If you’re a home DIYer or pro working mainly from a shop, you may have a wide table or countertop big enough to use the saw without any accessory stand. We would caution against working on sawhorses, though, as they can be wobbly and unsafe. It’s far better to spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy stand than to take risks with a rickety, improvised setup.
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.
The Craftsman table saw is one of the most compact of the bunch when it’s folded up. And if you can get it for the sale price of $260, it’s also the cheapest of the best table saw options. The blade guard and anti-kickback pawls are identical to the Porter-Cable and are the hardest of any of the saws to install. And they are the only two blade guards that don’t have a feature to hold them out of the way when you’re adjusting the blade or setting up the cut.
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.
Both of these table saws have a port that connects to a shop vacuum for dust collection. The DEWALT features a 2.5” port, while the Bosch has a 2” port. However, neither seems to do all that great a job. The Bosch might fare a little worse as far as the dust port clogging, but the DEWALT has some problems in this area, too. The Bosch is said to spew sawdust on the floor as though there was no dust collection port at all. The DEWALT racks up some complaints about the same problem.
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.
Every woodworker knows the plague of working in a dusty environment. The SawStop has a fantastic dust collection system so you can enjoy your cutting without your eyes being strained. Almost all of the dust is wicked away both above and below the table. Up above, the blade does all the legwork and there’s a neatly designed shroud which pulls all this dust away from the blade. The 4-inch port means you can slip your shop vac on with no issues.
If you decide to get a table saw with a one point five to two HP motor, then it’s going to operate at the standard household 120V circuit. When using a 2HP motor, you should expect it to draw between eighteen to twenty four amps. Also, keep in mind that in this case, the saw needs to be the only device that operates on a twenty amp circuit. The realistic limit of a one point five to 2 HP table saw is hardwood of up to two inches thick. If you need to cut thicker hardwood, then you’ll need a more powerful motor.
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.
To test the saws' cutting prowess, we made a series of cuts on both the Bosch and the DeWalt with woods that homeowners and DIYers might use on a compact table saw. To be specific, we ripped 24" x 24" sheets of 3/4" and x1/4" plywood into strips, and made 45-degree bevel cuts in 13/16"-thick cherry, cross-cuts in 10"-wide, 3/4"-thick shelving, test cuts in 2x4 stock, rip cuts in 3/4" red oak and 30-degree cross-cuts in poplar.
All these saws have attached, collapsible stands with wheels that allow you to roll them around when they’re folded up. A few, like the DeWalt, Rockwell and Ryobi, can’t be wheeled around after they’re set up. But the biggest difference between stands is in how easy it is to set them up. The Ridgid and Bosch have nearly identical stands that work great and require you to only flip or depress one lever to unlock the stand. These are our favorites. The DeWalt stand is the sturdiest of the bunch and very intuitive. It sets up like a card table with legs that fold out and snap into place. The remaining candidates for best table saw have several different stand systems that aren’t quite as easy to set up but that work fine once you get the hang of them.
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.
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.
The miter gauges on these saws range from downright flimsy to cabinet-saw quality. All the saws except the Craftsman and the DeWalt also have T-tracks—a nice feature that captures the miter gauge bar, making it easier to start wider crosscuts. Because the Ryobi and DeWalt saws don’t have a standard miter gauge slot, you can’t use accessories that require a 3/4-in. slot.
Some buyers weren’t impressed with the blade adjustments. The knobs and trunnions are similar to those on the DW745, but some reviewers said their units felt a bit clunky on the way down. Again, due to the quality control issues on these models, it’s a good idea to do a very thorough inspection and test of your unit before it’s too late to return it.
For this portion of the testing and evaluation we used three different materials (3/4″ AC Plywood, 5/4 Mahogany Decking, and 5/4 Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine Decking) while measuring the saw blade RPM, and the saw motor AMP draw. To compare the saws we’re looking for how much blade speed each saw has under load, and also how much the amp draw increases under load. Think about it like driving a car, a more powerful car will not drop as much speed going up a hill and the engine won’t work as hard.
It’s sturdy. This unit also has a metal roll cage frame all around, which helps it handle the rough and tumble of travelling to worksites on a regular basis. It has a locking mechanism to help it stay securely on stands. We’re also super impressed by how well-made the adjustment knobs feel on this one. Buyers reported using this one for several years with no issues.
In our introduction and how-to sections, we’ve talked about some of the key reasons to buy a cabinet-style model. These are the most stable table saws you can find. They produce the smoothest, cleanest cuts. They’re also tools that are built to last a lifetime. We recommend them to any professional with the shop space to install one. They’re also the ultimate choice to ardent hobbyists with plenty of room to spare and an ample budget.
When it comes to power tools, table saws provide convenience when tackling DIY jobs or larger commercial tasks. With their table surface, you are able to get more accurate cuts with the materials you are working with. Utilizing the miter gauge, you will find these power tools to provide the same accuracy as your favorite circular saws without the hassles.
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.
This saw is great. I needed a portable saw that was accurate and this fit the bill. All I can say is BUY THIS SAW if you are in the market for something portable. It has everything you want in a table saw. Dust collection is good with a shop vac and I like that the miter gauge is full size and not a ‘mini’ one that come with most portable saws. The fence is aluminum with built in T-track which is very nice. It’s quiet and has a soft-start. I was especially impressed with t...
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Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.