Tool Addicts

Tool Addicts

Benchtop Tablesaws: We Want Your Feedback

comments (89) August 18th, 2009 in blogs

patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, contributor
thumbs up 51 users recommend

With a 24-in. rip capacity, 15-amp motor and adjustable riving knife, portable table saws like the Makita 2705X1 are well-equipped for most woodworking projects.  - CLICK TO ENLARGE

With a 24-in. rip capacity, 15-amp motor and adjustable riving knife, portable table saws like the Makita 2705X1 are well-equipped for most woodworking projects. 

Photo: Makita

Have you ever used or owned a benchtop tablesaw like those favored by contractors? New models have surprising rip capacity and several models even sport riving knives. I'm asking for your help in making a head-to-head benchtop tablesaw test as useful as possible to Fine Woodworking readers.

I'm interested in hearing about the performance of your portable saw, useful jigs and accessories you've made or bought, problematic adjustments, or whatever. Even if you've never used a benchtop saw you might offer suggestions on what features or specs interest you. We'll read your comments and craft the article based on your input.



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Comments (89)

thiagorulez thiagorulez writes: My dad owned one I used often when I was younger, but I haven't used one outside of a shop (not my own) since then. They were just cost prohibitive. But I am hoping to change that. Thiago | http://www.apppropane.com/Residential-PropaneTanks.html
Posted: 1:55 pm on March 25th

dbouch dbouch writes: i've owned the rigid saw for about three years. my only complaint is how insanely LOUD it is. apart from that, the fence is solid and completely accurate...and it was out of the box. like others i struggle with a full dado set. but all in all i am very happy with the rigid. accurate, good dust collection, great fence, enough power, etc etc.
Posted: 2:10 pm on October 20th

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Posted: 9:18 pm on September 7th

undubbemo undubbemo writes: USZLACHETNIANIE TO NASZA PASJA!
Jestesmy specjalistyczna galwanizernia, która realizuje zlecenia standardowe i nietypowe, w ilosciach zarówno jednostkowych, jak i przemyslowych.
Oferta zlocenia

Dysponujemy wieloma technologiami umozliwiajacymi osiagniecie pozadanych efektów:

zlocenie chemiczne wg technologii firm ROHM AND HAAS ELECTRONIC MATERIALS oraz ENTHONE dedykowane dla obróbki obwodów drukowanych, znajdujace jednak zastosowanie równiez dla innych wyrobów

zlocenie elektrolityczne z kapieli slabokwasnych umozliwiajacych otrzymywanie powlok domieszkowanych niklem, o zwiekszonej odpornosci na scieranie (zloto stykowe)

zlocenie elektrolityczne z kwasnej kapieli firmy ATOTECH umozliwiajace zlocenie stali nierdzewnych bez stosowania podkladu niklowego i bez utraty faktury powierzchni

zlocenie aluminium i stopów ZnAl

zlocenie miedzi, mosiadzu, brazu i jego stopów

Powyzsze uslugi wykonujemy na zawieszkach oraz w urzadzeniach obrotowych

Oferta srebrzenia

srebrzenie techniczne drobnicy ze stali, miedzi i stopów miedzi, wykonujemy równiez dla elementów z aluminium i jego stopów

na podkladzie miedzi cyjankowej, srebra wstepnego lub niklu.

srebrzenie techniczne z polyskiem i duza wglebnoscia wykonywane w oparciu o technologie firmy SCHLOTTER na zawieszkach i w bebnie. Elementy na zawieszkach moga miec do 1,1 m dlugosci.

obróbka koncowa moze byc pasywacja firmy ENTHONE
Oferta niklowania

Oferujemy szeroki zakres róznorodnych odmian niklu chemicznego:

nikiel firmy ROHM AND HAAS ELECTRONIC MATERIALS do obwodów drukowanych

niskofosforowy nikiel firmy ENTHONE (zawartosc P 5-10%)

sredniofosforowy nikiel firmy ENTHONE (zawartosc P 6-9%)

wysokofosforowy nikiel firmy ENTHONE (zawartosc P 10,5-12%)

niklowanie czarne firmy SCHMIDT?



Proces niklowania stanowi w wielu przypadkach integralna czesc wykonywanych przez nas pokryc galwanicznych. Z racji róznorodnosci potrzeb utrzymujemy 3 rodzaje kapieli niklowych galwanicznych:

zawieszkowe firm: TECHNOLOGIE GALWANICZNE i ATOTECH

bebnowe firmy: SCHLOETTER
Oferta anodowania aluminium

Maksymalne wymiary anodowanych detali wynosza 80x30x80 cm. Jednak maksymalne wymiary detali do uszczelniania po anodowaniu wynosza 40x80 cm.

Parametry powloki: grubosc powloki 1 do 30 µm.

Barwienie aluminium

Maksymalne wymiary barwionych detali wynosza 40x80 cm.

Parametry powloki: grubosc powloki 1 do 30 µm.

Barwy: czarna, niebieska, brazowa, czerwona, bordowa, fioletowa, zielona, zólta, zlota, pomaranczowa, tytanowa.

Nakladanie twardych powlok tlenkowych aluminium

Maksymalne wymiary anodowanych detali wynosza 80x30x40 cm.

Parametry powloki: grubosc powloki 30 do 100 µm.

Wymagania dla powyzszych operacji:

detale do anodowania powinny byc wykonane z aluminium zawierajacego minimalne ilosci dodatków stopowych (PA0, PA1, PA2) pokrywaja sie intensywnymi kolorami, natomiast aluminium z duzymi domieszkami krzemu, miedzi, manganu pokrywaja sie kolorem mniej intensywnym z szarym matowym odcieniem. Istnieje równiez mozliwosc anodowania stopów AK

w detalu musi byc wykonany otwór technologiczny o srednicy 4-8 mm, w celu doprowadzenia pradu

Oferta miedziowania

Proces miedziowania prowadzony jest w oparciu o miedz cyjankowa firmy ENTHONE. Prowadzimy miedziowanie dekoracyjne i techniczne dla potrzeb przemyslu elektrotechnicznego.


Oferta cynowania

Cynowanie z polyskiem w kapieli siarczanowej w oparciu o technologie firmy SCHLOETTER. Cynowanie wykonujemy w bebnie i na zawieszkach.



Fakt, ze cyna i jej zwiazki nie sa spowodowal, ze znalazly one szerokie zastosowanie w przemysle spozywczym oraz jako pokrycia artykulów gospodarstwa domowego, majacych kontakt z zywnoscia. Bardzo dobre wlasnosci przewodzace oraz elastycznosc cyny w porównaniu do innych materialów przewodzacych wykorzystuje sie do pokrywania powierzchni stykowych zwlaszcza narazonych na przace mechaniczna. Ze wzgledu na wlasciwosci lutownicze, powloki cyny stosuje sie równiez w przemysle radio- i teletechnicznym. Pokrycia cynowe maja równiez zastosowanie w przemysle elektrotechnicznym, w celu ochrony przewodów miedzianych przed dzialaniem siarki w czasie gumowania. Cynowanie mozna stosowac jako czesciowe zabezpieczenie powierzchni przed azotowaniem. Precyzyjne, drobne sprezyny czasami cynuje sie w celu zabezpieczenia ich przed korozja, bez wplywu na ich wlasciwosci mechaniczne.

Uslugi galwanizacyjne

W naszej ofercie oprócz konwencjonalnych uslug galwanizacyjnych znajda Panstwo wysokospecjalistyczne rodzaje technik pokrywania powierzchni w zaleznosci od przyszlego zastosowania detali.

Zlocenie

Zlocenie elementów pracujacych mechanicznie, narazonych na scieranie. Najlepsza metoda pokrywania warstwa zlota twardego dla tego typu przedmiotów jest zlocenie elektrolityczne w kapielach slabo kwasnych. Technologia ta gwarantuje zwiekszona odpornosc na scieranie dzieki domieszce niklu. Metoda szczególnie zalecana do zlocenia styków i zlaczy elektrycznych.
Zlocenie stali nierdzewnych bez utraty polysku podloza
Zlocenie selektywne detali pozwalajace w znaczny sposób obnizyc koszy zlocenia
Zlocenie technologia litograficzna umozliwiajaca zlocenie plytek drukowanych, numizmatów itp.
Zlocenie stali szlachetnych bez podwarstwy
Zlocenie aluminium i stopów ZnAl
Zlocenie miedzi, mosiadzu, brazu i jego stopów

Srebrzenie

Srebrzenie stykowe do pokrywania kontaktów elektrycznych, przewodzacych duze prady lub duze czestotliwosci
Srebrzenie aluminium
Srebrzenie miedzi, mosiadzu i brazu
Srebrzenie stali na podwarstwie niklu lub miedzi
Srebrzenie chemiczne

Niklowanie chemiczne

Proces ten prowadzi do powstania bardzo twardych, odpornych na scieranie warstw niklowo-fosforowych. Ze wzgledu na swoje wlasciwosci fizyczno-chemiczne powloki te w wiekszosci aplikacji zastapic moga chromowanie. Oferujemy:

Niklowanie stali szlachetnej
Niklowanie aluminium
Niklowanie miedzi, mosiadzu, brazu i jego stopów

Anodowanie

Mozemy Panstwu zaproponowac:

Anodowanie
Anodowanie twarde
Barwienie aluminium
Piaskowanie powierzchni aluminium

Lakiernia proszkowa

Oprócz technik galwanizacyjnych wykonujemy malowanie powierzchni metoda proszkowa.

