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.
A simple push stick comes standard with most saws. If you don’t have a push stick, it’s easy to improvise one by cutting a strip of plywood with a notch cut into one end that will enable you to press the wood down as you feed it through with the stick. While push sticks are very common, they are not the best tool for the job. This is because they don’t give you much directional control. You can ask any experienced carpenter and they’ll tell you that a push handle is far superior. A push handle allows you to press down on the wood that you’re cutting with the force of your hand, giving you much better control.
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.
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Kickback is probably more dangerous than cutting yourself with the blade because it can happen so easily and without notice. Kickback happens when the wood becomes jammed and is forced back toward you. This is not a nice experience and often results in pretty serious injuries. Table saws are fitted with a riving knife and often an anti-kickback pawl, make sure these are fitted correctly.
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Ironically, it’s the more experienced carpenters that are more likely to get injured whilst using a table saw. Research has shown that most injuries are reported by carpenters with more than 18 years of experience. The reason for this is complacency, people tend to become more relaxed over the years. So it’s important to maintain a healthy respect for the machine that you’re working with and never forget the possible danger that you face, no matter how proficient you become.
I appreciate the helpful comparison of the best table saws. I’m fairly new to woodworking, and until recently I was using an old table saw that used to belong to my dad. Long story short, it’s no longer usable, and so I’m looking for a good table saw to buy that’s beginner-friendly. I have my eye on the DEWALT DW745 – evidently it’s really popular and does a great job. I’ve taken a look at some other sites for more ideas. Your guide here is great. What is your opinion on the DW745?
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The SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 is truly a woodworking marvel, packing a 15-amp Dual Field motor into a surprisingly lightweight yet durable 49-pound frame. Whether you’re an amateur carpenter or a contractor with years of experience under his toolbelt, SKILSAW’s workhorse of a table saw is an invaluable addition to your repertoire thanks to its raw torque and unparalleled 25-inch ripping capacity, meaning tearing through thick sheets of plywood has never been easier.
We spent a lot of time setting up and taking down the saws to see how well the stands worked and how easy it was to install and remove the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. Then we ran a torturous ripping test with 3-in.-thick slabs of oak to find the best table saw. And finally, we used the saws for more conventional tasks like cutting plywood and ripping framing lumber as another test to determine the best table saw.