A table saw is the centerpiece of any home workshop, and it’s often the very first power tool to be cranked up at the start of any woodworking task. They’re essential for the necessary task of sizing wood for each project – whether narrowing the width of boards, cutting plywood sheets, or tackling specialized cuts like grooves, slots, and tenons. Because of their important role in DIY and professional construction, choosing the right table saw is critically important. At BestReviews, we’ve researched table saws in depth. We’re here to help you decide which type of table saw will best meet your needs.
If the piece of wood that you’re cutting does not have a straight edge to run along the fence guide, you won’t get an accurate cut. An uneven edge will move back and forth against the fence guide. A good way to create a straight edge to work with is to fasten the piece that you’re cutting to a piece of plywood that has a straight edge. Using screws or nails, you can attach the uneven wood to the straight piece, so that the straight edge runs along the guide rail. Make sure that the straight-edged wood is narrower than the width of your intended cut so that you only cut the piece that is intended to be cut.
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It has a very impressive table size for a portable saw (29” X 21½”) with an extended width of 40.5”. It also has a very easy tool-free operation for adjusting the guard system and apart from a regular riving knife, the Bosch also has anti-kickback pawls for even safer use. The Smart-Guard safety system seems to be one of the best that you’ll find on a table saw, which is something many users will appreciate. You’ll also have the benefit of onboard storage.
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.
You’ll also want to be sure to check that the teeth of the blade are facing towards you since this is the direction that the wood is cut. Once you’ve made sure that the new blade is on properly you can put on the stabilizing parts and nut again. You’ll tighten the nut by putting the spanners on the same way you did before, however, this time you’ll push the spanner in your left hand away from you to tighten the nut instead of towards you.
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.
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