Ask any serious hobbyist or professional woodworker and they will tell you that their table saw is the most important tool in their shop. Often considered the beating heart of any home shop or high-end woodworking shop, the best table saw often occupies the most prominent position and has the most space dedicated to it.
For those just getting into woodworking or beginning their trade, the purchase of a table saw is likely high on their ‘to-do’ list. But what type of table saw should you buy? Marketers and manufacturers alike have ensured you have a dizzying array of choices from which to choose.
Some questions that certainly go through the minds of people about to purchase a table saw are:
- Aren’t they all the same? (No.)
- Should I just get the least expensive one? (No.)
- Is the most expensive one the best one? (Not always.) …and so on.
The point of that internal dialog above was to illustrate why you need to become familiar with the different types of table saws available in the market.
Unfortunately, table saws come in a variety of classes, and some of those classifications have overlap. For this article, we will focus on portable and hybrid table saws seperately.
Best Table Saws Classified
Even though this guide won’t describe in detail all the different table saw types, it will help you understand the basic differences between them.
Bench Saw—exactly as it sounds. Small and bench-mounted (no stand), the bench saw has the smallest motor, bed, fence, and rip capacity. It’s also light on the checkbook though.
Jobsite/Portable Saws—a significant upgrade from a bench saw. Again, exactly as the name suggests, these saws were designed and manufactured for professionals using them on a daily basis. These models are also suitable for the more serious home woodworker.
These saws have larger beds, motors, rip capacities, and fences. They generally come with extensions that can dramatically increase their ripping capacity. In addition, portable saws normally come with a stand that provides the user with stability for a better cut, and they have wheels for efficient transportation on the jobsite or around the garage.
Because job site saws are primarily marketed to professional contractors, they are commonly referred to as ‘contractor saws’. However, ‘contractor saws’ don’t refer to a certain type of saw and can mean anything from a portable saw to a high-end cabinet saw.
Hybrid Saws—Again aptly named, these saws represent ‘hybrids’ between portable and monstrous “set it properly the first time because it will never move again” cabinet saws. Climbing the scale of improving features, these saws tend to come with higher price tags.
Cabinet Saws—the Kings of the table saw landscape, these saws are massive in size, mass, utility, and the money needed to buy them. They are also beyond the scope of this article, we have a separate article for cabinet saw on our site.
Best Table Saw – Comparison
|Makita 2705 Or 2705X1|
5 Best Portable Table Saws – Reviews
1. Bosch 4100-09 10-inch Jobsite Table Saw
The first saw on our list is the portable Bosch 4100 with the Gravity-Rise Wheel Set system. This saw combines over 600 square inches of table space with a 25-inch ripping capacity that makes cutting sheet goods like plywood a breeze. It has a 15-amp, 4-hp motor that operates at 3650 RPM and easily slides through softwood like a hot knife through butter.
The fence, miter gauge, and other accessories all have built-in storage.
The Bosch also has a riving knife and anti-kickback pawls, both of which can be removed without tools. The saw has a powder finish top rotectit from the elements.
- The Gravity-Rise system makes it easy to move this saw, and it contains leveling nutswhich help align the saw despite uneven ground on some jobsites. Opening and closing the stand involves only a single lever.
- The fence slides effortlessly along a machined aluminum rail. It locks in place easily and stays there, delivering accurate, precise, and straight cuts every time.
- 25-inch ripping capacity on a large table (600 in2).
- The miter gauge was a little clunky and would occasionally bind (clearly not constructed with the same attention to detail as the rip fence)
2. DEWALT DW744XRS Table Saw
Next up on our best table saw list is atop-of-the-line portable table saw model from DeWALT. Long revered by professionals for producing quality tools, the 744XRS doesn’t disappoint. It is a slightly upgraded version of the 744X as the 744XRS includes a rolling stand, which makes this saw perfect for contractors that are constantly on the go from site to site.
If portability isn’t an issue, and your saw will remain stationary, you can opt for the model without the rolling stand as it does add some to the price.
