balance is always tough to achieve (and is a moving target with every new motor development), here’s where each saw prioritizes speed.

Our biggest surprise while running the best table saw review tests was in the cutting power and the quality of cut: There wasn’t much difference among them. All these saws ripped through 3-in.-thick oak without hesitating. We tried this test with the stock blades that came on the saws. Then we repeated the test using a top-quality blade in each saw.


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 bench table saw is the least expensive of the four types of saws. Some models come with a folding stand that is on wheels which makes it very easy to move or reposition without having to lift it all the time. Even though it is relatively light, constant lifting can become tiresome. You can mount these on your workbench which will give it more stability and could possibly reduce the amount of vibration as well. These smaller table saws generally have a 1 hp motor or even smaller and can run on a normal household circuit with no issues.
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.

For those of you who are looking to up your DIY game but don’t have enough capital to make the Dewalt DW745 happen for your home shop, this Craftsman is a decent budget choice. It’s powerful, lightweight, and extremely affordable. We don’t think you should expect too much from this one, though, since it has a very light table and a fence that won’t line up quite as precisely as you’d need for furniture-making or professional-grade projects. It’s cheaply-made, and doesn’t have as user-friendly a design as our other choices. For the home carpenter, though, this should do the trick for all your basic framing cuts.


This portable jobsite table saw head-to-head includes 8 saws from; Bosch, Delta, DEWALT, Hitachi, Makita, Ridgid, SawStop and Skilsaw. Originally, we had also to include Ryobi as a budget friendly option for DIY’ers or guys just starting in the trades. However, we were not able to adapt that saw to our testing rigs so we pulled it from the testing (you may see some photos with the saw but again we’re not including it in the results).
You will need specialty blades for cutting materials such as plywood, masonry, hardwood and metals. Other specialty blades are used for dado cuts. Most dado sets have multiple rows of teeth and chippers and they are typically much wider than traditional blades. Be sure that the model of table saw you have can accommodate the type of specialty blades you want to get so you don’t waste your money on a blade that won’t fit.
And finally, they all include a blade guard that can be removed and reinstalled without tools. Because a few sawing operations, such as non-through cuts, require you to remove the blade guard, we like saws that make this task easy. The Bosch, DeWalt and Ridgid saws have well-designed blade guards that are easy to remove and reinstall. The blade guards on all but the Porter-Cable and Craftsman also have a feature that holds the blade guard in the raised position to allow better blade visibility for setting up cuts.
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.

One notable feature on the Bosch is an arbor lock button, enabling easy blade changes. Changing the blade on most table saws is an onerous task, requiring the user to reach under the saw with one wrench to hold the arbor still while using another wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place. Because of the difficulty involved, many users choose to continue using a dull blade, rather than expend the effort to change it. Dull table saw blades can result in poor cutting ability, split-out, burn marks, and possibly dangerous kickbacks. The arbor lock button helps to eliminate some of the difficulty involved in blade changes, taking some of the dread out of the process. Popular Mechanics referred to this feature as, “so handy it ought to be an industry standard”. It is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer this feature.
As accidents and injuries are common when using large power tools like this one, it’s important that you look for safety features such as a dust collection system. Inhaling the sawdust that comes off the wood can make you sick, but this system does a good job of removing the dust from your work area. The collection port itself has a convenient on the cabinet too.
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.
The rip fence has a nifty flipping action so you can hold 2 different positions. This is an awesome feature if you’re cutting especially narrow workpieces. One of the dangers of ripping substantial pieces of lumber is breakage or the saw itself toppling over. The rail extension gives wonderful stability and allows you the freedom to undertake ambitious projects in complete safety.
Even though is seems pretty irrelevant, the position of the On/Off switch is quite important, especially if you’re a frequent user of these tools. In today’s models, the switch is usually leveled with your knees. The main thing you should look for is the size of the OFF switch. It has to be big enough so that you can turn the unit off immediately either with your knees, elbows, or hands. The so-called panic button is one of the crucial elements of every unit, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
It has all the safety features you need. This one has a big, brightly-colored stop button connected to an electric brake, so you can easily bring the blade to a halt. The stop button panel also has a thermal overload switch built in, so it’ll automatically switch the saw off if the motor becomes too hot. We also love that there’s a magnetic switch in the same panel, which prevents the machine from turning itself back on if power cuts out in your shop while you’re working.
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.

