2017’s Best Table Saws: Reviews & Top Picks For Woodworking

Hey and welcome to The Saw Critic!  My name is Brad and I made this site to help you out in your search for the best table saws, as well as other types of saws.  I come from a handyman background and over the years I’ve gone through a lot of different brands on my woodworking jobs.

It can be hard these days to know which sources to trust. I aim to deliver honest reviews based on me and my friends years of experience as contractors. Keep reading while I go over what the best 10 table saws for woodworking are, and how to avoid poor quality products…

Best Table Saws For The Money

Here are some mini-reviews of my top rated table saws. You can click the link in the article to read the full review at any time.

1. Dewalt DWE7491RS

Dewalt is a brand that is known worldwide for making quality power tools and in my Dewalt DWE7491RS table saw review you will see that statement backed up.  It gives you both power and portability for a very reasonable price.  The motor is 15 amp and made with quality parts.

Portability with this product is great.  It has a built-in wheel stand that makes it easy to move it around the job site, even though it weighs 110 pounds.  You’ll like the pinion fence that can be adjusted with one hand for making adjustments on the fly with ease.

This saw excels in the safety department which is something a lot of guys neglect.  It features an auto reset feature in the event of power cuts.  For example, if there was a power outage in the middle of a cut, it will automatically shut off until the on button is pushed.  This is a great feature to have if you there are kids that might be nearby your woodworking area.

2. Bosch 4100-09

The Bosch 4100-09 is known for being one of the best 10 table saws.  There’s no argument against this, the product is a solid option.  The top of it has a smooth aluminum surface that makes those annoying sticking boards a thing of the past.

You can make very powerful cuts with the square rip lock fence.  The blade is driven by a powerful 3650 rpm motor that can slice through some pretty tough lumber.  Kickback is greatly reduced thanks to a good riving knife.

It comes with wheels, making it fairly convenient to get around with ease.  Setup and take down is easy too, thanks to the gravity rise stand.

 

3. Dewalt DW745

The Dewalt DW745, comes in a portable 45-pound package and features a 16-inch rip capacity. The 3850 rpm motor gives it enough power to make one of the most popular contractor saws out there. I see this one all the time on various job sites.

Don’t think that just because it only weighs 45 pounds that it is made of cheap material.  The construction is still solid metal and is better than the plastic that is sometimes found on lighter saws that are portable.

Convenient storage is another added bonus of this saw.

4. SawStop PCS 31230

The SawStop PCS 31230 is a heavy duty cabinet table saw, great for guys that need to do some big cuts.  It’s great for those bigger projects where you need a bit more power than a smaller portable saw.

The level of safety provided by this saw is next level.  It features an electronic system that is able to sense if the blade comes into contact with human skin. If this happens the blade stops instantly, preventing catastrophic accidents.

There’s also a lockout key that can be used to prevent unauthorized use (ex. kids).  This saw weighs 493 pounds and runs a 3 hp motor, making it a powerful and accurate choice for woodworking in your shop.

5. Skil 3410-02

The Skil 3410-02 is an option that is great for guys that just need something basic without a bunch of add-ons.  The blade is driven by a 5000 amp motor, giving it enough power for a lot of projects.

The self-aligning fence has clear markings to aid with cutting accuracy.  There’s also a riving knife and blade guard to help reduce kickback.  This makes it a great option for guys that don’t have a lot of experience using saws.

The on board storage means that you can stop worrying about losing stuff and focus on the job at hand.  One negative of this saw is that it doesn’t have any wheels. It’s still not that hard to move short distances though, and given that it is affordable it’s still a great option to look into.

6. Makita 2705 and 2705X1

The Makita 2705 and 2705X1 are some popular choices from the Makita brand, which is known as a solid brand worldwide. These 2 saws offer a portable version and a nonportable version to satisfy those contractors that need to travel a bit.

Safety wise this saw has some cool features that are good for peace of mind. An electric brake can stop the blade in just milliseconds and help to prevent some accidents.

7. Rockwell RK 7241s

The Rockwell RK7241S is another great option if you need something powerful that is also portable. It has a deep cutting depth that can get through some tough wood. There is also a pretty big rip capacity for cutting those big pieces of wood.

What are the Types of Table Saws?

One thing that every handyman should know is what the different types of table saws are so that you can get the best table saw for woodworking.

Portable Table Saws

portablePortable types are more popular nowadays than the stationary type because being able to move it around the job site easily is necessary for contractors on the move.

It’s true that portable table saws do sacrifice some power and cutting accuracy, but they are still good enough for a lot of people who aren’t doing huge projects.  The motors are usually 120 v and under 2 hp.  There are three different categories of portable saws that I will elaborate on.

Jobsite Saws

When it comes to the portable category these are the heavy duty ones.  As you might think they are great for the job site and deliver power at an affordable price.

Because so many contractors use these they have been given the name of “contractor saws”, even though they are not quite the same as the real contractor saws as gone over above.  It’s fine to consider “job site” and “contractor” saws to be the same thing almost.

Compact

Similar to benchtop models, compact table saws have some better features including stands. They are commonly powered by direct drive universal motors as the bench top ones are.

Bench Top

Bench tops were designed to be highly portable and not weigh much.  They still pack some power even with a small size but don’t expect them to be as powerful as the cabinet style.

A big pro of these types is that because of the small size they can be carried around pretty easily.  They do have a smaller rip capacity that is ideal for softer wood and smaller woodworking projects.

Stationary Table Saws

Just like you would guess the stationary type of saws are generally used in one place although they can be transported still, just not as easily as portable types.  One big advantage that these saws have over the portable variety is that they are much more powerful and accurate.

The table tops are cast iron or heavy duty aluminum and a belt driven motor powers the blade.  There are 3 different stationary types that I will go over in more detail.

Cabinet Saws

These are the big bad saws that crush other types in every category except for portability.  They are super heavy duty and can last for years.  I’ve even had friends pass these types of saws down to their son, as they are still working good over 20 years later!

If you are looking for a unit that is just going to stay in one place then one of these is a good option.  You can cut through pretty much anything, including big plywood sheets and pressure treated lumber.

Contractor Saws

These are big saws and are very popular with contractors as you would guess.  They have powerful motors and usually weigh upwards of 300 pounds.  These have lost popularity over the years with the portable models getting more and more high quality, but they are still essential for serious woodworking projects.

Hybrid

These saws are kind of a blend between the cabinet and contractor style.  The inboard belt drive induction motors will make them generally fall into this category, but other than that there aren’t a lot of differences.

Table Saw Features to Consider

blade

Motor

Obviously motor power is an important factor when choosing a new saw.  A weak motor can make your cuts not as accurate which can be terrible. If you doing serious woodworking jobs and are cutting bigger pieces of lumber then a 3+ hp motor may be necessary while a 1-2 hp motor can typically be used for wood up to 2 inches.

Blades

Some common blade sizes that you will see have a diameter of 8, 10, and 12 inches.  If you need a different size they are available too as well.  Make sure to look at the mounting hole size, as that that cannot be ignored as a secondary blade measurement. Look at your manual when deciding what size to buy.

Fence/Gauge

A good fence is absolutely necessary for making accurate rip cuts.  You’ll need a saw with a good fence to maintain those cuts.  Gauges are often overlooked but shouldn’t be. You’ll want to look into the miter angle, blade angle, and height for sure.

Photo Credits

https://www.flickr.com/photos/question_everything/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/helenawoodworkers

https://www.flickr.com/photos/onohoku/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98863012@N00/

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