Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 16, 2021
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A table saw is one of the most important tools any woodworkers can have in their shops. Table saws have a circular blade that protrudes through a table, which allows you to support and guide the material you’re cutting through the blade. There are a huge variety of table saws on the market today to fit any size of cutting job and to cater to the needs of hobbyists and professionals alike.
In order to help you find the best table saw for your next project, we considered a number of features of these tools. First, we looked at the motor power and blade speed, which determine the thickness and hardness of wood that you can safely cut through. We also considered the rip capacity, which is the maximum length you can make a single continuous cut with the saw. The blade size was another important factor, since this affects the depth of cuts and how precise your cuts can be.
We spent tens of hours poring through customer reviews and technical specifications for the most popular table saws on the market today. The results are our picks of the eight best table saws listed in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each saw, complete with pros and cons. Our Buying Guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the right table saw for your woodworking needs. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite table saws for your upcoming projects.
This cabinet table saw from Jet is priced moderately, making it accessible to advanced woodworking hobbyists and professionals alike. The saw offers a three-horsepower motor that drives the 10-inch blade at 4300 rpm. There’s also a quick releasing riving knife directly behind the blade to reduce the risk of kickback when working with thicker materials.
The rip fence is adjustable out to 50 inches to the right of the blade or 13 inches to the left of the blade, giving you the ability to make extremely wide cuts. For the price, the rip saw is relatively sturdy and won’t need to be replaced for several years. In addition, the blade can make cuts up to three inches in depth and is able to tilt to the left so that you don’t burn wood when making angled cuts.
The table itself is made of cast iron and users found that it is highly durable. A set of cast iron handwheels allow you to make highly precise adjustments, although you’ll still need to align the table before use. The internal components include a four-inch dust port, which users noted is highly effective at keeping dust out of your workshop. The belt drive system is designed to be smooth so that there’s never a jump in the blade and the saw generates very little heat.
The only downside that users noted with this saw is that setting it up requires a lot of assembly – even with two people, it can take one to two days to put together.
This hybrid table saw from SawStop is ideal for use in smaller shops or home garages where space is at a premium. The saw offers a smaller 1.75-horsepower motor and a 10-inch blade, but it retains most of the power of a larger cabinet saw.
The table, which is made of cast iron, comes with a set of removable cast iron wings that add length and stability. With the wings in place, the saw offers up to 52.5 inches of width to the right of the blade and 16.5 inches to the left of the blade. However, beware that some users complained of issues with aligning the wings to be level to the table and that the table itself was not flat when shipped from the manufacturer.
The T-Glide steel rip fence is another nice feature of this saw. The fence is more heavy-duty and durable than the fences found on comparable table saws, which ensures that you’ll get accurate and smooth cuts without having to upgrade your saw. This table saw also comes with internal dust collection and a four-inch dust port, so it can be hooked up to most standard shop vacs.
SawStop offers a short one-year limited warranty with this saw, although users who had issues with the table not being level warned that they had trouble getting customer support from the company to resolve the issue.
This hybrid saw from ShopFox is offered at an extremely affordable price under $1,000, making it a perfect entry into the world of stationary table saws. The saw’s belt-drive motor offers two horsepower and spins the 10-inch blade at 3,450 rpm. To ensure there is no kickback at that relatively slow blade speed when working with thick or knotted materials, the saw includes a riving knife directly behind the blade.
In addition to the riving knife, there are also other important safety features to this saw. The saw features an anti-kickback pawl, a new technology being added to some table saws to prevent materials from moving backwards after passing over the blade. There is also a cover over the blade that prevents accidental contact from above or wood chips from flying at you while working.
This table saw has a few unique modifications to make it usable in a variety of situations. First, it can be powered using either a standard 120-volt household outlet or a 240-volt shop outlet. Second, the saw can be lifted off its feet and onto a set of wheels so that it can be quickly moved around your shop. The cast iron table is also relatively compact, with just a 45-inch total length – just keep in mind that you’re limited to a 30-inch rip capacity.
