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If you’ve flair for woodwork like my husband does, then searching for the best table saw shows that you really want to get the best from a table saw. Research and detailed analysis proved that all table saws are not equal and are designed for different purposes.
Therefore, the need to go for the best table saw tailored for your need becomes imperative. Whether you’re searching for a best portable table saw or a best contractor tale saw or a best cabinet table saw, we got you covered in this review.
Other classes of table saw we may like you to know are compact, jobsite and hybrid. Details and the best of every class of table saws are covered in this post. So, you’re in to know everything about table saw.
Our research and analysis show that there are up to 15 brands of a table saw that can be classified as the best. But leaving you with the work of selecting from the brands will render this review helpless.
So, we’ve picked the overall best from all the categories of the best table saw available on the market today. In addition, we covered basic essential topics such as: how to maintain a table saw, safety and 10 factors to consider before buying.
Above all, we considered unbiased feedback from Amazon verified buyers. In fact, we hinged our final decision on the experiences gathered from other woodworkers that have used these best table saws.
Yes, we seriously respect user views because they are unbiased and straight to the point.
Below is the list of the best table saw in each class or category. We strongly encourage you to read through everything in this post because it will make you better informed on how to buy and maintain a table saw.
Best Portable Table Saw (Benchtop)
SKILLSAW SPT70WT-01 10” Portable Worm Drive is the most powerful and best benchtop table saw today. As at the time of writing, it has a very high rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars by over 100 users, which means you can’t go wrong acquiring this best portable table saw.
The gear system of this best table saw, which is worm drive technology makes ripping of material very easy without bogging. It also reduces vibration when working.
Included with the SPT70WT-01 is 24-tooth SKILSAW Carbide-tipped blade for ripping, miter gauge, self-aligning fence, guard system including anti-kickback device, insert plate, push stick and wrench.
Everything You Need to Know About Portable Table Saw
Benchtop table saws are lightweight and easy to be carried around by one person and are the most affordable type of table saws on the market today. This table saw is usually used by beginners, homeowners and DIYers.
It uses a universal motor and the motor is usually attached directly to the blade using a belt, which makes the saw somehow heavy and creates much noise or vibration during operation.
However, you’ll enjoy its adequate ripping capacity and precision for the most simple task you’ll perform with it.
Benchtop Table Saw- Pros
- Very Affordable
- Perfect in doing a simple task
Benchtop Table Saw- Cons
- The universal motor is not durable like the induction motor, which is used in more advanced table saws. Though, it offers more power relative to its weight and size.
- It can only rip stock of small sizes because the top of the portable table saw is narrower than that of other classes.
- The front side of the portable table saw is smaller than the rear. And this result to shorter rip fence, which makes it harder to make a clean, straight cut when ripping.
- The distance between the front edge of the benchtop table saw and the blade is short. And that makes cross cutting using a miter a difficult task.
Best Jobsite Table Saw
DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw remains the best jobsite table for a carpenter, a contractors and a tradesman. DEWALT is a renowned company when it comes to building reliable table saw.
As at the time of making this research, DEWALT DWE7491RS has a very high rating of 4.5 stars out of 5- stars. This rating was done by over 600 users. And 77% of this number gave it all by rating it as a 5-star jobsite table saw, which is why it made the list of our best table saw.
- It has rock and pinion fence system, which makes adjustment fast, smooth and accurate
- The presence of 15Amp motor makes ripping through hardwood very easy. The flip over ripping fence allows narrow rip cut
- It has a very big RIP capacity of 32-1/2 inch, which enables a cutting variety of larger shelving and trim material very easy.
- It is very easy to set up because of the rolling stand design, which gives it high stability during operation with little or no vibration.
- 2-1/2 depth collection port, which is easily connected to a vacuum for efficient dust extraction
- Advanced power switch which automatically reset the power system in case of sudden power outage or interruption. In fact, this is the maximum safety measure a table saw can have.
Everything You Need to Know About Jobsite Table Saw
Are you a carpenter, contractor or tradesman then this is the perfect table saw for you. Jobsite table saws are slightly bigger than the benchtop, hence more expensive. They are usually fixed on a folding or stationary stand during operation.
They are more powerful than the benchtop because they use up to 15 amp universal motors. Also, they have gear driven motor, which makes working with it simpler. You can easily transport jobsite table saws to job location owing to its lightweight.
