As you can tell, this particular type is in the middle between portable and contractor. Some people can finish their projects with bench top saws, but the ones who can’t usually opt for hybrid saws because they are cheaper than contractor ones. One cannot say they are cheap per se, but it’s a significantly smaller investment in comparison to contractor models.
The 50-inc rip fence that comes with this JET 708675PK XACTASAW Deluxe 3-Horsepower is perfect making rip cuts without worrying about your boards slipping out of the place. This fence system has a lock down feature that will actually lock the board down at the right angle and at the measurement that you choose. It comes with an arbor lock changing the blade and a poly-v drive belt system too.
For the woodworker who constructs anything from decorative cabinets to handmade boats, the Delta 36-L552 Unisaw is the professional grade cabinet saw that can get the job done. Thanks to its single case trunnion design, the 36-L552 operates consistently with minimal vibration and maximum repeatability of every cut. :Large dual front cranks allow you to dial in your blade height and bevel quickly and easily.
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.
Flesh Sensor: This is another very important safety measure. While it is possible that this might raise the cost of the saw, nothing is more important than your good health. Flesh sensors stop the blade immediately when they sense a finger on the blade. So instead of a severed finger, you get away with minor cuts. Always choose minor cuts over missing fingers! You do not want to be going to the emergency room with an ice box.
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.
The Shop Fox W1819 also comes with a miter fence with flip stop which provides excellent workpiece support and is great for longer workpieces. As for the flip stop, it’s going to be very useful especially when wanting to make several cuts of the same width. If you want to cut longer workpieces, you can also flip it out of the way and then pivot it back down in order to make more cuts at the cutting width of your choice.
It’s not until you get a bunch of saws side by side in the shop that you start to see the difference between a $300 saw and a $500 saw. While the motors are all 15-amp, the more expensive saws have features like soft start to prolong motor and gear life, electronic feedback to maintain blade speed and gearing to maximize torque. If you look under the saws, you’ll see that the more expensive saws also have much beefier motor carriages and better-quality blade-adjusting mechanisms.
We made a few test cuts with ¾-inch plywood just to get a feel of the motors we were working with. It became clear pretty quickly that not all 15 amp motors are equal. Once we knew what to expect, we moved to pressure treated 2x pine material in 7-1/2 foot lengths. Why 7-1/2? Our test material started at 15 feet and it seemed silly to have some at 8 feet and others at 6.
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.

Reviewers recommend these models for easy transport to jobsites and for easy storage in a small workshop. Portable table saws come in two types. Benchtop saws sit on top of a workbench and are light enough to pick up and carry; jobsite saws are mounted on folding stands, usually with wheels for easier transport. The main drawbacks of a portable saw are its lower power and smaller table, which makes it tricky to cut larger lumber and sheet material such as plywood. Prices for portable saws start at less than $200, but the best-rated models typically cost $300 or more.


Belt drive table saw motors run on a pulley system, most of the time some power is lost through this system, but belt drive blades can cut through thicker timber and hardwoods. They can produce power of around 3 to 5HP and thanks to the motor being mounted further away from the blade with belt drive, the motor will last longer as less dust will get into the motor. One thing to consider though is that belt drive will be in general more expensive and are normally found on heavy cabinet type saws, so this must be considered when working out your budget.

Smoothness & Accuracy: This is another important factor to be aware of. You need to make sure that you decide on a portable table saw with a blade that can cut any type of wood easily. The fence needs to be able to fix the wood securely, and a miter gauge adds to the overall accuracy element. It also significantly adds to the range of options you can use the table saw for.


The old designs of table saws did not have the angled capability that newer models have now with their ability to have the blades angled at 45 and 90 degrees. Before these upgraded styles, the table itself had to be tilted which made cutting extremely unsafe. The new styles that accommodate angling the blade for the beveled cuts make things much easier and safer for the user.


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.

Safety Features: All said and done, you have to accept that the portable table saws are amongst the more dangerous tools to operate. If you are not careful, you can easily get hurt. This makes the safety features some of the most important to consider. I would keep an eye out for features like anti-kickback pawls and blade tilt as they go a long way in avoiding accidents. Most also come with a magnetic switch that makes sure that the machine does not get started on its own accidentally. This is essential. Do not buy a portable table saw without a magnetic switch.
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