The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.
It is an extremely durable and sturdy product. However, there are some drawbacks. First of all, it is expensive without quite backing up that price in all areas. It does not really have the elite safety feature of our top choice, and it also lacks high-end power. These are minor points (it is still safe and powerful), but you expect it to be perfect at this price.
Even though the trunnion mechanism from Powermatic has been known to be the best there is, further refinements have been made to it in order to make it even better. The conically shaped worm gear drive with better surface area, the high end bearings, but also the cast iron, box style construction combine with the solid and smooth feel of the height and tilt adjustments. Thanks to the adjustable backlash, it’s very easy for users to adjust the mechanism back to the factory fresh feel and clearances.
Brad – Won’t be anytime soon. I’d offer a few thoughts though on this topic. First off, for this type of testing it’s just not feasible for us to do any long term testing that would be required to evaluate your concern. You’re right, most jobsite table saws have less than perfect fence systems. The rack-and-pinion style that DEWALT, Hitachi and some others use are far more accurate over the long haul than the “clamp” style. Lastly, for lots of guys they are transitioning to track saws for work that requires a really precise cuts or they cut critical pieces in the shop. In a perfect world we’d get shop precision out of jobsite saws, but the reality is due to weight limits its unlikely. Thanks for the feedback.
Standard table saws are also called contractor table saws, even if they're really intended for the home do-it-yourselfer. These table saws have open, fixed legs, and they take up more space than a portable or benchtop table saw. They're also heavier – weighing as much as 200 to 300 pounds. On the plus side, their tables are often larger, making it easier to cut 4 by 8-foot panels of plywood or sheetrock. Prices for contractor saws range from around $600 to nearly $2,000.
As you’ll be able to tell from our table saw reviews, the different types of table saw are largely targeted at different types of users. If you’re likely going to need to transport your table saw around from site to site, it’s a portable table saw that you’re going to want to opt for. It’s pretty clear that the portable variation of table saw is designed with maneuverability in mind, meaning you can just pack it up with your kit and leave.
For any kind of professional woodworking and large scale construction work, the cabinet table saw is the one for the job. These types of table saws are often called stationary saws. The motor is protected in a cast iron and steel cabinet that reduces noise and vibration as well. With reduced vibration comes better accuracy which is always the desired effect, especially for professionals. The motor us a powerful 3-5 hp and requires a 220-volt outlet. If you are using it in a home workshop, a special outlet may need to be installed if 220s are not already installed in your garage or shop. Measuring about 28” x 43” and weighing in at over 400 pounds, these table saws were not designed to be portable. The large work surface is ideal for cutting large pieces with ease. Cabinet saws can use a 12” blade with no problem, although a 10” blade is the most commonly used. It is the most expensive of all of the styles of table saws.
All the articles on this website are short and punchy without much filler, but because there is so much to learn about table saws it will still take you the better part of an afternoon to read through them all. For those who don’t have that kind of time, or those who already know a great deal about table saws, this is the section that will take you to the best table saw for your needs.