That’s why we set out to find the best portable table saws for every budget and every need. We considered the blade speed and diameter of different table saws, which affect the materials they can cut through and the types of cuts they can make. We also looked at the rip capacity, which is the widest single cut you can make on the saw’s table. The weight and dimensions of different saws was also a major factor in our evaluation, since these saws are designed to be easily transported. Finally, we considered whether each saw comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Top 10 Portable Table Saws Review 2020
We spent tens of hours researching technical specifications and customer reviews for popular portable table saws. The result is our list of the 10 best portable table saws on the market today, highlighted 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 what a portable table saw can do for you and what features to look for when choosing one. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite portable table saws available for your next job.
Image and Rating Name and Features Price 10 1. DEWALT DWE7499GD Editor’s Choice Editor’s Choice
Outstanding performance at the 4800 rpm speed of this portable table saw from Dewalt will let you finish projects in no time
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.8 2. Makita 2705X1 Most Precise Portable Table Saw Most Precise Portable Table Saw
Great portable table saw with a 10-inch sharp blade and a 25-inch rip capacity delivers accurate cuts without any effort
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.6 3. SKILSAW SPT99-11 Best Heavy-Duty Portable Table Saw Best Heavy-Duty Portable Table Saw
Hard woods stand no chance against this portable table saw that cuts at 5000 rpm speed and has a plethora of safety features
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.5 4. DEWALT DW744XRS Best Portable Table Saw for Treated Lumber Best Portable Table Saw for Treated Lumber
Lightweight portable table saw with a 10-inch blade and a convenient foldable frame that allows this precise tool to take close to no place
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.3 5. Bosch 4100-09 Most Lightweight Portable Table Saw Most Lightweight Portable Table Saw
Fairly sized portable table saw with a 6-feet long cord and 4 horse powers in motor that can withstand a great amount of work
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.1 6. Bosch GTS1031 Most Compact Portable Table Saw Most Compact Portable Table Saw
If you need a portable table saw for easier projects and fast and precise work – this Bosh tool will be the right choice
Check PriceRead Our Review 9.1 7. SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 Best Portable Worm Drive Table Saw Best Portable Worm Drive Table Saw
No limitations in cutting panels – this portable worm drive table saw will be a nice investment in your business
Check PriceRead Our Review 8.9 8. Hitachi C10RJ Best Portable Table Saw for Rip Cuts Best Portable Table Saw for Rip Cuts
High rip capacity at 35-inches on the right and 22-inches on the left makes this portable table saw an outstanding help with difficult projects
Check PriceRead Our Review 8.8 9. WEN 3720 Budget Pick Budget Pick
80-pound portable table saw won’t empty your purse and will serve a long time performing its best on each project
Check PriceRead Our Review 8.6 10. Delta Power Tools 36-6020
Fast portable table saw at 5000 rpm speed with a 30-inch maximum rip capacity has a convenient table extension and large caster wheels
Check PriceRead Our Review 44. DEWALT DWE7499GD – Editor’s Choice Features Weight: 90 lbs Speed: 4800 rpm Blade: 10’’ Rip capacity: 32.5’’ right, 24’’ left Stand: 26.25’’ x 22’’ Warranty: 90-days trial, 3-years limited
More features: 5/8’’ arbor size, 15 Amp, 2.25’’ dust port, ¾’’ dado width, corded device, guard detection system, on-board storage system, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 10
Don’t let the 90-pound weight of this Dewalt table saw put you off – this saw is extraordinarily capable for its size and the integrated stand makes it easy to transport. To start, this portable table saw has a massive 32.5-inch rip capacity to the right of the blade and an additional 24 inches to the left. That’s a lot of table for a relatively compact saw, which gives you a ton of versatility in making rip cuts. Even better, users found that the fence itself glides smoothly across the table and is simple to lock into place for quick cuts. For extreme accuracy, the fence can be micro-adjusted with the twist of a knob.
