I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that if you’ve found this post, you’re probably coming here asking, “what are the best portable table saws for fine woodworking?”
Well, we hear you…which is why we’ve created the ultimate portable table saw roundup post! I hope you like it.
As a hobbyist or professional, buying the right table saw can make the difference between a clean-cut and a sub-par job.
A plethora of factors should go into your decision-making when shopping for a quality table saw, like…
- The size of the motor
- The quality of the table saw’s components
- And, of course, safety
Price is always going to be a factor, no doubt about that. But when it comes to high-quality carpentry work, you can’t afford to cheap out on your tools.
And portable table saws are no exception to this rule.
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Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Table Saw
As most seasoned contractors and DIY veterans will tell you, fixing botched jobs will always cost you more in the long run.
A big part of the process is grasping what you’re getting yourself into when buying a portable table saw.
Here are some important things to look for!
Saw blades are the main determinants for cut quality, including sleekness, balance, and regularity. Some criteria can make or break table saw blades.
Teeth number, type, and angle are three of the most significant factors affecting the cutting action.
Saws with more teeth ensure a finer cut, while fewer teeth remove more material, leaving around rough edges.
The finest cuts usually come from saws with 80 teeth or more.
There are two types of cut blades; crosscut and rip blade. A crosscut blade produces a smooth cut without splinters or tears.
On the contrary, a rip blade isn’t intended to yield the smoothest cut.
The tooth angle is the angle between teeth and the centerline of the blade. The angle is either a positive hook angle or a negative hook angle.
The more the positivity of the angle, the more dynamic the blade is. For crosscutting blades, 10 to 15 degrees is the usual angle.
Gullet means the space between teeth on the blade. The wider it gets, the bigger the piece of the material cut, as well as the pitch buildup and waste material.
Plate thickness also affects the amount of sawdust and waste material. The thinner the blade’s plate, the less waste it produces.
However, thin plates come with a noticeable drawback. They’re sensitive to heating and tend to produce wavy or irregular cuts.
Motor power is equivalent to the speed with which the blades spin. High-power motors are easier and faster to use in cutting. They can also cut through tough, thick wood.
Motor power for portable table saws usually ranges from 1 to 3 horsepower. Another way of measurement is amps, with motors of 15 amps resulting in smooth cuts.
Many people find the concept of rip capacity confusing. I did, too. Simply put, rip capacity means cutting boards along the grain.
It indicates the maximum space you can have between the blade’s edge and the fence’s edge.
For example, if your table saw has a rip capacity of 24 inches, it can cut a wooden sheet of 48”x96” into two 24”x 96” pieces.
Although this rip capacity is usually satisfactory for most woodworkers, some find it a bit limiting.
This is because saws of 24” in rip capacity are often underpowered and can’t handle tight tolerances, resulting in less accurate work.
The size of your table saw is the key element in portability. Make sure your choice is small and lightweight, as not to defeat the whole point.
After all, buying a portable table saw that you couldn’t carry on your own would be impractical.
Safety Mechanisms of the Portable Table Saw
This is by far the most consequential section. The following are technologies implemented in portable table saws to maximize safety.
The blade guard is the most effective method of protecting your fingers and keeping them away from the blade.
However, many woodworkers find it inconvenient as they can’t measure and see the cuts clearly.
Splitters and Anti-Kickback Pawl
One of the frequent dangers of table saws is kickback. Kickback happens when a piece of wood is ejected towards the user at high speed, often causing injury.
Two main mechanisms prevent table saw kickback, usually attached to each other.
One is a splitter, which is a vertical blade holding the kerf open behind the main blade.
The other is an anti-kickback pawl, which uses its claws to block the wood from propulsion.
Riving knives are an even better alternative to splitters. They’re mounted close to the blade and can move along with it, leading to an overall safer experience.
Portable Table Saw Accessories
There are a few accessories that are crucial and others that might immensely improve your experience, which are…
A rip fence acts as a guide for both basic cuts as well as in-grain ones. It’s necessary for the accuracy of your work.
A good miter gauge is quite indispensable. Try to find one that fits into slots easily, slides smoothly, and is easy to read.
Dust Collection System
The dust collection system has been perceived as a luxury for some time now, but its presence makes a huge difference.
