Are you discovering your “Do-It-Yourself” alter-ego, and at the same time, realizing they have tools designed to do exactly what you need? Are you getting into woodworking and growing tired of trying to make all of those cuts with a circular saw?
You may want to consider the ease and accuracy of a portable table saw. Our best table saw guide will show you some of the top models you can buy as well as things to consider. Like my dad always says “work smarter, not harder”.
Quick Summary: Top Table Saws
Image Courtesy of woodworkersjournal.com
Table saws are extremely convenient when you have a project that requires both quantity and quality. These little machines can miter, rip, crosscut, and bevel. Forget about the frustration of not being able to see what you’re cutting. With a table saw everything will be right in front of your eyes.
Now, let’s assume if you’re in the market for a table saw you’ve at least swung a hammer. I know what you’re thinking “what does a hammer have to do with a table saw?” If your thinking of buying the best table saw, you probably have a good idea of what it takes to complete a DIY project.
Table saws aren’t necessarily for someone who just needs to cut a piece of wood. The best table saw function is to make a large job (cutting a lot of wood) easier. For smaller jobs, a circular saw may do just fine...
I know from personal experience while on a job-site that when all I have is a circular saw and I have to make a lot of cuts… I’m praying to the saw god’s to drop one from the clouds (or deliver by drone these days) so I can get home to my family."
As with anything, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the variety of types, sizes, features, colors, weights, what, when, why, where, who…(let me catch my breath). For now, let’s focus on what’s right for you with our Best Table Saw Guide. We’ll start by identifying quality brands that align with your needs. Besides, who wants to buy something that won’t work?
Well, that’s why The Saw Guy is here. I kind of know what I am talking about (hence the name).
Best Overall Table Saw - Under $1,000
DEWALT 7491RS 10-INCH JOB SITE TABLE SAW WITH ROLLING STAND
Let’s face it DeWalt is one of the most popular brands of power tools in the world. And, if you own a bunch of DeWalt hand tools, you’re pretty likely to purchase the same brand when deciding what tools you need for the bigger projects.
That plan doesn’t always work but with the DeWalt 7491RS table saw it does. So you’re not only buying a table saw that matches the rest of your tools, you’re buying a table saw that will do the job right.
Now, let’s talk about what this table saw is made of…
At first glance the deck of this saw appears to be made of plastic, and if there is anything I know its plastic parts on power tools is never a good sign. However, the deck is actually a sort of aluminum composite and is very durable.
There are some small parts made of plastic, but over the last few years the durability of plastic has increased exponentially. One of the larger plastic components is the miter gauge. The plastic gauge is pretty small and can have issues with accuracy.
Not just for amateurs
If you are one to use the miter gauge very often you may want to consider purchasing an OEM gauge separate if you can find one that is compatible. However, if you’re just using the saw for DIY projects and not craftsman quality custom woodwork, you should be just fine.
The rolling saw stand is built for portability and easy storage. Yet, it is made out of aluminum which makes it both lightweight and strong. The stand itself only weighs 33lbs but it holds up to 200lbs.
The stand is so easy to work with because of the design. For instance, it has quick-release levers that allow it to fold up when you’re done, big wheels that allow you to roll over whatever may be in the way, and even kickstands for better stability.
It’s the little things like the rubber feet to keep it from sliding, the comfortable handle for transporting, and even the height of the table that make this table saw a winner.
Any table saw is useless without a blade. The DeWalt 7491RS comes with a 24 tooth blade that works fine for most rough applications. However, it is always important to find the right saw blade to match the style and power of each saw you use. I find a 50 tooth carbide blade works perfectly with the DeWalt 7491RS.
The 50 tooth carbide blade is great for almost everything from wood flooring to cabinets. In comparison to the 40 tooth it cuts much smoother and still fast enough through framing lumber.
Of course, an 80 tooth blade will leave a much smoother finish but it will take a significantly longer time to finish your project. Not to mention the wear a fine tooth blade will put on the motor of your saw over time.
A circular saw is great for initial cuts of plywood sheets or single cuts. The miter saw is what you would use to make precise angled crosscuts. A jigsaw is good for curving cuts or anything intricate. The table saw is a must when you have a significant amount of ripping and lumber style crosscuts.
The great thing about the Dewalt 7491RS is that it folds up small enough to store and not be in the way. It also has a number of add-ons like the table top slide out extensions (side and back) which work very well.
The rack and pinion fence is very precise and consistent. It can easily rip within 1/16 of an inch or less. Not to mention this saw has the largest rip capacity out of any like it at 32-1/2 inches.
Secondly, the blade-guard and riving knife set up is very easy to install. The reason this is such a big deal is that the main reason most people don’t use blade-guards is because they are such a pain to work with. Not anymore on this machine.
Please remember though, safety features should never be a substitute for good ole fashion paying attention.
The Dewalt 7491RS is a 15amp saw and should be operated on a 20amp circuit. It can be operated on 15amps but it could trip the breaker on harder material or if any other source is drawing amps.
15amp saws are great for their portability but will not withstand the specifications and quantity like a $2,000-$10,000 cabinet saw will.
