Setup was nearly as simple as SawStop’s with just a narrow margin between them. We only needed to attach the handle and bolt the saw down to the stand. The stand is a gravity rise style, but requires you to bend down to ground level for collapsing and extending it. It’s a reasonably solid platform, though a lot of movement throughout the day will leave your back sore.
At a compact 45 pounds, the DEWALT DW745 Compact Jobsite Table Saw is the lightest table saw in our review. The saw's portability doesn't mean that ripping size is compromised, though. Thanks to extending fence guides, you've got 20 inches available. Depth of cut is on par with many bigger machines: at 90 degrees, it's 3 1/8 inches. At 45 degrees, it's 2 1/4 inches. Power comes from a 15-amp motor with a no-load speed of 3,850 RPM. This is ample enough for serious DIY projects and light-duty construction site work.
These table saws are all probably made in China where there’s apparently no meaningful out-going quality control. While the *average* quality from a given manufacturer might be great, you could also be unlucky get a piece of junk because *everything* made on the production line ships out. It’s a preferred business model these days – the prices are much cheaper but the manufacturers trade that off against dealing with significantly increased returns and the need for much more customer service.
It has all the safety features you need. This one has a big, brightly-colored stop button connected to an electric brake, so you can easily bring the blade to a halt. The stop button panel also has a thermal overload switch built in, so it’ll automatically switch the saw off if the motor becomes too hot. We also love that there’s a magnetic switch in the same panel, which prevents the machine from turning itself back on if power cuts out in your shop while you’re working.
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.
Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
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.
Bengt – We appreciate the feedback as it always helps us get better. Having said that I think some of your concerns were evaluated and included in the results in ways that may not be entirely clear. We adjusted each saw after checking the blade/fence measurements and had no issues getting them adjusted (I may add some text to reinforce that in the article). We don’t do long term testing in this type of article as it’s simply not feasible…so making a statement about whether the saw holds those adjustments isn’t feasible. We evaluated the fences and ranked them in the ergonomics section, we even did lateral load testing on them as part of that ranking.
Electric brakes in the saw is an important feature as helps the saw in reversing electricity in the motor, thus contributing to a precise cut. It is highly recommended that when you are buying a saw choose the one with on and off switch. The switch should be easily accessible to make work better and more efficient. In addition, the switch should have a cover. This will keep you from accidentally turning the saw on and damaging your work area or cutting yourself.
That’s where we come in! As your saw experts, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at all the models on the market right now, to help you find the best table saw for your projects and your lifestyle. We compared dozens of options, drawing on our own collective experience as well as professional ratings, and reviews from buyers who spent time using these saws in their homes. We compared specs, features, reliability ratings and more, to find the absolute best options out there right now.
For the woodworking professional, the 3-horsepower SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw PCS31230-TGP236 is the top pick. Its superior safety features include an excellent riving knife and blade guard system and a unique flesh-sensing blade brake to prevent cuts. Reviewers also praise its performance, exceptional dust control, and overall ease of use. Less expensive versions with 1.75-hp motors are also available (Est. $2,300 and up). The warranty is two years for the saw and five for the motor.
Bosch engineers deserve kudos for the Gravity-Rise stand, and it’s a design some other manufacturers should emulate. Twist one lever, and the sturdy, steel frame folds up or down fluidly to convert from sawing to transport or storage. Eight-inch wheels and lugged rubber tires make this base easy to steer overland or pull up steps. Plus, the base’s stance is wide, giving it sure footing if you are pushing long planks or heavy sheet goods through. It will not tip. But, the stand when erected sets the saw’s tabletop quite high, at 38-1⁄2″. Shorter users may find this to be a bit too tall for comfort.
We absolutely love the Dewalt DWE7491 that we recommended as our top quality choice above. It’s a powerful, precise workhorse that can handle nearly any cutting job. However, times are changing fast, and workplace safety standards are increasing just as rapidly. If you’re a professional who wants to stay on top of your code, you should consider getting a unit that’s equipped with a flesh-detections safety system.
We rotated the blade to the rear of the saw to enable the dial indicator to contact the same location of the same tooth behind the carbide portion. We positioned the dial indicator to the rear of the saw placed onto the blade and the reading recorded. If the blade and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading.
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.