This portable jobsite table saw head-to-head includes 8 saws from; Bosch, Delta, DEWALT, Hitachi, Makita, Ridgid, SawStop and Skilsaw. Originally, we had also to include Ryobi as a budget friendly option for DIY’ers or guys just starting in the trades. However, we were not able to adapt that saw to our testing rigs so we pulled it from the testing (you may see some photos with the saw but again we’re not including it in the results).
As you would expect, the most expensive saws made slightly smoother cuts. But the difference was negligible. The only saw that struggled to make smooth cuts in the super-thick oak was the Ryobi. In more common situations, like cutting 3/4-in.-thick material, Ryobi’s cut quality was fine. We found the blades included with all the saws to be adequate for most ripping tasks. But if you want cuts smooth enough for glue joints, you’ll have to invest in a better blade.
You can’t talk about the best portable jobsite table saw without talking about portability. Portability boils down to a couple of important features. First and foremost, weight has a huge impact on how easily you can transport the saw, especially if it has to go into the bed of a truck rather than a trailer. If you’ve got a trailer, then a wheeled stand becomes your best friend. We looked at both.
We evaluated the flatness of the table by measuring the flatness by placing the edge of a precision ground flat bar across the table and placed feeler gauges in any gaps to measure any difference between the ground bar and the table. TBB took measurements in four directions. As the operator faces the saw, we measured the flatness at the arbor from front-to-rear; we measured the left-to right flatness at the arbor; we measured the flatness from the upper left-to-lower right table corners; and, finally, we measured the upper right-to-lower left flatness between the corners.
Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.
No doubts about it, a table saw is one of the most important tools a woodworker can have in its garage. There are dozens of models on the market and after reviewing a lot of them we can say that it is more than complicated to take the right decision. Therefore, if you are looking at buying a quality machine, but you have no idea about their features, construction, design and so on, below is a comparison table specially made for people like you. In this comparison chart, you will find detailed information about the best models in 2018.
Just used this saw for the first time today and I love it. Instructions for putting the stand together were not very clear. There's a lot of very detailed reviews here, so there isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said; but one thing I didn't know until using it is that the rear legs are angled further back than the front ones to provide more stability when pushing stock through the saw. Only used it a few times today, but it was a pleasure to use.
Measuring 30.31" x 17.32" x 41.81", this powerhouse boasts a heavy duty 10" blade that can cut up to 4" x 4" of material in a single pass. For the handyman who likes to keep all of his tools within arm’s length, RIDGID’s table saw comes with convenient onboard storage so swapping out blades or accessing your tools is just a short reach away. Buyers are crazy for this table saw, and they report that it easily fits into the corner of their garages. Plus, quick and easy assembly means you can get to work straight out the gate.
Brad – Won’t be anytime soon. I’d offer a few thoughts though on this topic. First off, for this type of testing it’s just not feasible for us to do any long term testing that would be required to evaluate your concern. You’re right, most jobsite table saws have less than perfect fence systems. The rack-and-pinion style that DEWALT, Hitachi and some others use are far more accurate over the long haul than the “clamp” style. Lastly, for lots of guys they are transitioning to track saws for work that requires a really precise cuts or they cut critical pieces in the shop. In a perfect world we’d get shop precision out of jobsite saws, but the reality is due to weight limits its unlikely. Thanks for the feedback.
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:
The design is not bad. The height of this particular table saw is around 35 inches. While some people don’t mind it, we think it could have been designed better. However, the best thing about the design is the fact that you can get both contractor and cabinet style table saws in one unit. Dust control is well-designed. The large 4-inch dust port offers a no-hassle setup, especially with vacuums of lower quality. In simpler words, you don’t need to purchase a super-expensive vacuum for this particular unit; any affordable one should do the job well.
From there, the rest of the saws created a top tier of cutting power that wasn’t mind-blowingly better, but definitely noticeable. It took many cuts back and forth between saws to determine which came out ahead of other because they are so close to each other. Bosch’s REAXX took third place overall with SawStop ever so slightly ahead. Part of that simply came down to the fact that SawStop was a little bit smoother cutting. Coming out on top was Ridgid. There was noticeable vibration compared to Bosch and SawStop here, but it was able to muscle through each cut a little bit better than the other two.
It’s a little extra assembly work, but you’ll be grateful you did it later. The blade guard will keep your hands away from the saw and the splitter will help to reduce kickback from the machine and keep the wood flowing smoothly through the table saw. Additionally, if you’re working to cut thin boards, you should use a push stick or a push shoe to make sure your hands stay guarded while you work.
In terms of the safety features that you’re going to want to look for in your table saw, one of the most prominent includes a flesh sensor. This is basically designed so that the table saw will immediately stop operating after 0.01 seconds of coming into contact with flesh. This means that if the worst should happen and you come into danger as a result of using a table saw, the damage will be kept to a minimal. As you can likely imagine, this particular safety feature will push up the price of the table saw by a small amount, but it’s definitely a feature that’s worth happening if you value your safety whilst using power tools.
As you probably might think a quality model must have some safety feature. This is not a toy; this is a powerful tool which can cause serious injury. That’s why, safety features like splitters, anti-kickback or riving knives are there to minimize these risks. When you have your fingers inches away from the blades that spin with a power hard to imagine, you need to be very careful. Therefore, safety features like the ones above will help you keep your hand intact.