We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
Table saws can pose a serious risk of injury, since part of the spinning blade comes up above the surface of the table where it can come into contact with the user's hand as it guides the wood. Thanks to voluntary safety standards introduced by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in 2007, pretty much all table saws now come with blade guards that minimize the risk. Modern guard systems are easier to remove and replace as needed – an important feature because inconvenient blade guards are apt to be left off the saw.
Below is a graph showing the average measured decibels for the saws (for each of the materials we tested). As you can see the saws range from 93.7 db to 97.9 db. OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for up to 90 db, from 95 db up the exposure limits start dropping quickly starting at 4 hrs for 95 db so clearly these saws all need hearing protection. The Makita was given the best score of 1 as it was considerably quieter than the remaining. DEWALT and Delta were ranked worse with a score of 3, while the remaining were ranked as a 2.
When choosing the best table saw for jobsites, you’ll need a rip capacity of more than 24″. Why? 24″ is half the width of sheet material. Some models will give you as much as 35″. Since you ideally want to have the waste edge opposite the fence, the larger the capacity the better. But again, jobsite table saws are designed for Pros with a little more inherent forgiveness in the job, so the assumption is that you can cut the waste edge against the fence if necessary.
Before we get into some of the top features, we want to take a look at the design of this cabinet. As it uses an enclosed cabinet, you’ll find that the motor lasts longer because it doesn’t wear down due to constant exposure to dust. This cabinet also features convenient hand wheels on the front and sides that help you make quick adjustments before cutting or as you work.
The first thing you should do before starting up your unit is to check whether you’re wearing all the necessary safety equipment. Gloves are something not many people like to wear. Apart from keeping your fingers safe, they also offer protection against thorns. As you may assume, you’ll work with a lot of thorns flying around. However, gloves aren’t mandatory, and they won’t offer much protection apart from occasional thorns.
Paul – Good catch….I’ve updated that to say Skilsaw not SawStop…thank you! As you can imagine…all the data makes it tough to keep it all straight. I’m not even sure how you’d install that aftermarket fence on these saws. If you do I’d love to see how!! Those really look like they are made to install on cast-iron full size saws. I’d choose the DEWALT with a slight edge over the SKilsaw.
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!
The first measurements we looked at with the performance testing was blade speed cutting all three of the test materials. This tests gives us a relative comparison of how much blade speed reduction the motors have under different loading conditions. In our opinion this gives us an idea of how strong the motor/gear box combination is for each saw. For each test we also recorded the “no-load” speed to capture the relative drop in rpm in the blade speed while cutting wood. We used our as-measured no-load speeds instead of the published values from the manufacturers.
The Powermatic 1792001K PM2000 is an award winning cabinet table saw that features a 1-phase, 3 HP motor with rout-R lift and Accu-fence system which set a new standard for innovation through thanks to the saw’s large body design and an incredible range of patented features. The 1792001K PM2000 is the result of years of work and research and hundreds of interviews with woodworkers that offered input which was eventually implemented in the saw. The performance, reliably and safety of this saw are so great, that they actually set a new standard by which all other cabinet saws are judged.
When you need to change the blade, you’ll find that this saw comes with an arbor lock that you can unlock with one hand, which lets you change the blade without any special equipment. It uses a poly-v drive belt system that gives the motor extra power, but this belt system also reduces the noise of the motor, which makes it great those working around others.
With a single cast iron trunnion system, the Delta UNISAW offers dependable accuracy, smooth and continuous operation, but also vibration free control. Thanks to the fact that it features a fifty-two inch fence system, it’s the perfect choice for woodworking pros, but also people who are just starting out in the woodworking industry, such as hobbyists. Since it also comes with an upfront bevel dial to easily fine tune the blade level, you get a striking accuracy within a quarter of a degree, ensuring precision setups cut after cut.
DeWALT DWE7480 is an excellent table saw, especially if you consider its price. It’s a step up from the highly popular DW745 and slightly more expensive, but I think the larger rip capacity and higher RPM are well worth the extra money. The DWE7480 is still in the lower price region though, and unlike the DW745 you can also get this one with a stand: the DWE7480XA!