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.
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.
Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
Obviously, given its size, the TruePower 01-0819 isn’t the kind of table saw you’d spring for to take on larger projects that require greater motor power — after all, it’s by no means revolutionary in the torque department. But for those who work with smaller materials or softer wood, the Gino Development TruePower 01-0819 Mini Electric Table Saw is a worthwhile, no-frills buy that’s easy on the wallet and can fit in virtually any space with plenty of room to spare.
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.
Table saws cut more or less the same way as a circular saw (covered in their own report): a round blade, usually 10 inches in diameter, spins as it works its way through the wood. The main difference is that the blade is fixed in place, sticking up through a gap in the table, and the operator moves the wood past the blade instead of moving the saw itself. Table saws support and guide lumber and wood panels as they pass over the spinning blade, making it easier to make accurate repeat cuts than with a circular saw.
We’re impressed with how much thought SawStop have put into all the features on this model. It has an extra-large bevel gauge ruler on the side of the cabinet, tool-free, modular guard system, and compatibility with innovative wheelbases which don’t add noticeably to the SawStop’s height or footprint. It also has beveled edges to protect your materials, a very nice touch that our other recommendations don’t have. All in all, it feels like a tool designed by people who use one of these units on a regular basis.
Each one has different power, capabilities, mobility and price points as well. If you’re not sure which type you need, we have outline some specifics on each below that will help you choose. When you begin the search for your table saw, you will need to know the answers to a few questions that will narrow down the choices for you and make choosing much easier.
The RK7241S has two sturdy tubular legsets that fold down and lock, and one becomes a convenient handle for transport. The stand stayed put during heavy ripping operations, and lawnmowerstyle wheels make the tool easy to roll. But, once set up, you have to drag or lift the saw to move it, unlike other portables that keep the wheels on the floor during use.
SawStop was second, also with features no other saw had. The blade height adjustment wheel covers the entire range with one full turn of the wheel. There was some discussion about micro adjustments being more precise for dado and rabbet cuts, but in practice, we found we could easily get to a specific height without trouble. SawStop also moves away from the bevel lock lever and instead integrates it into the height wheel. By pulling the lock toward you, it is released and easily moved to your desired angle. Let go of the wheel and it’s locked back in place without having to hold it and use a second hand to work the lever.
How many teeth a saw blade has will determine how smooth the cut is. Most blades have from 24-80 teeth. The exceptions to these blades are specialty material specific blades (i.e. for masonry) In general, the more teeth a blade has the smoother the cut will be. The higher tooth count means that the cut speed will be slower as well. You cannot overcome a slower cutting speed by pushing harder on the material. This is a common mistake newbies make. All this will do is cause kickbacks when the saw blade catches and tosses the object back towards to the user at dangerously high speeds.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 both have 15 amp motors, so power shouldn’t be a problem with either of these job site table saws. The DEWALT has a high torque motor that is capable of delivering a no-load speed of up to 3,850 rpm. The Bosch 15 amps and a no-load speed of up to 3,650 rpm. The difference between the two is not something that would be noticeable without sophisticated equipment, and will not affect performance in any significant manner. The noticeable difference between the two is that the Bosch 4100 comes equipped with a soft start motor that is lacking on the DEWALT DW745. This will cause a noticeable load on your power source, and may affect other tools and lighting attached to the same source during startup.
Table saws will use one of two different kinds of drive configurations; Direct-drive motors and Belt-drive motors. In a direct-drive motor, they will link directly to the blade itself and transfer all of the power of the motor to the blade. They tend to last longer than belt drive motors and there is no belt to replace or worry about getting worn out. Belt drive motors transfer power from the motor to the blade through a belt. In this type of configuration, the motor can be offset away from the sawdust which helps the motor last longer. In general, belt drive motors need more preventative maintenance than direct-drive motors do. If you have a belt drive motor, check the tension of your belts as well as checking them for wear periodically to ensure your continued safety.
The first step to take when using a table saw is to don all the appropriate safety gear that a responsible operator should use. This includes, at the bare minimum, eye protection and thick work gloves. It's also a good idea to protect your ears with ear muffs or earplugs and to consider a mask that will cover your mouth and nose to prevent the inhalation of fine saw dust particles.
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.
It’s heavy-duty. Like all great cabinet saws, the Grizzly is built from parts that can last a lifetime or more. It has a cast-iron table, that’s precision-ground to be exactly level, with no warps or imperfections. The trunnion supports holding up the motor are also solid cast iron, which means that they don’t translate much vibration to the work surface at all. The paint on the cabinet and extension frames is powder-coated, and the miter gauge and riving knife are solid steel. Both extension table surfaces are made with a coated, engineered composite, which stands up well against dings or scuffs.
