You will need specialty blades for cutting materials such as plywood, masonry, hardwood and metals. Other specialty blades are used for dado cuts. Most dado sets have multiple rows of teeth and chippers and they are typically much wider than traditional blades. Be sure that the model of table saw you have can accommodate the type of specialty blades you want to get so you don’t waste your money on a blade that won’t fit.
If you’re looking for one of the most powerful products on the market, you’ll find those such options within the 3-5 horsepower range. As you can likely imagine, these are products largely targeted at professionals looking to use their table saw on a day to day basis. If you’re a hobbyist or occasional contractor who doesn’t necessarily want to shell out a fortune on a table saw, you should find that between 1-2 horsepower does the job.
As with anything, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of types, sizes, features, colors, weights, what, when, why, where, who…(let me catch my breath). For now, let’s focus on what’s right for you with our Best Portable Table Saw Guide. We’ll start by identifying quality brands that align with your needs. Besides, who wants to buy something that won’t work?
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 fence on this system is easily the winner. With clamping on just the front side, it self-aligns better than any other in the group and offers excellent stability. While SawStop didn’t have the most powerful feel to the cuts, it was very smooth with little vibration. Feature preferences aside, the only (slight) negative we agreed on was that the bevel lock stuck a little bit compared to others.
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.
It’s best to avoid this issue entirely by making sure that there is no material that could catch on any of your work material and jeopardize your health or safety. Now that you’ve got the basics down for how to properly dress for working with your table saw, you’re ready to inspect your equipment. To start with, you’ll want to make sure the table saw is unplugged before examining it and making sure you’re good to go.
One of the lightest and most compact table saws was also the most stable: Skilsaw. There’s no wheel base to the stand and the outward angled legs provide a wider platform than it may appear against its colleagues. In second place was DeWalt, also offering a wide platform, but without the amount of rigidity that Skilsaw has in their stand. Coming up in third was Bosch with its gravity rise stand followed closely by Ridgid. It’s important to note that none of the professional class table saws had any stability issues inherent to their extension locking—it was all in the stand.
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.

Ridgid’s fence is outstanding for its design. Its large front plate helps stabilize it and the whole thing just feels solid. There’s very little play compared to some of the others and we were consistently able to lock it down perfectly square. We like the pinion style bevel adjustment. It’s not quite a good as a separate adjustment wheel, but a great improvement over simple sliding. We also like the independent locks for both height and bevel. It’s not often that a height lock would be required, but there’s an element of confidence that comes from knowing it won’t be going anywhere.
The power transfer system is neatly done. The model features a serpentine belt which is quiet and smooth during operation. Therefore, the level of noise is satisfactory. Precision is something that makes this model worth checking out. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you’ll definitely appreciate the accuracy of this model. On the other hand, with great things come great responsibilities. Don’t forget to wear safety equipment!
If we were going to choose one saw above all the others for our own woodworking shop, we would choose the Grizzly G0690. It’s got a relatively small footprint, it’s built like a tank, and its provides exceptional stability and vibration dampening. For a cabinet table saw in its class, you just can’t beat the value or performance that the Grizzly G0690 provides. Definitely check one out when you start shopping for your cabinet table saw, as it does not disappoint.
Bengt – We appreciate the feedback as it always helps us get better. Having said that I think some of your concerns were evaluated and included in the results in ways that may not be entirely clear. We adjusted each saw after checking the blade/fence measurements and had no issues getting them adjusted (I may add some text to reinforce that in the article). We don’t do long term testing in this type of article as it’s simply not feasible…so making a statement about whether the saw holds those adjustments isn’t feasible. We evaluated the fences and ranked them in the ergonomics section, we even did lateral load testing on them as part of that ranking.
The Bosch GTS1031 Portable Table Saw is an excellent tool for any craftsman - definitely one of the best tools you could add to your work arsenal. We love that it is easily transported from place to place thanks to its lightweight design and ergonomic carry handle. The design transfers all of the weight of the machine to a specified center of gravity and helps to make it easier to carry the 50 pound machine. The Bosch GTS1031 Portable Table Saw also comes with a smart guard system that helps the device perform at peak levels while keep you safe during your work.
"Ideal for both craftsmen and hobbyists, the SawStop 3.0 horsepower Professional Cabinet Saw (model PCS31230-TGP236) delivers the performance you need with the peace of mind only SawStop's patented safety system can provide. The safety system detects when someone accidentally contacts the spinning saw blade, and then stops the blade in milliseconds — resulting in just a nick on a SawStop saw instead of the devastating injury. Built to satisfy the toughest expert users, the Professional Cabinet Saw features superior dust collection and an exacting fit and finish. This model comes with a 36-inch T-Glide fence system for added strength and increased precision as well as rails and extension table." - Official Product Description

