Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw – Head-To-Head

Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw

One of the most widely used power tools for carpenters is the table saw. For carpenters that don’t work exclusively in the shop a portable jobsite table saw is essential. For this Head-to-Head we’re focusing on corded portable 10″ jobsite table saws. We are not including cordless table saws in this test as we plan on doing another head-to-head exclusively for cordless table saws later this year as several are available now.

Portable Table Saw Lineup

This portable jobsite table saw head-to-head includes 8 saws from; Bosch, Delta, DEWALT, Hitachi, Makita, Ridgid, SawStop and Skilsaw. Originally, we had also to include Ryobi as a budget friendly option for DIY’ers or guys just starting in the trades. However, we were not able to adapt that saw to our testing rigs so we pulled it from the testing (you may see some photos with the saw but again we’re not including it in the results).

Table Saw Evaluation Format

Once again our team has put some serious time and effort into our Head-to-Head evaluation to bring you the most comprehensive information available. For this evaluation, we broke things into several categories including: Precision & Accuracy, Performance (power), Price, and Ergonomics. For each of these categories we’ll rank the saws and at the end we’ll name the Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw based on all the results combined.

  • Precision & Accuracy – In this category we evaluated the accuracy of the table saws straight out of the box, and how easy it is to make calibration adjustments. We also discuss the quality of the fence system as it relates to ripping accurate cuts.
  • Performance – The performance evaluation took a very deep dive into the power of the saw motors and how well the saws managed different ripping materials including plywood, pressure treated Southern Yellow Pine 5/4 decking and Mahogany 5/4 decking. We measured saw RPM’s and Amps for each of the cutting materials under constant feed rates.
  • Price – Price is always an important factor in determining which saw is best for a user. We’ve included the current pricing found online for each of the saws at the time of publication.
  • Ergonomics – Ergonomics are really important to users and an important category to consider when purchasing any power tool. In addition to traditional ergonomics, we also included functionality in this category.

Portable Jobsite Table Saw Features

Before we present the testing results, it’s helpful to set the stage by listing all the features and specifications for comparison. All 8 of these jobsite table saws are similar in size and capacity. Each of the saws uses a 10 inch blade, 15 amp motor and they are all able to use a dado set. Specific differences in the saws are listed below.

  • Bosch 4100-09
    • Weight: 112 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 3,650 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/2″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 25″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Traditional sliding fence.
  • Delta 36-6022
    • Weight: 92 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 5,000 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/2″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/2″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 30″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Traditional sliding fence
  • DEWALT DWE7491RS
    • Weight: 90 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 4,800 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/4″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 32-1/2″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Rack and pinion fence
  • Hitachi C10RJ
    • Weight: 96 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 4,500 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/4″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 35″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Rack and pinion fence
  • Makita 2705X1
    • Weight: 114 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 4,800 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-5/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/2″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 25″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Traditional sliding fence
  • Ridgid R4513
    • Weight: 80 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 5,000 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/2″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/2″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 25″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 3/4″
    • Traditional sliding fence
  • SawStop JSS-MCA
    • Weight: 108 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 4,000 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-1/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-1/8″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 25-1/2″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 13/16″
    • Traditional sliding fence
    • Safety: Flesh Sensing Technology exclusive to SawStop
  • SkilSaw SPT99-12
    • Weight: 98 lbs (w/ stand)
    • MAX no Load Speed: 5,000 rpm
    • Dept of Cut at 90 Deg.: 3-5/8″
    • Depth of Cut at 45 Deg.: 2-3/10″
    • MAX Rip Cut to Right of Blade: 30-1/2″
    • MAX Dado Cut Width: 1/2″
    • Rack and pinion fence

One of the things we looked at was the ease of assembly out of the box. We had the same person assemble each of the saws and timed the assembly to see if there are any significant differences between the models. The assembly time for the saws ranged from 21 minutes to 48 minutes. While some stands required more than twice the time, we felt the assembly time was not a significant enough factor to change someone’s mind on which saw to purchase.