The 10-inch blade spins at 4,800 rpm and comes with a quick-changing riving knife to help prevent kickback no matter what material you’re working with. Users were extremely happy to know that this saw is compatible with dado stacks up to ¾ inches in width, which drastically expands the versatility of the saw for making joint cuts.
The stand itself is another plus for this portable table saw. It folds up in seconds and users found that the push-cart style made it simple for a single person to transport this saw.
Dewalt offers an impressive 90-day trial on this saw so you can evaluate it for yourself, as well as a three-year warranty to protect your purchase. The only downside is that this saw is also the most expensive portable table saw that we reviewed.
Pros 32.5-inch rip capacity Micro-adjusting fence Dado blades up to ¾-inch width Stand is simple to use 90-day trial Cons Expensive 45. Makita 2705X1 – Most Precise Portable Table Saw Features Weight: 114.7 lbs Speed: 4800 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 24.6’’ x 22.25’’ Rip capacity: 25’’ Warranty: 30-days trial, 1-year limited
More features: 13/16’’ dado blade, 5/8’’ arbor size, 15 Amp, extension table, two pole slide system, on-board storage capacity, safety lock on rip fence and bevel locking handle, tool-less blade guard system, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.8
This heavy-duty jobsite table saw from Makita is built to handle bigger jobs that lightweight competitors simply won’t be able to do. The saw blade spins at 4,800 rpm but is able to make rip cuts through even the most knotted hardwoods thanks to the torque delivered by the belt drive motor assembly. The saw also accepts wide 13/16-inch dado blades so you have the option for more advanced woodworking on the go.
Keep in mind that the rip capacity on this table saw is only 25 inches – with the addition of an extendable table wing. Some users found that the wing was not perfectly level with the rest of the table and that the fence was difficult to align to the blade. However, the majority of users felt that these minor faults weren’t compromising to the table’s purpose or accuracy and they liked the ease of moving the fence with the two-pole slide system.
The stand for this table saw is surprisingly heavy, but the sturdy construction pays dividends when you’re working with difficult materials. Users found that the stand does an excellent job of reducing vibrations, leading to more accurate cuts. Plus, the stand is easy to expand and collapse and to wheel around despite the weight of the saw.
Makita offers a 30-day trial for this saw so you can evaluate how well it works for your needs. However, the one-year warranty after purchase is relatively short given the price of the saw.
Pros Belt-drive motor assembly Accepts 13/16-inch dado blades Fence moves with two-pole slide system Stand is good at reducing vibrations 30-day trial Cons Extendable wing is not level with table Relatively small 25-inch rip capacity Short one-year warranty 46. SKILSAW SPT99-11 – Best Heavy-Duty Portable Table Saw Features Weight: 98.8 lbs Speed: 5000 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 30’’ x 29.5’’ Rip capacity: 30.5’’ right Warranty: 180-days trial, 1-year limited
More features: 24-tooth blade, 6 ft cord length, 0.5’’ dado width, 16’’ high wheels, aluminum table, 2.3’’ depth of cut, worm drive geared, 30-tooth blade, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.6
With a 180-day trial, there’s almost no reason not to give this impressively built jobsite table saw from Skilsaw a try. The saw and included stand weigh in at just under 100 pounds, and users felt that the saw has a nice balance of power and weight. The 10-inch blade spins at 5,000 rpm, more than enough to get smooth cuts through most woods you’ll be using at a jobsite. Plus, the blade assembly is able to accept dado blades up to 0.5 inches in width for making large joint cuts and has a 2.3-inch depth of cut for working through thick boards.
Another important advantage to this saw is that it is geared with a worm drive. That means the blade is directly in front of the motor, allowing greater torque delivery. The result is that you can cut through tougher materials with relative ease compared to most other portable table saws.
Skilsaw used a clever design to expand the rip capacity of this saw to up to 30.5 inches while keeping the saw itself compact. The rip fence extends past the table on an extendable arm. Users found that the fence wasn’t quite as secure when extended as it is when on the table, but that most cuts were within a tolerable level of accuracy. However, beware that if the fence lock breaks – as happened to some users – it can be difficult to replace. This is also where Skilsaw’s relatively short one-year warranty can be somewhat problematic.
