Sadly, you will have to sacrifice in a few key departments for all that portability and convenience. Portable table saws are the worst choice for cutting larger stock, especially if you don’t have an extension table to add on. They’re also the least powerful sort of table saw, so you shouldn’t plan to cut thick stock or hardwoods on them regularly. Thanks to their light build, portable units are the loudest of the bunch, and their dust collection is usually less than impressive. However, if you’re moving around a lot and need to do rips in the smallest possible space, these are your best friends.
Our top midrange choice comes from Jet, which is a partner brand of the well-known Powermate lineup. This unit is a good choice for folks who need a saw that can cut through absolutely anything, at a reasonable price, and without taking up too much space. It’s more compact than the Grizzly, but it offers even faster saw speeds and more precise adjustments. We recommend it to folks who want lots of power, but don’t have the room for a larger cabinet unit.
One of the first things many Pros do is permanently (and intentionally) lose the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. While they are a pain to install and store onboard, their ability to reduce the risk of injury is significant. Table saws are responsible for thousands of injuries every year and there are plenty of guys running around with stories of how they got injured. So practice installing them until it feels natural and then actually use them onsite.
Make sure all the panels on the cabinet (including the motor shroud) are made from steel, and look for powder-coating on the panels to help the paintwork last. The adjustment flywheels, the fence rails, and the frame of the table assembly should be steel as well. The most important part to look at under the hood is the trunnion. The trunnion supports the motor, and you’ll want it to be made from solid cast iron. The sturdier the trunnion, the smoother your unit will cut.
The cabinet also has a few other safety features that set it on a level above the Grizzly or Jet. There’s an extra-large, paddle-style power switch which you can easily press with a thigh as well as a hand. The guard works tightly against the blade, so that you have all the workspace you need without sacrificing safety. The riving knife prevents kickbacks, and the left-tilting bevel feature prevents binding.
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 terms of size, the table height from floor measures thirty four inches, with extension it measures twenty seven by forty inches and overall dimensions are 62 by 41 by 40 inches (LWH). This is simply an amazing saw and not only will you use it for many years to come, but it’s going to help you get the professional results you’re looking for in any project.
We don’t always post the point totals when we do a shootout like this because it gets complicated – you have to decide what the important features and performance categories are, determine how much weight each one should hold, and then actually hash out the scores with the team. That said, some of these table saws scored so close to each other that I didn’t feel it was fair to just leave it up to the rankings.
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.
The blades are categorized according to number of teeth, diameter, arbor size, kerf size, application and speed. They can also be divided by material. Regular commercial table saws are 10-inch or 12-inch. Teeth usually number from 24-80. Many blades are tipped with diamond, carbon or carbide. This lets you cut through more than just wood. You will also need to think about the tilt of the blade. They are available in left tilt or right tilt. With a left-tilting hybrid or cabinet saw, the motor cover can get in the way of the sliding table. Router table extensions don’t work well on left-tilting saws.
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.