A decent table saw is often the cornerstone of a woodworking workshop. This device has the capacity to slice a variety of materials, not only wood, and is generally a useful tool to own. The potency of a table saw is unrivaled, particularly for home-based projects. Naturally, to be considered contractor-grade, a table saw needs to possess a level of power that surpasses most of its kind.
However, I have curated a list of the best contractor table saws of 2023 that will ensure your woodworking projects are completed.
Best Contractor Table Saws
1) DeWalt 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity
DeWalt has always been an industry favorite due to its commitment to quality. This DeWalt table saw is one of my best table saws for woodworking projects. The motor looks a little smaller at the onset compared to a normal-sized table saw. However, it cut through thick wood like butter once I tried it.
The table saw system seems well-built, save for a few plastic points. However, they have held out fine in 6 months over my light DIY work. This is a reliable table, and the blade’s bevel is very accurate. This ensures no deviations in the spinning blade; therefore, the bevel cuts are straight with no room for error.
The dust collection port fits well in my vacuum for a dust-free work environment. One of the key features is that one riving knife is permanently mounted to the blade guard, and the other is a stand-alone.
Before assembling this portable table saw, you should know that the rubber caps of the legs will get worn out if the machine is on bare cement. I reinforced mine with thicker rubber caps.
Furthermore, the cord is not long enough to maneuver around. You will have to place it and work next to a power source.
- Easy to use
- Hard-to-understand instructions
2) BOSCH 10 In. Worksite Table Saw
Unlike most stationary table saws, I like that this portable table saw has a folding stand and can be stored away when not used. Not only does this make it perfect for weekend DIY professionals.
The safety features include anti-kickback pawls, a riving knife, and a double-sided guard shield. All the features are made and deployed very well, not to mention they give me peace of mind when I’m working.
If you need a Jobsite table saw, this is one of the best and can fit into my 30-inch doorways without a problem. The table saw provides professional rip capacity, and it greatly helps that there is an onboard storage system for my other tools. Additionally, the gravity-rise wheeled stand makes it easier to move the saw from one place to another.
The fence system is accurate, and you can easily adjust it to different lengths from the blade to get the final cut. This 3650 RPM motor is suitable for light work. Keep in mind that the blade size measures 3.1 inches, so it’s not the best when I need to work on the toughest hardwoods. However, if you are accustomed to heavy applications, you will be better off with a 5000 RPM motor.
- Easy to use
- Easy to store
- Easily collapsible
- Some parts are built cheaply
3) SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw
Assembling this sturdy cast iron table saw was a breeze since the instructions are color-coded and clear. By my calculations, this 10-inch contractor table saw has one of the best safety systems of many table saws.
Thanks to the smart guard system, the saw can stop the blade from spinning in 5 milliseconds. This means I will get away without a scratch in a probable accident.
The cast iron tabletop provides an excellent workstation for cutting wood. Additionally, the saw blade is very powerful and can easily slice through 12-inch wood planks. I like that the operation is not as noisy as other hybrid table saws I have had, yet it gives a hybrid-like performance. I did appreciate that I did not have to calibrate anything on the saw.
The T-glide fence system is perfect and glides the blade smoothly even when I make bevel cuts. Additionally, the saw is very stable; if you don’t look underneath it, it might seem like you are using a cabinet table based on its stability.
Before using this saw, remember that it has no riving knife. So when I’m standing behind the saw, I am very alert and take precautions, especially when working with heavy wood. If possible, you should also consider using an extension table.
- Easy to use
- Smooth operation
- Easy assembly
- You will get a kickback
4) Ryobi 10″ Table Saw with Folding Stand
Compared to other contractor table saws, this table saw is lightweight. The aluminum working table keeps the saw lightweight. A bonus for me was that the table saw blades are durable and easy to sharpen, not to mention they are very fast. The 15amp motor is also equipped with a blade brake to ensure no accidents happen on the job site.
Adjusting the miter gauge and rip fence is easy. However, I realized that I have to do it before every job. This can be a little tedious, especially if you don’t want to keep doing it. Of course, the kit comes with a push stick to ensure my hands are safe as I work. The Ryobi is the best portable table when it comes to motor speed.
The frame construction is not as sturdy as I expected. The machine weighs 50 pounds, which is lightweight when it comes to contractor saws. However, I felt like the frame would crumble under the weight of all the wood I intend to cut. I reinforced the frame with cast iron rods; hopefully, it won’t buckle under the weight of my DIY home projects.
