First, this is not a precise table saw. This is due to a mix of design flaws and poor manufacturing choices. The placement of the blade guard makes it impossible to see the blade during the cut, which is going to make you less precise and frustrated to boot. The fence is cheap, and may or may not be straight, but even if it is, you have to deal with the fact that flaws in the table itself may result in it not clamping down straight.
The scales that indicate the width of cut fall into one of two categories: continuous and separate. Of the seven we’re reviewing, DeWalt, Ridgid and Rockwell are continuous. You simply line up the fence with the desired measurement. The other four best table saw options—Bosch, Craftsman, Ryobi and Porter-Cable—require you to lock the fence in a specific position on fully extended rails, and read the dimension on a separate scale. We prefer the continuous scales and really like the tape measure–type scale on the Ridgid.
The blades are categorized according to number of teeth, diameter, arbor size, kerf size, application and speed. They can also be divided by material. Regular commercial table saws are 10-inch or 12-inch. Teeth usually number from 24-80. Many blades are tipped with diamond, carbon or carbide. This lets you cut through more than just wood. You will also need to think about the tilt of the blade. They are available in left tilt or right tilt. With a left-tilting hybrid or cabinet saw, the motor cover can get in the way of the sliding table. Router table extensions don’t work well on left-tilting saws.
The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.
I am looking to upgrade from my first table saw which is the Ryobi that you reviewed (had to find something cheap that was decent). I do a lot of rip cuts, as well as fine precision cuts for laminating and joinery required for frames, furniture, etc. I am looking at the Skilsaw and the Dewalt 7480 and cannot decide which would be best for me. Any insight would be helpful!
“The SPT99 table saw can accommodate dado cutting up to 13/16″ wide in a single pass. WARNING -To reduce the risk of injury, always disconnect plug from power source before changing blades. WARNING – To reduce the risk of injury, always use the Skilsaw SPTA70WT-DD 1/2 inch Dado Blade Table Insert or the Skilsaw SPT00A 13/16 inch Dado Blade Table Insert (both include dado accessory washer). Never make dado cuts without this insert. Do not use dado sets larger than 8″ diameter.”
Miter gauges are one of those accessories that you may forget about in daily use, but then desperately need if you don’t have one. They’re used with table saws in order to cut angles that aren’t 90 degrees. The best miter gauges include hard stops at 90 degrees and 45 degrees, which are the angles that you’re most often going to be cutting at. The hard stops make it easy to set the miter gauge to those angles and cut away with confidence.
With a three-horsepower motor inside, this SawStop ICS31230-36 3HP 230V 60Hz Cabinet Saw Assembly with 36-Inch Industrial T-Glide Fence System is suitable most of the jobs you have in mind. Its industrial T-Glide fence system lets you make all the cuts you need, and the extension table gives you more room to work too. It also features a system that locks the wood in place to ensure that you make the accurate and completely straight cuts that you need.
We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.
If you’re not sure how to proceed, it’s important to take a breath and think about what you need out of a table saw. You could get a model with every possible bell and whistle, but there’s there no reason to do that if you’re not going to use it frequently. Likewise, you could just buy the cheapest model, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a fun machine to use.
When it comes to power tools, table saws provide convenience when tackling DIY jobs or larger commercial tasks. With their table surface, you are able to get more accurate cuts with the materials you are working with. Utilizing the miter gauge, you will find these power tools to provide the same accuracy as your favorite circular saws without the hassles.
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.
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.
The final key factor that you’ll want to take into consideration when picking the right table saw is just how easy that table saw is to use. Obviously for experienced table saw users, ease of use might not be something that is so much of a big deal, but if this is going to be your first table saw, it’s definitely something that you’ll want to look out for. The last thing you want is to purchase a brand new table saw and find that you can’t use it.
15 Amp Motor – You’ve likely noticed that the power of motor used by DEWALT in their table saws sits at a pretty consistent 15 amp. That’s no surprise though really, when you take into consideration exactly what a 15 amp motor is able to achieve. In all, we’d say that it provides pretty much as much power you’re going to need. What’s more, this power coupled with high precision allows the table saw to easily rip through just about any hardwood. You’d struggle to find a table saw that pumps out quite as much power.
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.
We hear the term accuracy tossed around when it comes to finding the best portable jobsite table saw, but we really have to narrow down what that means. Every saw we tested has the capability of being calibrated and it should be the first thing you do after setting it up. Like a new miter saw, blade calibration is simply part of delivering professional results.
The price is acceptable. One cannot say it’s a cheap piece of equipment because it’s not. But, the high quality of production and a great deal of precision justify the somewhat premium price. If you’re a devoted professional, the price shouldn’t be much of an issue for you. The only downside many people reported is the quality control within the company. Many models came with broken or missing parts.
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.
All these saws have fences that extend to at least 24 in. to allow you to rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of plywood in half. And they all have a slightly different way of accomplishing this. DeWalt has the most straightforward method. You just push the fence out on its rails and flip over the board support. On the Rockwell saw, you flip out a hinged fence rail. The only drawback to this fence is that it must remain in the extended position for any cut, so it takes up quite a bit of room. The remaining saws require you to release one or two levers and pull out the fence extension.
Jet also gives you different choices when it comes to the extension wings. Some customers prefer the cast iron wings because they add more weight and keep the table from shifting, but others prefer the stainless steel wings that are durable and easier to use. No matter which wings you choose, you’ll find that you can quickly and easily attach them to the table’s surface to extend the total amount of workspace you have.
Delta 36-L352 10 in. contractor table saw is a heavy duty table saw. This big guy is no joke! Its 15 A, 3 HP motor is not only powerful but smooth. This Delta table saw also has a HUGE rip capacity of 50-52 in. and an 82 in. table, so there won’t be much this table saw can’t handle. Its integrated BIESEMEYER fence system, precision bevel gauge, and bevel dial work together to help you get highly accurate cuts down to the nearest 1/4 degree and 1/64 in. Now that’s accurate! Other notable features are its bi-level dust extraction system which helps you keep your workspace clean, large blade opening, and SURE-LOCK dual front cranks for easy access. This table saw is ideal for the pros.
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.