Best Table Saw – Guide to Choosing a Suitable Model for You
Impossibility is a yesteryear’s concept in this 21st century. The evolution of technology has raised the standard of living to new heights. Things that people couldn’t imagine accomplishing without professional help have come right at the tip of their fingers, for instance, carpentry and woodcutting. There’s was a time when these physically tiring jobs could be performed only by professional contractors. With the accessibility of lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, portable table saws for amateur DIY lovers, and of course, along with the help of online tutorials at service, wood working at home is turned into a household affair.
Table saws are an indispensible part of any woodworker’s toolbox. If you’re planning to buy a brand new one to fulfil your sawing needs or a reliable replacement for your existing one, you need to get updated about the latest improvements that have been brought in these gadgets for better functionality and accuracy. Don’t trust the words of the retailers blindly, most of them are vying to rip you off your cash. Make sure you’re completely sure before making a decision. Gather useful information all table saws from the vast world of internet, take recommendations from dependable personal sources.
Table Saw Buying Guide
Table saws are not simple creatures. Many experienced professionals find it challenging to keep themselves up-to-date with the rapid changes this industry is going through. Judging a product only by reading a couple of specs on the product manual is hilarious, especially if you’re new to these gadgets. Unless you know how each and every components functions, what are pros and cons of different motor types, miter gauges, design material and blade styles, how, pray, are you expecting yourself to find out the best table saw in a market inundated with lucrative options?
Saw Blade design
The blade of any cutter is the heart and buzz of it. A separate elaborate article can be written on this topic alone but since none of us have the time for that, I would try to throw light upon the absolute essentials and explain them as briefly as possible. There are a lot of terms you need to remember by heart while assessing the anatomy of a table saw blade. Meanwhile, also don’t forget to take into account interrelated aspects like tooth geometry and teeth number.
Gone are the days of thin steel blades which were used to be overbearingly susceptible to bending and chipping. An ideal saw blade of modern era should be made from the finest grains of hard carbide, covered with a laser-cut plate for ultimate safety, sharpness and precision. The steadiest blades in the business employ a further improved laser-cut plate that eliminates vibration and adds stability while facing high tensioning.
The engineer’s term kerf refers to thickness of the material to be cut. Opting for a thin-kerf blade is a wise choice if you are working on expensive hardwood or metals. Thin kerf saw blades deliver stupendous sharpness and reduce vibration during operation. According to a study, a thin kerf saw blade can up to 25% of the material waste. On the negative side, such super sleek cutters fall flat while flat-grinding and rip-cutting. Choose a thick kerf if your main concern is achieving perfection rather than material saving.
40 Teeth All Purpose Blades
A table saw blade featuring 40 tiny teeth moulded in tough carbide grains is an absolute spot on when it comes to dealing with general wood working jobs. These primary cutting blades are a must-have in any wood shop. Uniformly spaced ATB teeth profile is the basic characteristic of all-purpose 40 teeth table saw blades. Designed to make aggressive cuts on almost any material with ease, it is a particularly brilliant choice for crosscutting of wooden fibres. No splintering and smooth lengthwise ripping, that’s all about it.
50 Teeth Combination or Hybrid Blades
The top of the kerf is combination blades are normally flat, which blesses it with the capacity to be effective on dado joineries and groove cuts. At times, it combination blades can be a bit slower at ripping than primary all-purpose blades. The characteristic hybrid design is a combination of rip-cut and cross-cut blade.40 alternately flat and closely spaced teeth and 10 largely spaced FTG bevelled teeth are interspersed along the circumference, much similar to that of a crosscutter. Then you’ll notice wide gullets, similar to the rip blades. The synthesis of the benefits of both blade types creates a prolific blade that can handle multifarious cutting actions without a hitch.
Blade Teeth Geometry
Flat Top Grind (FTG), Alternate Top Bevel (ATG), Hi Angle Alternate Top Bevel are the most quintessential teeth profiles utilised in table saws. If you want to get a little experimental, you may try other options like the highly durable Triple-Chip Grind (TCG) or Alternative Top Bevel/Raker (ATB/R) to reap the benefits of both crosscutting and rip-cutting blades. Top profile, relief angle and hook angle are there major configurations of a saw teeth geometry. Different models engage a different combination of these three for each application.