There are a few downsides to this saw, as you might expect from the price. Users found that the table is not fully level, and that the blade and rip fence included with the saw are relatively cheap. They also thought that the four-inch dust port could have been designed better to capture more sawdust.
Why did it make our list?
Anti-kickback pawl and blade cover
Works with 120-volt outlet
Can be moved via included wheels
What is not ideal about it?
Table may not be fully level
Included blade and rip fence may need to be replaced
This large cabinet table saw from SawStop is designed with professionals in mind. The powerful three-horsepower motor is connected to the 10-inch blade via a belt drive system, which improves the longevity of the saw. The table itself is extremely large, at over 80 inches long, and includes a T-Glide steel rip fence for making rip cuts up to 52 inches wide. The table comes in a set of extension wings, so it can be made more compact for working in a smaller shop area.
Users found that there were no issues with the table being level, as was the case with the other SawStop saw we reviewed. The table can be precisely adjusted using a set of cast iron handwheels, and there are measurements all around the base of the saw to make it easy to track your adjustments. In addition, users appreciated that the four-inch dust port is extremely effective at gathering dust and keeping it out of the internal components.
SawStop included several important safety features on this table saw, such as a riving knife behind the blade and a cover over the blade to protect the user from contact. The blade also automatically stops when it comes in contact with conductive material like skin.
The only downside to this saw is the short one-year warranty. While users did not experience any issues with the saw, it is quite surprising given the high price that SawStop does not offer a longer guarantee of the motor.
This contractor saw from Makita is designed to be portable without giving up on power. The 15-amp motor drives the 10-inch blade at 4,800 rpm, which in itself reduces kickback. To further ensure your safety when using the saw, there are two independent anti-kickback pawls that can be stopped when you don’t want them to affect your cuts. There is also a tool-less removable blade cover and the blade itself can be replaced without tools, reducing hassle and the likelihood of hurting yourself with the blade at a jobsite.
One of the unique features on this table saw is the set of dual side guards that can be used in conjunction with the rip fence. These guards can you maneuver a piece of wood through the blade or be used to easily measure the distance from the blade to the rip fence. Be aware, though, that users found the rip fence relatively flimsy and was one of the first components they recommended replacing.
There is also a riving knife on this saw, which can be adjusted into three different positions in order to enable through, non-through, and dado cuts.
The saw is portable thanks to a removable cart stand. However, note that the table saw itself weighs over 100 pounds, so you’ll likely need two people to carry it around your worksite. Makita also offers a short one-year warranty on this saw in case of any problems.
This highly compact contactor table saw from SkilSaw offers a fast 5,000-watt blade speed with a 10-inch blade. The saw is one of the most portable we reviewed, weighing just 49 pounds. Plus, the steel table itself is only 25 inches, with an extendable rip fence that allows you to make rip cuts up to 25 inches wide. However, the saw doesn’t come with a table, which means you’ll either need to buy one separately or place the saw on a level table already at your worksite.
Users loved using this table saw for making quick cuts. The rubberized feet and metal frame prevent the saw from vibrating, so cuts remain accurate. There are numerous measurements and adjustment mechanisms around the base of the saw, which allow you to quickly change the blade angle and make other adjustments. Users even found that the rip fence was extremely solid when locked in place and loved that it is so easy to make beveled cuts with this saw.
Users also appreciated that this saw comes almost ready to use, minus a quick alignment. Once the saw is aligned for the first time, users found that it takes only a few minutes to return it to full alignment to get to work.
SkilSaw only offers a one-year warranty on this table saw, although users did not report any issues after several years of use.
This saw from Dewalt has an extremely unique design, with a cart essentially integrated into the folding frame. This design allows the saw to be somewhat heavier and more sturdy – it weighs 90 pounds – than other contractor saws since it is very simple to roll around. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting the workstand at your shop since its integrated into the saw itself. Thankfully, you can also remove the saw from the stand to use it on a regular table when needed.
The table saw features a small but versatile cast iron table, enabling rip cuts up to 32.5 inches wide. The fence rails telescope outward so that the saw can be made more compact when not in use. Users found that the rip fence was highly stable when locked in place, and were pleasantly surprised that the saw doesn’t vibrate heavily when cutting through difficult materials.
