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When a job-site or a portable saw doesn’t get the job done, then most of the pros turn to their contractor counterparts. These models pack more power than their portable versions. It takes more space but provides better precision as compared to the job-site saws.
There are various table saws available on the market, but not all of them are entirely up to the mark. They are either built way too light or don’t have enough power to take on full-time job requirements. Therefore, if you are a busy professional, then you should go through this guide to get the best deal without spending too much. Here we’ve looked at the most crucial features such as the motor characteristics, maximum cut depth at different bevels, table and blade size as well as the length of warranty provided by the manufacturer.
We have developed this article after conducting 40 hours of research and going through different high rated products along with what the customers have to say about them. We will begin with a short but concise comparison table to help you find the right option quickly. Furthermore, we have rated each of the products for your convenience and the reason why that product has made it on our list.
After that, you’re going to read detailed reviews on each of the product. Next, you can go through our buying guide to acquaintance the features that you need to consider when buying a contractor table saw. So let’s commence!
More features: features an on-board storage system
The DWE7491RS from DeWalt comes with a 10-inch blade and is extremely efficient as a job-site table saw. Its blade comes with a ripping capacity of 32.5 inches which allows you to take care of multiple jobs. It also features a rolling stand for convenient mobility across the workplace.
The rip capacity of DWE7491RS allows you to cut through different trim materials and large shelves. The 2.5-inch diameter of the dust port ensures effective dust extraction because it connects with a vacuum. This model also has a 15A motor that provides the blade with a cutting power enough to go through a variety of hardwoods without making a mess.
The table saw also boasts a ripping fence that you can flip over for improved and precise cutting. You can easily break down the rolling stand and set it up easily without compromising on stability.
What we liked:
Pinion fence mechanism allows different adjustments
Can cut through the different trim and shelving materials.
The dust port connected with a vacuum
Easy to set up
What could be better:
Customers complain of the miter gauge being not that precise
More features: 3-1/2-inch cut height can cut through 4x the material in one pass
If you want to purchase a budget-friendly table saw, then don’t look any further. The 3410-02 from Skil is the best option for people who don’t want to spend too much on their table saw. Despite being low on price, the 3410-02 doesn’t fall short on quality.
You can extend the cast aluminum deck from 20-inch x 26-inch to 20-inch x 32-inch if you are working on long workpieces. The 10-inch blade offers a 3.5-inch cut height which enables you to cut up to four different materials at once. It also boasts a top quality steel stand for quick setup and convenient transportation.
You can also alter the bevel angle from 0-degree to 47-degree. Furthermore, the rip fence can self-align itself, and the EZ view system of the saw ensures accurate measurements.
Above all, this contractor table saw comes at a very affordable price, and you can also buy a pack of three or four machines if you have a sawing team working on large projects.
More features: release lever for riving knife/spreader height adjustments into 3 different positions for through, non-through and dado cuts
The 2705X1 from Makita has rather high overall ratings due to its high-quality 10-inch blade and a 15A motor. The motor can produce up to 4800 RPM which packs quite a punch and enables the blade to handle most of the hardwoods with ease.
The blade also features a tool-less guard system, an adjustable spreader and a riving knife that can take care of most complicated jobs as well. The blade guard is well protected with cam lock, and you don’t need any tools to remove or install it.
You can also make adjustments to the measurements between the rip fence and the blade. There are a couple of onboard pawls that you can independently stow. The anti-kickback pawls keep the cuts clean and through.
There is a convenient release lever for the riving knife, and with it, you can also adjust the height in three different positions including non-thorough, thorough and dado cuts. The table saw from Makita delivers excellent value for its price and you can handle multiple jobs with this gizmo.
More features: micro-adjust miter gauge with extension plate; Accu-Fence locks to rail without play
One of the contractor table saws that have recently entered the market and have become quite popular is the 1791230K-64B version from Powermatic. It comes with a 50-inch fence and a riving knife with a 10-inch blade.
The knife can maintain proximity to lower any chances of kickback. There is a miter gauge that enables you to make adjustments at the micro level. Moreover, the extension plate allows you to create wide crosscuts.
The knife and the guard are quickly releasable enabling you to mount or remove them without using any tools. The saw also features a table made of cast iron and wings with beveled edges to allow you smooth and precise miter gauging.
Furthermore, this machine comes with an inbuilt port for an efficient dust extraction. As you can see this relatively new item does come with plenty of features and you can buy it at a very considerable price.
What we liked:
The close proximity between the riving knife and the fence reduces kickback
More features: SawStop safety system; professional T-Glide Fence System is constructed of thick gauge steel
The CNS175-TGP36 from SawStop is equipped with a 4-HP motor which can produce good RPM and allows the 10-inch blade to work efficiently. SawStop has given specific attention to minute details to improve the overall efficiency of the machine.
The fence system features a 36-inch T-Glide that provides exceptionally smooth operation. Furthermore, you can accurately measure and ensure lockdown without any errors and deflection. With this contractor table saw, you will also get mobility options including a mobile base and job-site cart.
The SawStop contractor saw offers plenty of productivity because the motor equips the riving knife with enough power to cut through different materials. The 10-inch blade is very sharp and effective. With its dust collection system, you can be sure of not making any mess at the workplace and stay organized through the project.
Due to the cancer potential of sawdust, SawStop has kept the dust management mechanism under the table. You can also opt for DCP (dust collection port) adapter or a blade guard for dust collection.
