If you work with wood in any capacity, chances are you rely on a table saw to make clean, accurate cuts. But when your good old saw goes to the big toolshed in the sky, it’s time to opt for a replacement. Before you dish out your hard-earned money on the first model you come across, remember that a table saw is a big investment, so it’s in your best interest to look into the many technical specifications of each option before you settle on a final purchase.
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Essentially, the plus of the W1819 is that it has some of the top features on the market, including its strength, its excellent dust control (it has a 4” dust port which can be connected to your shop-vac), and its mounted trunnions. However, since it runs on 220V, you might need to make some adjustments to use this saw, but it’s totally worth it.
Typically sold for around $600, the DeWalt isn’t exactly cheap, and you can find similar portable table saws for less. DeWalt itself has several other jobsite table saws for lower prices, though they either lack a stand or feature a flimsier one. However, if you value a sturdy stand and the ability to wheel the collapsed unit around, it’s easy to justify the modest extra expense for this saw.
The old designs of table saws did not have the angled capability that newer models have now with their ability to have the blades angled at 45 and 90 degrees. Before these upgraded styles, the table itself had to be tilted which made cutting extremely unsafe. The new styles that accommodate angling the blade for the beveled cuts make things much easier and safer for the user.
The built-in stand sets this saw apart from competitors since it is actually quite stable out of the box and doesn’t require a custom stand or supports to combat vibration, which are often necessary with cheaper and lighter units. DeWalt sells a nearly identical saw with a less robust stand, and after viewing it in a big box store, I was glad to have this one.
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It’s a little extra assembly work, but you’ll be grateful you did it later. The blade guard will keep your hands away from the saw and the splitter will help to reduce kickback from the machine and keep the wood flowing smoothly through the table saw. Additionally, if you’re working to cut thin boards, you should use a push stick or a push shoe to make sure your hands stay guarded while you work.
There are a lot of great table saws on the market, but we’d have to say the best is the DEWALT DW745 Compact Jobsite Table Saw. This design enables you to be flexible with where you set up shop as well as extremely efficient thanks to the innovative technology that was incorporated into the design. Additionally, it has a 15 amp motor and a 20-inch rip capacity that makes it more than capable of taking on any challenge you throw at it.
Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge is a blessing for the impatient among us. The folks at Kreg know their customers don’t want to waste time preparing their tools — they want to use them! That’s why the KMS7102 boasts positive stops at a variety of the most common angles: so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.
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This saw/stand combination is the most expensive of the group. But you get some top-end features. The first thing you’ll notice is the stand with its splayed legs that have no wheels in the setup position. You can’t wheel it around, but man is it sturdy, which is great if you’re ripping sheets of plywood or long, heavy boards. Another unique advantage of this stand is that you can easily remove the saw. That makes the saw easy to transport and to use without the stand. But our favorite feature is the patented rack-and-pinion fence that stays perfectly parallel to the blade and is super easy to adjust. If you can afford to spend a little more, we think the DeWalt is hard to beat.
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Blades come in various types and sizes. There are rip blades for cutting along the wood grains, hollow ground blades ideal for various materials, crosscut blades suitable for smooth and precise cuts, and combination blades for that double up as blades for crosscutting and ripping. Depending on what you do the most, it’s necessary to choose the right blade type and size that will get the job done with the most ease.
The quiet, 220-volt motors in these saws cut through the hardest stock, hour after hour, without bogging down. Cabinets are metal and extend to the floor for the best dust collection. The tops are cast iron, wide, and stable, which makes it easy to cut sheet goods. The trunnions are cabinet-mounted, so you get minimal vibration and maximum accuracy. They're also heavy; some weigh over 600 pounds. Once a cabinet saw's in place, that's where it stays.
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.