It makes the sheet cleaner leading to an easier and healthier work experience with less risk of injury.
Group 1: Premium Portable Table Saws
This first group of table saws we’ll talk about today are in the “premium price” set.
Ranging from $694-$960, these are the most expensive commonly used table saws.
They may have premium prices, but do they have what it takes to be among the best portable table saws for fine woodworking?
1. Metabo HPT C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw
- BEST IN CLASS RIP CAPACITY: 3″ to the right x 22″ to the left .Table Material : Aluminum
- OVERSIZED TABLE: 28 3/4″ x 22″ for easy and safer material support
- PRO LEVEL MOTOR: Cooper wound, soft start, electric brake, overload protection, 15 amp, 4,500 RPM
- DURABLE FOLD AND ROLL STAND: For easy setup and breakdown with an adjustable foot for stabilization on uneven surfaces
- METAL MITER GAUGE: For precise miter cuts
The Metabo HPT C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw is truly one of a kind. There’s none like it on the market.
It stands out with advanced active injury mitigation safety mechanisms like powerful 4500 RPM, a dust collection system, and a T-style fence.
The Metabo HPT C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw is capable of a 3-1/8 in. cut at 90 degrees and 2-1/4 in. cut at 45 degrees.
Also, it offers a dust collection guard and a built-in fan, both of which are compact enough to fit in the storage compartment.
The blade and height angle is easily adjustable, which is always ideal. Some saws claim that they support this feature, but it’s a hit or miss at the end of the day.
At least the Metabo HPT C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw backs up this claim.
Moreover, the C10RJS is larger and offers more stability than most. At 28-3/4″ x 22, the Metabo HPT C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw slides easily and cuts with greater accuracy.
Although it’s powerful, its 10” in diameter and 96 pounds of pure machine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
The C10RJS Jobsite Table Saw is one of the best, (but expensive) portable table saws on the market, as it costs significantly more than its counterparts.
What We Like
- Comes with a rack and pinion fence
- Soft start and an electric brake for safety
- Lighter than you’d think it would be
What We Don’t Like
- Not ideal for dado blade work
2. BOSCH 4100XC-10 Worksite Table Saw
- NEW VERSION AVAILABLE: GTS15-10
- POWERFUL TABLE SAW: Has 15-Amp saw with 4.0 max HP and 3,650 rpm, for rip-cutting and cross-cutting of fine and rough materials
- LARGE CAST ALUMINUM TOP: Provides increased work space and material support with a 30 In. ripping capacity
- SOFT-START CIRCUITRY: Manages intensity of motor start-up and minimizes the likelihood possibility of tripping a circuit breaker
- CONSTANT RESPONSE CIRCUITRY: Helps maintain speed under load
Say bienvenue to the BOSCH 4100XC-10, a 3650 RPM worksite table saw with a 30 in. rip capacity!
A powerful machine, the BOSCH 4100XC-10 boasts excellent control as the blade’s height, pivot, and bevel adjustments are pinpoint accurate.
The machine itself looks as premium as the price tag, with a tidy and organized operating surface and a huge slide area to work with.
Safety is well accounted for, with more locking mechanisms than Fort Knox, (there are 2 on the sliding table alone).
As a bonus, the riving knife is easily adjustable and does its job brilliantly.
3. DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Table Saw
- Flexible – power of corded. Freedom of cordless. The world’s first battery that automatically changes voltage when you change tools
- 24″ of Rip capacity for ripping 4×8 plywood or osb sheets
- Rack and pinion telescoping fence rails make fence adjustments smooth and accurate
- Metal roll cage base offer greater durability than plastic Bases
- Power-loss reset prevents accidental re-starts following a power disruption when the switch is left in the “on” position
Another contender among the best portable table saws for fine woodworking is the DEWALT FLEXVOLT DCS7485T1 Table Saw, coming in at 5800 RPM and 24 inches of rip capacity.
This extremely dependable and durable portable table saw has a rack and pinion telescoping fence rail and a metal roll cage base, both extremely useful features for a table saw.
We also love the professional-grade 3-year limited warranty!
