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If you work with wood in any capacity, chances are you rely on a table saw to make clean, accurate cuts. These power tools consist of a circular blade that's mounted underneath a flat, table-like work surface, so unlike most other power saws, the table saw cuts from underneath rather than from above. The table-saw blade is partly exposed; most table saws let you adjust the blade up and down a bit to tailor the amount of exposed blade, as well as its angle, to your needs.
Table saws are useful for quite a few different types of cuts. They provide fast, highly accurate rip cuts, which is a cut that goes with the wood's grain to reduce a board's width. You can also use your table saw for crosscuts; this is a cut that goes across the grain to reduce a board by length. You can also do a miter cut with a table saw: that's a diagonal cut across the width of a board, and is very useful when constructing trim. Beveled cuts, which cut into the end of the board at an angle, are another possibility.
With the right type of blade, you can also use your table saw for specialty cuts. One is a dado cut, which produces a flat-bottomed groove across the board. The other is a rabbet cut, which is a partially grooved cut commonly used when building cabinets or furniture like a porch swing, picnic table, or headboard.
One of the biggest considerations when choosing a table saw is the format that's right for you. There are table saws that sit atop your work bench or on a folding stand in your shed (or maybe you're even building your own with roofing), and these are both very popular with DIYers. There are also contractor table saws that stand on their own built-in table. These are more powerful and are suited to the more serious hobbyist or professional. Finally, there are cabinet table saws that enclose the motor within a cabinet that serves as the support for the work table and blade up above. These expensive tools are mostly used by professionals in woodworking shops.
With these considerations in mind, let’s take a look at the best table saw picks on the market to find the right fit for you.
Best Overall: DEWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 32.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Large rip capacity
Rack-and-pinion fence rails
Miter gauge not extremely accurate
On the far end of the handyman spectrum, you’ve got the seasoned professional with years of experience under his or her belt. We all know the type: this is the person that expects only the best, and DEWALT more than delivers with their patented DWE7491RS jobsite table saw. This wood-slicing beast is the cream of the crop when it comes to cutting through even the toughest materials. The DWE7491RS's table measures 26.25 by 22 inches, although its sturdy wheeled stand makes it fairly easy to push out of the way when not in use.
With a 10-inch blade and 32½-inch rip capacity—the rack-and-pinion fence rails extend smoothly and sturdily for oversize boards—and 15-amp motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛-inch deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. It can handle dado cuts up to 13/16-inch wide with the appropriate blade and throat plate.
"The built-in rack-and-pinion fence system, which acts as a guide for boards that runs parallel to the blade, adjusts by hand and is both easy to use and very accurate. I learned to trust the fence and its measurements, and it made my workflow faster knowing I didn’t have to measure everything four times to double-check the DEWALT. "—Justin Park, Product Tester
Best Jobsite: RIDGID R4514 Pro Jobsite Table Saw
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 30 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Large rip capacity
Some complaints about rip fence quality
If you need a reliable and powerful table saw that’s easy to wheel right where you need it, take a look at the RIDGID R5414 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw. This 15-amp saw makes light of 4 x 4 boards, ripping through them with one pass. When closed, the table measures 22 inches by 30 inches. Pull out the fence rails, and you gain an extra 12 inches to the right for ripping large boards.
The 10-inch blade spins at a maximum of 5,000 rpm, with a maximum cutting depth of 3.5 inches at a 90-degree angle and 2.25 inches at a 45-degree angle. The saw comes with a very sturdy wheeled stand that folds up for storage once the job is done.
Best Miter Gauge: KREG KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System
Easy to use
Some complaints about setup
A miter gauge is a device that allows users to set up the angle of the material being cut with a table saw. And while most table saws come with built-in miter gauges, they aren't always the greatest quality, which is why the Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System is invaluable. This is a great choice if you are looking to add or replace the miter gauge on your table saw.
Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge has positive stops at 0, 10, 22-1/2, 30, and 45 degrees, so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.
With a 25-inch fence made of durable aluminum to ensure long-lasting use, a micro-adjustment system that allows users to adjust their desired angle up to 1/10th of a degree, and a ton of extra features you’ll be hard-pressed to find on even most built-in miter gauges, the KMS7102 is a must-have for both professional and amateur woodworkers.
