Due to the position of the motor, dust collection is often an issue with these units, especially in comparison to the cabinet type. However, an industrial vacuum is usually a small and worthy investment which should solve the issue effectively. The main advantage of this type is the fact that it’s much cheaper than its nearest equivalent – the cabinet type.
The blades of a circular saw are usually divided based on several factors, including diameter, arbor size, speed, application, and well as number f teeth and materials used in their construction. Most tools are equipped with 10 or 12 inches blades. This is the medium size, but there are also models that come with blades as small as 5 inches or as large as one hand. Since they are able to cut various different materials, including the most solid ones, most models have carbide or carbon blades. You may also find diamond-tipped teeth blades, but they are a bit more expensive. The number of teeth is usually between 24 and 80 and you need to decide whether you want a saw with left or right tilt. The direction in which the blade tilt is very important and it can provide plenty of advantages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Likes: Cuts extremely well and has excellent stability. Its blade guard and riving-knife assembly are locked and unlocked by a lever located conveniently along the table's left edge. A simple, separate shark-fin riving knife can be used when the guard is too big for narrow rip cuts. We appreciate the antiglare surface on the tape ruler that measures the distance from the blade to the fence.
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.
There’s a lot to like about this saw. The stand is easy to set up and very sturdy. We like the smooth-operating table extension and the blade guard’s hold-up feature and ease of installation. The only downside we found is that the motor mount is less rigid than those on the other saws we tested. We suspect that’s why the cut quality on our torture test was not as good with this saw.
The Craftsman table saw is one of the most compact of the bunch when it’s folded up. And if you can get it for the sale price of $260, it’s also the cheapest of the best table saw options. The blade guard and anti-kickback pawls are identical to the Porter-Cable and are the hardest of any of the saws to install. And they are the only two blade guards that don’t have a feature to hold them out of the way when you’re adjusting the blade or setting up the cut.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to think about safety at all times while using these tools. Even the slightest mistake can make a difference between life and death. The worst part is the fact that it usually happens in an instant, leaving you no time to react at all. Therefore, whatever you do, don’t forget that there’s a thin line between you having ten fingers at one moment and 8 in the next second.
Most table saw blades come in 8, 10 or 12inchs in diameter, but you can also get a lot smaller and larger sizes if you require special cut sizes and cut depth sizes. When looking for a new blade when it comes to sizes, blades are measured in two sizes mainly, the mounting hole and the total blade diameter, make sure you take the mounting hole size in to consideration when buying a new blade as this could be something very easily over looked but could cause an issue.
When it comes to both appliances and power tools, Bosch is one of the most recognized brands out there. It is equipped with a 15-amp electric motor which has 3650 rpm. Moreover, the diameter of its blade is 10 inches, while the rip capacity is about 25 inches. As compared to other similar units, the Bosch 4100-09 comes with a plethora of safety features, including an arbor lock mechanism which helps you change the blade with ease. In what regards the design of this unit, it’s important to know that it is pretty compact. It measures 39.13 x 30 x 20.9 inches and weighs no more than 60 pounds. Also, keep in mind that the distance between the work surface and the floor is only 37.5 inches. Thanks to the unique properties of the carbide material, the unit is considered to be one of the most durable tools on the market. It is able to cut through pine and plywood which are the softer types of wood out there. Considering its impressive features and powerful motor, the Bosch 4100-09 will certainly be a welcome addition to any workshop.
IMPORTANT REVIEW UPDATE (10/4/2016): After doing some additional testing with pressure-treated lumber and heavier stock, we [initially] found some issues with the Bosch REAXX saw that we couldn’t explain—except to say that it didn’t have the power we expected for cutting through denser wood. The blade exhibited a significant drop in speed during many common ripping cuts, and it even stalled out entirely at other times. We contacted Bosch and worked directly with them to determine the nature of the issue (which appeared to have to do with the saw’s electronic speed control). Here is the initial statement from Bosch on the matter:
It is a well known fact that table saws are one of the most hazardous tools in a woodworking shops. Seasoned professionals have been known to risk a finger or thumb when using a table saw even while paying close attention to the blade and the material they are cutting. To mitigate the risk to craftsmen, SawStop has created the PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw with a unique failsafe to prevent accidents that result in lost time at work, lost wages and lost digits or limbs.
And finally, there are a couple of jobsite table saws running around with flesh detection to drop the blade out of the way if it detects a strike. There’s a significant premium in cost for these saws and there has also been plenty of litigation regarding whether it should be required on every table saw and whether more than one company has the right to manufacturer the mechanism. But they’ll save you a much worse injury in the event of an accident.
More power is also associated with more control. More control also gives you the ability to cut tougher materials. Furthermore, more control allows you to use bigger blades with ease. For instance, a 1500W of the motor will result in swift movement of the blade as it spins. High RPM of the blade gives the user a greater chance of achieving accurate and precise cut. So, when shopping for a table saw, look out for a skill saw with the higher motor rating.
Both of the products that we’ve featured so far in our top table saw reviews have clearly been targeted at the higher end of the market and that’s signified by their high price point. With that in mind, we think it’s worth including a cheaper table saw that’s clearly targeted at not so much professional contractors and more just hobbyists. That’s where this product from Ryobi comes in. Whilst it doesn’t offer much of the same power and flexibility as the options from Bosch and Dewalt, it might just do the job.
The cabinet saw available on the market today is the SawStop ICS51230-52 5 HP 230V 60 Hz Cabinet Saw with 52-Inch Industrial T-Glide Fence System, which comes with the longest fence system that you’ll find. Not only is that system easy to use, but it allows you to make different types of cuts and change the orientation or angle of the wood to the blade.