Folding Miter Saw Table
This article is from Issue 10 of Woodcraft Magazine.
Equipped with a great stop system, this folding miter saw table is adaptable for use on a workbench or as a freestanding work table.
As most woodworkers know, it is difficult to use a miter saw without some sort of table to support the workpiece and restrain the saw. In many large workshops, you’ll find a miter saw against a long wall, with a work surface at the same height as the saw’s bed. But for most of us, this isn’t an option because of space constraints.
The miter saw table you are about to build offers a solution to that dilemma, as well as mobility. It can be used atop a workbench (legs folded in) or as a stand-alone table (legs folded out). The design employs a simple angular wedge block that permits the legs to fold neatly in for storage, travel or bench-top use; and to rotate out, forming a stable, sturdy platform.
The two-part stop system includes an upper stop for cutting to 44″ and a sliding stop for cutting to 83″. As you’ll see, the “flip design” of the latter is great for cutting multiple pieces to the same length.
Begin construction by cutting the table side beams (A) from standard 1″x 4″ clear pine. Rout a ¼” rabbet to fit the ¼” plywood top (B). Glue and screw the three bulkheads (C) in the locations shown (Fig. 1). The end supports (F) are glued in place to support the plywood edge, and the end caps (G) are added to complete the table.
Machine the wedge blocks (D) from poplar (or other hardwood) to the dimensions shown (Fig. 3). Add the pilot holes as indicated. Note that the blocks are drilled with the 9/32″ pilot hole, 90° to the 18° surface. Two blocks have the holes on the left side and two have the holes on the right, thereby making left-hand and right-hand blocks. It is important to drill these holes before installing the blocks because only a 6½” space separates the side beams, limiting drill access. Pilot holes are essential for proper installation of the 3/8″ lag bolts. When installing the blocks, the 9/32″ hole must be 2″ from the edge that fits against the bulkhead. The 2″ location and the bulkhead bottom edge set the leg-opening angle. The wedge blocks are glued and screwed in place, against the bulkheads (Fig. 4).
Wedge blocks make it easy to position the legs for maximum support.
Attach the legs
The legs (E) are made from standard 1″ x 3″ poplar stock. Taper the legs as shown (Fig. 2). Make the footpads and glue them in place. The legs are attached to the table with 3/8″ lag bolts and washers (Photo 1). The legs are installed with the footpads facing the center of the table for clearance with the table side beams when folded. When installing the bolts, I put a drop of cyanoacrytate adhesive in the hole to lock the bolt in place. After final assembly, the legs/footpad lower surfaces are trimmed parallel to the floor. Rubber bumpers can then be added to eliminate slipping.
The table provides a work surface that is 32½” from the floor, which is a good workbench height. If a taller table is desired, the legs and the table need to be made longer as appropriate.
A rear shelf supports the back end of the miter saw.
Rear shelf/saw attachment
The rear shelf design is shown in Fig. 4. The Delta Model 36-075 10″ compound miter saw used here is 39/16″ high, 177/8″ wide and 10 5/8″ deep. Determine the width and depth of your saw and modify the dimensions as necessary. The shelf (EE) and bracket (FF) are made from clear pine and attached to the table using #10 x 1½” RH screws (Photo 2). Make sure the shelf top surface is even with the tabletop, for a flat saw mounting plane.
You can bolt your saw to the table, or fashion a quick release using clasps.
Prepare the platforms
The platforms’ essential function is to provide a surface at the same height as the miter saw. After determining your saw height, cut the eight bulkheads (M) ¼” in height less to allow for the top panel. Add the notches as shown in Fig 4. to accept the top edge member (J). Glue the top to the edge members. This assembly can now be added to the bulkheads. The long platform has four equal spaces between the bulkheads. The short platform has two. I used small finishing nails and glue to attach the top to the bulkheads.
With the miter saw attached to the table, it is now possible to add the platforms. Make sure that the saw table and the platforms are at the same level. If adjustments are necessary, add shims as required to achieve a flat plane. Leave a 1/16″ gap between both platforms and the saw, and attach the platforms with screws, up through the tabletop (B) into the bulkheads (M).
The saw could be simply lag-bolted to the table using the saw tie-down holes. If you intend to keep the saw attached to the table at all times, this would be the way to go. However, in my shop I store the table on a shelf and the saw in another location. For easy removal and portability, I designed a method for quick attachment of the saw to the table using clasps (Photo 3). I have used clasps on several projects with excellent results. Clasp elements interlock, providing a positive, indexing, locking device that resists force in all directions. As illustrated in Photo 3, the Delta saw base includes a cavity inside the two front mounting lugs, below the upper clamp holes. I machined a left-hand and right-hand block to fit inside the cavity, with the bottoms of the blocks in plane with the saw base. The upper clasp elements are attached to the blocks, and the lower parts are attached to the table, using the supplied screws. By using the clasps, no other attachments are necessary to retain the saw. As every miter saw is different, if you want to include this feature on your table, you have to fabricate custom blocks to fit your saw.