This is the smallest of all the table saws, typically weighing about 50 pounds or so and designed to sit on top of a table or workbench. Bench style table saws are usually made of steel, plastic and aluminum. They are good for light to medium duty cutting and would not be a good choice if you do a lot of cutting or if you have a professional business. Because it can be lifted by one person and moved around with relative ease, this type of saw is often called a portable table saw. Due to the size of these saws which measure approximately 19” x 27”, they are not designed to rip large pieces of wood. It is also not easy to make mitered cuts. You will notice that there might be more vibration when using this saw as compared to other, larger models. This is due to the lighter weight of the saw. Unfortunately, the vibration can affect the accuracy of the cuts you’re making.
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.
Kobalt’s KT1015 Table Saw features value pricing with a decent rolling stand. We initially had questions about its dual-locking fence, but found that it actually worked quite well. There’s plenty of wobble in it, but if you follow our Pro Tip on adjustments in the fences section, you can lock the front end in square then stabilize it with the back lock.
These saws are extremely lightweight thanks to the materials they tend to be built with (plastic and aluminum) but they are more than capable of getting the job done for small and soft woods like plywood or pine. They typically come at a very affordable price and are perfect for light duty wood cutting work. However, if you need the table saw for contracting, you’re going to want a job site saw. Jobsite table saws are much bigger than either of the other two models, but they are still fairly easy to transport.
2. The two models I mentioned above appear to only differ in the type of blade included. Your team tested the second model, which I think comes with a premium Freud Diablo blade . . . but what is its model # or exact description? Also, the model you did not test comes with a Skil blade, but again, I cannot find its description anywhere. Can you help by supplying its model #. ??
The last type of table saw that we believe is worth mentioning on this page is something of a wildcard product. That’s because it’s not as widely known about as the other three table saw types that we’ve discussed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be the perfect option to suit what you’re looking for. Hybrid table saws are a type of table saw designed to plug the pretty large gap in terms of power and price between the aforementioned contractor table saw and traditional cabinet table saws.
Looking to purchase a portable saw for your DIY projects? Are you interested in funding some quality tool to cut large pieces of wood properly? Then, take a look at this incredible model. When buying this kind of tool is very important to understand several things including its capabilities. When it comes to accurate cuts and quiet operation, the DEWALT DW745 could be exactly what you are looking for. It is a popular model that comes with a lot of impressive features. It comes equipped with a Pro Modular Guarding System for increased accuracy. It is powered by a powerful 15 amp motor and it has a large 20-inch rip capacity. Thanks to its powerful motor, it delivers a no-load speed of 3850 rpm. Also, it should be noted that it uses blade guards. Plus, it comes equipped with a miter gauge, a push stick and a dependable 10-inch, 24-tooth carbide blade. The DW745 is covered by a 3-year limited warranty and 90-day money-back warranty. In addition to this, there is 1-year free service.
The miter gauges on these saws range from downright flimsy to cabinet-saw quality. All the saws except the Craftsman and the DeWalt also have T-tracks—a nice feature that captures the miter gauge bar, making it easier to start wider crosscuts. Because the Ryobi and DeWalt saws don’t have a standard miter gauge slot, you can’t use accessories that require a 3/4-in. slot.

If you are just learning how to sharpen your table saw, you may wonder how to know when to sharpen your saw using your best table saw grinder. You do not want to end up sharpening it too much because that will damage your cutters. It is dangerous to work with a saw that is not sharp enough. Dull cutters tend to catch in the materials and propel the bar in the operator’s direction.
Thanks for the work you put in on this. I am retired now and have been researching these types of saws as I wish to begin doing some building of storage shelves and deck furniture. As a beginner, I did not wish to spend huge amounts of money until I was sure it was something I would be staying with for a while :-). Very informative and happy to see the way you did your testing (on the video). I spent 20+ years testing or working with security software testers and totally understand the issues of testing (almost anything) in a fair and honest way. Your work is greatly appreciated!.
If you need a table saw that can travel, the Bosch 4100-09 consistently earns high marks. Reviewers praise its power, accuracy, easy setup, and easy blade changes. They also love the gravity-rise wheeled stand, which rolls smoothly and snaps open or folds flat in a single lever-activated motion. Finally, they appreciate the convenience of the blade guard system, complete with riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.
One of the principal causes of table saw accidents is kickback. This process happens when a piece of wood is ejected at great speed in the direction of the user. Binding between the blade and fence, the wood then gets trapped in the teeth and spat out. A splitter is a vertical blade that holds the kerf open to minimize the chance of kickback. 2 pawls are attached for this purpose.

If you want to have a quick and accurate cut of wood, look no further than a table saw. When buying a table saw the main thing you put into consideration is its power. A good table saw should have enough power to cut through wet timber as well as hardwood. However, there are certain features which help in foreseeing the overall performance of a table saw.
While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.
If you spend a lot of time working with wood in your garage or workshop, you know the importance of having the best table saw on the market. Many craftsmen find that they feel connected to their work, and because of this they need tools that will work efficiently and reliably. If you’re invested in the art of carpentry, woodcarving, or any other wood related trade, you know that you need a machine that can work efficiently without overwhelming your budget.
Another good table saw from Powermatic is its 1792006K Model PM2000 5 HP 3-Phase Table Saw with 50-Inch Accu-Fence System and Rout-R-Lift. The dust collection port moves much of the debris you produce away from your work area, but the cabinet itself has a sloped design that makes it easier to get under the cabinet cleaning. Its quick release riving knife not only reduces kickbacks but also reduces the risk of the knife binding.
This blade shares many features that come standard on other Diablo blades. The carbide teeth are cut from Diablo’s TiCo High Density Carbide. Perma-Shield non-stick coating helps the blade move through material with less friction, reducing heat that can lead to warping in addition to corrosion. Diablo’s Tri-Metal Shock brazing process ensures the teeth stay in place much longer than other blades and can withstand impacts that leave other blades in need of a dentist.
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.
My son Owen and I thank you for the truly wonderful, informative and entertaining experience provided by the TOH staff, crew and trades-people at the Pro2Pro Brookline event. From Elizabeth - who welcomed us to the event, to Chris, Kevin and others who were wonderful during the orientation session (answering questions that I'm sure you have heard dozens of times before), to Charlie, Kevin, Richard, Heath (the electrician) and Thomas (the program director), you helped us Insiders to understand and appreciate the pride that you take in your work. It was refreshing. I loved the pictures and accompanying text of the event that you posted. I have to say in closing to Chris, Kevin and Thomas (in particular) you gave my son, a budding landscaper, the impetus to continue his pursuit of the trades. Kudos to you all and keep up your great work!
×