The Best Table Saws, Tested and Reviewed

Find the ideal table saw for your woodworking projects, skill level, and budget with our comprehensive guide.

Best Overall

The Best Table Saw Option: DeWalt 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw and Rolling Stand

DeWalt 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw and Rolling Stand

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Table Saw Option: Ryobi 18V ONE+ HP Brushless 8¼-Inch Table Saw

Ryobi 18V ONE+ HP Brushless 8¼-Inch Table Saw

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Table Saw Option: Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw w/ Wheeled Stand

Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw w/ Wheeled Stand

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Editor’s Note: Testing for this article took place in late 2023 and these products remain our current top recommendations for 2024 until we revisit this category. Stay tuned for our 2024 updates.

Table saws top the wish lists of both DIYers and seasoned woodworkers. After researching more than 25 popular models, we put some of the best table saws through side-by-side hands-on testing. These powerful saws cut with more accuracy than circular saws, and they can cut larger pieces of material, including wood, plastic, and aluminum sheeting. Essentially, a table saw’s main function is to perform rips, or cuts along the length of a board. While you can make rip cuts (lengthwise cuts), crosscuts, and angled cuts, and can even create a bevel cut along with dadoes, ripping remains this power tool’s primary purpose.

From simple DIY tasks to a months-long setup for remodeling a house, we put these table saws through a range of real-life use so we could share our direct experience. In this guide, we list some of the best table saws on the market based on our hands-on tests and explain what makes this type of saw useful in any workshop.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DeWalt 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw and Rolling Stand
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ryobi 18V ONE+ HP Brushless 8¼-Inch Table Saw
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw w/ Wheeled Stand
  4. BEST CORDLESS: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 8¼-Inch Table Saw w/ One-Key Kit
  5. BEST PORTABLE: Kobalt 10-Inch 15-Amp Portable Jobsite Table Saw 
  6. BEST HOME WORKSHOP: Ridgid 10-Inch Pro Jobsite Table Saw w/ Folding Stand
  7. BEST COMPACT: Skil 8¼-Inch Portable Worm Drive Table Saw
  8. BEST SAFETY STOP: SawStop Compact Table Saw
A person using the best table saw option in a driveway
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Table Saws

In choosing the table saws we wanted to test, we researched more than 25 popular models—making note of the following aspects:

  • Capacities. Most table saws are 10-inch models, and specifications are very similar. While their primary function in home workshops and on jobsites is ripping dimensional lumber—which doesn’t require a huge rip capacity—ripping capacity varies tremendously and is a key feature for those who cut large sheet material. We were careful to source solutions for all types of users.
  • Size and portability. For many users, a compact, portable table sawis the ideal solution. For others, physical size is less important than capacity and stability. Our comprehensive selection includes saws that are great for those who work with these tools on-site or in small spaces at home or in a large workshop.
  • Brand and value. We avoided cheap table saws, which are often poor in terms of durability and reliability. While buying from the leading table saw brands can mean you pay a little more, this almost always results in better long-term value.

In our testing process, we thoroughly examined each saw’s performance using a comprehensive rubric—the better a saw performed a test, the more points we awarded. We assessed each saw’s power and ability to rip and cut a variety of materials, including ply-type sheet materials and dimensional lumber.

We also evaluated the included stands, switches, and adjustments. We considered the overall feel of using the tool for everything from weekend work around the house to building a deck or shed to a months-long setup for remodeling a house.

The best table saw option set up and ready for use in front of a garage
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Our Top Picks

There is an enormous breadth of table-saw users, needs, and requirements. Taking as much into account across this spectrum was not easy while evaluating the field of table saws during our hands-on testing. While the following models vary in price, best intended use, and portability, each one earned a spot on this lineup based on its performance, power, and accuracy. One is certain to be right for your cutting needs.

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The DeWalt 10-inch table saw is a standout tool in the world of woodworking. With a 15-amp motor, it easily powered through various sheet materials and dimensional lumber in our tests. The saw’s ample 32.5-inch rip capacity allowed us to rip large plywood sheets, and the best part is that the saw is still portable—a testament to DeWalt’s ingenuity.

This table saw made smooth, square, and accurate cuts right out of the box—we didn’t have to make any fence adjustments. It has well-placed controls for easy access, including the on/off switch, depth adjustment, bevel adjustment, and fence adjustment.