We also did some testing of dust collection to see if there were any significant differences between the saws. We attached a Bosch dust extractor to each saw and measured the weight of dust collected for a fixed number of cuts. The bottom line is with a good dust extractor attached there was negligible difference between the saws.

Lastly, we spent some time evaluating the fences. Overwhelmingly the crew really likes the rack and pinion fences that DEWALT, Hitachi and SkilSaw have on their saws. Rack and pinion fences are quicker to adjust, hold in place better during cuts, and provide better accuracy.

Portable Jobsite Table Saw Precision & Accuracy

In the commercial construction business, we typically buy a job site saw for each project and use it up during the course of an 18-month job. When these saws hit the site, they are unboxed, assembled and immediately put into use. We rip stacks and stacks of sheet goods with these saws and the tolerances of the cut materials are not very critical. However, that example represents the portable saw use within our commercial crews’ business.

What if a contractor uses their job site saw for high quality built-ins or high tolerance finished cuts? In that case, saw accuracy is critical for that work. In this use case, if the saw is immediately put into use, success depends upon the out-of-the-box accuracy from the manufacturer. The quality of the cuts and more importantly the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer.

TBB compared the relative accuracy of the test saws as soon as we assembled and set them up. How would the saws in the TBB Head To Head test compare to each other? We measured the manufactured tolerances and found out. We analyzed the data from the tests and ranked these saws for as-built accuracy.

What and How We Measured

To assess the manufactured accuracy of the eight saws, TBB looked at six areas to measure and compare: Table Flatness, Accuracy of 45 Deg. Stop, Accuracy of 90 Deg. Stop, Blade Parallel to Miter Slot, Fence Parallel to Miter Slot, and Blade Runout.

Table Flatness

We evaluated the flatness of the table by measuring the flatness by placing the edge of a precision ground flat bar across the table and placed feeler gauges in any gaps to measure any difference between the ground bar and the table. TBB took measurements in four directions. As the operator faces the saw, we measured the flatness at the arbor from front-to-rear; we measured the left-to right flatness at the arbor; we measured the flatness from the upper left-to-lower right table corners; and, finally, we measured the upper right-to-lower left flatness between the corners.

We compiled this set of data and created a ranked set of results by assigning a 1-2-3 rating to the relative values of the test measurements. Then we ranked the saws for overall as-manufactured table flatness. As a point of interest, a typical sheet of copy paper is approximately .004 inches thick. Flatness measurements varied from 0.0 to .09 inches.

All of the data for the table saw flatness can be found here. The overall ranking of the table saw flatness is in the following table:

Accuracy of 45 Deg. Stop

TBB measured the accuracy of the factory-set 45 degree stop by using a Wixey WR365 digital inclinometer. This device has an accuracy of 0.1 degree. We placed the Wixey gauge on the table and calibrated the inclinometer to the table by zeroing out the gauge. After that calibration, the measurements shown on the gauge give a result that is relative to the saw table. We attached the gauge to the blade and used the saw mechanism to adjust the blade incline to the point at which the blade or trunnion hit the factory-set 45 degree stop and recorded the measurement. TBB ran the test twice to ensure the repeatability of the measurement. In every case, the result came out to within 0.1 degree of the prior test.

As you can see below most of the saws were fairly close to 45 degrees right out of the box, but you’ll want to do some calibration if you plan on doing some finish work. SawStop was perfect out of the  box and Makita, Hitachi and SkilSaw were very close with only a 0.1 degree deviation. Ridgid was almost a full degree off from the 45 stop.

Accuracy of Vertical 90 Deg. Stop

TBB measured the accuracy of the factory-set 90 degree stop by using a Wixey WR365 digital inclinometer. This device has an accuracy of 0.1 degree. We placed the Wixey gauge on the table and calibrated the inclinometer to the table by zeroing out the gauge. After that calibration, the measurements give a result that is relative to the saw table. We moved the blade to an approximate position of 70 degrees off vertical. TBB attached the gauge to the blade and used the saw mechanism to adjust the blade incline to the point at which the blade or trunnion hit the factory-set 90 degree vertical stop and recorded the measurement. TBB ran the test twice to ensure the repeatability of the measurement. In every case, the result came out to within 0.1 degree of the prior test.

