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.
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.
Durable Steel Design – With this being such a portable product from Bosch, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s pretty flimsy when it comes to design. However, that couldn’t be further from the case with the Bosch GTS1031’s durable and unique all-steel base. This is a design that’s clearly built to take on abuse. That’s definitely peace of mind that you’ll want to have when it comes to using this table saw in a working environment. Not that you shouldn’t be careful where possible when it comes to using your new table saw.
The compact saws are a bit more advanced than the bench top saws. They are equipped with plenty of impressive features and characteristics including direct-drive motors. In spite of their lightweight feature, most compact saws are powerful and provide a lot of benefits. With additional features like stands and extra surfaces made of cast iron, most of them resemble full-size models. However, they still have a rip capacity much smaller than other saws.
When you are woodworking, dust and debris can be a serious bugbear. There’s good news with the DeWalt, though. Connect the DWE7491RS to your favorite vacuum and keep your workspace blissfully free of fine particles. The 2 ½-inch dust port at the rear and 1 ½-inch port off the top of your blade makes for a powerful combination getting rid of dust from above and below.
As you can tell, this particular type is in the middle between portable and contractor. Some people can finish their projects with bench top saws, but the ones who can’t usually opt for hybrid saws because they are cheaper than contractor ones. One cannot say they are cheap per se, but it’s a significantly smaller investment in comparison to contractor models.
Bosch’s REAXX and SawStop were neck and neck with near perfect cleanup at the collection point and only a slight amount of dust coming out toward the user. What did make it out was even less coarse than the other Pro level saws. Both saws have narrower throat openings for the blade that reduce the amount and size of material that can make it out. In the end, SawStop produced less top dust than Bosch did to earn the win.
Below is a graph showing the average measured decibels for the saws (for each of the materials we tested). As you can see the saws range from 93.7 db to 97.9 db. OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for up to 90 db, from 95 db up the exposure limits start dropping quickly starting at 4 hrs for 95 db so clearly these saws all need hearing protection. The Makita was given the best score of 1 as it was considerably quieter than the remaining. DEWALT and Delta were ranked worse with a score of 3, while the remaining were ranked as a 2.
Regarding reliability, Dewalt is a fairly dependable brand in the world of portable table saws. This latest offering from Dewalt comes with a big rolling stand that adds to the convenience element. It quickly cuts through over 3 inches depth at 90 degrees and nearly 2.25 inches at 45 degrees. This power is being driven by the powerful 15 amp motor. It cuts small and narrow strips of wood as well as large chunks.
The Powermatic 1792001K PM2000 is an award winning cabinet table saw that features a 1-phase, 3 HP motor with rout-R lift and Accu-fence system which set a new standard for innovation through thanks to the saw’s large body design and an incredible range of patented features. The 1792001K PM2000 is the result of years of work and research and hundreds of interviews with woodworkers that offered input which was eventually implemented in the saw. The performance, reliably and safety of this saw are so great, that they actually set a new standard by which all other cabinet saws are judged.
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.
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.
We used the Freud calibration plate on each of the test saws to measure runout. We removed the new Diablo blade, installed the calibration plate, and raised the trunnion to its maximum vertical adjustment. Before measuring the runout, we placed a black mark on the calibration plate to give a consistent starting position for the runout test. The same iGauging dial indicator provided the test measurements, only this time, the units were set to read out in mm. TBB noticed that in the initial saws, the movements were sufficiently small to need the smaller metric units.
Table saws can pose a serious risk of injury, since part of the spinning blade comes up above the surface of the table where it can come into contact with the user's hand as it guides the wood. Thanks to voluntary safety standards introduced by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in 2007, pretty much all table saws now come with blade guards that minimize the risk. Modern guard systems are easier to remove and replace as needed – an important feature because inconvenient blade guards are apt to be left off the saw.
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Dewalt designed an excellent table saw when they created the DW745 and we consider it to be the best buy on the market from our review. The design is fairly lightweight and easy to transport as it only weighs about 45 pounds. Additionally, the device is full of great features that enable it to work with speed and efficiency that you typically don’t see in a portable saw.
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.
Give yourself a reason to be proud of your job by bringing in a table saw that has what it takes to get quality cutting. Just as the name, Powermatic table saw will ensure your cutting is accurate and interesting. It has a poly-v belt, which maximizes motor efficiency and reduces vibration for noise-free performance. The table saw also features massive dust collection to ensure your working space is clean and accommodative. With 30” Accu-fence system, nothing will be impossible to handle. Additionally, the entire unit is designed with quality material for longevity. The design is also portable making it easy for you to move from one job site to the other comfortably.
On the other end of the handyman spectrum, you’ve got the seasoned professional with years of experience under his belt. We all know the type: he’s the guy that expects only the best, and DEWALT more than delivers with their patented DWE7491RS. This wood-slicing machine is the cream of the crop when it comes to cutting through even the toughest materials. The DWE7491RS measures 26¼" x 22", so it’s a relatively large apparatus — you’re going to want to make sure that you have plenty of space in your garage for this table saw.
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.
As we said in the beginning of this section, many of these saws will be used, right out of the box, for rough cutting materials and the fine accuracy may not matter so much in that application. If this is the case for a saw, the quality of the cuts and more importantly, the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer. So, TBB wanted to see how the various saws compared right out of the box. The results are in and, as a group, these eight saws measured up quite well for out-of-the-box accuracy.
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.
The Porter-Cable looks like a beefed-up version of the Craftsman, with the same blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. This is the only saw in our test with a blade-tilting handwheel, which makes it easier to dial in a precise bevel angle. The motor mount and blade controls on this saw are very sturdy, without much play, which translates to a good-quality cut. Extending the fence for a wide rip requires a bit of effort on this saw, since the rails are stiff. All in all, this is a great saw for the price.
Powermatic is a name that you’ll see a few times on our list of the cabinet saws because this company is responsible so many great models like this 1792010K PM2000, 5HP 1PH Table Saw, with 50-Inch Accu-Fence System. The built-in caster system makes it easy to move the cabinet saw anywhere around your shop with minimal eft, and it comes with a quick release riving knife that reduces vibrations to prevent accidents. At 39-inches high, it also lets you use the saw without stopping over.
New, unopened in boxTraditional guard and riving knife system allows unlimited capacity for cross and rip cutsLightweight and compact design makes it easy to carry anywhere and sets up in seconds to cut wood, tile, plastic, metal, and aluminum Adjustable Miter Gauge for 0to 60angled cuts, right or leftSafety switch with key prevents accidental startAccessories included 1-miter gauge, 1-rip fenc...
Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy the dust collection port system on the cabinet. It leads its industry in its ability to efficiently gather up to 99% off all dust put off by the device both above and below the table. The SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 Professional Cabinet Table Saw is a powerful and invaluable device - definitely one of the best investment choices you could make.
A table saw has two main ways it can seriously hurt you. One is obvious and that is having any part of your body come into contact with the blade. Any table saw you are seriously considering should have a blade guard installed. The clearer the better. And make sure you leave it on. The blade guard can’t do its intended job from a workbench or shelf.
Our table saw review quickly showed that today’s portable table saws are light-years ahead of the small-saw offerings from a decade ago. They feature big-capacity cutting, greatly improved safety features and attached stands for easy setup. And saws in the upper price range rival stationary saws in accuracy and quality of cut. We limited our review to saws that included a stand with wheels and ones that could rip at least 24 in. wide, only the best table saw for our readers!