Ensure to refer to the manual to make all the adjustments and measurements for vertical, zero-miter, parallel to fence, rip scale, etc. It takes approximately 30 minutes and will result in much higher accuracy. This just saves you time and frustration in the long run.
Although the DeWalt 7491RS does have the capability to use a dado blade, it does not come with a dado plate. So, if you know how to dado, you have to purchase a dado plate for this saw separately.
The saw does not easily detach from the stand. Sometimes it’s beneficial to set the saw up as a bench-top saw, but the DeWalt 7491RS doesn’t come with quick release levers to accomplish this easily. In this case, you would have to use a drill to remove four screws to detach it from the stand. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have to because over time the screw holes will strip.
DEWALT 7491RS 10-INCH JOB SITE TABLE SAW WITH ROLLING STAND
Dewalt is a historically reliable brand, and this table saw does not break the pattern. There is no doubt you will be satisfied with the Dewalt table saw. In fact, "satisfied" doesn't do it justice, you will be overjoyed. Only one way to find out. Click below for free shipping.
Next Best Table Saw:
MAKITA 2705X1 10-INCH CONTRACTOR TABLE SAW WITH STAND
Makita 2705X1 Table Saw Review
Makita is a Japanese owned company that operates factories all over the world. However, one thing to note is that this particular table saw is not made in China. Let’s be real here, much of the stuff we see in stores is made in China and the majority of it is poor quality.
The quality control for products made in China just doesn’t exist. I hate to say it, but tools from China, in general, just aren’t worth taking a chance on. The Makita 2705X1 table saw has parts from Australia and is assembled in the United States.
The stand, however, is made in China and is the exception to every negative thing I just said about anything made there. The stand is quite nice actually.
The portability of the Makita 2705X1 comes into question for a few reasons.
One, the stand’s wheels aren’t quite as big as they should be to clear job-site debris. Two, this saw is heavy! At 194lbs the Makita 2705X1 is about 70lbs heavier than the Bosch and 84lbs heavier than the DeWalt. That is quite a difference.
Why heavy is a good thing
The heftiness of the Makita is also one of the best features. A lot of contractors that use table saws every day will buy the Makita because it will hold up to a beating due to its extremely solid construction.
At the same time, if you won’t be using it every day, or if you have back problems, or your just not that strong, the Makita 2705X1 might be a little too much to handle.
Although the stand on the Makita 2705X1 is nice, they could have used bigger wheels (like DeWalt) to make it easier to traverse steps and other job-site debris. But what you don’t get with many other stands is the adjustable height.
The stand for the Makita 2705X1 has 4 different heights it can be adjusted to, and that could definitely come in handy.
The table on the Makita 2705X1 is pretty nice and extends very smoothly when needed to cut wide material. The rip fence is just okay and certainly isn’t the best table-saw fence ever made.
If you are only cutting 2x4x8’s it works just fine. However, when you get into cutting sheets, plywood, or anything beyond 8ft it has a tendency to get bumped out of alignment.
So, if you’re not careful you could ruin your material if you are looking for precise cuts. There is, however, a fairly inexpensive solution to this issue. Purchase a set of decent clamps that stay with the saw and any time you are cutting large material you can utilize them.
It seems like a big hassle but in the end it really isn’t.
How's this for convenient
If you have a mid-sized truck you can just roll the Makita 2705X1 right up to the tail gate and push the edge of the stand, lift at the same time, and slide the saw right in. That’s a pretty nice feature when you have a table saw that weighs 194lbs.
Makita brand power tools are known for their power. The Makita 2705X1 is certainly no exception. It is easily one of the most powerful portable table saws I have ever used. Seriously, this saw will rip a 4×4 in one pass.
That is pretty incredible.
The reason this saw can generate more power that DeWalt and Bosch is because it runs at approximately 1,000 higher RPM’s. So if you’re looking for the most powerful portable table saw on the market, the Makita is the best table saw for you.
Like most (if not all) of the best table saws, almost everything besides the lateral blade is adjustable on the Makita 2705X1. But, one of the nicest improvements on the Makita 2705X1 table saw is the adjustable riving knife.
It even has a quick release which all of the best table saws are incorporating these days. The blade guard has anti-kickback paws and along with the riving knife allows for a pinching and binding free project. Just remember
Another great safety feature is the electric brake. Think about how important that can be if a piece of wood gets away from you or a million other circumstances. Instead of taking what feels like minutes to shut down, the blade will stop within seconds.
The switch is also big enough so you can use your knee to shut it off as well (if your hands are full). Let’s face it, we should never pass up an opportunity to reduce the amount of time to do something stupid. I like when a company thinks about safety.
The throat plate can be a little annoying to work with. It requires a #1 phillips-head screwdriver to remove and the gap between the blade and the work-piece is rather large. I know some people have made their own but it is additional work that isn’t really necessary.
The Makita 2705X1 is the most expensive option for the table saws that I have reviewed. In fact, it is about $200 more expensive than both the DeWalt and the Bosch. I will admit that is quite a bit more than I’d be willing to spend.
Nothing beats good ol' fashion paying attention."
Yet, if I was going to be using my table saw every day I would put some serious thought into the Makita. It is so much more powerful and has proven to be the most durable portable table saw on the market.
Can I say it is the best table saw?
No, but it really all depends on what you’re looking for. Each saw has their flaws and each their advantages. Hopefully, if you read my reviews you come away with a better educated choice.
This sucker is heavy and I am not a body builder. Yet, heavy in this case, means really good quality. The throat plate is annoying. The Makita 2705X1 is pretty expensive. You really need to justify the extra dough you will have to shell out on this powerful machine.
MAKITA 2705X1 10-INCH CONTRACTOR TABLE SAW WITH STAND
Makita has been a favorite among contractors for years. After reviewing the Makita table saw, I have no doubt the trend will continue. Click below for free shipping.
Best Budget Table Saw Under $300
SKIL 3410-02 120-VOLT 10-INCH TABLE SAW WITH FOLDING STAND
Let’s be honest here, not all tool brands are created equal. Each brand has a specific target market and let’s face it, SKIL is not in the same weight class as DeWalt and Bosch.
Not even close.
But, their price point reflects that. If you want the best table saw money can buy then you pay $10,000 and it’s yours. But, if I am only doing a few DIY projects a year, I am not a carpenter by trade, and my budget is limited, the SKIL table saw may be right up my alley.
This particular Skil Table Saw is really worth the label of the best table saw for under $300.
That is a VERY affordable table saw for the weekend warrior...
The difference between the SKIL table saw and its higher priced competitors is about $400. I can think of a lot of things to do with $400. So, as long as you know you aren’t getting the same quality and durability as a DeWalt or Bosch, you should find satisfaction in theSKIL 3410-02 Table Saw."
The fence and deck on the SKIL table saw are well made. All of the measurements are clearly marked and make for precise cutting, even for beginners. The materials used to build this machine don’t match up with the best table saw’s out there, but it will hold up fine for small DIY projects.
The fact is you’re going to find a few things here and there that make it difficult to work with. For instance, the handle that locks the rip fence has a curvature that protrudes beyond the fence itself and therefore can get in the way when making larger cuts. Essentially, it can add approximately ¼ to whatever it is your cutting.
For rough cuts it won’t matter, but if you needed precise cuts it would have to be taken into consideration. The blade guard is a little cumbersome but it is a safety feature after all.
The stand isn’t designed to be the best table saw stand ever made. However, the stand is sturdy and perfectly capable for the SKIL table saw.
The motor of this saw appears to be of high quality. I know it’s getting quite repetitive, but for the money, this motor can handle almost anything you put in front of it. Now, when I say that, I am referring to DIY projects and not using this saw on a jobsite for building houses of course.
However, I am so impressed with the motor I believe that, even on a jobsite, the rest of the saw would break down before the motor ever would.
The assembly of this saw is relatively easy. If the reason you don’t shop at IKEA is because the furniture is so hard to assemble, you won’t have to worry about that same experience with the SKIL 3410-02. In fact, it’s a reasonable assumption you would only have to set aside about 30 minutes to get the SKIL table saw together.
Budget Saw tips
One thing I recommend is going over the saw and tightening up screws and other hardware when possible. Use grease and oil where necessary. Doing little things like this can go a long way and may eliminate future issues.
One major issue many people have with the SKIL table saw is its inability to accept modifications or after-market parts. Let’s say you wanted to build a cross-cut sled for your saw…
With most of the best table saws the grooves on the face of the saw are 3/8. With the SKIL table saw, however, this is not the case. For some reason, SKIL decided to build their saw with two teeth on each end of the grooves on the face of the saw, thus making it impossible to use a cross-cut sled. Here is my opinion though…
If you are doing the type of woodwork that requires after-market products and cross-cut sleds you are probably not even considering buying a SKIL table saw in the first place.
Earlier I mentioned how if you are purchasing a SKIL table saw you probably aren’t doing any fancy woodwork. However, one thing that impressed me about this saw is its ability to do DADO cuts.
Because the mechanism that raises and lowers the blade is a rail system and not a single pivot point, it provides greater strength and stability when making DADO cuts. Pretty cool feature for a $200.00 saw.
What is a DADO cut?
A dado is a slot or trench cut into the surface of a piece of machinable material, usually wood. When viewed in cross-section, a dado has three sides. A dado is cut across, or perpendicular to, the grain and is thus differentiated from a groove which is cut with, or parallel to, the grain (Wikipedia).
The SKIL table saw has the riving knife safety feature that helps prevent kick back. I also really like the fact that the blade guard has a quick disconnect because it helps promote safety by making it easy to remove and install. And, if you do remove any of the accessories, there is a place to store everything right on the saw.
The irregularly sized miter gauge slots make it impede the use of jigs, sleds, or better quality miter gauges. On most saws there is a port that allows for sawdust collection. The SKIL table saw lacks in the dust collection department.
SKIL 3410-02 120-VOLT 10-INCH TABLE SAW WITH FOLDING STANDThe greatest feature of the Skil table saw is the price. Although you are sacrificing some features, it is a good saw, and best of all, affordable. With some care and good sense, you can make this saw last for years. I think it's worth a shot. Click below for free shipping.