It’s interesting to note that if pricing was taken out of this evaluation the ranking would have been: DEWALT in first, Makita in second, Hitachi, Skilsaw and SawStop tied for third, Bosch in fourth, Delta in fifth and Ridgid in sixth place. But at the end of the day price is certainly a factor. What we didn’t do in our evaluation is any long term testing to look at durability which ultimately could affect your purchase decision as well.
An idea for next time you do a table saw review – what’s most important to me is REPEATABILITY of adjustments. Same for the fence – I want to know that, wherever I set it, it’s ALWAYS accurate and straight. I’m OK if the saw needs some tuning up out of the box – most saws do – but I really want to know that I can trust the saw to HOLD its adjustments, especially if I’m moving it around a lot. This I find is the weakness of jobsite saws in general – they just don’t STAY accurate for very long as vibration and just moving them around jar things out of position. Essentially, I want to know which of these saws is going to need constant fiddling, vs which ones ‘just work.’ with minimal fuss.
Every woodworker knows the plague of working in a dusty environment. The SawStop has a fantastic dust collection system so you can enjoy your cutting without your eyes being strained. Almost all of the dust is wicked away both above and below the table. Up above, the blade does all the legwork and there’s a neatly designed shroud which pulls all this dust away from the blade. The 4-inch port means you can slip your shop vac on with no issues.
It is extremely lightweight so that it can be easily moved around. The best feature for me is the unique capability to capture dust both below and above the blade. That keeps your workplace clean, and you save time. The safety features and ease of use further add to the convenience element. Additionally, the product comes with a 3-year warranty, which is quite good for a tool in this class.
Best of all though, the precision fence and locking miter gauge allow you to dial in the exact angles of bevel and compound miter cuts for complex trim and finishing work. You never have to worry about setting up multiple times for the same cut because the PM2000 is designed to let you “set and forget” while you get your multiple precision cuts made without needing to fiddle with the controls every time. While it is large and extremely heavy, this is definitely the tool of a professional woodworker that will provide performance that meets or exceeds even the most demanding tasks in your woodshop.
The latest advance in table saw safety is a feature that stops the spinning blade when it senses the presence of tissue, such as a finger or forearm. A company called SawStop was the first to offer this technology, and currently, it holds the exclusive right to sell saws with this feature in the United States. (Bosch introduced a portable table saw with blade-stopping technology in 2016, but was forced to take it off the market after a successful patent-infringement suit by SawStop.) In 2017, the CPSC proposed a new rule to make SawStop's technology mandatory on all table saws, but that rule is still under review. See the Buying Guide for more information.
High RPM: Rotations per minute are an important consideration when you are looking to buy the ideal portable table saw. It ensures that you can cut the wood/material a lot more efficiently and accurately. It also means that the thickness can be adjusted easily, and you can get a plank to the thickness that you would like. The high RPM also makes sure that the cut is relatively smooth and the rips do not show up in the form of uneven edges. On an average, most table saws have a 15 amps motor. It is the RPM that makes a big difference in performance. Anything above 4500 is fantastic.
While you may be tempted to skip straight to the reviews, they are a bit on the technical side and contain plenty of terms you might not be familiar with just yet. My suggestion would be to start by reading the informational articles which will provide you with a decent amount of knowledge on table saws. After that, I sincerely doubt you would be caught off-guard while reading anything in the review section.