What We Like
- One of the best cabinet saws we’ve ever seen. It was quieter than most other saws, and cut through hickory like nothing.
- The battery life was over 48 hours, which let us maximize productivity with our paneling work.
- The cast-iron dust-port collection assembly was much easier to deal with than the plastic ones on other units.
What We Don’t Like
If we were really going to nitpick, the only “issue” we would mention is that the safety cover obscures the power switch. But that’s easily fixable.
4. DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Table Saw
- Your purchase includes one Dewalt table saw, 10inch 24-tooth carbide blade, rolling stand, push stick, miter gauge, rip fence, 2x blade wrenches, blade guard assembly manual
- Other Specs: Max rip to left of blade – 22inch | Max rip to right of blade – 32-1/2inch | Max width of Dado – 13/16inch | Arbor size – 5/8inch | Amps – 15 | Depth of cut at 45inch – 2-1/4inch | Depth of cut at 90° – 3-1/8inch | No Load Speed: 4800 RPM
- Rolling stand designed for easy set up and breakdown with excellent stability
- Rack & Pinion Telescoping Fence System Make fence adjustments fast, smooth and accurate
- Features a 15.0A high torque motor with the power to cut pressure treated lumber and hardwoods
The DWE 7491RS is a great choice for anyone looking for the rare convenience of a portable table saw that is also capable of cutting large sheets of plexiglass, wood, and more.
It is designed to be portable and includes a rolling stand, so it is very jobsite-friendly, despite weighing approximately 110 pounds.
The DWE 7491RS even includes generous onboard storage, ensuring that you won’t need to carry an extra toolkit to carry the parts you need to adjust or tighten this saw.
It also features material support, meaning you can enjoy more peace of mind when handling those difficult narrow rip cuts, instead of constantly worrying where your cuts are going.
What We Like
- The onboard storage for the DWE 7491RS includes everything you need for the fence and to access the assembly of the blade guard.
- It also has a miter gauge, riving knife, wrenches that fit the saw, push stick, and even a spot to wrap the cord.
What We Don’t Like
Nothing. We experienced zero challenges or difficulties when operating the DWE7491RS.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…DEWALT has never let me down. Like never. The brand’s quality and superior dependability are hard things to come by in this business, which is why most DEWALT table saws will always rank highly on any list of portable table saws if I have anything to do with it.
Always a top contender for the best portable table saws for fine woodworking.
Group 2: Mid-Range Quality Portable Table Saws
The “middle of the pack” saws range from 300-$600 and are equipped with extensive features and power ratings.
More suitable for mid-range budgets, they are still very capable table saws that can compete with their higher-priced counterparts.
But do they have what it takes to be the best portable table saws for fine woodworking?
5. SKILSAW SPT99T-11 Portable Worm Drive Table Saw
- Legendary worm drive gearing with 3-5/8 inch depth of cut and 30-1/2 inch rip capacity
- Precision rack and pinion fence system makes fence adjustments quickly and smoothly for accurate cuts
- Rugged rolling stand with 16 inch Wheels and easy-load handles delivers unsurpassed mobility
- Dust port elbow contains debris to 1 area for clean-up
- Outfeed and left support allow for larger cuts to be made by 1 person
The SKILSAW SPT99T-11 features a powerful 15 amp Dual Field motor, a 3-5/8 inch depth of cut, and a rip capacity of 30 inches.
Extremely powerful and designed specifically for job site portability and productivity, the SKILSAW SPT99T-01 definitely packs a wallop at 5000 no-load RPM.
What We Like
- The SKILSAW SPT99T-11’s build quality is extremely solid, and a perfect example of a mid-range table saw with a healthy balance of what my guys call “The PPP Principle” (Price, Power, and Performance).
- We could take the sawdust chute out completely when working out in the open, making things much easier.
- The fence required no adjustment and was completely on point from when we unboxed the saw.
- So. Much. Power. The SPT99T-11 ripped through some 15-year-old 4x4s like it was nothing.
- Works well as a cabinet saw. We were able to make six new cabinets for our kitchen and laundry room!
What We Don’t Like
- We did experience some issues with the wheels of the stand. They didn’t move nearly as smoothly as the smaller wheels of the DWE7491, and at times it was somewhat difficult to maneuver. The wheels are 16 inches and very durable, so I don’t know, maybe it was just us?