Assembly was time-consuming (about 45 minutes) because the stand does not come preassembled. However, the outward flared-leg design increases the saw’s stability—a big plus—and was well worth the extra assembly effort. The saw comes with a 24-tooth combo blade, suitable for basic cuts, but if you’re looking to make smoother finish-type cuts, consider upgrading to a finer 80-tooth blade.

Safety features include a shark-fin-style riving knife, blade-guard system, flip-cover power button, and an included push stick. These are basic to virtually all of today’s table saws, and DeWalt has improved their usefulness so they do not hinder precise cuts. The blade guards are still slightly cumbersome, but they’re as good as any of the models we tested.

The decision to buy the DeWalt 10-inch table saw depends on your woodworking needs. It’s ideal for professionals and enthusiasts seeking power, precision, stability, and portability. Its trustworthiness, out-of-the-box performance, and robust construction make it perfect for those aiming for top-tier results. However, budget-conscious users with simpler needs may find more affordable options.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Cutting depth: 3.125 inches
  • Rip capacity: 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 90 pounds

Pros

  • Sturdy, flared legs help keep this table saw stable when cutting large materials
  • The blade that comes included with this table is suitable for basic cuts
  • Push-stick, miter gauge, and an extra riving knife store on saw body
  • Stand features wheels and a handle, and it folds vertically for space-saving storing

Cons

  • At maximum extension, the fence had a slight wobble—not enough to affect cut quality, but noticeable
  • Weighing in at 90 pounds, it’s a 2-person job to load the saw in the back of a truck

Get the DeWalt table saw at Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

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The battery on this affordable table saw is fine for light work. The fence was square and parallel out of the box. It’s hardly plush, but it works. The saw is light and portable and has a decent amount of power. It’s not a beast, but it will rip sheet materials up to 12 inches wide and make crosscuts on dimensional lumber. This compact saw is available as a kit with a 4-amp-hour (Ah) battery and charger included, or you can purchase it as a tool only if you already have other 18-volt Ryobi tools, as the batteries interchange.

DIYers and some pros might find its bare-bones setup and low cost just what they need to cut materials for small projects. Being battery-powered is a huge plus, as it allows you to take the saw to remote locations where there is no access to an electrical outlet. It comes with blade guards, a sliding fence, and an 8.25-inch all-purpose blade for making basic cuts.

In our hands-on tests, the Ryobi table saw handled 1x8s and composite decking just fine in terms of power, but it did have trouble ejecting the shavings. Having a blower on hand would be an added help. It features a dust port connection on the back side, which can be connected to a hose from a wet/dry shop-type vacuum to help reduce the amount of sawdust that becomes airborne. There’s no huge stand, but it comes with bolt-down legs so it can be attached to a workbench or work table with screws for added stability during use.

Product Specs

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Blade size: 8.25 inches
  • Cutting depth: 2.25 inches
  • Rip capacity: 12 inches
  • Weight: 32.8 pounds

Pros

  • Cordless unit; doesn’t need to be near a power socket
  • Light and small; great for beginners and for occasional use
  • This table saw is powerful enough to handle most DIY projects

Cons

  • Light-duty saw, primarily DIY; not intended for heavy-duty professional use
  • Stand not included; users will need to set this up at table height somewhere

Get the Ryobi table saw at The Home Depot.

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A little-known fact is that the Bosch 10-inch worksite table saw is a pioneering table saw. It is a dynamo that combines portability, precision, and power, making it a standout choice for both professionals and avid DIYers. Our hands-on tests uncovered several features that set this table saw apart from the competition.

The setup for the saw itself was a breeze, but assembling the collapsible stand presented a bit more of a challenge. The stand required around 30 minutes to put together, and we spent much of that time reading and rechecking instructions to ensure we were on track.

The included stand, coupled with the inherent weight of the saw, delivered exceptional stability during cutting and ripping, even though some of our tests took place on uneven surfaces like gravel. It cut like a charm through hardwood—feeling surprisingly smooth and effortless. Thanks to its robust motor, the saw exhibited minimal bounce and jitter, even when ripping thick stock. Ripping plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) resulted in clean cuts and minimal splintering, even using the included combo blade.

