When you buy the DeWalt DW745 a miter gauge, push stick, 24 tooth carbide blade and blade guard come standard with the saw. If you look at all that you’re getting for the price, it is an incredibly attractive offering. You’re backed by the quality standards of a highly respected brand and it comes with the standard 3-year warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee, that you get with all DeWalt products.
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 often find that many contractors have a love hate relationship with blade guards. Many contractors and woodworkers simply find they often get in the way and can often get wood stuck in them. But many manufacturers are improving these guard’s year on year and now many of them are very advanced and will help keep your fingers from getting hurt, we always advise you to consider the table saw blade feature on any table saw in detail as it could one day help saw you.
I tested both saws and found their performance similar, though thanks to the rolling stand, I was more likely to reach for the DeWalt. If you don’t value the stand, the SKILSAW packs a lot of power in a small form and is the preferred job site saw of several local contractors I know. If you’re a weekend warrior like me, you may value the stand enough to spend the extra money on the DeWalt.
There are two types of motors used in table saws: universal motors and induction motors. With a universal motor, the power source is linked directly to the blade, providing a whole lot of power. The downside is that these models are generally quite loud. Induction motors, on the other hand, are connected to a belt that then transfers power to the blade. As a result, you get quieter operation and the ability to cut dense materials. The downside is that these models require more preventive maintenance, as you have to adjust the belt’s tension periodically.
Inspect your wood carefully to make sure that you are able to maintain a safe working environment and are able to complete high quality work. Now that you’ve got these things in mind there are only a few more things you’ll need to remember before you’re ready to get to work! First, remember that the blade spins towards you, the operator. This means that you’ll always want to feed the wood to the machine by pushing it towards the blade and away from you.
First off, consider how often you’ll put your table saw to use. If you work in the fields of contracting or carpentry, there’s a chance you’ll be using your new machine pretty often—so you may as well invest in a more expensive, heavy-duty table saw that’s sure to last longer than the average model. On the other hand, hobbyists and weekend woodworkers won’t need a pricey piece of machinery—a more compact and inexpensive model should do just fine, especially if you’re only working on smaller projects like birdhouses and DIY wooden models.
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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.
The continuous-read, tape measure–type scale is ingenious and easy to read, and Ridgid’s lifetime warranty covers it against breakage. The Ridgid saw has the most versatile miter gauge with holes and slots for mounting extensions and accessories. The designers have cleverly fashioned the stand to also serve as a left-side outfeed support for ripping plywood.