Pomiary rentgenowskie [url=http://goldenzone.pl/][i][u][b]moda na sukces[/b][/u][/i][/url]

Mozemy równiez zaproponowac Panstwu pomiary grubosci jak i skladu pierwiastkowego pokryc galwanicznych, stopów, folii, kapieli i innych powlok szybka nieniszczaca metoda EDXRF (fluorescencja rentgenowska), przeprowadzana z uzyciem spektrometru X-Strata 960 firmy Oxford Instruments. Zapewniamy doskonala identyfikacje materialów wielopierwiastkowych od Ti22 do U92.

Wieloletnia wspólpraca z firmami z branzy motoryzacyjnej, elektrochemicznej, elektronicznej, elektrotechnicznej, przemyslu maszynowego i odlewniczego, wojskowego, lotniczego, górniczego, galanteryjnego i jubilerskiego, sprawia, ze wykonywane w naszym zakladzie uslugi galwanizacyjne doprowadzilismy do perfekcji.

Ufajac nam otrzymuja Panstwo w zamian:

-fachowa porade naszych specjalistów, dotyczaca optymalizacji pokryc powierzchni detali w zaleznosci od ich przeznaczenia

-indywidualne podejscie do kazdego zlecenia (nietypowe ilosci detali, optymalne terminy realizacji, konkurencyjne ceny)

-pokrycie detali warstwami z dokladnoscia do 0,5µm

-usluge najwyzszej jakosci, zgodna z normami Unii Europejskiej, potwierdzona na Panstwa zyczenie certyfikatem z pomiaru grubosci i jednorodnosci polozonych warstw, przeprowadzonego za pomoca spektrometru X-Strata 960 firmy Oxford Instruments (nieniszczaca metoda EDXRF-fluorescencja rentgenowska)
Posted: 9:50 am on July 22nd

KC_Rick KC_Rick writes: I recently purchased a Ridgid R4510 contractor's saw on a cart. I needed a smaller saw as I am terribly limited on space. Suffice to say, this thing was true and square to .005 right out of the box. Unbelievable. Bought a machinist's square to verify perpendicular. I never trust stops. Bought a zero clearance insert. First test cuts and the fence indicator was spot on as well as the 90 degree cut. The only 2 problem areas are lack of infeed space and the miter gage was useless. All contractor's saws have smaller tables so I already was ready for that. I added the Incra 1000HD miter gage and the Incra Miter Express and that solved the miter issue. And, of course, I added a better blade. The only thing I haven't tried is a dado stack. But, as for all other features, I'm completely happy with my choice. It is a quite remarkable machine.
Posted: 8:55 pm on August 21st

wolfkasper wolfkasper writes: I have recently bought a Rexon JT2501A as an addition to my DeWALT 8103 radial arm saw. It can be compared with a JET JBTS-10MJS. The only differences are a wider table, a standard riving knife and blade guard. I'd love to have the JET type though, because their blade guard/riving knife ass'y is modular and tool free.

The JET's overall test rating in Fine Woodworking wasn't the best, but a Bosch, Metabo or Makita is way more expensive here (Germany).

Whatever machine you are using out there, I'd like to know if the machines tested by FW will also accept dado sets? They are not available here, I'd have to order a set in the USA.

Thanks for your comments. Wolf
Posted: 5:53 am on February 12th

ashki ashki writes: I've been using a Bosch 4100 for about 1 1/2 years. I needed a relatively small, accurate tablesaw and for safety reasons a riving knife appealed to me. I also work mostly with hand tools in a very small shop so a tablesaw was not going to be the center of activity.

The saw performs well. Blade, riving knife and fence alignment were dead-on out of the box. I did not expect expect it to be a cabinet saw so the limitations of power and table size were not a problem.

My disappointment with the 4100 has been the following:

The table is not as flat as I would like it to be. There is a mild hump and twist that I can work around but it is somewhat annoying considering how accurate everything else was out of the box.

I returned the first saw and the second had a similar amount of out-of-flatness. Bosch customer service was great and they paid shipping both ways. I spoke with someone at Bosch after getting the second saw and the table was within their acceptable specs. I had hoped their specs had tighter tolerances in this area.

The coating on the aluminum table scratches and comes off easily. Though I am using it to cut wood (duh!) the effect on the table is like using metal utensils on a Teflon skillet. Not a big deal but it doesn't make sense to me that cutting wood should damage the finish of a saw table.

Dust collection is awful even with a zero clearance insert and a shop vacuum.





Posted: 8:58 am on October 6th

aronde aronde writes: I've used my Makita 2705 for the past two years,and I am quite satisfied. In addition, I use a Makita Miter saw for crosscutting long boards, for which the table saw not well suited. My choice was driven by the limited space in my workshop, so I built a support stand on wheels, allowing me to orient the table saw according to the size of the workpieces. Accuracy is fine when taking the time to check dimensions and squareness, I often use a cross-cut sled,and it takes a little time to get the miter fence square in place. Power is fine, the blade splitter insertion/removal is tortuous, to create a zero clearance insert is a long exercise in patience and adjustment. The dust exhaust works reasonably well, but the table is full of vents and holes that require filling to improve the air flow. At the same time, I introduced insulation to reduce the loud noise level. Given my constraints, I am very happy with this table saw.
Posted: 6:26 am on September 20th

CoreyZ CoreyZ writes: I have a Ridgid TS2401 with folding cart. Sure is interesting to read other opinions about it. Yeah, I can't get a 3/4 dado set on it. I made a fence that buries the set and move the fence. Added a Forrest WWII blade that does make nice cuts. But for all the testing and using dial indicators w/miter bars, reading articles and watching videos I'm not able to get good rip cuts, and have a hard time setting blade to miter slots. Could be the user, I've got a lot to learn, but here's the thing. I also have a Sears Craftsman ("100" about 1960's) and after cleaning and some tune up it rip cuts great, no burns, and quiet. No guard, I use a zero insert, Micro Jig splitter and those Micro Jig "paddles" that straddle the blade. It's a bench saw, I guess, cast iron top (heavy!) and a motor that hangs out the back.
Of course even on a mobile stand it's a pain to move and I'd never get it in my truck with out taking it apart, not like the Ridgid. So I have two table saws in addition to the SCMS and the Festool TS55 w/ guide rails and I guess I'll make out with that as I don't have a dream shop on my patio!
So after reading what the others say I like my portable saw a little more and I'll keep it even if I can upgrade to a cabinet saw.
Posted: 12:25 am on September 1st

MadScientist505 MadScientist505 writes: My Ryobi BTS20 has been a great addition to my shop - replaced an old bench saw, so now I can park both cars in the garage when I get through with a Saturday job. Also, in the summer time it is great to be a shade tree woodworker set up in the back yard under the sycamore tree.
Posted: 6:32 pm on August 30th

JWTimmermans JWTimmermans writes: I've had a DeWalt745 as my only table saw for the past 8 or 9 years. As others have already noted, the main drawbacks are the small surface area of the table and the short spindle length limiting the use of dado blades. Otherwise, I am very happy with the unit and have no plans to replace it anytime soon. The accuracy of the fence is a plus for the DeWalt.
I have built a rolling stand for the saw with some storage space underneath. I had originally bought the portable stand that goes with the saw, but the legs are a serious tripping hazard (which is not what you want next to a table saw!)
Posted: 4:20 pm on August 30th

wetsailor wetsailor writes: I recently replaced my 45-year-old 9" Craftsman by a Bosch 4100. It gives me a lot more capability, but it has some problems.
1. The stock fence is a bit too flexible - I have to check the parallelism with the blade for every setup.
2. The aluminum table top obviously prevents use of any alignment or feed-control device which relies on magnets.
3. Even with a shop vacuum attached, sawdust spreads widely.
4. The saw came well-adjusted. However, if it ever needs readjusting, I'm going to have a difficult time reaching the bolts which control alignment.
Despite the above, I think I have a good deal. I've made and used a cross-cut sled, a tenoning jig and a taper jig, with satisfying success. I keep the saw in my garage, since there isn't room for it in my tiny basement shop, and I'm being careful to keep rust-control materials in place.
Posted: 8:59 pm on August 29th

blackbart blackbart writes: A bench top model was my first saw. I built quite a bit of outdoor furniture with it and a nice cherry chest. I think you can do almost anything with it except stack dado work. But you have to be careful about measurements. Check the fence with a rule and the miter gauge with a protractor. It is also a loud machine. If you know you like woodworking then buy a good saw if you can afford it, but if you don't know or your really broke it's a cheap way to make some sawdust
Posted: 4:50 pm on August 29th

blackbart blackbart writes: A bench top model was my first saw. I built quite a bit of outdoor furniture with it and a nice cherry chest. I think you can do almost anything with it except stack dado work. But you have to be careful about measurements. Check the fence with a rule and the miter gauge with a protractor. It is also a loud machine. If you know you like woodworking then buy a good saw if you can afford it, but if you don't know or your really broke it's a cheap way to make some sawdust
Posted: 4:50 pm on August 29th

msandman msandman writes: I have the Porter Cable tabletop saw. I've used it mostly to cut laminated flooring (Pergo etc.) and occassiobally for heavier duty tasks.