The fence parts (N) and (P) are cut from ¾” clear pine. Machine the gussets (T) to the dimensions shown in Fig. 6. The five gussets for the long fence include a 33/64″ x 33/64″ notch providing clearance for the sliding stop bar. Glue (N), (P), and (T) together. The fence top piece (R) includes a 3/8″ x ¾” rabbet for the
T-Slot extrusion, and a 1/32″ x ½” dado for the self-stick measuring tape. Glue on the top piece (R) to complete the fence. Do not add the tape at this time. Cut the T-Slot track to length and screw in place. Cut and assemble the short fence in a similar manner.
On the long fence, add the clamp support block (U) as shown. Sand a slight taper to the block as shown in Fig. 7 before gluing it in place between the two gussets. Make the clamp plate (V) as shown in Fig. 8, and install the ¼”-20 hanger bolt. Use two nails to keep the clamp plate in place, loosely over the bolt. Add the wing knob to complete the assembly. The clamp should permit the stop bar to slide freely unless the knob is tightened.
Align fences to the saw with a long straightedge.
The fences can now be attached to the platforms. Note: As shown in the photo, I added a 3″ high wood fence to the miter saw to increase the surface area and to make the saw fence even with the table fence. Align the fences with the saw in place using a long straightedge clamped to the saw fence extending across the platforms. Place both fences against the straightedge, and screw the fences to the platform. The fences are attached using #12 x 1½” RH wood screws and washers into the platform bulkheads. The oversized holes in the fences allow for slight adjustments, if necessary. With the fences installed and the saw in place, add self-stick measuring tape to both fences. Using a scale against the saw blade and fence, carefully mark the 10″ point on the fence and add the tape to both sides. On my saw, the tapes start at the 9″ dimension, since the saw is 177/8″ wide (18″ with the gaps, or 9″/side).
Detail of sliding bar, stop and clamp assembly.
Add sliding/flip stops
The sliding stop (W) is a simple hardwood block attached to a sliding bar. The stop is attached with a single screw. The stop stores behind the fence, and when needed, is rotated 180° for use. Make the block, as shown in Fig. 5 and Photo 5, including the drilled and countersunk hole. The sliding bar (X) is made from standard, white, ½” square aluminum extrusion that is used with wire shelving and available from most supply centers. Make a plug about 1″ long to fit tightly into the end of the tube, and to retain the stop screw. Sand the plug for a tight fit into the tube, and install the stop and screw. I used a Sharpie pen to mark divisions on the bar in ¼” increments and hand lettered the digits. The divisions on the bar continue from the divisions on the measuring tape which start at 49″ and go to 83″.
The flip stop carriage (Z) is machined from a poplar block. I cut the lug profile on the bandsaw, and then cut away and sanded the extra material. Add a guide strip to keep the block straight in the track. The stop (AA) is made in a similar fashion by cutting the profile, and cutting out the space between the lugs. The lugs must be a tight fit with no play. Drill the hole in the stop first. Position the stop lugs over the carriage lugs, and drill a hole through the carriage for the hardwood pin. Add the ¼”-20 bolt and wing knob to complete the assembly. For complete details, see the rigid stop and flip stop in Fig. 5, and portions of the original engineering drawings in Fig. 8 below. If you feel the flip stop is unnecessary, the hinge design can be eliminated and the stop attached directly to a 2″ long carriage. Whatever stop you make, be sure the edge of the carriage and the edge of the stop are even for accurate reading of the tape.
A carry handle was added for portability. Bend one flange to a 90° angle to fit the corner of the table. Add the handle after attaching the saw to determine the balance point.
Since this is a utility-type project, use whatever type of finish you have on hand to seal and complete this project. I finished my table with two coats of shellac, sanding between the coats.
Editors Note: Included here are details taken from Sonny Varisco’s original engineering drawings of our featured project. For those hungry for still more details, log on to our Web site for downloadable pdf pages of the complete plan.
Table saw, router, drill press, clamps, socket set, screwdrivers, straight edge
The following are available at any hardware or home center:
3/8″ x 2″ lag bolts (4)3/8″ washers (4)#10 x 1″ FH wood screws (48)#12 x 2″ FH wood screws (12)#10 x 11/2″ RH wood screws (3)1/4. 20 x 11/2″ FH wood screws (2)1/4. 20 nut (2)#18 x 7/8″ nails (2)#12 x 11/2″ RH wood screws (5) 1/4″ washers (5)#10 x 11/2″ FH wood screws (3)#17 x 3/4″ finishing nails
Clasp (13/4″ x 3/4″) and screws (2), #85H96T-slot track (24″), #142804T-slot track (48″), #142805Right-to-left tape, #08Y42Left-to-right tape, #08Y411/4. 20 wing knob (2), #85J951/4. 20 hanger bolt (1), #1302341/4. 20 T-bolt (1), #130435
Making Table Saw Station with Flip Top Mitre Saw
Sonny Varisco is an aircraft structural design engineer, retired after 35 years at Gruman Aerospace. He has been an active woodworker for 45 years, designing and constructing furniture, cabinets, built-ins, toys and woodworking aides.