Pros Expandable fence for rip cuts up to 30.5 inches Worm drive gearing for more torque Dado blades up to 0.5 inches 180-day trial Cons Short one-year warranty Fence lock can break when using extension 47. DEWALT DW744XRS – Best Portable Table Saw for Treated Lumber Features Weight: 107.6 lbs Speed: 3650 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 26.5’’ x 19’’ Rip capacity: 26.5’’ right, 15.5’’ left Warranty: 90-days trial, 3-years limited
More features: 0.8’’ dado width, 19’’ fence, aluminum table, telescoping rails, soft start, rolling stand, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.5
This surprisingly compact table saw is ideal for contractors who need more power for small cuts rather than the ability to make buttery smooth rip cuts. The 3,650-rpm blade is relatively slow among jobsite table saws, but given that the saw still uses a 15-amp motor it’s delivering a ton of torque. That can be an advantage when you’re cutting through pressure-treated lumber and knotted hardwoods that are typically difficult to rip through with other table saws. Another advantage to this extra torque is that the saw is able to handle dado blades up to 0.8 inches in width.
That said, the rip capacity on this saw is noticeably small compared to other saws in its class. The fence can extend just 26.5 inches to the right of the blade and the table doesn’t allow you to add an extension. Users also noted that while the Dewalt saw comes with a miter gauge, it doesn’t use the standard T-slot gauge – so you’ll have a hard time upgrading your miter gauge to get more accurate cuts down the road.
Still, users were overall very happy with the saw and found that the rolling stand and foldable frame were very helpful in getting it to and from jobsites. The frame can be expanded and collapsed with just a push of a button, saving you time every time you use the saw.
Users appreciated the soft start function and riving knife as included safety features, but do be aware that there is no system for detecting when the blade comes in contact with flesh. Dewalt offers a 90-day trial on this table saw as well as a three-year warranty to protect your purchase against defects.
Pros High torque delivery Dado blades up to 0.8 inches Frame is easy to expand and collapse 90-day trial and three-year warranty Cons Small rip capacity Miter gauge is not standard T-slot No flesh detection safety feature 48. Bosch 4100-09 – Most Lightweight Portable Table Saw Features Weight: 60 lbs Speed: 3650 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 29’’ x 21.5’’ Rip capacity: 25’’ right, 8’’ left Warranty: 30-days trial, 1-year limited
More features: 6 ft cord length, 4 hp motor, carbide tipped blade, standard throat plate table insert, miter gauge, table extension, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.3
This incredibly lightweight portable table saw from Bosch weighs in at just 60 pounds, although part of how it achieves that is by compromising on power. The table saw features a four-horsepower motor instead of the usual 15-amp motor. However, users barely noticed a difference since this saw only spins at 3,650 rpm, maintaining the torque needed to cut through most wooden boards you’re likely to have at a work site.
The saw is also relatively small, with just a 25-inch rip capacity to the right of the blade. But given the low weight and compact design of this saw, most users expected this and didn’t find it to be a problem. Keep in mind also that the saw’s throat plate will not accept dado blades, so this is not an ideal saw for hobbyist woodworkers.
Users were surprised at how quiet this saw is during operation and found that, after an initially difficult alignment, it’s easy and precise to operate. The table is perfectly level and the rip fence has an easily readable measuring system so that you can get accurate cuts every time.
One thing to watch out for with this saw, though, is that users found that the stand would bend if not handled carefully. This design flaw in the stand is important and may necessitate buying a separate stand or operating your saw on a table surface. Note that Bosch also only offers a one-year warranty, so you could encounter this problem after that time if you don’t use the saw frequently.
