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Best Portable Table Saws

By: Amy Livingston on May 11, 2018

Portable table saws go where they're needed

Portable table saws are popular partly because they cost less than bigger models, making them a good choice for occasional use or as a starter saw. They're also ideal for use on jobsites or for easier storage in a small workshop. Portable table saws include benchtop models that are light enough to carry and jobsite saws that are equipped with a folding stand, which is often wheeled. The main drawback is that these saws' small tables make it difficult to cut sheets of plywood. You can add various extensions to cope with this, but that means more to transport and set up.

Among portable table saws, we saw the best feedback for the Bosch 4100-09 (Est. $600). This table saw is among the top performers in four separate professional tests and also earns strong feedback from owners. Professional reviewers consistently say it's powerful, accurate, and easy to set up and use. One feature that gets singled out for praise is the gravity rise stand, which lets users roll the saw around in both its folded and unfolded positions. All reviewers say this stand is very easy to set up and rolls smoothly. Professional testers also like the table saw's sturdy rip fence and its arbor lock, which allows you to change the blade with just one wrench while most saws require two.

We found more than 1,000 reviews for this saw at Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe's, with ratings averaging around 4.6 stars. Owners love the gravity-rise stand and accurate, easy-to-use controls. They also describe the saw as solidly built and easy to set up. Reviewers are mixed on the issue of dust collection; many users complain that the saw produces a lot of dust, but Woodworkers' Journal reports that most of the dust "routed neatly through a shroud that surrounds the blade" and out to a vacuum cleaner.

Another saw that earns good marks from both professionals and users is the DeWalt DWE7491RS (Est. $500). Todd Fratzel of ToolBoxBuzz.com, who says he's normally a "huge fan" of Bosch table saws, nonetheless declares this DeWalt "the best overall job site + mobile stand option out there." He praises the power and accuracy of the table saw, adding that it had no trouble dealing with various materials he tested (3/4-inch plywood, 2x framing material, and 1x maple lumber). He also notes that its rip capacity of 32-1/2 inches is bigger than any other portable saw's – a full 7-1/2 inches bigger than the Bosch 4100-09's. Fratzel loves the wheeled mobile stand, which makes it easy for one person to move this fairly heavy saw (roughly 90 pounds). He says the stand is very easy to set up and allows for the saw to be stored on end, taking up less space.

In a video review at Tools of the Trade, finish carpenter Jesse Wright finds few negatives and a lot of positives for the DWE7491RS. Wright says this table saw is larger than he normally likes for a portable saw, but its size allows it to tackle tasks that would otherwise be out of reach of a jobsite saw and also makes it very solid and stable. The DWE7491RS also earns a perfect five-star rating from Popular Mechanics, which says it cuts well, is very stable, and has plenty of handy features. The reviewer's only complaint is that the saw is very loud.

User reviews at Amazon and Home Depot are also very positive, with about 4.6 stars overall from more than 900 owners. Multiple users say the saw cuts through wood "like butter," and they praise its easy setup, accurate rack-and-pinion fence, and easy-to-use stand. The one feature users dislike is the miter gauge, which many reviewers describe as flimsy. We also saw a few more general complaints about poor quality control on this saw. Users report problems such as warped tables and slots that don't align, making it impossible to calibrate the saw properly. Fortunately, if you happen to get a lemon, you can replace it under DeWalt's 3-year warranty, which bests Bosch's by 2 years.

A portable table saw for smaller budgets

If you don't need a stand, a benchtop table saw can be an economical and practical choice. The DeWalt DW745 (Est. $300) isn't covered in any professional tests, but it gets excellent reviews from users. This saw is limited somewhat by its small size, as it has only a 20-inch rip capacity and can't make dado cuts. Nonetheless, it earns very high ratings at Amazon with an overall rating of 4.6 stars based on nearly 2,000 reviews. Meanwhile, the more than 600 that weigh in at Home Depot like it even a touch more, granting it a rating of 4.8 stars, with recommendations from 98 percent of users. Owners like its rack-and-pinion fence – the same design found on the larger DeWalt – which they say is accurate and very easy to adjust. Its light, portable size (just 45 pounds) is also a plus. However, like the DeWalt DWE7491RS, it gets a thumbs-down for its flimsy, awkward miter gauge and occasional quality-control problems.

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