Table of Contents
- Best Beginner Table Saw Reviews 2019
- Best Beginner Table Saw Buying Guide 2019
Best Beginner Table Saw Reviews 2019
If a circular saw is the first thought that comes to mind when you think of a handheld power saw, the table saw fits that bill for stationary power saws. Because of its relatively simple design, the table saw can be used for a whole host of different cuts and is a great power saw for beginners. That is why we have prepared the 5 best beginner table saw reviews as well as a helpful buyer’s guide. We think the Dewalt and Hitachi are the best options, but they are not ideal for everyone.
DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw – Best Seller
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Dewalt has all but completed its ascension back to the top of the professional-grade power tool market, regularly coming in as the best-selling product. This trend continues once again with our best selling beginner table saw that offers a solid combination of user-friendly features designed to help new users get used to a table saw as well as some additional durability and convenience features, While not the least expensive, the Dewalt also finds a nice balance with its flaws being either somewhat negligible to easily fixable.
One thing to keep in mind about the Dewalt is that, while it may not necessarily top our list in some of the more recognizable specs, neither does it come at the bottom of the list either. As such, those qualities should be neither the determining nor disqualifying factor when choosing the Dewalt unless you need an exceptional amount of cutting power. Instead, the Dewalt aims to provide additional value by offering a number of features not found on any other table saw reviewed. For instance, this is the only table on our list that comes with a steel roll cage to prevent the table from suffering damage if it should drop or fall.
Here and There
On top of that, the Dewalt DW745 table saw is also one of the lightest table saws that we reviewed making it easier to move from site to site. The steel roll cage also has self-leveling feet which may not be confused for a full-size stand but ensures you always have a flat surface to work on. The table of the Dewalt is made of cast metal for durability but is then further reinforced with a slick, anti-slip coating to keep the feed rate steady. The table is a bit smaller than most of the others reviewed, reducing the maximum rip capacity, but this can be easily fixed with an extension. On the plus side, the measuring system is easy to use and see and also features an onboard storage compartment for tools and other hardware.
- Is a lightweight table saw
- Has leveling feet
- Has a steel roll cage
- Has onboard storage
- Is easier to use
- Has an anti-stick table
- Has a small rip capacity
- Has a fiddly miter gauge
Hitachi C10RJ 10″ 15-Amp Jobsite Table Saw – Top Pick
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Hitachi is an interesting company with as long of a history as any brand on our list, though their entry into the American market is far newer. Still, Hitachi makes its name by offering some of the best mid-tier products available, despite the fact that the mid-tier market is currently on unstable footing. Regardless, Hitachi manages to provide nearly professional-grade performance, generally at a much lower cost than its competitors. However, due to this table saw being discontinued, the price has recently shot well above its original rate. It’s worthy to note that Hitachi Power Tools has changed its name to Metabo HPT.
Though all of the table saws on our list are portable table saws, that does not change the fact that most beginners are unlikely to transport their saw to work at another location all that often. Unless you are an entry-level laborer, your beginner table saw is likely to spend the majority of its existence in a 10’ x 10’ area. That is why the Hitachi’s extra-wide frame is so nice as it provides a much wider and more stable base for the table saw. A number of table saws on our list come with their own stand, but not all are as stable as the Hitachi’s Of course, if you ever do need to move this table saw, the wheeled frame will make that much easier. Finally, the Hitachi beginner table saw also has the largest rip capacity at 35”–nearly a foot longer than its next closest competitor.
One thing to consider when looking for a beginner table saw that may not be as important for other niches is the ease of use and safety aspects. Beginners are far more likely to make minor mistakes that can have much bigger consequences, so various protective features are more meaningful for this market. The Hitachi C10RJ is one of the few table saws on our list that comes with an electric brake to stop the saw blade as soon as you turn it off. On top of that, the Hitachi also features some of the easier controls, with every lever or knob fixed to the front of the saw and controllable with a single hand.
- Has a wheel frame
- Has a 35” rip capacity
- Is easier to use
- Has a sophisticated transmission
- Is a safer table saw
- More stable than most
- Is a more expensive table saw
- Has poor QC
SKIL 3410-02 10-Inch Table Saw – Best Value
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Skil may not be the professional-grade power tool manufacturer it once was decades ago, but it is still a great option for beginners. In fact, Skil’s transition from a professional-grade brand of power tools to a consumer-grade brand maybe even better for beginners as it helps keep the initial investment cost low. As such, it should come as little surprise that the Skil 3410 tops our list as the best value beginner table saw. In fact, if you can get over some minor inconveniences, the Skil might offer the best combination of different features we found.