If you're going to test these, some of the things to look for are rippping power, ripping width, table size, the ease of adjusting the fence accurately, ease of removing and replacing te guard and on-board storage so you don't lose parts when you move the saw. A reasonably priced portable stand with wheel is a nice accessory.

The PC saw is fine for thin laminates and maybe up to 3/4" plywood, but ripping 1-1/2" oak made it bog down dangerously. The fence is so-so but the table extends so you can cut 24" from a sheet, and it has very good storage for the fence, miter guage and a blade or two. It's about 6 years old so it doesn't have a riving knife; that would be a nice feature, although it has an easily mountable splitter and guard.

There are cheap ($100 - $150) tabletop saws made by Black & Decker and Sears, but they seem to be little more than a circular saw mounted upside down on a light duty table. I think those are dangerous tools particularly if you need to cut at a bevel. I inherited one left by a neighbor and it's worse than worthless, IMHO.
Posted: 4:11 pm on August 29th

Rerun Rerun writes: As a small custom home contractor I find it very convenient to have a table saw on site. Tried contractor saws but found them diffidult to move. I discovered the Trojan saw table about 15 years ago and originaly used it with a Makita 8 1/2" bench saw. I have since moved to a 10" makita with a little bit of modification to the Trojan saw table. The Makita's are okay but the Trojan is what makes the difference. It gives me a durable (15 years old) stable work surface with an extension table, and more importantly, a fence that is as good as many contractor saws. The Trojan table cost as much as the saw but worth every dime. I would recomend it to those who need to approach the functionality of a contractor saw without the negatives.
Posted: 3:51 pm on August 29th

nolnryd nolnryd writes: I currently own four stationary cabinet saws (an 18" Oliver 88D, a 20" Tanniwitz XJ, 16" Davis and Wells, and a 10" Powermatic 66,) and two contractor saws (one a Delta, and one a Rockwell.) I use the two contractor saws as my portable, or bench top saws. I have tried several times to use the benchtop saws. I went through a skill, a Makita, and a Bocsh. They are all horrible! You just can't get the same results as you can with a contractor's saw, or a cabinet saw. I build homes for a living, and as a professional, your reputation is on the line. You need to have every project come out perfect, and finished in a timely manner. You can not accomplish this with a cheesy bench top saw. They are fine for the happy home owner's, but for the serious woodworker, or the professional, you really need at least a contractor's saw.

On most houses we build, I set up the Powermatic 66 right on site, in the middle of the house. On the smaller remodels, and cabinet instalations, I will bring one of the contractor saws. It really depends on how long the saw will be used for. I can justify spending a day delivering, and setting up the Powermtic 66, when we will use it on a daily basis for a few months. But if it is just for a month or less, I am more likely to bring a contractor's saw.

Anyone taking the time to read all of these posts, will hopefully not be swayed in the wrong direction, and end up buying a bench top saw. You can find used contractor saws on ebay all the time, for $100-$200. That's about half as much as you would spend on a good (or so called good) bench top saw.
Posted: 3:09 pm on August 29th

bladeruiner bladeruiner writes: I have a Ryobi BTS21 and it performs very well. I too use my garage as a workshop so space was a consideration. I have a store near me that sells factory reconditioned units at 50% of retail so it was a good deal for me.

The only down side to the Ryobi BTS21 is that with the sliding miter table you don't get a T-slot in the top of the table which limits the use of some jigs.

Other than that I am happy with the tool.
Posted: 7:25 am on August 29th

jer44 jer44 writes: I have been using table top saws for years for installing cabinets and millwork and building book cases and entertainment centers I have a bosch that I bought when they first came out and a craftsman that I keep in my truck the bosch is a much better saw but the craftsman is over 20 years old and it only cost about $100.00 I always use good sharp blades I also have Grizzly and a craftsman belt drive I hardly ever use them I am very happy with the Bosch I do anything with it that I can with the stationary saws the key is to good blades and have the saw set up correctly
Posted: 8:43 pm on August 28th

jhonbaker jhonbaker writes: As much as I want a new unisaw (who doesn't) I have been using a Bosch Model 4100DG-09 for the past several months, this is an improvement over handsaws for me. I ten to use it as a do all tool and have built out feed tables and tend to utilize roller stands and such. I replaced the included miter guage with an incra nearly instantly as I found that the included one was not as accurate as I needed. The gravity rise stand makes everything easier and storage is a breeze. Until I have more than a garage to work in, or a car port for the wife, I love my tabletop and wouldn't get rid of it even after upgrading, if I ever do.
Posted: 12:21 pm on August 28th

SDJ13 SDJ13 writes: There have been debates in the past about which power tool should form the cornerstone of a shop... it appears that most lean toward the table saw as the first and most important stationery tool. If you fall in this category, exercise caution in selecting a bench top or portable table saw, carefully analyze the "total cost of ownership," and consider the types of cuts you will most routinely make.

For me, and the projects I do, it would be difficult to say whether the jointer or the band saw is the "cornerstone" or "can't live without" tool, but every time I power up the big Rikon band saw or hear the silky smooth, vibration-free purring of the Powermatic 54A, I think, "This is my favorite tool."

Are these really my most important tools, or are they my favorites because of their smoothness, accuracy, safety, and reliability? Perhaps I have subconsciously convinced myself these tools are my cornerstones because of the sheer quality. These thoughts, and my Bosch 4100 portable table saw, continually reinforce a lesson that I have learned (and re-learned) repeatedly --- buy the best, buy it once, take care of it, and be done with it!

This is not to say the Bosch is not a fine little saw. It is --- and it may be one of the best of the breed. However, it is not a long term table saw for a woodworker that considers the table saw as the center of his/her woodworking universe.

For me, the saw works, but it is noisy, it vibrates, and even with the best blade and most meticulous set-up, its cuts are inferior to those that can be achieved with a cabinet saw. The noise, lack of power, insufficient in-feed room, undersized table, weak fence, and virtually non-existent dust collection make it my "tool of last resort" rather than my "go-to" tool. I am more likely to rip 8/4 maple on my band saw slightly oversize and then true the edges than to attempt a rip cut like this on the Bosch. Again, let me restate, for the genre, this is possibly the best portable saw, but it is not a substitute for a cabinet saw. If you need a table saw to make accurate cross cuts, it will also require that you build a sled or purchase an after-market unit (calculate that in to the total cost of ownership, and add $100+ for a decent blade, too). I use an old, heavy, finely made, finely tuned radial arm saw for dead-on cross cuts, so this is not an issue in my shop.

