Table saw review

A table saw review wouldn’t be complete without comparing several popular models on the market today. That’s because a handful of models run neck-and-neck with one another in terms of quality, features, user experience and performance. In that regard, this article includes multiple table saw reviews. This is good though, because in the end, there are indeed some minor differences; and it just all depends on what’s most important to you when you add them up. This table saw review information is intended to help you decipher the subtleties and make a confident buying decision when the time is right.




Which kind of table saws are reviewed here?
Well, these days many carpenters and woodworkers, pros and hobbyists alike, are finding that it isn’t always necessary to buy a large table saw that you bolt down to a hefty stand or workbench. In recent years, manufacturers have been upgrading the power, stability and extendability of smaller, portable table saws. In fact, these types have been outselling the traditional monsters your father once used.

A review of table saws then needs to include this rising (and adequate) class. It’s a bit like laptops in the computer world. Years ago, if you wanted power and performance for demanding work, you needed a desktop. Today, “portable” PCs are just as strong and able as their bigger brothers. A review of portable table saws reveals the same phenomenon. And just like a notebook, there are a range of levels to choose from – starting with the proverbial “cheap” grade on up to the more expensive industrial types.

For now, this article will cover table saw reviews for top-grade models. Later, reviews will be added for the “budget” level. The top-grade products are for anyone looking to invest in a saw they can keep and depend on for many years. For example, if you plan to own your home for 10 or 20 or more years, then these would be the recommended table saw models to consider.

Top-grade Table Saw Review

Dewalt table saw review Bosch table saw review Ridgid table saw review Jet table saw review
DEWALT DW744X BOSCH 4100-09 RIDGID R4510 JET 708315SLB
Price $490-$510+ $588-$610+ $499-$520 $335-$350

Basics

15 Amp motor

3,850 RPM

16″ rip width

Weight: 57lbs.

15 Amp motor

3,650 RPM

25″ rip width

Weight: 60lbs.

15 Amp motor

4,000 RPM

25″ rip width

Weight: 95lbs.

15 Amp motor

5,000 RPM

24.5″ rip width

Weight: 75lbs.

Brand Quality

Lives up to
high Dewalt reputation, specifically in terms of Power

Highly valued
for known quality

Holds its own
among the bigger names

Known as
inexpensive, but high quality for price


Special Features

Soft-start motor*

Stand (collapsible)

Push stick/storage

Compact version avail. ($340-$370)

Soft-start motor*

Innovative quick set-up stand

8″ pneumatic wheels

Soft-start motor*

Innovative quick set-up stand

(same as Bosch model)

Belt driven for smooth, quiet,
low-vibration operation

24.5″ capacity via long wing extensions


What to Like

Great
lightweight portability

Ease of use (setup/cut)

Accuracy (when alignment is on)

Latest versions redesigned to fix prior issues

Rack and pinion fence system

Sturdy stand

Priced well for what it is

Sturdy stand

Cut accuracy

Ingenious rise stand

Easy-to-use safety features

Strong motor

Good blade/fence alignment out of box

Retractable
measure (left or right)

Good blade/fence alignment out of box

Large wheels

Height and miter adjustment smooth and precise

Micro-adjustment for finer cutting

Solid tires

Lifetime guarantee for original owner

Ripped edges
come out very smooth

5-year warranty with excellent customer service (Amazon.com
purchase automatically registers you with company)

V-belt drive system (vs. direct drive like others)

Great overall quality given price

Known Complaints

Quality control issues/defects
in past

Alignment between rip fence and blade not always good out of
box

No manual blade angel adjustment

Weak plastic casing

Blades with narrow kerfs don’t
work well (i.e. <.100″ wide)

Small wheels (hard to use w/ stairs) that can go flat

Difficult blade bevel adjustment

A lot of plastic underneath the deck

Lots of dust, even with shop vac attached

Power may not be this table
saw’s forte

Micro-adjustment feature may not be for everyone

Onboard measuring tape may not last long

Legs are not a quick-install
design

Blade guard difficult to adjust

Mitre gauge and rip fence not exact

Can’t upgrade mitre gauge with aftermarket

“Feel” is light, but can add weight on bottom to help

As you review table saws, there are a few things to keep in mind. The following list covers some of the common features manufacturers have included in these products:

  • Sturdy stand: These days, most portable table saws come with a decent stand. Stands are usually sturdy enough for most people, but higher-grade models definitely give you a feeling of a more solid foundation as you cut.
  • Onboard storage: Whether a compartment or just a shelf, it’s handy for a table saw to accommodate objects like its folded up power cord, rip fence, miter gauge, blades and wrenches. This stowing capability is useful in a portable tool you might carry around to different work locations; although not all manufacturers make this storage feature as convenient as it sounds.
  • Vacuum attachment: You’ll find vacuum attachment and dust-bag ports on every table saw. Some come with dust-bags, others don’t. These ports don’t always work 100% to cut out dust, but can be helpful at times.
  • Starter blades: Every table saw will include an all-purpose starter blade. Because blades are expensive, you won’t often be impressed with this “free” blade. It’ll get you going, but plan on investing in a high-quality blade for your particular work.
  • Table area extensions: Because this form-factor is smaller, most models have the ability to extend their deck with a right and/or left-wing fold-up extension. This is handy when working with larger pieces of wood, obviously.
  • Safety features: All table saws will have the basic features to keep you safe during operation. This includes a blade guard, riving knife, kickback pawls and sometimes a push-stick. These more modern saws actually make safety components easier to use than in the past – as you review table saws, look for ones that make safety features easy…so you’ll use them!
  • Blade height lock: A lot of models don’t have the ability to keep the blade height secure. This is a plus if you can get it, but only a minor inconvenience if it’s unavailable.

Table saw review summaries

Dewalt:
All in all, this model is beauty in the making. The last few years have seen this saw’s flaws worked out, namely defects that have shipped out. This is unlike the Dewalt reputation of producing superior products, so it’s encouraging to know they are listening to customer feedback and making improvements to an already elite table saw. The DW744x shines in its performance power (feels like it can cut through anything!) and it’s longevity through continuous and hard use. It’s faults appear to lie more in the ability to hold its alignment, i.e. between the fence and blade. This occurs out-of-box and after some use. This model is lightweight, but feels of mass and will very well last you for many years. For a smaller version of this table saw, consider it’s baby sibling, the compact Model 745 at about $150 cheaper.

Bosch:
The quintessential example of how a portable table saw can function just like a traditional table saw. The Bosch 4100-09 is a well thought-out machine and regarded for its sturdiness. A bit heavy, the saw is still easy enough to maneuver around, especially with its convenient handles and wheels. While it doesn’t have the nifty rack and pinion fence system that the Dewalt has, both the fence and miter gauge are easily adjusted and provide great accuracy. A review of this table saw reveals that setting the blade angle changing mechanism is cumbersome, but can be gotten used to. Nothing seems to beat the coolness factor when it comes to quick set-up stand and the saw’s ability to maintain fence/blade alignment, unlike the Dewalt.

Ridgid:
Although not the brand recognition/reputation as the Dewalt and Bosch, this tool measures up very well – and at a lower price. This model is a bit weightier and is distributed in such a way as to feel more controlled during cutting. Of course, the heavier weight makes hauling around a little more difficult. Large wheels help this, however. Power may not be it’s best feature, but it will do well. Accuracy will come to mind after using or reviewing this table saw. Nothing beats the life-time gaurantee that Ridgid offers on this. That’s some pretty nice peace of mind on an already dependable product.

Jet:
This model may not be considered as “elite” as the others, but it’s included here because it undoubtedly has the best value. You get a lot for less, in other words. While it’s more of a weekender tool instead of a portable table saw you carry around to job sites every day, the Jet has some nice qualities. These include the quiet operation due to the belt drive, and the extension wings that expand this saw’s table area dramatically. The fence design isn’t nearly as nice as the others, but the rest of the construction is on par. Truly a good saw for a hobby or garage woodworker, or for a pro who just wants a less expensive but able portable table saw around the job site.

*Soft-start motor: This is a great feature in that it provides a smooth start (to the motor and spinning blade). This prolongs the life of the table saw motor, and reduces breaker tips. This is something you’ll want to see in any table saw reviews you carry out.

708315SLB

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