Skil 10-inch Table Saw with Folding Stand Review TS6307-00
For the DIYer and budget-conscious Pro, the Skil 10-inch Jobsite Table Saw makes sense for a variety of reasons. Not only does it have the power and capacity to tackle hardwood cutting, but it also features a foldable stand. While not a worm drive table saw like the Skilsaw models, this Skil 10-inch model looks well-made and has the features to impress most serious DIYers and home users.
Check out our best portable jobsite table saws article for even more great recommendations
- Integrated folding legs
- Higher quality build than we expect at this price
- Stable cutting
- Rack and pinion fence system
- Solid feature set
- Dado stack compatible up to 5/8-inch
- Excellent value at 299
Skil Portable Table Saw
Integrated Folding Stand
One of the really big deals about the Skil 10-inch jobsite table saw involves its integrated stand. Instead of detaching from a stand, it features foldable legs. These proved to be plenty easy to fold down and lock into place by just one person.
The locking system and the build of the frame itself give the saw a much more rigid feel than we expect from most table saws in the DIY/Prosumer space. With the liberal use of metal components where others choose plastic, it feels better built than its closest competition.
Not only does the saw set up quickly, but it carries easily from the truck to the jobsite.
The Skil 10-inch table saw uses its 15-amp motor to spin the blade at up to 4600 RPM. It has a 25-1/2″ rip capacity, and the 10″ blade provides enough cutting capacity to easily get through 4x4s…should you need to.
Note that the stock blade Skil includes has 24 teeth. It’s fine for making rough cuts you know you’re going to sand when you’re finished. It’s also nice for making your cuts faster. However, we’d recommend switching it out and going with a 40-tooth for general cutting and higher tooth counts if you’re looking for a super-smooth finish right off the saw.
The rack and pinion fence rails ensure that your fence stays parallel to the blade, keeping your cuts accurate. You can also make micro-adjustments to calibrate the blade angle, keeping it parallel to the rip fence and miter slot.
There are a lot more table saws with a rack and pinion fence these days and there’s a good reason for it. They’re much easier to keep square and adjust compared to a typical slide style.
Angling for Better Results
The Skil 10-inch table saw features a.2-47° bevel capacity, with two positive stops at 0° and 45°. It’s a typical sliding system with a quick-release lever behind the depth wheel.
Skil’s goes with a plastic miter gauge that attaches to the left side when it’s not in use. The design is a bit better than what we expect from some stock gauges and we like the high-contrast white markings that make it easier to read. Slots in the face allow you to screw an auxiliary face in for more stable mitering.
Dado stacks are compatible with this table saw. You’ll need the correct table insert (throat plate) and you can use a dado stack that’s 5/8 inches or less.
- Dust port elbow
- Safety anti-restart switch
- Onboard storage for blade wrenches, push stick, blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, and miter gauge
As we made our cuts and got to learn the saw, we were keeping in mind that it’s a model designed to compete in the DIY/Prosumer space rather than as a premium professional model like Skilsaw.
One thing we discovered as we calibrated the table saw is that we have ~1/32-inch variance toward the end of the table. It’s far enough out that it didn’t affect our trim cuts and it shouldn’t be a major issue cutting sheet goods.
The actual cutting was a pleasant surprise for this level. In both sheet goods and 2x material, the motor is confident. There are definitely stronger saws at the professional level, but the cuts felt smooth and stable.
Switching from a 24T blade to a 40T, there was very little chatter and, as expected, the quality of the finish improved significantly. As with any saw, let the motor and the blade do the work to get the best results.
Skil didn’t start from scratch on this saw—but they also didn’t rebadge their older model. Instead, they seem to have taken some of the best innovations—like the rack and pinion fence—and added some of their own twists.
With a 299 price tag, it’s the most complete package we’ve seen at this cost level. It’s an easy recommendation for DIYers that need a good starter saw and something budget-minded Pro contractors might want to consider.
Skil TS6307-00 10-inch Table Saw Specs
- Model: Skil TS6307-00
- Power: 15-amps
- Arbor: 5/8 in.
- Blade: 10 in.
- Cutting depth (max): 3.5 in.
- Cutting depth (45° bevel): 2.5 in.
- RIP left of blade: 14 in.
- RIP right of blade: 25.5 in.
- Max dado width: 5/8 in.
- Bevel angle:.2° to 47°
- Speed: 4600 RPM
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: 299
The 10 Best Table Saws of 2023
Michelle Ullman is a home decor expert and product reviewer for home and garden products. She has been writing about home decor for over 10 years for publications like BobVila.com and Better Homes Gardens, among others.
Johnathan C. Brewer II is a licensed general contractor specializing in kitchen, bath remodels, and general construction with two decades of professional experience.
A top-quality table saw uses an adjustable, partially-exposed blade to create fast, accurate rip cuts, crosscuts, miter cuts, and beveled cuts. Some also do specialty cuts, such as dado or rabbet. When it comes to choosing the right table saw for your needs, Deane Biermeier, a general contractor and member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board, recommends, “Unless you’re planning on only using your table saw in your workshop, choose a DIY-friendly, portable model that moves easily and sets up quickly for use on all kinds of projects anywhere around your home.”
We researched the most popular table saws available today, evaluating reliability, versatility, precision, and overall value.
DeWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw
We sent this model to our product tester, who put it to good use rebuilding a large wooden deck at his home. He had high praise for the saw’s ability to quickly and easily slice through a variety of materials and boards, and he especially appreciated the tool’s folding stand, which made it easy to move the saw wherever he needed it. The DWE7491RS’s table measures 26.25 by 22 inches, although its sturdy wheeled stand makes it fairly easy to push out of the way when not in use.
Our tester commented, “The built-in rack-and-pinion fence system, which acts as a guide for boards that runs parallel to the blade, adjusts by hand and is both easy to use and very accurate. I learned to trust the fence and its measurements, and it made my workflow faster knowing I didn’t have to measure everything four times to double-check the DeWALT. “
With a 10-inch blade and 32½-inch rip capacity—the rack-and-pinion fence rails extend smoothly and sturdily for oversize boards—and 15-amp motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛-inch deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. It can handle dado cuts up to 13/16-inch wide with the appropriate blade and throat plate. Our product tester’s final verdict: “The DeWALT DWE7491RS 10″ Jobsite Table Saw is a straightforward saw that delivers quality and performance in a portable package. I found it much more convenient than other stand-less table saws.”
Price at time of publish: 549
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 32.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Ryobi RTS12 Jobsite Table Saw
Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line table saw, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a so-so tool. If your needs are simple, and you just use the saw for occasional basic tasks, you’ll find that the Ryobi RTS12 handles everything you ask of it, and for a very reasonable price. It includes a folding stand so you can easily store the saw when not in use.
This 10-inch jobsite table saw has a 15-amp motor that spins the blade at up to 5,000 rpm. You can rip boards up to 12 inches to the right and 8 inches to the left of the blade. Unlike many higher-priced table saws, there are no extending rails, although you could use a separate stand to support larger materials. Still, for the price, it’s hard to beat the performance of this sturdy tool.
The saw has a maximum cutting depth of 3 inches at a 90-degree angle.
Price at time of publish: 189
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 12 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Milwaukee Cordless M18 Fuel One-Key Table Saw Kit
Most power saws are corded, and for good reason. These are powerful tools that require a lot of energy to keep them going. But with today’s battery technology, more and more power tools are able to cut the tether and go cordless. One such tool is the Milwaukee M18 Fuel One-Key Table Saw Kit, which has all the oomph of a corded table saw, but runs on an M18 battery. The battery is strong enough to rip up to 600 linear feet of board before requiring a recharge, so don’t fear you’ll have to interrupt your work sessions frequently.
The saw’s brushless motor reaches speeds of up to 6,300 rpm, and the 8-¼-inch blade cuts up to 2.5 inches deep at a 90-degree angle, or 1.75 inches deep at a 45-degree angle. The table provides a rip capacity of 24.5 inches to the right, and 12 inches to the left. The bevel setting allows you to tilt the table up to 47 degrees to the left. And with the tool’s “Smart Key” app, you can track the tool’s location remotely, disable it from a distance, and keep track of its performance.
Note that this table saw does not include a stand, although Milwaukee does sell one separately. It does include the battery and charger.
Foldable Brackets on my Mobile Miter Saw Station
Price at time of publish: 599
Type: Benchtop | Blade Size: 8-1/4 inches | Rip Capacity: 24.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: No
RIDGID R4514 Pro Jobsite Table Saw
If you need a reliable and powerful table saw that’s easy to wheel right where you need it, take a look at the RIDGID R5414 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw. This 15-amp saw makes light of 4 x 4 boards, ripping through them with one pass. When closed, the table measures 22 inches by 30 inches. Pull out the fence rails, and you gain an extra 12 inches to the right for ripping large boards. It includes SOFTstart technology, which ramps the motor up gently when the power is switched on, helping to lower the noise and improve the accuracy of the tool.
The 10-inch blade spins at a maximum of 5,000 rpm, with a maximum cutting depth of 3.5 inches at a 90-degree angle and 2.25 inches at a 45-degree angle. The saw comes with a very sturdy wheeled stand that folds up for storage once the job is done.