- Easy to use
- Easily foldable
- Flimsy frame
5) Delta 36-5100T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30″ Rip Capacity
This is one of the best contractor table saws to handle hardwoods. This is one of the most popular table saws with 30-inch rip capacity handles, pinion fence rails, and 3450 RPM. The adjustable belt drive and quick-release blade guard ensure I can easily handle any material that comes my way.
In addition, the cast iron table top ensures I have a problem-free job site. The saw also supports the use of a dado blade to cut wider grooves than the traditional blade. This ensures the cutting precision for my projects is always on point, in addition to the cast iron table top with the fence system.
Assembly isn’t very simple since I had to do it myself. However, it’s manageable if there is someone to help. Like most portable table saws, this saw cuts very accurately.
- Easy to use
- High quality
- Tricky to assemble
Buying Guide for the Best Contractor Table Saw
Before buying a contractor table saw, there are a few things to consider. Of course, you want to ensure your homemade cabinets project goes smoothly. Here are some things to consider before buying a table saw.
a) Consider Safety Features
Any safety feature that can encourage safe operation is a big plus. Therefore, look for features like the auto stop or a blade guard. These features generally ensure your safety when working. Some features also prevent kickbacks, decreasing your chances of getting injured. Large and heavy planks of wood can be dangerous.
Additionally, features like the dust collection system and splinter guard to catch splinters go a long way in promoting a safe workspace. Losing a limb or fingers can happen in seconds since saws spin incredibly fast. Remember that being careful will go a long way in protecting you from accidents.
Lastly, you should also consider the standard height of operation of the saw. This will ensure you can plant your feet firmly on the ground.
b) Blade Size and Type
Most table saws use a 10-inch blade. Note that a saw’s blade has everything to do with its cutting material. Typically, anything wider than a 10-inch blade is used to cut thicker wood. For general use, a 10-inch blade works. For most construction jobs, a 24-tooth saw is most common.
There are also different blade types, including rip blades, crosscuts, specialty, and combination blades. Each blade is designed for a specific function. Ripping blades are designed to achieve smooth and clean cuts in the same direction as the wood grain. Combination blades are designed to cut crosscuts and rips. Having at least two blades is essential to make different types of cuts.
c) Rip Capacity
Rip capacity refers to the space between the fence and the table saw’s edge. The rip capacity determines the width you can cut with the table saw. Note that your projects will also determine the rip capacity you should get. If the rip is not indicated, make it a point to ask the manufacturer.
Also note that the larger the rip cuts, the more expensive the tool. You don’t need a large rip capacity if your projects aren’t large. The capacity also refers to the maximum thickness your saw can cut.
d) Weight and Build Material
Of all stationary saws, contractor table saws are the lightest. However, that doesn’t mean they are light by any chance, and it would be a good idea to get help if you want to move them around. If a contractor’s table saw is light, it won’t last long. Furthermore, leaving the saw where you have assembled is a good idea. This makes everything easier, especially when it comes to accessibility.
Any good contractor table saw is made or reinforced with steel, iron, or aluminum. Some may have plastic parts like on the knob adjustments. However, plastic on many parts will look and feel cheap. It’s also very likely that the saw will not work for long.
How to Safely Use a Contractor Table Saw
Before using a contractor saw, it is important to know how to use it to avoid accidents. While most saw manufacturers upgrade safety features in their saws, they aren’t worth it if you don’t know how to use them. Of course, there are table saw alternatives you can look into, but the safety requirements are still the same. Here are some safety tips:
i) Your workstation should be free of debris on the jobsite table and the ground around the saw. This is to prevent any tripping. Non-slip shoes will also be a great addition.
ii) Don’t disable any safety features.
iii) Wear short sleeves and avoid any dangling or loose clothes. Neckties and long sleeves can pose potential hazards.
iv) Don’t reach over or behind the blade when it’s on. It’s dangerous to fall on a spinning blade or get your hand caught on the blade from the back.
v) If you are cutting a plank of wood that’s less than 6 inches in width, you should use a push stick to avoid getting your fingers shredded.
vi) Before making any changes or adjustments to the saw, ensure the blade is at a complete stop. This also applies to changing the blades.
vii) Use safety goggles, earplugs, and a dust mask. Goggles will protect your eyes from any splinters and sawdust as you work. Additionally, you can use earplugs to muffle the sound, as contractor table saws can get very loud. Lastly, a dust mask will prevent you from inhaling the sawdust particles.
The Bottom Line
Contractor table saws are very dependable and always yield top-notch results. That being said, they are also excellent when you have to make accurate and timely cuts. Looking at the key features of a table saw before buying it is crucial to ensure you get the right one. Additionally, getting a table saw will get you to finish your projects faster.
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