On the downside, adjusting the saw’s alignment and blade angle was less enjoyable. Truing the alignment and fine-tuning the blade angle required patience and effort, especially with the limitations imposed by the plastic cowling. On the upside, the blade alignment was off only 0.01 inch out of the box.

This saw was one of the quietest in our tests, offering a more peaceful cutting experience compared to the louder ones.

Overall, the Bosch surpassed our expectations. It’s an exceptional jobsite saw, offering remarkable cutting speed and accuracy. The power, versatility, and thoughtful safety features make it a top choice for professionals and woodworking enthusiasts. Its ability to tackle various cutting tasks with ease and reliability makes it a compelling option for those seeking a top-notch table saw for their projects.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Cutting depth: 3.125 inches
  • Rip capacity: 30 inches
  • Weight: 94 pounds

Pros

  • The saw’s weight (94 pounds) provides stability during cutting, even on uneven surfaces
  • The table saw effortlessly handles hardwoods, offering smooth and jitter-free cutting
  • Its remarkably quiet operation contributes to a more peaceful work environment
  • A powerful saw with portability—making it suitable for jobsites and workshops alike

Cons

  • Stand assembly can be challenging and time-consuming, requiring careful reading of instructions
  • Changing blades can be cumbersome due to limited space and the need for thin-stock wrenches

Get the Bosch table saw at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

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Milwaukee’s 8¼-inch table saw offers cordless convenience, making it suitable for remote usage. This saw is a good combination of power and portability. It comes with a lithium-ion rechargeable 12Ah battery and a rapid charger. Table saws are one of the last power tools to go cordless because they pull so much energy—but there’s no shortage of power with this M18 model. It performed flawlessly in all our tests.

The blade on the M18 table saw was square with the fence right out of the box, and we didn’t need to make any adjustments, which was nice. The motor operated with minimal vibration, and the saw made relatively smooth, clean rips and cuts on ply materials and dimensional lumber using the all-purpose blade in the box. You’ll want to upgrade to a finer-tooth blade for cutting trim or cabinetry projects.

Assembly was a breeze, taking about 10 minutes to set up the blade, riving knives, and blade guards. The push stick and an extra riving knife are stored within easy reach on the saw body, and all the controls are located near one another on the front, so there’s no reason to reach around the side of the saw when it’s running. We connected the saw’s dust port to a wet/dry vacuum, which significantly reduced airborne sawdust.

The included miter gauge does the job but may not be suitable for extensive angle cutting. Consider investing in a better miter gauge if you require precision in angle cuts. This table saw offers a maximum bevel up to 47 degrees and a 2.5-inch depth of cut.

The M18 offers one aspect we really wanted to like—and we did, sort of. Namely, it was the inclusion of Milwaukee’s One-Key smart module. This is a built-in tracking device that connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone. We downloaded and installed the app and could sync with the table saw. That was impressive! However, the feature only works when the smartphone is within 100 feet of the saw. Power tool theft is rampant, and we hoped the tracker could be detected within a few miles—100 feet isn’t far enough. But it’s a great start, and we look forward to more innovative solutions from Milwaukee.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Bench
  • Blade size: 8.25 inches
  • Cutting depth: 2.5 inches
  • Rip capacity: 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 41.6 pounds

Pros

  • Cordless design provides mobility and flexibility on jobsites
  • Minimal assembly time required, typically around 10 minutes for initial setup
  • Delivers smooth and accurate cuts on a variety of materials, including plywood and dimensional lumber
  • Equipped with a dust port that can be connected to a vacuum for effective dust management

Cons

  • Relativelysmall rip capacity is more suitable for smaller projects
  • Included miter gauge is somewhat basic and may not meet the precision requirements of extensive angle-cutting tasks
  • Users must remember to disengage the battery before changing blades, as there’s no cord to unplug for safety during blade changes

Get the Milwaukee table saw at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

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The Kobalt 10-inch portable jobsite table saw will conquer both jobsite challenges and workshop tasks. With a robust 15-amp motor, this table saw offers robust cutting power, but it’s also well-made and user-friendly. The fence was straight, parallel, and true without needing any adjustments.

We were impressed with the Kobalt table saw’s performance—it sliced through plywood, dimensional lumber, and hardwood smoothly. But initially, we got a little chattering with the all-purpose blade that came in the box. Chattering—the wood jerking slightly as it’s being cut—can result from several things, including a substandard blade. We swapped out the included blade for a better one, and the chattering stopped. It was a blade issue, not a saw issue.