Price at time of publish: 599
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 30 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
DeWALT DWE7485 Compact Table Saw
The DeWALT DWE7485 might be a little more compact than many other table saws, but it certainly doesn’t lack for power or performance. The 15-amp motor spins the 8-¼-inch blade at up to 5,800 rpm, and the table boasts 24.5 inches of rip capacity to the right of the blade with the rack-and-pinion fence rails extended, and 12 inches of rip capacity to the left of the blade, which is more than some overall larger saws. While sold as a benchtop model, the tool has handles for easy transport, and can be perched on an optional stand if desired. It’s ruggedly designed for use at jobsites, but equally at home in your garage or workshop.
The maximum depth of cut at a 90-degree angle is 2-9/16 inch. Note that while the saw handily performs all of the basic table saw cuts, it does not accept a dado blade.
Price at time of publish: 299
Type: Benchtop | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 24.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: No | Includes Stand: No
Best for DIYers
SKIL TS6307-00 10-Inch Table Saw
If you take your DIY projects seriously, want a table saw that can handle just about anything you are likely to throw at it, but aren’t looking for the most expensive model or the most bells-and-whistles, you’ll find that the SKIL TS6307-00 Table Saw meets your needs and goes a step beyond. This DIY-friendly table jobsite saw has an integrated stand with foldable legs that makes it easy to store the tool when not in use.
The saw has a 15-amp motor with top speed of 4,600 rpm that handles 4 x 4s with ease. The 10-inch blade makes quick work of cuts through woods both hard and soft, and the 25-inch by 24-inch table lets you rip-cut boards up to 25.5 inches to the right of the blade and 14 inches to the blade’s left. Rack-and-pinion fence rails glide out smoothly and easily for extended cuts. The bevel adjusts between.2 and 45 degrees, and with the appropriate dado blade and throat assembly (sold separately), you can do dado cuts as well.
Price at time of publish: 349
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 25.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Bachin Mini Table Saw
If you build models, crafts, small wooden items such as boxes or picture frames, or simply want to have a saw for occasional small jobs, the Bachin Mini Table Saw is at your service. This tiny saw measures a mere 9.45 by 7.87 by 5.12 inches and has a 4-inch blade that turns at adjustable speeds up to 7,000 rpm. There’s also a port for attaching a drill chuck so you can use the versatile tool not just for cutting, but also for drilling or polishing.
The blade height can be easily adjusted for making very accurate rip or cross cuts on wood, plastic, or aluminum up to ½-inch thick, but unfortunately, you cannot bevel or cut on an angle with this small saw. It’s not at all noisy, so you can even use it indoors to work on a wide variety of projects and crafts.
Price at time of publish: 99
Type: Mini | Blade Size: 4 inches | Rip Capacity: Not stated | Dado Blade Compatible: No | Includes Stand: No
SKIL SPT99-11 Heavy-Duty Worm-Drive Table Saw
If you plan on using your table saw for major projects, such as construction, then you need a tool that can handle large materials without shirking. And for that, it’s hard to go wrong with the SKIL SPT99-11 Heavy-Duty Worm-Drive Table Saw. Worm-drive saws have more power and torque, although the tradeoff is that they are also heavier. However, thanks to the sturdy stand with 16-inch wheels, you can still easily transport this professional-level jobsite saw to your worksite.
The 15-amp motor can spin the 10-inch blade at up to 5,000 rpm. It easily muscles through the hardest woods, tackling 4x boards without problems. The 34 by 24-inch table extends out to 52.6 inches with the rack-and-pinion fence system, and the saw can make rip-cuts of 16.5 inches to the left and a whopping 30.5 inches to the right. The bevel adjusts between.1 and 47 degrees, and with the appropriate blade, you can make 1/2-inch dado cuts. Most impressive of all, this saw has a maximum cutting depth of 3-5/8 inches, which is more than just about any other available saw.
Price at time of publish: 649
Type: Jobsite | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 30.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
SawStop CNS175-SFA30 10-Inch Contractor Saw
Most DIYers and home handypeople don’t need the power, size, or expense of a large table saw, but if you do, the SawStop CNS175-SFA30 Contractor Table Saw is the tool of choice. This powerful table saw has a 1.75-horsepower motor that spins the 10-inch blade up to 3,000 rpm. The sturdy cast-iron frame means you won’t need to worry about vibrations interfering with the perfect cut. And this saw handles them all: cross cuts, rip cuts, bevel cuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, and dado cuts with the appropriate blade.
The SawStop table saw has a 20-inch-wide by 27-inch-deep table, but with the extensions, allows you to make rip cuts as wide as 30.5 inches to the right and 16.5 inches to the left.
The blade tilts up to 45 degrees to the left for making bevel cuts, and can cut up to 2-¼-inch deep at that angle. With the blade straight, you can make cuts up to 3-⅛ inches deep. There’s a built-in, highly accurate miter gauge and two miter slots for holding boards steady.
While any table saw is potentially dangerous, this one takes safety to new heights with a sensor that detects human skin, bringing the blade to a complete stop in less than 5 milliseconds should that occur. All in all, this is a tool for both professionals and serious hobbyists who want the utmost in saw performance.
Price at time of publish: 1,979
Type: Contractor | Blade Size: 10 inches | Rip Capacity: 30.5 inches | Dado Blade Compatible: Yes | Includes Stand: Yes
Best Miter Gauge
KREG KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System
A miter gauge is a device that allows users to set up the angle of the material being cut with a table saw. And while most table saws come with built-in miter gauges, they aren’t always the greatest quality, which is why the Kreg KMS7102 Table Saw Precision Miter Gauge System is invaluable. This is a great choice if you are looking to add or replace the miter gauge on your table saw.
Pre-calibrated right out of the box, Kreg’s miter gauge has positive stops at 0, 10, 22-1/2, 30, and 45 degrees, so you can begin using your brand new miter gauge straight away.
With a 25-inch fence made of durable aluminum to ensure long-lasting use, a micro-adjustment system that allows users to adjust their desired angle up to 1/10th of a degree, and a ton of extra features you’ll be hard-pressed to find on even most built-in miter gauges, the KMS7102 is a must-have for both professional and amateur woodworkers.
Price at time of publish: 151
If you’re looking for a table saw that can handle all types of cuts accurately, quickly, and easily, you can’t go wrong with the DeWALT DWE7491RS Jobsite Table Saw. This powerful saw makes quick work of even thick boards, and is easy to move out of the way once your work is finished. But if budget is a big concern, the Ryobi RTS12 Jobsite Table Saw is sufficient for just about any task the average DIYer is likely to undertake.
What to Look For In a Table Saw
There are two basic forms of table saw: portable and stationary. But within those two categories are more than one type.
Benchtop table saws, as the name suggests, are designed to sit on your workbench. They do not have a support stand of their own. These are a good choice for DIYers, as they are fairly lightweight, less expensive than larger machines, and reasonably portable. On the downside, they are somewhat limited in the size of board they can handle.
Jobsite table saws come with a stand, which is often lightweight and wheeled so that it’s fairly easy to move the tool from jobsite to jobsite. These are often more rugged and larger than benchtop table saws. Jobsite table saws are very popular for both DIYers and professional tradespeople.
Contractor table saws are stationary tools that sit atop a sturdy frame. They are similar to jobsite saws, but are typically larger and more powerful. Still, the term “contractor table saw” is now often used for models that more properly are jobsite table saws.
Cabinet table saws are most often found in professional woodworking or carpentry shops. These very heavy and powerful tools are generally built of cast iron and have a cabinet enclosing the frame to reduce vibration, improve dust collection, and add support.
Finally, hybrid table saws are somewhere in between contractor and cabinet tools in size, power, and price.
There are two types of motors used in table saws: universal motors and induction motors.
Portable table saws generally have a universal motor, which links directly to the blade, providing a whole lot of power. The downside is that these models are generally quite loud.
Induction motors, on the other hand, are connected to a belt that then transfers power to the blade. As a result, you get quieter operation and the ability to cut denser materials. The downside is that these models require more preventive maintenance, as you have to adjust the belt’s tension periodically. Induction motors are common on stationary table saws.
There are several basic components that are important when choosing a table saw. Most are standard with the majority of table saws, but some are extras.
Table: The table of a table saw is crucial in terms of stability. Larger tables can handle larger boards, but also take up more space in your workshop. The best tables are made of cast iron, but steel is a good second choice. Less expensive portable table saws sometimes have aluminum tables, which tend to transmit a lot of vibration.
Blade: The standard blade size for most table saws is 10 inches. Larger saws often use 12-inch blades, however, and some compact saws use 8-¾-inch blades. As a general rule, a 10-inch blade lets you cut to a depth of 3-½ inches when the blade is at a 90-degree angle to the board.
Blade Cover: Typically made from transparent plastic, the blade cover curves above the blade to protect the user from flying sawdust and debris, as well as offer some protection to their hands.
Rip Fence: This adjustable guide serves to keep the board moving in a perfectly straight line while making rip cuts.
Miter Gauge: This adjustable guide helps position and secure the board when making miter cuts. Typically, it adjusts between 0 and 90 degrees.
Bevel Gauge: This is a tilt adjustment to the saw blade for making bevel cuts.
Riving Knife and Anti-Kickback Pawls: Both of these safety features are designed to reduce the chance of “kickback,” which is the board catching and jerking back towards the user.
