Another important element of every model is the fence. Without the fence, you cannot make a precise cut. The most common type of fence that you can find on these units is the T-square fence. However, before getting into that let’s go over the most important characteristics a quality fence must have. First of all, it is important to know the role of the fence. It allows for hassle-free adjustment both vertically and horizontally. Also, it must be placed on the rails firmly, so you don’t encounter resistance while moving it. However, if this happens you can apply wax. Now, let’s have a look at the T-square fence. It is so popular because it is easy to adjust and maneuver. More than that, it is extremely accurate.
It’s a challenge to identify the best portable table saws. They need to be the right mix of quality, performance, price, brand, and availability. In this article, we will attempt to cover all those points for our five tops picks in this burgeoning market sector. Our reviews are designed in a way that can help you concentrate on products that provide a pretty comprehensive package. While the market is full of options, it is always good to go for ones that highlight the unique versatility of this tool. We will also go over everything you need to know in our buying guide so that you can purchase a portable table saw with confidence.
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I was hoping to see the JET in there. But glad you didn’t waste your time with it. I bought it a year and a half ago and it’s a piece of crap. It has not held up at all, I keep it in my construction trailer and it has its own cubby hole and is secured with straps. It has fallen apart. The fence has no adjustments and is off 1/4” front to back, From the factory. I have to spend so much time trying to adjust rip fence, and then I can’t turn my guys loose with it because they won’t take the time to adjust and check for accuracy. Just really disappointed in the product. I am waiting for the testing done on the cordless saws because I am upgrading.
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.
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.
For carpentry projects or as a starter saw, the DeWalt DW745 receives solid reviews. Though it doesn't have the capacity of the Bosch, owners say it's well made and easy to adjust. The rack-and-pinion fence earns kudos for accuracy. The saw weighs just 45 pounds and can even be hung on a workshop wall for storage; an optional is also available. The three-year warranty is another plus.
The SawStop Contractor Saw CNS175-TGP36 stands out chiefly on account of its unique safety brake, which stops the spinning blade dead when it senses the presence of skin. However, it's also an excellent saw in other respects: powerful, well built, and easy to assemble, with great dust collection and loads of features. Cost is a major concern, but so is the cost of the injuries SawStop is designed to eliminate.
Setup was nearly as simple as SawStop’s with just a narrow margin between them. We only needed to attach the handle and bolt the saw down to the stand. The stand is a gravity rise style, but requires you to bend down to ground level for collapsing and extending it. It’s a reasonably solid platform, though a lot of movement throughout the day will leave your back sore.
SawStop has an excellent stand and they’ve cleverly hidden the tool/miter/riving knife storage box under the side extension. Move the table extension and the box presents itself. Like DeWalt, two riving knives come with the saw—one with safety guards and one without. This keeps you from wondering how the pawls and guard go on the riving knife. Blade height fully adjusts with only one turn of the wheel. Not everyone was on board with this, citing less accuracy for dado and rabbet cuts. In the end, we showed we could be as accurate on the height as any of the other saws, so it’s a win.
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.
TBB used an iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the blade position to the table miter slot. This instrument has an accuracy of .0005 inches. As part of the table saw set-up, TBB installed a new Diablo blade in each saw and these never-before-used blades were used in the measurement test. To ensure that any wobble in the blade did not enter into the test results, TBB marked a single tooth as the reference point for the measurement. The blade position was moved to the front of the saw to allow the iGauging dial indicator to hit the tooth immediately behind the carbide tooth, The iGauging dial indicator was calibrated and the indicator had a reading of zero.
DIY-ers love this type due to its simplistic yet effective operation. However, it’s not unusual for professionals to invest in these in order to avoid investing in cabinet models and save some money. Speaking of money, you should prepare yourself for a hefty investment if you opt for this particular type. However, most models are well-worth the money. These things last for years and don’t require a lot of maintenance apart from occasional blade replacements and minor adjustments. They are not as easy to use as portable models, but you’ll learn how to use them in a matter of hours or days, as long as you follow the rules written in the user manual.
Table saws are pretty complicated pieces of kit and because of that, you can likely imagine that they’re also pretty dangerous at the same time. This is especially the case if you’re using a table saw for the first time. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your table saw features appropriate safety features when buying. There’s nothing worse than falling victim to one of the many accidents that happen every single year as a result of using a table saw.
The DeWalt DWE7480 is a 10 in. compact job site table saw powered by a powerful 15 A motor that has top speeds of up to 4,800 RPM. When this power is paired with its 24 in. rip capacity and 47-degree bevel, this table saw is able to power through even the hardest woods with great accuracy, so you can use it for projects ranging from shelving to trim to hardwood flooring. And despite all its power, this table saw is a lightweight at only 48 lbs. No matter what woodworking project you have in front of you, this DeWalt table saw is able to power through it!