The blade on this saw comes with a cover, but note that there is no riving knife or anti-kickback pawl on this saw to help prevent kickback. Users appreciated the 2.5-inch dust port, which works relatively effectively to prevent dust from accumulating around the saw.
The only downside to this saw is that some users had trouble matching dado blades to it. Dewalt does not recommend dado blades for use with this saw, and only some manufacturers’ dado blades will work safely with the arbor.
Dewalt offers an extended three-year warranty on this saw, which puts it ahead of many other portable contractor saws for reliability.
For beginning woodworkers looking for a user-friendly and inexpensive table saw, it’s hard to beat this tool from Bosch. The portable contractor saw offers a whopping four-horsepower motor to drive the 10-inch blade. Bosch also designed the saw with important safety features for beginners, including a riving knife behind the blade and an anti-kickback pawl. A clear cover over the blade allows you to see your cut without coming into contact with the blade.
The saw is designed to make adjustments simple, with railings that allow you to quickly measure the rip fence distance to the blade and the angle of the blade. You can easily make beveled cuts up to 47 degrees and the quick-release arbor allows you to add a dado or throat plate for more versatility. Although the table is relatively small, it still features a rip capacity of up to 25 inches.
Although this table saw provides plenty of opportunity to grow your skills and add accessories, many of the parts are relatively cheap. In particular, users noted that the rip fence and blade may need to be replaced, and that the saw can be difficult to align for the first several uses. That can make it difficult to work with thicker pieces of wood or to achieve perfectly accurate cuts.
Bosch offers a short one-year warranty on this table saw. In addition, the saw comes with a portable, wheeled stand, although it can also be used without this stand.
What makes it stand out?
Beveled cuts up to 47 degrees
Easy to adjust
Comes with stand
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Relatively cheap blade and rip fence
Limited to 25-inch rip cuts
Arrives far out of alignment
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve learned more about our eight favorite table saws, how do you choose between them to get the table saw that’s right for your project? In our Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to choose a table saw – from what types are out there to how specific features can affect your projects.
The variety of choice – table saw types
When it comes to choosing a table saw, the first thing you need to think about is what type of saw you’ll need. Table saws are generally categorized according to their portability and whether they are heavy-duty enough for professionals or primarily designed for hobbyists.
If you’re planning to do most of your work outside or at a field site – which is common among contractors – you’ll most likely need a compact or jobsite table saw. These saws are relatively portable thanks to a small, often foldable table. In many cases, compact table saws either come with an attachable stand or have a folding stand integrated into the design, with the saw itself on wheels so it can easily be moved around. Keep in mind that while compact saws may be powerful, they typically won’t offer the large blade diameters and rip capacities of stationary saws.
Another more versatile class of table saws is the benchtop saw. These table saws rely on a bench or mounting stand for support, or they can be used on the ground if you need them at a worksite only occasionally. Benchtop saws come in a huge variety of sizes and designs, making them suitable for everyone from DIYers to professional woodworkers.
Stationary saws are not portable at all and come in a variety of size classes. Contractor saws are relatively heavy-duty without being too large or expensive, while cabinet saws are ideal for a professional woodworker’s shop because of their immense power and advanced features. Hybrid saws offer a middle ground between the two.
Table saw maintenance tips
When it comes to table saws, maintenance is important not only for keeping your saw working for years to come – it’s also an essential part of working with your saw safely. So, it’s essential to keep a maintenance log for your saw so you always know how many hours you’ve logged on the saw and what maintenance tasks you’ve taken care of.
One of the most important things you can do every time you use your saw is to perform an alignment. Aligning your saw is critical to getting accurate cuts and preventing dangerous kickback. To do this, you’ll need to install a straight blade and measure that the bevel angles are accurate, that the rip fence is aligned to the blade, and that miter stops run perfectly parallel to the blade. Be sure after adjusting everything that one piece you moved earlier on hasn’t fallen back out of alignment.