Blades with fewer numbers of teeth are perfect for a large section of woods. If you’re performing rip-cutting on a thick stock of wood, follow this simple trick, increase the height of the saw to employ lesser number of teeth on the cutting surface. It also helps avoiding the overheating issue. For crosscuts and engineered sheet goods, a blade lined with 5 to7 teeth should do the job well.
Saw Blade Size
The outside diameter and the diameter of the mounting hole are two most essential aspects to take into account while figuring out a correct size for your sawing needs. Average table saw blade for DIY and professional applications alike are 8-10 inches in diameter. You can also go with a small one measuring around 3 3/8 inches or mammoth 30 inch units, depending on what you intend to use it for. As the space inside the arbour and within the blade guard in every individual model is different, so, you can just throw any blade at it. The drill is to find a balance between the blade diameter and arbour.
Table Saw Motor
Is horsepower the only factor to stress upon when evaluating a table saw motor? I’m afraid not. The mechanism in the innermost sanctum of the motor is the actual controller of the actions here. There’s one more important side you can’t overlook which is the drive used by the motor to transfer the power to the blade. Now the question is, belt drive or direct drive? Which one fits the bill? The matter isn’t that black and white. More elaborate discussion on this topic coming next:
First things first, we shall begin with judging the quality of the motor by analysing the power it generates. Along with horsepower, also pay attention to the available volt of the unit. Standard table saws powered by of 15 amp, generating around 1 hp force for mild woodworking projects.meanswhile, units delivering up to 2 hp will be consuming between 18-24 amps at least. So, how do you calibrate if the power output of a specific system is enough to satiate your needs or not?
There’s no hard and fast rule for calculating that but yes, units offering up to 2 hp can effortlessly handle a 2 inches thick stock of material. If you want to rip thicker sheets, look for a larger motor, drawing around 240 volts, capable of triggering higher power and torque for labour-intensive sawing tasks.
Now it’s time whip away the confusion about drive type. You’re already acquainted with the names of the two primary type of drives used in table saws. In the case of direct drive, the motor is directly joined to the blade in order to channelize all of the power straight to the blade. On the brighter side, these drives run noise-free operation, minimal loss of power and the ultra lightweight profile enhances the portability of the saw.
Belt drive saws manoeuvre a v-belt and pulley mechanism to transfer the energy to the blade. The motor is located at a good distance from the blade, thus preventing the dust from caking on to the interior of the motor and expanding the lifespan of it. For the same reason, saws equipped with belt drives, despite some minor power loss, are proved incredible cutters of hard plywood.
Fence of a table saw is believed to be the lifeline of it. It is the inclusion of a quality fence that makes a model stands out in the contest. The primary function of the fence is to help the blade run along the width of the lumber while ripping it. The best table saws would definitely emphasis on the adjustability of this crucial component, enabling it to bend in both horizontal and vertical direction whenever necessary. Of course, at times you might face a little difficulty in twisting the fence. Take the help of some lubrication.
Biesenmeyer Commercial “T-square” fence can be spotted in almost any standard table saw from a reputed brand. It is build from welded steel, it’s solid, provides great accuracy and hardly causes any mishap. Adjusting the direction is a cinch with T-square fences. Fences in giant cabinet saws have their fence tube adhered to the T-square head. Whereas economical, DIY models are tend to use bolts to fit the tube on the fence head.
The mechanism of a miter gauge is clear as water. It is basically a piece of guiding device housed inside the miter slot. The main component of it is a crescent-like part that moves across different angles to allow cutting at various angles. It also features a bevel lock to help to fix any angle between 45 degrees to -45 degrees. The straight part of the gauge has to be positioned neatly along the sheet and pushed towards the saw blade for producing smooth angled cuts.