Table saws are one of the most useful tools in the woodworking shop. If you do a lot of carpentry or other DIY projects involving wood, chances are, you could benefit from a table saw. Most can cut plastic and metal, as well. These tools can make a multitude of cuts from simple to complex. Every table saw can make rip cuts—which are cuts along the grain of the wood to reduce the board in width—as well as crosscuts, which cut across the grain to reduce the board in length. Most table saws have adjustable tables for making bevel and miter cuts, which are angled cuts often used when making molding, picture frames, furniture, or other items where two or more pieces of wood need to meet neatly at the corners. Many table saws, with the addition of the appropriate blade and throat plate, can make dado cuts, which are shallow, trench-like cuts that don’t go all the way through the wood. These are often used when building furniture. Rabbets and groove cuts are another possibility. These are angled cuts used for joining pieces of wood, and are often used to build furniture, cabinets, or shelves.
- The table of your saw and the floor around it should be free of sawdust, lumbar, or other potential tripping or slipping hazards.
- Never operate a table saw, or any other power saw, when you are not feeling well, are overly tired, inebriated, or otherwise not fully attentive.
- Wear a shirt with short sleeves, and take off any neckties, rings, dangling necklaces, bracelets, or watches before starting to work.
- Always use safety goggles to protect your eyes. Ear plugs are also a good idea, as table saws can be loud.
- Shoes with nonslip soles are a must to prevent slips.
- Do not wear gloves while using a table saw, as they can decrease your dexterity, and may become caught in the blade.
- Never remove or disable any of your saw’s safety features, such as the blade guard.
- Do not reach over or behind the spinning blade.
- Don’t try to push the board through the saw faster than the saw can accept it.
- If cutting a board less than 6 inches in width, always use the push stick. These are normally included with a purchased table saw.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart for good balance as you work. Your face and body should be slightly to the side of the blade so you aren’t in the line of fire should the board experience kickback.
- Do not use the tool’s rip fence when making crosscuts.
- Always turn the table saw off, unplug it, and wait for the blade to come to a complete stop before changing or adjusting the blade.
- Eamon Lynch, Director of Warranty Service at Power Home Remodeling, cautions, “If you’re using power tools with blades, like a table saw, always use a piece of wood or another guard to protect your fingers. By standing back from the cut line and using something else to push along the table saw’s fence, there’s far less risk for injuries.”
You might wonder if you can swap out your 10-inch blade for a 12-inch model to gain some extra cutting depth. This is not a good idea, however. Often, the motor of a table saw designed to handle a 10-inch blade will struggle with a larger blade. Plus, it’s unlikely that the arbor—that’s the hole in the center of the blade used to fasten it in place—of a 12-inch blade will be the same size as your 10-inch blade, meaning that the fit might not be secure.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of table saws, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and product tester as well as customer feedback. She also received input from Eamon Lynch, Director of Warranty Service at Power Home Remodeling and Deane Biermeier, a general contractor and member of The Spruce’s Home Improvement Review Board.
Portable table saws offer convenience and versatility for both professionals and DIY users.
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Table saws are a baseline necessity in many homes and professional workshops. Portable models are the go-to tool for everything from deck building to DIY tasks, from remodeling to woodworking, and from trimming a house to home repairs. While track saws are increasingly used for some traditional table-saw work (like breaking down sheet goods), the table saw is the best-suited tool for making wide boards thinner.
There are a lot of great choices out there, so it’s very likely that you can find a table saw that’s right for you and how you work. Keep reading to learn about the technical aspects of these versatile tools and find out how some of the best portable table saws currently on the market fared in our hands-on testing.
- BEST OVERALL:Skil 15-Amp 10-Inch Table Saw
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Craftsman 10-Inch Table Saw
- BEST JOBSITE:DeWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32½-Inch Rip Capacity
- BEST WORKSHOP:Ridgid 10-Inch Pro Jobsite Table Saw with Stand
- BEST COMPACT:DeWALT 8¼-Inch Compact Jobsite Table Saw
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY:Skilsaw 10-Inch Heavy Duty Worm Drive Table Saw
- ALSO CONSIDER:Metabo HPT 10-Inch Table Saw with Fold and Roll Stand
Types of Portable Table Saws
Portable table saws can be divided into three main types: saws only, saws with leg kits, and saws with collapsible stands. Some models combine both legs and wheels. While some table saws are heavy, some stands can also be quite large and heavy without the saw, making the saw with stand even heavier and harder to handle. In some cases, moving it up a flight of stairs, getting it on and off a truck, or storing it out of the way in a home workshop or work truck can be tough. With that in mind, it’s important to balance saw power and size needs with portability needs.
Table Saw Only
Table saws without a base are the most compact and easy to store in a shop or truck. Their main drawback is that they need some kind of safe, stable bench to be used correctly. Using a table saw on the floor is neither practical, safe, nor productive. For example, if a user is set up on a driveway and must crouch down to cut, that’s a safety problem.
Table Saw with Leg Kit
Table saws with leg kits usually have legs that lock with a ball catch or similar positive stop. Some are integrated into the structure of the saw, while others are assembled and bolted on after setup.
