A good-quality table saw is one of the most essential items in any professional woodworker’s tool kit – and for the keen DIYer looking to expand his capabilities, it is a tool well worth acquiring.
Table saws specialize in making quick, accurate, straight cuts time and again, and for this kind of work, they’re hard to beat – but if you are looking for a new one, you will have realized there is an almost bewildering range to choose from.
If you are feeling a bit daunted by the large number of possibilities, here are our top picks to help you choose the best table saw for your needs.
When it comes to power tools, DeWalt is one of the top names in North America. It is a company that has a reputation for producing high-quality tools that sell for reasonable prices – and this table saw is no exception.
This is an upgrade on the very popular 745 model. It offers increased rip capacity of 24” and produces 4,800 RPM, allowing you to deal with an even wider range of cuts.
This table saw is lightweight and mobile. At only 45lbs, you’ll be able to take it with you to wherever you need to work. We also like the metal roll cage that is designed to protect it from wear and tear, making this a tool you’ll be using for many years to come.
It features rack and pinion telescoping fence rails for quick and accurate adjustment, and we also appreciate the onboard tool storage, giving you a place to put your tools when you’re not using them.
There are just a couple of negatives to mention. The stock blade that comes with the saw is not high quality, and if you need to make cleaner, more precise cuts, you might wish to upgrade.
The miter gauge is not of high quality, either. It seems cheaply made and is not snug. However, this is very common with table saws, and if you will need it often, you can easily replace it with one of much higher quality.
All in all, a table saw that lives up to the DeWalt name. If you are looking for a high-quality, good value tool that represents great value for money, this is an option that should be worth checking out.
What We Like
Lightweight and mobile – at only around 45lbs, it’s easy to take anywhere
Rack and pinion telescoping fence rails – for quick and accurate adjustments
Onboard storage – a place to keep necessary tools when not in use
24” maximum rip capacity – plenty of capacity for a range of applications
Metal roll cage – designed to keep it safe and ensure it lasts longer
What We Don’t Like
Supplied stock blade not high quality – better to buy your own separately
Miter gauge a little cheap – also not snug and not well-placed
This is the older version of the DeWalt table saw that the model above was designed to replace. However, it’s still possible to find these smaller, older versions, and if you don’t need the extra size of the newer version, this could be a way to save yourself some money.
It has a slightly lower ripping capacity of 20” and can produce up to 3,850 RPM. It can cut at a height of up to 3 ½” at 90° or 2 ¼” when cutting a bevel of 40°.
A useful addition is the overload protection, which ensures higher performance levels when working on tougher jobs like cutting wet, hard or frozen wood.
It also includes many of the useful features of the newer version, including the roll cage for added protection, the rack and pinion fence and the onboard tool storage.
Unfortunately, it also shares the same problem of having a slightly sub-standard miter gauge that is cheaply made and has a sloppy sled – although anyone who needs to use this extensively will probably want to replace it anyway.
The dust port is also not as efficient as it could be and can fail to collect up all the sawdust. This might mean you’ll need to stop to clear up now and then, especially when working indoors.
Despite these minor flaws, this is a solid piece of kit that has been a workhorse for contractors and home enthusiasts alike for many years. If you don’t need the improved specs of the newer version, this model is still worth considering.
What We Like
Modular guard system – allows for tool-free adjustments
Lightweight and portable – weighs in at only around 45lbs
Roll cage for protection – helps keep it safe from worksite accidents
Overload protection system – improved performance with wet, hard or frozen wood
Cuts a bevel up to 45° – with a depth of 2 ¼”
What We Don’t Like
Dust port is not so efficient – doesn’t collect up all the sawdust
Miter gauge not up to standard – cheaply made and with a sloppy sled
This table saw is another DeWalt, but this time we’re looking at a bigger, more powerful tool.
Its main advantage over the other two models is its increased rip capacity – it boasts an impressive 32 ½”, enough for a broad range of cutting applications. The work surface is big, too – this saw offers you a table-top area of 26 ¼” by 22”.
At 90lbs, this unit might be twice the weight of the first two DeWalt table saws we looked at, but due to the rolling stand, it is still easy to move around, meaning you can easily take it to your worksite. And if anything, the extra weight actually helps reduce vibration.
It incorporates the same rack and pinion fence as the first two table saws, making it quick and easy to make adjustments, and with 4,800 RPM, it offers plenty of power to make short work of almost any type of wood, including hardwoods or treated woods.
On the downside, this table saw also suffers from the same problem with the miter gauge as with the other two in that it’s just not of the same quality as the rest of the tool. However, these are commonly replaced by woodworking pros, and this is not a big deal.
Also, the table-top has a very slight sag – although this is hardly noticeable and will make very little difference to the accuracy of your cuts.
To summarize, this is another high-quality product from DeWalt with only very minor negatives. Although some people might not need the extra size and capacity, if you think it would be useful for you, this is a table saw that should be on your list of possibilities.