Miter gauges act as a vital component when you want to make specialty cuts like square cross cuts and compound cuts. The pivoting part of the device offers tremendous flexibility and versatility at any desired angle and bevel. In order to ensure that the miter gauge doesn’t slide out of its secure position, always use a clamp to securely lock the sheet. For further safety, don’t engage the fence and the gauge simultaneously, otherwise it may trigger kickbacks at top speed. Place the board at a safe yet feasible distance from your body while working with a table saw.
Be mindful of that razor-sharp blade that rotates at a high RPM, wooden sheets are not the only object it has vouched to rip apart. Needless to remind you of the importance of handling the saw safely from the moment you switch on the trigger. Another usual debacle occurs during woodcutting is the kickback. Apart from positioning the board at a safe distance, you should also look for protective features like anti-kickback paws in the tool. Check out the credulity of the blade guard, if it’s not up to the mark, you better replace it immediately. The table saws steeped in advance safety features such as riving knifes, electric brakes, splitters etc. are always give the best value for money.
A good table saw can be your ultimate wood cutting device at more than one level. The factors explained above are the very basic things to be expected from a stable sawing machine. As long as you’re keen on pushing you carpentry skills to its extreme, you need to pay attention to the minute details as well. By minute details, I’m implying to elements like onboard wrench storage, blade tilt, wheels for rotating the table, steady on/off switches and the likes. Upgrade of the blade set adds a whole new dimension to your power-tool. Veteran experts love tweaking up the configurations time to time to improve the cutting capacity and quality.
Table Saw types
Table saws are a perfect handy sawing tool for do-it-yourself enthusiasts as well as people who make their both ends meet by wood cutting. For a more humble, light-duty sawing projects at home, amateur users would be obviously vying for a compact and portable model, rather than a giant machine cranking up a massive RPM. The motors engineered in these small tools are capable of producing 1-2 hp power, which is substantial for dealing with general tasks like cutting strips, renovating furniture in your workshop and minor repair works in your garage.
Benchtop saws belong to the economical category of high-power, lightweight table saws that beginners would have to get their hands on. Notwithstanding the absence of any gliding wheels, mobility is not an issue with these saws. Most suitable for low-scale tasks at home or garage, the exterior made from composite materials effectively stand the test of time. Due to the limited size, the ripping ability of the unit is naturally restricted to softwood and thin plywood.
Cabinet saws are huge in size, probably the largest among all table saw types, they ace the chart by the standard of power output as well. A single glance over the machine is enough to make you realise that this saw is made to accomplish heavy-duty cutting projects with optimal precision and speed. The components are fixed-type, robust and built to last for years. Top-end manufacturers, training schools and contractors of the industry boast of their speciality cabinet saws. In my knowledge, there’s not a single material it cannot tear apart, be it pine, plywood, pressure-treated lumber or thick metal sheets.
The powerhouse of cabinet saws, the motors are nothing short of a beast. They operate on a volt setting of 240v and source anywhere between 3-5 hp, which is the highest of the whole bunch. Replete with features and accessories, these models can be heavier than 500 lbs. If you desperately need to move the unit, get hold of a mobile base.
Jobsite Table Saw
This one is an out-an-out professional-level table saw for contractors, furniture makers and handymen who want to enjoy the benefit of easy mobility. Construction-wise, jobsite saws are large in dimension, have a solid chassis and packed with rugged components and ultra-powerful motors. Many people confuse these saws with contractor table saws, for the former is also extensively used by contractors. Having said that, there’s no smattering difference between two of them, saving the portability part.
The best jobsite portable saws offer a ripping capacity of 24”, come with a stand and seldom with an extension table as well. Useful accessories like riving knives, onboard storage space, dust collection ports ease out your stress while dealing with intricate cutting patterns. The wheels mounted at the bottom of the system enables the user to drag it from one corner of the room to another without any back-breaking effort.
