The Best Portable Table Saws of 2022

Portable table saws offer convenience and versatility for both professionals and DIY users.

By Bob Beacham | Updated May 18, 2022 11:03 AM

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The Best Portable Table Saws Option

Photo: amazon.com

Table saws have long been a popular feature in many home and professional workshops. Portable models sacrifice little in terms of capacity but can be taken to the job site or moved around the home.

Given their convenience, it’s no surprise that a wide variety of options are available. While having many choices is good, it can make shopping a bit confusing. Learn about the technical aspects of these versatile tools and take a closer look at some of the best portable table saws currently on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DeWalt 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Craftsman 10-in Carbide-tipped Blade 15-Amp Table Saw
  3. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Skil 15 Amp 10 Inch Table Saw
  4. BEST STAND: Bosch Power Tools Table Saw
  5. BEST VERSATILITY: Evolution – RAGE5-S Multi-Material Table Saw
  6. BEST BENCHTOP: DeWalt Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch
  7. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: SKILSAW 10 Inch Heavy Duty Worm Drive Table Saw
  8. BEST RIPPING: Metabo 10-in Carbide-Tipped Blade 15-Amp Table Saw
The Best Portable Table Saws Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Table Saws

Some fixed table saws have a very large working platform, but portable models must be smaller. However, considerable variation exists in their size and cutting capacities. The following section discusses the key features that impact choice.

Types of Portable Table Saws

Portable table saws can be divided into three main types: benchtop models without support, saws with legs, and models with a wheeled stand. Some models combine both legs and wheels.

Benchtop table saws are the most compact, although they usually still have competitive cutting capacities. Their main drawback is their use at the job site, which may not have a convenient surface to place them. Using a table saw on the floor is neither practical nor safe.

Table saw legs usually fold to some extent. Some are integrated into the structure of the saw, while others are on a detachable table saw stand that also can serve as a benchtop. Table saws with a wheeled stand are arguably the most convenient, especially on heavier models that otherwise would be difficult to maneuver. However, some stands can be quite large.

Cutting Power and Performance

Most portable table saws contain a 15-amp motor and thus can be plugged in almost anywhere (15 amp is the maximum current from a standard household outlet). Many have overload protection to prevent damage to the motor. Some have soft start, which reduces the chances of tripping a breaker. A few have a load-compensating feature, making them capable of ramping up power if the blade starts to bog down.

Blade speed runs from around 3,500 to 5,000, though in real terms, this makes little difference. Most portable table saws have a 10-inch blade, but actual cutting capacity varies so check maximum depth and ripping width.

Saw Stability

Fixed workshop saws are usually heavy and quite stable, features that are especially important when cutting large sheet material like plywood. If a portable model doesn’t offer adequate stability, it could topple over and cause a serious accident.

Benchtop models must be placed on some kind of platform, which means they’re probably not the best table saw for large sheets or long planks because they could tip the saw. For this kind of cutting, clamp the saw down to prevent movement.

Table saws with folding leg sets or stands offer better stability. Legs usually angle outward to provide maximum support. Check the fixing method to ensure it’s secure and can’t come loose easily. Large wheeled platforms usually offer good stability. The user feeds the material at 90 degrees toward the direction of the wheels, resulting in little risk of movement. Additional pads at the rear provide balance, though users might still want to chock the wheels.

Easy Setup and Adjustments

The convenience of a good portable table saw depends to a large extent on its ease of transport and the setup. It should be a single-person job. Folding leg stands can be a little awkward to align. Saw tables with integral legs must be laid on their side while being affixed. The obvious solution is a wheeled frame that simply rolls into place. While some can be set up relatively quickly, others are more complicated.

Adjusting blade height and angle is another area to consider. Hand wheels should be large and easy to operate. Also look at measurement scales to make sure the increments are clearly marked.

Fence

The fence (or rip fence) offers guidance during sawing, especially of sheet material. The maximum distance from the blade to the fence defines the widest cut possible, which is usually called the “ripping capacity.” While removing the fence is possible, maintaining accuracy is difficult without it.

On some portable table saws, the fence may simply slide along guide rails with a quick-release clamp to hold it in the desired position. A better system, a rack-and-pinion drive, makes it easier to position the fence precisely.

In addition to the fence, which guides straight cuts, a miter gauge for accurate sawing of angles is another useful option.

Dust Collection and Safety Features

A dust port, intended for the attachment of a shop vac, is usually fitted to the table saw. Sometimes they’re straight, while others have an elbow. Elbowed versions can be directed into a bucket to hold the dust, whereas a straight port makes this more difficult.

All portable table saws sold in the United States must have a blade guard and a riving knife, or splitter. The latter is a steel plate that sits behind the blade to stop the cut from closing around the wood, which could throw the workpiece into the air. Anti-kickback pawls that rest on top of the wood also may be included. Never remove these safety devices while sawing.

A portable table saw also should have a prominent stop button. A push-stick to guide the workpiece is another useful addition.

Our Top Picks

Having learned the technical aspects of the best portable table saws, it’s time to look at some practical examples. The following picks are categorized, so potential buyers can quickly identify specific features.