The results are shown below for the accuracy of the 90 degree stop. For this evaluation both the SawStop and Ridgid were perfect at 90 degrees, Makita, Bosch and DEWALT were also only off by a small amount at 0.1 degrees. The Hitachi, Delta and SkilSaw could use some calibration.

Blade Parallel to Miter Slot

TBB used an iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the blade position to the table miter slot. This instrument has an accuracy of .0005 inches. As part of the table saw set-up, TBB installed a new Diablo blade in each saw and these never-before-used blades were used in the measurement test. To ensure that any wobble in the blade did not enter into the test results, TBB marked a single tooth as the reference point for the measurement. The blade position was moved to the front of the saw to allow the iGauging dial indicator to hit the tooth immediately behind the carbide tooth, The iGauging dial indicator was calibrated and the indicator had a reading of zero.

We rotated the blade to the rear of the saw to enable the dial indicator to contact the same location of the same tooth behind the carbide portion. We positioned the dial indicator to the rear of the saw placed onto the blade and the reading recorded. If the blade and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading.

The results for the blade parallel to the miter slot are shown below. Again the SawStop had a perfect reading right out of the box and the Ridgid needs some extra calibration in order to get the blade more parallel to the miter slot.

Saw Fence Parallel to Miter Slot

The accuracy and safety of any given saw is dependent upon the blade being parallel to the rip fence. Since we tested the amount of difference in parallelism between the saw blade and the miter slot in the previous test, we need only to see if the miter slot is parallel to the rip fence to see if the saw has a parallel relationship between the blade and the rip fence.

TBB used the same iGauging 35-125-4 digital dial indicator to measure the accuracy of the as-delivered factory fence to the table miter slot. We started by placing the fence in a locked position about 1” away from the blade on the opposite side from the miter slot. We adjusted the throw of the dial indicator so that we took the readings on the indicator, as before, in the middle of the indicator’s range of movement.

We calibrated the iGauging dial indicator to a zero reading at the operator’s end of the rip fence so that we started out with a reading of zero. Next, we positioned the dial indicator to the rear of the saw placed onto the rip fence and took the reading.

If the fence and the miter slot were closer together at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator has a negative reading. If the blade and the miter slot were father apart at the rear of the saw, the dial indicator showed a positive reading. A negative reading meant that the materials being cut might be subject to being pinched and a kick back more likely to occur.

Remembering that a sheet of paper is approximately 0.004″ thick, the results show that the Hitachi and Skilsaw factory settings need some adjustment for better accuracy.

Bade Runout

One term you may hear when reading about table saw accuracy is blade runout. Runout is a term that describes whether or how much the outside edge of a saw blade wobbles while being held by the motor shaft. Sometimes, operators measure runout by using a saw blade. In that case, the very use of a saw blade presumes that the specific blade is perfect or nearly perfect in its flatness. Using a saw blade that has any warping will not give a clear indication of blade runout.

To ensure that our runout measurements were accurate, TBB used a Freud calibration plate. Freud manufactures this ground stainless steel plate to a tolerance of ± .0005 inches in flatness across the plate. While TBB does not have a means to measure the accuracy of this specification, we did put this calibration plate on top of a polished granite calibration table and could not shine a light under any portion of the plate or slip the 0.001 feeler gauge under the edge.

We used the Freud calibration plate on each of the test saws to measure runout. We removed the new Diablo blade, installed the calibration plate, and raised the trunnion to its maximum vertical adjustment. Before measuring the runout, we placed a black mark on the calibration plate to give a consistent starting position for the runout test. The same iGauging dial indicator provided the test measurements, only this time, the units were set to read out in mm. TBB noticed that in the initial saws, the movements were sufficiently small to need the smaller metric units.

