All the articles on this website are short and punchy without much filler, but because there is so much to learn about table saws it will still take you the better part of an afternoon to read through them all. For those who don’t have that kind of time, or those who already know a great deal about table saws, this is the section that will take you to the best table saw for your needs.
In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.
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.
More expensive models also have more efficient drivetrains, which means they achieve a higher cutting speed for smoother, faster, and trouble-free cuts. Plus, their innovative belt designs and calibrated trunnion supports make the whole cutting experience smoother, quieter, and simpler. You’ll also pay extra for innovative safety features like skin detection, paddle power switches, magnetic switches, and thermal overload protection.
It’s compact. This one is just over two feet in either direction, and just under 14 inches high. It’s easy to fit in the back of a truck, or even on the passenger seat next to you on the way to your jobsite. It’s light, too. Buyers loved how easy this one was to carry around, especially home DIYers who had to set up and take down their units frequently.
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.
The stand is collapsible and wheeled like others, but it’s not the gravity-rise style. You’ll have to use a foot to stabilize it while you pivot it up or lower it down. The lower locks are released with your feet and there’s some question about the long term durability of the releases. An open housing design has two major results – motor cooling should be more efficient but it trades off storage for an extra blade. There’s really way too much to talk about here, so check out our full review of this model.
After cutting a bunch of wood with this saw, we really liked the balance of power and portability of Bosch GTS1031 – and I think that’s what this saw is all about. For raw Performance, the unflappable motor-blade combo earned a stiff 8/10 in our tests, while its affordable $399 price tag put it at a solid 9/10 in our Value scale. Sure, you can get cheaper portable table saws, but you’ll find it a challenge to track down the combination of power and portability the Bosch GTS1031 offers. Bosch’s gravity rise-equipped 4100-09 remains a compelling alternative or those wanting an integrated stand. It occupies an additional 15″ in width and 8″ in length and is a full 3.5″ taller. But it only tacks on 8 pounds in weight. If you’re cutting larger pieces of wood or need a saw with a stand, the 4100-09 may be your baby, but the new Bosch GTS1031, with its “toss it in the truck” form factor is our new sweetheart tool. While it has an available GTA500 folding table stand accessory, the real advantage of this saw is it’s stand-free portability – so don’t make it into something it’s not. After using this tool, we think you’ll want to take it with you, as-is, just about everywhere!
In terms of cutting results, Craftsman’s 28463 Jobsite Table Saw made a decent showing. It delivered accurate rip cuts, kept its bevel setting for angled ripping and could handle a stacked dado blade without laboring. Dust collection through an enclosed shroud was on par with more expensive machines. I also appreciated the saw’s clear, split guard and a riving knife system that is easy to install and adjust up or down. These are the plusses of what, in this test, is the budget-priced tool.
Plus, the machined aluminum table is our favorite on the market right now. It also has a smarter motor system than either of the Dewalt’s, thanks to a soft start and automatic speed control to ensure smooth cuts. However, it’s the slowest of the pack, and it doesn’t have quite as good a fence as the yellow competition. We think it’s a great choice for pros who are concerned about accuracy, but can’t spend lots of money on their unit.
I like the clever design of the stand on this saw which allows it to collapse or open by operating a single lever. The unit has two transport wheels which allows for easier relocation and the stand doubles as a pulling handle. It measures 39 x 30 x 20 inches which makes it pretty compact. The distance between the floor and the work surface is 37.5 inches. To make the stand as durable and corrosion-resistant as possible Bosch has given it a powder-coat finish.
The fence on this system is easily the winner. With clamping on just the front side, it self-aligns better than any other in the group and offers excellent stability. While SawStop didn’t have the most powerful feel to the cuts, it was very smooth with little vibration. Feature preferences aside, the only (slight) negative we agreed on was that the bevel lock stuck a little bit compared to others.
Bosch’s Gravity Rise Stand was the best portable design of the group. While several stands share the basic principles, Bosch stood out with large diameter tubing that improves durability, the ease of set up/take down, and the larger pneumatic wheels that helps over less than ideal terrain. SawStop was right behind with slightly narrower wheels while Ridgid wrapped up the top 3 most impressive.
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.