A table saw is the centerpiece of the workshop for most DIYers and homeowners. Whether you’re making fine furniture or repairs to your house, its versatility can’t be beat. This wide range of uses makes it hard to name one table saw as “the best”. What’s best for the weekend home improvement buff is not going to be the best for a cabinet maker. They simply have different requirements of a tool.
So I’ll walk you through several of the top models on the market today. And I’ll make sure to point out why it may or may not be the right tool for your needs.
Here's a quick rundown of all my choices from below:
Types of Table Saw
There are a few different categories of table saw on the market. You can read much more in my complete guide to buying a table saw. But I’ll recap them here:
- Portable jobsite table saws (sometimes called bench-top table saws) are small, usually less than 2 1/2’ on a side and under 50 pounds. They are designed to be easily moved from jobsite to jobsite with a minimum of setup and teardown. This portability makes them the most popular choice for homeowners and DIYers as well. For a more in-depth look, read my complete roundup of the best portable table saws.
- Cabinet table saws are the opposite end of the spectrum—often made of cast iron and weighing over 500 pounds. Their massive tables and powerful motors let them handle large workpieces without any issue. And they’re usually engineered to achieve much more precise cuts than their portable cousins. While most professional wood shops will have a cabinet table saw, at home they are usually reserved for serious woodworkers.
- Contractor table saws lie somewhere in the middle. Though not as small as the portable jobsite saws, they can still be moved around with some effort. They’ll often be set up for longer-term projects at a jobsite. And they’re also a popular choice for the home wood shop because of their power and accuracy, while still taking up much less room than a cabinet saw. We’ve also got a more in-depth roundup of the best contractor table saws.
- Hybrid table saws are a combination of cabinet and contractor table saws. They’re typically fully enclosed like a cabinet table saw, but smaller and usually mounted on legs like a contractor table saw. This is a somewhat newer type of saw that only a few manufacturers are offering.
I’ll focus more on portable jobsite table saws and contractor saws in this article, because that’s honestly the best choice for the widest range of people. But I’ve got a great cabinet saw recommendation to, if that’s what you need.
The 7 Best Table Saws
Without further ado, let’s look at my choices for the best table saws on the market.
The Bosch 4100XC-10 is an excellent all-around choice for a homeowner or contractor. It’s not the lightest portable table saw on the market. But its well-designed wheeled stand is a cinch to raise and lower. And it’s got wheels to let you easily move it around your home or jobsite.
The 4100XC-10 takes 10” saw blades, and it has some of the best cut capacity in its class. With the blade vertical, you can cut up 3 1/8” deep (dropping to 2 1/4” at a 45° angle). And its rip capacity of 30” to the right of the blade is more than enough to handle even large sheet goods.
If you’ll be doing woodworking with this table saw, you’ll appreciate its support for dado stacks. With an optional insert, you can use dado stacks up to 13/16” wide.
Read our full review of the Bosch 4100XC-10.
- Smooth, quiet operation
- Comes with auxiliary fence for making narrow cuts
- Huge power button is easy to find in an emergency
- Restart protection in case of power loss
- Heavier than its competitors
- Tends to collect dust inside the cabinet
This 8 1/4” table saw, the Skilsaw SPT99T-01, is receiving great reviews from customers. More and more portable table saws taking 8 1/4” blades are appearing on the market. That’s good news, since blade manufacturers are now offering a wide range of 8 1/4” blades. You might not find quite as many specialty blades as in the 10” size, but for all common applications, you should have no problem.
This Skilsaw table saw uses a worm-drive gearing system, which delivers greater torque than the direct-drive system in most of its competitors. This makes it ideal for cutting through thicker material such as hardwoods or wood up to 2 1/2” thick. Its rack-and-pinion rip fence is easy to adjust and is generally square right out of the box. And it’s got a very respectable 25” of rip capacity.
If you use a dust collection system (or even just a shop-vac), this saw gets high marks for effectively clearing dust out of your cuts. This saw doesn’t come with a stand in the box, but you can purchase a folding stand as an accessory.
- High torque from worm drive for cutting difficult materials
- Blade and fence are square out of the box
- Rack-and-pinion fence is easy to adjust
- Dust collection is very effective
- Miter saw is somewhat sloppy, hard to dial in precisely
- Dust collection port is easily broken
Cordless table saws are only found in the portable jobsite category, since batteries aren’t (yet) up to the demands of the larger sizes. The DeWalt DCS7485 is a fairly recent addition to DeWalt’s table saw lineup. It relies on DeWalt’s 60 V FLEXVOLT line of batteries for its power. So if you need the ultimate in portability, without being tethered to an extension cord, give it a look.
It takes 8 1/4” blades, like the Skilsaw above. Battery life is going to depend on what you throw at the saw. For basic jobs like breaking down plywood sheets, you’ll probably be able to get through an entire project on one battery. If you’re going to be cutting particularly thick or hard wood, though, plan on swapping out the battery.
Having at least one extra battery on hand is probably the best idea, no matter what. Otherwise you’ll be stuck waiting for a battery to charge if you run out in the middle of a project.
Read our full review of the DeWalt DCS7485.
