Although many DIY enthusiasts do not immediately see the tremendous value of a table saw, as soon as they get one, they begin to realize why their former projects did not really live up to the expectations. That is because using a hand saw may be cheaper and faster but the hand so does not have the precision and, sometimes, the power to rival a table saw. That is why we decided to find the best table saw on the market and talk to you about why we made that choice and also what are the things that you should look for when purchasing one. Ultimately we decided that there are several models that deserve a place among our table saw reviews and that is why we are going to talk here about 5 excellent table saws. You can get an idea of what they are and their price level in the table below, but if you want the real scoop on which is better, for what job and why, then read on the reviews we have prepared after the table.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Table Saw
There are a couple of things that you need to check out when buying a table saw. The first thing to consider is whether it has enough power to cut through any type of wood, no matter how hard or of different granulations it is. The ideal power should start at about 15 amps because that way you can be sure that nothing will get in the way of your table saw. Anything less than that and you may not be able to cut through multilayered pieces of wood like the stuff that high quality hardwood floor pieces are made of. Of course, you also want to make sure that you are not overpaying because, as strong as some pieces of wood are, they are no match for a steel table saw.
The other thing to be careful with is how many rotations per minute your table saw can achieve. That is because table saws work by actually ripping through the wood so if they rotate to slowly, they may just through the piece of wood off the table instead of cutting through it. Even if they do not end up throwing the piece of wood off the table, some table saws do not work as smooth as the best ones that we are going to feature here, precisely because they cannot reach an ideal speed. The magic number of rotations per minute or RPM to look for is anywhere between 3600 and 4800.
There are also several other details that you need to pay attention to when choosing a table saw, like how long the rip fence is and how accurate it is. The rip fence is of extreme importance because it, more than any other feature of a table saw, makes the difference between a simple hand saw and a table saw. What you need to consider is how big the panels you will be cutting are and also take into consideration the fact that the table saw reviews you are going to read below are all about machines with a rip fence of at least 32 inches.
1. Bosch 4100-09 Worksite Table Saw
We are going to start with what is, undoubtedly, not only our favorite table saw but the table saw of choice of most Amazon buyers, the Bosch 4100-09. It has received an impressive 4.4 star rating on Amazon from well 220 reviewers who thought it was a good enough machine that they needed to come back and tell others about it. It has a 15 amp motor and it rotates a 10 inch precision cutting blade at more than 3,600 rotations per minutes. That may not be the fastest machines that we are going to feature in this article but, at that speed, you can cut through hardwood floors like butter and you still have an excellent level of control over each cut that you make.
There are several other features that we are going to detail but the most important one to consider is that this is a Bosch table saw. We are only going to talk about two types of table saws in this article, Bosch and DeWalt. The first stands for uncompromising quality and the latter brings top end quality at a more than affordable price. We are going to focus only on these two companies because, at the moment, they are the only ones creating the best table saws on the market.
The Bosch 4100-09 is, therefore, the best product that the best company manufacturing table saws has made to date. It comes with its own portable support system that click on and off transport mode. So, when you want to take your table saw to a work site, you flip up the table saw and it becomes a wheelie, loaded with a table saw. Once you get there, you flip it down into a support system, block it in place and you are ready to go. The rip fence can be extended to allow you to cut a 25 inch wide piece of wood with a tenth of an inch precision.
2. DEWALT DWE7480 Compact Job Site Table Saw
We have chosen the Bosch 4100-09 as our favorite table saw because of that German quality built guarantee, but the truth s that, for decades, DeWalt has stood for quality and affordability, particularly here in the States. We love their new DWE7480 table saw because you can really see that they tried to go all out and blow the competition away. Their table saw has the same power as the Bosch, at 15 Amps, but it spins the blade at 4800 rotations per minute. That translates into cleaner rip line, particularly after the standard blade wears out and you get the chance to upgrade to a laser-cut, anti-resonance slits Irwin Marples blade.
Except for the increased RPM, the biggest difference between the Bosch and the DeWalt is that the latter does not have the built in wheelie to more easily carry it around. However, the lack of a wheelie also means that the DeWalt DWE7480 is actually a lot easier to carry around, and you do not even need a pick up to get it to a construction site. Instead it sits on a metal cage that is both durable and strong, and which you can easily make to fit on almost any work bench, or you can even sit it down on the floor and use the adjustable rear feet to level it out.