What We Like
Large rip capacity – maximum capacity of 32 ½”
Rolling stand – makes it mobile despite the larger size and increased weight
Large work surface – table-top of 26 ¼” by 22”
Onboard storage – offers a place to keep the necessary tools when not in use
Rack and pinion fence – for quick and easy adjustment
What We Don’t Like
Miter gauge inferior quality – not up to the standard of the rest of the unit
Table surface not perfectly flat – although only a very slight sag
If you are a keen DIYer looking to add a table saw to your tool collection, this one should be worth checking out.
It features a large work surface that measures 20” by 26” and is made of cast aluminum, giving you plenty of space to work. It also has a maximum cut height of 3 ½”, allowing you to slice through 4x materials with ease and in only one pass.
One thing we like is the EZ View measurement system – this allows you to make quick and accurate adjustments as required without slowing you down. It is also capable of cutting a bevel of 0-47°, a slightly wider angle than many of the competitors’ table saws.
With a heavy-duty steel stand, this is a table saw that is designed to withstand some rough treatment – and the powerful 15amp motor ensures it is more than a match for most jobs the casual home user will need it for.
To pick a couple of negatives, it doesn’t have any system for sucking up the sawdust. This means if you work indoors, you will probably have to stop quite often to clear up the debris.
Also, it doesn’t have standard miter channels, making it harder to find replacements if you want to replace the one it comes with – which, if you use it a lot, you probably will.
To summarize, this is a budget-friendly table saw that can be seen as an entry-level option that’s ideal for DIYers and woodworking hobbyists. For anyone in those categories, this could be a great pick.
What We Like
Large work surface – 20” by 26” cast-aluminum table
3 ½” cut height – allows you to cut 4x materials in one pass
Cuts a bevel of 0-47° – slightly more than some other table saws
EZ View measurement system – for quick and accurate settings
Great price – represents excellent value for money
What We Don’t Like
No dust collector – if you don’t work outside, you will need to clear up frequently
Non-standard miter channels – makes it more difficult to replace miter
Another big name in the world of power tools is Bosch, and this 10” jobsite table saw is a worthy addition to the company’s well-regarded range.
Although at 60lbs, it is relatively heavy, its wheeled stand ensures it is still mobile enough to move around easily – meaning you can take it to wherever you need to work. The patented Gravity Rise system also makes it simple and effortless to set up.
If features a cast aluminum top with a generous work surface, making it comfortable and practical to use. With 3,650 RPM and a 25” ripping capacity, it also gives you plenty of cutting power to deal with hardwoods, treated woods and other similar tough cutting jobs.
One thing we like is the modular Smart Guard system that allows for quick and easy tool-free adjustments, ensuring it doesn’t slow down your workflow. There is also onboard storage for the tools you do need, allowing you quick access when they are required.
One slight negative is the dust collection system – we found it to be less than perfect, with some sawdust accumulating down the sides. This can be cleaned out with a leaf blower or similar, but it’s still a pain.
Also, the instruction manual is poorly written – a new clearer version needs to be produced to accompany this tool.
In general, though, this is a tough and reliable saw that you will be able to use for a wide range of cutting jobs, both in the workshop and on the jobsite. If that’s the kind of tool you need, this one should be on your radar.
What We Like
Gravity Rise wheeled stand – patented system for extra mobility
Powerful motor – 3,650 RPM, ideal for ripping, crosscutting and more
25” ripping capacity – plenty for the majority of cutting jobs
Modular smart guard system – allows for tool-free adjustments
Soft start – helps minimize chance of tripping the circuit breaker
What We Don’t Like
Dust catching system not perfect – dust tends to gather down the sides
Instruction manual poorly written – needs to be rewritten more clearly
This is another 10” jobsite saw, this time designed with maximum mobility in mind.
It weighs only 52lbs and is made to be carried with just one hand. It also features convenient onboard storage underneath to keep all the tools you need stowed away tidily.
This saw is driven by a powerful motor that can generate up to 5,000 RPM, giving you plenty of capacity to deal with a full range of cutting jobs.
We also like the precision it offers with its square lock rip fence. Another advantage is the Smart Guard system with anti-kickback pawls and a riving knife that help to make operation as safe as possible.
On the downside, this is a loud tool – although you should expect to wear ear protection when using any kind of table saw. It also lacks a soft start, which we thought was a shame because it would have been a welcome addition.
All in all, apart from these minor negatives, this is another high-quality tool from Bosch. If you value mobility and are looking for a reliable and tough jobsite table saw, this one should be high on your list of options.
What We Like
Highly portable – relatively lightweight and with one-handed carrying capability
Tough and built to last – all-steel bottom and surrounded by a roll cage
This is an innovative offering from Skil, the company responsible for the original worm drive circular saws. The company has attempted to incorporate worm drive technology into a table saw, and this tool is the result.