A strong, 15-amp motor drives the 10-inch blade at a no-load speed of 3500 RPM that stays that way due to an electronic feedback mechanism. It combines with an excellent carbide blade to treat hardwoods, softwoods, pressure-treated lumber, and sheet goods with equal ease.
It has telescoping rack and pinion fence rails that allow you to rip goods up to 24.5” wide, perfect for full-sized sheet goods, and the rails are collapsible for more compact storage.
The DeWALT also comes with the safety features you’d expect from a high-end tool, such as the riving knife and anti-kickback pawls.
- Excellent rolling system allows the user to move the saw with ease
- It can handle dado blades (up to ~3/4”)
- Beast of a motor that plows through anything
- Built-in storage for all accessories included, as well as extra storage for additional blades, push sticks, or blocks.
- The telescoping fence means there’s no support for widerstock—wide stock like sheet goods can bow during the cut and hit the fence on the far side.
- Small table bed (only ~ 500 square inches)
3. Makita 2705 or 2705X1 Table Saw
Yet another tool company with little need for proper introductions on any job site—Makita has earned a reputation for manufacturing superior hand and power tools. As you might expect, Makita’s portable table saws are quality items with a lot to like.
The Makita 2705X1 comes with a stand, while the lower-priced 2705 does not. Again, if you aren’t moving your saw that often, the 2705 might make more sense for some people.
The Makita has a brawny 15-amp motor that spins its 10-inch blade at 4800 RPM, approximately 50 % faster than most comparable models. Combined with a good carbide blade gives wood little chance.
Further, it reduces scorching—a nice benefit, especially for woodworkers who might need to sand and/or finish the wood.
Like the DeWALT, the Makita has a telescoping rail system for its fence, which allows users to fully cut sheet goods with its 25” capacity. It also has a reasonably sized bed (525 square inches).
- Best feature associated with the Makita is its safety: this saw features an electric brake system that can shut the blade down in milliseconds and can be easily activated using your knee or elbow.
- If you’ve ever been trapped or lost control of your stock in the middle of a cut, you know what a blessing it is to shut down your saw using something other than your hands.
- Wide rip capacity (25”)
- Powerful motor with high RPM(4800)
- The telescoping rails are about the only thing that detracts from the Makita
4. DeWALT DWE7491RS Table saw
The bigger brother of the 744XRS mentioned above, this DeWALT saw takes everything that was good about the 744XRS and improves upon it.
Small table bed?
Not any longer—at 26” x 22”, the 572 square inch bed is one of the largest for a portable table saw. The larger saw bed also allows the user to rip stock that’s 32” wide, which is an 8” improvement on most portable saws.
The same electronically controlled 15-amp motor has a no-load speed of 4800 RPMand maintains that speed while cutting. It shreds hard and softwoods alike without any difficulty.
The rack and pinion fence system remains parallel much better than most portable saws (including its little brother) and requires less adjustment. This means less downtime on the job. The fence is also easy to adjust.
This DeWALT also takes safety up a notch by preventing accidental start-ups. Before you can begin the cut, you have to firstlift the safety cover. Once into the cut, you can stop the saw with a simple tap on the bump pad. In the case of electric saws, being hard to startand easy to stopmeans better safety.
If you’re tired of the dust created by your portable saw, this DeWALT has an answer for that. Two ports (2.5” and 1.5”) allow you to attach your saw to a dust collection system for easy cleanup. This system is a must for people who work with pressure-treated wood to reducehazards associated with dust from this kind of lumber.
- Larger bed and larger rip capacity (32”
- Better safety features
- Fence remains parallel more reliably
- Dust collection system
- Nothing, this is an absolutely wonderful saw
- Ok, it’s a little spendier than the other models
5. Sawstop JSS-MCA Jobsite Saw
Last but certainly not least, the final portable table saw in this review is the Sawstop JobSite Saw.