TBB placed the dial indicator on the starting position of the calibration disk and calibrated that position on the dial indicator to a reading of zero. We were very careful to rotate the calibration plate by using the outside rim so as not to impart any side-to-side force on the plate that might introduce errors into the measurements.

While we rotated the plate, we recorded the maximum reading on the dial indicator. We validated each maximum reading by running the test for a second time and noting that the readings were consistent. TBB also noted that as we performed these tests on all eight saws, the maximum readings occurred at different parts of the plate along its rotation. Because the max readings were in different and discrete parts of the calibration plate, TBB had a very high level of confidence in the flatness of the calibration plate, itself.

As you can see above the runout ranges from 0.00079 for the DEWALT and SawStop all the way up to 0.0126 for the SkilSaw. Typically values below 0.005″ are considered very good. Both the Bosch and SkilSaw are in a range that needs further evaluation especially if the saw is to be used for finish work.

Precision Summary – Winner SawStop JSS-MCA

From the data of the six individual tests above, we compiled a summary ranking for the overall winner of the as-built accuracy. The ranking for the summary follows:

The winner for the as-built precision and accuracy is SawStop, followed by Makita in second and Bosch and DEWALT tied for third.

We took the time to measure the as-built accuracy of these table saws. Why?

As we said in the beginning of this section, many of these saws will be used, right out of the box, for rough cutting materials and the fine accuracy may not matter so much in that application. If this is the case for a saw, the quality of the cuts and more importantly, the potential safety of the operator is going to be a function of the as-shipped accuracy of the saw from the manufacturer. So, TBB wanted to see how the various saws compared right out of the box. The results are in and, as a group, these eight saws measured up quite well for out-of-the-box accuracy.

It should be noted that all of the saws were adjusted after the accuracy evaluation prior to the performance testing. With the exception of blade runout the other adjustments can be made to dial in the saws.

Portable Jobsite Table Saw Performance

For this portion of the testing and evaluation we used three different materials (3/4″ AC Plywood, 5/4 Mahogany Decking, and 5/4 Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine Decking) while measuring the saw blade RPM, and the saw motor AMP draw. To compare the saws we’re looking for how much blade speed each saw has under load, and also how much the amp draw increases under load. Think about it like driving a car, a more powerful car will not drop as much speed going up a hill and the engine won’t work as hard.

We also measured the decibels during the test. We are including in our ergonomics section.

Blade Speed (RPM)

The first measurements we looked at with the performance testing was blade speed cutting all three of the test materials. This tests gives us a relative comparison of how much blade speed reduction the motors have under different loading conditions. In our opinion this gives us an idea of how strong the motor/gear box combination is for each saw. For each test we also recorded the “no-load” speed to capture the relative drop in rpm in the blade speed while cutting wood. We used our as-measured no-load speeds instead of the published values from the manufacturers.

In order to measure the blade speed we used a digital laser non-contact tachometer. A piece of reflective tape was adhered to each saw blade just behind the carbide tooth, so that the tape would be just above the top of the wood cutting surface, allowing us to capture the blade speed during the cuts. We used a power-feeder to ensure that all the material was pushed through each saw at the same feed rate. In the photo above you can see our test set-up with the power feeder, a decibel meter to the left, the digital tachometer in the center, and the amp meter on the right. If you look really closely at the saw blade, the piece of reflective tape is to the left side of the blade near the power feeder.

Above are the results for RPM Blade Speed while cutting 3/4″ plywood. In the left column is the no-load blade speed and the right column is the lowest recorded blade speed during the cut. The drop in blade speed is fairly small ranging from 7% for Makita, SkilSaw and SawStop, 9% Bosch, 11% DEWALT, 14% Ridgid, and 21% for the Hitachi.

In the next test we measured blade speed cutting 2x pressure treated Southern Yellow Pine decking. In this test the lowest blade speed drop was 16% for the SkilSaw, 19% SawStop, 20% Ridgid, 22% DEWALT, 23% Makita, 29% Bosch, 31% Delta, and 33% for Hitachi.