Best Overall

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity
Photo: amazon.com

The DeWalt offers a combination of job-site toughness, good capacity, and the potential for precise accuracy, all of which make it a popular choice with trade professionals.

Like most table saws, it’s fitted with a general-purpose 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade. The maximum depth of cut at 90 degrees is 3⅛ inches; at 45 degrees, it’s 2¼ inches. Its ripping capability is 22 inches to the left of the blade and a class-leading 32½ inches to the right. The sturdy extending fence works on a precise rack-and-pinion track.

There’s little to criticize about this table saw. However, while the wheeled cart provides very good stability, it makes it heavier than some. The miter guide’s quality doesn’t match the rest of the machine, and its price may put it beyond the range of some DIY users.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Maximum rip: 32½ inches
  • Weight: 110 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent capacities
  • Durable build
  • Good stability

Cons

  • Miter guide could be better
  • Heavier than some

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: CRAFTSMAN 10-in Carbide-tipped Blade 15-Amp Table Saw
Photo: lowes.com

The Craftsman brand has long been recognized for reliable, value-for-money tools, and this 10-inch portable table saw is no exception. For a modest outlay, this Craftsman offers the same depth of cut as many more expensive saws: 3⅛ inches at 90 degrees and 2¼ inches at 45 degrees.

However, it saves cost in its ripping capacity. The table saw lacks an extending fence, which provides just 10 inches to the left of the blade and 12 inches to the right.

The detachable stand folds flat for compact storage, and it provides reasonable support. When large pieces of material are used, it flexes a little; however, this saw is not designed for heavy-duty cutting.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Maximum rip: 12 inches
  • Weight: 58 pounds

Pros

  • Same depth of cut as more expensive machines
  • Roll cage protects motor
  • Good value

Cons

  • Modest ripping capacities
  • Miter gauge may be a poor fit

Best Lightweight

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: SKIL 15 Amp 10 Inch Table Saw
Photo: amazon.com

With the Skil 10-inch portable table saw, users don’t have to sacrifice cutting performance for portability. At 51.8 pounds, it’s among the lightest saws available, yet at 90 degrees, its depth of cut is an impressive 3½ inches; at 45 degrees, it’s 2½ inches.

Ripping is also competitive for such a compact saw, with 14 inches to the left and 25½ inches to the right. The extending fence has a rack-and-pinion system, which helps users set it quickly and accurately. Unfortunately, the fence clamp has been known to fail, and some owners have been highly critical of Skil’s customer support.

The integrated stand is a clever idea, and it provides good stability. Though setting it up is a little fiddly, it’s easier to fold down.

Product Specs 

  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Maximum rip: 25½ inches
  • Weight: 51.8 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent cutting capacities
  • Accurate rack-and-pinion fence
  • Integrated stand

Cons

  • Fence clamp sometimes faulty
  • Poor customer support

Best Stand

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: Bosch Power Tools Tablesaw - Jobsite Table Saw
Photo: amazon.com

This Bosch portable table saw is well made, but its gravity stand is particularly exceptional. The mechanism, which lifts or folds in a single, smooth motion, provides excellent stability.

The saw also incorporates some clever electronics. Constant response circuitry automatically increases power when cutting tough or thick materials, and its soft start makes tripping a circuit breaker less likely.

Cutting capacities for the Bosch portable table saw are competitive. The 10-inch blade provides a maximum depth of cut of 3⅛ inches at 90 degrees and 2¼ inches at 45 degrees. Ripping is 8½ inches to the left and 25 inches to the right. While the fence is not rack-and-pinion operated, it’s quite sturdy and has a magnifying lens to help set it accurately.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inch
  • Maximum rip: 25 inches
  • Weight: 110 pounds

Pros

  • Very good quality throughout
  • Excellent stand mechanism
  • Maintains speed under load

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Somewhat heavy

Best Versatility

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: Evolution - RAGE5-S Power Tools 10" Multi-Material
Photo: amazon.com

The Evolution table saw’s key feature is its 10-inch, 28-tooth tungsten carbide-tipped blade, which can saw through aluminum, brass, and even thin-gauge mild steel. It also works well for repurposing wood that may contain hidden nails.

At 90 degrees, its maximum depth of cut is a slight increase over the standard 3½ inches. At 45 degrees, it can cut to 2¼ inches. Ripping is 10 inches to the left and 2½ inches to the right.

Both sides of the table have extensions to help support sheet material, but the stand isn’t as sturdy as some. The small wheels also mean it doesn’t roll easily over uneven surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Maximum rip: 25½ inches
  • Weight: 65 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent multi-material blade
  • Extending tables on both sides
  • Dust extraction hose included

Cons

  • Small wheels
  • Stand can flex

Best Benchtop

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: DeWalt Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch
Photo: amazon.com

This second DeWalt model has the quality and durability the brand is known for in a compact, lightweight package. It nevertheless offers sufficient capacity to serve as a useful job-site tool as well as a saw for the DIY enthusiast.