What we liked:
Precise settings for different cuts
4-HP motor for maximum strength
Mobility options such as mobile base or job-site cart
What could be better:
The throat plate tends to get chipped relatively easy
More features: large, easy to access ON/OFF switch; Blade Brake stops the blade within seconds of the power being turned off
The 36-5000 from Delta is equipped with a 10-inch blade that features a tilt on the left side. It comes with a tubular stand that has a unique construction and provides maximum stability and support.
The biesemeyer style of the fence is heavy-duty, and it is coupled with dual rip windows. The on/off switch of this machine is large, and you can access it very conveniently. Moreover, one of the best features of this machine is its blade brake that can stop the blade in no time as soon as you shut it off.
The table saw comes with a one-piece rail system that allows you to make precise cuts every time you turn on the machine. The 30-inch fence provides you with plenty of working space, and the 15A motor provides the blade with enough power to cut through various materials.
What we liked:
Tubular stand offers maximum stability and support
Large on/off button
Blade brake stops the moving blade in a few seconds
What could be better:
Doesn’t have a proven track record due to its novelty on the market
Slightly shallow throat plate
Things to Consider
There is a huge number of contractor table saws available on the market and choosing any of them seems very irksome. You need to identify what you want from your machine before going out to make a choice. Identifying all your requirements will enable you to trim down the options at your disposal.
We have developed this buying guide for your assistance to highlight some of the things that you should consider when buying the best contractor table saw.
Why a contractor table saw, not portable or cabinet one?
A contractor table saw provides a perfect balance between its portable and cabinet counterparts. The cabinet models are stationary and fixed. You cannot move them around, however; they are an excellent option if you are working on large-scale projects because they come with tremendous cutting power.
Portable table saws are also related to benchtop designs that are lightweight and offer excellent maneuverability. If you move around a lot from one site to another, then this portability feature make your work easy. Now, contractor table saw sits right in the middle of these two both in terms of the features and the performance.
Regarding cutting power, they are better than portable versions but not than the cabinet ones. A balance between a relatively good cutting strength with the convenience of mobility is what this machine is all about. It is your excellent space-saving option.
Features to consider while choosing a contractor table saw
There are various features that you must consider before buying a contractor table saw which meets all your needs and requirements. By making a hasty decision here, you will end up overspending on equipment which will affect your productivity at the job-site as well. Here are some features that you should look at before making your purchase.
It’s good to know that amperage doesn’t actually refer to the saw power, it’s more about how long it can continuously run within the temperature limit. All the products in this article come with a 15A motor with slight variations in horsepower ranging from 1.75 HP to 2 HP.
However, if you work with hardwoods on a daily basis then you will need a cabinet table saw with higher amperage than 20A otherwise you will wear out your machine in no time, and that will be a waste of money.
Most table saws come with a 10-inch blade. It is suitable for a variety of cuts and can go through different types of materials with relative ease. When you separately purchase a blade, make sure that it is compatible with your table saw design and the work you frequently do. Cabinet style comes with blades bigger than 10-inch, and they are designed to handle large pieces. Some expensive machine versions also have 12-inch blades.
Maximum cut depth
Depending on your project, you’ll also want to consider how deep your new saw can cut the materials. For all our products we’ve put two options – for 0 bevel and 45 bevel, the two extreme points at which your blade can cut. So it’s crucial always to check this figure especially if you know exactly what you’re going to do with your contractor table saw.
Maximum dado width
Most of the table saws offer 13/15-inch or 13/16-inch but you can also find saws that enable you to get 2/4-inch or 3/8-inch dado width as well. However, the later models come at a high price because you can make adjustments to the fence along with the deck. If your work calls for more variety, then you can go for those commercial grade machines.
Table size has a significant role to play when it comes to contractor saws. You cannot opt for a long size because you must keep it maneuverable as well. There are various designs available that have 52-inch table tops as well. Nevertheless, with a large top, you need to compromise on the maneuverability of the table saw up to a certain extent.
The RPM (or revolutions per minute) depends upon the strength of the motor. Most of the table saw models are equipped with 15 to 20 Amp motors that can produce 3000 to 6000 RPM, for instance, Makita 2705X1 offers 4800 RPM. If you want more RPM, then you will need a cabinet saw. However, in most cases, it is better to work with low RPM because it gives you more precision and accuracy.
Many manufacturers offer warranties that range from one to five years (as the Delta 36-5000). If you want higher warranty, then be ready to spend more money.
The warranty covers all issues associated with the faulty parts and components as well as the quality. But it doesn’t cover any problems raised by accidents, misuse, negligence or abuse along with regular wear, so make sure you follow all the safety instructions carefully.
There are some additional features that you need to consider as well. For example, fence and miter gauge also have a significant role to play. Usually, a T-square fence is highly recommended because of its rigidity, accuracy, and performance. For the cross cuts, you will need a quality miter gauge to get your accuracy bang on target.
Yes, you can change the initial size of the table or your contractor saw. There are some models available that allow you to increase or decrease the deck according to your needs and requirements. For instance, the 3410-02 from Skil is an excellent example of such a table saw.
A contractor table saw offers a perfect balance between cutting strength and mobility. If you work on mid-scale or DIY projects, then this is the right machine for you. There are numerous designs available and they emphasize different aspects. Some of them are budget-friendly while others focus on quality and performance. The key is to stick to your needs and preferences.
As per our research, we have found that the DWE74910RS from DeWalt, the 3410-02 from Skil and 2705X1 from Makita are among the best contractor table saws that money can buy. The machine from DeWalt focuses on top-notch performance while Skil’s table saw is budget friendly whereas Makita’s relies on delivering overall value. Some of you might prefer quality while others focus on the budget. However, most of the people look for a balance where they don’t have to spend too much money and also get a good quality product. So, which group do you belong to?