The REAL Contractor Saws
Contractor saws, owing to its terrific capacity and big size, are viewed as stationary saws and mostly found in workshops and commercial garages. The cutting efficiency of these heavy-duty units will leave your mind blown anytime. Plus, it’s not even as large as cabinet saws. Driven by massive outboard induction motors and belt drives, these state-of-the-art stationary are almost equal to cabinet saws in terms of generating power and heat. Interestingly, the price of these units is equivalent to that of portable models. With the progress of time, the design of contractor saws has gone through immense revolution. Sadly, even the newer models couldn’t resolve the poor dust collection function found in older units.
Compact Table Saws
A variant of benchtop models, compact table saws utilise a direct drive to transfer the power directly to the blade from the motor. Like standard direct-drive units, compact table saws do not offer massive ripping capacity. Use it for low-key projects at workshops. Apart from the basic features, compact saw also include handy accessories like stand and cast-iron made table-top top facilitate hassle-free action.
It’s tough to find a well-explained definition as to what a hybrid saw actually is. Let me say, it is a cross between full-size professional cabinet saws and old-school contractor saw models. Available in two basic styles-full enclosure and open-leg stand designs. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the two unless you dig deeper into the features. Unlike traditional contractor saws, hybrid systems run on an inboard belt drive induction motor. Being the newest category of table saws, there are only a handful manufacturers who have so far produced such unique (and whacky) models.
|Bosch 4100-09||$$||5.0||Check Availability|
|DeWalt DWE7491RS||$$||5.0||Check Availability|
|Rigid R4513||$$$||4.5||Check Availability|
|DeWalt DWE7480||$||4.8||Check Availability|
|SawStop PCS31230 Cabinet Saw Review, with 36" T-Glide Fence||$$$+||5.0||Check Availability|
|Rockwell RK7241S||$||3.8||Check Availability|
|Makita 2705X1||$$$||3.8||Check Availability|
Reviews of the Best Table Saws of 2016
Bosch has always been a brand you can count on. Amongst their fine collection of low-duty to mammoth industry-level table saws, the one that has left me completely awestruck is the 4100-09 series. At the heart of the beast, runs a 15 amp motor that can yield as much as 4 hp power! There’s nothing its 3600 RPM blade with a cutting width of 25” can’t tear apart. One of the most innovative features in this model is the SquareLock rip fence that smoothly slides up and down the rail. Bosch’s trademark SmartGuard system has been given a makeover in 4100-09.Moreover,it has been teamed up with a solid blade guard and anti-kickback pawls and riving knives for superior protection against almost all types of conceivable accidents in the work field.
The blade guard is made from aluminium and can be split from the middle. The measurement read-outs on the blade are clearly printed to be viewed easily. The 40 toothed, razor sharp carbide-tipped blade ripping through both soft and hard wood without a hitch. To elevate or decrease the height of the blade, simply make use of the elevation wheel mounted at the front of the wheel. And the best part of all? Each and every component is detachable and can be tucked inside the onboard storage in order to keep the things in place.Check the Latest Price
The DWE7491RS model from the great DeWalt comes next in my line-up. The exterior looks robust and durable from the outside. Peeking under the hood, what’s found is a stellar rip capacity along with a flawlessly designed rip fence system and comes bundled with numerous safety features and accessories. The biggest plus point of DWE7491RS is its thoughtfully designed fence system. Scoring above 90 pounds on the weighing machine, this model does not belong to the group of portable DIY table saws. Keeping in mind the terrific capacity and dimensions, this one easily falls into the category of stationary contractor saws. It boasts of a cutting width of 32 ½ inches substantiates the intensity of work it deals with.
Lifting the lumber onto a desirable height has been made fairly easy by the tabletop that can be elevated up to 30 inches. The uber-sharp blade runs through heat-treated lumber, softwood, plywood and sheet goods like butter. The rock-solid design of the switch is the best I’ve ever run into. The drop-down plastic cover hardly leaves any room for accidental startup of the blade. The magnetic switch acts like a stabilizer, preventing the saw from switching on automatically when the power is restored after a sudden power cut.Check the Latest Price
Ridgid power-tools and appliances have are a league of their own and simply unmatchable in terms of power and product design. Similar to the previous model, this one too is a contractor table saw, best suitable for professional jobs and heavy-duty on-site projects for contractors. R4513 is one of those rare breeds of stationary saws that scores well on the mobility department despite of a massive weight, courtesy goes to the air-filled wheels.