Jobsite table saw are built to last that is why the gear, motor, and casing are ruggedly designed. And they are more accurate than the benchtop table saws.
When compared to benchtop saws, many jobsite models have ¾” miter slots, better fences, better overall alignment, sliding extension tables, larger rip capacities, and folding stands with wheels
Best Compact Table Saw
DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw is the best table saw in this category. Over 950 users testified to it by giving it a high rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars as at the time of writing this best table saw reviews.
In fact, 92% of the users rated it 5 stars table saw, which is a great sign of user satisfaction.
The good news is that a newer version with DEWALT DW745 is on the market now. It has more advanced features that made it the best compact table saw.
- Has a modular guiding system
- It is versatile because it serves as a portable and jobsite table saw
- The onboard storage tech provides easy access to the guarding component and pushes stick when not in use.
- It comes with rack and pinion telescoping fence rails, which makes fence adjustment fast, smooth and accurate.
- Has a strong motor of 15 Amp and 4800 rpm
- It has a metal roll cage base, which makes it durable than others with plastic base
- Lightweight, which makes it an easy to carry around table saw
Everything you Need to Know About Compact Table Saw
These are larger table saws that sit on a stationary base or stand. As the name implies, they are easily carried around like other smaller table saws. They equally use universal type motor but are driven by small toothed belts.
Some of the compact table saws are similar to contractor table saws because they have cast iron tops. Although the table is usually smaller and lightweight and some models even feature sliding-miter tables, with a built-in miter sled that could be tilted to many different angles.
Best Contractor Table Saw
Mekita 2705 10-inch contractor table saw is considered the best in this class of table saws owing to its powerful design and features. In addition, over 70 users rated it very high with an average star rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
Precisely, 74% of the users gave it all by rating it 5 stars, which is a clear sigh of users’ satisfaction.
- It is designed for a range of applications because you can use it in a shop or on a job site. Remodelers, furniture makers, finish carpenters; cabinet installers, decking, and flooring contractors can comfortably use Mekita 2705 for their jobs.
- 15 AMP Power with New “tool-less” Blade Guard system. The power capacity increases the cutting capacity that can rip 4X material at a time. The tool-less modular blade guard system with adjustable dual side guards allow ease measurement from the blade to the rip fence for cutting set up.
- You’ll enjoy full one year warranty for buying Mekita 2705. Though, Mekita ensures it is in perfect condition before leaving the factory, yet you’re protected by the consumer protection policy of the company and Amazon.
- Double independent stowable anti-kickback pawls and riving knife/spreader for thorough cuts.
Everything You Need to Know About Contractor Table Saw
These are very heavy and larger table saws with attached stands or base, mostly with wheels. They are also known as an open-stand saw. The size of contractor table saw makes it ideal for larger projects. Also, they are built to last long owing to the type of jobs they are designed for.
The motor hinges off the rear of the saw and drives the blade via one or occasionally two, belts using 1 to 2 hp induction type motor. It’s very affordable when compared to what you can achieve with contractor table saw.
The latest design of this table saw are somewhat portable often having wheels, which makes it easier to be carried to job sites.
Best Cabinet Table Saw
If you’re seriously searching for best cabinet table saw to acquire then SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP is the best option on the market today.
As at the time of putting up this research result, SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP Table saw has a very high rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 stars. Precisely, 88% of users rated it 5 stars, which proves why it is the best.
Report from Consumer Products Safety Commission shows that in the United States alone, there are 10 amputations daily resulting from a table saw injuries. In fact, every 9 minutes there is a table saw injury. And most of these injuries are life-threatening ones.
To reduce this rate or even curb it entirely, SawStop developed a rare safety measure that is activated once the blade comes in contact with skin. This is how it works; the blade has a built-in electrical signal.
When the skin comes in contact with the blade, it will change the signal because the human body is a good conductor. And the change in signal automatically activates the safety system.
In addition, according to “The Center for Disease Control” sawdust is one of cancer-causing carcinogen hence the need to protect you from it.
To address this problem, SawStop comes with a combined shroud and dust collection blade guard that captures up to 99% sawdust produced.
All these safety processes take place within a split second, so you’re highly protected when working with this machine.
- Built to Last
SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP is built with non-corrosive metals of very high thickness. Every system is designed to last for a lifetime.
