I really enjoyed your review and appreciate the significant time and effort put into it. How did you acquire the machines? Were they evaluation units provided by the manufacturers or did you buy them (randomly, like Consumer Reports)? If they were provided to you the cynic in me says you probably got cherry picked units. In looking at the various machines on line and checking out their comments, it’s quite clear pretty much all of them have a manufacturing distribution of performance and metrics e.g. for accuracy all the units you tested have comments ranging from great to truly awful. Same thing for build quality. I spent quite a while looking at the Dewalt but all the negative reviews on quality and accuracy turned me off it. I certainly do see many more positive reviews than negative reviews for the Dewalt, but it does leave you with the feeling that a dice roll is partly involved in buying a recommended table saw.
We hear the term accuracy tossed around when it comes to finding the best portable jobsite table saw, but we really have to narrow down what that means. Every saw we tested has the capability of being calibrated and it should be the first thing you do after setting it up. Like a new miter saw, blade calibration is simply part of delivering professional results.
The design is quite good. The SawStop safety system ensures smooth and flawless operation while protecting you from a variety of hazards. However, regardless of the safety aspects, you should always wear protective equipment, especially gloves and goggles. One of the most notable things about the design is the fact that it provides 99 percent dust collection both below and above the table. The riving knife maximizes kickback and also offers protection.
The DeWalt, Bosch and Ridgid saws have strong stands that are easier to set up, sturdy fences that lock down parallel to the blade every time, and smooth-operating blade controls. If you’re a contractor or an avid DIYer who just likes top-quality tools that feel good and last a long time, we think the extra few hundred dollars is a good investment.
Along with thinking about how the table saw will be used now, it is important to also consider how you will be using it in the future. Will your usage increase or decrease? Many woodworkers may turn a hobby into a fulltime profession if they are talented at what they do. Why are these considerations important? Because they will give you better insight into the kind of money you should spend on your table. If you are going to go into business for yourself in a year or two, spending the money for a high-quality table now is a good idea. It will save you from having to buy another table in the future to accommodate your new needs as a business rather than just a hobbyist.
From dust collection and onboard storage through to on/off switches and table extensions, most reputable table saws come equipped with everything you’ll need to rip up the wood of your choice. Whether it’s making your life easier with wheels enabling height and tilt adjustment or a safety feature like the magnetic switch, the functionality of table saws is impressive. You can upgrade the blades, get various jigs or dado blades and generally enhance the way your saw performs.
Different types of table saw rely on different motors. With the smaller and more portable saws, 120V direct drive motors can deliver up to 2HP. This is more than enough power if you’re working with less substantial sheets of material. The larger saws have belt drive motors running on 240V. These produce 3-5HP. Think carefully about the materials you’ll be working with. Get the right sized motor for your cutting needs.
Obviously, given its size, the TruePower 01-0819 isn’t the kind of table saw you’d spring for to take on larger projects that require greater motor power — after all, it’s by no means revolutionary in the torque department. But for those who work with smaller materials or softer wood, the Gino Development TruePower 01-0819 Mini Electric Table Saw is a worthwhile, no-frills buy that’s easy on the wallet and can fit in virtually any space with plenty of room to spare.
The professional level saws saw a separation as well and all were well ahead of the cutting power we saw with the value group. A middle tier of cutting performance started with Makita and Bosch’s 4100 while DeWalt was significantly better. Entering the fray with the only worm drive system, we had high hopes for Skilsaw’s entry. It was solid and smooth—definitely at the Pro level— and close to what the 4100 delivered.
Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
Table saws with an automatic switch basically have a magnet that turns the saw off when you walk away from it. This means that you have to actually flick the switch to turn the saw back on before you can start using it again. This might sound like something of an inconvenience at first, but you’ll quickly find that it could just save your life when you’re using your table saw. If you’re keeping the saw in the family home where children may be able to access, it goes without saying that an automatic switch is a must.
TBB measured the accuracy of the factory-set 45 degree stop by using a Wixey WR365 digital inclinometer. This device has an accuracy of 0.1 degree. We placed the Wixey gauge on the table and calibrated the inclinometer to the table by zeroing out the gauge. After that calibration, the measurements shown on the gauge give a result that is relative to the saw table. We attached the gauge to the blade and used the saw mechanism to adjust the blade incline to the point at which the blade or trunnion hit the factory-set 45 degree stop and recorded the measurement. TBB ran the test twice to ensure the repeatability of the measurement. In every case, the result came out to within 0.1 degree of the prior test.
Although it is one of the cheaper circular saws available for sale, this model by Craftsman tends to be a really good deal for most woodworkers. First of all, it is a portable model that comes with a wheeled stand. This is great because it gives you the power to use it whenever and wherever you need it. Second of all, it comes with a foldable design, so you shouldn’t have to worry about whether there is enough space to store it or not. At 57 pounds, it is fairly easy to transport. The saw is powered by a powerful 15.0 amp motor that delivers an arbor speed of 5000 rpm for accurate rip cuts. It comes with a blade diameter of 10-inch and a blade shroud with 2-1/2″ port. In terms of cutting results, this model is very appreciated by any craftsman, especially by DIY workers. Besides that, it is a very durable and strong machine that comes with a die cast aluminum construction. Furthermore, on the right side, you will discover an extension table that will maximize the working space. Due to the fact that you will have plenty of space, you can now complete any kind of projects.
Ergonomics is the science of designing and producing tools that improve a worker’s efficiency while reducing discomfort, fatigue, and risk of injury. Ergonomically enhanced tools can include helpful features such as angled handles, riving knives, safety switches, and non-slip coatings. Whether you’re shopping for ergonomic tools or just trying to select the right one for the job from an existing collection, the key things to consider are whether or not the tool eases your work and prevents you from straining in ways that could lead to injury. Ergonomic guidelines in tool design can help maximize human performance on the job by making the job easier for the worker, improving safety and decreasing injuries.
It's not really a great choice for professional woodworkers, but for home do-it-yourself users looking for a more than competent contractor saw for their workshop, the Ridgid R4512 is a terrific value. It lacks the SawStop's safety features, but comes in at less than a third of its price. Build quality is first rate, most users say, with a cast iron table that does good job of damping down vibration. Users add that it cuts smoothly and accurately.
The quiet, 220-volt motors in these saws cut through the hardest stock, hour after hour, without bogging down. Cabinets are metal and extend to the floor for the best dust collection. The tops are cast iron, wide, and stable, which makes it easy to cut sheet goods. The trunnions are cabinet-mounted, so you get minimal vibration and maximum accuracy. They're also heavy; some weigh over 600 pounds. Once a cabinet saw's in place, that's where it stays.