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 thing you’ll love about the riving knife is that it allows for adjusting the table saw without using any special tools, for non-through and through cuts including, pictures frames, grooves for shelves, but also cheek cuts for furniture, rabbets and dadoes. There’s also the possibility to store different tools or anything else you may find under the tablet board and given the fact it’s expandable and convenient, it’s going to make using the Delta 36-L552 an even more amazing experience. For dust collection, the table saw comes with a bi-level dust extraction system which offers superior dust collection capabilities.
The first is how easy the switch is to operate. Oftentimes, you will approach your table saw with your hands full especially when we are talking about sheet goods. And sometimes you’ll be making cuts that require both hands to be occupied. Now if something goes wrong or you need to turn the saw off for any reason, you need to be able to do so and the quicker the better.
Lack of mobility is the cabinet saws major drawback. Some cabinet saws need proper electrical wiring set up and often weigh a huge amount because of cast iron table tops and full cabinet like stands. But if your setting up a new wood shop or have a work space or wood shop of your own then there is no better investment you can make other than purchasing a cabinet table saw.
When you purchase your table saw, more than likely it will have standard 10” carbide tipped blade that is good for general purpose use. This blade is capable of cross cutting a 4 x 4. If you replace it with a 40 tooth combination blade you will improve the quality of your cuts significantly and more than likely be much happier with the blade overall. You can get specialty blades also if you are going to be cutting other materials as well.
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 best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.
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.

The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.

Their 15-amp, 120-volt motors cut with greater ease than a circ saw, although they can bog down if fed thick hardwood too quickly. The cabinets are typically plastic, with cast-aluminum tops and extruded-aluminum fences. In these models, the motors are supported by trunnions mounted to the underside of the table. The resulting vibration reduces accuracy. These trunnions are usually made of lightweight steel or aluminum, which are susceptible to wear. And because these saws are small, cutting full-size sheets of plywood or MDF isn't a good idea unless the sheet is supported by a table extension.

The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.


The throat plate is the removable piece surrounding the blade that sits flush with the table. Removing it gives you the ability to access the blade for removal or riving knife adjustments. The narrower the blade clearance the better for two reasons. First, it helps keep material from falling into the blade area or lodging between the blade and throat plate. Second, it gives you material support very close to the cut to help reduce tearout as the blade exits the cut.
As far as performance, the fence could be a bit better in its locking in – square front to rear – but you get used to being able to set it square and use the rear adjustment knob so that it stays put. Some folks have complained about motor burn outs – but having experience now with 17 saws – over 6 years or more – I haven’t encountered the problem (maybe we’ve been lucky?)
However, it provides a bit less room to work, and it’s not as easy for newer woodworkers to use. The power/stop switch is rather small, and this one doesn’t have a digital angle display like the Grizzly. We highly recommend it to working professionals who need maximum cutting capacity in a minimal footprint. It’s also a good choice for ambitious DIYers who are short on space, but really know their way around a table saw.

Rockwell is the “freshman” brand among the other longer-standing benchtop power tool companies represented here, and its table saw revealed some “first rodeo” shortcomings. While the motor was amply powerful for my cutting tests, the blade arbor assembly was 1/16″ out of parallel with the miter slots. It’s a condition called “heeling” without easy adjustment in the manual. So, for my testing purposes I had to set the rip fence askew in order to align it parallel to the blade. The problem would need to be addressed on this sample saw for long-term use.
As far as the design goes, cabinet saws don’t look much different from the hybrid ones. However, when it comes to sheer power, this type is the most powerful one in every regard. Therefore, devoted professionals who work on massive heavy-duty projects usually prefer cabinet saws over anything else. Each element of a cabinet saw is constructed to withstand a lot of stress and pressure.
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.
With both saws offering easy bevel and blade height adjustment, the ease of use comparison focuses mainly on the rip fences. Once the Bosch's rip fence is attached to the table, it moves smoothly across the table when unlocked. But unlocking the fence requires a bit of hand muscle. You can adjust the clamping pressure to alleviate this, but make it too loose and the fence may wobble out of square. Modifying the fence locking lever, or using a cheater bar (such as a push stick) works reasonably well.
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.
All table saws sold in the U.S. come with a riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a split blade guard. Because some cuts can’t be made with these safety features installed, they are removable. If you’re looking for a fun party game, see who of your uninitiated friends can install both correctly without a manual. While each one is different, their nature means you can use the saw without them installed. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you those cuts are more dangerous, so avoid it if you can.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.

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.
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.

Carrying things standing on end is easier, since it makes for a narrower package that can easily fit by your side. You’ll be able to lift a heavier saw less awkwardly in that position than if you were to carry it out in front of you. You’ll also want to think about size in terms of where you need to fit the saw in the vehicle, and where you’ll be storing it when it’s not in use.

Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast-iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
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.
I also added in a bicycle saddle bag, that attaches easily to the tube frame of the saw. In it, I keep my PPE, and my Grr-ripper push blocks (great upgrade over regular push blocks). I also have a push stick made of wood that was modeled after the plastic one mounted on the back of the saw. The wood one is there now. I read too many stories of injuries after the blade touched the plastic stick, which to me is the whole point of using a stick – to avoid injuries. These things turning to shrapnel seems like a bad idea.

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.


Setting up both saws was quick and easy, since their factory-adjusted blades and fences were square and parallel to the tables' miter gauge slots out of the box (this is one of the reasons to buy a $350 table saw over a $100 one). Both saws had similar setup procedures: Attach the fence, raise the riving knife, attach anti-kickback pawls and attach the blade guard. There is no on-board stowage space for the DW745's rip fence, but this does not really affect the setup time or effort by much.
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. 
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