Everything You Need to Know About Cabinet Table Saw
These are very large and heavy table saws because they are built with a large amount of cast iron and steel, which reduces vibration and increase accuracy.
You can only operate cabinet saw table with induction motors in the 3 to 5 HP (2.24 to 3.73) range, single phase. If you’re using motors in the 5 to7 HP (3.73 to 5.22KW) range then it must be connected to three –phase.
If you’re to use this machine at home then you must install heavy-duty circuit or “hard” wiring and a dedicated branch circuit.
It is one of the safest table saws to use because the motor is enclosed within the cabinet and the dust collection is still within the cabinet.
Because they are heavier machines, the vibration is greatly reduced resulting in durability and high precision.
Cabinet saws have an easily replaceable insert around the blade in the table top allowing the use of zero-clearance inserts, which greatly reduce tear out on the bottom of the workpiece.
It is common for this type of saw to be equipped with a table extension that increases ripping capacity for sheet goods to 50″.
These saws are characterized by a cast iron top on a full-length steel base, generally square in section, with radiuses corner. Two 3/4″ wide miter slots (1″ wide on the largest saws) are located parallel to the blade, one to the left of the blade and one to the right.
Best Hybrid Table Saw
As the name implies, this is a complicated built table saw but very easy to operate and use. It’s a high tech machine combining improved features of cabinet and contractor table saw.
From detailed research and feedback from users’ Shop Fox W1819, 3 HP 10-Inch Table Saw with Riving Knife is the best in the hybrid category of table saws.
Everything about it speaks volume of quality and performance. Operating with 3HP leeson motor and triple belt drive to the massive cast iron table and wing ensure cutting with maximum precision and speed.
You’ll also appreciate the camlock T-fence, riving knife, heavy cast handwheels, magnetic switch, T-slot miter gauge with fence extension and flip stop and 4-inch dust collection port
Over 30 Amazon’s verified customer rated it 4.2 stars out of 5 stars. This high rating is a complete sign of satisfaction from the users.
Everything You Need to Know About Hybrid Table Saw
Hybrid table saws are considered as a 2 in 1 machine because it comes with best of contractor style and cabinet style. The cabinet style ensures full control over dust collection while the contractor style ensures cutting speed with precision because the vibration is drastically reduced.
They are very affordable when you compare it with the value you’ll get by buying a hybrid machine. The trunnions of some hybrid saws are mounted on the cabinet while some are mounted on the table.
Reports have shown that cabinet mounted trunnions are simpler and easy to use that those table mounted trunnions. The drive mechanism of a hybrid table saw is simpler but more active than that of both cabinet and contractor saws.
You can easily use hybrid saws at home because most of them use 1.5 or 2 HP motor and thus the ability to run a standard 15 or 20 AMP, 120-volt American household circuit.
11 Things You Must Consider Before Buying A Table Saw
It is obvious that each table saw is tailored to a particular type of job. So, it’s up to you to go for the overall best as stipulated from the research and analysis. And above all, from the recommendations from your fellow woodworkers.
In any way, there are basic things common among all the machines that you must consider, which are:
- Safety Features
- User Reviews
- Accurate and smooth cutting
- Riving knife
- Flesh sensor
- Easy adjustment
- Left blade tilt
- Dust control and collection system
- Sturdy construction
Let’s take a brief look into these basic and common features that must be present in all best table saws.
Safety is paramount when considering the saw to buy because there is an increase in machine injuries in America today. In fact, according to a report, every 9 minutes, there is a case of serious machine injury that leads to amputation.
So, whether you’re a professional or beginner you must pay attention to the safety devices in the machine you intend buying. Some safety mechanism you’ve to pay attention to are:
- The saw blade guard
- The riving knife
- Anti-kickback pawls
- The position of the power button
In case you are considering going for a hybrid table saw, then you must consider the flesh sensor tech, which is only found in the one reviewed above.
All these must be present in any woodwork sawing machine you must buy. The good news is that all the machines listed above have a high score of these features.
In addition, there are some safety measures you need to take whenever you’re operating a table saw, such as
- Always wear safety glass
- Always wear a dust mask
- Do not wear a glove when operating a table saw
- Keep the area clean
- Never start the saw with the blade engaged
- Learn the habit of always using a push stick
- Never reach over a moving blade
- Do not be drunk or don’t drink before operating a saw
- Last but not least is always maintain a good position
User reviews are a serious factor you must pay attention to because it tells the mind of real users. Remember, their reviews are unbiased and straight to the point. Products with reviews ranging from 3.5 to 5 stars by over 10 users is a good sign you can go for it.