It’s interesting to note that if pricing was taken out of this evaluation the ranking would have been: DEWALT in first, Makita in second, Hitachi, Skilsaw and SawStop tied for third, Bosch in fourth, Delta in fifth and Ridgid in sixth place. But at the end of the day price is certainly a factor. What we didn’t do in our evaluation is any long term testing to look at durability which ultimately could affect your purchase decision as well.
The thing you might not like about it is the non-flat table top. Many people find this downside as quite a burden, especially if you’re processing perfectly flat wood. Also, the protective coating on the top side of this model is pretty subpar. In fact, it barely protects anything. Consequently, it will peel off quite quickly. As far as the price goes, it’s okay, but it could have been a bit cheaper.
One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.
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.
Portable saws are usually light and smaller than the other types. The three basic types of portable saws are compact, bench top, and jobsite saws. Because they are designed for portability, the materials of which they are made sometimes lack sturdiness and stability. However, that’s not a reason to be alarmed; a vast majority of these units are absolutely safe for work.
Outfeed capacity is almost always the depth of the table. Pros using a jobsite table saw can opt to put a sawhorse or other support to hold the material after it passes the blade. There are a few models running around that give you some extra outfeed support, though. Most of the time, you’ll just have a buddy help guide the cut through from a safe stance on the behind the saw.
Kenny Koehler An avid endurance athlete, Kenny has competed in triathlons (he's an Ironman) and various other fitness activities. Still, his passions lie with his faith, family, friends, and his love for well-designed power tools. With a background in science, you'll often find Kenny chatting up engineers at media events to get caught up on the latest tool technology.
In recent years, there has been a cloud of controversy surrounding the inherent safety issues surrounding the table saw. SawStop developed a flesh detection technology that pulls the blade below the table surface 3 milliseconds after coming into contact with skin. It really created a new class of table saw that, as of June 1st, finally has some competition in the form of Bosch’s REAXX.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.
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.
Ryobi’s RTS21G comes in as the only table saw in the group under $200. It’s lightweight, reasonably compact, and we got acceptable jobsite cuts with the upgraded Diablo blade. The throat plate uses magnets to hold it in place while leaving it easy to remove for blade access. Using a threaded rod to push the height adjustment up, you’ll notice it’s easier and smoother on the way down. The stand folds up and can be Velcro-strapped to the back, though it’s a bit wobbly compared to the others when ready for action.
Buying a table saw is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make when it comes to power tools. It is an integral part of most job site equipment, as well as an essential item for most do it yourself projects. Choosing a table saw that fits your particular needs and budget can mean the difference in both profitability and frustration level.
I do not which is the best table saw, but I can tell you which is the worst. The rigid portable saw is a piece of garbage. I have purchased two in the last 4 years and the motor has failed in both, only to find that they do not sell a replacement motor. The Rigid customer service will not respond to any questions associated with the saw or replacement parts. I will not buy another Rigid tool and currently planning to try the Bosch table saw.
Some previous buyers had motor trouble. Their units conked out early, or worked inconsistently. Apparently, that was down to cheap internal bearings used in the first few iterations of the Bosch. However, according to company replies to some reviewers who cited the issue, the problem has been addressed in the last few versions of this model. We’ve also found that reviews from the past few years are much more consistently positive.
Power protections are also a key safety feature, since they protect both your personal safety and the integrity of your table saw. Look for a magnetic switch in the power switch assembly of your saw. A magnetic switch protects the system from dangerous power fluctuations, and automatically shuts the machine off in case of a surge or drop in flow. It’ll also perform another valuable function when power goes out or a fuse flips: it’ll prevent the saw turning itself back on when power returns!
As for my blades, I replaced the blade that came with the saw right away. It is terrible and would have been better to be not included at all. I replaced it with a Freud industrial 24 tooth glue-line rip blade and a Freud Diablo 80 tooth plywood and crosscut blade (I find it easier to just buy new plywood blades since the glue does a number on them, not to mention the wear and tear caused by MDF). As an all-around blade, I keep a 50 tooth Tenryu Gold blade. It is quieter somehow, and does a cut almost as good as either the rip or crosscut blade. Great for making quick cuts without always changing blades. I will use it for most ripping, but will switch to the ripping blade when I have a lot of ripping to do, or will be going thicker than about 1.5” in hardwood.
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.
Give yourself a reason to smile every time you enter in your workshop by investing in this powerful instrument. DEWALT as a company guarantee quality in all their products for the interests of customer satisfaction. This Jobsite table saw is not exceptional. Its designed to provide precision and last longer. The saw features pinion and rack system that makes adjusting the fence easy and convenient. In other words, you will not strain or shift your concentration while on work. The table saw is designed with a rolling stand that guarantees you professional performance in all your cuts. It also features telescoping fence rails that retract and extend for a small portable package of the saw. Additionally, the table saw is suitable for both wide and narrow rip cutting as the fence can adjust based on the type of material you are cutting. Using a 15amp motor, you are sure that the saw will get the job done within minutes and save you energy cost.