One of the first things many Pros do is permanently (and intentionally) lose the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. While they are a pain to install and store onboard, their ability to reduce the risk of injury is significant. Table saws are responsible for thousands of injuries every year and there are plenty of guys running around with stories of how they got injured. So practice installing them until it feels natural and then actually use them onsite.
Kobalt’s KT1015 Table Saw features value pricing with a decent rolling stand. We initially had questions about its dual-locking fence, but found that it actually worked quite well. There’s plenty of wobble in it, but if you follow our Pro Tip on adjustments in the fences section, you can lock the front end in square then stabilize it with the back lock.
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.
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.
In terms of features, the SawStop ICS51230-52 comes with a patented safety system that prevents injuries and serious accidents and offers users the highest level of protection during use. Thanks to its 5HP, you can easily cut hardwood of 5 inches or even thicker without having to worry about the saw choking. Also, thanks to the toll-free fast change mount, you can transition between riving knives and guard in just a few seconds.
The Delta 3 HP Motor 10 in. UNISAW with 52 in. BIESEMEYER Fence System gets its name from the fact that the manufacturer claims you can use this saw to replace all the others that you might use. It comes with a 52-inch fence system that attaches right to the top of the table holding boards and front cranking handwheels that let you extend the opening of the blade. Delta claims that this cabinet saw has the largest opening of all currently available models.
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 cannot build wood cabinets or make furniture without a quality tool that provides maximum accuracy and precision. There are still many people who prefer to use the manual saw rather than the electric saw, but the main disadvantage of using the standard saw is that it doesn’t provide a smooth and clean cut. On the other hand, despite the fact that electric saws cut the wood at a very high speed and reach in the middle of the wood with no effort, they provide a very smooth cut.
The safety features begin with the professional grade T-Glide Fence. Constructed from heavy gauge steel, this saw fence makes guiding material safe and secure anywhere on the work surface without needing to worry about rolling or slipping. Furthermore, the TGP252 also has an integrated overarm dust collection hood built into the saw guard which eliminates 99% of all sawdust generated by the woodcutting process. Sawdust is classified by the CDC as carcinogenic, so eliminating airborne sawdust from your workspace is essential to promoting your long term health.
If you’re going to have a quality product, you need a fence system that’s perfectly square to the table so your cut is perfectly parallel to the edge. Obviously, framers have a bit more leeway than jobsite carpenters and there’s plenty of variance in fence quality. Cheaper saws have fences that can easily move out of square as they slide along the surface of the table. Avoid these if you want quality results. The fence system needs to be easy to keep square to the blade.
After reviewing several models we can truly say that metal components are more durable than plastic. Cast iron, for example, is a durable material that provides the most stable surface. It is capable of minimizing vibration and is much heavier than steel or aluminum. Every quality model has a smooth surface and sturdy legs that ensure stability. In what regards the motor and its components, you probably know that it’s quite difficult to check them by looking. However, any product should have a warranty and for a quality product, the manufacturer should offer at least a 3-year warranty.
Often called benchtop, jobsite, or worksite saws, portable table saws are typically made of lightweight materials, such as an aluminum table top, so that they’re easy to move from place to place. Sometimes they’ll have wheels attached to make shifting them around even easier. The motors on portable saws are also much smaller than on other types of table saws, and are typically less powerful.
To get the feel of the cut, we used a two man team to feed from one end of the saw and catch on the other. This helped us reduce the friction that comes from one person trying to hold a board flush against the fence while also keeping downward pressure to keep it level on the table. There was definitely some hesitation at the beginning of each cut that was alleviated once the board was received by the second man on the other side. It was during this middle section that the table/fence friction was at its lowest point and we made our determinations about each saw’s power and cutting speed.
Safety is a prime concern for Bosch. From the SquareLock Rip Fence through to the patented SmartGuard System to lessen any chance of kickback, your security and comfort is taken care of. The blade guard and riving knife are quick-release. This takes away any excuse for not putting the guard back in place because it would be too much trouble, something that’s an accident waiting to happen.
The obvious starting point for an analysis of which saw is best suited to the needs of a given person (or company, school workshop, and so forth) is the budget at hand. Even the most affordable table saws of a quality meriting serious consideration cost more than 200 dollars; such units are small but still capable of many tasks. The top of the line table saws come with price tags topping out at well over 3,000 dollars and can handle almost any lumber you would ever need cut and then some; more often than not these mighty saws are more tool than needed, so to speak.
If you are new in this industry, you need to know one important thing. Every model is equipped with a motor. The amount of power and the motor are strongly related to the project you have. In simple terms, it depends on what you are cutting. For example, a 2 hp motor can easily rip wood of 2 inches thick, while other hard materials require a 5 hp motor. Keep in mind that the 5 hp motor is found only on cabinet saws.
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.
When you need a full size cabinet saw that can handle just about any woodworking job you can throw at it, the Powermatic PM2000 is the one for you. As with all high end cabinet saws, the PM2000 features box-style cast iron trunnions for that refined, precise feel when adjusting the blade angle and height. Front control wheels are user-friendly cast iron hand wheels that feature precision-machined center locking pins for making every cut consistent and repeatable.
The Grizzly G0690 is a very unique and powerful table saw and each part of it says performance and quality. With a 3 HP, 220V, 3-phase Leeson motor, heavy cast iron trunnions, wings and table to its triple belt drive system, this model should definitely last you for a lifetime. It’s not only its impressive build quality that’s going to strike you about it, but also its other features that include a four inch dust collection port, a T-slot miter gauge, a magnetic switch, but also heavy cat hand-wheels, riving knife and camlock T-fence. If you’re a professional who’s been using cabinet tablet saws for a quite a while, you’ll immediately appreciate the quality of the Grizzly G0690.
One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.
The SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 Professional Table Cabinet Saw is our premium choice pick for a reason - it’s one of the best cabinet saws on the market. You’ll be able to tackle nearly anything you can think of with this impressive tool and work like you’d never be able to imagine. The saw is powered by a 13 amp motor that has a 220-volt requirement and saws through material quickly and efficiently. It’s a carpenter’s dream and was built with all of the needs of the craftsman in mind.
Best of all, bi-directional dust collection keeps the air in your workspace free from sawdust and other contaminants. If your primary goal is to acquire a cabinet saw with solid stability, consistency and dependability right out of the box, this is the model to get. Few other cabinet saws can compare to the convenience, safety, stability and ease of use of the Delta 36-L552.
Depending on how often you work with wood and the type of wood that you use, you may find that this SawStop PCS175-PFA30 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly is better suited to your needs than some of the company’s more expensive models are. This saw features a smaller base and a shorter extension table that take up less space, but you can use the fencing system to extend the size of the table working with your boards.
With a quick release riving knife, this Jet 708676PK XACTASAW Deluxe 5HP with 30 In. Rip Fence reduces the risk of binding and also cuts back on the kickbacks that you might otherwise feel. Its five-horsepower motor is one of the most powerful on the market and can make quick cuts in any type of wood. It also comes with a 30-inch rip fence making rip cuts, though you may find that this fence is a little too short your needs.
Obviously, given its size, the TruePower 01-0819 isn’t the kind of table saw you’d spring for to take on larger projects that require greater motor power — after all, it’s by no means revolutionary in the torque department. But for those who work with smaller materials or softer wood, the Gino Development TruePower 01-0819 Mini Electric Table Saw is a worthwhile, no-frills buy that’s easy on the wallet and can fit in virtually any space with plenty of room to spare.
Lowes had a Father’s day sale, on their Kobalt table saw with a folding/rolling stand and was $180.00, with more money off because I signed up for their credit card-so I bought it. It cuts fine, the fence locks on both ends,measurements seem ok, and it unfolds and rolls away very easily-I like it so far. I’m a home owner and I use it sporadically and treat it well, it does not appear to be very robust, so as a day to day, on the job site saw, probably not a good choice. I used to have a Makita table saw, with a terrible fence, unreliable ruler markings, and difficult to use blade guide that interfered with measurements, which you needed to do every time-a terrible saw, very frustrating to use. I have a Makita miter saw and it’s great, but the idea of buying a same brand because I liked one of their other products did not work out.
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.
When using the side extension, a tape moves along so you won’t have to remember what measurement to lock the fence on or read a double marked measurement guide. It’s an innovation we like, but there are questions as to the long term durability of the tape itself. Like Ryobi, Ridgid uses a magnetic throat plate to secure it while leaving access simple.
Every professional woodworker probably knows that portability and durability are two of the most important factors of every high-end table saw. There are dozens of types and models available for sale, but only a few are worth checking out and investing in. However, the SKIL 3410-02 is one of them. It is made of heavy-duty steel and features a 20-inch x 26-inch cast aluminum table that extends to 20-inch x 32-inch for larger projects. The motor of this tool is quite powerful. It comes with a 15 amp motor that is capable of cutting different types of wood. Its miter gauge is precise and delivers accurate cuts and the price is more than acceptable. Additionally, it is equipped with an EZ view measurement system thanks to which it can provide accurate measurements and cuts. The table measures 28.9 x 20.9 x 13 inches and weighs 67 lbs. Compared to other similar heavy-duty tools, it is lightweight and portable so you can place it wherever you need it to complete your projects.
If you are new in this industry, it’s important to know that Makita is one of the most reputable power tool companies out there. For this reason, in our comparison table, you will find one of their top-of-the-line modes, the Makita 2705. It comes with a 15-amp motor which has 4800 rpm. This is more than enough power to cut almost any wood. Despite its large table, the unit has a compact design. The blade guard system has a cam lock, so it can be easily adjusted while the dual guards allow you to cut any wood any size and shape. As far as the safety goes, it is everything okay. Although that some important features are lacking, it still has two independent anti-kickback mechanisms and a blade guard that is designed great. After testing this incredible tool, we can honestly say that it can cut wood with incredible accuracy.
The ultimate safety feature though is the advanced sawstop system that can save users from severe injuries and accidental amputations. Here’s how it works: the blade of the TGP252 is charged with an electrical signal during operation. When human skin comes into contact with the blade, the signal is altered by the body’s natural conductivity. An aluminum brake immediately slams into the blade to bring it to a complete stop, and the stopped blade’s angular momentum drives it down below the surface of the table, preventing any potential secondary contact injuries. This entire sawstop process occurs in an astonishing 5 milliseconds. You simply cannot find a safer professional grade cabinet saw on the market today.
For benchtop and jobsite saws with direct drive motors, the motor RPM is the blade RPM. If you’re considering a contractor or cabinet saw, it’s a different story. In any event, Pro table saw RPMs generally range from 4000 – 5000. Don’t let numbers on the lower side dissuade you. There’s a limit to how much power you can draw and each manufacturer has to decide how they’ll channel it between blade speed and torque. So higher isn’t necessarily better.
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.
That said, I have been looking for that ideal replacement saw that will hopefully take me further down the road than the Craftsmen, and a unit that will do what I need it to do. This review could not have been found at a better time. I will take the results that were achieved and use them as a measurement in purchasing a new one. Thanks for the time spent on conducting this testing and review. Very much appreciated!
It is safe to say that we live in a DIY era. Think about it. When was the last time you went on YouTube or anywhere else online and looked for something that tickled your fancy, a guide on how something is made or done, or maybe a tutorial. Indeed, we do it very often, so why should woodworking and home improvement be any different? With the prices of table saws constantly dipping and the insane number of choices on the market, you can get one for yourself and save thousands of dollars by doing things yourself instead of hiring contractors.