Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Personally I've used a lot of table saws in a lot of different wood shops, garages and jobsites. There's plenty to consider ranging from budget, where you'll use it, power, space, portability, ease of setup, ease of use, reliability, quality, and of course, safety. A basic table saw (like a Dewault contractors saw) will get the job done but an amazing table saw (like a Sawstop) is a pleasure to use because its a precision machine.
Let's begin with the basics...
There are 3 types of Tables Saws.
- Contractors Table Saw (Portable)
- Hybrid Table Saw (Portable or Sationary)
- Industrial Cabinet Table Saw (Stationary)
Contractor Table Saws
Portable, less powerful and less expensive. Great for the construction site or garage. It is possible to take a contractors saw and tune it up to be more accurate but it will always lack the power of a industrial shop table saw.
Hybrid Table Saws
The footprint of your table saw is a big consideration for setting up your shop. If you don't have much space this is where a hybrid saw comes handy. It's lightweight enough to be placed on wheels to move around. These saws are less expensive and less powerful around 1.75-2hp motor. This is a great saw for a hobbyist or beginner woodworker
Industrial Table Saws
Industrial table saws are stationary and powerful. The table is deeper and the build is all around more robust. These tables saws are very powerful with a 5hp motor (a faster blade is less likely to leave burn marks). The drawbacks are they're more expensive and take up more space.
TOP 10 TABLE SAWS
#1 TOP PICK
Upgrade to the Professional Cabinet Saw and you’ll get a 5hp beast of an industrial machine. Now, this is very expensive but is well worth it. If you can afford this upgrade, by all means, do so. It’s not labeled “Industrial” for nothing. I wish I had this table saw for safety and power. The motor is strong and can cut through 8/4" thick wood with ease.
#2 Best Value for the Money Table Saw
A typical table saw can easily cut off your fingers however, a SawStop cannot. It will give you peace of mind while cutting. The way the SawStop technology works is it has a spring loaded cartridge just underneath the blade. The electronics constantly send an open current through the blade. When that current is closed, ie a persons skin touches it, the blade automatically drops down and the spring releases an aluminum cartridge to instantly stop the blade.
This one runs on a good enough 1.75 hp motor. Sawstop is the safest table saw on the market. At a 5-millisecond stop on contact, that might save you a life-altering journey. I love using this table saw, every school I've ever been to has one. Personally, I wish I bought it when I was shopping for my table saw (mainly for safety). If there’s any woodworking tool you need to respect, it should be the table saw. And a cut above safety reduced the stress of having to worry about getting your fingers injured. How much do you think the hospital bill will be? I've seen the Sawstop go off a couple of times when students have triggered it and it certainly does its job. It's surprisingly quiet. Lastly, the Sawstop customer support is second to none. The customer service are very knowledgeable and helpful.
The Grizzly Industrial 10” provides the best value table saw for a budget under $2,000. There’s a 1.75hp version of this but it's worth that extra .25hp for a little bit extra money. It takes a bit of setup time. And if you’re new to woodworking, I would recommend watching YouTube videos on setup to make the assembly more efficient. I am not a fan of the fence but it’s not a deal-breaker. All in all. It cuts what it should. It’s not the best but it does the job well. You get good value for the money.
At a little less than $3,000, I like this Jet Deluxe XACTA table saw a lot. It has a super powerful motor that cuts wood like butter. I find that its long fence extension is great for cutting sheet goods. Unlike the Grizzly’s fence, the Jet table saw has a solid fence with friction-reduction sides. Like most tools with quick release, the riving knife presents hassle-free in-between changes. It is dead-on accurate. The only gripes about this table saw is that it takes a lot of time to set up. The Jet deluxe also comes with a 5-year warranty.
If you want an entry-level table saw at around the $2,000 price point then this one is for you. It’s a very good saw for the price. It can turn into a great saw if you tune it up a bit. The 1.75 hp motor is good for most projects. The setup for the Powermatic table saw is a bit better than the Grizzly. The build quality is really good although I like to have a closed base that has some weight to it. It also has a 5-year warranty for that extra peace of mind.
Even more than the previous Powermatic, this Table Saw is very well made. The extra bucks give you a better saw fence, a miter gauge, and a little more heft. It’s definitely a step up from the $2,000 dollar smaller brother. The size of this machine is right, you'll be able to cut width without any size limitations. I also like the big button easy shut-off. It allows you to turn off the saw with your knee should you ever get in a bind and need to. Sawstop offers this feature as well.
This is a premium machine for a furniture maker, the 3hp motor can cut everything needed. It’s Powermatic so the build quality is above average. The hydraulic lifting wheels are a welcome feature. It takes some time to assemble but not as long as the Jet. This comes as a longer version over the PM1000. It’s at 84.75 x 39.13 x 40.38 inches vs PM 1000’s 42 x 33 x 53 inches. It also comes standard with the saw, riving knife, blade guard, fence, casters, and extension wings all quality components. And of course, it comes with a 5-year warranty from Powermatic.
JOBSITE TABLE SAWS
For the carpenter who needs to be mobile, this “inexpensive” Bosch 10 In. Worksite Table Saw is great for the job. Only for the job site though. Basic work, it’s not as precise as a proper table saw. Apart from other worksite table saws, what I like most about this one is that it has a fence and robust wheel stand. It has a well-thought-out design that folds nicely and will fit in a small space. It has built-in storage spaces too. That’s a big plus since you’ll be storing spare parts for it anyway. Good value for money for just $599!