On the plus side, the Kobalt table saw boasts a 30-inch right rip capacity and a 17-inch left rip capacity. This is a boon for left-handed workers, and for those times you need to cut sheet material with a prefinished side you don’t want to chip by flipping it over. This was one of our favorite features—it adds versatility and helps ensure clean cuts.

The saw also comes with a dust-collection port we connected to our shop-type vacuum. It reduced airborne dust, but not as much as some of the other models we tested.

It took about 30 minutes to assemble the quick-folding stand, but it’s worth the effort. Once assembled, the stand is incredibly easy to transport. All we needed to do was depress a foot lever, and the stand collapsed to its wheels for pulling around the jobsite. Onboard storage keeps essential accessories like the rip fence, miter gauge, blade guard assembly, push stick, power cord, and extra blades securely stowed when not in use. Changing blades was a breeze thanks to the easily removable blade plate.

While there are some considerations, such as limited riving knife access, we found the Kobalt table saw to be reliable and versatile. Whether you’re a professional contractor seeking a dependable on-site companion or a dedicated woodworker looking for a capable addition to your workshop, this Kobalt table saw offers power, precision, and portability in one package. However, we would recommend upgrading to a higher-quality blade.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Jobsite, rolling stand
  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Cutting depth: 3.5 inches
  • Rip capacity: 30 inches (right side), 17 inches (left side)
  • Weight: 65 pounds

Pros

  • The saw had only minimal motor vibration, contributing to smooth and accurate cuts
  • The ability to move the adjustable fence table to either side of the saw is a game changer
  • Saw controls are all located on or near the front of the tool for easy access

Cons

  • The riving knife release mechanism is inconvenient to reach
  • Blade that came with the saw caused some chattering—an upgraded blade solved the issue

Get the Kobalt table saw at Lowe’s

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Right out of the box, the Ridgid table saw impressed us with its precise alignment—we were able to start cutting accurately without needing to make adjustments. Assembling the saw and its folding stand is a straightforward process, taking approximately 15 minutes. The inclusion of preassembled parts simplified the setup and allowed us to attach the saw body to the stand fairly quickly.

One notable drawback was the riving knife release lever’s location beneath the removable blade plate. Accessing this lever was challenging, making it crucial to ensure the saw was unplugged when making adjustments in this area.

In testing, the Ridgid table saw ripped cleanly and effortlessly through large plywood sheets and dimensional lumber. What sets this saw apart is its exceptional blade-guard design, which provides clear visibility during cutting without obstructing the user’s line of sight. Too many times, workers remove blade guards because they obscure a clean line of sight—the guard positioning on the Ridgid didn’t have that problem.

The fence came perfectly aligned and extended smoothly for precise adjustments. The rack-and-pinion rail system and a one-hand locking fence help ensure the fence stays square throughout multiple adjustments. With a generous 32.5-inch rip capacity, this saw is well suited for professionals and DIYers. Adjusting the blade bevel and cut depth was straightforward.

Additionally, the saw comes with a basic miter gauge, a push stick, blade wrenches, and a 28-tooth carbide blade. Its rugged cage design feels robust and stable, and at 78 pounds, it’s portable but has enough heft to be stable while cutting. This saw performed well right out of the box, but upgrading to a premium blade and miter gauge is recommended for the smoothest cuts and highest level of precision when cutting angles.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable, with rolling stand
  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Cutting depth: 3.5 inches
  • Rip capacity: 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 78 pounds

Pros

  • The table saw arrived aligned and ready for accurate cutting
  • Quick assembly thanks to preassembled parts, including the folding stand
  • The blade guard provides excellent visibility without obstructing the cutting line
  • Large 32.5-inch rip capacity accommodates various cutting needs

Cons

  • The riving knife release lever is somewhat challenging to access, necessitating caution (unplug the tool) when adjusting

Get the Ridgid table saw at The Home Depot.

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This table saw from Skil, a scaled-down version of its 10-inch cousin, is a pleasure to use. The 8.25-inch platform cuts the vast majority of things table saws cut. The worm drive motor, which is plush to be sure but also a bit heavy, isn’t bad in this smaller platform tool. This Skil table saw cuts like any other table saw—it qualifies as a worm drive thanks to the configuration of the motor, which is aligned at a 90-degree angle to the blade shaft. The saw is compact, easy to move, and is so pleasantly quiet at start-up that it’s a joy to use.