The components are exceptionally hassle-free to assemble and can be dismantled swiftly for storage when not in use. Upscale contractor saws like Ridgid R4513 are able to cancel maximum vibration during the operation, thanks to their monstrous weight. It was a real wise decision on the part of the makers to give the model a height of 35 inches. It allows the worker to have a closer view of the alignments.Check the Latest Price
DeWalt has proved its mettle in manufacturing the most logically designed table saws of all time.DWE7480 is a perfect offering for this power-hungry industry where time and skill equals to money. Its unique pinion telescopic fence system housed alongside a rack provides incredible accuracy and cutting width. It aids easy locking and unlocking of the parts, that too without the help of any additional tools. This model can be sited as an example of a perfect modular table saw, all the guarding components can be detached without a difficulty, thanks to the Site-Pro Modular Guarding system.
The blade is made from the hardest carbide grains, measuring approximately 10 inches in diameter. The power-ranger runs on a 15 amp motor, spins the blade at a speed of 4800 RPMs, good enough to rip the toughest lumber and sheet boards. The badness of the bad boy comes from the blade crafted from the hardest material ever, carbide! Among the essential accessories, you get a hard stick, a rock-solid blade guard and a spacious onboard storage to stash the necessary components within vicinity.Check the Latest Price
With a weight of 490 pounds, SawStop PCS31230 looks no less than a mammoth. It houses a 3 hp motor that operates on 220 volt settings. The arbour is highly compatible to a wide range of blades, including 10” conventional as well as 8” dado-cut blades. In order to keep the things going in a neat and clean manner, it actuates a powerful dust collection system that draws up to 99% of the sawdust, from above and below the tabletop, kicking out all the dirt from caking onto your workstation. Its 36” T-glide fence system allows for incredible precision and adjustment, minimizing the chore to a nice extent.Check the Latest Price
Looking for something out-of-the-box? Rockwell power-tools are the go-to destination for the admirers of innovation. It features side wheels and four legs to help you get it dragged from one corner to another with zero effort. When done with the machine, you can simply dismantle the parts and roll the entire unit into the onboard storage to save some room in your garage. Double thumbs up goes to the laser indicator whose function is to guide you to align the teeth at an exact point where the cutting line meets the surface of the specimen as accurately as possible. Operating the tool would be a breeze for anyone having no prior experience with saws.4800 per minute is a sort of power you’d require to slash thick stock of wood sheets.Check the Latest Price
Never trust somebody who doesn’t include Makita in Ultimate Table Saw list, Irepeat, never! Makita 2705×1 represents the next generation modular table saws which score enviably high in every department. Under the hood, there’s a 15 amp induction motor triggering 4800 rotations per minute. The telescopic rip fence technology that rolls without a hitch and lets you accomplish fine bevel cuts without shedding gallons of sweat for hours. The unit allows ripping at both 45 degree and 90 degree angle, helping you experiment with the depth variation. 2705X1 has a practical design which would leave serious woodcutters thoroughly impressed.Check the Latest Price
Summing up the Table Saw Crescendo
The best table saws for the buck are extremely versatile tools, allowing you to perform different variants of cutting with equal efficiency. From simple home remodelling to industrial-class heavy-duty sawing projects, these table saws can tackle whatsoever you hurl at it. All the products added in my preference list were personally tested by me on a wide variety of materials such as 2x plywood sheets, wet-treated wood and oak.
As a result of this live tests, all the information you read so far are concluded from a first-hand experience, no fictitious blabbering. The more complex your task is, the more painstakingly you need to examine the features. This definitive guide to choose the best table saw for your particular requisites aims to clear all the confusions regarding these cool gadgets teeming up in your head The upgraded models of recent times are two times more efficient, accurate and faster at accomplishing bulk jobs, minimising the stress from your arms and grip.