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Woodworking is a great activity for creating furniture and objects that boost skills and creativity. No longer do professional carpenters experiences the joy of this activity because today, even hobbyists can do it too.
The good thing is there are classes in schools and online anyone can take to study the different techniques of wood carving or carpentry. Add to these, there are many Do It Yourself posts people can follow too. All these things and available materials have opened doors of opportunities for people who want to become an expert in woodworking.
If you want to start having your own woodshop, there are several things that you need to do first. One, you have to find the right location that is spacious enough for all the projects you want to have. Converting an empty garage near you will do for now. Two, you need to decide what kind of furniture or materials you are going to do. And three, you need to buy power tools that will help you finish your projects with ease.
One of the basic requirements of your workshop would be a table saw. Now there are many kinds of table saws on the market that you can buy. However, since you are just beginning, you might want to consider a portable one. Find out why as you continue reading below.
Different Kinds of Table Saws
Before you know the qualities of the best portable table saw, it is best to be knowledgeable about the different kinds of table saws out there. This way, you will find out what makes a portable table saw a better choice among the others.
Portable Table Saw
Often called a benchtop, this type of table saw allows you to bring your work anywhere. It is used by woodworking hobbyists or carpenters who work at different sites. It can perform as powerful as a heavy-duty cabinet table saw but on a smaller scale. Portable table saws are lightweight and can be transported to different work sites easily. They work well with a variety of surfaces or universal stands, too. And if you are fond of DIYs, you can even make your own stand to save more money.
Although they can be lifted by only one person, the materials used for a portable table saw are durable. Usually, the parts are made of steel, aluminum, and plastic which are perfect combinations for creating light and compact tools. Another buying factor for this type of table saw is their price. Since they are smaller and use smaller materials, they are the cheapest among all the types of table saws. However, they tend to vibrate more.
Therefore, different manufacturers have started creating new models that have materials to reduce vibrations, and stands to deliver more accurate cuts. So if you are looking for the best portable table saw, you should make sure that it has the above-mentioned features.
Contractor Table Saw
There are two kinds of a contractor table saw: one uses a motor that drives the blade directly without a belt, and the other one drives the blade with one or two belts. It is heavier than the portable saw with a larger table and fixed legs. It works well for lightweight jobs as well as heavy-duty projects. Therefore, it is still more ideal for hobbyists than professional carpenters. Since it is sturdier and more stable, you can expect that your cuts will be more accurate and consistent as well.
Cabinet Table Saw
A cabinet table saw is the most powerful type of table saw and thus, the most expensive. It is used by large furniture manufacturers which have to do with a large number of projects daily. It is made of cast iron and steel and is more accurate because the vibration is minimal. You can also use it at home by making sure that you meet the circuit and electric power requirements.
Instead of having only one v-belt, cabinet table saws use three v-belts to drive the blade. This kind of table saw works great for any type of wood or timber no matter how thick or hard they may be. For this reason, it is more dangerous to use it than a portable table saw. However, recent development and new technology created features to reduce the risk of serious injury it might cause to users.
Hybrid Table Saw
A hybrid table saw is something between a contractor and a cabinet table saw. It is designed as powerful as a cabinet table saw at a price that is almost the same as a contractor table saws. It also has an enclosed cabinet for dust collection and fixed legs. In reality, hybrid table saws vary in looks and use since they are a combination of two kinds of table saws in one. This means you can buy a hybrid table saw using one or two v-belts.
Main Differences between Table Saw vs. Miter Saw
These two powerful tools are both a great addition to your workshop. They work almost the same, too. However, those minor differences are often the factors that will help you decide which one is what you need or prefer the most. When it comes to design, a miter saw holds the wood in place and has a movable blade that you can move to cut a fixed wood.
On the other hand, a table saw has a fixed saw that allows you to move the wood to different angles. While a table saw is more versatile, a miter saw is ideal for creating complicated designs of wood since you can control the blade. Other major differences between the two are the cuts they make. Table saws are for ripping and crosscutting while the miter saws are for crosscutting only.
