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.
Contractor units are the next step up from portable (or jobsite) table saws. A contractor table saw has a worktop and motor assembly that looks a lot like a cabinet model, only it’s missing the cabinet! Contractor units aren’t quite as portable as a job site saw, but they’re about half the weight of a cabinet saw. They pack a lot more power than a portable unit, and their cutaway stands make them fairly manageable for folks who have helpers to assist in getting the saw off the truck and set up at the site.
We had a number of these saws – and I bought one for my own use (travelling to my kids houses and for garage use) since my old Unisaw with sliding table isn’t exactly portable. My take on the blade – is that the old 40T one (Bosch CBT1040A) was not worth anything much – so the change to a 24T blade can’t hurt (zero time anything is still zero). They generally bundle saws with cheap blades to keep the overall price down – but when I was buying in many multiples – I would have been happy for $10 off each if I had a “no-blade” option.
Install new blade- With the new blade, face the teeth of so they are pointing to the front of the saw table. Place the blade on the housing. Secure the new blade with the washer and nut with the use of a wrench. Make sure you are turning the wrench in a clockwise motion. Use the small piece of wood to secure the blade in place while you are securing it.
A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.
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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.
Often called benchtop, jobsite, or worksite saws, portable table saws are typically made of lightweight materials, such as an aluminum table top, so that they’re easy to move from place to place. Sometimes they’ll have wheels attached to make shifting them around even easier. The motors on portable saws are also much smaller than on other types of table saws, and are typically less powerful.

As with anything, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of types, sizes, features, colors, weights, what, when, why, where, who…(let me catch my breath). For now, let’s focus on what’s right for you with our Best Portable Table Saw Guide. We’ll start by identifying quality brands that align with your needs. Besides, who wants to buy something that won’t work?
The larger the motor, the higher the voltage as well, usually 240V. In some cases, you may be lucky and have a garage or workshop that’s wired for 240V, so that is why it’s very important that you check this prior to getting the table saw. In terms of the material thickness it can handle, it’s a minimum of three inches. One thing to bear in mind is that safety is an essential consideration with these saws and that’s because the powerful motors are prone to higher kickback.

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.
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

In addition, a top-quality fence should move smoothly and have a scale that’s accurate and easy to read. Our favorite is the DeWalt fence. The rack-and-pinion system keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the micro-adjusting knob allows easy and precise fence positioning. Runners-up in this category for best table saw are the Ridgid and Bosch saws. They both have superb fences, with the added advantage of T-slots for attaching accessories like featherboards.

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.

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.
It’s tough to be completely objective when choosing the best portable jobsite table saw since the stock blades vary so widely. Skilsaw comes with a 30-tooth Diablo blade and Makita’s stock 32-tooth blade are both excellent while others could use some help. To make this shootout about the saws and not the blades, we turned to Diablo to outfit each saw with the same accessory.

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In addition, a top-quality fence should move smoothly and have a scale that’s accurate and easy to read. Our favorite is the DeWalt fence. The rack-and-pinion system keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the micro-adjusting knob allows easy and precise fence positioning. Runners-up in this category for best table saw are the Ridgid and Bosch saws. They both have superb fences, with the added advantage of T-slots for attaching accessories like featherboards.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.
Outfeed capacity is almost always the depth of the table. Pros using a jobsite table saw can opt to put a sawhorse or other support to hold the material after it passes the blade. There are a few models running around that give you some extra outfeed support, though. Most of the time, you’ll just have a buddy help guide the cut through from a safe stance on the behind the saw.
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.
If you’re going to be transporting your unit regularly, you should aim to keep weight to a minimum. Look for something lightweight, with convenient carrying handles, or a stand that can be wheeled around dolly-style at the worksite. Conversely, if you’re only going to be using your portable saw occasionally, you can probably stand a bit more weight.
Though this table saw will arrive in multiple pieces, Jet includes all the instructions and help that you need to assemble the cabinet and all other parts. The cabinet itself has an enclosed design that keeps the motor and all other components safe from the dust in your workshop and any debris flying around. You also get four legs that attach to the base of the cabinet, which lifts the saw higher in the air to reduce back pain caused by bending over the table.
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.

And finally, there are a couple of jobsite table saws running around with flesh detection to drop the blade out of the way if it detects a strike. There’s a significant premium in cost for these saws and there has also been plenty of litigation regarding whether it should be required on every table saw and whether more than one company has the right to manufacturer the mechanism. But they’ll save you a much worse injury in the event of an accident.
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 Delta 36-L552 is the right cabinet table saw for boat building cabinet making and also woodworking. It features a fifty two inch Biesemeyere fence, speedometer style scales and also dual crank (up-front) controls with locking cams. Taking a closer look at the inside of the Delta 36-L552, we find a powerful 5 HP motor rated at 220V which is perfect for cutting engineered products such as melamine, MDF, but also hardwoods.
You often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
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.

Cabinet models are stationary, as a rule. They’re not designed for portable use, and you should plan on keeping them in your shop for their working life. However, some models are compatible with optional wheeled bases, and these are great for folks who want to be able to move their table saw around the workshop, without sacrificing any power, build quality, or stability.

Contractor units are the next step up from portable (or jobsite) table saws. A contractor table saw has a worktop and motor assembly that looks a lot like a cabinet model, only it’s missing the cabinet! Contractor units aren’t quite as portable as a job site saw, but they’re about half the weight of a cabinet saw. They pack a lot more power than a portable unit, and their cutaway stands make them fairly manageable for folks who have helpers to assist in getting the saw off the truck and set up at the site.
Cutting a board to length by using the fence as a guide is one of the most dangerous yet very common techniques. The fact that it’s quite common among DIY-ers doesn’t make it safe. In fact, it’s extremely dangerous and can lead to fatal consequences. There is a high risk of kickback if you’re using this particular technique. Needless to say, the forces involved are immense, and you’ll end up with a piece of wood in your face. One could say – “But, I’m wearing safety goggles!” Even though it may be true, goggles won’t do much against a dense piece of wood flying straight to your face a few hundred miles per hour.
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.

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.
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