The other interesting feature of the DeWalt is that it uses a telescoping fence to stretch out to 24 inches to the right of the blade and 12 inches to the left. Of course you can set the distance within a tenth of an inch on either side of the blade so you can make extremely precise cuts. The DeWalt also comes with a 2 and a half inches dust port that works great at keeping the working surface clean and clear. And you can cut through the wood at any angle between 90 and 45 degrees.
3. DEWALT DW745 Compact Job-Site Table Saw
For some, the best table saw has to be incredibly light and portable and for them the DeWalt DW745 was built. It weighs in at just 45 pounds and it has a tighter, smaller design than the DWE7480. Still the essentials that make the DWE7480 an excellent choice for most builders are still there in the DWE745. It comes with that powerful 15 amps motor, capable of spinning the ripping blade at more than 3800 rotations per minute. Again, we recommend that, as soon as the factory blade wears out, you should switch to a better, high performance blade. Not that the factory blade is not just good enough for most jobs, but a higher performance blade will give you more accuracy, lower noise levels and will help clear the dust off the cutting surface better.
However, the thing that really stands out about the DeWalt DW745 is that it is so much smaller than any high end table saw and so much more affordable than anything else we have been looking at. When you will take it out of the box you will realize that you can even store it in the trunk of the car. And it also comes with its own foldable stand that you can choose to carry along with you to the various work sites or just leave it at home. The DeWalt DW745 also uses that well designed bottom steel cage that allows you to simply place it on a work bench or on a floor and start working without worrying about special brackets or supports.
4. Bosch GTS1031 Portable Jobsite Table Saw
The answer Bosch came up with to the DeWalt DW745 challenge is the GT1031. It is a lot cheaper than many other Bosch products, but still not as cheap as the DW745, light weight and delivers top end performance. In terms of weight, at 52 pounds the Bosch GT1031 is not exactly the lightest table saw that you can use, but it is not that heavy either and it does have a very low profile so you can carry it even in a passenger car or on the bus if you needed to. And it makes up for how heavy it is through the fact that its 4.0 horse power motor, or 15 amps to keep the power meter on the same line, can spin the cutting blade at 5,000 rotations per minutes. Of all the table saw reviews we have done so far, this is the fastest blade we have talked about, and we believe that it is also one of the most precise.
The Bosch GTS1031 comes with its own reinforced bottom cage with adjustable rubber mounts so you can sit it down anywhere and it will still be very stable and easy to use. In fact, adequate as they were, we were more impressed by the Bosch GTS1031 stand than with the DeWalt ones. The problem with the Bosch is that it does not come with its own folding stand, although there is one available that you can purchase separately.
5. DEWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw
The last unit we are going to talk about in our best table saw list is DeWalt’s answer to the Bosch 4100-09 we started this list with. The DeWalt DWE7491RS is almost half the price of the Bosch and has the same 15 amps powerful motor, that higher velocity blade spinning at over 3800 amps and it comes with its own, built in trolley/stand. However it is somewhat larger than the Bosch, even when morphed into its transport form and it is a little bit heavier.
The upshot is that the DeWalt DWE7491RS also allows for a much wider cutting surface. Its telescoping fence arm will stretch out to as much as 32 inches from the blade. To put that into perspective, most other telescoping fences only allow for a 24 inch slide out. The one thing that would have made the DeWalt DWE7491RS the best table saw on the market was if they would have included a high end blade with the package.
The truth is there is no one best table saw on the market in 2014 that you can arbitrarily choose. Some of them are lighter, some faster, some are more affordable than others. If we were to make a choice we would go for the Bosch 4100-09 because we know that is a unit which may even outlast your woodworking career. It is a bit heavier and more expensive than the other table saws we have reviewed here, but it is also of the best quality. However, if you need a light table saw than there is no point in going for anything else but the DeWalt DW745. It is the lightest and most powerful machine you can buy and there is no point on overpaying for the Bosch equivalent unless you are planning to use the unit for more than 20 years and want that German seal of quality.