Best Table Saw Reviews
Whether you are a DIY weekend warrior or a full-time hobbyist, you know that having the right tool within easy reach can make all the difference. It doesn’t matter whether you are tackling your “Honey-Do” list, trying to build a shelf, or remodeling your home; a carpenter’s job is never done. For that reason, one of the most popular tools available, and the most recommended for projects both large and small; is the table saw. It is with good reason because these saws can do so many things. They can make quick work of all projects and make armature hobbyists feel like true, professional, carpenters.
What Is a Table Saw?
A table saw is a woodworking tool that has a circular saw blade and it is mounted to the underside of a table. The blade itself is mounted on what is called an arbor and the arbor gains power from a motor. The motor may be belt driven or it could be a direct drive motor. Belt Driven saws require you to check the belts occasionally to ensure that they work properly. To be an effective cutting machine, the saw blade will adjust from the bottom and comes up through slots in the table. When you turn on the blade, it will spin rapidly. From there, you lay a piece of wood on the table, slowly working it toward the cutting blade. The table will support the wood that you are working with and as long as you push and move the board around, your cuts will always be where you want them to be.
By using this type of saw, you have control over the depth of the cut. You can create grooves within a piece of wood or cut it straight across and all the way through. Some blades are fixed blades, which means that the table will raise and lower over the blade. This is an older style table saw. The newer tables allow the blade to raise and lower. Some may also tilt so that you can cut angles, which is ideal for creating bevels. Miter cuts are also an option if you choose the right saw and table.
Which Type of Table Saw Do You Want?
There are several different price ranges when it comes to table saws, however, there are really only three different types of saw. You have the contractor style saw, the cabinet saw, and a hybrid saw that combines the best of both worlds. To give you an idea of what that means for you, and your pocket, we have done the work and compared them so that you can get an idea of what you may be looking for.
Cabinet Style Saws are great for most people who enjoy taking their skills to a bit higher tech level. They are equipped with large motors and their table base is fully enclosed to keep the dust down. They also have quality parts that move easily, no matter what you are attempting to do with it. Most owners say that they are easy to use and extremely accurate. However, they are more expensive than the other two saw types and they are extremely heavy. They are designed to be put into a shop and left there.
The Contractors Saw is more affordable and lightweight, but it is louder when running than the other two saw types. They are designed to be carried from one job to the next. The downside is, you lose the fully enclosed table area, so dust is able to fly everywhere, and they are generally not as well built or easy to control. You may think that it should be the other way around, but the idea seems to be that contractors have a better understanding of the cut that they want and can set it to cut the way they want it to be, because they are more skilled. The truth is; most hobbyists will end up using a contractor’s style saw because it is more affordable for them and can still help them get the job done. Within the choices of this category, you will find the words “portable saws” a lot. Often, these saws will have wheels to help them be more portable and therefore some people say “contractor’s saw” while others say “portable”.
The Hybrid Saw is one of the newest types of table saws available. It is more powerful than the contractor style, but not as powerful as the cabinet saw. It is also lighter than the cabinet saw, but not as light as the contractor style. All features of it are somewhere between one and the other, even the price. It is ideal for both professionals and hobbyists. These tools may also have a base that is fully enclosed to keep the dust down, but some of them have shorter legs and less of an enclosure.
The Benefits of a Table Saw
There are many reasons that a person will enjoy using a table saw. They make cutting easier. It is a good replacement for a skill saw which you must hold up while you are cutting. Usually, the skill saw uses a set of saw horses as the table. They are more useful for straight cuts or angled cuts that you measure out before picking up the saw, but there are some people who say that with practice the circular saw can do anything that a table saw can do and then some. The table of the saw supports the saw blade and enables it to cut as deep or as shallow as you want it to. It can also angle the blade to give you bevels without you having to hold the saw at odd angles using your hand, although some say that you can do it easily with a skill saw. This often means that it is much easier for a novice to cut delicate cuts with a table attached to the saw. That is why many say that circular or skill saws are best used in the hands of higher-level woodworkers.