The more table size you have, the more support you have which is always a plus, not only for convenience but safety too. There are right side extensions that can be purchased for table saws that increase the table saw’s capacity to get to the center of a 4 x 8 sheet of wood. Although most saws have a rear band that supports the wood as it exits the saw, an additional safety measure is to rig up an outfeed support of some kind in addition to this rear bar. Be sure that the outfeed support you set up is ¼” lower than the table saw is.
DEWALT® table saws are available in both cordless and corded. Our portable table saws are compact for easy transportation between jobsites. They offer a rack and pinion fence system for fast, accurate fence adjustments. Our table saws are lightweight and feature a metal roll cage to ensure they can stand up to a rough jobsite. Tool-free guarding component adjustments make it faster and simpler to adjust as needed. Since the World’s First FLEXVOLT® cordless table saw was introduced, DEWALT has revolutionized the world of cordless construction tools. Every aspect of our table saws are designed to make your job easier.
For this portion of the testing and evaluation we used three different materials (3/4″ AC Plywood, 5/4 Mahogany Decking, and 5/4 Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine Decking) while measuring the saw blade RPM, and the saw motor AMP draw. To compare the saws we’re looking for how much blade speed each saw has under load, and also how much the amp draw increases under load. Think about it like driving a car, a more powerful car will not drop as much speed going up a hill and the engine won’t work as hard.
If you are a woodworking professional, you'll want a cabinet saw in your workshop. These are the heaviest, sturdiest and most precise table saws, with powerful motors that require a 220-volt electrical outlet. Cabinet saws require a large, dedicated space because of their guide rails and large tables (often with big extension wings). Then also tend to have the best safety and dust-control features. Woodworkers with enough space (and money) usually make a cabinet saw the permanent centerpiece of their workshop, though a few cabinet saws have mobile bases. Cabinet saws cost $1,600 and up.
Delta 36-L336 3 HP Motor Uni-saw with 36 Delta 36-L336 3 HP Motor Uni-saw with 36 in. Biesemeyer Fence System is ideal for woodworking cabinet making and boat building. It features speedometer style scales and a 36 in. Biesemeyer fence. The 3 HP 230-Volt motor cuts hardwoods and engineered products like MDF and melamine. The riving knife enables ... More + Product Details Close
While a miter saw is indispensable, having a great table saw is a wonderful way to broaden the scope of your woodworking. Whether you want miters or bevels, rips or compound cuts, the best table saw is a highly versatile woodworking equipment. Not only can you perform a healthy range of different cuts, you can also hook up various accessories to your table saw. Table saws are truly multi-purpose in the workshop.
The other kind of portable table saw is the wheeled/folding leg variety. The wheeled models come with wheels that can be used to roll them for place to place. The folding leg variety may or may not have wheels. Both models feature a mechanism by which they can be raised up and used without a table. This is what sets them apart from benchtop models.
I recently brought the Ryobi RTS21G after my dwe745 got stolen and actually couldn’t believe the quality! You guys were definitely right about using the Diablo blade, makes a big difference as it’s not the most powerful table saw in the world, but really didn’t expect much for $200 but i was very surprised. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for the great review and recommendation!
Great job with this testing. As far as the Hitachi. Many sources online point to minimal startups of the Hitachi c10rj before becoming unusable (not starting). The soft start module apparently doesn’t hold up. If it happens in 30 days it can go back to the store but after 30 days you call Hitachi (most described as unpleasant) drive to your closet Hitachi Service center and wait (up to months). I really like the Hitachi myself but am afraid of the soft start module error. THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT WORK AND CONTENT. Please forgive any punctuation etc. This is tough on phone.
Kenny Koehler An avid endurance athlete, Kenny has competed in triathlons (he's an Ironman) and various other fitness activities. Still, his passions lie with his faith, family, friends, and his love for well-designed power tools. With a background in science, you'll often find Kenny chatting up engineers at media events to get caught up on the latest tool technology.
Methods for tilting the blade to cut bevels vary among the saws. The Porter-Cable saw is the only one with a conventional handwheel bevel control mounted on the side of the saw. The crank gives you great control for setting an exact angle. To set the bevel on the Bosch, DeWalt and Rockwell saws, you simply release the bevel-lock lever and tilt the saw to the preferred angle. It’s easy to go quickly from a 90-degree to a 45-degree bevel with this method. The Ridgid, Craftsman and Ryobi saws have a rack-and-pinion setup. These saws utilize the front crank for setting the bevel.