7 Best Contractor Table Saws of 2019 – Reviews & Buyer Guide

If you need a table saw for your woodworking hobby or for professional-grade applications, there are many options to choose from. Portable versions sometimes don’t pack enough of a punch, while fixed cabinet models can’t be moved easily and don’t give you much flexibility.

In between lie contractor table saws – they are less mobile than their portable counterparts but can still be set up wherever you need to work while offering more cutting power than the smaller versions.

If that sounds like something that might be useful for you, here are our top picks for best contractor table saw.

Top Pick

SawStop CNS175-TGP36 Contractor table Saw

Table saws are inherently dangerous tools, and if you place a high value on your safety, the advanced safety mechanism of this SawStop table saw can help save you from a serious injury.


However, there’s more to this table saw than just its safety features. Everything about it is high quality, and this is a table saw that will allow you to make a wide range of cuts with high levels of accuracy and repeatability.


For these reasons, it’s an obvious choice for our top pick and we give it a big thumbs up.


Buyer’s guide

If you are thinking about investing in a contractor table saw, you probably have quite a few questions. First, we’ll look at the question of why you should choose a contractor table saw in the first place – after that, we’ll go on to think about the most important points to consider when deciding which one to go for.

Why buy a contractor table saw?

best contractor table saw

Contractor table saws have been around for a few decades now. They are heavier than portable jobsite table saws but unlike cabinet table saws, they are still designed to be mobile enough to be moved easily.

As a general rule, if you require high levels of mobility – meaning you need to take your table saw with you every day – you are probably best off buying a jobsite version.

If you want a saw that will be set up in a workshop and then probably never moved again – and also require bigger cutting power – a cabinet table saw is probably your best option.

However, if you want something in the middle – for example, you want something that can be moved to a new site, set up and left in the same place for a week, two weeks or longer – then a contractor table saw is probably the one to go for. These saws give you the best combination of mobility and power.

What to look for when buying a contractor table saw

contractor table saw reviews

If you think a contractor table saw is the kind you need, here are some of the things to pay attention to when choosing.

Power

One of the most important considerations is how powerful a table saw is. If you are choosing a contractor table saw, make sure it can deliver the power you require – otherwise, you might as well buy a more mobile and less expensive jobsite saw.

Most contractor table saws are powered by 15amp motors – also pay attention to horsepower and the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the blade.

Cut capacity

Since you need something bigger than a jobsite table saw, the maximum cut capacity will also be an important factor to consider.

Make sure the saw you are looking at has a big enough maximum rip capacity. Also, check the maximum cut height, both at 90° and when making a 45° bevel cut.

Footprint

delta contractor table saw

Some contractor table saws can be large, especially those with extensions. Make sure it is not too big for the area where you are going to be using it.

Weight

With contractor table saws, weight can be a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, a lighter table will be much easier to move around, whereas on the other, a heavier table saw tends to vibrate less and therefore allows you to make more accurate cuts.

Look at how heavy a saw is and decide whether you value portability or accuracy more.

Table size

The size of the table is another important factor to consider because it will affect the size of the pieces of wood you can work on.

Some table saws also have extensions, allowing you to work on much larger pieces. This is another point to remember.

Fence

You might think the fence that comes with a table saw would be a very important factor, but it’s actually something of a strange one.

This is because many table saws come with inferior fences, and if you want high levels of accuracy, you are better of buying an aftermarket fence to pair with your saw.

If you are willing to spend more money to buy an aftermarket fence, you don’t need to worry about the quality of the stock fence – but if you are planning to use the stock fence for your work, it’s worth paying attention to its quality.


The Best Contractor Table Saw of 2019

1. SawStop CNS175-TGP36 Contractor Table Saw (Our Top Recommended)

 

Table saws are among the most dangerous tools you can own, and the daily statistics for table saw injuries in the US are frightening. That’s why spending money on a tool like this with an advanced safety system that stops the blade and prevents injury could be a smart move.

However, SawStop tools are not only about the much-vaunted finger-saving tech they include. They are also high-quality and extremely functional tools in their own right.

This is the 36” model that includes the T-Glide Fence System made of high-quality thick gauge steel for extra-smooth operation.

It has a maximum rip capacity of 52”, plenty to allow you to make a wide range of cuts, and in general terms, everything about this saw lets you know it’s a top-end product.

The main downside that might put you off is the price. However, while it does cost more than some other options, the technology that may save you from a serious injury is worth it alone, meaning this saw is still good value for money.

Another slight negative is that it takes quite a long time to assemble, and you will probably need to set aside at least a day to get the job done.

Otherwise, this is an innovative saw that will allow you to execute work of a very high standard. A highly recommended product, especially for those who place great value on safety.