The last test was using 5/4 Mahogany Decking. This was an even more extreme test with the lowest blade speed drop going to SawStop at 22%,  24% Makita, 25% Bosch and Ridgid, 27% DEWALT, 28% SkilSaw, 33% Delta and 41% Hitachi.

Saw Blade Speed (RPM) Summary: The table saw with the lowest average drop in blade speed for each of the tests we performed was the SawStop. Coming in second place was the SkilSaw followed by Makita in third, Bosch and Ridgid in fourth, DEWALT in fifth, Delta in sixth and Hitachi in seventh place.

Motor AMP Draw

Another indication of how hard a table saw is working is monitoring the amperage (AMP) draw under loading conditions. We measured the amp draw for each saw using all three materials again at the same time we were recording RPMs. The first graph below shows the amp draw for each saw cutting plywood compared to the no-load amp draw. The white bar on the left indicates the no load amps and the colored bar on the right shows the maximum amp draw during the cut.

For this test the SkilSaw had the lowest increase in amp draw at 5% followed closely by Hitachi at 6%. The rest of the saws had fairly significant increases in amp draw with DEWALT at 32%, Delta at 42%, Bosch at 55%, Makita at 61%, SawStop at 79% and Ridgid at 120%.

The next graph includes the results from the pressure treated framing lumber.

For this test SkilSaw finished in first with the lowest increased amp draw of 14%, followed by Hitachi at 58%, DEWALT at 77%, SawStop at 110%, Makita at 119%, Delta at 146%, Ridgid at 184% and Bosch at 196%.

The next graph includes the results from the 5/4 Mahogany decking.

Again we saw the SkilSaw record the lowest increased amp draw at 59% followed by Hitachi at 86%, DEWALT at 103%, SawStop at 110%, Makita at 129%, Delta at 135%, Ridgid at 157% and Bosch at 169%.

Performance Summary – Winner Skilsaw SPT99-12

We took all of the data from the RPM and AMP measurements and added them to come up with the final performance rankings. For each saw we added up the total percentage decrease in RPM’s (for each material type) and added that to the total percentage increase in AMP’s (for each material type). This gives us a relative comparison of each saw over all 6 sets of data.

The best overall performance in our testing was the Skilsaw SPT99-12. The Skilsaw was described by many of the TBB crew as a beast and the data reinforces that. Regardless of the type of material the Skilsaw SPT99-12 offered the lowest drop in RPM’s and the lowest increase in AMP draw. Following in second place is the Hitachi C10RJ and the DEWALT DWE7491RS in third place.

Portable Jobsite Table Saw Price

Below we’ve included the current pricing (at the time of publishing this article). Pricing includes the cost of the stand and ranges from a low of $349 for the Hitachi to a high of $1,299 for the SawStop. The lowest price isn’t always the best in our opinion, we’re looking for the best value.  The Hitachi is an incredible deal at $349 and our top pick for price and value for a saw that has lots of power, a rack & pinion fence, and a solid stand.

Another really nice value is the Ridgid that’s currently selling for $399 including the stand. Lastly, it’s hard to ignore the $499 price tag on the DEWALT which is a great contractor grade saw with great features, a great fence, and a really good stand.

Price Summary – Winner Hitachi C10RJ

Portable Jobsite Table Saw Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of designing and producing tools that improve a worker’s efficiency while reducing discomfort, fatigue, and risk of injury. Ergonomically enhanced tools can include helpful features such as angled handles, riving knives, safety switches, and non-slip coatings. Whether you’re shopping for ergonomic tools or just trying to select the right one for the job from an existing collection, the key things to consider are whether or not the tool eases your work and prevents you from straining in ways that could lead to injury. Ergonomic guidelines in tool design can help maximize human performance on the job by making the job easier for the worker, improving safety and decreasing injuries.