Pros Lightweight and compact Quiet operation Rip fence has good measuring system Cons Issues with stand durability Only one-year warranty Arrives far out of alignment 49. Bosch GTS1031 – Most Compact Portable Table Saw Features Weight: 65 lbs Speed: 5000 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 22.5’’ Rip capacity: 18’’right, 7.75’’ left Warranty: 30-days trial, 1-year limited
More features: 4 hp motor, 6 ft cord length, 24-tooth carbide blade, one-handed carry handle, under tool rip fence storage, Smart Guard, tool-less dust clear-out, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.1
This very small table saw from Bosch is the perfect choice for hobbyists and contractors who frequently find themselves working in small spaces. The saw table is small – it’s just 26 by 24 inches when fully packed up – and all of the parts can be stored inside the saw to save on space. Bosch used an expandable rip fence guide system to keep the table compact while still creating space for rips. Still, don’t expect to get huge rips from this saw as the fence is limited to a distance of 18 inches from the blade.
Like the Bosch 4100-09, part of how this saw achieves its compactness and light weight is by using a four-horsepower motor rather than the more common and powerful 15-amp motor. But unlike the 4100-09, this saw spins its blade at 5,000 rpm, so you do lose a significant amount of torque in exchange for reducing kickback and getting smoother cuts. All told, this means you’ll want to be cautious when using this saw with thicker boards and hardwoods.
Users had mixed reviews of this saw, with much of the negative feedback suggesting that Bosch has a quality control problem with the blade assembly. Some users found that the blade wobbled and that the brake system failed after several months of use, while other reported no problems at all after months of heavy use. Either way, users do note that the saw doesn’t have a soft start function and that the motor is extremely loud for the size of the saw.
Pros Compact and lightweight Packs up very well Cons Four-horsepower motor loses torque Limited to 18-inch rip capacity Quality control issues 50. SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 – Best Portable Worm Drive Table Saw Features Weight: 53 lbs Speed: not specified Blade: 10’’ Stand: 26.4’’ x 24.7’’ Rip capacity: 25’’ Warranty: 180-days trial, 1-year limited
More features: 24-tooth blade, 3.5’’ cut depth, aluminum stand, 6 ft cord, 0.5’’ max dado width, Dual-Field™ motor, on-board tool storage, foldable frame
VIEW ON AMAZON 9.1
Don’t let the small size and light weight of this compact portable table saw from Skilsaw fool you. It’s equipped with a worm drive Dual-Field motor that delivers an impressive amount of torque to the blade so that you can cut through pressure-treated lumber and knotted hardwoods. The arbor is also capable of driving dado blades up to 0.5 inches in width, making this an extremely versatile saw for its size.
The rip capacity of this saw, while not huge at 25 inches, is also relatively impressive for the size of the saw. The secret is Skilsaw’s expanding guide arm, which allows the fence to be securely locked in place beyond the end of the table. Users were impressed with the adjustability of the blade and the miter gauge, finding that angled cuts could be made simply by flipping the blade into position. While the included miter gauge is relatively accurate given the modest price of the saw, users noted that the gauge uses a standard T-slot and can be easily upgraded later.
The only real issue that users had with this saw was that it doesn’t come with a stand – you’ll need to either place the saw on a table for use or buy a stand separately. Still, users were happy when using the saw on the ground because it has almost no vibration in the frame.
Note that Skilsaw offers a lengthy 180-day trial for this saw, but only a one-year warranty after purchase.
Pros Worm drive Dual-Field motor Dado blades up to 0.5 inches wide Easy to make angled cuts Miter gauge is easy to upgrade 180-day trial Cons Does not come with stand Only one-year warranty 51. Hitachi C10RJ – Best Portable Table Saw for Rip Cuts Features Weight: 96 lbs Speed: 4500 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 28.75’’ x 22’’ Rip capacity: 35’’ right, 22’’ left Warranty: 2-years limited
More features: 8’’ rubber wheels, foldable frame, soft start, extending table, front mounted controls, electric brakes, 3’’ cut depth
VIEW ON AMAZON 8.9
For a budget-friendly price, this saw offers a huge array of helpful features. The saw is designed with a soft start and electric brakes that halt the blade within seconds of turning off the saw. In addition, the 10-inch blade is capable of making cuts up to three inches deep, which gives you the freedom to work with thick softwood boards with this saw.
