One of the first and most important things to consider is what type of table saw you require. When considering the type make sure you consider things like, where will be using the saw, will it need to be portable and move from job to job or can it be stationary like in a work shop. Also, what will be the largest size bits of timber I will be cutting, what sort of power will I require and budget, below we’ve listed the main types so we hope it helps you find the right type for you.
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!
You’re going to get everything that you’ll find on the DeWalt DW745 and a whole lot more. For starters, you get much better rip capabilities – 32½” to the right of the blade and 22” to the left, thanks to the bigger table size (21⅞” X 26⅜”). It uses the same 10” 24 tooth carbide blade, but on the DeWalt DWE7491RS, the speed has been increased to an impressive 4 800rpm.
Rockwell diverged from the crowd with this offering. For starters, the riving knife, anti-kickback pawls and blade guard are connected and remove as a unit. If you do remove them to make a non-through cut, you have to install the separate riving knife first. It’s not difficult, just different. This is the only saw with a right-tilting motor. We prefer left-tilting motors because it’s safer to make bevel cuts with the fence on the right side of the blade. There’s no port for attaching a vacuum cleaner, but there’s a large dust bag that does a good job of collecting sawdust. This saw cuts 3-9/16 in. at 90 degrees, 1/16 in. more than the next closest competitors, allowing you to rip a 4×4 in one pass. And like the Ryobi saw, it has a 30-in.-wide rip capacity.
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Finally, hybrid saws combine the lighter weight of the contractor saw with the more powerful motor and sturdier construction of the cabinet saw, at a price that’s easier for the occasional woodworker to stomach. They can run about $1,200 or so, and weigh in at under 300 pounds. Their motors are generally in the 1.5 to 1.75 HP range, and can be used with standard 110V outlets.
Blade guards are an important safety device and should never be removed from the saw. You want to find one that rises up parallel to the table so it is always on top of the material you are working with. The purpose of this blade guard is to protect you from the spinning blade. While some woodworkers find them annoying, the safety they provide is well worth the inconvenience.
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A splitter is a piece of metal that keeps the blade from binding in whatever material you are cutting if the saw kerf starts to close up. The splitter is vertical and sits directly behind the blade. This plays a big part in preventing kickback and should be mounted on the motor assembly so it rises and falls with the saw blades movements. You can also get splitters that can be adjusted to fit the width of the kerf.
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It’s a little extra assembly work, but you’ll be grateful you did it later. The blade guard will keep your hands away from the saw and the splitter will help to reduce kickback from the machine and keep the wood flowing smoothly through the table saw. Additionally, if you’re working to cut thin boards, you should use a push stick or a push shoe to make sure your hands stay guarded while you work.
The legs fold easily with an intuitive mechanism that feels well thought out, and the safety attachments stow away within the unit, reducing its form factor and allowing it to be tucked away in a corner when not in use. However, the unit does weigh 90 pounds, so if you’re going to be loading it in and out of a truck bed several times a day or needing to haul it up and down the stairs where the wheels can’t help you, you may want to look at a lighter job site saw that dispenses with the stand.