Best Table Saws
Table saws are an essential tool in any woodworker’s workshop as they provide a clean and precise cut. They’re versatile and can be used for a range of different DIY jobs. Before buying a table saw, what are the factors that you should consider?
Evolution’s nifty workshop staple table saw has a high-torque motor and a collapsible frame to suit your workshopping needs. It comes with a 255mm blade and a 3-year warranty.
Extendable sides for versatility
Assembly instructions can be difficult to follow
Latest review: I can't say I've had any of the problems reviewers here seem to have experienced, in fact not a single problem in the 4 years I've been using mine. The arbor is a standard 5/8" which is slightly
For greater cutting versatility, the MLT100 provides right and rear extensions as well as an easily adjustable bevel cutting tool. With a 1,500W motor, it has a powerful cutting performance.
Electric brake for safety
1,5000W powerful motor
Not the best build quality
Portable and lightweight, this compact table saw gives a strong performance with a powerful 15 amp motor and is suitable for a majority of tasks. It has 24.5 inches (622 mm) of rip capacity and comes with a blade brake.
Power lock reset
On board storage
Dual rack & pinion fence
This portable and easy-to-use table saw gives accurate straight angled cuts and contains a FastFix rapid change system for easy saw blade changes.
Can cut up to 300 mm wide
Has a compact accessory holder
Splinterguard minimises splintering
Universal vs. induction saws
|Universal motor||Induction motor|
|Dual power source||✔|
There are two primary types of motors that are used to power your saws. They differ in performance and price tags.
Induction motors are heavier than universal motors, making them less portable but more ideal for stationary tools to reduce rattling and improve stability. They can only run on a mains power and need to be plugged in. Because they are more durable and made with copper or stainless steel, they are more expensive and can be found in the top of the range saws.
Saws with induction motors have a slower maximum speed and less torque at the start-up - meaning they may not be suitable for tasks that involve starting and stopping frequently. However, they have a longer life compared to universal motors, a higher energy efficiency rating and are much quieter than universal motors.
On the opposite end, universal motors are lightweight and suitable for use as portable saws - being able to run on both mains and battery power. They are affordable and have no limit on speeds and have great torque whilst starting up.
The downsides are that they may need replacing more often than induction motors, they tend to make much more noise and are less energy efficient.
You should invest in a motor type depending on how often you’ll be using your table saw and the type of projects you’ll be working on.
Types of table saws
There are many types of table saws on the market and the one you choose should be based on your budget, the space you have available, what you will be using it for and how adept you are at woodworking. With that in mind, here are the types of table saws available.
For those who value easy portability and storage - primarily those working in their garages or on various job sites, portable saws are the way to go. They are lightweight, can be stored away easily and are designed to be placed on tables or portable workbenches.
They come in three handy models: benchtop, compact, and jobsite table saws.
Benchtop table saws
These saws should be placed on a table or workbench as they don’t come with a support stand. They’re lightweight and a good choice for homeowner and casual DIYers.
Benchtop table saws are powered by a universal motor and are extremely portable. They can be moved and set to a different height to produce cuts with different depths.
These types of table saws are the most affordable, providing excellent value for money. They can, however, be noisier and less durable than bigger and more expensive models.
Compact table saws
Compact saws are larger than benchtop models but smaller than contractor saws. They sit on a stationary stand and are generally driven by small toothed belts with a universal motor. They are similar to, but smaller and made of lighter materials than a contractor saw.
Jobsite table saws
Jobsite table saws come mounted on a stand. They’re larger than benchtop models but still easily portable and used by trade professionals who commute to job sites. They’re also more robust in order to be able to withstand use on construction sites.
Stationary table saws
Stationary saws are generally used by serious woodworking enthusiasts and cabinet makers. They are larger, more robust and can provide more precise cuts than portable table saws. Models include contractor, hybrid, and cabinet table saws.
Contractor table saws
Also referred to as open-stand saws, they are larger and heavier than portable table saws and come with an attached stand (which is usually on wheels). They use an induction type motor for a steadier cut.