Combined with an outstanding fence and up-front locking mechanism, this saw can move from site to site, around the garage, or to a stationary place for long projects and still deliver dependable performance. It weighs in at 44 pounds and features a steel carry handle on the side for moving.

While the saw did not ship with a stand, the roll cage is bored for a stand, or for bolting it down to a workbench when added stability is needed. The compact design is also great for loading the saw on a work truck. It comes with an all-purpose blade that should be suitable for basic cutting needs. However, if you’re looking to cut trim or finish work, consider upgrading to a finer-tooth blade.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Benchtop
  • Blade size: 8.25 inches
  • Cutting depth: 2.625 inches
  • Rip capacity: 25 inches
  • Weight: 44 pounds

Pros

  • Smooth power makes this table saw a true pleasure to use
  • Portable, compact, and easy to move; stores well on a work truck
  • Has a fantastic cord and fence, with an excellent up-front locking mechanism

Cons

  • Requires stand, which can add to the cost if shoppers don’t have one already

Get the Skil table saw at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, or Acme Tools.

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The SawStop 10-inch table saw offers a unique blend of precision woodworking and advanced safety features to protect users from potentially catastrophic accidents. Testing the safety mechanism proved to be more complicated than we expected but led us to a greater understanding of the technology behind the best safety stop.

Setting up the SawStop was a breeze, with straightforward assembly and quick readiness for cutting tasks. Straight out of the box, the saw impressed with its exceptional accuracy, aligning perfectly and maintaining a precise 90-degree blade angle.

While the saw delivers stable performance, it exhibited more hopping or chattering than desired when tackling dense materials like hardwood and composite decking. Still, it produced clean cuts with minimal splintering. It ripped plywood and softwood very well.

Blade changes are hassle-free thanks to the included tools and the built-in tool and accessory storage system. Adjusting the saw’s settings, whether blade angle or alignment, is intuitive and accurate, which simplifies the overall woodworking process.

One slightly disappointing aspect was the saw’s noise level, as it can be considerably loud, particularly compared to quieter models available on the market.

The standout feature of the SawStop is its safety mechanism, which is designed to stop the blade upon contact with skin, potentially preventing severe injuries. In our testing, we attempted to trigger this safety brake using chicken wings and large European breakfast sausages. Surprisingly, the safety mechanism did not activate with these test materials, leading to concerns about its reliability.

We consulted a SawStop engineer, who explained that the safety brake requires greater electrical conductivity to trigger reliably. This information provides a more nuanced perspective on the safety system’s functionality. While our initial tests failed, it’s essential to acknowledge that the system may respond differently to variations in conductivity.

In conclusion, the SawStop 10-inch table saw impressed us with its precision and woodworking capabilities. While potentially effective under specific conditions, its safety mechanism may require a deeper understanding of its functionality. If the safety feature can be consistently trusted, the SawStop offers significant value for users prioritizing safety in their woodworking endeavors.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Bench-type
  • Blade size: 10 inches
  • Cutting depth: 3.125 inches
  • Rip capacity: 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 68 pounds

Pros

  • Precise alignment and 90-degree blade angle right out of the box
  • Capable of cleanly cutting plywood, softwood, and dense materials
  • Hassle-free blade changes with included tools and built-in storage
  • User-friendly intuitive adjustments for blade angle and alignment
  • Potential to prevent catastrophic accidents with its skin-contact advanced-safety mechanism

Cons

  • Considerably loud operation compared to quieter saws
  • Initial testing did not reliably trigger the safety brake, raising concerns about its functionality
  • This is a pricey saw compared to others we tested, but that’s likely due to its added safety features

Get the SawStop table saw at The Home Depot,Acme Tools, or The Tool Nut.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Table Saw

Table saws run the gamut in quality and price, so consider the guidance below when shopping for the best table saws.

Types of Table Saws

While all table saws function in a similar manner—a flat tabletop surface supports the material being cut as you manually feed it into the saw blade—they differ in design, power, best use, mobility, and storage.

