Best Table Saw & Buying Guide

Nothing delivers a clean, precise cut as a table saw and the best ones allow you to work expertly on wood by bringing the freedom of adjustment of height and angle. If you’ve recently started working with wood and want to try a variety of cuts, a table saw is a must-have.

But not all table saws are good for your diagonal cuts, depending on the type of cut, you’ll need to select the table saw and a blade that best suits your need and style.

This guide will help you understand all you need to know about table saws, the differences in the ones available on the market and will equip you with the information you’ll need to make the right choice.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Table Saw is Best For Me?

While all table saws function in a similar manner, they can largely differ thanks to things like power rating, design, safety features, and portability. Here are the most common table saw types you’ll find on the market.

Bench Table Saw/ Portable Table Saw

These are the ones designed to be bolted onto a bench or mounted onto a stand. Bench Table Saws are compact and aren’t as heavy as some of the other table saws hence the name portable table saw. Not only are these lighter in weight, a bench table saw is also better at handling plywood, aluminum panels, and even PVC sheets.

The small footprint comes at a cost though, these saws can handle a limited width. The rip capacity can range between 18 to 20 inches.

Contractor Table Saw/ Jobsite Table Saw

A contractor table saw is designed for contractors and is designed with its intended use in mind. It can be easily moved around and usually has a rolling stand with it. Serious DIYers or professionals both use this to fulfill their ‘contracts’, hence the name.

The portability helps take the power where it’s needed as they bring more power than a simple bench table saw. The high power has a downside though, contractor table saws are heavier and weigh more than 100 pounds usually.

The cutting prowess is also improved as it can handle sheets measuring 24 inches or even wider. These saws are offered with different power ratings.

Cabinet Table Saw

Cabinet table saws are the trucks of the table saw the world; powerful, durable, and versatile. These table saws pack more power than any of the other options and can be quite expensive.

The motor and important components are enclosed in a cabinet under the table surface, which can be extended to support larger plywood sheets or any other material that you might be working on. These saws have commercial application and can easily cut through plywood, hardwood, pressure-treated lumber, or a range of other materials making them the perfect fit for a commercial setting.

Hybrid Table Saw

As the name says it, the hybrid saw brings the best of both worlds in a package that is not as heavy or power-hungry as a cabinet saw but still packing ample power as a contractor saw. A Hybrid saw doesn’t require the 220-volt input that most cabinet saws need and weigh half or less than them.

Unlike contractor saws, hybrid saws do not come with rollers and have to be moved around with a hand truck.

Best 5 Table Saw 2022

1. SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw

SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw

Specifications

  • Brand: SawStop
  • Blade Length: 10 Inches
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 85.25 x 33 x 34 inches
  • Power Source: 5-horse-power
  • Cutting Angle: 90 Degrees

SawStop topped out list of suggestions thanks to its safety features and tested design. The Industrial Cabinet saw is the perfect fit for your professional workshop or even if you’re a novice DIYer, this table saw has everything you’ll need for your wood shaping.

The SawStop Industrial Cabinet Saw can rip  and can easily handle large sheets and panels to a maximum cutting depth of 3 1/8 inches. It boasts a large, 52-inch rip capacity, and a powerful 5 HP motor that makes it easy to cut through both composite woods and hardwoods. It features a precision-glide fence made of high-quality steel, plus two dust collection ports that fasten to an over-arm assembly (not included) for keeping the air in the workshop as dust-free as possible. This workhorse, which weighs in at a hefty 685 pounds and requires a dedicated 220-volt electrical circuit, is designed for accuracy and heavy-duty use.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty build
  • Powerful motor
  • SawStop safety features

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Requires 220 V current

2. DeWalt DWE7491RS Portable Table Saw

DeWalt DWE7491RS Portable Table Saw

Specifications

  • Brand: DEWALT
  • Blade Length: 22 Inches
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 31 x 24.5 x 31 inches
  • Color: Yellow/Black/Silver Table saw/stand
  • Power Source: Corded Electric

Portable table saws like the DeWalt DWE7491RS offer a fine combination of portability and ease of use, at the cost of some of the power and stability of cabinet-style saws. When you don’t have a dedicated woodworking space, they make an excellent choice for creating a workspace in your driveway or garage.