One of the more surprising things about the beginner table saw market is how controlled the cutting power often is. While it makes perfect sense to restrict the cutting power provided to inexperienced users, it generally does not take more than a few dozen rips before even the greenest neophyte is comfortably able to handle a table saw. As such, while restricting the cutting power may serve as a preliminary precaution, it will ultimately hinder you more than not in the long run. That is why it is so refreshing to see the Skil table saw offer some of the best cutting power on our list. With a powerful motor, the fastest blade speed on our list at 5000 rpms, and the deepest cutting blade at 3 ½”, the Skil can chew through the toughest hardwoods.
Beyond its surprising cutting power, the Skil also offers a decent, if somewhat limited, build quality. In terms of limitations, this is not only one of the heavier table saws on our list, but it does not have any feature to make transporting it otherwise easier. However, the overall build quality is still fairly high with the stand made of steel and the table manufactured from die-cast aluminum. The miter gauge is noted for cutting at an offset angle due to an engineering flaw, limiting its effectiveness in that capacity. On the other hand, the EZ View measurement system is by far one of the most convenient gauge systems that we encountered.
- A less expensive table saw
- Makes the deepest cuts reviewed
- Has a 24 ¼” rip capacity
- Has a blade speed of 5000 rpms
- Has a steel stand and aluminum table
- Has the EZ View measurement system
- Is a less portable table saw
- Has a fiddly miter gauge
Bosch Power Tools Tablesaw 4100-10 – Runner Up
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At first glance, it may seem as if the Bosch is criminally misrepresented on our list, but it is important to remember that these table saws are meant for beginners. While the Bosch is more than suitable for beginners, it is really designed to be used at a variety of different sites. The Bosch 4100 is a professional-grade job site table saw with some minor limitations and a hefty price tag. To be fair, if for some reason you are a beginner who expects to regularly transport their table saw, this is by far the best option. However, if you, like most of us, are going to put your table saw in a shop or garage and only move it enough to use, it can get a bit difficult justifying the Bosch’s steep price tag.
Though the Bosch offers some truly impressive internal engineering, by far one of the more notable qualities of it is the frame. While it may be more common these days, the gravity rise system was actually first developed and used in the table saw market by Bosch. Even though it might not be entirely unique anymore, the gravity rise system still makes collapsing and, more importantly, raising the stand as simple as folding and unfolding it. The 8” treaded pneumatic wheels are more than capable of handling rougher paths, though this is a bit on the heavier side of the market.
One of the reasons that the Bosch sometimes gets overlooked is that the price to power ratio does not seem to match in some people’s mind. While it is true that the Bosch has a slower blade speed than some of the competition, it is still more than enough for all but the most exotic of hardwoods. One thing that does stand out is the circuitry used by Bosch, likely part of the reason that it is so expensive. The Constant Response circuitry combined with the Soft Start function ensures that you do not have to worry about the components inside and out. Finally, the die-cast aluminum table and frame are both durable and naturally resistant to water and corrosion.
- Has a gravity rise system
- Has a wheel frame
- Has a powerful motor
- Has a 25” rip capacity
- The table is made of die-cast aluminum
- Has more sophisticated circuitry
- Not the fastest cutting speed
- The most expensive table saw reviewed
Craftsman Evolv 15 Amp 10 In. Table Saw 28461 – Also Consider
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Craftsman Evolv is an interesting brand in that it relies on the prestige and reputation of the Craftsman name to propel a new brand of consumer-grade products. To be clear, there are a number of good reasons that the Evolv is the lowest on our list, and it makes sense the company would try to tether the budding brand to a trusted and well-known giant in the industry. That said, if you are looking for a beginner table saw that is not necessarily expected to grow with the user, the Craftsman Evolv table saw does offer an adequate performance.
One of the first things that you may notice when looking at the Evolv is that it provides solid cutting power with both an industry-standard motor and a blade speed of 5000 rpms. On top of that, this is also the lightest table saw that we reviewed, which makes it much more portable than some. That said, it does not feature a wheeled base, but it does come with a stand–though it should be noted that the stand is not terribly stable or durable and should be upgraded after purchase. Of course, when you pay as little for a table saw as the Evolv costs, upgrading the stand should not be much of an issue.