Bench Saws

Designed to be bolted to a workbench or attached to a stand, a benchtop table saw is compact and relatively lightweight, averaging 45 to 70 pounds (not including some stands). While some benchtop table saws have the cut capacity for cutting sheet goods, they are not really designed for this without modifications like infeed/outfeed support tables, usually shop built.

It’s possible to cut sheet material from time to time alone (better if there is a helper), but these saws are generally considered too compact and not quite stable enough for ripping something like 0.75-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF); sheet materials, such as plywood and OSB; or plastic and aluminum paneling. For planks, deck boards, 2-by material, and the like, these tools are often indispensable.

Benchtop saws, which can cost $600 or more, are more affordable than larger contractor or cabinet table saws. But since they’re the smallest type of table saw, these tools are limited by the width of the material they can cut—usually about 18 to 20 inches (see “Rip Capacity” below).

Contractor Saws

A contractor table saw is designed to be somewhat mobile in a shop setting by utilizing a wheel kit. While some contractors use these types of saws on jobsites, the tools are often set up in a workshop for months on end. These jobsite table saws are also good for serious DIYers who have a semipermanent place for them and are doing a variety of tasks that require cast-iron stability and more horsepower than a benchtop saw.

They’re heavier than bench saws (90 to 150 pounds) and are generally capable of cutting sheet material up to 24 inches wide or wider. These tools can run as much as $1,500 or more, depending on quality and power.

Cabinet Saws

Packing more power than other table saws and sometimes requiring a 220-volt circuit, cabinet saws are large stationary table saws. These are the priciest options, ranging from $1,200 to $5,000 or more, depending on power and quality. The motor is fully enclosed in a cabinet below the table.

Cabinet saw users also often build support tables for these tools—called infeed and outfeed support—to make it easier to manage sheet goods like MDF, plywood, and heavier material. Often found in professional or industrial workshops and in trade schools, these heavy saws can weigh more than 600 pounds.

Hybrid Saws

The hybrid table saw is a combination of the cabinet and contractor types. It offers at least as much power as a contractor saw, but without requiring a dedicated 220-volt circuit. Expect to pay $750 to $1,500 for hybrid table saws, which are sometimes described as souped-up contractor saws.

Hybrid saws come with enclosed cabinets, mimicking the look of cabinet saws, but they weigh less, averaging 275 to 325 pounds. They’re usually moved with a hand truck, but wheel kits are often available for them as well.

Power

In short, the more horsepower (hp) in a table saw motor, the more cutting power the saw has. Smaller benchtop saws that typically feature horsepower in the range of 0.75 to 1.5 hp are sufficient for most things a larger table saw can cut; however, they may not leave quite as smooth a cut as a contractor or cabinet saw. Be aware that these ratings are typically shown in “amps” (e.g., 15 amps) and refer to how many amperes the tool draws. Benchtop tools are regular jobsite and workshop occupants, sizing everything from shelving to hardwoods for a woodworking project and to pressure-treated lumber for backyard projects.

Larger bench saws and contractor saws come with 2- to 4-hp motors, and cabinet table saws often feature 5-hp or larger motors. The more powerful motors run longer under heavy use without overheating (think cabinet shop where they’re used every day, all day, for years on end) and easily cut through denser materials, such as ironwood or Brazilian walnut.

Cutting Depth and Blade Size

Table saws are labeled by the size of the circular blade they accommodate; the vast majority take 10-inch blades, while a handful take 8.25-inch blades and a few take 12-inch blades. The blade height and angles are adjustable, so it can make a shallow cut just a fraction of an inch deep as well as deeper cuts. The newest generation of table saws—many cordless or corded/cordless—spin a 7.5-inch blade, similar to that on a circular saw.

With a 10-inch table saw, you can often make a maximum cut up to 3.5 inches deep (that enables you to rip a 4×4 in half).

Fence

The fence on a table saw is the adjustable guide that holds the material in place while cutting. There are two fence styles that come with most table saws: one is a T-square fence, which is in all categories of table saws and built with varying degrees of quality based on the saw’s intended use. The other type of fence is a rack-and-pinion-style fence, which is found primarily in the benchtop category.

Some saws also come with extendable fences that either fold or slide out to accommodate larger sections of wood. Other table saws feature fences with embedded magnifiers that allow you to better see the measurements on the saw when adjusting the fence. However, many users simply rely on a tape measure. By measuring from the fence to the tip of a blade tooth, the accuracy (or not) of the fence’s pointer doesn’t need to be depended upon or interpreted.