For this ergonomic section, we considered the following factors, rating them 1 thru 3. [1 being best]

  • Weight (Tool and Stand)
  • Power Switch location
  • Accessory Storage
  • Fence
  • Adjustments of Riving Knife
  • Guard
  • Stand
  • Ascending Stairs
  • Stand Leg Adjust
  • Height
  • Decibels

Below is a graph showing the weights of all the table saws including their stands. The saws/stands range from 80 lbs with the Ridgid up to 114 lbs for the Makita.

Below is a graph showing the average measured decibels for the saws (for each of the materials we tested). As you can see the saws range from 93.7 db to 97.9 db. OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for up to 90 db, from 95 db up the exposure limits start dropping quickly starting at 4 hrs for 95 db so clearly these saws all need hearing protection. We ranked the quietest 3 saws as a 2, and the remaining saws as a 3 and felt none should rank a 1 due to the need for hearing protection.

Our TBB crew all helped rank each of the table saws for the ergonomics categories that we defined. Below is a table showing the ranking for each category and the final ranking. An interesting note about the stand height. The crew felt they were all decent heights but the Makita offers several heights which is a really nice feature!

Ergonomics Summary – Winners DEWALT DWE7491RS and Makita 2705X1

The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.

Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw – Winner Hitachi C10RJ

Choosing the best portable jobsite table saw wasn’t an easy task but we’re confident we’ve done a thorough evaluation. In a very close race for the best table saw Hitachi beat out the DEWALT which came in second place followed by Skilsaw in third and Makita in fourth. It’s very interesting that the Hitachi and DEWALT look extremely similar. Hitachi edged out the DEWALT in performance and price resulting in the final scores. Skilsaw beat out Makita for the 3rd place only slightly and that result is really a function of pricing.

It’s interesting to note that if pricing was taken out of this evaluation the ranking would have been: DEWALT in first, Makita in second, Hitachi, Skilsaw and SawStop tied for third, Bosch in fourth, Delta in fifth and Ridgid in sixth place. But at the end of the day price is certainly a factor. What we didn’t do in our evaluation is any long term testing to look at durability which ultimately could affect your purchase decision as well.

We really should point out a big deal here and that’s the SawStop. It’s hard to put a price on safety and while the SawStop costs more than 3 times what the Hitachi costs it does offer safety that no other saw in test can offer. For those that can afford the additional cost that feature alone may tip the scales for you. Regardless of price SawStop came in 5th place for the categories we evaluated.

Final Thoughts

These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do longer term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use of one of these saws for. However, we feel comfortable that all the table saws in this Head-to-Head are good saws and our testing helps bring to light pros and cons for each saw.

Ultimately everyone needs to choose a tool based on their specific needs, uses, and budget. With all the data above we’re very confident that all of you can make a better educated decision when you buy your next portable jobsite table saw.

Best Portable Jobsite Table Saw Head-2-Head Video Review

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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31 Comments

  1. I really do like your site and being on Long Island there is a familiarity to the way y’all work. You are quick to respond to comments and put in a great effort but…. This review I feel you miss the mark. Out of box accuracy is important but. Ore important to a pro user is tool able to be adjusted to be near perfect and how does it hold this position. No comments on how solid the fences are, ie deflection movement, ease of micro adjust, etc. all the fancy self feed stuff etc, what saw feels the most powerful? Smoothest ? All theses kizmos are for the manufacturers to hype. Your strengths are that you actually use these machines, so your strengths are to BE MORE opinionated or biased not less because your opinion has meaning or weight. Let the know knowings use the kizmos and just give us your real opinions based on real use. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Bengt – We appreciate the feedback as it always helps us get better. Having said that I think some of your concerns were evaluated and included in the results in ways that may not be entirely clear. We adjusted each saw after checking the blade/fence measurements and had no issues getting them adjusted (I may add some text to reinforce that in the article). We don’t do long term testing in this type of article as it’s simply not feasible…so making a statement about whether the saw holds those adjustments isn’t feasible. We evaluated the fences and ranked them in the ergonomics section, we even did lateral load testing on them as part of that ranking.

      These tests are so “big” that it’s hard to test every last variable. We feel strongly that motor power is very important in a jobsite table saw and it was a big part of our evaluation.