Table saws are useful for creating shelving units from scrap pieces of wood. They can make picture frames with ease and you will always know that you have the same angles on each end of the wooden piece you are cutting so that everything will fit together the way you want it to, the first time you give it a try. These machines can do a huge variety of things and help you build anything that you have your mind set on building and in most cases, they are a lot safer to deal with than a skill saw, especially when you are cutting smaller pieces of wood that may not be held properly by sawhorses. To use a table saw, you only have to set it up and then guide the wood along as it is being cut. The wood will be held by braces and other things to help minimize the risk of kickbacks.
If you have a small workshop, a saw that comes with its own table may also be beneficial because it can serve multiple purposes when not being used for cutting stuffs. There are some people who use it as a table to assemble their woodworking projects by simply lowering the blade and getting to work. Combine that with the fact that it can take the place of several other saws that normal woodworking projects can require and you have definitely can see how it is able to save space so that you have more room to work within your small workshop.
Our Top 5 Choices of Table Saws
DEWALT DW7440RS Rolling Saw Stand with Table Saw
This saw rolls easily and is a compact, job site friendly, table saw set that features a 20-inch max rip capacity. It is lightweight at only 33 pounds and uses quick connect stand brackets to ensure when you are ready to get the job done; it is ready as well. The whole saw is encompassed in a steel roll cage. There is a front and rear fence lock and large. There are scales so that you can enjoy accuracy and an 1800-watt motor to ensure every job is handled quickly. This saw and stand set has a very high rating of 4.7-stars. There are virtually no real negatives to it. Everyone simply enjoys using it. However, some people do say that it is hard to assemble and that replacement parts are hard to get at this time. With all the positive reviews, though, it really cannot be that big of an issue for most people.
DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw
This machine is designed for job sites and it is built to withstand all the possible damages that the rougher setting can deliver. It has a steel roll cage, rack and pinion fence system, scales and more. It weighs in at only 22kg (44 pounds) and can cut through even large sheets of wood. It operates at 120V and has an 1850W motor to provide high enough performance for every job you want to take on. Most all owners love every part of it. They love the dust reducer, because it does keep the dust down and how easy it is to align, although many say it is great without the alignment when you first open the box on it. Most all say that it is ideal for any hobbyist or professional woodworker. The few complaints about it mostly have to do with some people feeling as though things are not as aligned as they should be. The people who talk about it though are professionals who are more used to a higher-end saw.
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw
The BladeRunner comes with a rip fence, miter gauge, and seven other accessories to ensure you have everything you need for your project. It is very lightweight at only 15 pounds. It works with all 4” t-shank jigsaw blades and changes from one blade to another quickly. It comes with a 3-year warranty to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase and boasts an average rating of 4-stars. This type of saw is not designed for heavy duty use. The negative comments about it are because of this simple fact and the fact that it needs to be mounted to a table to ensure straight cuts. This is due to the fact that it is so lightweight, vibrations may make it move around. Many owners state that it is best used as a scroll saw rather than a heavy-duty table saw.
Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand
This tool is truly unique because it incorporates its stand and wheels, as well as a table, saw into one handy device. Because of this, it is extremely portable. You simply wheel it to where you need to be and then start making cuts using a 10-in saw blade. The blade spins at 3,650 RPM. When laid out and set up as a saw, it can handle stock that is up to 25-inches wide. It is backed by the Bosch 1-year warranty to ensure quality. The downside of it is; because of the fact that the wheeled cart and saw are all one piece, it is a little tricky to assemble it. Some people also say that it allows dust to fly too freely. As you look at most reviews, though, no one seems to complain about any of these issues.
DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw
This Jobsite saw has an impressive 32 1/2-in rip capacity and it sits on a rolling stand that completely supports the saw when it is in use. It is a best-seller on many websites and boasts an overall 4.7-star rating. It features a rack & pinion fence system to ensure that adjustments are easy, fast, and very accurate. It can even cut through hardwoods with ease. There is also a 2 1/2-inch dust collection port that you can use when you want to keep dust down. It hooks to a vacuum and extracts dust quickly. There are very few people who are able to find fault with this machine. The ones that do seem to have issues are mostly talking about the assembly of it and a few say that the adjustments slip if you are cutting a lot of wood at one time. However, those same people still give it 3-stars or more, so I feel that it is not a problem that you should be overly concerned about when looking for a good sawing tool.