What’s more, portable saws are available at a much lower price than any cabinet saw. At less than half the price of cabinet-style table saws we reviewed, the DeWalt delivers surprising power and cutting capacity. It’s this combination of price and power that makes it our choice as the best table saw for the money.

A 15-amp motor produces a blade speed of 4800 RPM, and this combined with a 32½-inch rip capacity means it can work through boards of any size with ease. The telescoping fence rails can feel a little less sturdy than we’d like when fully extended, but this is to be expected in any portable table saw.

Pros

  • Portable design
  • Good dust port

Cons

  • Small Table size

3. DEWALT DW745 Table Saw

DEWALT DW745 Table Saw

Specifications

  • Brand: DEWALT
  • Blade Length: 10 Inches
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 25.75 x 26.5 x 13.87 inches
  • Color: Yellow/Black/Silver
  • Power Source: Corded Electric

The DEWALT DW745 is a smaller version of the DEWALT DWE7491RS. It’s still a good saw in its own right. It comes with a 15-amp motor, just like the larger unit, though it can only handle rips of up to 20 inches. You’ll experience the same power and consequently, the same speed as the larger model, though you can’t cut pieces as large. This model is also meant to be moved, and while it doesn’t have wheels, it has a metal roll cage that will help it survive travel without taking any damage.

Changing out the guard can be a pain. However, this model features a tool-free guard replacement that makes it quick and easy.  In the long run, that’s something that will save you a ton of time, especially if you change out the guard a lot.

Like many table saws, this one comes with a cheap miter guard, which is too bad. Overall, it would be hard to find a better table saw, that’s also this portable, at the same price point.

Pros

  • Highly portable design
  • Ample power

Cons

  • Small table size
  • Average miter gauge quality

4. TACKLIFE Table Saw

TACKLIFE Table Saw

Specifications

  • POWERFUL MOTOR
  • FLEXIBLE 90° & 45° BEVEL CUTTING
  • ALUMINUM EXTENSION TABLE
  • RIP FENCE&MITER GAUGE
  • MORE INTIMATE DESIGN

This table saw offering from TACKLIFE is a curious one: It’s built to the specifications of a portable table saw but mounted to a stand that sits it at almost 4 feet high. While it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, we think it’s an excellent option for anyone who’s garage doubles as their workshop.

The 15-amp motor produces 4800 RPM cutting power, making it a little bit less powerful than most portable table saws we’ve seen. Even so, it’s powerful enough to handle most any woodworking project that a home hobbyist could dream up.

On-board storage is a nice touch: You can keep all your associated tools located right where you need them in the Tacklife. The blade guard and fence are standard-issue for this style of saw, and you’re unlikely to have any problems with them. Overall, it’s a great table saw for beginners – though the low power may leave you wanting to upgrade after a year or so.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag
  • Excellent for beginners thanks to inclusion of handy features

Cons

  • Doesn’t pack enormous power

5. Hitachi C10RJ Table-Saw

Hitachi C10RJ Table-Saw

Specifications

  • Brand: Hitachi
  • Blade Length: 10 Inches
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 22 x 28 x 36 inches
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Speed: 4500 RPM

At first glance, the Hitachi C10RJ seems to have a lot going for it. A 15-amp motor produces a decent 4500 RPM blade speed, and a generously sized workspace gives it a 35” rip capacity. An electric brake and ample safety features make it a good option for frequent use, too.

It even has a clever design that allows it to be folded and stored away with a minimum of fuss. The problem we have with it, though, is the completely exorbitant price. While each of the features listed might be appropriate at a lower price, it just doesn’t live up to the rest of the table saws we reviewed.

