When you’re deciding how much to spend, think about how often you use your saw, whether you’re using it as part of a professional workshop or as an avid hobbyist, and whether or not you can expect any return on your investments through your work. We recommend that DIYer spend closer to the $2000 mark, while professionals are more likely to get their money’s worth from something more premium.
It’s the safest of the three by a long, long shot. SawStop became a major brand thanks to a feature that they’ve named their brand after: an accident-proof stopping mechanism for the traditional table saw. The innovative brake system on this model is the best on the market at detecting flesh and stopping the blade immediately. It’s a sure bet for saving fingers or worse injuries in the workshop.
Finally, make sure you know your long-term options when it comes to maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Check the warranty coverage on your portable unit. Read the fine print, checking whether you’ll be paying for repairs under warranty, or whether the company will be footing the bill. Some manufacturers cover repairs, but not return shipping. Others force you to bring your unit to an authorized dealer, which can be difficult in some parts of the country.
The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.
The Bosch 4100-09 offers many advanced features, making it a very capable table saw for woodworking. The air-filled wheels and gravity rising stand makes this table saw functional and lightweight. Set up and tear down of the table saw is a breeze. This technology allows the table saw to be moved from place to place, even over the most rough and challenging areas of the work site. The 4100-09 weighs 39 pounds, making it the perfect portable table saw. Although it is lightweight, it is very durable and stable.
Both saws accomplish the same thing, but with different results. SawStop’s feature takes about 90 seconds to recover from compared to roughly 1 minute with Bosch. Bosch developed the REAXX to drop the blade without damage while SawStop usually results in a damaged blade that needs to be replaced. The SawStop employs a brake that must be changed after activation at a cost of $69 each. Bosch uses a dual airbag style cartridge. These run $99 each, but you get two shots out of each one.
Today's table saws also include riving knives, which ride up and down with the blade when its height is changed, rather than splitters that are fixed in place. The problem with the old splitters was that they had to be removed for certain types of cuts, and users might forget to put them back on before making rip cuts. This increased the risk of kickback injuries, which occur when the spinning blade kicks back a piece of wood toward the user with tremendous force, causing serious injury to any part of the body that's hit.
The miter gauge gets an “its fine” grade. Ok to support a narrow piece for a crosscut, but not long enough to do much more than that. I upgraded to an Incra miter 1000SE and never looked back. Although a crosscut sled is pretty easy to make (and I highly recommend getting one) I picked up an Incra Miter Express sled for real cheap at a garage sale, so I am happy to use that.
The Grizzly, like the other cabinet models you’ll see here, requires a 220V power supply. If you’re a professional woodworker, you probably already have a 220V hookup. If you’re a home woodworker or DIYer, you’ll need to have one installed, if you haven’t already. It can be an expensive installation, so factor in the cost when you consider how much you’ll spend on your new saw.
Both saws provide great cutting performance, and should handle most homeowner and DIY wood-cutting needs with ease. The saws are marketed as job-site saws, meaning they're designed for construction and home-improvement applications where extreme precision and accuracy is not typically required. This does not mean they're poorly suited for fine woodworking, though. You might not achieve the same precision as with a full-size stationary table saw, but out test cuts were by no means sloppy. And upgrading from the simple miter gauges included with both saws to an after-market miter gauge (such as an Incra model) or a cross-cut sled should improve the accuracy of straight and angled cross-cuts.
Makita joins DeWalt with an external riving knife release so you don’t have to reach into the throat to loosen it. We actually ran into an issue with the design because of a slightly bent plate holding the knife in place. That aside, the intent of the design is sound and should make for an an easier experience. Because of the external release, Makita screws down the throat plate in place. You should only need to get in there for blade changes if everything functions properly.
The old designs of table saws did not have the angled capability that newer models have now with their ability to have the blades angled at 45 and 90 degrees. Before these upgraded styles, the table itself had to be tilted which made cutting extremely unsafe. The new styles that accommodate angling the blade for the beveled cuts make things much easier and safer for the user.
rarely have to work with stock that thick. I mostly prefer to do this on my bandsaw any way. The 2" dust port allows me to hook up the shop vac and it does a decent job of getting most of the dust. The saw doesn't have much room in front of the blade so it was impossible to use my shop made cutoff sled. I solved this problem by making my own removable infeed extension table. Now I can use the 22" cutoff sled. After a year and a half the saw is still in adjustment and runs true. The saw stays in my shop and doesn't get bounce around on the back of a pickup truck. Based on my experience I highly recommend this saw if you have a small shop and don't plan on building large pieces
It has a brilliantly powerful 15 AMP motor, which can deliver 4,800 RPM of cutting power. Is is normally more than enough for most woodworkers and hobbyists. It has stowable anti-kickback pawls and and excellent riving knife and spreader for accurate cuts. This is a great entry level saw at a great price, definitely worth looking at for your next purchase or project.
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.
I’m no stranger to Bosch’s 4100-09 saw with Gravity-Rise™ stand. I’ve used one several times to build projects for this magazine, including the Serving Tray Cart that appeared in the June issue. So, I was not surprised when it tested impressively here. Rip cuts were on the mark, thanks to a rugged, beefy fence that stayed parallel to the blade each time I reset it. A flip of a red lever underneath unlocks the rails so they slide out and extend ripping capacity up to 25″.
If you need a table saw that can travel, the Bosch 4100-09 consistently earns high marks. Reviewers praise its power, accuracy, easy setup, and easy blade changes. They also love the gravity-rise wheeled stand, which rolls smoothly and snaps open or folds flat in a single lever-activated motion. Finally, they appreciate the convenience of the blade guard system, complete with riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.