One of the most widely used power tools for carpenters is the table saw. For carpenters that don’t work exclusively in the shop a portable jobsite table saw is essential. For this Head-to-Head we’re focusing on corded portable 10″ jobsite table saws. We are not including cordless table saws in this test as we plan on doing another head-to-head exclusively for cordless table saws later this year as several are available now.
TBB used an iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the blade position to the table miter slot. This instrument has an accuracy of .0005 inches. As part of the table saw set-up, TBB installed a new Diablo blade in each saw and these never-before-used blades were used in the measurement test. To ensure that any wobble in the blade did not enter into the test results, TBB marked a single tooth as the reference point for the measurement. The blade position was moved to the front of the saw to allow the iGauging dial indicator to hit the tooth immediately behind the carbide tooth, The iGauging dial indicator was calibrated and the indicator had a reading of zero.
Powermatic is a name that you’ll see a few times on our list of the cabinet saws because this company is responsible so many great models like this 1792010K PM2000, 5HP 1PH Table Saw, with 50-Inch Accu-Fence System. The built-in caster system makes it easy to move the cabinet saw anywhere around your shop with minimal eft, and it comes with a quick release riving knife that reduces vibrations to prevent accidents. At 39-inches high, it also lets you use the saw without stopping over.
You want to rip down lumber with your table saw. For this you’ll need a fence. You just can’t make an accurate rip cut without one. Check the fence sits on the rails firmly. You should be able to adjust it easily in both directions. A T-square fence is the most common type. Made from welded steel, it’s precise, user-friendly and durable. Some fences are mounted with bolts. Others are welded onto the head of the T-square. Miter gauges are priceless for making cross-cuts and other more advanced cuts. This gauge acts as a guiding device. It moves in the miter slot. You can angle between 45 degrees and -45 degrees. For angled or square cross-cuts or other specialty cuts, a miter gauge fully delivers.
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.
Under the table, you’ll find plenty of space to store away your accessories. This is valuable if you’re working on site and don’t want to keep hunting down bits and pieces. You’ll be able to stash your arbor wrench and Allen wrenches close to hand. The rip fence also flips upside down and can be stored under the table. It’s this kind of attention to detail for a jobsite saw that’s always appreciated.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.
User reviews at Amazon and Home Depot are also very positive, with about 4.6 stars overall from more than 900 owners. Multiple users say the saw cuts through wood "like butter," and they praise its easy setup, accurate rack-and-pinion fence, and easy-to-use stand. The one feature users dislike is the miter gauge, which many reviewers describe as flimsy. We also saw a few more general complaints about poor quality control on this saw. Users report problems such as warped tables and slots that don't align, making it impossible to calibrate the saw properly. Fortunately, if you happen to get a lemon, you can replace it under DeWalt's 3-year warranty, which bests Bosch's by 2 years.
Accessories 10″ 24-Tooth Carbide Blade, 2x Blade Wrenches, rolling stand, blade guard assembly, push stick, miter gauge, rip fence 10 in. 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade, throat plate insert, smart guard system, rip fence, miter gauge, push stick 32T carbide-tipped blade, rip fence, miter gauge, push stick, and wrenches Rip Fence, Miter Gauge, Smart Guard System, Push Stick, Blade Change Wrenches 24-tooth SKILSAW Carbide-tipped blade for ripping, miter gauge, self-aligning fence, guard system including anti-kick back device, insert plate, push stick and wrench
Our selection the top cabinet saw is the SawStop ICS51230-52 5 HP 230V 60 Hz Cabinet Saw with 52-Inch Industrial T-Glide Fence System. SawStop appears on our list a few times because the company makes saws that come with its own patented safety system that causes the blade to stop spinning as soon as it comes into contact with skin. We also like the extended fence system on this model, which accommodate more wood types and board lengths.
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How big a table saw is, is determined by the largest blade the saw will hold. 8” blades are the smallest that should be used for any home workshop. You can get blades in 9”, 10”, and 12” sizes as well. Most workshops will not really need the 12” blade as this has a very deep cut capability, but for construction firms and larger, commercial shops, the 12” comes in handy.
Best of all though, the precision fence and locking miter gauge allow you to dial in the exact angles of bevel and compound miter cuts for complex trim and finishing work. You never have to worry about setting up multiple times for the same cut because the PM2000 is designed to let you “set and forget” while you get your multiple precision cuts made without needing to fiddle with the controls every time. While it is large and extremely heavy, this is definitely the tool of a professional woodworker that will provide performance that meets or exceeds even the most demanding tasks in your woodshop.