Pros

  • Excellent design with a great rip capacity
  • Thoughtful wheels and handles for portability

Cons

  • Very pricey
  • Not powerful enough considering the price

Best Table Saw – Buying Guide

Buying a table saw can be confusing, particularly with all the options available on the market. Here are a few things that will help you clear your mind and make the right decision.

1. Type of table saws (model type)

There are two types: Portable and Stationary.

Portable

Portable table saws are compact and designed to be lightweight and placed on a table. Models in this range consist of benchtop, compact, and Jobsite table saws.

Benchtop

As their name indicates, you place these on a table or workbench. They don’t come with any support stand. They’re lightweight in construction and often used by homeowners, hobbyists, and DIYers. They’re powered by a direct-drive (blade-driven) motor and present excellent portability. They also present excellent value for money.

Compact

Compact saws are larger than benchtop models and generally driven by small toothed belts. They’re similar in appearance to the contractor saws but offer a smaller table size.

Jobsite

Jobsite models on other hand come mounted on a stand. They’re larger than benchtop models and used by trade professionals. They’re also more rugged to withstand abuse on construction sites. And still designed with a light frame construction for portability. 

Stationary

Stationary saws are generally used by serious woodworking enthusiasts and cabinet makers. Models include contractor, hybrid, and cabinet table saws. 

Contractor

The original contractor saws were designed for the professional in mind, and are rare in today’s age. Many often confuse the contractor and jobsite models as the same machine. While there is a difference, the models of years ago were larger in construction.

I’ve written a detailed article discussing the different type of models here. 

Hybrid

Hybrid saws provide many features that are present in a high-end cabinet saw. In fact, they’re also like some older contractor models that were built years ago.

Most come with an enclosed cabinet design, yet some models offer an open leg style of design. This is to improve dust collection like that of the cabinet saws.

2. Power & performance

This is an extremely important aspect of a table saw, if your table saw can’t cut through the wood or board that you’ll usually operate with, what use is it?

Your table saw needs to pack enough power for the desired task, that’s why we didn’t include the tiny and frail table saws in our review.

How much power is necessary? There’s no threshold for it. Anything between 3 to 5 HP and between 4500-5500 RPM should be able to handle most tasks. The industrial cabinet saws pack the most power while portable ones sometimes compromise on power to add portability to the mix.

3. Saw stability

Working with larger boards and wood pieces can shake up your table saw particularly if the build is flimsy. We’ve included durable options that are well built and won’t vibrate or wobble unnecessarily when you’re working.

In addition to the usual wobbles and vibrations, if the table saw blade has a little movement in it, it can spoil your cuts and can even waste an otherwise perfectly good piece of furniture.

4. Setup and adjustment

If you want the freedom to move around and use bigger wooden boards then you should opt for a table saw that offers the flexibility.

Most cabinet saws that have a fixed stand do not offer height adjustment whereas the benchtop table saws can be mounted on surfaces that are the ideal height.

Why are setup and adjustment important? You wouldn’t want to waste your precious time setting up your saw for a 2-minute task, portable ones can do that for you fairly quickly.

5. Fence

A rip fence or fence for short provides a cutting guide that runs parallel to the cutting plane of the blade. Fences will lock down the material you’re working on so it doesn’t move around.

While most table saws feature a T-square rip fence that adds accuracy and convenience to your setup, some cabinet saws don’t have it merely because cabinet saw users are advanced and want to modify their setup to suit their needs.

It is practically impossible to perform a rip cut without a rip fence. You can adjust the fence and align it to make the perfect cut.

6. Rip Capacity

Rip capacity is basically the width the fence can move to the right of the blade. This means if you need to make wider pieces you’ll need to go for a table saw that has a greater rip capacity.

For any commercial saw or if you’re looking to work in larger pieces of furniture, you’ll need a rip capacity of at least 24 inches.

24 inches is considered the industry average as that classifies as half the width of a standard sheet.