The advantage of a worm drive is that it gives you more power and increased torque, and that’s certainly the case here. This machine will happily slice through tough wood that other table saws might struggle with.
It also incorporates the Dual-Field motor that features in the company’s worm drive circular saws, allowing the tool to run cooler and increase the cutting speed while also extending its working life.
We like that it’s compact and mobile – at only 49lbs, you can easily carry it to the jobsite. We also appreciate the self-aligning rip fence that makes measuring easier, as well as the onboard tool storage that allows you to keep your work area tidy and free of debris.
One negative is the noise this saw produces – it’s noticeably louder than many other table saws in its category. It also lacks a soft start feature, instead, powering right up to full speed from when you first turn it on.
Overall, this would be a great option for a home DIYer but could also be pressed into service for commercial applications. If you are looking for an attractive combination of low price and high cutting power, this is a tool that should be of interest.
What We Like
Worm drive table saw – with increased power and torque
25” rip capacity – as well as 3 ½” maximum cut height
Compact and portable – weighs in at only 49lbs
Dual-Field motor – made to run cooler and last longer
On-board tool storage – helps you keep your work area tidy
What We Don’t Like
No soft start – fires right up to full speed
Noisy saw – makes more noise than comparable models
Anyone looking to buy their first table saw or planning to invest in a replacement will probably be wondering about the most important factors to consider when choosing.
First, let’s think about why you would pick a table saw over other types. After that, we will consider what you should be looking at when selecting the best table saw for your needs.
Why buy a table saw?
The first question you should ask yourself is do you even need to buy a table saw? What are they used for?
Table saws specialize in making fast, accurate, long, repeatable cuts. They are used in a stationary position – we’ll look at the different types in a moment – which means you need to bring the wood to the tool.
Some people might say that circular saws are more flexible – they can be taken to the wood rather than bringing the wood to the tool – and can be used to cut overhead or in tight spots when necessary.
While circular saws can theoretically make all the same cuts a table saw can make, they can’t match a table saw for accuracy and are much less forgiving in a novice’s hands.
However, if you only need to make straight cuts over and over, and you place a very high value on accuracy, a table saw could be the right option for you.
What to look for when buying a table saw
Here are the main points you should consider when buying a table saw.
Portability – which type?
Perhaps the first thing to take into account when choosing a table saw is how portable it is. While some table saws are designed to be set up in a workshop and then never moved again, many smaller versions exist that are made to be taken to the jobsite.
The smallest and most mobile type is the benchtop table saw, and as the name suggests, they are designed to be placed on a table or bench while you work.
As well as their mobility, they also have the advantage of having the smallest footprint, making them suitable for people who don’t have much space to work in at home. They are often among the least expensive too.
A slightly larger type is table saws with folding legs. These are designed to be set up on the ground and are slightly larger than benchtop versions.
Since they are heavier, many also have wheels to help increase their mobility.
This type has the advantage of being more powerful, allowing you to cut tougher wood. Being bigger, you can also make longer cuts with them.
The key factors in deciding which to choose are the length of cut you need to make vs the level of mobility and convenience you require.
Other larger, mainly professional-grade machines also exist, but since they don’t fall under the scope of these reviews, we won’t discuss them here.
One of the key features is how flat the table is. Having a flat table greatly affects your ability to cut accurate straight lines, so you should pay attention to the saw table to make sure it doesn’t have any sag.
Fence quality and accuracy
The fence is another very important element to consider. A good fence will allow you higher levels of precision while a poor fence will reduce your ability to cut accurately. Make sure any saw you are interested in has a high-quality, precise fence.
Dust collection system
One advantage table saws have other circular saws, for example, is that many of them have some kind of system for collecting up and disposing of sawdust.
Check the kind of system a table saw employs, make sure it effective – and make sure it even has one.
Choosing a table saw with no sawdust disposal capability might be fine if you plan to always use it outside, but if you are going to be working in a workshop, it is far better to have a saw that takes care of the sawdust for you.
The miter gauge is a strange part of any table saw since most manufacturers seem to add them as an afterthought – and any serious woodworker is likely to replace the stock model with a far better one if they intend to use it with any frequency.
However, pay attention to whether it is easy to replace the miter gauge – some table saws use non-standard connections, making it much harder to find one that’s compatible.
Can the table saw you’re looking at cut a bevel? Most can now, but at what angle? Most offer the ability to cut 0-45° angles – anything more than this is exceptional.
What is the maximum height the saw can cut? If you want to be able to cut 4x material in one pass, you will need a maximum height of at least 3 ½” – if this is important to your work, make sure any saw you are interested in is capable of achieving it.
Choose the right table saw for improved cutting abilities
For repeated rips or crosscuts with the highest levels of accuracy, whether at home, in the workshop or on the jobsite, table saws are an invaluable tool. The only problem is that, with the range that is now available, choosing the right one isn’t always that easy.
If you need one for your hobby or your job but you still don’t know which one to opt for, any of the table saws in this review would be a great place to start your search.