Either way, we think questionable wheels are a small price to pay for the overall quality of this table saw. So we consider it one of the best portable table saws for fine woodworking.
6. DEWALT DWE7485 Table Saw
- COMPACT BUILD – Conserve storage space and simplify transporting this tool with a compact design
- ACCURATE ADJUSTMENTS – Make fast, smooth fence adjustments with rack and pinion telescoping rails
- PROFESSIONAL RIP CAPACITY – Take on large jobs with 24.5 in. of rip capacity for ripping 4X8 plywood or OSB sheets
- Site-Pro Modular Guarding System allows for tool-free adjustments of the guarding
- Power-loss reset prevents accidental restarts following a power disruption when the tool is left in the on position
The DEWALT DWE7485 is an impressive mid-range portable table saw that both looks and performs great in the modern woodshop.
A fantastic rack-and-pinion telescoping fence guides the saw’s blade for superior cut quality.
The DWE7485 also features a great rip capacity at 24.5 inches, which gives this little beauty a case of the “small but mighty” syndrome.
What We Like
- Portable and compact, which made it easy to transport to a few different locations. Also makes the whole putting-away process a hell of a lot easier too.
- Did a great job cutting baseboards for one of our projects
- The telescoping fence made us feel like we couldn’t miss the mark at any point. And we didn’t.
What We Don’t Like
- Ripping our plywood was a chore because there’s no built-in feed table
- The riving knife was loose. However, that was easily resolved by adjusting both the nut on the bolt and the bolt depth.
Group 3: Best Bargain Table Saws
As we enter the “Bargain” bracket for the best bargain table saws for $90 to $300, keep in mind that some sacrifices in versatility are made with the focus of providing cheap, but efficient table saws that may not have the bells and whistles of the other saws.
But rest assured, they more often than not get their tailored cuts done at a discounted price.
7. Rockwell BladeRunner X2 Portable Tabletop Saw- RK7323
- [SETS UP IN SECONDS] Take this table saw to the job site or move it around the workshop. There’s even a built-in carry handle
- [CUTS LIKE A FULL-SIZE] With the standard guard and riving knife system you can perform rip, cross, scroll, and miter cuts
- [TOOL-LESS BLADE CHANGE] Uses any brand’s standard 4” T-shank blade, but we threw 5 in the box to get you started cutting wood, ceramic tile, plastic, aluminum, and metal
- [0-60° MITER CUTS] With the adjustable gauge you can pull off precise miter cuts for a whole assortment of woodworking projects
- [ON-BOARD ACCESSORY STORAGE] When the miter gauge, rip fence, and extra blades aren’t in use they can be conveniently housed in the base of the saw
Rockwell’s portable table saw is incomparable when it comes to its price. It puts all other brands to shame. It’s a jack of all trades, offering a bit of everything and more for a fraction of the cost of its counterparts.
To start off, the Rockwell BladeRunner weighs around 15 pounds, just as heavy as a puppy. It’s one of the lightest on the market.
This puts it on top for portable table saws, even for people with back pain.
*Cough* ME! *Cough COUGH*
Moreover, it has the added advantage of versatility. It can cut wood, metal, plastic, aluminum, and ceramic tile.
It can also cut harder woods, like walnut or oak, but probably not for long. Consider investing in a high-quality blade in such a case.
Finally, Rockwell offers top-notch safety with traditional guard and riving knife systems. They also provide excellent customer service with a 3-year warranty, two years longer than its competitors.
On the downside, Rockwell is built for the amateur, the homeowner, and the casual DIY fanatic. It’s not made for contractors.
Therefore, it’s not particularly accurate. There have also been some concerns about its durability, but we kind of anticipated that, considering the low price.
What We Like
- Versatile and can cut all kinds of material
- 3-year warranty
- Very lightweight
What We Don’t Like
- Not particularly durable
- No dust collection system
8. Ryobi RTS22 Table Saw
A powerful 5000 RPM saw with a rip capacity of 27 inches, the Ryobi RTS22 is a decent all-arounder for satisfactory professional work and fine woodworking.