Discretionary funds for a hobbyist like me are always an issue, and there are always so many beautiful pieces of wood and must-have tools to buy, that a new table saw gets consistently "back-burnered." Someday my lust for a new Delta or SawStop or some as-yet-determined new breakthrough will push me to the tool-buying edge, but until then, I will take very good care of my band saw, my jointer, my old radial arm saw, and yes, my trusty little Bosch.
Posted: 8:09 am on August 28th

MDCustom MDCustom writes: Does no-one else own a Porter Cable? I've had mine for almost five years. Accuracy is good. I bought it for the 24" rip capacity, and at the time there wasn't much else available.
I use it regularly for ripping hardwood flooring and, like most others, for cutting long scribes.
I like the folding stand that it came with. It's not like a Bosch model but it doesn't take up half the truck either!
For cabinet work I use the Unisaw in the shop. But the Porter Cable is a handy jobsite saw that's not a cheap version. In fact it cost more than my used Unisaw.
The only complaints I have are that once the blade is tilted I cannot adjust the blade height, and like a lot of other saws, the blade height adjustment is a slow operation.
Tried a Dewalt (can't remember the exact model) and the blade adjustment mechanism was HORRIBLE. Used a Ridgid and thought the power switch was totally unsafe. I couldn't shut it off with my hands on the workpiece. I hope they have corrected that.
So, here's one vote for the Porter Cable.
Posted: 1:33 am on August 28th

peter19552 peter19552 writes: In own a Festool table saw the CS70 (not sure if sold in USA)which is really a very accurate contractors type saw. It has two modes. First is a pull type action crosscut saw, and second mode is the traditional table saw where ripping or sliding mitre tables can be used. I find its incredibly well built and accurate like all Festool tools and has very effective dust extraction. It weighs about 33KG but with its fold away legs it is portable enough for me to move out of the way in my moderate sized workshop, where the luxury of a heavy table saw is just not an option. Festool also sell a range of extension tables and sliding tables but for me it does most of the work I require without the need for extra expense and space. I also have a TS55 portable saw the Festool guide rails to perform log accurate ripping jobs when a rough edge is all you have to work with
Posted: 7:35 pm on August 27th

modelt modelt writes: I have owned a portable saw for over 25 years. the time you save is priceless. can be set on the floor or on saw horses.
evryone should own one.
Posted: 9:28 am on August 27th

fidolido fidolido writes: After reading and much research I was stuck between my favorite brand Dewalt and Bosch. What made the difference was an auction on Ebay for a Bosch 4100 with riser stand. Not knowing if complete, I purchased it for under $410. To my surprise, it was totally complete and had all the parts. After taking it home and making my first few cuts, I believe I've made the right choice. After reading all the notes here, I know I did. Now I'm not a carpenter or woodworker by trade, but I believe if you do anything, the right tools are always a plus and not always can one get the 'right' tool. But if you believe in research, and reading other peoples responses and experiences, I believe you can eliminate a lot of head aches by listening. I love my table saw and it's portability. For the times I need an 'on site' saw, I now have one. And my little shop is really little. 8x12 so you know everything is on wheels.
Posted: 1:04 am on August 27th

timbervalley timbervalley writes: For renovation job sites I need a really light portable mostly for ripping 2xs and trim. (Either a 10" basic mitre or a 12" compound slide handle most cross-cuts.) The current Mastercraft 10" saw is the lightest (and cheapest) portable that I could find that would take a dado set (but only to 1/2") and is ok for basic site work. It has lots of deficiencies when it comes to shop work, including stamped clearance plates not replaceable by shop-made, a tacky right extension table, a sloppy fence, and of course no stand-alone riving knife.
With a space-limited shop, like many readers, I'll be looking for a portable saw that rectifies the above deficiencies, is quiet, has good dust collection, and is designed to drop into shop-made or OEM tables to give it sheet-handling capacity. The table slots must be a standard size. Blade guard must be easy off/on and able to align with the fence side of the blade. Price range should be $300 to $400.
Posted: 11:56 pm on August 26th

tufbnme tufbnme writes: I have a Craftsman 10" Pro jobsite saw that is great, plenty of power, large arbor for dadoes, it has everything I need in a saw and its portable. I did not have room for a freestanding unit (someday) I like that I can fold it up and store it. The price was very reasonable too.
Posted: 9:08 pm on August 26th

steve01 steve01 writes: I use a Delta 8-1/4" sidekick saw in my shop. A couple of things that I think made the saw perform better were: adding a decent combination blade( I like the 40 tooth Dimer blade from Lee Valley) as well as building my own custom fitted zero clearance inserts. I also added a couple of extension wings for larger material.

I use a sacrificial table and portable circular saw for breaking down sheet goods before I go the delta and while I'd love to purchase a good 10" cabinet saw someday, the delta services me pretty well for the projects I'm building for now.
Posted: 8:24 pm on August 26th

Masseyyyy Masseyyyy writes: I once saw a Makita portable saw (much like the one that is now pictured at the top of this area) that had a sliding extension table on the left side. Sort of like the one that is made by Jess-Em, but heavy gauge sheet metal instead of extruded aluminum. I saw this at a tool store and it was very definately an OEM item made by Makita for that saw.

The sliding table would greatly increase the cross-cut capacity and make the poratable saw ideal for on-site sheet goods work.

Has anyone seen one of these Makita units with the sliding table?

Posted: 6:51 pm on August 26th

pcsexpat pcsexpat writes: Am I the only person who can't get a full dado setup on a Rigid foldup saw?
Posted: 6:16 pm on August 26th

GRJensen GRJensen writes: pcsexpat - You are **NOT** the only one that can't get a full dado stack on the arbor. That is a major failing of benchtop saws. I had two (Delta and Jet models) and couldn't do wide dadoes on either of them. Some of the higher-priced jobsite saws may be able to take a full stack, but I got tired of folling around with them and bought a Jet contractor saw. Problem solved.
Posted: 6:03 pm on August 26th

pcsexpat pcsexpat writes: I bought a Rigid foldup saw two years ago. I enjoy using it in the limited space I have in my garage. Seems I am always rolling out onto the driveway to do my cutting. One thing though, am I the only one who can't get a full sized dado setup (3/4") on the arbor?
Posted: 4:38 pm on August 26th

Dzhek Dzhek writes: I have a DeWalt DW745 10" contractor's tabletop saw and my only peeve with it is that the spindle does not accommodate a dado head. Other than that, I am delighted with it, for light duty.
Posted: 4:11 pm on August 26th

mstenner mstenner writes: Bosch 4100 for space reasons. It was portable or nothing for me, and I'm THRILLED with my choice.

Problems:
* short fence makes starting long rips hard
* no lock on the blade height... bad for repeated dados
* gravity-rise base moves a bit under force (duh)
* a bit underpowered, but fine for most things

Essential Add-ons:
* zero-clearance insert
* crosscut sled
* rear and left-side extensions... just get them

Posted: 4:00 pm on August 26th

Kraftk Kraftk writes: I've owned Makita 2708- 8 1/4" table saw since 1986. I ve replaced brushes a bearings once and it's worked quite well. We use it on job sites to trim moldings or scribes. We do most of our work in the shop on cabinet saws, but it's very handy to have a small table saw on site. We use it stand alone and in a Rousseau drop in table.
Posted: 2:12 pm on August 26th

cd10036 cd10036 writes: I have a Ryobi BTS20 portable table saw. Due to the fact that I work out of my garage, this is really the only practical option for me until i can build or rent a shop. This saw has worked extremely well for me right out of the box; cuts are accurate and it was adjusted near perfect. A great feature of this saw is that I can store everything on board the saw: the miter gauge, the rip fence, and the blade guard/splitter, as well as extra blades store neatly on the saw body, and add to its portability. My only fault was with the miter gauge; it was too sloppy in the track, but I just added a couple of setscrews to the bar, and it's dead on.

As with all saws of this size, you need to use care when ripping sheet goods, but outfit this saw with a good blade, and make a couple of zero clearance inserts for it, and it will perform just as good as any saw that costs 4x as much.

Remember that we are woodworkers, and previous generations had far less to work with. I have my grandfather's old 10" Craftsman saw that he made a stand for. It's small, underpowered and had no extension wings, but when I look at the furniture that he made with that saw, a router, and a jig saw, my table saw seems more than adequate.
Posted: 2:09 pm on August 26th

paulm1 paulm1 writes: I have used the Craftsman portable saw quite a bit and the only real drawback that I can find is that it is unwieldy when trying to move it in the broken down position. The wheels and handle don't seem to be in sync with each other making it hard to handle. Paul Swain.
Posted: 1:44 pm on August 26th

lanwater lanwater writes: I used a sears contractor saw that I had to dump, the cuts were out of square no matter what I did.
I went on to buy the Bosch 4100 that was much better but I still had a tiny square issue. It turned out that the blade that shipped with is was the problem. I changed that to a freud blade and I am happy.

Cutting big board is a huge problem and I bought the Festool TS 55 EQ where I do the rough cut (fairly precise I must say) and sometime cut to exact size on the Bosch table saw.

One issue I never thought of was the dado blade. I got the freud dado stack and I discovered that I could not stck anything more than 1/2 inch..
Posted: 12:36 pm on August 26th

marksshop marksshop writes: I use a Ryobi BTS 20 and just love it. When it comes to ripping, it is great. I have ripped very thin strips of wood for use in my model boat building and am very pleased. I have been pleased with the rips done on oak and maple for use in some furniture I have made. No problems there.

It is stable, easy to store, and very user friendly. A very good value for the money. I would recommend it to anybody with limited space to store a saw.

However, when it comes to cross cuts, the table is too small and the miter gauge is too short. Once the little guide washer on the end of the miter gauge slide broke, i have no stability at all. Cutting large sheets is a challenge.

If I had more space i would have a full size table saw in a minute, but for now and for limited space this is working well. Sheets get cut with a saw guide and my Hitachi 10" circular saw.