Users were impressed by the massive 35-inch rip capacity of this saw, which is enabled by an extendable fence system. Users reported that the fence was extremely sturdy even when fully extended, which provides some piece of mind when making large rip cuts. In addition, the miter gauge is easy to adjust and making angled cuts up to 45 degrees is a breeze. Even the stand is relatively easy to expand and collapse, and the heavy-duty wheels make it easy to roll this saw around a worksite without much effort.
However, it’s important to note that Hitachi has serious quality control issues with this saw. Many users found that the saw wouldn’t start upon arrival, or that many of the bolts were either too tight or too loose upon initial assembly. In addition, customers who had issues with the saw had problems with Hitachi’s customer service, even though the saw comes with a two-year warranty.
Overall, users were happy but hesitant about this saw – it has a number of excellent features at a price that doesn’t break the bank. But, the quality control issues make it somewhat of a gamble to purchase this saw.
Pros Modest price Soft start and electric brakes Three-inch depth of cut 35-inch rip capacity Cons Serious quality control issues Poor customer service 52. WEN 3720 – Budget Pick Features Weight: 80 lbs Speed: 4400 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 38’’ x 30’’ Rip capacity: 26’’ Warranty: 2-years limited
More features: foldable frame, 3.6’’ cut depth, 2.5’’ dust port, 40-tooth carbide-tipped blade, two table extensions, on-board tool storage, sliding miter gauge, 8’’ wheels
VIEW ON AMAZON 8.8
This inexpensive tool from Wen is the perfect choice for hobbyist woodworkers or contractors working on a tight budget.
The saw is surprisingly capable given its price, with a 26-inch rip capacity enabled by an expandable fencing system. The 4,400-rpm blade speed, driven by a direct-drive motor, is also very effective at making smooth cuts through most softwoods and thin hardwoods. Users particularly loved the 3.6-inch cutting depth, which is one of the deepest cut depths out of any of the saws we’ve reviewed. In addition, the blade can be removed to make room for narrow dado blades, allowing hobbyists to work on their joint cuts.
Where this saw starts to show its price is in its accuracy. When making angled cuts, users reported that the angle of the saw blade can wobble by up to half a degree. While the saw can be squared up, many of the components are loose enough that they will start to move out of alignment as you are cutting. That said, users were relatively happy with the sliding miter gauge and felt that the saw was accurate enough for the majority of rip cuts.
Users liked the stand on this saw, but noted that it can be hard to remove the saw from the stand when needed – it is bolted on, so you’ll need to do some work to undo all of the bolts. In addition, while users found that assembly was simple after some practice, all of the parts of the saw look very similar at first glance.
Pros Inexpensive 26-inch rip capacity 3.6-inch cutting depth Accepts dado blades Cons Lots of wobble in the saw and measurement components when making cuts Saw is bolted to stand 53. Delta Power Tools 36-6020 – Features Weight: 88 lbs Speed: 5000 rpm Blade: 10’’ Stand: 34.75’’ x 36.4’’ Rip capacity: 30’’ right, 7.25’’ left Warranty: 5-year limited
More features: tubular foldable frame, table extension, tool-less split guard design and assembly, retractable blade, anti-kickback, 3.5’’ cut depth, 8’’ dado width, 2.5’’ dust port
VIEW ON AMAZON 8.6
This all-metal portable table saw from Delta Power Tools is an inexpensive option for contractors who only occasionally need a jobsite saw. The main advantage of this saw is that it provides room for rip cuts up to 30 inches thanks to the extendable rip fence. It also has a tool-less split guard assembly with an anti-kickback pawl for safety, which makes adjusting the blade for special cuts extremely simple.
The saw also spins at a whopping 5,000 rpm speed, which helps with making perfectly smooth cuts through softwoods and hardwoods alike. The blade is capable of cutting up to 3.5 inches deep and you can change out the blade for an eight-inch dado blade up to 13/16 inches wide.