7. Safety features

Riving Knife

A riving knife is a detachable add-on that sits behind the blade. When a board is cut it can either open up or pinch back in. An opening up board isn’t that dangerous and only damages the aesthetics but a pinching inboard can be a safety hazard as the blade might get stuck and the board will be thrown in the operator’s face.

A riving knife prevents such kickbacks and can be used in conjunction with other add ons such as an over-head guard or a splitter.

Splitter

A splitter works to the same end as a riving knife and also sits on the back of the table saw. Because is further from the blade it can lead to a more pronounced kickback, making the riving knife the better choice.

Anti-Kickback Pawls

Anti-kickbacks, as the name suggests, help prevent kickback. These are attached to either side of the splitter and prevent backspin using their claws.

Push Stick

A push stick as an accessory that ensures your hand never gets too close to the blade.

A push stick allows you to push material towards the blade without using hands.

Blade Guard

A blade guard assists by keeping dust and kickbacks under control. A blade guard is heavy and can also prevent easy movement hence pros usually use a combination of riving knife and overhead guard.

Magnetic switch

Magnetic switch helps prevent accidental spins of the blade. If there is a power outage the magnetic switch will return your table saw to the ‘off’ position, helping ensure that any untoward situation doesn’t occur.

Sensors

SawStop topped our charts thanks to these. A sensor detects if human skin comes if contact with the blade and immediately cuts power and jams the blade. This can prove to be a life-saving feature and must be included by all manufacturers.

How do you use a table saw safely?

Anything with a high-speed blade and power to cut through things is dangerous and table saws are blamed for over thirty thousand accidents each year. Depending on your recklessness, a table saw can lead to cuts, can break bones, and can even amputate a person.

If you do not have basic knowledge of working with machines or are using a table saw for the first time, it is imperative that you follow these basic safety guidelines.

  • Use safety goggles and ear-muffs to make sure your eyes and ears are safe during use. Never use gloves as they can decrease the sensory feedback from the work and can also get caught in the saw blade.
  • Make sure your workspace, including the table and the surrounding space doesn’t have sawdust or any other tripping hazard like lumbar or any furniture piece. Tripping over stuff close to the table saw can prove fatal.
  • Do not watch videos or use gadgets that may distract you from the table saw.
  • Wear appropriate clothes that do not include overhanging or dangling parts.
  • Always use all safety features and precautions like blade guard.
  • During operation, never reach over the blade.
  • Never force the wood board through the blade. Each blade has its rated capacity and will not be able to cut faster than a specific speed.
  • For all cutting boards less wide than 6 inches, always use the push stick.
  • Never use the rip fence for making crosscuts.
  • Do not operate, attempt to replace, or attempt to stop a blade even if the saw is unplugged. Let the blade come to a complete rest before handling it.

FAQs

Still got questions? Here are the top queries that people have regarding table saws.

Can a 10-inch table saw cut a 4X4?

Yes, it can. While a 10-inch table saw is capable of cutting a 4X4, it will need 2 cycles to do it because the blade can only cut through material that is 3.5” thick. If you want to cut it in one go then a 12-inch table saw would be the best fit.

Can you put a 12 blade on a 10 table saw?

No, a 10 table saw means the maximum diameter it will accept is 10 inches, a 12-inch blade would be too big for the slot.

How much rip capacity do I need on a table saw?

Depending on the type of thing you’re working on you’ll need to select the rip capacity that will suit your needs. A rip capacity of 24” or 2 feet means that the table saw will be able to rip a 4 feet wide sheet halfway along its length.

What can you not do with a table saw?

Well, it goes without saying but for all those reckless DIYers out there, do not saw freehand! Make sure that the stock is firmly held against the miter gauge or against a rip fence when positioning and guiding the cut.

Also, never reach around or over when the blades are functional.

Takeaways

So, here’s everything you needed to know about table saws and the best ones available on the market in 2022. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, all these table saws are the best in what they do and will significantly improve your skill when it comes to shaping and cutting wood.