Rip Capacity

Table saws are key to ripping wide sheets of material, but the maximum width of material that will fit between the saw blade and the fence—the rip capacity—varies. Rip capacity starts at around 18 inches for entry-level benchtop saws and runs up to 60 inches or more for professional cabinet saws.

Depending on the planned projects, choose a table saw with a rip capacity large enough to accommodate the dimension of the material. For example, if the goal is to build 2-foot-high toy boxes, a saw with a rip capacity of at least 24 inches can cut sections of plywood wide enough for the sides and back.

On the other hand, many pros use track saws for this purpose. Whether it’s cutting down a door to accommodate new flooring or sizing sheet stock for building a bench, track saws are light and accurate.

Dust Collection

If you’re working in a closed workshop, dust-collection ports will help keep the air dust-free and collect sawdust chips that would otherwise have to be swept up later. Table saws have dust-collection ports designed to connect to a standard shop vacuum. Users will want to run the workshop vacuum while operating the saw to catch dust and sawdust.

For cutting synthetic material outdoors, such as composite decking or PVC trim, it’s a good idea to put a box or bucket under the saw to catch the shavings if the saw is set up on the grass. Standing on a large sheet of cardboard or a drop cloth also helps. Once those shavings get in the grass, they’re nearly impossible to get out.

Tips for Using a Table Saw

Owners will doubtless spend many hours learning how to get the best from their table saw. The following quick tips provide a useful place to start:

  • Read the manual carefully even if you have owned a table saw before; there will often be differences. It’s important to understand the safety features and know how to maximize performance.
  • By law, all table saws must have a blade guard. Never operate the saw without it in place. The riving knife should only be removed if using a dado blade.
  • Always wear eye protection. Ear defenders are also a good idea.
  • Check the blade for damage before each work session. If there is a crack, missing teeth, or unexpected vibration, replace the blade immediately.
  • There’s an old woodworking adage that you should measure twice and cut once. This can also apply to setting up a table saw. Adjust and then check before making each cut.
  • Clean the table saw after use. Disconnect the power first, then use an ordinary nylon-bristle hand brush or cordless blower.
  • Learning how to make featherboards, push sticks, and table saw jigs can improve safety, speed, and accuracy, particularly with repetitive tasks. It’s also very rewarding to make things yourself rather than buying them.
  • Blade choice can have a dramatic impact on performance, even if the diameter remains the same. You can read more about the best table saw blades in a separate article.

FAQs

The information above covers many of the key aspects of the best table saws as well as details on a range of high-quality options that will suit a variety of users. Although it will have answered the majority of questions that occur to potential buyers, some users might have more general-use questions. Some of the most popular questions have been answered below.

Q. What do I need to use a table saw?

Apart from protective goggles or safety glasses and a stand of some sort, everything you need should come with the saw. In addition to providing some basic tips for using the table saw above, there is a more in-depth beginner’s guide here.

Q. Can a 10-inch table saw cut a 4×4?

A few 10-inch table saws will cut a 4×4 in a single pass, but not many. Bear in mind that 4×4 refers to dimensioned lumber that is actually closer to 3.5 inches square. A common maximum for 10-inch table saws is 3.125 inches, though the cut can usually be completed by turning the material over and running it through the saw again.

Q. Can I put a table saw on a miter saw stand?

It might be possible, but it is not recommended. Miter saw bases are fixed differently, so the result would probably be unsafe.

Q. What can I use for a table saw stand?

A sturdy bench can work, and it isn’t difficult to find plans for DIY table saw stands. You could also consider investing in a purpose-built stand.

Q. Where should you stand when using a table saw?

You should usually stand behind the saw table and to the left of the blade. Make sure you are comfortable and not stretching. If working with large sheet material, it’s a good idea to have someone support it on the out-feed side.

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Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Meet the Testers

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

Corey Foster has been woodworking and metalworking since the moment his grandmother entrusted him with workspace, hand tools, and a pile of scrap wood at an elementary age. If he’s not creating art or solving a problem with a 3D printer, table saw, CAD machine, laser cutter, or another tool, Corey is likely teaching a STEAM class or spending time with his wife and daughters.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA