Best Table Saw Reviews & Complete Buyer's Guide
In this article, we have reviewed some of the best table saws that are available on the market today. We hope that this full and extensive buying guide can help you pick out what the best table saw for your own particular needs.
There are plenty of electric and even cordless saws available on the market for cutting wood and other materials. Many people will use a cheaper circular saw for ripping their way through wood. That is indeed a handy and quick method of getting some work done.
Likewise other people will use a reciprocating saw for quickly ripping their way through wood and drywall.
Where those types of saw fail miserably is that they are a bit clumsy, not particularly accurate, and not that great at doing smaller and finer cuts. They are great for fast and rougher types of sawing.
For more accurate and finer work, the table saw will come into its own. Now we should say right upfront that not that many people will need one of these in their workshop.
They will take up room, and if you are not going to be cutting wood on a regular basis, then I would not recommend investing in one of these as they are not cheap.
However, on the other hand if you are a professional, or someone who likes working on projects, then we think these are great.
The basic premise behind them is that the machine stays fixed, while you work with the wood. They can also do crosscut, rip, miter and even bevel cuts.
We have included a full buying guide below. For those who just don't have the time to read that, we have included a top 10 table just below.
Table Saw Comprehensive Buyer's Guide
Below, we have included a full buying guide, that will help you pick the right table saw for your needs. In this guide we have included what we believe to be the important elements, that you need to give serious consideration to.
Which Brands Make Table Saws?
There are about 10 brands who make these table saws. We have included a list below, just so as you know which brands manufacture these. They are:
Manufacturers such as Dewalt also make many different models of these, and prices really do change all of the time.
What Types of Table Saws Are Available?
There are three main types which are:
- Small portable table saws
- Job Site table saws
- Fixed table saws
The fixed table saws are mainly used by commercial businesses. The job site style table saws are mainly used by contractors who move around from location to location.
The smaller portable table saws will be used by home owners and those who enjoy doing some DIY around the home and garden.
Understanding Motor Size and Why it Matters
When we were doing our reviews it was pretty easy to see that almost all table saws are fitted with a 15 Ampere motor. That appears to be the industry standard.
We did find a few, mainly being sold second hand, that had either a 10 amp or a 13 amp motor. We would recommend avoiding those lower rated motors as they just don't have the power to do any type of heavy work.
Cutting Depth is VERY Important
There are plenty of features to check out when it comes to buying a table saw. One that is all too easy to overlook is the cutting depth. Many potential buyers focus on the ripping capacity, and forget about the actual cutting depth.
if you are going to be cutting 2 x 4 or sheet goods, then most table saws will do that. However if you plan on cutting 4 x 4 then you will need that you get a saw with a 3-1/2" zero bevel cutting depth.
Table Size and Extension
Like the cutting depth the size and quality of the table are also important. The same applies as to how far you can extend the table. Now on the smaller portable or job site saws, you will be fairly restricted. (Up to 60")
Most likely you will need to support larger materials with a stand, or have someone help you hold the wood in place. With the larger, more commercial saws the table size is usually bigger, and they can also extend a great deal longer.
Understanding Rip Capacity
The rip capacity is measured from the fence to the blade. Typically this distance is around 9 inches and most can adjust up to around 24". This is very important for ripping larger pieces of wood.
This is an important feature of any table saw. It is the distance between the rip fence and the blade. It is this distance that determines what widths of wood you can cut.
Many of the table saws will have an extendable rip fence which allows you to greatly increase these widths. This is a "must have" feature in our opinion.
The quality of the rip fences on table saws does vary quite a lot. In fact they range from the downright useless to the very good.
The most common complaint is that when you lock the fence down using the lever, then does the fence at the far end move, or does it stay tight and locked in.
It is very important that it stays tight so as the material you are cutting stays flush against the fence.
This is probably the biggest single complaint users have after they have bought and used their table saw for the first time. Ideally the markings on the gauge should be easy to read.
The better ones should have adjustable slots.
Know Your Available Space
In almost all cases these will be used mainly by woodworkers throughout the country. They are of course also popular with those who want to take on tasks around the home. They are also used everyday on job sites by professionals and contractors.
If you plan on using one of these at home, then one of the most important considerations you should take into account is the amount of space you have available to be able to locate your saw and do your work.
For many of us that space is pretty limited. We try to include our saw along with other tools inside our garage. That garage/workshop also happens to hold a ton of other things so space is premium for many people.
For those working on different sites, or wanting to use their table saw at different locations, then portability is also an important decision to consider.
The table saws that are the most affordable are called bench top saws (portable saws) and they are not quite as good as the contractor's saw that you would find in factories or wood stores.
However, these bench top saws are smaller and more portable table saws and are more cost effective for most people. You can also buy these with a stand and that makes them a great deal more versatile.
Your Table Saw is a Working Tool
Your table saw will get a lot of work. Even if right at the start you think you may not use it that much, then please trust me, it will become a real work horse for you.
Therefore it needs to be really durable and be able to withstand a lot of use and abuse. The chap in the video above offers some very useful buying advice for people getting a table saw for the first time.
The Right Blade
The blade is what does the cutting and the better the blade the better the cut. In this case size matters a lot guys! The 10" blade is ideal for most users.
Most table saws will come with what is called a general purpose blade. Usually those are 24 tooth blades. If you want finer cuts then change the blade out to one with more teeth such as a 36 tooth blade.
Storage and Portability
Bench tops or portable table saws are pretty easy to lift and store away when you are finished your work. We like the idea of a stand with wheels as this makes it easier.
Table saws, even small ones, are still heavy enough if you have to lift them regularly. Having it on a stand with wheels will save your back and arms.
This is often overlooked but I think it is one of the most important features of all. A table saw will create a lot of dust and you need to have something that will deal with the bulk of this.
Most table saws will have a dust port, and that allows you to connect a vacuum cleaner or shop vac of some kind. Normally the connection is not that good and having proper dust collection is always a cause for complaint with most electric saws.
Just be aware that some table saws have no dust collection opportunity at all.