What We Like

  • SawStop safety feature – stops the blade before you can lose a finger
  • 52” maximum rip capacity – plenty for a wide range of applications
  • Advanced dust collection system – more efficient than many competitors
  • 36” T-Glide Fence System – made of high-quality thick gauge steel
  • High-quality product – everything about this tool is top-end

What We Don't Like

  • Assembly takes a long time – although with very clear instructions
  • Price – costs more than other options, but you pay for the advanced safety

2. SawStop CNS175-SFA30 Contractor Table Saw

 

This is another table saw from SawStop, and like the model above, it also includes the advanced safety technology that is able to detect moisture from your hand and stop the blade in time to prevent injury. With such a dangerous tool, this is an invaluable feature.

However, as with other SawStop products, there’s so much more to this table saw than just that – even without the safety technology, this would still be a very high-quality product in its own right.

This is a slightly smaller 30” version that features all-round solid construction, including an aluminum fence, and incorporates the same efficient dust collection system as the slightly larger model. The general fit and finish of the product are also excellent.

One thing we appreciate is the quality of the instruction manual included. Too often, instruction booklets seem to be written as an afterthought, but with SawStop, the instructions are clear and detailed – even if the assembly will still take quite some time.

The main negative is the same, however – the price. The technology that is designed to save your fingers means this saw is considerably more expensive than other brands lacking similar safety measures – but it’s all about how much value you place on keeping your fingers whole.

Other than this – and in common with the larger model – when you need to cut through damp wood, you need to turn off the safety feature to avoid setting off the safety stop. However, this is not really so much of a negative as something that just needs to be pointed out.

Overall, another great option for those who are worried about the safety factor when using a table saw. As a smaller and slightly less expensive option, this will appeal to anyone who doesn’t need to make the larger cuts the 36” version allows you to make.

What We Like

  • Advanced safety system – stops the blade dead to prevent injury
  • Solid construction – very well-built tool
  • Dust collection system – helps collect more dust than other table saws
  • Good assembly instructions – very easy to follow when putting the saw together
  • Excellent fit and finish – a very high-quality product all-round

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive option – need to pay extra for safety and peace of mind
  • Some issues with cutting damp wood – but can turn off safety feature

3. Contractor Saw 52" Prof T-Glide Fence Sys

 

If you like the sound of the SawStop table saws above but you need something further up the scale in terms of size, this 52” model could be just what you require. With this extra size, you will be able to make a whole range of cuts that wouldn’t be possible on the smaller models.

Other than the difference in size, this saw is very similar to the other two versions and shares many of the same great features.

Of course, the main selling point is the safety stop mechanism, but having developed this ingenious technology, the people at SawStop obviously decided to back it up with a product that excels in all other areas too.

We love the quality of the workmanship in this saw – the level of fit, finishing and attention to detail is exemplary. We also like the dust collection system that helps suck up dust to keep it out of your work area as well as out of your lungs.

This saw is easy to use, allows you to cut with high levels of accuracy and is also relatively quiet compared to other saws. As with the other models, we like the clear and easy-to-understand instructions for assembly and operation, too.

Perhaps the large size of this tool could be seen as a potential downside – it has a large footprint, so you will need a large workshop to set it up.

Also, you should expect to set aside at least half a day to one whole day for assembly – and if you can find a friend to help you, you might find it easier.

All in all, a great option for someone who needs a larger table saw and who doesn’t mind paying a bit extra for the peace of mind that comes with the SawStop safety system. If you can meet the price point, this is a highly recommended option.

What We Like

  • Extra-large size – for bigger cutting capacity
  • Relatively quiet saw – makes less noise than many other table saws
  • Clear and easy to understand instructions – makes assembly simple
  • SawStop safety feature – designed to help keep your fingers attached to your hand
  • Advanced dust collection – sucks up dust to keep your work area tidy

What We Don't Like

  • Large footprint – a very large table saw
  • Takes time to assemble – better if you can ask a friend to help

4. Makita 2705 Contractor Table Saw (Best for the Money)

 

This 10” contractor saw is powered by a 15amp motor that delivers up to 4,800 RPM, plenty to deal with a range of cutting applications including tougher woods.

It also offers a good cutting capacity – at 90°, it can cut to a height of 3 3/5”. When making a beveled cut of 45°, it can cut at 2 ½”.

There are several useful features we liked. The saw includes a modular blade guard system that allows for tool-free adjustments. This means you can quickly make the changes you need without slowing your workflow.

The adjustable dual side guards are designed to allow you to make adjustments quickly, and the blade guard has also been designed to give you the best visibility of what you are working on, allowing you to make cuts with even better accuracy.

And now for a couple of things we liked less. First, this is a heavy unit. If you are looking for a table saw with good mobility, this might not be the best option. It’s fine if it’s destined to stay in one place for most of the time, but you won’t enjoy taking it to the jobsite several times a week.

Also, the quality of the stock fence supplied is not as high as the rest of the saw – as is common with many table saws, you might prefer to spend money on an upgrade for the fence.