Best Budget: Ryobi RTS12 Jobsite Table Saw
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 12 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Small rip capacity
Some complaints about miter gauge
Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line table saw, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a so-so tool. If your needs are simple, and you just use the saw for occasional basic tasks, you’ll find that the Ryobi RTS12 handles everything you ask of it, and for a very reasonable price. It includes a folding stand so you can easily store the saw when not in use.
This 10-inch jobsite table saw has a 15-amp motor that spins the blade at up to 5,000 rpm. You can rip boards up to 12 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left of the blade. Unlike many higher-priced table saws, there are no extending rails, although you could use a separate stand to support larger materials. Still, for the price, it’s hard to beat the performance of this sturdy tool.
The saw has a maximum cutting depth of 3 inches at a 90-degree angle.
Best Compact: DEWALT DWE7485 Compact Table Saw
Type: Benchtop | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 24.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: No | Includes Stand: No
Easy to set up and use
Fairly lightweight for portability
Not compatible with dado blades
The DEWALT DWE7485 might be a little more compact than many other table saws, but it certainly doesn’t lack for power or performance. The 15-amp motor spins the 8-¼-inch blade at up to 5,800 rpm, and the table boasts 24.5 inches of rip capacity to the right of the blade with the rack-and-pinion fence rails extended, and 12 inches of rip capacity to the left of the blade, which is more than some overall larger saws. While sold as a benchtop model, the tool has handles for easy transport, and can be perched on an optional stand if desired. It’s ruggedly designed for use at jobsites, but equally at home in your garage or workshop.
The maximum depth of cut at a 90-degree angle is 2-9/16 inch. Note that while the saw handily performs all of the basic table saw cuts, it does not accept a dado blade.
Best for DIYers: SKIL TS6307-00 10-Inch Table Saw
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 25.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Plastic miter gauge
If you take your DIY projects seriously, want a table saw that can handle just about anything you are likely to throw at it, but aren’t looking for the most expensive model or the most bells-and-whistles, you’ll find that the SKIL TS6307-00 Table Saw meets your needs and goes a step beyond. This DIY-friendly table jobsite saw has an integrated stand with foldable legs that makes it easy to store the tool when not in use.
The saw has a 15-amp motor with top speed of 4,600 rpm that handles 4 x 4s with ease. The 10-inch blade makes quick work of cuts through woods both hard and soft, and the 25-inch by 24-inch table lets you rip-cut boards up to 25.5 inches to the right of the blade and 14 inches to the blade’s left. Rack-and-pinion fence rails glide out smoothly and easily for extended cuts. The bevel adjusts between -2 and 45 degrees, and with the appropriate dado blade and throat assembly (sold separately), you can do dado cuts as well.
Best Mini: Bachin Mini Table Saw
Type: Mini | Blade Size: 4 inches | Rip Capacity: Not stated | Dado Blade Compatible: No | Includes Stand: No
Good for crafts and other small tasks
No instructions included
If you build models, crafts, small wooden items such as boxes or picture frames, or simply want to have a saw for occasional small jobs, the Bachin Mini Table Saw is at your service. This tiny saw measures a mere 9.45 by 7.87 by 5.12 inches and has a 4-inch blade that turns at adjustable speeds up to 7,000 rpm. There’s also a port for attaching a drill chuck so you can use the versatile tool not just for cutting, but also for drilling or polishing.
The blade height can be easily adjusted for making very accurate rip or cross cuts on wood, plastic, or aluminum up to ½-inch thick, but unfortunately, you cannot bevel or cut on an angle with this small saw. It’s not at all noisy, so you can even use it indoors to work on a wide variety of projects and crafts.
Best Contractor: SawStop CNS175-SFA30 10-Inch Contractor Saw
Type: Contractor | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 30.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Large rip capacity
Reliable and accurate performance
Most DIYers and home handypeople don’t need the power, size, or expense of a large table saw, but if you do, the SawStop CNS175-SFA30 Contractor Table Saw is the tool of choice. This powerful table saw has a 1.75-horsepower motor that spins the 10-inch blade up to 3,000 rpm. The sturdy cast-iron frame means you won’t need to worry about vibrations interfering with the perfect cut. And this saw handles them all: cross cuts, rip cuts, bevel cuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, and dado cuts with the appropriate blade.