Mark Hannum
Springfield, MO


Posted: 12:09 pm on August 26th

tectobil tectobil writes: I run a medium sized commercial and institutional construction company and we have a Makita Makita 2705X1 (pictured in th lead into this article) which we are very pleased with. In a normal working day the saw sees use ranging from ripping framing materials and hardi panel to working materials for casework, flatwork and millwork. We have assembled a reasonable array of blades and throat plate inserts, all of which work well with the saw. The fence is adequate for our uses but struggles a little bit when handling full size sheets of plywood. The table is light but sturdy and stable. Our single biggest complaint is that the folding stand/base assembly is, when fully extended, quite wobbly which does not help at all when handling panel products. We are considering building an outfeed/sidetable assembly in our shop that the saw would "dock" into; this should address the wobbly-ness issues. Otherwise the saw performs as well as my personal Craftsman monster (old) in the shop at home.
Posted: 11:57 am on August 26th

arnop arnop writes: I wrote my comment but it does not appear?
PA
Posted: 11:24 am on August 26th

woodrapper woodrapper writes: I bought a 10 inch Hitachi portable contractor saw in order to squeeze some sort of table saw ability into my garage workshop, which when not in use as a shop, must be able to house two cars, and when it becomes my shop, must still be able to hold one car every night.

To use the Hitachi for serious woodworking, I had to do the following:

The aluminum table is OK for cutting dimensional lumber for building and construction work, but improvement is needed for woodworking. I laid down an MDF top, which also created a zero clearance blade throat as a side benefit. (There is otherwise no zero clearance insert available, and making one is not easy for this saw.)

The fence cannot be used in that arrangement, of course, but that was no loss because the fence was useless anyway. I set up a set of tracks front and rear along the MDF and made a hardwood fence that I position and square for each cut. Takes a minute or two to do, but the cuts are accurate.

The blade arbor spindle is too short so that it isn't possible to use all the chippers of my dado set, making two passes required for any cut width over 1/2 inch.

For cross cutting, a sled is needed to get accuracy. A good shop made sled does the job though.

The saw comes with a slide-out rear outfeed support and a dowel-like, steel, screw-in rear "leg" to help keep the saw from tipping when the outfeed is used. However, I found that more help was needed, and had to devise a 2x4 outfeed support "leg set" to ensure stability.

However, the saw has plenty of power, and has never hesitated on any cut from hard maple and oak to poplar and pine. Once set, it will hold an angle for a bevel cut, but I certainly do not rely on the saw's grads.

It's all worth it though. The alternative is no table saw at all, and that is not an option. The saw doesn't cost much, takes up relatively little space, and with some creative work and tuning, actually can be made to do a reasonable job.

Posted: 11:10 am on August 26th

Evan_In_SanDiego Evan_In_SanDiego writes: I bought a Bosch Table Saw Model 4100-09 about a year ago to build cabinets for my garage and other small projects around the house. I love this saw for its ease of use. Everything you need to set it up and change blades is right on the saw itself. My only gripe would be its inability to handle 4 x 8 sheets but if I really wanted a saw to do that, I should have gotten a cabinet saw. The gravity rise makes it easy to set up anywhere I have some open space and it takes up very little room when I put it away.

This saw retails around $600 but I was able to get it at a tool sale through my local Dixieline store for around $500 along with a power drill. I sold the drill for $100 so the saw was only $400. I'm very pleased with my purchase.
Posted: 11:03 am on August 26th

trashreborn trashreborn writes: I have the Rigid 10" on the fold-up table. I make most of my projects out of used wood so I do a lot of ripping to clean up the edges. Nails are not as hard on the saw blade as they are on the planer blades. I am a disabled vet and do not get much money so I have learned to improvise. I have made O clearance throat plates out of 1/2" plywood. I went to a yard sale at a nursing home an picked up 2 accessories for my saw. The overbed tables. They make a great addition to my shop. I set one in front and one behind the saw when ripping long and/or wide materials. They are handy for many types of projects because you can raise them up or lower them down.
Posted: 10:57 am on August 26th

Danapa Danapa writes: I make furniture and cabinets for a living and I have a shop with the required stationary power tools including a Jet cabinet saw. I recently bought a Rigid R4516 10" benchtop table saw for on site work. This is the model that has wheels and a retractable handle but no folding base. I find that the folding bases are awkward and take up too much room in the truck when folded up.I don't know if they still make this model as I had to look at several Home Depot stores and ended up buying a used floor model at a discount. I made a plywood tabletop that clamps into my old Workmate stand and I attach the saw to it. It's a great compact setup that works really well for me. I have been very satisfied with the performance of the saw. It has an accurate fence, easy tilt and raise adjustments, a riving knife and excellent dust collection when hooked up to a shop vac (the blade is enclosed in a plastic shroud with a dust port). Most of the time I'm cutting a max of 4/4 thickness hardwood and the power is sufficient. When I first set the saw up in my shop to try it out I found myself using it instead of my stationary saw because it was so easy to use. I made a mini sled for crosscutting and mitering. My only gripe is that it's a nasty task cutting large sheet goods on it but that's to be expected and if I've planned the job well I don't need to cut large sheet goods on site. I say if you need a compact benchtop table saw and you can find this model for sale, new or used, give it some serious consideration.
Posted: 10:51 am on August 26th

earlcram earlcram writes: I have had a Dewalt 10" benchtop (think it's a model 744) for over 10 years. I bought it because the size of my shop would not handle a full cabinet saw. The work I do is often precise and the accuracy of the rack and pinion fence superb. The saw has done everything that I asked of it, and I use it daily. I use a Ridge Carbide full size blade on it with an 1/8" kerf and unless I am ripping 2-3 inch thick hardwood like cherry or maple, it does not really even bog down. I use the saw mostly for ripping, doing most of my cross cutting on a radial arm. However, for some of the federal style inlay banding that I make, I cut some of the small pieces on that saw using a sled and it does a very precise job. I have had some issues with kickback while ripping that I solved with a removable splitter on a zero clearance insert and the dust collection on the saw is not the greatest. But I am very satisfied with the saw and will run it until it croaks. The only thing that may induce me to buy a new one is if Dewalt comes out with a riving knife for this saw and improves the dust collection.
Posted: 10:12 am on August 26th

jonathan12340 jonathan12340 writes: I purchase a 10" Bosch specifically for a kitchen project I was building on site. Added a Freud thin kerf Melamine blade, and zero clearance throat plate. Fence opens to 25" and holds it!!! Most cheaps saws do not. Certainly not cabinet saw, but does the job with get results. If I had to choose in how I spent the money if I could only have one, I would buy a used cabinet saw. I love my Bosch but it does not compare if your goal is solid, steady results.

Many chose contractor saw as a space saver??? Space saving, folding, etc. no savings mine takes up the same space in my garage folded up. Get a solid saw if you can only have one.
Posted: 10:11 am on August 26th

Tony_Herbert Tony_Herbert writes: I bought a Canadian Tire Corp. Mastercraft 10" table saw "on sale". NOT a good idea!
For the folks that don't know Canadian Tire, it's a major "import" selling store that has weekly sales that are sometimes pretty good to draw people into the stores.
But with this saw I made a mistake.
The mitre slots are a pain. The fence is extruded aluminum but is fairly accurate if checked at every use. I have a lot of trouble getting 90 degree crosscuts. Adjustments take time.
I guess that's what one gets when one buys cheap.
I am now looking for something better. I have dreams but a small budget. (don't we all).
Posted: 10:03 am on August 26th

elcidj elcidj writes: I own a Craftsman Contractors Pro model http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921829000P?keyword=10+inch+craftsman+table+saw. I Beleive this is a modified version of the Ryobi. I has a lot of positives: The rails front and back can slide left and right by loosing or tighten the cam levers. This allows the extension wings to be move to either side of the saw. Oh I didn't mention that the wings also can be slid in or out from the table or removed. The right hand extension also has a hole in it for mounting a router. There are accessories that come with the saw for mounting most routers.
The thing that concern most saw users is of coarse the fence. I had to adjust this the first time out of the box and only once since then in the three years I have had it, my jointer fell on it. It has sufficient power 15 amps. Has a dust port in the rear that a shop vac can connect to. When I can't hook up a vac use a 90 degree PVC drain elbow to blow the saw dust into a3 or 5 gal. bucket( collects about 85% of the dust. The fence has a storage rack as does the miter fence. The sliding table also stores away.
The extense table on the right is also a sliding table with an adjustable miter ablility. real nice feature.

This saw travels fairly and for the money is a pretty good buy.


Posted: 9:46 am on August 26th

Wood_Artist Wood_Artist writes: I have a Ridgid saw, the kind that goes on a cart that can fold up and takes only 16" against the wall. It is an older model, but works very well. I have a small shop, which is the reason I chose this type of saw, and specifically, because I have been happy with Ridgid products. I've since enlarged my shop, and scrapped the fold-up hand truck for a shop-built cabinet base. It works even better now because there is less vibration. I should add that I changed the blade that came with the saw for a Forrest Woodworker II.
If I can figure a way to enlarge my basement shop again, I may eventually go for a cabinet saw. Till then, I continue turning out projects with my Ridgid of which I continue to be proud.
Posted: 9:44 am on August 26th

arnop arnop writes: Having very limited space in my workshop although I would have preferred a fixed-based saw it was impossible to accomodate. The only way for me was a protable on a stand. I considered the Bosch as I do favour Bosch power tool and the Makita. I picked the Malkita 2704 with its folding stand over the Bosch as I considered the blade guard assembly to be superior. I equiped the saw with a Freud Premier Fusion Blade and a Incra Miter 1000SE.

Oh, by the way I make furniture, mainly chairs. The saw is a not really up to this but it does the job. Without it I could not do what I do.

PA
Posted: 9:44 am on August 26th

cmtchsr cmtchsr writes: I have a Craftsman 10" Contractor's Saw with gravity rise bas. What I love about this saw is the ability to store it in a small corner of my garage. It is also very easy to setup. It has enough power to do most of my projects. It has a buil-in Router table and blade changing is relatively simple.
What I don't like about it is: the fence is fairly innacurate and takes some adjusting to get an accurate cut.Craftsman does not make Zero clearance throat plates for it, nor does anyone else.I made my own out of Lexan. I would have much preferred a cast iron top and a better rip fence but it was a give and take situation when purchasing this saw. Portability,small storage space, easy setup and utility against accuracy, availability of common parts and cost. I purchased the saw for $329 and for the price, it's a fair value. I did however, purchase a two year extended warranty at nominal extra cost.
Posted: 9:35 am on August 26th

gtpreacher gtpreacher writes: I have used a Ridgid 2400 saw with its folding stand for about 4 years and have had excellent results. I make decorative boxes and have been able to get good miter joints with the blade set to 45 degrees. The saw required very little initial adjustment when I first set it up, and although I check it frequently, I have had to do very little tweaking of the setup, even though I regularly fold it and stand it on end in the corner of my garage. The expanding top has proved very useful for ripping larger panels, and the fence has been spot on. I have made my own zero-clearance and dado inserts, and I have made a thin-strip gauge for use in cutting thin stock for miter keys. The saw does slow a little when I am cutting dadoes in oak with a full set of chippers installed. Otherwise, it has proved to be a little workhorse. I have been very pleased with its performance.
Posted: 9:33 am on August 26th

Geoff3 Geoff3 writes: I, too, bought myself a Ryobi BT3000 10" benchtop table saw several years ago, which was a step up from using a hand-held circular saw with a straight-edge. My cutting improved in accuracy immediately, but over time I have become dissatisfied with using it for cabinet-making. Firstly, wood does not slide over the machined aluminium surface as smoothly as I would like, and it actually marks the surface of the wood. Secondly, it is very hard to keep the three top plates in the one plane, so I end up with crooked cuts if I am not very careful. Thirdly, the slide, which seemed like a good idea in the first place, is not mainstream, and I am unable to use any of the FineWoodworking ideas for jigs that are based on the standard grooves in other table saws. The screws holding the switch in place had to be replaced with longer ones because they came loose and the plastic thread was damaged. And the thread on the handle used to tighten the fence became burred and eventually broke because I am a little heavy handed in that department, always afraid that the fence will not stay straight or will move when I am in the middle of an important cut. My fear is based on reality. (There was enough thread left for me to continue to use the handle.)

I have not yet tried to fit a zero-clearance insert because the cast aluminium shapes under the standard insert seem to require special attention.

One other frustration, is that fitting a router to the table is clumsy and requires a lot of adjustment. The weight of the router tends to tilt the plate so that it is not aligned to the other plates, which tends to add a slight but noticable error to making tenons, for instance.

On the other hand, the blade tilt is quite accurate and it is easy to set the height of the blade. It also has a blade cover, for added safety.

While this table saw has helped me improve the standard of my work, I am planning to upgrade it within the next twelve months.
Posted: 9:33 am on August 26th

Mad_Reilly Mad_Reilly writes: I have a Bosch 4000. I purchased it from a friend about 4 years ago. The saw was relatively new. It didn't come with the gravity stand. I'd like to buy the stand at some point, but right now, I made my own stand at a height that is comfortable for me to work at. For me, this saw works excellent. My shop is in the basement and access isn't the greatest. As with all of us wood workers, space constraints are a killer especially when trying to cut full sheet goods. I read an article in Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking's sister publication, which explained how a millwork contractor set up a site shop. He set up simple modular side and end tables around the table saw. I adopted this principal for my shop in the basement and I've had excellent results. I agree with a later comment about how you "work around the tools shortcomings". I would love to replace the fence. I was trained on a Delta cabinet saw. I agree, there is no comparison between the two. For what I produce in my little shop, my Bosch is just fine. I love the machine and I intend to use it for years to come. One of the best purchases I ever made!
Posted: 9:06 am on August 26th

sunburnedmouse sunburnedmouse writes: My first tablesaw was a Ryobi. Had wonderful flip down outfeed tables which I adapted to my "new" Delta cabinet saw.

Had really good hold-down clamps to prevent kickback.

Could be fine tuned to cut straight but would knock itself out of alighnment very quickly.

Had a nifty router kit to use the large table tops and fences as a router table so saved space.

Was a great saw for finished carpentry but would never do for cabinetmaking, just not precise enough--if you care about the finished product.


Posted: 8:52 am on August 26th

spinnerdon spinnerdon writes: I have had a Bosch 4000 for about 5 years and it is presently my only tablesaw. I have a very small shop and this saw has served me well. I devised my own riving knife, and have bought zero clearance inserts from Bosch and Peachtree. The Peachtree inserts are much better. I also have a sled for crosscutting and another for dadoing wide pieces. The saw will handle my 8" dado set up to 3/4 inch but I had to get a new inside washer in order to get a full 3/4 onto the arbor. The fence is pretty decent and the saw has plenty of power to rip 2" oak if you're not in a hurry. I have a Forrest Woodworker II blade that was worth the expense as it will cut anything well. The two big problems are poor dust collection and very short table in front of the blade (which is why I have a crosscut sled).
Posted: 8:48 am on August 26th

tony spaz tony spaz writes: tony spaz: I now own a dewalt portale saw couple years old . The saw does fine and I use it in union with the conpound sliding miter ,which sets up a good working shop on the road. It needs a little more power but , my main complaint is the rack& pinion for ripping wil skip a tooth on the back side mostly against the blade . One other thing is the swing for bevel clogs with sawdust and is not easy to clean out.
Posted: 8:46 am on August 26th

Papamidnight13 Papamidnight13 writes: I have an older Dewalt benchtop saw that I've used for quite a few things. It's no Felder, but for a portable saw I think it works great. I think that the rack and pinion fence design is ingenious. The fence comes off and on easily and always goes back on perfectly parallel. It has a decent mitre gauge and as long as you hook it up, the dust collection port is pretty effective. It is what it is, and that's not a cabinet saw........... but for what it is, I'm very happy with mine.
Posted: 8:37 am on August 26th

eanewton eanewton writes: My Festool 75 drop saw, guide rails, & MFT-3 tables eliminated the need for several saws. The Festool system is well engineered and very precise. The saw will produce a glue ready joint. From sheet goods to furniture parts to raising panels, the Festool 75 system is superb.

My Rigid contractor's table saw is an excellent supplement to it. The fence stays true. I'm able to cut tenons with accuracy on the Rigid using a Rockler crosscut sled
in combination with the fence.
Posted: 8:03 am on August 26th

4runner 4runner writes: I have a Ridgid 2400 and love it. I can roll it up in my 4Runner on a couple of 2x's then store them to unroll it upon arrival. The instruction book is great and everything is easy to adjust. I think all contractor saws suffer from lack of power so that's not an issue. I cut a lot of 3/4 an 13/16 oak as well as sheet goods for cabinets and it keeps up with my pace. Try some thin kerf blades and your power will seem to increase. I have the Japanese blade and the Forrest blade, but I get better performance from the Freud thin kerf blades and the glueline blade,I can get a few sharpenings before I need to replace them. Keep us posted.
4Rnr
Posted: 7:50 am on August 26th

MountainWoodworker MountainWoodworker writes: I also have a Bosch 4000 with a Gravity Rise stand; any bigger system is out of the question because of space limits. As my woodworking has developed, my definition of precise keeps getting more precise, and so far it has met the test.

I bought a second blade guard, took it apart, and cut down the splitter to give me a true riving knife (thank you Bosch), without which I never operate. Should be available comercially.

