Table Saws: Ratings of Sources
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws (one of which is now discontinued). After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses it to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his Best Bet pick.
This detailed, well-illustrated comparison review reports on tests of 11 portable table saws, all from different brands, including three budget table saws priced at $250 or less. Testers run each saw through 2X lumber, plywood and oak before giving it a rating on a five-point scale. Each saw also gets a brief write-up summarizing pros and cons.
Mixed in with its coverage of circular saws, tile saws, miter saws, and more, Tools of the Trade offers a few single product reviews of table saws, as well as one multi-product roundup from 2009. Most of the table saw reviews here don't actually compare different saws or make recommendations, but they provide more in-depth coverage on specific models.
Tool Box Buzz offers a variety of hands-on reviews of tools, but only five table saws are covered, all portable models. The reviews are detailed and hands-on, but only some of them provide actual ratings or recommendations, and none directly compares different saws.
This woodworking website has tons of information about how to use a table saw: choosing blades, cutting joints, safety features, and more. However, the only actual product review we found was from 2009: an in-depth, hands-on review of the SawStop Contractor Saw. It covers setup, performance, features, ease of use, and the SawStop's key selling point, safety.
Ireton evaluates five portable table saws based on how easy they are to move and operate, as well as their safety features. Four of the five table saws "make the cut," but one of these is now discontinued. This woodworking site also features a newer review in which Ireton tests the SawStop portable table saw.
The only recent review of table saws at Wood Magazine pits nine 3-HP cabinet saws against various sizes of wood and plywood, fed both by hand and with a power feeder. The short version of the review available on the website names the top picks and notes areas in which all nine saws performed adequately. For full details, however, you need to check out the printed magazine.
Amazon.com offers more than 300 table saws for sale, including portable, contractor, and cabinet saws. Portable table saws get the lion's share of feedback; we found five models that earn ratings of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 100 users or more. However, we also found a couple of contractor and cabinet saws with strong ratings from 25 users or more.
Four Family Handyman editors run seven portable table saws, ranging from $300 to $600 in price, through a series of tests. They rip 3-inch oak slabs, cut plywood, rip framing lumber, and repeatedly set up and take down the saws to see how well the stands work and how easy it is to install and remove safety features. Editors don't recommend specific models, but they outline the strong and weak points of each one.
The Popular Woodworking site hasn't published many reviews of table saws recently; the newest one we found was from 2013. There are no comparison reviews and no ratings or recommendations to help you compare different models. Nonetheless, this site is useful because it's one of the few places to find detailed coverage of larger contractor and cabinet saws.
HomeDepot.com sells around 50 models of table saws, and the top models get hundreds of reviews from users. We found two portable saws with ratings of 4.5 stars or better from 250 users or more, and one contractor saw gets ratings just shy of 4.5 stars overall from more than 450 owners. Individual reviews are fairly short and include ratings for quality and value.
Lowes.com has a limited selection of table saws, and there are fewer user-posted reviews here than at Amazon.com or HomeDepot.com. The models that receive the most feedback are inexpensive portable saws from Kobalt and Rockwell, which aren't widely covered on other sites. We didn't find any recommendations for contractor or cabinet saws.
Sears is the only store that sells Craftsman tools, and Sears.com is the only place to find reviews of Craftsman table saws. This brand gets far more feedback from owners than any other, with a couple of Craftsman contractor saws receiving 200 reviews or more.