Table Saw with Collapsible Stand
A collapsible stand is helpful for larger or heavier saws that need to be moved often. However, table saws with a collapsible, wheeled stand are arguably the most convenient, especially on heavier models that otherwise would be difficult to maneuver without help.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Table Saw
Some table saws, like contractor saws and cabinet saws, are intended mainly for shop use. The portable table saw is a category of tools that is referred to as “benchtop” in the industry, even though these tools are no longer designed to be used on a workbench. They are built to strike a balance between being portable and stable while dishing out enough power to work well in a backyard, in a garage, or on a jobsite. The following section discusses the key features that often impact choice.
Cutting Power and Performance
Most portable table saws contain a 15-amp motor and can be plugged into any 120-volt outlet. A few models have overload protection to prevent damage to the motor, but more realistically this may minimize tripping breakers and slowing work. Some units have a “soft-start” feature, which gradually ramps up blade speed and is intended to make using the tool more comfortable. A few have a load-compensating feature called “electronic feedback control,” making them capable of ramping up power if the blade starts to bog down.
Blade speed runs from around 3,500 to 5,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), though in real terms, this makes little difference. Portable table saws primarily have a 10-inch blade. Also, smaller but very nice 8¼-inch-blade models can make most of the cuts the larger saws make.
Stationary workshop saws have cast-iron tables that are dead flat, heavy, and very stable. This is ideal for working rough-sawn lumber or breaking down sheet goods. Some models have the rip capacity to make wide cuts in plywood or oriented strand board, for example, but care should be taken in setting up the saw so that it is on a stable surface without wobbling (and won’t tip over) and that the work is supported for a clean, safe cut. Don’t just run a sheet of ¾-inch medium-density fiberboard through the table saw because a unit has a wide cut capacity. It doesn’t work that way.
Easy Setup and Adjustments
The convenience of a good portable table saw depends to a large extent on its ease of transport. For many users, this is ideally a single-person job. Folding leg stands require the user to lie the saw on one side so the legs can be deployed. Not really a big deal. Rolling stands can arguably be set up quicker, but they are much, much larger and take up space on a crowded jobsite or in a truck.
Adjusting blade height and bevel angle should also be considered. In everyday practice, a table-saw blade rarely travels up or down much more than an inch or two—say between 1-by and 2-by thickness material. However, every so often the user has to crank the blade way up or way down to rip a 4-by or make a post cap, and it’s nice when it doesn’t feel like it will take a month to adjust the blade. Small details like this also often indicate that the overall tool design is well thought through.
Height adjustment is something most often done just within an inch or two, and it is the crank-to-blade-movement ratio, which describes how precise a table saw’s blade can be adjusted for an intended cut by using the built-in crank. Is this critical? No. But it’s nice when the ratio moves the blade with minimal cranks. Also, look at the tool’s measurement scales to make sure the increments are clearly marked. Many pro users don’t rely on the tool’s imprinted scales; there are lots of reasons for this. Instead, they use their tape measures to measure from the fence to a blade tooth.
The fence, or rip fence, keeps the wood parallel to the blade. It is critical for good, safe performance that the fence be parallel to the blade. The maximum distance from the blade to the fence defines the widest cut possible, which is called “rip capacity.” While removing the fence is possible, using a table saw without one is unsafe.
On some portable table saws, the fence slides on rails with a quick-release clamp to hold it in the desired position. The DeWALT-innovated rack-and-pinion system uses an under-mount knob and lever lock to adjust the fence.
In addition to the fence, table saws come with a miter gauge. Rarely used outside of woodworking (and even then, woodworkers swap it out for a crosscut sled or other jig), it can be used for cutting angles with the table saw. The heavier duty the gauge is, the better it is.
Dust Collection and Safety Features
All table saws have a dust port exiting the back of the saw. It can be connected to dust collection, like a shop vacuum, however, most just shoot straight out. A few models have a 45-degree elbow that can channel the sawdust into a box or bucket.
All portable table saws sold in the United States must have a blade guard and a riving knife or splitter to protect the safety of users. The riving knife is a steel plate that sits behind the blade to stop the cut from closing around the blade, which can shoot the workpiece back into the user.
Anti-kickback pawls that rest on top of the wood prevent kickback. Some pros say that these safety features create at least as many problems as they solve and say that using Smart, sensible practices is the best way to work safely.
That said, there are at least two safety features that many DIY users appreciate: an obvious stop button and push stick. A portable table saw needs to have a prominent stop button so it’s easy to turn off. Another must-have is an easy-grab, stout push stick to guide the workpiece safely through the saw when making sliver cuts (anything under 1½ inches wide).
Our Top Picks
The following picks are categorized, so potential buyers can quickly identify specific features. Each of the saws in the group had some standout features. We tested all of them, and here’s how we rated them.