The SawStop table saw has a 20-inch-wide by 27-inch-deep table, but with the extensions, allows you to make rip cuts as wide as 30.5 inches to the right and 16.5 inches to the left.
The blade tilts up to 45 degrees to the left for making bevel cuts, and can cut up to 2-¼-inch deep at that angle. With the blade straight, you can make cuts up to 3-⅛ inches deep. There’s a built-in, highly accurate miter gauge and two miter slots for holding boards steady.
While any table saw is potentially dangerous, this one takes safety to new heights with a sensor that detects human skin, bringing the blade to a complete stop in less than 5 milliseconds should that occur. All in all, this is a tool for both professionals and serious hobbyists who want the utmost in saw performance.
Best Cordless: Milwaukee Cordless M18 Fuel One-Key Table Saw Kit
Type: Benchtop | Blade Size: 8-1/4 inches | Rip Capacity: 24.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: No
Long battery life
Most power saws are corded, and for good reason. These are powerful tools that require a lot of energy to keep them going. But with today’s battery technology, more and more power tools are able to cut the tether and go cordless. One such tool is the Milwaukee M18 Fuel One-Key Table Saw Kit, which has all the oomph of a corded table saw, but runs on an M18 battery. The battery is strong enough to rip up to 600 linear feet of board before requiring a recharge, so don’t fear you’ll have to interrupt your work sessions frequently.
The saw’s brushless motor reaches speeds of up to 6,300 rpm, and the 8-¼-inch blade cuts up to 2.5 inches deep at a 90-degree angle, or 1.75 inches deep at a 45-degree angle. The table provides a rip capacity of 24.5 inches to the right, and 12 inches to the left. The bevel setting allows you to tilt the table up to 47 degrees to the left. And with the tool’s “Smart Key” app, you can track the tool’s location remotely, disable it from a distance, and keep track of its performance.
Note that this table saw does not include a stand, although Milwaukee does sell one separately. It does include the battery and charger.
If you’re looking for a table saw that can handle all types of cuts accurately, quickly, and easily, you can’t go wrong with the DEWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw. This powerful saw makes quick work of even thick boards, and is easy to move out of the way once your work is finished. But if budget is a big concern, the Ryobi RTS12 Jobsite Table Saw (view at Home Depot) is sufficient for just about any task the average DIYer is likely to undertake.
What to Look For In a Table Saw
There are two basic forms of table saw: portable and stationary. But within those two categories are more than one type.
Benchtop table saws, as the name suggests, are designed to sit on your workbench. They do not have a support stand of their own. These are a good choice for DIYers, as they are fairly lightweight, less expensive than larger machines, and reasonably portable. On the downside, they are somewhat limited in the size of board they can handle.
Jobsite table saws come with a stand, which is often lightweight and wheeled so that it’s fairly easy to move the tool from jobsite to jobsite. These are often more rugged and larger than benchtop table saws. Jobsite table saws are very popular for both DIYers and professional tradespeople.
Contractor table saws are stationary tools that sit atop a sturdy frame. They are similar to jobsite saws, but are typically larger and more powerful. Still, the term “contractor table saw” is now often used for models that more properly are jobsite table saws.
Cabinet table saws are most often found in professional woodworking or carpentry shops. These very heavy and powerful tools are generally built of cast iron and have a cabinet enclosing the frame to reduce vibration, improve dust collection, and add support.
Finally, hybrid table saws are somewhere in between contractor and cabinet tools in size, power, and price.
There are two types of motors used in table saws: universal motors and induction motors.
Portable table saws generally have a universal motor, which links directly to the blade, providing a whole lot of power. The downside is that these models are generally quite loud.
Induction motors, on the other hand, are connected to a belt that then transfers power to the blade. As a result, you get quieter operation and the ability to cut denser materials. The downside is that these models require more preventive maintenance, as you have to adjust the belt’s tension periodically. Induction motors are common on stationary table saws.
There are several basic components that are important when choosing a table saw. Most are standard with the majority of table saws, but some are extras.