If you’re looking for the perfect cabinet table saw out there, then you should look no further than the SawStop ICS51230-52. This is an industrial grade cabinet saw and is also the highest quality, most powerful and heaviest cabinet saw you can currently get. Its fifty two inch industrial T-glide fence assembly, combined with a 5 HP, 230V single phase motor offers safety, versatility, durability and peace of mind that SawStop is so well known for.
Once you’ve made sure that the table saw is unplugged and there aren’t any extra materials in your workspace, you should turn your attention to the miter slot. See also related: Top 10 Miter Saws here. You’ll want to make sure that the miter (click here for sliding miter saws) slot is parallel to the blade. It is important that all measurements are precise and exact – nothing short of parallel will do. Once you’ve measured the blade and the miter slot, you’ll need to check the fencing as well.
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.
Lightweight: Typically, you want to choose a portable table saw that is relatively lightweight but sturdy. This will make sure that you are able to work faster and more efficiently compared to heavier options. It also cuts down the strain involved in using this tool as well in moving from one location to another. While looking for lightweight options, do not compromise on the stability element though. If your table saw is not sturdy, it can easily be wobbly while cutting the wood or other material. This is a safety risk but also will end up with junk projects and mistakes. Woodworking is all about precision, and that requires stability.
You cannot build wood cabinets or make furniture without a quality tool that provides maximum accuracy and precision. There are still many people who prefer to use the manual saw rather than the electric saw, but the main disadvantage of using the standard saw is that it doesn’t provide a smooth and clean cut. On the other hand, despite the fact that electric saws cut the wood at a very high speed and reach in the middle of the wood with no effort, they provide a very smooth cut.
When you are woodworking, dust and debris can be a serious bugbear. There’s good news with the DeWalt, though. Connect the DWE7491RS to your favorite vacuum and keep your workspace blissfully free of fine particles. The 2 ½-inch dust port at the rear and 1 ½-inch port off the top of your blade makes for a powerful combination getting rid of dust from above and below.
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.
High RPM: Rotations per minute are an important consideration when you are looking to buy the ideal portable table saw. It ensures that you can cut the wood/material a lot more efficiently and accurately. It also means that the thickness can be adjusted easily, and you can get a plank to the thickness that you would like. The high RPM also makes sure that the cut is relatively smooth and the rips do not show up in the form of uneven edges. On an average, most table saws have a 15 amps motor. It is the RPM that makes a big difference in performance. Anything above 4500 is fantastic.
Probably one of the things that users will love most about this table saw is the solid granite surface which offers a seamless work area and excellent support. Another advantage of the Steel City 35955 is the fact that it comes with powerful magnets which allow swift changes without having to worry about using any type of tools. Since there’s a built-in mobile stand, you can easily position the saw around your shop without requiring the help of a second person.
The obvious starting point for an analysis of which saw is best suited to the needs of a given person (or company, school workshop, and so forth) is the budget at hand. Even the most affordable table saws of a quality meriting serious consideration cost more than 200 dollars; such units are small but still capable of many tasks. The top of the line table saws come with price tags topping out at well over 3,000 dollars and can handle almost any lumber you would ever need cut and then some; more often than not these mighty saws are more tool than needed, so to speak.
In most situations, you can take the dust bag off of the port and hook up a shop vac or an industrial dust-collection system. Many table saws make use of a standard-size dust port between 2-1/2 and 4 inches in diameter, which means it may be compatible with equipment that you already own. Some models forgo the dust bag altogether, in the expectation that you’ll be using some sort of dust collection system.
To get the best use of something it is very important to understand it and to have complete information regarding it. It is a powerful tool that is used for different types of works. When it comes to a woodworking machine, many options are available, but to use it to its maximum potential you need to take into account several factors. First of all, it is important to know that there are many different types of circular saws available in the marketplace. In what regards the portability, there are two types of saws including portable and stationary. As you may have already read, most of our reviewed saws are portable and easy to move from a place to another. However, in this article, you will find information about each type of saw as well as about their classifications.
SawStop is the only saw in the group to employ this style fence and they have the best in the group. Ridgid comes in second with a traditional front clamping fence system that has a backside contact point. Its solid construction and wide cast front clamp left us impressed. DeWalt’s came in third with an innovative effort that locks into several points based on where you need it. Rather than sliding along, it stays in place while the rack and pinion system moves it into place. It’s not perfect, but it eliminates a lot of accuracy issues that come from locking the fence out of square on some systems.
In 1999, a Dewalt table saw came out that was considered one of the first hybrid saws. They are made with strong motor parts and the drive system is more advanced. The substantial trunnions in most hybrid saws are attached to the bottom of the saw to make the blade and the miter slit meet exactly and easier. These are much smaller than the cabinet saws.
The first contractor saws were made to be portable so they could be taken to job sites. These are also lightweight and priced low enough that the handy homeowner can use them. When purchasing the contractor saw there, you will have to make a few concessions. The table is not made of the cast iron top and the extensions are usually made of stamped medal. It is not made as burly as more costly saws. The motor also hangs off the back, which makes it easier to remove when moving the saw to another job site. Bosch table saws are reported to be one of the best budget saws available.
Buying a table saw can cover a lot of bases. You have everything from DIY models to professional production level cabinet table saws. In this article, we’re looking what is arguably the most popular – jobsite table saws. They’re on the less expensive side and are highly portable compared to their shop counterparts. That makes them go-to tools for framers, jobsite carpenters, and Prosumers.
The rip fence has a nifty flipping action so you can hold 2 different positions. This is an awesome feature if you’re cutting especially narrow workpieces. One of the dangers of ripping substantial pieces of lumber is breakage or the saw itself toppling over. The rail extension gives wonderful stability and allows you the freedom to undertake ambitious projects in complete safety.
A magnetic switch is also good from a safety standpoint but may not be necessary on these smaller versions. A magnetic switch prevents the saw from starting back up if it loses power during a power outage. Basically, the power outage will turn off the saw. This is good because if for some reason the power were to come back on when you were not near the machine, the material could be shot out of it or damage the saw.
Great match-up and informative… however I too noticed that “No Load” RPMs varied quite a bit from chart to chart – for the same saw. We would expect some variation of 50 RPM as you had mentioned, but not 500 to 800. See that the Hitachi changed from 4400 down to 3700, Delta jumped from 3700 to 4400, Rigid from 3650 to 4350. Upon closer scrutiny… the order of “No Load” RPMs used in first chart may have been used in all subsequent charts. When the “Load” results were ordered by hi-to-low ranking, is it possible that the “No Load” data was not kept with its saw? If so, that changes the %drop results slightly for most RPM No-Load/Load,Speed charts. No too terrible. Lots of data… Good overall presentation though for use to make informed decisions. Thank you!
Like the last SawStop table saw that we looked at, this one is quite heavy and provides the stability that you need when working with plywood or any other type of wood. You can use the foot pedal on the bottom to operate the saw, but you’ll also find four wheels on the bottom of the cabinet. All four of those wheels swivel in a 360-degree direction to help you move the cabinet to any location.
Table saws are pretty complicated pieces of kit and because of that, you can likely imagine that they’re also pretty dangerous at the same time. This is especially the case if you’re using a table saw for the first time. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your table saw features appropriate safety features when buying. There’s nothing worse than falling victim to one of the many accidents that happen every single year as a result of using a table saw.
Some table saws come with a miter gauge, though the quality tends to be uneven. Some are great, and will serve you well for a long time, while others are flimsy or struggle to hold the correct angle or both. This is something that can most easily be determined by reading online reviews, though it’s always great to get your hands on a demonstration model, if possible.
I have another post for Woodsmith magazines. ShopNotes 2.00 each copyIssue 1 Premiere Issue Shop -- Built Router TableTable Saw AccessoriesTips for Accurate CrosscuttingElu Router ReviewIssue 2Wooden Joiners MalletStorage Bin SystemHand-Cut MortisesRadial Arm Saw FenceIssue 3Handy Tool Carry-AllShop-Built Cling StationPlate Joinery TechniquesAdjustable Grinding JigIssue 4Shop-Built Panel SawThi...
One shouldn’t expect a massive amount of storage, but being a table, it does offer some level of free space. In fact, some models even offer space for fences, gauges, blades, and other necessary equipment. Apart from that, you can always keep the necessary tools in the reach of your hands. It will make the process much easier and also a lot quicker.
The Porter-Cable looks like a beefed-up version of the Craftsman, with the same blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. This is the only saw in our test with a blade-tilting handwheel, which makes it easier to dial in a precise bevel angle. The motor mount and blade controls on this saw are very sturdy, without much play, which translates to a good-quality cut. Extending the fence for a wide rip requires a bit of effort on this saw, since the rails are stiff. All in all, this is a great saw for the price.