Up and Down
In terms of the general function, the Craftsman Evolv comes with a solid die-cast aluminum table, though it is easily the smallest option reviewed. This, in turn, leads to this table saw also having the smallest rip capacity on our list, though it will fit in smaller shops and garages much easier too. One area that cannot be overlooked is the miter cut which is not square and will always be off by about ¾”. While you can conceivably account for that in your measurements, the play does not remain consistent enough to even adjust for. That said, for a beginner who may not be making many miter cuts, the extra safety features might allow this to serve for basic rip and crosscuts.
- The lightest table saw reviewed
- The least expensive table saw reviewed
- Comes with a stand
- Has blade speed of 5000 rpms
- The table is made of die-cast aluminum
- Is a safer table saw
- Makes poor miter cuts
- The stand is not durable
Best Beginner Table Saw Buying Guide 2019
While there are a fair number of different table saw types on the market, our list primarily covers three types of table saw: jobsite, compact, and bench top. Each has slightly different specs and intentions of use, though they are all generally considered ‘portable table saws’ as opposed to stationary table saws. Though these three groups share many functions in common with one another, they are each better suited for different circumstances.
This is the professional-grade table saw that is expected to go from place to place and is often referred to as a contractor table saw. This type of table saw will feature a better transmission of power and accuracy of cut than the other types. The jobsite table saw also generally features a wheeled stand that allows you to more easily transport it from one jobsite to the next. Jobsite table saws, while often far more capable than other types of table saws, are also some of the more expensive portable table saws.
This type of table saw can appeal to both a professional as well as a DIYer because it often provides a solid performance at a reasonable cost. It generally accomplishes this by eschewing the wheeled frame which does make it a less portable. However, compact table saws, as their name suggests, are often lightweight enough that a single person can carry them with two having no trouble at all. Compact table saws are generally not quite as reliable as jobsite table saws, though they are usually as powerful.
It should be noted that just because the cheapest and worst performing table saws are of this type that the type is inherently flawed. In fact, the benchtop type offers an inherently inexpensive option that can still provide professional-grade performance. That said, few people who are looking for a professional-grade table saw still look at the benchtop type. As such, this type of table saw is far more common in the consumer-grade market which generally means that the product is less powerful.
While this is definitely an important consideration, you generally do not have to worry about it too much unless you expect to make a number of unusual cuts or are cutting through exotic materials. As such, this should not really be the metric by which you separate one option from another unless you know you have particular needs which, as a beginner, you should not. That said, some good standards to look for are motors with 15 amps and a blade that can get up to at least 3500 rpms. It is important to note that the most important factor when judging cutting power, torque, is not often provided by manufacturers. In fact, this can occasionally be an indicator of its own just by inclusion that the saw likely has more cutting power than its competitors who do not share their torque rating.
One of the best qualities of a table saw is that, for a stationary power saw, it can make a surprising number of cuts. Granted, some of the more unusual cuts require additional accessories to accomplish, but even many table saws alone can make more cuts than you might expect. That said, the main reason to get a table saw still boils down to making numerous rip cuts and crosscuts. In this regard, the rip cut is the more important of the two with the maximum rip length often being considered a luxury spec.
Outside of rip and crosscuts, the two most common types of cuts made by table saws are miter and bevel cuts. For both miter and bevel cuts, a compound miter saw is generally a better power saw to use, but for long miter and bevel cuts, a table saw offers maximum cut lengths the miter saw cannot compete with. Still, of the two, the miter cut is by far the more common, though table saws are notoriously hit or miss with this function. Basically, half of the manufacturers opt for a less expensive ‘solution’ to providing a miter cut that is not square. Bevel cuts are far less common in general, and this translates to the quality level offered by table saws.
Of the different non-mechanical components, the most important is the table–though there are a number of solid industry standards. Most table saw tables are made of die-cast aluminum to provide solid durability and natural rust and corrosion resistance without weighing down the saw. One thing that some manufacturers have started to do is layer the table with a non-stick coating to prevent the lumber from catching as it is fed into the blade.
That said, the most important characteristic to consider about a table saw’s table is the size of the table. This is because the size of the table, at least for the feed’s direction, will play a major role in determining the table saw’s maximum rip capacity. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a premium feature with a difference of inches increasing the price more than hundreds of rpms of blade speed. It is worth noting that many brands either include a table extension for longer cuts or sell an aftermarket accessory for that purpose.