- Long battery life for most common jobs
- Compact and portable
- No option to attach AC adapter instead of battery
Safety should always be your top priority when using any table saw. The SawStop CNS175-TGP36 is a high-end contractor-type table saw featuring advanced safety technology. It can stop a spinning blade in under 5 milliseconds if it detects contact with flesh. That can turn a potentially disastrous accident into a minor scratch. You do end up paying a premium for this safety feature, but the peace of mind could be well worth it.
Be sure to completely understand the safety mechanisms before operating this saw. In particular, you’ll need to know how to override the mechanism if you’re sawing metal such as aluminum or damp wood that might be mistaken for human flesh. Accidentally triggering the system will require replacing both your blade and the blade brake cartridge.
This version of the CNS175 features 36” of rip capacity thanks to an extension table supported by an extra pair of legs. That should be more than enough capacity for most people. It also comes with a T-glide fence system that helps keep the fence square to the blade.
You can save a little money by buying the SawStop CNS175-SFA30 instead, which has a still very ample 30” of rip capacity. But the aluminum rip fence bundled with the 30” version gets only middling reviews because it’s harder to keep square to the blade than the T-glide model.
If portability is of utmost importance to you, SawStop does sell a portable jobsite table saw as well, with the same safety features.
- SawStop flesh-sensing safety mechanism
- A sturdy and smooth cutting surface
- Rip fence stays straighter than aluminum version on other models
- Slightly flimsy and slanted wings
I won’t lie… the SawStop mentioned above is an awesome piece of machinery. But its price may be unrealistic for a lot of people who just need a tool that gets the job done. The Ridgid R4512 is a no-frills contractor table saw that still represents a substantial upgrade over a portable jobsite saw.
The one notable downside to this saw is that the build quality is somewhat inconsistent, especially with the alignment of the blade. Some customers report getting multiple units that could not be correctly aligned, because the alignment changed when the blade was raised or lowered. This is, unfortunately, a bit of a reality when dealing with these more inexpensive table saws. If you’re willing to put in the time to properly align the blade with the miter slots, though, you’ll have a solid machine at a very attractive price.
You can configure the saw for either 120 V or 240 V operation. But decide if you want to run it on 240 V before you assemble it, since changing the wiring from its default 120 V configuration is a real pain once it’s assembled.
Read our full review of the Ridgid R4512.
- Accessory slots for installing auxiliary wings
- Cast iron top for precise cutting
- Retractable wheels for easy moving around shop
- May require alignment out of the box to ensure blade is straight
The Shop Fox W1837 is a hybrid table saw. It has a fully-enclosed base surrounding the blade and motor, much like a cabinet table saw. But the base is smaller and rests atop four legs like a contractor table saw. Completely enclosing the blade and motor provides for much better dust collection when attached to a dust extractor.
The rip fence is high quality and stays true once set, without requiring re-alignment. Vibration is reduced thanks to the heavy cast-iron trunnions that are mounted to the cabinet itself. And while it’s not exactly portable given its 243-lb weight, it is at least movable. Foot-activated levers on the base let you drop down wheels to move it around your shop, then lower it onto the legs for maximum stability.
The Shop Fox can run on either 120 V or 240 V power, but is configured for 120 V out of the box.
- Lightweight constructions and small frame make it portable and versatile
- Cast iron wing extensions provide extra rip capacity
- Solid rip fence that won’t budge
- The casters make sure there’s no rolling or movement during cutting
- The rear rail is a little too flexible and sometimes moves around while ripping
- It’s hard to get the table wing extensions level
- The table surface isn’t perfectly flat without making adjustments
If you’re serious about your woodworking, you’ve probably imagined upgrading your portable or contractor-style tool to a cabinet table saw. The Powermatic PM1000 (1791001K) is a precision-made table saw that is designed for high-volume, high-quality work. With the extension table installed, you get a massive 52” of rip capacity, Like most tools in this category, you can wire it to run on either 120 V (the default) or 240 V.
While you’re not going to squeeze this giant table into a spare corner of your garage, if you need the 52” capacity, you know you need it. I’ll be honest—I don’t have room to keep a saw this big in my own workshop, but if I did, I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade to this model.
As you would expect from a high-end tool, the various pieces are manufactured to tight tolerances. The cast-iron table is extremely flat, and the rip fence is straight and easy to set precisely. Although the motor is only listed at 1 3/4 horsepower, this saw has power to rival almost anything else in its category. You’ll have no problems sawing through even the hardest of hardwoods, even up to 2 1/2” thick.
Some customers report that the retailer shipped their saws without adequate protection, resulting in some damaged pieces. Make sure you inspect your tool carefully and demand replacements for anything that might have been damaged. Powermatic’s 5-year warranty is also almost unheard of, compared to most competitors that offer 1 or 3 years at most.
- Impressive 50” rip capacity
- Extremely flat cast-iron table
- Quality rip fence
- Pricier than some comparable models
We’ve walked through some top choices in a variety of categories, from small portable jobsite table saws all the way up to professional-quality cabinet saws. No one tool is right for everyone, so I hope that you have found the advice above helpful. If you’re still not sure, check out our complete guide to buying a table saw. And be sure to follow table saw safety guidelines at all times to enjoy your new tool for years to come!