Where users took issue with this saw was the rip fence. The rip fence has a significant amount of horizontal play, especially when working with larger rip cuts. It also requires being locked down on both sides of the saw, which is a hassle, and users found that even that hardly reduced the vibration in the fence. Users also found that the arbor itself wasn’t quite set at a neutral angle, and would move around depending on the weight of the blade you have attached.
With those downsides in mind, Delta Power Tools does offer a five-year limited warranty on this saw – the longest of any saw we reviewed. However, note that there is no trial period as there is for most other jobsite table saws.
Pros 5,000 rpm blade speed Accepts dado blades up to 13/16 inches wide 3.5-inch cutting depth 30-inch rip cuts Five-year warranty Cons Rip fence has a lot of horizontal play and is difficult to lock down square Arbor is not secure at neutral angle
Now that you’ve learned more about our 10 favorite portable table saws, how do you know if a jobsite table saw is right for you? And what features should you consider when choosing a portable table saw that will fit your needs? Our Buying Guide will cover everything you need to know about jobsite table saws so that you can feel confident you’re getting the saw that’s right for you.
Jobsite table saw – so many benefits
Portable table saws have a number of significant advantages over cabinet or tabletop table saws. First of all, when it comes to portability, it’s almost impossible to match the ease of using a jobsite table saw. Most models come with a foldable plastic cart that can be separated from the saw for loading into your car or truck. On top of that, jobsite table saws can weigh as little as 53 pounds like the Skilsaw model, which makes them easy to move. Portable table saws are also significantly smaller than cabinet saws, which can be an advantage if you’re working in a small shop. All of these attributes are of huge importance to contractors who need to move between job sites frequently or to hobbyists working inside an already crowded garage.
On top of that, portable table saws are highly capable. While they may not offer the huge 50-inch or more rip capacities of cabinet saws, portable table saws are surprisingly versatile in expanding their tables to accommodate bigger jobs and they are equipped with important accessories like a dust port.
Safe and sound – user’s guide to portable table saw work
As useful as jobsite table saws are, they can also be quite dangerous if used improperly. It’s extremely important to be aware of how you are using your table saw and anything that could present a hazard. The following video covers five essential tips for operating your portable table saw as safely as possible:
Another attractive feature of jobsite table saws is that they are competitively priced compared to larger stationary table saws. High-end portable table saws like the Dewalt model cost just upwards of $1,000, while there are plenty of quality saws available for less than $800. There are also a wide variety of options when it comes to budget table saws. For example, the Bosch, Delta, Hitachi, Skilsaw, and Wen models are all under $500.
Features to consider while buying the best portable table saw
As you might expect from the price difference among portable table saws, there are a lot of differences in features between models. Here, we’ll highlight the most important features you need to think about when choosing the jobsite table saw that’s right for your needs.
Weight and stand
When it comes to choosing a portable table saw, the stand it comes with is one of the most important considerations. While you might think that all portable table saw stands are equivalent, that’s far from being the case. For example, the Dewalt saw stand is extraordinarily durable, while the Bosch stand stands out from the crowd for being extremely simple to lift and collapse. That’s not to saw other saw stands don’t work well – they just require some more practicing with to get used to how they operate.
You may also want to consider whether the stand can continue to roll around after it’s been expanded. For most contractors, this isn’t an issue, but it can be helpful if you are working at a very dynamic jobsite.
Weight is another important consideration when choosing a portable table saw. Even though you’ll be moving your saw around on the stand’s wheels when you’re at the site, your saw needs to be lightweight enough for you to lift it in and out of your vehicle. The Skilsaw stands out for weight, at just 53 pounds, while you might have some hesitation about the Makita and Dewalt saws that weigh over 100 pounds each.
Speed and power
All of the portable table saws we reviewed – and most of the models on the market today – are equipped with 15-amp motors. That means that when it comes to power, there’s almost no difference among the table saws we reviewed. And, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful table saw that’s still truly portable.