Another essential maintenance task is to oil your saw’s inner components. Consult your instruction manual to disassemble your saw, then start by cleaning out any sawdust trapped in the inner gears. Once the saw is clean, apply a dry lube to the trunnions, gears, and any other moving metal parts.
Finally, make sure that you keep the table of your saw clean and polished so that you can slide materials easily over the surface. You can prevent rust from building up by waxing your table’s surface, or remove scratches and rust by sanding out any imperfections and then waxing over them.
Keep in mind that not all parts of your saw are designed to last forever. When you notice a part being worn down, replace it. That protects the rest of your saw’s components from damage and keeps you safer when using the saw.
The price of a table saw varies considerably depending on the type and quality of the saw you need. Compact, portable table saws like the Makita, Skilsaw, Dewalt, and Bosch models cost under $1,000, and as low as $350. On the other hand, stationary contractor table saws like the SawStop CNS175-TGP36 cost over $2,000, and cabinet saws like the SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 cost over $3,000. That said, budget-friendly stationary saw options are available for under $1,000, like the saw from ShopFox.
Features to consider while buying the perfect table saw
If you know what type of table saw you need and have a budget in mind, it’s time to think about what features you need in your saw. Here, we’ll explain all of the important factors to consider when choosing a specific table saw and how they can affect your projects.
Motor – power on
The motor is the heart of any table saw and is an important consideration if you’ll be cutting through heavy-duty materials, such as thick hardwoods or metals. There are two main types of motor drives that table saws use.
Portable table saws like the Makita, Skilsaw, Dewalt, and Bosch saws typically have direct-drive motors. These motors produce about 15 amps of power, which is plenty for cutting through thin materials and softer woods.
Stationary table saws typically use a belt to transfer power from the motor to the saw blade. Typically, these saws are capable of producing between 3-5 hp of force, which is enough to cut through most materials as long as you have the right blade for the job. Be aware that many belt-drive saws require a 240-volt current, which requires a special type of power outlet.
Blades and ripping capacity
When it comes to table saw blades, bigger isn’t always better. A larger-diameter blade can allow you to make large cuts more quickly, but it can also make it more difficult to achieve precise cuts or cuts of shallow depths. All of the saws that we reviewed accept blades that are 10 inches in diameter.
Another important thing to consider when choosing a blade is how many teeth it has. Blades with more teeth can help with controlling your cut and preventing kickback, but it depends on your application. More important is the material your blade is made of, which can affect which types of materials – woods, metals, and more – that your blade is suitable for cutting.
Note that while most table saws come with blades, it is easy to replace the blade and use different blades for different purposes. Just ensure that the blade diameter and maximum RPM of the blade match the diameter and speed of your saw.
Ripping capacity describes the maximum amount of distance the rip fence can travel to one side of the saw blade. In effect, this determines the maximum width over which you can make a continuous cut with your saw. However, keep in mind that you can achieve wider cuts by using additional support for your material rather than just your saw’s table.
Rip capacities vary between saws, and are generally larger for stationary saws than for portable saws. For example, the Bosch and Skilsaw saws have 25-inch ripping capacities, while the stationary SawStop and Jet saws have ripping capacities of more than 50 inches each.
Get it even – the table
Ensuring that you have a flat, level table is extraordinarily important for getting high-quality cuts. Accordingly, getting a table that is level and won’t warp over time is extremely important – and not all tables are made equally.
Cast-iron tables, like those found on the stationary Jet, ShopFox, and SawStop saws, are the most resistant to warping or bending over time. On the other hand, many portable saws use less durable materials. Be sure to check customer reviews with these saws and to avoid models that have repeated issues with warping.
Fence and miter gauge
The fence is the piece of material against which you push your material to achieve the desired width of cut with consistency. Almost all portable and less expensive stationary saws, like the ShopFox saw, come with low-quality fences that you will need to replace after-market to get good cuts. For this reason, make sure that the fence can be removed and replaced on your saw (it can be on all table saws we reviewed).
Miter gauges are used when you need to make cuts that aren’t at a 90-degree angle. You may not need a miter gauge if you don’t take on many complex woodworking projects, and some table saws don’t even come with a miter gauge. However, it’s generally a good idea to opt for a saw with grooves in the table to accept a miter gauge in case you need one later.
Keep it clean – the dust collector
Most table saws, and especially stationary saws, come with a system for collecting dust produced by cutting wood and expelling it through a dust port. The dust ports on most table saws can be adapted to a shop vac, although some specifically require that you use an included dust bag rather than your vacuum. Keep in mind that some stationary vacuums have ports larger than four inches, which can be hard to adapt your existing vacuum to, and that if you’re working outside a collection bag may be easier than requiring a vacuum.
Also be wary that some saws, and especially budget table saws, have frequent problems with dust building up on the interior components. If this is a problem, it should be apparent in customer reviews – it is generally a good idea to steer clear of those saws.
Depth, capacity and bevels
Most table saws allow you to adjust the cutting depth of the blade so that you can make deeper or shallower cuts, or adjust how far the blade protrudes above your material. Note also that most saws allow you to make beveled cuts – cuts at an angle – although the available bevel angles can vary widely between saws.
Enjoy the speed
The speed of your table saw’s blade, measured in RPM, is an important aspect in the quality of your cuts. Typically, a faster blade – like the 5,000-rpm blade on the Skilsaw saw – will produce more accurate cuts with less kickback. In general, it is good to opt for the saw with a higher blade speed if you are between two otherwise similar saws.
Get the safest you can find
Safety is extremely important when using a table saw. So, pay close attention to safety features when choosing a saw. You should always choose a saw that has a blade guard and a riving knife. The blade guard covers the top of the blade when pushing your material over the blade. Riving knives sit behind the blade and help to prevent kickback.
Accessories – pretty up your instrument
There are a huge variety of after-market accessories that can be added to your table saw to expand its functionality or make it easier and safer to use. For example, there are on/off switches, accessories for extending the table, and wheels that allow you to control the height and tilt of the blade. Typically, these accessories are available for any table saw offered by a mainstream manufacturer.
A table saw is an inexpensive investment, so you want to be sure it will last for years to come. Many table saws only come with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, while the table saw from Jet comes with an impressive five-year warranty.
Table saw safety tips for users of all levels
There are a number of important tips for using your table saw safely.
Always wear proper protective clothing, including eyewear and ear protection. However, don’t wear gloves as they can get caught up in the saw’s blade.
Always stand off-axis to the blade. This way, you’re out of the way of kickbacks and won’t get sawdust spewed in your face.
Always allow the blade to come to a complete stop before making any adjustments to the blade or your saw.
Make sure to check your material before starting a cut for anything that could catch on the blade, such as nails or staples.
Make sure that your rip fence is parallel to the blade or kicked out slightly towards the rear of the fence. This helps ensure that the material will not catch as it passes through the blade.
You’ll need a filing kit and a set of gloves to sharpen your saw’s blade. Use steady, even strokes to achieve a shiny silver color on the blade teeth. Typically, three strokes are enough for sharpening. Release the chain to advance the blade and access additional teeth.
It depends on your saw’s safety features. Some table saws will automatically shut off when the blade encounters conductive material. Others may have this safety feature, but may allow it to be temporarily deactivated. Consult your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.
Buying a used table saw can be safe if you know and trust the source, but be wary whenever buying a table saw used from someone you don’t know. Poorly maintained table saws can be highly dangerous, and it may be difficult to tell simply by looking at the interior of a saw if it has not been maintained fully.
All three of these saws are stationary table saws with riving knives to prevent kickback, with the JET cabinet saw representing the most heavy-duty option for professional woodworkers. Users appreciated the extendable cast iron wings on the SawStop hybrid saw, which allowed rip cuts up to 52.5 inches wide. The ShopFox table saw is extremely inexpensive for its power and size, and home users like that it can be used with a standard 120-volt outlet. However, beware that users found that some units of the SawStop and ShopFox models had issues with the cast iron tables not being level. We feel that the JET saw is the overall best table saw for hobbyists and professionals alike thanks to its impressive 50-inch rip cuts, five-year warranty, and durable design – all offered at a very reasonable price.