Over the years I’ve bought quite a number of Bosch power tools, including an 8¼” hand-held circular saw. This is despite my loyalty to more established brands like DeWalt and Festool. I must say, though, the Bosch does lack some of the precision and smooth easy usability of the more established brands. I mean no disrespect to Bosch here, my trusty Bosch circular saw has served me faithfully for more than 15 years and is still going strong. The main thing that makes Bosh tools so irresistible is their price. They are often a good deal cheaper than other major brands, offering the same basic features and seem to be quite indestructible. Though they may lack some of the finesse of the more expensive tools.
What is a fence? How important is it in a table saw? It gives you an option for horizontal or vertical adjustments. A good rip fence should be aligned to the blade at all times. Without a fence, everything will be disgusting. Ensure that it is heavy and that it can glide smoothly across the rails. Also, make sure that the locking mechanism is perfect and convenient.
On-board storage is a nice touch: You can keep all your associated tools located right where you need them in the Tacklife. The blade guard and fence are standard-issue for this style of saw, and you’re unlikely to have any problems with them. Overall, it’s a great table saw for beginners – though the low power may leave you wanting to upgrade after a year or so.
One important aspect to consider when buying a new table saw or looking for a new blade is axis adjustment. Being able to adjust the vertical height of the blade allows you to control the depth of the cut, it’s also useful when you don’t need to cut all the way through the wood, especially useful with thick pieces of wood. To help making bevel cuts and joints you can adjust the blade to certain angles that you require.
The Porter-Cable looks like a beefed-up version of the Craftsman, with the same blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. This is the only saw in our test with a blade-tilting handwheel, which makes it easier to dial in a precise bevel angle. The motor mount and blade controls on this saw are very sturdy, without much play, which translates to a good-quality cut. Extending the fence for a wide rip requires a bit of effort on this saw, since the rails are stiff. All in all, this is a great saw for the price.
Meanwhile, the most updated Ridgid table saw boasts of a heavy duty portable body with stand. This has a 15-amp motor with 4000 rpm. This is an updated table saw that provides a single-point release for simple assembly and disassembly. This Ridgid table saw offers an onboard storage system for your miter gauge, blades, rip fence and other important accessories. This is a handy, compact and portable power table saw you just might need in your workshop or worksite.
The DeWalt, Bosch and Ridgid saws have strong stands that are easier to set up, sturdy fences that lock down parallel to the blade every time, and smooth-operating blade controls. If you’re a contractor or an avid DIYer who just likes top-quality tools that feel good and last a long time, we think the extra few hundred dollars is a good investment.
Along with thinking about how the table saw will be used now, it is important to also consider how you will be using it in the future. Will your usage increase or decrease? Many woodworkers may turn a hobby into a fulltime profession if they are talented at what they do. Why are these considerations important? Because they will give you better insight into the kind of money you should spend on your table. If you are going to go into business for yourself in a year or two, spending the money for a high-quality table now is a good idea. It will save you from having to buy another table in the future to accommodate your new needs as a business rather than just a hobbyist.