Table: The table of a table saw is crucial in terms of stability. Larger tables can handle larger boards, but also take up more space in your workshop. The best tables are made of cast iron, but steel is a good second choice. Less expensive portable table saws sometimes have aluminum tables, which tend to transmit a lot of vibration.
Blade: The standard blade size for most table saws is 10 inches. Larger saws often use 12-inch blades, however, and some compact saws use 8-¾-inch blades. As a general rule, a 10-inch blade lets you cut to a depth of 3-½ inches when the blade is at a 90-degree angle to the board.
Blade Cover: Typically made from transparent plastic, the blade cover curves above the blade to protect the user from flying sawdust and debris, as well as offer some protection to their hands.
Rip Fence: This adjustable guide serves to keep the board moving in a perfectly straight line while making rip cuts.
Miter Gauge: This adjustable guide helps position and secure the board when making miter cuts. Typically, it adjusts between 0 and 90 degrees.
Bevel Gauge: This is a tilt adjustment to the saw blade for making bevel cuts.
Riving Knife and Anti-Kickback Pawls: Both of these safety features are designed to reduce the chance of “kickback,” which is the board catching and jerking back towards the user.
What can you do with a table saw?
Table saws are one of the most useful tools in the woodworking shop. If you do a lot of carpentry or other DIY projects involving wood, chances are, you could benefit from a table saw. Most can cut plastic and metal, as well. These tools can make a multitude of cuts from simple to complex.
Every table saw can make rip cuts—which are cuts along the grain of the wood to reduce the board in width—as well as crosscuts, which cut across the grain to reduce the board in length.
Most table saws have adjustable tables for making bevel and miter cuts, which are angled cuts often used when making molding, picture frames, furniture, or other items where two or more pieces of wood need to meet neatly at the corners.
Many table saws, with the addition of the appropriate blade and throat plate, can make dado cuts, which are shallow, trench-like cuts that don’t go all the way through the wood. These are often used when building furniture.
Rabbets and groove cuts are another possibility. These are angled cuts used for joining pieces of wood, and are often used to build furniture, cabinets, or shelves.
How do you use a table saw safely?
According to a study published in the Journal of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, table saws are responsible for over 30,000 accidents per year serious enough to send the injured person to the emergency room. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those injuries are to the hands, and include cuts, bone breaks, and accidental amputations. To avoid becoming a statistic, it’s crucial to follow good safety practices whenever using your table saw, as well as using common sense. Here are some basic safety guidelines.
- The table of your saw and the floor around it should be free of sawdust, lumbar, or other potential tripping or slipping hazards.
- Never operate a table saw, or any other power saw, when you are not feeling well, are overly tired, inebriated, or otherwise not fully attentive.
- Wear a shirt with short sleeves, and take off any neckties, rings, dangling necklaces, bracelets, or watches before starting to work.
- Always use safety goggles to protect your eyes. Ear plugs are also a good idea, as table saws can be loud.
- Shoes with nonslip soles are a must to prevent slips.
- Do not wear gloves while using a table saw, as they can decrease your dexterity, and may become caught in the blade.
- Never remove or disable any of your saw’s safety features, such as the blade guard.
- Do not reach over or behind the spinning blade.
- Don’t try to push the board through the saw faster than the saw can accept it.
- If cutting a board less than 6 inches in width, always use the push stick. These are normally included with a purchased table saw.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart for good balance as you work. Your face and body should be slightly to the side of the blade so you aren’t in the line of fire should the board experience kickback.
- Do not use the tool’s rip fence when making crosscuts.
- Always turn the table saw off, unplug it, and wait for the blade to come to a complete stop before changing or adjusting the blade.
Can you use a 12-inch blade on a 10-inch table saw?
You might wonder if you can swap out your 10-inch blade for a 12-inch model to gain some extra cutting depth. This is not a good idea, however. Often, the motor of a table saw designed to handle a 10-inch blade will struggle with a larger blade. Plus, it’s unlikely that the arbor—that’s the hole in the center of the blade used to fasten it in place—of a 12-inch blade will be the same size as your 10-inch blade, meaning that the fit might not be secure.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of table saws, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and product tester as well as customer feedback.