Designed for woodworkers who want to keep their ten fingers intact, the Sawstop technology has finally been dovetailed into a portable saw. Sawstop saws feature an instantaneous braking system that halts and lowers the blade when it contacts skin. Oddly, these saws will work through wet wood without triggering the braking mechanism.
The safety feature of this saw notwithstanding, there area lot of other things to like about this saw. A strong 15-amp motor turnsthe 10-inch blade at a no-load speed of 4000 RPMand the single dust-collection port (2.5”) isconnected to a collection shroud surrounding the blade.
One other unique feature of this best table saw is its height-adjustment mechanism. It takes just one turn of the adjustment wheel to go from nothing to full height (other saws take between 15 and 20 revolutions to achieve full capacity). Despite the ease of going to full height, the fine-adjustment mechanism was surprisingly accurate and easy.
- Safety…you’ll keep your fingers—that pays for itself
- Powerful motor and built-in dust collection port
- Best height-adjustment mechanism of the saws reviewed
- Well, the instant brake technology doesn’t come cheaply. Sawstop saws are the priciest of the bunch—but it only takes one time for the saw to pay for itself
- Like the Bosch, the Sawstop has a miter gauge you’ll probably need to replace immediately
- The saw is also loud—you’ll definitely need ear protection when you use it
5 Best Hybrid Table Saws
Moving up to a hybrid saw blends the benefits of a contractor saw at a fraction of the cost. Hybrid saws have many common features which hinders consumers from making informed decisions about which one to purchase.
Here is a quick list of some of these common features.
- Most hybrid saws come wired for either 120 or 220V applications. Most cabinet saws aren’t wired for typical 120V use.
- Theirmotors are generally 15-amp, 2 hp.
- They all come with a 4” dust collection port, though some saws more effectively collect dust than others do.
- The weight of these saws can differ dramatically—from 250–400 lbs. If you know exactly where your saw will go (and stay), then mass won’t make a difference.
- Safety features—they all come with the riving knives, anti-kickback pawls, and blade guards. Notable safety feature differences will be included in the reviews.
1. Grizzly G0771Z
Another company making a good name for itself in the woodworking/carpentry world, Grizzly has replaced and upgraded their very popular G0715P model hybrid saw with the G0771Z hybrid. While the Grizzly is built like a cabinet saw, it is priced like a jobsite saw. At less than 300 lbs, this saw is easy to move around, but you’ll feel it later.
This best table saw uses the popular Shop Fox fence system for exceptionally accurate cuts.The table bed with extensions gives you a solid platform (40 x 27.5”) to support large and small pieces alike.It has a rip capacity of over 32”, well in the sweet spot of woodworkers’ needs.
- This hybrid hits a price/performance sweet spot that’s easy on your budget
- It’s quiet—you’ll be able to operate this table saw while still listening to your favorite Pandora station.
- Comes with all the expected safety components as the portable saws
- You’ll probably want to get an aftermarket blade—the one that this saw comes with is low quality. Since most serious hobbyists probably have several already (for both rip and crosscutting needs), this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
2. WOODTEK 159665 Table Saws
Woodtek doesn’t have the same reputation and tradition of a DeWALT or Bosch in the tool manufacturing world, but that’s likely going to be changing if itcontinues to offer high-quality items like the Woodtek 159665. This is another solid hybrid saw that delivers reliable performance with a price tag that’s easy on the budget.
Like other saws, the base contains a 4” dust collection port, but the unique design around the blade makes dust collection more efficient.A safety feature that sets this saw apart from the others is the transparent blade guard—this allows you to see that you’re safely secured at all times.
At just over 250 pounds, this saw is a little easier to move around, but that’s not the only thing it has going for it—it has a built-in caster system to facilitate portability, as well as a massive 52” fence that is one of the largest in the industry. Simple and intuitive to assemble and use, the Woodtek makes even the novice feel like a pro.