The throat plate sizing is unique to Bosch, and a real pain to duplicate for a zero clearance insert. Took the trouble to make a pattern, and then a batch for different blades. The Bosch insert plate is light plastic from toyland, and nobody else sells one for this saw. Definite minus.

Built a crosscut sled that I use a lot. A tenoning sled that rides on the fence works, but hindered by the cosmetic high spot at front of fence. Don't need that design ("ergonomic"?) bump!

Also upgraded to Forrest blades and stiffener, tho also use Bosch blades, which are themselves good quality.

Definitely the way to go for us space-challenged folks!
Posted: 7:44 am on August 26th

geobcon geobcon writes: I own a Ryobi 10" portable which I only use for jobs away from my shop. I've been able to maintain its alignment sufficiently to do cabinet work away from my shop. There is however, one problem in that when the slides used for the elevation of the saw blade get the slightest bit of any residue from the sawdust, they bind up to the point that I have to dissassemble the elevation screw and slides and clean. This occurs more than I'd like it to. Would any one have any suggestions as to how to minimize the binding?
I've adjusted the tension screws on the slide but I still periodically experience binding.
Posted: 7:33 am on August 26th

ryno101 ryno101 writes: I started off woodworking about 18 months ago, and bought a Jet benchtop contractor saw with a base, thinking it was the best saw I was going to get for the money. Power was adequate for my needs, dust collection wasn't too bad, and the saw was, for the most part, well made.

The most frustrating part of owning that saw was dealing with the fence. It was made from 3" x 1" extruded aluminum, wasn't square to the table, wasn't even square to itself. In order to get any consistency (the sides of the fence bowed out by about 1/8" over the 3") I had to add MDF faces and shim like heck. Because of the small size of the T engaged with the fence rails, every cut I made took forever. I had to slide the fence, measure from fence to the front and back of the blade to make sure it was square, and hold it gingerly in place while I locked down my settings. Making quick, repeatable cuts is one of the major advantages of a table saw for woodworking, and the Jet, while still an excellent contractor saw, is just not made for woodworking.

After owning it for a year, I bought a Craftsman hybrid with a commercial Biesemeyer fence, and I'll never look back.
Posted: 7:32 am on August 26th

mmmmaher mmmmaher writes: I was lucky enough to have started my early years of cabinet and mill work using an old Oliver table saw. I never have felt comfortable using any "portable" table saw as they all seemed so poorly designed and manufactured. I was disappointed many times by the promise of some new fangled sliding table accesory, or the addition of a foldable stand with wheels. The problem simply came down to one thing, the fence would not stay parallel with the blade on any portable saw no matter who manufactured the machine. That was until Dewalt introduced the locking cam and gear fence alignment system with the d744 10" table saw. It is without a doubt the best portable saw on the planet. I've burned up more than four of them over the past ten years, the motor isn't the quietest or the most powerful out there, but the fence stays straight and locks into place parallel to the blade all the time, every time. I have modified the current saw with a duplex cut in electrical box so the saw is also a portible work table as well.
Posted: 3:37 am on August 26th

Ted55 Ted55 writes: I have a DeWalt 744 10" table saw. I love it. It is very portable and makes great cuts for a small saw. Plenty of power. What I especially love about the saw is the rack and pinion gear drive for setting the fence position. There is a gear on both sides of the fence so it is always in alignment. It is very easy to adjust the fence and lock it into position and it is always in alignment. Kudos to DeWalt for this design.

I love the saw. It was recommended by a friend who has a few Delta Unisaws. I bought it and liked it so much that I have recommended it to a few of my friends who purchased it as well.
Posted: 10:13 pm on August 25th

cmdfcc cmdfcc writes: I still have a 7-1/4" Makita bench-top on a stand which I bought in '85 for it's light weight and power. The fence has always sucked but you can get it to cut pretty straight with a little set-up time. Always liked the blade tilt mechanism. For the last 4 years, I've been using the 10" HD Rigid and absolutely love it. Little hard to load/unload by myself but like the fold-up stand and the fence.
Ditto on Forrest blades.
Posted: 9:50 pm on August 25th

slalau slalau writes: My 1st tablesaw is a $200 portable Ryobi w/ fold-up stand & wheels. And after using it, I left it at my dad's house. He enjoys using it, even though it does NOT hold a candle to my Bosch 4100. The gravity stand is GREAT; although, most places that sell it (Lowe's, Sear's, etc.) do NOT even know how to fold it down, for demo purposes!

I talked my nephew into buying a Rigid portable contractor's saw; that works great, but, compared to the Bosch, there does not seem to be much a contest.

I really love my contractor's DeWalt that I also own; but its not very portable.

All in all, my most bang-for-buck, gives the best quality of cut that you can rely on being true & square, definitely goes to the Bosch 4100. However, if my DeWalt contractor saw is available, its rip-vent system and quiet operation (along with accuracy of cuts) make it hard to beat as well.
Posted: 9:42 pm on August 25th

nashje61 nashje61 writes: Oh man. My first benchtop saw was a Black and Decker 8" or something. I had it for 25 years and finally the motor died. I gave it last rites and a burial at dumpster about a month ago. Sniff.
Posted: 5:37 pm on August 25th

Recruiter Recruiter writes: I used to own an old, 24 inch, 13 amp, Delta, that I used for over 20 years. Mind you it was not that I liked it. It was the only small table saw I could get at the time. The rip fence was impossible to set straight, from day one. Over time, it got worse, to the point, where I would set up the fence, then C-clamp the back end in place, before I could tighten down the front end. The blade cover was a rectangular piece of metal, with 4 screws, that the threads stripped out of during the 3rd year. I was forever rethreading the holes. The tilt would sag after a couple of minutes of use, so you always needed to recheck it. The blade rose on a pivot point. This meant that when you raised the blade, the highest point was always moving forward, making it difficult to know if you really have it set up right. To make matters worse, it didn't really have that much power, so if you were sawing any hardwoods, it would constantly bog down.
Once I didn't need a small saw anymore, I couldn't wait to get rid of it, and bought a cabinet saw. The difference is like night and day. The saw is acurate, cuts like a charm, tilts like it should, and is actually much quieter than my old clunker.
The portable saws have their usefulness, but it will never live up to a full size saw.
Posted: 11:58 am on August 25th

crud crud writes: My 10" Makita is 8 yrs old. While it does have its limitations it does a great job for what I need.

I build cedar strip canoes & kayaks and canoe paddles. For ripping cedar strips and hardwood laminations it does just fine. It doesn't take up much space in the garage and I can easily roll it out into the driveway when I need room for ripping 20' cedar strips. I am not looking to replace it.


The miter gauge channel on my older model is smaller than most which limits its functionality. I suspect Makita has fixed that problem on newer models. The dust collector port is small and an unusual size that does not allow for adequate dust collection. Despite those limitations, I am not looking to replace it.

Posted: 11:22 am on August 25th

GaijinDaiku GaijinDaiku writes: RE: the flip-over saw note from COWTOWN...

Another cool thing available in Europe, but not here--is a stand with fence and sliding table option for the Festool circular saw. I saw one in a tool shop in Munich, and It is quite impressive.



Posted: 3:28 pm on August 20th

pcjohnd pcjohnd writes: I bought my first Bosch 4000 when I first set up a woodworking in my garage about 5 years ago, with a stand that let me wheel it into the driveway (California woodworking is wonderful that way). A couple of years ago, I "upgraded" to a Powermatic contractor-style saw, and hated the thing. I was unable to get the fence adjusted to true alignment, the thing was heavy to wheel around, and it just didn't suit my workstyle.

I'd sold my Bosch, but went ahead and advertised the Powermatic for sale on Craigslist. A fellow offered to trade me his Bosch 4000 with gravity rise for the Powermatic, and I jumped at it. I once again have a saw that's easy to wheel in and out of the garage, has a true fence and miter, adequate dust collection when hooked to my Fein MiniTurbo, and plenty of power to cut cherry, maple, birch and other hard and soft woods, not to mention MDF and plywood.

The guard and splitter work well, especially the very effective anti-kickback tines. It's easy to clean underneath, and . . . well, I'm sure you can tell that I just love the thing!
Posted: 10:28 am on August 20th

kingwood kingwood writes: If my contractor's saw ever dies I would probably get a benchtop but would not buy it if it didn't take a dado set.I would be concerned about quality and not cheap.
Posted: 9:32 am on August 20th

remodelguy remodelguy writes: I bought a RIDGID Heavy Duty 10 In. Portable Table Saw With Stand in 2008 and am very happy with it in terms of power, accuracy, dust collection, and portability. It was important to be able to wheel this saw through smaller doors. The Bosch had a larger wheelbase and was a hundred bucks more, so the choice was logical.