It seems more and more that unless you purchase a cabinet table saw, the trend keeps moving to portable table saws. While benchtop table saws still need to be carried, they are quickly becoming light enough for a single person to carry. On top of that, a number of benchtop table saw manufacturers include a stand as part of the purchase–though the quality of this stand can vary greatly from product to product. Generally, most contractor table saws either offer a stand as an additional accessory or are intended to be used as a portable benchtop. Of course, the most portable table saws are connected to a wheeled frame and are another type of table saw altogether.
Still, the portability of a jobsite table saw’s wheeled frame cannot be understated for a professional contractor–even one who is just starting out. Some of the best-designed frames do not even require you to do anything more than raise or lower a single lever to transition the table saw from portable to set up. The best jobsite saws also allow you to detach the saw from the frame so that you can use it as a professional benchtop saw is desired. It is worth noting that portability is another premium feature that significantly increases the overall cost of the table. In fact, this is by far the most expensive feature that you can pay for which might make carrying a benchtop table saw easier to swallow.
Why choose a table saw?
With all of the different types of power saws available, it is important to understand what you need a table saw for in the first place. While there are a number of different types of cuts you can make with a table saw, the two most common are the straight rip and the right crosscut. With the straight rip cut, you simply feed the lumber into the blade with the grain, allowing for a smooth quick cut. Crosscuts, on the other hand, see the blade cutting across the grain of the wood which requires more power and control.
While table saws can regularly be used for a host of other types of cuts, the reason you should be looking for a table is that you need to make a large number of those two types of cuts. Traditionally, table saws should also allow for a fairly large maximum rip cut length with the potential option to extend it further. However, beginners do not necessarily need to worry about making rip cuts longer than 4’ and will likely need to upgrade their tools by the time they do. Of course, purchasing a table saw that is part of a lineup with future expansions and upgradable improvements can help extend the lifespan, and thus the value, of a beginner table saw.
What to look for in a table saw?
For a beginner table saw, you generally make sure that the table saw is not too expensive unless you expect to use for professional purposes. For a homeowner, the cutting power of most table saws, including those we did not review, should be suitable for general wood cuts. Instead, beginners should be far more aware of how easy the saw is to use, what safety features it has, and how accurate the gauges are. While the first two are fairly obvious, it should be noted that gauge accuracy seems to be a bit all over the map at the beginner stage and should be considered a priority.
For safety features, the big one that is not standard is the electric brake which is even better if the table saw features or can include a pedal start. Regardless, the electric brake will make sure you have the ability to immediately stop the saw blade by cutting the power. In terms of ease of use, the main thing is to make sure that all of the adjustment knobs and levers are positioned roughly in the same general area and are easy to understand. While other extra features can be nice, it is important to consider whether or not you feel the improved experience justifies the cost increase.
Beginner vs Professional Table Saw
Though our list included a couple of professional-grade models that are still great options for a beginner, there are a number of different types of advanced or professional-grade table saws. While professional table saws can come in a wide range of styles, one thing that is difficult to hide is the weight. A professional-grade table saw will use better materials for more of the tool’s construction which inherently weigh more than lightweight, fragile plastic components. While there really is not a beginner cabinet table saw in the traditional sense, even portable contractor table saws will generally weigh significantly more than their consumer-grade counterparts.
From a performance perspective, professional-grade table saws are not generally that much more powerful than consumer-grade, if at all. This is because table saws can easily generate enough cutting power for 90-percent of their possible tasks. Instead, it is often far more important that the components are precisely machined to provide accurate cuts and a longer lifespan. Precision machined gears better transfer the power generated by the motor to the blade to maintain more cutting torque under load. Well-made gauges ensure that your cuts are square and can be accurately adjusted without difficulty.
In the end, the Dewalt does the best job of skirting the line between providing a product that is easy to use, can withstand professional-grade tasks, and is also reasonably priced. If you are willing to pay a bit more, the Hitachi offers a great balance of capability–though you do need to make sure you carefully inspect it before use.
Of course, if you are looking for a great deal, the Skil table saw is incredibly well-built while also providing a great deal of power. The Bosch is a bit more of a professional-grade table saw, and its price reflects this, though it is still a solid option that can grow with the beginner’s skills. Though the Craftsman Evolv does have some issues, it is still one of the better options for the DIYer with small working space.