With that in mind, we carefully examined user reviews when selecting the overall best table saws in each category of the saw.
Accurate and Smooth Cutting
For a saw to be accurate and produce accurate cutting it must have a well-balanced base and low vibration. Therefore, you should always go for a saw that has a metal base and heavy. The weight of a saw determines the level of vibration.
In addition, accurate and smooth cutting also depends on the position and experience of the workman. So, make sure you position right before cutting.
Horsepower plays a vital role in deciding the table saw to go for because it determines the cutting speed and penetration. Above all, it determines the kind of electrical wiring you need for it.
Machines with 1.5 to 2 horsepower motor will draw 18 to 24 AMP and operate on a standard 120V circuit. It will require much strength or torque to rip through a hardwood thicker than 2 inches.
While saws that use a motor with horsepower between 3 and 5 requires 240V circuit or special wiring. It can handle hardwood thicker than 3 inches with ease.
To reduce the rate of one of the common accidents when using a table saw, which is kickback you need to buy the one with a riving knife. Ensure that the riving knife has the same shape with the blade.
Generally, the riving knife works better than splitter in protecting against kickback. Having a quick release riving knife is an added advantage but not compulsory.
Perfect and easy adjustment during work produces perfect finishing. You must consider the ease at which you can adjust the alignment of the blade, fence, bevel, height of the blade, drive belt and many more. Always remember that time is money, so no need for delay during work.
Left Blade Tilt
In continuation of search to reduce machine injury, it has been found that left blade tilt produces less kickback compared to the right blade tilt. Usually, the blade is set at 90 degrees but requires you tilt it when making an angle and bevel cut.
Therefore, it is more preferable to go for left blade tilt.
Dust Control and Collection System
Sawdust posses’ very serious health challenge to woodworkers more especially people working with table saws. So, in considering the best table saw to buy you must consider the dust control and collection system.
Cabinet table saw are great when it comes to dust control and collection. In case you’re not considering going for a cabinet table saw then make sure there is shroud over the blade to redirect the dust. Or make sure there is a vacuum hooked up to the back for the collection of dust.
In this case, you must consider the weight, portability, easy to carry and maintainability of the machine. Above all, you must consider the material used because durability is a factor never to neglect. Always go for a table saw that is made of cast iron and it should have sturdy legs and a flat and smooth surface to work properly and withstand any conditions.
Best table saws are expensive hence the need to have reliability assurance from the manufacturer. Though most table saws are built to last lifetime, yet it is wise you request or know the warranty terms from the manufacturer.
How to Use a Table Saw
How to Maintain A Table Saw
The durability of any of the table saws you may decide to buy largely depends on your maintenance culture. You should develop a periodic maintenance habit if you really want to enjoy the smooth running of your saw.
Below are some maintenance tips you must observe:
- Always use a stiff brush to clean and clear sawdust that accumulates in the cabinet, motor, gears, and adjustment controls. In addition, you should use compressed air to clear all the sensitive areas on your saw.
- Lubricate the gears and pivot point in order to reduce frictions that may lead to wear and tear easily.
- Ensure that you always keep the cutting blade clean using pitch and gum remover. This act reduces cutting pressure and lessens the chances of experiencing kickback
- Always keep the table top clean using light oil lubricant and fine steel wool to eliminate resin and gum buildup
- Ensure that the belt raising and tilt mechanism are tightened well.
- Always inspect and visually observe the belt against signs of wear and damage
- Always inspect the blade guard and ensure that the anti-kickback pawls teeth are sharp
- Lastly, ensure you read and understand the operational and maintenance manuals from the manufacturer.
Best Table Saw – Wrap Up
This is a comprehensive guide that provides you with every detail you need to know about the best table saw. It consists of the overall best machines from the 6 categories of table saws, which are:
- Best cabinet table saw
- Best portable (Benchtop) table saw
- The best among the hybrid table saw
- Best contractor table saw
- Best Compact table saw
- And Best Jobsite table saw
Also, it reveals their features, factors to consider before buying and the best practice of maintaining a saw.
The best table saws discussed above have high user ratings, which show that you’re about buying tested and proved table saw.