I am looking to upgrade from my first table saw which is the Ryobi that you reviewed (had to find something cheap that was decent). I do a lot of rip cuts, as well as fine precision cuts for laminating and joinery required for frames, furniture, etc. I am looking at the Skilsaw and the Dewalt 7480 and cannot decide which would be best for me. Any insight would be helpful!
The Delta Unisaw is a heavyweight in woodworking circles. It’s been on the market for years, and it’s a stalwart through and through. It has a super-powerful 5 HP motor which can blast through the toughest hardwoods and composite materials quickly. It also features one of the most precise bevel adjustments on the market, down to 1/4 degrees! It has a solid, single-cast trunnion which provides excellent vibration dampening, and an extra-heavy case iron base. In short, this is a hulking beast of a machine, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a shop favorite for years.
If you want to have a quick and accurate cut of wood, look no further than a table saw. When buying a table saw the main thing you put into consideration is its power. A good table saw should have enough power to cut through wet timber as well as hardwood. However, there are certain features which help in foreseeing the overall performance of a table saw.
Even though is seems pretty irrelevant, the position of the On/Off switch is quite important, especially if you’re a frequent user of these tools. In today’s models, the switch is usually leveled with your knees. The main thing you should look for is the size of the OFF switch. It has to be big enough so that you can turn the unit off immediately either with your knees, elbows, or hands. The so-called panic button is one of the crucial elements of every unit, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
We’re not alone in loving the Jet’s guard system. We read lots of reviews from pros who said they’d used lots of table saws in their time, but this was the first time they didn’t absolutely hate the guard. In fact, many wrote that they started working with the guard onboard for the first time, simply because it worked so well. It’s certainly one of the most unobtrusive ones we’ve seen!
A lot of the modern table saws nowadays will have a dust collection port where you can hook up a vacuum or extraction system to it. We would always recommend that you purchase a table saw with a dust port, always check the size of the port to make sure it fits with either your vacuum or your extraction system, or you can always modify something to make them fit.
All these saws have fences that extend to at least 24 in. to allow you to rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of plywood in half. And they all have a slightly different way of accomplishing this. DeWalt has the most straightforward method. You just push the fence out on its rails and flip over the board support. On the Rockwell saw, you flip out a hinged fence rail. The only drawback to this fence is that it must remain in the extended position for any cut, so it takes up quite a bit of room. The remaining saws require you to release one or two levers and pull out the fence extension.
Ridgid notches a third place finish as the only saw to include an independent blade height lock. The adjustment wheel raises and lowers with multiple full turns like most saws, but integrates a lock into the center. For the bevel adjustment, the outside of the height adjustment wheel turns a rack and pinion style system to accurately change the blade angle – a feature Makita shares.
One drawback is because of the way the blade is stopped, you will want to have an extra blade brake on hand because once it’s used, it cannot be reused. So, if you don’t have another handy, you will have some downtime. Also, the stopping of a blade moving at thousands of RPM can understandably be very hard on the blade itself. Often, the blade may need to be replaced after it has been stopped in this way. Still better than losing a thumb.
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 CNS175-TGP36 SawStop is a 10 in. contractor table saw with a 45 degree bevel and a rip capacity of 36.5 in. Other than that, we think this is a pretty cool table saw for a few different reasons. First, the price is about half of all other SawStop table saws, and we know money talks (actually, it yells)! Second, like all other SawStop table saws, it has the integrated flesh sensing technology, so you can be sure you’re going to keep all your digits. Also, it has some pretty impressive power; it’s powered by 15 A motor so you’ll be able to tackle whatever you need. The last of our favorite features is its portability. For being a contractor saw, it’s pretty easy to pack up and move around.
It’s built heavy. Like our other recommendations, this one has a machined cast iron worktop, and all-steel cabinet. There are miter slots cut into the worktop, and the bevel and height adjustments are via machined metal flywheels that are calibrated and balanced with the trunnion. We especially love the internal gearwork for raising the motor, which has precise torque bolts and a gas assist to make all your adjustments both smooth and easy. The cabinet is powdered steel for added durability, and the Professional woodworkers and amateur reviewers alike said they were above impressed with the overall build quality. This one feels as premium to use as you’d expect from the pricetag.
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.