At 90 degrees, the saw achieves a depth of cut of 2½ inches, so it’s more than capable of handling 2×4 lumber. At 45 degrees, it can manage 1¾ inches. Maximum rip is 12 inches on the left of the blade and 24½ inches on the right, which is similar to that of many full-size portable table saws. The fence has a precision rack-and-pinion guide.

The saw’s only real negative is its dust port. It’s specific to DeWalt extractors, and fitting other shop vacs can be quite awkward.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 8¼ inch
  • Maximum rip: 24½ inches
  • Weight: 54 pounds

Pros

  • Good capacities for a compact saw
  • Roll cage for job-site durability
  • Comparatively light

Cons

  • Costs as much as many full-size models
  • Difficult to fit the shop vac

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: SKILSAW 10 Inch Heavy Duty Worm Drive Table Saw
Photo: amazon.com

People sometimes wonder if Skil and Skilsaw are the same brand; however, they separate brands. Basically, Skil tools are aimed at the DIY user, while Skilsaw tools are for the professional.

This saw’s cutting capacities are exceptional. Depth of cut at 90 degrees is a class-leading 3⅝ inches; at 45 degrees, it’s 23/10 inches. Ripping is 16½ inches to the left, also the most in its class, and 30½ inches to the right.

Although the Skilsaw is portable, it’s a large tool, which makes it more stable, but transporting it is more difficult. Fortunately, its 16-inch wheels provide excellent mobility.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inch
  • Maximum rip: 30½ inches
  • Weight: 95 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent cutting capacities
  • Stable stand
  • Go-anywhere wheels

Cons

  • Relatively bulky
  • Premium price

Best Ripping

The Best Portable Table Saws Option: Metabo 10-in Carbide-Tipped Blade 15-Amp Table Saw
Photo: amazon.com

At first glance, the Metabo appears to be much like many other high-quality portable table saws; however, users may appreciate the tool’s ripping dimensions, especially those who regularly use sheet materials like plywood and OSB. To the left, it offers 22 inches of width, and to the right, it cuts 35 inches. A useful extending support on the outfeed side helps manage large sheets as they’re being sawn.

At 90 degrees, the saw’s maximum depth of cut is 3⅛ inches, and at 45 degrees, it’s 2¼ inches. The Metabo benefits from a soft start, which helps reduce breaker tripping. It has an electronic brake that slows the blade rapidly after each cut. Although the stand is sturdy once opened, it’s not as easy to set up as all-in-one wheeled options.

Product Specs

  • Blade size: 10 inch
  • Maximum rip: 35 inches
  • Weight: 96 pounds

Pros

  • Excellent ripping capacities
  • Extended outfeed support for sheet material
  • Smooth-cutting 40-tooth blade

Cons

  • Folding roller stand is a little fussy
  • Among the heavier tools

Our Verdict

The DeWalt portable table saw offers both excellent overall quality and performance. It’s heavier than some other models, but not excessively so. However, it does have a premium price tag. The Craftsman is a quality small-budget table saw, though its limited rip capacity reduces its usefulness.

How We Chose the Best Portable Table Saws

In addition to being an engineer by profession, I have owned my own woodshop and undertaken several large remodeling projects. As a result, I have a hands-on understanding of the characteristics of a good portable table saw.

  • Portability: Obviously, a portable table saw’s ability to be moved is a key feature, and our selection represents each of the different transportation approaches.
  • Cutting capacities: This list includes a range of tools that offer different capabilities, so there’s something for everyone, from weekend DIY enthusiasts to full-time professionals.
  • Quality: While cheap portable table saws are available, this list includes only those brands with recognized reputations for durability and reliability. Some, however, are quite affordable.

Tips on How to Use a Portable Table Saw

Although most people probably want to start working right away when their new portable table saw arrives, even experienced users should read the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Failure to do so may mean they don’t maximize the potential of their saw. For any model, some one-size-fits-all safety tips to keep in mind when using a table saw include:

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear: a dust mask, safety glasses or goggles, and ear protection.
  • Keep hands well away from the blade. Whenever practical, use a push stick to guide the material.
  • Always unplug the saw before making adjustments to the blade.
  • Follow the old woodworker’s adage to “measure twice, and cut once.” Double-checking saw setup increases accuracy and reduces waste.
  • The fence is for ripping, and it’s not sturdy enough to provide sufficient support for crosscutting. Use a miter gauge set at 90 degrees to the blade.

FAQs

If questions remain about choosing the right portable table saw, keep reading to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these tools.

Q. Which portable table saw has the best fence?

All the portable table saws in this list have good fences, but DeWalt’s 10-inch table saw’s rack-and-pinion fence is both sturdy and accurate.

Q. What’s the lightest portable table saw?

At 46 pounds, the DeWalt 8¼-inch table saw is the lightest of the models available, but it’s a benchtop unit. At 51.2 pounds, the Skil 10-inch table saw is the lightest with a stand or legs.

Q. How dangerous are portable table saws?

Using a high-speed blade always presents some risk of an accident, but if operated properly with the guard in place at all times, a table saw is not a dangerous tool. Read more about how to safely use table saws here.