      At any rate, we appreciate the input and hope we can keep you interested in our future testing.

  2. Robert Haskell

    Wow. Great testing work. Is that power feeder available to buy? If so
    where?
    Thks
    Rob

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Rob – One of the guys on our crew, Stan, built that for this testing. We had to create something custom to work with the jobsite saws.

  3. Jaret

    I almost bought that hitachi until I looked at it in Lowe’s and some of the parts were broken off on the display model. It’s obviously a cheap copy of the dewalt. I don’t think it would hold up well long to long term professional use

    1. Todd Fratzel

      We’ve been using it on the job….so far so good.

  4. Nick

    I was hoping to see the JET in there. But glad you didn’t waste your time with it. I bought it a year and a half ago and it’s a piece of crap. It has not held up at all, I keep it in my construction trailer and it has its own cubby hole and is secured with straps. It has fallen apart. The fence has no adjustments and is off 1/4” front to back, From the factory. I have to spend so much time trying to adjust rip fence, and then I can’t turn my guys loose with it because they won’t take the time to adjust and check for accuracy. Just really disappointed in the product. I am waiting for the testing done on the cordless saws because I am upgrading.

  5. Adam smith

    These are quality tools and I have check some of the table saw carefully and really these look durable and I wish I will buy one from the list. Thanks

  6. Scott Grimm

    On the Hitachi as it sat in the Lowes showroom I was able when locked to move the fence. I ultimately bought the Dewalt on the rolling stand. I recently bought the $299 Ridgid as a secondary saw but returned it due to the blade defkection.

  7. shenol

    thanks a lots for yours works ,it is great to see the real comparing on tools when I need o buy one ,as it newer end story if you are builder thanks again

  8. Lowes had a Father’s day sale, on their Kobalt table saw with a folding/rolling stand and was $180.00, with more money off because I signed up for their credit card-so I bought it. It cuts fine, the fence locks on both ends,measurements seem ok, and it unfolds and rolls away very easily-I like it so far. I’m a home owner and I use it sporadically and treat it well, it does not appear to be very robust, so as a day to day, on the job site saw, probably not a good choice. I used to have a Makita table saw, with a terrible fence, unreliable ruler markings, and difficult to use blade guide that interfered with measurements, which you needed to do every time-a terrible saw, very frustrating to use. I have a Makita miter saw and it’s great, but the idea of buying a same brand because I liked one of their other products did not work out.

  9. I found this by accident. Very informative and a wealth of knowledge. I hve often wondered how each of these saws compared to the others.
    I was lookng for Fence accurracy, maybe you covered it, I will have to reread the artice to see. For me this is very important.

    Thank you.

  10. Jeff Wiebe

    Thanks for the excellent article, and the video as well. I’d be glad to see a list of the testing gauges and other instruments used. Some of these might be good to have to do initial and maintenance setups.

  11. XTsallaD

    Really well done, thank you! This is a very thorough comparison.

  12. Mike

    One of the best tool reviews I have ever seen. Actual measurements and not just a bunch of opinions. Especially liked the measurements of speed and amps under load. High amps not only trips breakers but also overheats the saw.

  13. buliwyf

    Hello,

    the AMP draw table is strange.
    Why is it good if a table saw draws the same power with no load and load?
    Isn’t it better if the saw draws less power if it’s now under load?
    First you save energy and costs if the saw is running a long time.
    Second the motor dows not run at max power all the time an therefore might last longer

  14. I submitted a fairly detailed comment about:
    – the great tests and reviews here, including this one,
    – reminding folks about how accuracy is specified,
    – the possible over-resolution of some of these measurements, and
    – raising some questions about the accuracy (precision) of some the angle and length measuring devices.

    That comment has not (yet) been published.

    1. Sorry Todd usually does the approving and he’s on vacation. ~ ROB

  15. Bob Talley

    I was very impressed with the math that you used in your testing….. for me it’s reasonable accuracy out of the box and a rack and pinion fence.
    At the end of the video you talked about longevity…. longevity is very important to me in a tool….. so maybe you can help me out with this one and tell me where I’m wrong.
    Quite a few years ago I learned to take the 10 inch blade that came with a Sawzall and either throw it away or give it to somebody who wants it more than you. And replace it with a 7 in 1/4 Diablo blade….less noise…less money….less saw kerf marks in the wood… glassware on the motor… along with less vibration.
    You can still cut inch and a half stock but most of us are using three quarter to begin with….for me this adds up to longer life of my saw….please tell me your thoughts.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Bob – Thanks for the compliment. I know LOTS of people run smaller blades but I’m not sure the smaller blades are really designed for the slower speed and increased torque. You can get decent 10″ blades that are not horribly expensive. Just my 2 cents 🙂

  16. Patrick

    The level of detail on performance is really great! I’d love to see more detailed feedback on the fences and stands.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Patrick – Thanks for the feedback. Trust me, I wish we could spend more time on every aspect but we spent hundreds of hours as it was. I can tell you that the rack and pinion fences are much better than the standard fences of the past. Our entire group felt strongly that we’d prefer the rack and pinion on all the saws. We felt the Ridgid and Delta fences were the least impressive of the standard type.

      When it comes to stands it’s a much harder conversation. The new Makita stand is really nice because it has adjustable heights allowing for user preference. Having said that, we all really like the style that Dewalt and Hitachi use. The new Skilsaw stand is great for mobility with the big wheels. I hope that helps a bit.

  17. Greg

    Amazing information thanks a lot for this Demo! Very well put together guys!

  18. Robert Patrick

    Very well written article with full information. Thank you for sharing this great info. It’s nice to know and read about this stuff. I would definitely try to follow these suggestions.

  19. Paul Dalton

    The “Saw Fence Parallel to Miter Slot” text states ” . . . the Hitachi and SawStop factory settings need some adjustment for better accuracy.”

    But the data in the table suggests you may have intended to reference the SkilSaw (rather than the SawStop) in that text (or in the table?) for that issue. Which is correct?

    Also, I’m trying to decide between the DeWalt & the SkilSaw if I install on it the Incra TS-LS fence system I have. So, even though you said the table sizes on all of these are similar, I’d really like to know the actual table size, at least of these two, if you hsppen to know it.

    And finally, I would appreciate your thoughts/recommendations about choosing between the DeWalt and the SkilSaw based on the assumption that the fence on theone selected will be replaces by the Incra fence & that I will be using an Incra miter gauge ((VS120) with it (instead of the supplied miter gauge)?

    Thanks.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Paul – Good catch….I’ve updated that to say Skilsaw not SawStop…thank you! As you can imagine…all the data makes it tough to keep it all straight. I’m not even sure how you’d install that aftermarket fence on these saws. If you do I’d love to see how!! Those really look like they are made to install on cast-iron full size saws. I’d choose the DEWALT with a slight edge over the SKilsaw.

  20. Paul Bennett

    Nice comparison overall. Interesting to see the wide range of amperages in both no-load/load conditions. Were these from a single cut, or averaged from multiple? Noted that the no-load amperages changed from one set of data (cut-type) to another for some of the saws. Typo or indicator of something else varying?

    Also, any thoughts/assessment on whether the saws’ weight might be indicative of more metal than plastic in its construction. Unfortunately, light weight can sometimes mean lower build quality.

    1. totally agree – but todays ABS plastic is pretty durable. I turned 50 this year and really appreciate the lighter weight tools

  21. Jeffery Y Liu

    A question: why the no-load speed for same machine is different in different table? for example:
    RPM – Plywood: Ridgid 4350; Hitachi 4400
    RPM – Pressure Treated: Ridgid 3650; Hitachi 3700

    1. A 50 rpm deviation at those speeds is approximately 1% variance which is well within the tolerance we should expect from taking the readings at a precise instant of time. The meters were in constant motion and we took the reading off of a single video frame that represented our determination of no-load speeds. We report them as our instruments showed them. 1% is acceptable.

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