Where these table saws are differentiated from one another is in the speed of the blade that the 15-amp motor drives. A faster blade speed, like the 5,000-rpm speed found on the Skilsaw, Bosch, and Delta saws, helps prevent the formation of ragged edges when ripping boards. A faster blade speed can also help minimize kickback when cutting through knotty woods. However, for most of the materials contractors and hobbyists are cutting, any table saw with a blade speed above 4,000 rpm offers plenty of speed.
The type of drive – direct or belt – is another important factor in choosing a portable table saw. Direct drives connect the motor directly to the saw blade, while belt-driven saws use a belt and pulley system to transfer power from the motor to the blade. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to think about how they work and which type of drive is better for your needs.
Direct drive table saws are relatively popular because there is no power loss between the motor and the blade. Better yet, direct drive saws have less vibration than belt-driven saws, which makes your cuts more accurate, and there is no chance of a belt unexpectedly snapping while you’re using the saw.
That said, if you tend to work with thick, knotted woods, a belt-driven saw is the way to go. Belt-driven table saws are able to deliver more torque to the blade when it encounters a difficult spot in a piece of wood, allowing it to power through where a direct drive saw would break down. Unfortunately, because of this added power, belt-driven saws tend to be more expensive and you need to be careful to replace the belt when it wears down.
It almost goes without saying that your portable table saw needs to make accurate cuts. Part of what goes into making smooth, measured cuts, is the build and blade speed of the table. If your saw is struggling with the material you are cutting, you’ll have a harder time getting accurate cuts. You also need to ensure that the rip fence on your saw is able to handle heavy-duty materials, and having a miter gauge can also contribute to making your cuts more accurate. If you expect to make beveled cuts frequently, it’s worth making sure that the bevel locks in place completely and has an easy system for measuring cut angles.
The construction on every table saw is important, but it’s even more so on portable table saws. These saws will travel with you between job sites and shops and, in addition to being your most frequently used saw, will also take a lot of abuse from the dynamic environments they are placed in. Because of that, it’s important to opt for a saw that is constructed from durable materials and that can stand the test of many hours of operation. Look for saws with a heavy-duty table and rip fence, since reinforcement in these components is well worth the added weight to the saw.
All of the portable table saws we reviewed have integrated dust ports so that you can hook up a standard shop vacuum to your saw. Keep an eye on user reviews when it comes to dust collection, since some saws have poorly designed dust routing systems that allow dust to clog up the interior of the saw.
While every table saw we reviewed comes with a blade, replacing the stock blade is usually the first upgrade you can make to your saw. That said, there are some saws, like the Dewalt model, that come with sturdy blades that will last you for a decent length of time and that can cut through a variety of materials with ease.
Chances are, most of the cuts you’re going to make with your jobsite table saw are rip cuts. So, it follows that the rip fence is one of the most important components of every portable table saw.
It is absolutely essentially that the rip fence on your saw is able to glide smoothly across the table when it is loosened and locks down securely once it’s in place. The rip fence should also be easy to align with the blade, and maintain its alignment after you configure the saw. An easy-to-read measurement system like that found on the Dewalt saw is a major plus, since you’ll constantly be using these fence measurements, as is the ability to micro-adjust the fence position with a knob. You may also want to keep an eye out for rip fences with T-slots that can allow you to attach accessories to your saw later on.
As discussed above, portable table saws are inherently dangerous tools that need to be operated safely at all times. Thankfully, most table saws have a variety of built-in safety features that can help prevent you from making dangerous mistakes or minimize the damage when mistakes do happen.
The first safety feature, which almost every portable table saw on the market today has, is a magnetic starting switch. You won’t even notice it’s there, but these magnetic switches ensure that the saw cannot start on its own – an absolutely essential safety feature for every saw.
Another helpful safety feature, which is more common on cabinet saws than portable table saws, is an anti-kickback pawl behind the blade. This pawl helps to pull the wood through the blade so it cannot kick back at you. Anti-kickback pawls are increasing in popularity on new table saws, but the only model we reviewed that has one is the saw from Delta.
