Methods for tilting the blade to cut bevels vary among the saws. The Porter-Cable saw is the only one with a conventional handwheel bevel control mounted on the side of the saw. The crank gives you great control for setting an exact angle. To set the bevel on the Bosch, DeWalt and Rockwell saws, you simply release the bevel-lock lever and tilt the saw to the preferred angle. It’s easy to go quickly from a 90-degree to a 45-degree bevel with this method. The Ridgid, Craftsman and Ryobi saws have a rack-and-pinion setup. These saws utilize the front crank for setting the bevel.
With a maximum cut depth of 3.125 inches and a 32.5-inch rip capacity, the 10-inch blade of this DeWalt table saw handled all the relatively light-duty board ripping I needed from it, but I also tested it against a variety of plywood and other board sizes to assess its capability. The 15-amp motor is fairly standard for this contractor or job site level of table saw, and none of the boards I threw at it caused it to bind—good news, as binding is at best annoying and at worst dangerous.
Each of the following three styles of table saw is designed with a certain type of user in mind. Whether you’re a first-time woodworker, dedicated hobbyist, or professional construction worker, there’s a table saw out there for you. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what makes a great table saw, we need to discuss the different types of table saws that you might consider purchasing.