If you are looking for a shop saw, you most probably will do a lot of research and finally decided to buy a table saw. Generally, a table saw is considered as the most versatile saw for a woodworker. Of course, they are not omnipotent. Beside a table saw, woodworkers also need other tools. However, there is something they can handle very well. For example, if you want to cut sheet goods more accurately, a table saw can do better than other tools.
On the market, table saws include 3 basic types: contractor saws, cabinet saws and portable saws. The largest table saws are the cabinet saws which are designed to offer maximum accuracy. You can use a cabinet saw to easily cut hardwood plywood to various sizes that can be used to build the kitchen cabinets. Because of their large sizes, they can easily cut a whole sheet of plywood. For this purpose, many of them have table extensions. Contractor saws don’t have extensions that cabinet saws have, so they are smaller versions. Portable table saws are not large but offer large capabilities. They are compact and have wheeled stands that are collapsible, making it more portable. You can move it with ease. Some of them even feature table extensions, so they are able to cut sheet materials more accurately. They are designed to be more flexible, and have modular blade guard systems, and they also have on-board storage, so the miter gauge and fence can be stored easily.
When it comes to choosing the best table saw, some factors should be taken into account. Firstly, the blade should be perpendicular to both the table and the direction that the wood travels. This is very important, because this can affect the cutting quality, no matter how many blade marks are noticeable. High-end saws allow you to adjust their blade. Therefore, before using it at the first time, it is highly recommended to adjust it first to make sure the blade is perpendicular to its table.
The second most important factor is the fence. Similar to the blade, the fence also should be perpendicular to its table. Although you may find there are many fence designs, if it cannot be adjusted to be exactly perpendicular to its table, it is not a good fence and will affect the cutting quality. And the fence should be easy to adjust. Or, you may get tapered cuts that you don’t plan to need.
No matter how picky you are about the quality of the fence, it is OK, because a good quality fence is something you need to work with for a long time. If a table saw has a crummy fence, it is really garbage. The mediocre one with a high quality fence, at least, can make accurate cuts.
When it comes to fences of portable table saws, you also need to pay attention to the maximum distance between the blade and the fence. Sheet goods often come in 48″ width, so a portable table saw that has at least 24″ of rip capacities between the fence and the blade is ideal. Or, you will not be able to rip a sheet of plywood in half.
Best Portable Table Saw
On the market, there are many portable saws and we’ve made this list of top 5 best portable saws for you to select. We considered their quality of blades and fences, prices, ratings, as well as customer reviews.
Bosch 4100DG-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw
This table saw is one of the best portable table saws on the market. Although its fence is not rack and pinion, it is not a big problem due to its excellent performance. Its fence is pretty rigid and holds parallel to its blade. This saw features a quiet start motor and this motor also has a torque control switch, so you can choose the right power according to the work requirement. This means you can always find the right speed for you work.
Beside its high quality motor, it also has an easy blade change, so the time you spend on the job site will be effectively cut down. It has 8-inch pneumatic tires, making it more portable and its stand is also the best stand. Plus, it also comes with many good features. Its fence is considered as to be most rigid, so you can get your cuts right wherever you plan to want them. Its stand is also pretty cool, and you can set up it in a short time – about 5 seconds.
DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw
The most impressive part about this best portable table saw is the fence that is the track and pinion. You can adjust its fence to get accurate cuts every time. It also includes extendable rails, so it has the largest capacity on our list and allows you to cut up to 32 1/2 inches. At the same time, due to its flip over ability, you also can use it to get much narrower rip cuts. If you need to make plenty of narrow cuts, obviously this one is your best choice. Similar to other saws, you need to set up it to get the highest accuracy. And it is designed to be adjusted easily, so you just dial in it to get the right speed according to the job you are working on.
This saw has a soft start motor that comes with electronic controls, you can easily control its blade speed. Its features a well-designed arbor, making this table saw tight and nice. You need to take a little time to make its stand set up, but once it is set up, it is very stable. Its on-board storage can accommodate all accessories. It is worth buying.
Porter Cable Jobsite Table Saw with Fold and Roll Stand, 10″
This Porter Cable JobSite Table Saw doesn’t need any tool to change its blade, so this blade change system is cool. And it is also very affordable, so it is really a good competitor as a portable table saw. Like most table saws, before using it at the first time, it needs to be adjusted a little to assure the best accuracy. Once it is aligned you can get continuous smooth and accurate cuts. Its fence may make some work stiffen up a bit, but in this situation, you just need to replace the current rod with a stiffer rod and you will have a pretty good fence. Its stand is very stable, so cutting any heavy piece is no problem. However, the stand cannot be allowed to adjust to help leveling, so it will be a little troublesome especially when there is no level ground. This saw allows you to get up to 30″ wide rig cuts, thanks to its right-side table extension, as well as the rear out-feed support. The out-feed support is telescoping, so it can hold even much larger pieces. It also comes with on-board storage for its massive accessories.
Bosch GTS1031 10-Inch Portable Jobsite Table Saw
We choose this Bosch GTS1030 on our list due to its superb portability. Although its stand doesn’t have rolling wheels, it is designed to be lightweight, so you can carry it with one hand and move it to anywhere you like. This design is cool and it is very rugged and well-balanced, so you can carry it only with one hand. Others that are lighter may need 2 hands to carry. When you need to store it, it only needs a little space, because you can store it by standing on its edge. Therefore, even if the space in your workshop or truck is limited, you can easily store it. The fence also has a unique design. When you don’t use it, the fence can be flipped under the table. Of course, the fence can always keep parallel to its blade, so the fence is a good fence you can rely on.
Factory-Reconditioned Ryobi ZRRTS30 10-in Table Saw
Ryobi has a good reputation for offering high quality but affordable power tools. If your budget is limited, you can consider a Ryobi power tool. Low price doesn’t mean poor quality. This Ryobi Table saw is such a good product you can trust. It also features the sliding table extension, so this saw has a 30″ rip capacity. Although it is a portable table saw, you almost get almost all you need on a table saw. And it is also affordable. If you have a limited budget, you can choose this.