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How to Choose the Right Table Saw
Choosing the right saw is going to be different for every person. Some may want affordability, while others will look more for quality. Therefore, we are going to talk about some of the features that may make you lean more toward purchasing one option over another. As already discussed, there are three different types of table saws available. Within those groups, there are different prices ranges for you to consider and different features available.
If you spend a lot of time cutting wood as a hobby or on a professional level, you may want to go ahead and invest in the cabinetry saw. It is going to be too heavy to move around freely, but with it, you will have the ability to make very accurate cuts.
If you are not committed to a shop, but want the accuracy of cuts, a hybrid may work just as well. It will be lightweight enough that you can move it to an area where it is out of the way when you are not using it. It will also be able to perform the way you want it to when you are attempting to use it.
Pretty much the only people who are happy with a carpentry saw are the ones who use such tool frequently and need it to be able to travel with them wherever they go, but it may also be good for novice woodworkers who simply want to create a few projects when the urge strikes.
Once you have decided on a type of saw that you prefer, you will have to consider the features that they offer. With this, you are not confined to one saw over another in every situation. A contractors’ saw may have the same features that a high-end cabinetry saw will have. For instance, a contractor’s saw may have a cast iron table top and be on the heavier side of that type of saw. This is not always the case. For a lighter weight, the contractor table saw usually has a metal top, but it may have a table that uses extension wings and this is rarely found on the cabinetry table saws.
Table saws also may have features that allow them to make bevel cuts and miter cuts easier, along with the rip fence bar that allows you to make straight cuts that are truly straight. You may have a miter gauge that will enable you to move the piece of wood to create cuts at specific angles. A bevel system will allow you to easily create beveled edges on your woodworking projects.
From there, you may also want to think about the accessories that you may want. These accessories will let you do more with your new table saw. Extension tables are always good because they enable you to work with larger pieces of wood with less struggle. A mobile stand for your table saw will give even large stationary saws a way to be moved around. They are a great option if you are in a small shop or may need to move your heavy saw to where it is out of the way. Some saws may also be usable with dado sets. Dado sets allow you to cut straight slots with only a single pass, which is perfect for putting together shelves.
Last, but not least, before you complete your purchase of a new saw, you will want to ensure that it has features that will make it easy for you to complete the projects you want to tackle. These features may include:
- How Many Amps Does It Have? The more amps the motor can produce, the more cutting power you will have. This also means you can cut harder woods.
- How Does It Handle Dust? Some saws freely blow dust everywhere while others have blowers or hook to vacuums to ensure that the dust does not get in your way.
- Ease of Changing the Blade. If you purchase a saw that does not have a shaft lock, it may be harder to change out the blade.
- Does It Have a Magnetic Shutoff? A magnetic shut off will enable the saw, in the event of a power outage, to reset to the off position automatically. This means that when the power comes back on, you do not have to worry that the motor will turn on as well.
- Are There Blade Guards Available? Blade guards are on some saws to protect you from dust and possible chunks of wood that may fly off. It can also lessen the chance of kickbacks and you accidentally touching the blade.
- Is It Easily Adjustable? Some rip fences have control knobs that allow you to fine tune the fence. Some are also extendable so that you can work on more projects.
- Will It Power Off with a Kick Switch? A kick switch is another way of shutting off the motor on the saw. It can be “kicked” with a foot or a knee to ensure that you do not take your hands off the board you are cutting if it may pose a safety risk for you to do so.
After you have done your research and found the saw, and features, that you want for it to have, you will have to move on to deciding which blades you want to use. In some cases, this may also change the way you look at your preferred choice. Not all blades can be used on all saws. Therefore, you will have to check for compatibility with the saw you have chosen.