What We Like
- Great rip size
- Good power
- Relatively accurate
- If you’re on a budget, this is an excellent table saw for the price.
What We Don’t Like
- Adjusting the fence can be a bit tricky, as some inaccuracies can become pronounced after you lock the fence.
- It is NOT the most stable saw in the world. After an hour of using it, I felt like I’d been trapped inside a rogue paint mixer. My body still vibrates just thinking about it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you use a jobsite table saw for fine woodworking?
Jobsite table saws are designed to be portable, making them ideal for use on construction sites or in small workshops. However, they can also be used for fine woodworking, provided that you take the time to set them up properly. The first step is to select the right blade. You’ll want a blade with a high tooth count for fine woodworking, producing cleaner cuts. You’ll also want to ensure the blade is sharpened and correctly aligned. Once the blade is installed, you can adjust the fence and miter gauge to ensure that your cuts are precise.
Do I need a miter saw if I have a table saw?
If you only need to make straight cuts or already have a table saw with a miter gauge attachment, you may not need a separate miter saw. However, if you plan on doing a lot of work with moldings or other angled cuts, then a miter saw will save you time and frustration in the long run. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a miter saw is right for your woodworking needs.
How thick of a piece of wood can you cut with a 10-inch table saw?
A 10-inch table saw can cut through a piece of wood up to 3 inches thick. The blade on a 10-inch table saw is 6 inches in diameter so it can handle a maximum cutting depth of 3 inches. If you try to cut through a piece of wood that is thicker than 3 inches, the blade will become bogged down, and the saw will be difficult to control. For most woodworking projects, a 10-inch table saw with a 3-inch cutting capacity will be more than sufficient. However, if you need to cut through thick pieces of lumber regularly, you may want to invest in a larger saw.
Can you cut logs with a table saw?
While a table saw is not typically used for cutting logs, it can be done with the right blade and setup. For example, a standard 10-inch table saw blade would not be able to cut through a thick log, but a 14-inch diameter saw blade can easily handle it. In addition, the table saw must be properly secured so the log does not move while being cut. With the right tools and techniques, cutting logs with a table saw is possible.
How much space do you need around a table saw?
The general rule is to have at least three feet of space on all sides of the saw and five feet in front of the blade. This will give you plenty of room to work and to react if something goes wrong.
What is the #1 danger when using a table saw?
Kickback is the primary cause of accidents and harm when using table saws. This is because kickback typically results in a follow-up movement that pulls your hand toward the blade, especially when you’re working closely with the saw. Numerous experienced professionals prefer to remove the table saw’s blade guard and anti-kickback devices.
Before We Declare a Winner…
In general, as a professional, you want quality and perfect cuts every time. To achieve this, you will want to use only the best portable table saws for fine woodworking.
The middle category of saws are still capable of making good cuts and features, but they aren’t as consistent as the premium saws, though they are very good value for money.
If you want a job done well but don’t mind the odd missed cut every now and then, they’ll suit your purpose just fine.
For the budget tier of table saws, you generally want to avoid these as a professional since the benefit of saving the money on the initial purchase will be far outweighed by constant errors and miss-cuts your equipment will be causing.
As for home use, the bargain table saws are fine, with the medium-range ones being an exceptionally good value for the money.
Each saw has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and no one table saw is the one for every job.
Keep this in mind when deciding which one to buy!
The Best Portable Table Saw for Fine Woodworking is…
…Definitely the DEWALT DWE7491RS! It’s an incredibly powerful machine equipped with the most innovative technologies from a globally respected brand.
The DEWALT DWE7491RS portable table saw is a dream to work with, with its sturdy wheels for easy transport to the job site, its telescoping fence rails, and top-quality 2-1/2″ Dust Collection Port.
It’s also stood the test of time- the DWE7491RS has been around for a minute, and though DEWALT has released newer portable table saws since the DWE7491RS’ 2014 foray into the tool market, there’s yet to be a portable table saw that can top its reliability and array of useful features.
The DEWALT DWE7491RS is the winner in our contest for the best portable table saws for fine woodworking.
DEWALT is the best of a lot of different types of saws on the market, come to think of it…
That’s all I got for today, so until next post, keep on sawin’!