Most woodworkers will find workarounds for deficiencies in any tool they like, however, this tool has done everything I need from it out of the box. Since my shop is small and L shaped I use a workbench with outriggers (and a Porter Cable trim saw)to cut plywood. This actually is preferable to trying to use a small tablesaw for cutting sheet goods. I use the RIGID primarily for sizing boards, and the intricate cuts needed for cabinetry. GOOD TOOL!
Posted: 9:27 am on August 20th

poker12 poker12 writes: I too have a Bosch 4000 with a gravity rise table and I absolutely love it. Right out of the box I checked it all for squareness and everything was dead on. I was a little uneasy with not being able to lock down the blade height but it stayed true every time and never varied. While the fence isnt the top of the line,it stays square to the blade every time (even with the occasional drop).
About the only drawback I can note is the horrible sawdust collection setup they came up with. I have a bag attachment and at best it catches maybe half of the total sawdust with the rest going wherever. The exhaust tube clogs and wont even let anymore in the bag when its not even 1/4 full. Could definitly be better engineered.
The guard setup left a little to be desired so I removed it and took it apart and kept the splitter and installed it by itself.
I would recommend this saw to anyone that isnt able to have a full size saw.
Posted: 7:54 am on August 20th

cowtown cowtown writes: I keep an el-cheapo in the truck for the odd ripping that needs doing on site. It's precision is really bad, so it's typically rip at an angle and scribe to requirement. It's been run over by a client at least once, so I have no expectations of precision from it.

There's a fold-down ryobi for the larger site projects, with a tad more accuracy, but neither of them will take dado blades. It's too big to run over.

They ain't anything but upside down skillsaws, and blade side slop is inevitable. They is wickedly coarse.

But what really really puzzles me is that for at least 15 years now, the Great Yellow Father has marketed a "flip-over" saw in Europe.

A flip over saw is a chop saw and a table saw in one tool

examples seen at

http://www.knighton-tools.co.uk/acatalog/dewalt_flip_saw.html.

So why in the heck ain't this available in N.America eh?

Eric in Calgary

That's my comment.


Posted: 11:40 pm on August 19th

DonTito89 DonTito89 writes: I own an early skill table saw. I hate it and I cannot wait to get rid of it. The fence is horrible, small ripping capacity, you cant put a zero clearance insert, and it has inadequate cutting power. I have trouble cutting 4/4 boards.

Its time for a huge upgrade. I decided to buy the new delta. I cant wait to get that skill saw out of my shop. The saw is junk. Don't bather buying it.
Posted: 10:41 pm on August 19th

Shoots Shoots writes: I listened to the sales guy at Lowes and bought a Hitachi that is, without a doubt, my least favorite tool in the shop. It was missing parts when I brought it home and Hitachi wouldn't send the replacement parts. Their customer service was horribly lacking. The table surface is horrible and it was bowed slightly so the miter wouldn't slide at all. One of the worst aspects of the design is that it really can't use much of a dado blade since the shaft is so short. The blade guard is a joke so I had to remove it just to get the wood to cut correctly. Overall, very poor design and build quality.
Posted: 6:26 pm on August 19th

CJU CJU writes: I bought a Rigid in 2001 to use in building a cabin for my wife and me. I immediately built an extension table around it. Out of the box all settings were within .005" (I didn't have anyway to judge the table for flatness other than visual with a level.)
Now I use it for building boxes, humidors etc. I run sleds and an 8" dado set and I work to within .007" easily. The mitre slots are not dead straight (they vary about .003) or I could do better.
Obviously, I would love more power as I sometimes burn an edge because I have to feed to slowly, but the vast majority of my work is "small" stuff so I get by. As a hobbiest, I can't justify the expense (yet) of a really nice table saw.
Posted: 3:06 pm on August 19th

M1lrtym M1lrtym writes: Due to the size of my shop I owned a Ryobi 10" for a few years and got tired of checking for accuracy and squareness before each cut and recently upgraded to a Bosch 4100. The engineering behind the 4100 and it's gravity rise stand continually amaze me. You can also run just about any attachment/jig on this that you would on a cabinet saw. I have also used a 6" dado set on any wood with great results. Woodworking is only a hobby of mine so I'm sure I would want a larger and more stable saw for everyday use but there is a lot to be said for a saw with a stable/accurate fence, 25" rip capacity and you can fold it up and roll it under a table or to the back of your truck.
Posted: 12:15 pm on August 19th

THDELT THDELT writes: I have a Bosch 4000 with a Gravity Rise stand. It is great for the size of my shop (I share a one car garage with my wife's car). It is easy to wheel out into the driveway on nice days and has a powerful enough motor to cut 8/4 hard maple.

The splitter/blade guard that comes with the saw is kind of a pain to adjust and remove, and I would absolutely upgrade the blade and miter fence.
Posted: 12:00 pm on August 19th

Beckum Beckum writes: One thing I have noticed about a lot of the table top saws I have owned and used over the years is that the blade tends to "float" a little side to side. It isn't a lot, but it can be noticed in the cuts. As far as their mass, clamp or bolt it down to a heavy table and that doesn't seem to be a problem. They are a bit on the loud side, no disputing that in the least. When I had the room for it, I had a table set up that the saw dropped and clamped into that increased my capacity quite a bit. I had added about 6" in front of the saw and about 2' to either side. It also gave me 4' of out feed table as well. And all of that still cost a lot less than a good used cabinet saw. It worked pretty good and also helped the noise level.

Another thing I that I don't like about the one I have (Makita 8") is the fence. It doesn't have enough area where it clamps to the table to keep it straight when I tighten it down. So it does take a bit more time to set up. I have noticed that all of your experts preach the same method for getting a straight cut and that is to measure from the blade to the fence at the front and back of the blade. I tend to do that a bit differently. I use a level as straight edge along the blade and measure from the ends of the fence to the straight edge. I use a spring clamp to hold the straight edge to the blade (fully raised)giving me good contact to the tips of the teeth and I also have both hands free to made my adjustments to the fence. This method has always given me very good results. I know it takes a little longer the just going from the blade, but I think it gives me more consistent cuts.

It still boils down to a very basic concept. Make the best of what you have to work with. For $20 and a repair to the power switch, I have a tough little saw that have been going pretty darn good for a few years now. One of these days, I stumble onto a great deal on a bigger cabinet saw. But until that time comes, I'll continue to do the best I can with what I have.
Posted: 10:12 am on August 19th

Knotscott Knotscott writes: I had a Ryobi BT3000 in the shop for a while last summer. It's definitely possible to get good cuts, but there's just no comparison in mass, stability, working area, noise, and torque. The size and noise concerns will apply to any of the portables compared to a full size stationary saw.
Posted: 3:36 am on August 19th

LEG LEG writes: I had to downsize a few years ago and lost the use of my JET cabinet saw. In the interum I have utilized a Ryobi 10" fold up type like the user above. While its not even close to the same animal it has worked in a pinch. I have to clamp down the fence on both ends, requiring endless measuring, to make sure it is straight. The power of the saw itself is good though and used right it can make for a nice clean cut with the use of a good blade. It served me for 2 years as I worked as a cabinet installer.
Posted: 7:15 pm on August 18th

misha1031 misha1031 writes: I have a Bosch 4000 and its a fine saw. I've used it for small projects for years and its never let me down.
However, I had the pleasure of using a sawstop cabinet saw while taking a class at CFC about a month ago. The experience of a large, stable, QUIET table saw made the use of the tool just a whole lot more enjoyable. So even though a good contractors saw is perfectly adequate, perhaps I could relate the experience to playing an upright vs a baby grand (ok I dont play the piano so I'm just guessing). I don't think that amateurs should be told that its "the same thing, quality wise". It really was a different experience. I'd rate decibel level and table size up there with flatness, squareness, and horsepower for pleasure of use.
Posted: 6:31 pm on August 18th

Aroonstock Aroonstock writes: I have a Bosch 4000 with the gravity rise table. I have loved it for about 5 years. It's the only benchtop saw I would consider as it has performed equal to any contractor's saw I have used and the fence is great. I would also recommend Forrest blades, as they'll make almost any saw sing.
Posted: 6:14 pm on August 18th

Carolynne Carolynne writes: I have a Ryobi 10 inch portable saw my husband picked up for me at a pawnshop. My first tablesaw. I love it. It folds up which is important as I;m in a single car garage that shares with alot of other 'junk'.
Posted: 6:06 pm on August 18th

GaijinDaiku GaijinDaiku writes: I owned an earlier version of the RIDGID saw for six years. With a Forrest blade, blade stiffener, and a zero insert plate, that saw performed much better than one would expect.

Two years ago, I sold it when I bought a used INCA 259.

I have dreams of someday buying another RIDGID, just for sheet goods.

Posted: 11:55 am on August 18th

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