Which Saw Blade Is Best for Your Projects?
There are several blade options. Rip Blades are able to efficiently cut along with the grain of the wood to ensure that it is a clean cut, but it is not great when it comes to cutting across the wood grain. To cut across, you will need to consider a crosscut blade. The best universal blade, which can cut either direction is going to be a combination blade. It is also great for cutting both large and soft wood. They will have rip and crosscut teeth on them with deep gullets in between each of the teeth.
In the event, you are tired of changing blades or know that you are going to be cutting some very strong wood, you may want to consider a carbide tipped blade. They are blades that are designed to last throughout your entire project. A hollow ground blade is a blade that is designed to cut acrylics and other types of material. It is also a strong blade that allows you to cut without scoring the area you plan to saw. With that, you also have plywood blades, which reduces the amount of splintering.
When searching through blades, you will want to keep in mind that the more teeth you have on the saw blade, the finer the cut will end up being. If there is a large gap between teeth, it will cut faster, but the cut will not be smooth. You will also have the option, depending on your chosen saw to use 10, 12, or 15-inch blades. Most table saws for basic users will need the 10-inch blades.
Important Safety Tips
Saws are always dangerous. They involve metal, spinning blades that are designed to cut away wood in mere seconds. Therefore, before you fire it up; it is important that you respect the machine. Most are designed to keep you safe when cutting. They have shields and they have safety guards. Not everyone is willing to leave them in place, because they do sometimes get in the way. This is not the safest choice you can make. People have lost fingers because a board slips away from them. However, there are other things that can go wrong with this type of power tool and you should also keep them in mind when using it.
One of the biggest threats when using a saw that is stationary on a table is a kickback. Kickback occur because you have a solid blade, spinning quickly, trying to cut into another solid object by spinning fast enough to slice it. Blades have teeth on them and the teeth catch when they scoop away the wood. The kickback can cause the wood to jerk quickly in one direction or another. There is no warning that it is about to happen, but the repercussions of it can be lost fingers and bad cuts on the board. To avoid potential kickbacks as much as you can, you will want to make sure that the blade height is set right for the wood that you are cutting. If possible, you will want the blade’s teeth to come just out of the wood when it is sawing through. This will ensure that the blade cuts deep enough to hold the wood still, but that the blades are not so far through that your fingers can be taken off because of a slip.
When using a saw, you should also wear a pair of goggles. This will keep dust from flying up and getting into your eyes. If you are sawing through wood and a chunk of it comes up, you may end up dealing with more than a watery eye. The wood may cut into your eye and if you jerk when it the wood dust hits you; you could end up jerking the board, which could cause you to get cut and the blade to make the wrong cut in the wood.
Some people also recommend that you wear gloves. Even though gloves will not prevent your fingers from getting in the way of a saw blade, it can lessen the damage if an unfortunate event does occur. The thing is, the gloves you will want will be a little thick, but not so thick that you are unable to feel the wood in your hand. To help with this, and to help you avoid wearing gloves, some of the pricier saws may have a flesh sensor on them. This sensor enables the saw to stop immediately if it touches skin. This is good news since it could mean the difference between you ending up with a small cut or a lost digit.
Above all, understand that to use any type of saw, you need to have a certain appreciation for the fact that it is a power tool. You should not use such machine if you are impaired in any way. This means you should not attempt to use a saw when you have had a few drinks or you are feeling groggy from medications; even if you have used it millions of times before. To use saws, you need to be aware of the tool completely. Otherwise, your woodworking project could become a trip to the emergency room.
Using a powerful tool like this, whether they are table saws, jig saws, circular saws, or some other type is dangerous if you do not use it in the way it was intended to be used. Safety in your shop or on the job site should be your number one priority. When the machine is not in use, you may also want to keep it unplugged so that someone, especially curious kids, do not venture into your shop where they can get hurt. The same rule applies to all other woodworking power tools that you may own. In the wrong hands, they can all be extremely dangerous. Protect yourself and those you love. This may even mean explaining to your children to never touch a saw under any circumstance without your permission and your guidance.