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.
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 with confidence.
This table saw was completely redesigned and heavily improved in both safety measures and cutting capacity. For safety, DeWalt redesigned the red power switch to be electronic. It automatically resets the saw to turn off if the power is interrupted whatever the cause. I’ve heard some job-site horror stories regarding table saws who weren’t turned off properly so this redesign was very much needed.
This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.
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The built-in stand sets this saw apart from competitors since it is actually quite stable out of the box and doesn’t require a custom stand or supports to combat vibration, which are often necessary with cheaper and lighter units. DeWalt sells a nearly identical saw with a less robust stand, and after viewing it in a big box store, I was glad to have this one.
One thing manufactures noticed over the years was that when people used the splitters in normal straight cuts it worked well but it’s biggest downfall came when contractors wanted to do cross cuts. What would happen is that people would remove the splitters to make the cross cuts but then forget to fixed them back in place. One brilliant table saw safety feature is the riving knife. The Riving knife is attached directly to the blade mechanism, this allows it to always be attached not matter where or what angle the blade is.
After reviewing and thoroughly examining all the options available to us, we’re confident in our recommendation of the Shop Fox W1819 Table Saw as the best overall table saw for any woodshop. If you’re looking for a more portable option that’s a great value for the money, consider the DeWalt DWE7491RS Table Saw. It’s a great combination of power and portability for woodworking hobbyists that’s also suitable for the jobsite.