Compare The Best Table Saws for 2017: Cabinet, Contractor, Portable & more

When it comes to purchasing a table saw, you want the best for the money you have to spend. There are thousands of various table saws with so many different features and functionalities in the market, and you may think, which one is the best for you?
I work in the woodworking industry. Also, woodworking is my hobby. I spend a lot of time learning and collecting information about the best tools. Now I want to share my knowledge with you. In this website, I write reviews and informational posts about table saws.


Cabinet Table Saws are generally the most powerful and most expensive category of this most essential shop tool.  Manufacturers like Delta, Powermatic, & Jet have been producing many professional quality models for decades and are typically regarded as the best table saw producers. Characteristics range from a 10″ blade with high-powered motors (typically 3 to 5 horsepower, single phase and 3-phase), they are most often “fixed” or permanently located (although some can utilize casters for increased ease of movement), with a fully-enclosed body or “cabinet”, employing large table top surfaces or extensions with a fence that is 50-52 inches in width capacity for your larger material and projects. These are solidly built machines that are stout and quite heavy, with minimum vibration. They give you a feeling of confidence when you push ‘start’. You are “in for a treat” when you purchase and use pieces of equipment as technically superior and capable.

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Contractor’s Table Saws are a great choice for many reasons. These are often the best table saw option if one wishes to have a saw that is less expensive than the top-line cabinet models discussed above, yet full-featured. Though a contractor saw will not typically have as large a top surface area, the typical fence will accommodate a 24 1/2 to 36 inch “rip”, and for the most part one can accomplish the same processes and tasks as with the more expensive versions. Instead of a cabinet, most contractor models have four (4) legs and also utilize a 10″ blade. The motors typically range in size up to 2 hp.

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Portable and Job Site

One of the greatest recent developments in table saw technology, has nothing whatsoever to do with the efficiency of cutting various materials like wood, plastics and metal. Rather, the best table saw available today is easy to transport. Today’s larger models are designed with built-in wheel systems making them so much easier to re-locate from job to job. Most saws are (again) 10″ and deliver plenty of power and safety. The smaller table saws can be set up on a workbench or saw horses, assuming you did not purchase a separate saw “stand” . When the task is finished, you simply pick the saw up and walk away … most are very compact and lightweight.

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Have You Read My Latest Table Saw Buying Guide?

In this guide I cover most important things you have to know before buying a table saw. Go check it out!

Read now!

Safety tip #1

Eye and Hearing Protection

Always wear special safety goggles and hearing protection. It is very important for all woodworkers. Wear a dust mask when necessary.

Safety tip #2

Long Sleeves – not allowed 

Never work wearing clothes with long sleeves. Also, take off all dangling pendants. It can get caught in the blade and then the bad things can happen…

Safety tip #3

Standing Position

Always avoid standing directly in front of the blade. Positioning your body in line with the blade is very dangerous. Instead, try standing to one side or the other.

All table saws should have a guard, a miter gauge, a ripping fence, a blade height adjustment wheel, a blade 0 to 45 degree angle tilt wheel, a motor and a table top. A stand is sometimes optional on smaller models. Some hobbyists will mount a table saw to the end of their workbench. That is because they are only cutting small pieces of wood, plastic etc.

A 10 inch table saw refers to the diameter of the saw blade not the size of the table. 10 inch table saws are the most common.

Your main concern when purchasing a table saw should be the size of the table top, the weight of the saw, the motor and what type of projects you plan on using the table saw for.

A large table top will give you more stability when cutting large pieces of wood. An example would be if you are cutting a four foot by eight foot sheet of plywood or paneling. Some table tops look small but have slide out extenders to give your wood more support when cutting.

If you will be using your table saw for indoor and outdoor projects you should consider the weight and portability of the table saw. It is sometimes easier to take the table saw to your project. If your workshop is in your basement and you have an outdoor project you may want to bring the table saw up and down stairs. Portable saws with wheels are available. Although moving a small 90 pound table saw up and down stairs is not too difficult.

The motor on the table saw should be powerful enough to cut the types of wood or materials that you will be cutting. There are two types of motors. direct drive and belt driven. Some people prefer one over the other. Most smaller tools come with direct drive motors. I have never had any problems with direct drive motors. Overall the type of motor should not be a concern. Any namebrand table saw should have a motor powerful enough to cut all types and thicknesses of wood.

Before purchasing a table saw think about what future cutting projects you may have. You may be purchasing a table saw for small projects and a few years later be doing big remodeling projects and discover that you should have purchased a saw with a larger table top. Of course you could always build a table extension out of wood with the saw you already own.

Portable are one of those power tools that lots of woodworkers do not always talk about but they are truly indispensable in any woodworker’s work station. If you are a beginner woodworker or just someone that wants to try his hand at woodworking it can sometimes be a bit difficult to actually make the right choices. There are actually four types that you can pick out from and these include contractor saws, hybrid saws, cabinet saws and finally the portable saws popularly known as the bench top saws.

If you are an individual that has a small work area or space you are much better off with a portable table saw which are easier to carry around and can be easily placed on the bench to carry out various tasks. Obviously because of some of the features of the bench top table saws there may be some more extensive tasks that that the large heavy duty ones can do. It is important however to you consult good portable table saw reviews what ever your requirements.