Many DIY hobbyists and homeowners can benefit from buying this type of saw if they wish to get a stationary one because standard electrical circuits provide adequate power to run them and they are fairly affordable when compared to other large saws.
A potential downside is that the motor hangs off the rear of the saw meaning dust collection may be difficult.
Cabinet table saws
Cabinet table saws are typically the most expensive and powerful. They are made of cast iron and steel to minimise vibration and increase accuracy. They’re built with an enclosed base for superior dust collection and feature an induction motor in the 3 to 5 horsepower range.
They’re most suitable for professional use and are a great investment for woodworking enthusiasts. Designed to be durable and robust, these models will last for many years.
However, because they are large, they will require a large amount of dedicated space and can not be stored away.
Hybrid table saws
Hybrid saws provide many features that are present in a high-end cabinet and contractor saws at a reduced cost.
They are, in essence, contractor saws mounted to a tabletop with a cabinet stand. Most come with an enclosed cabinet design, but some offer an open leg style of design to improve dust collection.
They are not as robust as cabinet saws but are still an upgrade from a contractor saw. They offer good value for money.
What to look for in a good table saw
Now that you’ve chosen which type of saw you want, you’ll want to choose your specific saw. Here are the things you should look out for:
Blade: One of the most important features of the table saw is the quality of the blade. Look out for the number of teeth, kerf and arbor size, diameter, application, speed and material of the blade.
For reference, the standard blade diameter is 10” which gives a 3-½” cut capacity at 90 degrees. Blades can be made out of carbide, carbon or diamond-tipped teeth.
Power: Many blades these days can cut through materials other than wood. Knowing which materials you want to work with in the future will guide your decision-making process in this category.
The amps (current) refer to the power output of the table saw. The higher the amps, the more power the saw has to cut dense material. Purchase a saw that is powerful enough for your required tasks.
Flat top: The most accurate cuts can only be made on flat tables. Check your saw’s flatness deviation (0.005” is typically acceptable for a cabinet saw).
Rip fence type: The fence, also known as a rip fence is a cutting guide that goes from the front of the table to the back. This should be perfectly parallel to the cutting plane of the blade and should lock down solidly.
It’s important to have a reliable fence that doesn’t move out of position to ensure a clean cut.
The rip capacity is also important to consider as it determines the maximum width of any material that you’d like to cut.
Miter gauge: A miter gauge is a device used for holding workpieces at a set angle while being cut on table saws - look for an accurate miter gauge with stops at 45 and 90 degrees.
Standard mitre slot: While Australian table saws will all use the standard 19 x 9.5mm mitre slot, suiting all standard accessories, European table saws will use different sized slots so be careful if purchasing a table saw from abroad.
Arbor locks: An arbor lock provides a simple and safer locking mechanism that prevents the blade from spinning while you lock it in place. Usually, the arbor hole is 5/8″ in diameter. Having ill-fitting arbor locks can making changing blades a tiresome process.
Storage: Some table saws can offer a storage compartment to place your tools and accessories such as safety glasses, rip fence and blades. This can be highly useful and provide a compact and tidy appearance.
Dust collection: If you’ll be using the saw inside and you want to keep things tidy, make sure the saw has a dust port available to connect a dust collector to it.
Bevel capability: When making angled cuts, most table saws allow you to tilt the blade to the left for angled cuts, some also tilt to the right - try to choose a saw that matches your personal preference and provides accurate, clean angled cuts.
Ease of use: Consider how easy the product is to understand and use as this could affect the quality of your work and your safety. Some portable table saws don’t come assembled so take into consideration the effort of setting up a table saw or buying one pre-installed. Take into account how easy it is to change the blade and make certain types of cuts such as grooved or angled cuts.
Safety: Table saws are very safe when used responsibly with all the guards in place, however, for extra safety, some saws come with an automatic brake that goes into effect when the blade touches the skin. It could also be worth investing in a safety on/off switch that you can turn off with your knees as your hands might be occupied while holding onto some wood.
You can read reviews on the top table saws on our website today!