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.
The GTS1031 is Bosch's newest table saw, designed for portability and intended to be light enough that you could carry it with one hand. Its rip fence is designed for quick and easy movement, and clamps into channels on opposite sides of the table to keep things consistently square without the need for frequent adjustment. Two notable advantages for the GTS1031: Its 5000 RPM max no-load speed compared to the 3850 RPM for the DeWalt, and the fact that you can use a 1/2-inch dado set with it (though it requires separate TS1013 dado throat insert).
Like the last SawStop table saw that we looked at, this one is quite heavy and provides the stability that you need when working with plywood or any other type of wood. You can use the foot pedal on the bottom to operate the saw, but you’ll also find four wheels on the bottom of the cabinet. All four of those wheels swivel in a 360-degree direction to help you move the cabinet to any location.
Though you’ll still want to wear safety gear when using this table saw, it has safety features that will keep you safe too. One of those features is an emergency stop. One touch of the bright green power button brings the motor to life, but when you lift up on the emergency stop that surrounds the power button, you can stop the motor in its tracks. This button has a convenient design that lets you hit and lift it with your leg or knee too.
A table saw is a powerful tool that makes short work of even large pieces of lumber, allowing you to make rip cuts down the grain of boards, beams, and even entire sheets of plywood. No carpentry shop or professional construction site is complete without a table saw. Deciding which saw is best suited to a given home workshop, furniture production factory, or building site is an important decision and merits careful consideration.
How do you tell what the best table saw is? With so many table saw choices on the market it’s hard to know which table saw is the best fit for you and your woodworking needs. Not for long. We’ve taken the leg work out by doing all the measuring, tracking, and researching for you. We’ve compiled year-over-year performance and pricing information for over 3 years to help you choose the table saw that is ideal for you and your project. Search no more, find your table saw below.
The SawStop Contractor Saw CNS175-TGP36 stands out chiefly on account of its unique safety brake, which stops the spinning blade dead when it senses the presence of skin. However, it's also an excellent saw in other respects: powerful, well built, and easy to assemble, with great dust collection and loads of features. Cost is a major concern, but so is the cost of the injuries SawStop is designed to eliminate.
One important aspect to consider when buying a new table saw or looking for a new blade is axis adjustment. Being able to adjust the vertical height of the blade allows you to control the depth of the cut, it’s also useful when you don’t need to cut all the way through the wood, especially useful with thick pieces of wood. To help making bevel cuts and joints you can adjust the blade to certain angles that you require.
If you’re going to have a quality product, you need a fence system that’s perfectly square to the table so your cut is perfectly parallel to the edge. Obviously, framers have a bit more leeway than jobsite carpenters and there’s plenty of variance in fence quality. Cheaper saws have fences that can easily move out of square as they slide along the surface of the table. Avoid these if you want quality results. The fence system needs to be easy to keep square to the blade.
The latest advance in table saw safety is a feature that stops the spinning blade when it senses the presence of tissue, such as a finger or forearm. A company called SawStop was the first to offer this technology, and currently, it holds the exclusive right to sell saws with this feature in the United States. (Bosch introduced a portable table saw with blade-stopping technology in 2016, but was forced to take it off the market after a successful patent-infringement suit by SawStop.) In 2017, the CPSC proposed a new rule to make SawStop's technology mandatory on all table saws, but that rule is still under review. See the Buying Guide for more information.
Overall, I really like this saw. I have used it for trim work, and for cabinetry work. I worked for a guy who had the older model (the 4000) which is pretty much identical except that it does not have a riving knife (best safety upgrade ever) and it is still going strong after well over a decade of daily use. I wish there was more table in front of the blade, and I wish the dust capture was better, but it is a tremendously good saw and I consider it (with the addition of a track saw for full sheet handling) to be a viable alternative to a big cabinet saw.
Not everyone needs to use the miter gauge on a table saw since there’s typically going to be a miter saw around. If you do, you’ll like the positive locking detents at common angles. This saw felt like it was the weakest when pushing our 2x PT material through. Despite the ranking, it doesn’t feel under-powered – you just need to take your time. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on this model, but for $279, we don’t have many complaints.
Perfect for both hobbyists and craftsmen, the PCS31230-TGP252 from SawStop is a 3 HP cabinet saw that delivers excellent performance while featuring the company’s patented safety system to ensure maximum safety during use. The safety system is similar to that of the G0690 from Grizzly where the blade stops in milliseconds after it comes in contact with flesh. Designed and built in order to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users, the PCS31230-TGP252 features an exacting finish and feet and a superior dust collection system. For increased precision and added strength, the PCS31230-TGP252 features a fifty two inch T-Glide fence system, but also an extension table and rails.
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.

One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
Look for a blade guard and splitter assembly. The guard will keep your fingers and sleeves away from the blade, while the splitter will keep your wood from re-binding together and jamming the blade, or causing kickback. Kickback is one of the biggest hazards of using a table saw, aside from coming in contact with the blade. Make sure you have either a splitter assembly or a riving knife on any cabinet saw you use.
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.
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