Left blade tilt is another safety feature that nearly every table saw has, and for good reason. Left-tilted blades produce far less kickback than right-tilted blades – simply put, there’s no reason to opt for a portable table saw that doesn’t have a left blade tilt for safety.
Finally, many table saws are constantly running a small electrical current through the blade so that the saw can immediately detect when it comes in contact with skin. If your saw is equipped with this sensing feature, it will shut down instantly upon detecting skin – potentially allowing you to escape from a very dangerous situation with just minor cuts rather than major injuries.
A jobsite table saw is a major investment in your toolbox, so you want to be sure it will last for years to come. For this reason, it’s important to consider the warranty the manufacturer offers with their table saw. Warranties on portable table saws can vary widely, from one year on the Bosch, Makita, and Skilsaw saws to up to five years on the Delta saw.
Setting up a jobsite table saw tips The first step in getting your jobsite table saw ready for work is to set up the stand and lock the folding mechanism in the open position. If you’re using a table rather than a stand, make sure the table is sturdy and won’t vibrate when you turn the saw on.
Next, remove the throat plate and lift the blade into cutting position. If you need to change out the blade, you can do so by engaging the arbor lock and removing the nut that holds the blade in place.
After setting the blade, you’ll need to attach the riving knife and anti-kickback pawl behind the blade if you saw has them. If not, move on to installing the blade guard assembly. When finished, replace the throat plate and make sure it’s secure.
The last thing you need to do before your saw is ready for use is to attach the rip fence. The fence should slide easily onto its guide tracks, and then you can use a straight edge to square it up to the blade for accurate cuts.
FAQ Which portable table saw is the best for a beginning woodworker?
If you’re a beginning woodworker, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a saw that you can grow into. Instead, you will be better off opting for a reasonably priced saw that is lightweight and portable enough that you’ll want to use it. Table saws like those from Dewalt and Bosch offer solid, durable tables and precise rip fences that can help you get accurate cuts, which may be helpful if you’re just getting started with woodworking.
Should I necessarily have a stand for a portable table saw?
No, you don’t have to have a stand for your portable table saw as long as you have a stable surface to place the saw on. Keep in mind that any vibrations from the table or work surface can reduce the accuracy of the saw. In addition, it’s important that you have an 11 square-inch opening or larger underneath your saw to allow saw dust to escape. Otherwise, the dust can build up and potentially start a fire.
Must my portable table saw be compatible with a dado blade?
If you don’t plan on ever using a dado blade, then you don’t necessarily need a table saw that is compatible with one. However, dado blades are extremely common and opting for a saw that cannot accept them severely limits the versatility of your saw down the line.
If I have a portable table saw, will I need a permanent one too?
Whether you need a stationary table saw in addition to your portable saw depends on the type of work you expect to be doing. Portable table saws are extremely versatile, but they are ultimately limited in the cut sizes they can make and the thickness of materials that they can cut through. If you are getting into professional woodworking rather than simply contracting work or hobbyist woodworking, you may find yourself wanting a cabinet saw in addition to your portable table saw.
Our three overall favorite portable table saws on the market today are the Dewalt DWE7499GD, the Makita 2705X1, and the Skilsaw SPT99-11.
The Skilsaw saw stands out for its worm drive gearing, which provides extra torque to the blade for cutting through knotted hardwoods and pressure-treated lumber. Skilsaw also offers an impressive 180-day trial, so there’s almost no downside to giving this saw a try.
The Makita saw is an extraordinarily heavy-duty portable table saw with a belt-drive motor, so if you find yourself frequently working on big pieces of lumber in the field this is the perfect saw for the job.
We feel that the Dewalt saw is the overall best portable table saw thanks to its massive 32.5-inch rip capacity and easy gliding rip fence. Even better, Dewalt’s saw stand is easy to collapse and expand with the push of a button, saving you time every time you use the saw.
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