Hybrid saws offer features and price that position them between contractor and cabinet saws. Moving up to a hybrid saw brings you a fully enclosed base for better dust collection, and cast-iron trunnions (the assembly that links the saw arbor to the base) add stability and minimize vibration. They're mounted to the cabinet, making adjustments for accuracy easier than they are on contractor or portable table saws. Hybrid saws don't require a 220-amp circuit, cost less than cabinet saws, and usually can be moved out of the center of the workshop as needed.
Unfortunately, there's little recent coverage for hybrid saws; the major magazines have not reviewed them since 2007 or thereabouts, and even user reviews are sparse.
For what it's worth, the top contenders in earlier reviews were by Woodtek (an in-house brand at Woodcrafter's Supply), Shop Fox, Steel City and Jet. Popular Woodworking's top pick, the Steel City 35900G, earned praise for its flat, rustproof granite table, large capacity and convenient blade guard and riving knife. Steel City still makes hybrid saws with granite tables, with redesigned motor mounts to minimize vibration, plus a newer riving knife design and magnetic table inserts. Their warranty is for five years.
Woodtek has replaced the 148-271 (Editors' Choice at Fine Woodworking) with the Woodtek 159-662 (*Est. $990) . The top pick at Wood magazine, the Shop Fox W1748, has been replaced by the Shop Fox 1824 (*Est. $1,285) . We compared the specifications, concluding that the newer models are clearly different designs, with the jury still out on their performance, build quality and convenience. The warranties are short for this price range: one year for Woodtek, two for Shop Fox.
We haven't yet found reviews of the newer Jet hybrid saws that come with true riving knives: for example, the Jet JPS 708494K (*Est. $1,350) with a 30-inch fence and cast-iron wings. Earlier Jet JPS saws without riving knives, such as the JPS-10 708480K, have earned mostly positive reviews but haven't ranked at the top in comparison tests. The earlier blade guard was judged inconvenient, but we found no reviews of the new design.
Popular Woodworking's Glen Huey notes that the SawStop Contractor Saw (*Est. $1,600) competes well with hybrid table saws for performance, with the added safety of its flesh-detecting blade brake. For more power and capacity, the 3-horsepower SawStop Pro cabinet saw also comes in a 1.75-horsepower version (*Est. $3,000) and can run on a regular 20-amp circuit.