- Better dust collection than other hybrids
- 52” fence is absolutely wonderful
- This is another saw easy on the wallet
- Not much other than a lack of popular name brand recognition
3. RIDGID R4512 IronTable Saw
Another entrant in the category of ‘more affordably-priced’ saws, RIDGID offers a solid hybrid saw at an attractive price point.
Like the Woodtek, this modelcomes with built-in casters to facilitate movement in a small shop or on a jobsite. At just over 250 lbs, it’s not too much of a behemoth to move. Another great feature of this saw is that it’s easy on the ears with a quiet motor—this quiet stability also is reflected in the accuracy and precision of the cuts it makes.
Unfortunately, the cost-saving does come with some drawbacks, the most obvious one beingthe 13-amp motor. For the heavy-duty user or the expert hobbyist, this may be a deal-breaker.
The fence system is good, but you will need after-market extensions to unlock its true abilities (it can also function as a router table).The 4” dust collection port left something to be desired as did the assembly instructions—however, buyers should expect some trade offs when purchasing an entry level saw like this one.
- It’s affordable
- Lightweight, but stable
- Lower-quality motor
- Needs a fence upgrade
- Dust collection issues
4. Laguna Tools Fusion 36-in Rip
Laguna has made a truly excellent hybrid saw and has done so maximizing your bang for your buck.
The 1.75 hp motor easily drives a ¾” dado stack through even the hardest of hardwoods. Even wired for 110 V, the motor is quiet and efficient—no jet engines with this saw.
Assembly, adjustments, and movement is straightforward—though using a couple of strong friends helps, as this is one of the more massive saws in this class.
Its dust collection system is fantastic! A totally enclosed housing provides an easy collection pathway as long as you have a good 4” vacuum.
While the fence extension does cost a little extra as an accessory, the 52” rip capacity means that even solo woodworkers can work sheet goods without assistance. For small cabinet shops, this is a must.
- Excellent dust collection
- Powerful 1.75 hp motor
- Massive saw, you’ll need friends to move it
- You’ll need an aftermarket fence accessory
- If there’s a weakness with this saw, it’s pretty well-hidden
5. Jet 708494K JPS-10TS Table saw
Jet’s entrant into the hybrid saw category is a solid, well-built saw that offers a step up from the entry level saw, but doesn’t quite match up with the higher-end saws or cabinet saws. This is a perfect saw for an avid hobbyist.
Easy setup right out of the box combines with an ease of fence/blade adjustments. The stock dust collection port doesn’t work perfectly, but it does remove the dust.
- Easy on the wallet
- Ease of setting up
- OK dust collection
- You’ll need a fence extension (typical, many saws don’t)
- Miter gauge needed an immediate upgrade
- Some blade adjustment issues
Buying Guide – Portable Saws
Like every other aspect of the best table saw buying process, price DOES matter, and more often than not it is the overriding factor affecting our choice of product. Men who purchase tools have long said that you buy the best tool that you can afford when making a purchase. The corollary to that axiom is that a good tool pays for itself, while a cheap tool will constantly remind you why it was so cheap.
None of the saws reviewed here will steer you in the wrong direction—all of them are manufactured by good companies with reputations for excellence. Every saw reviewed here is superior to others in at least one category (price included).
Our choice for best portable saw for both professional and amateur hobbyist alike is the DeWALT DWE7491RS as it combines the best features (especially portability) at a price that won’t break the bank.
Buying Guide – Hybrid Saws
Like the portable saws—none of the best table saw tools reviewed here will steer you wrong, but the differences in the price, performance, and mass make this decision a little more challenging. The price differentials in this class can be a factor of two or more, Soitis definitely a consideration.
While professionals will stay away from the entry-level models in favor of the higher-end saws, for the amateur hobbyist there are several good saws available at moderate cost.
For the price-conscious, the Grizzly is an easy choice. It’s a solid-performing hybrid saw for an entry-level price tag. For the production capabilities, the Laguna is a clear winner as it combines an ease of use with a massive ripping capacity a ta reasonable price point. The Laguna is basically a cabinet saw at hybrid saw price—a win-win for everyone.