To summarize, Makita is a well-respected brand, and this is a worthy addition to the company’s range of tools. If you are looking for a reliable contractor table saw that retails at a very reasonable price point, this unit could be worth checking out.

What We Like

  • Powerful motor – 15amps deliver 4,800 RPM
  • Good cut capacity – 3 3/5” at 90° or 2 ½” at 45°
  • Modular blade guard – allows for tool-free adjustments
  • Guard design – offers operator a good view of the work
  • Adjustable dual side guards – for ease of adjustment

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy table saw – ok for the workshop but not very mobile
  • Stock fence inferior quality – most people will prefer to replace it

5. Delta 36-5000 Left Tilt Contractor Table Saw

 

This contractor saw from Delta comes complete with a heavy-duty Biesemeyer-style fence with dual rip windows and has a maximum rip capacity of 15” to the left of the blade and 30” to the right of the blade. It can make cuts of 3.5” at 90° or 2.25” at 45°.

It features a cast iron table that offers superior durability and reliability as well as a heavy-duty one-piece rail system for extra precision when making cuts.

Some other useful additions include the large on/off button for ease of use and the blade brake that stops the blade spinning within moments of you hitting the off switch – this is a useful safety consideration and will also save you valuable seconds while working.

We also like the innovative tubular stand that is designed to give this saw extra support and stability. Another handy feature is the dual voltage system that allows you to run this saw off 120V or 240V, as required.

There’s not much we don’t like about this saw, but we could mention the shallow throat plate that gives zero clearance. Also, the safety guard is not well designed and is not particularly useful.

However, apart from these minor flaws, this is a high-quality product and is well worth a look if you are interested in buying a contractor table saw in the upper mid-range price bracket.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty Biesemeyer-style fence – includes dual rip windows
  • Large on/off button – easy to control
  • Innovative tubular stand – increases support and stability
  • Cast iron table – reliable and durable
  • Blade brake – stops blade within moments of switching off

What We Don't Like

  • Shallow throat plate – gives zero clearance
  • Safety guard not useful – not well designed

6. Delta 36-5052 Left Tilt Contractor Table Saw

 

This is essentially the same saw from Delta as the one reviewed above but with one important difference.

This model includes a large heavy-duty extension board with legs to the right of the blade that allows you to make much larger cuts. Other than this, the two saws are very similar.

This means this saw shares all the same positive design features as the model above, including the strong tubular stand that offers increased levels of support and stability as well as the strong and reliable cast iron table.

As with the model above, the large on/off button is present, as is the blade brake. These features make this tool easy and intuitive to use, increase safety and help speed up your workflow.

It also includes the same high-quality one-piece rail system for improved accuracy when making cuts.

Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same issue with the throat plate being too shallow, giving zero clearance. Also, there is an issue with the dust exhaust system that can lead to it becoming blocked.

However, these issues can easily be overcome, and this is still a high-quality saw that most people will be very happy to own. If you are looking for something in this price range and will benefit from the extra cutting capacity, this is a saw that should be on your radar.

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty extension board with support legs – for bigger cuts
  • Strong tubular stand – for support and stability
  • Blade brake – an important safety feature that also saves time
  • Large on/off switch – for ease of use
  • One-piece rail system – improves accuracy

What We Don't Like

  • Throat plate too shallow – zero clearance
  • Issue with sawdust exhaust – can become blocked

7. Powermatic 1791227K Contractor Saw

 

This is a tough and rugged contractor table saw from Powermatic. It features a high-quality cast iron table surface as well as two cast iron extension wings, all very tough and built to last.

It includes a left-tilting blade that allows you to effortlessly cut bevels. It also includes a 30” Accu-Fence system for accurate cuts, and is dual voltage, running at 115V or 230V.

One positive is the 4” dust collection shroud that helps to keep your working area clean and free of sawdust.

The downsides with this tool include the fact that it can be a little difficult to line the blade up perfectly parallel to the miter gauge slot – quite an important adjustment to be able to make.

Also, despite the extra weight from the heavy cast iron components, there can also be quite a lot of vibration.

Overall, this is a solid and reliable contractor table saw – and if that’s what you’re looking for, this is another option that could be worth considering.

What We Like

  • Cast iron table surface – reliable and high-quality
  • Tilting blade – allows you to cut bevels
  • 4” dust collection shroud – helps keep your work area clean
  • Very rugged unit – should last a long time
  • Includes 2 cast iron extension wings – to increase your cutting capacity

What We Don't Like

  • Can be difficult to get the blade parallel with the miter – an important adjustment
  • Some vibration when in use – despite the extra weight

Many options to choose from

Owning the best contractor table saw can be a great compromise between choosing a portable but less powerful jobsite saw and a more powerful cabinet table saw that can’t be moved.

There are plenty of options out there to choose from, and if you’re still having trouble making up your mind, any of the table saws in this review would be a great place to start looking.