5 Recommended Woodworking Portable Table Saws and Miter Saws
Now that you have understood the main differences between table saws and miter saws, it is time to see what the others are telling about the best brands on the market. Below are just five products you should look into as recommended by reviewers on Amazon and other trusted sites.
1. Dewalt DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table Saw
This product offers a wide range of features for ease of use, efficiency, and safety. It is portable and lightweight, and therefore great for carpenters who work from one site to another. It is also ideal for budding woodworking enthusiasts, too. What you will like about this model is that it runs on a 15-Amp motor, which is powerful enough to cut through the hardwood materials.
Combined with a sharp 10-inch and 24-tooth tungsten carbide blade, you can expect that all your cuts will be accurate and clean all the time. Aside from this, the tool also has a 32.5-inch rip capacity with a telescoping fence that is easy to adjust according to the size of your material. Another great feature of this product is the rolling stand that provides stability all the time. It has heavy-duty wheels for rolling the tool with ease.
Other features worth mentioning are the dust collection port and the inbuilt storage system for your other accessories. Although it is smaller than the average cabinet saw, you can use it for a variety of applications, such as shelving, ripping moldings, ripping floor boards, railing, and more. So whether you are just starting or not, rest assured that your finish product will look like something made by a professional.
- 5-inch ripping capacity, great for cutting hardwood materials
- Easy to use and powerful enough to accomplish a variety of projects
- Rack and pinion system for smooth and accurate fence adjustments
- The rolling stand makes the table saw more portable, easier to transport, and store
- Features a flip-over system for the fence to facilitate narrow cutting
- The speed level of the table saw is not high for larger materials
- Not entirely compatible with dado blades
2. Dewalt DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw
This portable table saw is another one of Dewalt that is designed for amateurs and pros alike. It also has a 15-amp motor with a spin speed of 3850rmp. It is powerful enough to handle a variety of your everyday woodworking task such as ripping and crosscutting. The ripping capacity of this tool is 20-inches while the maximum cut depth is 3-1/8 inches at 90 degrees and 2-1/4 inches at 45 degrees.
Aside from being portable, the product boasts of its durability, using materials that will last for years. For example, it has a metal roll cage that is stronger than the plastic used by other brands. Meanwhile, in terms of versatility, this product can be considered as a top notcher. It has an impressive Site-Pro Modular Guarding System that can be adjusted to application-specific guarding components. With this system, you can achieve more accurate cuts for a specific application.
You can bring this table saw from one site to another easily all thanks to its lightweight and compact style. It is 10 inches big and only weighs 45 lbs. Surprisingly, though it is light, vibrations and frictions are minimal because the table used is coated. If you want to work sturdier, you can opt to buy a saw stand, too. However, you can use any strong surface to save more money. Lastly, the box comes complete with a Miter Gauge, push stick, and a blade guard.
- Powerful 15-amp motor with a speed of 3850rmp
- Lightweight and compact style for portability
- Made of durable materials
- Amazing Site-Pro Modular Guarding System
- 20-inches ripping capacity and 3-1/8 inches and 2-1/4 inches or maximum depth
- Comes with a three-year limited warranty and one-year free service
- Has a 90-day money-back guarantee
- Blade issues
- Some problematic unit issues
3. Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand
This amazing portable table saw includes a unique gravity-rise stand that will keep you working with your wood throughout the day. Like the other brands, it runs on a 15-amp electrical motor and spins at a speed of 3650 rpm. However, the difference will be the 10-inch blade which has 40 teeth, allowing you to cut soft and hard kinds of woods nice and clean.
The ripping capacity is 25 inches, so you can work with larger projects that require larger woods and materials. There’s no need to worry about accuracy and consistency, all thanks to the improved features of the Bosch series. One such improved feature is the modular smart guard system that now includes more elements which are riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and blade guard.
These elements do not require tools for you to add it to the table saw. You simply attach one of them to perform a specific task and remove it if you want to change. The next feature is the Bosch-exclusive SquareLock Rip Fence with auxiliary fence slots that let you work on a fixed material for more precision. Aside from this, there is also a single-point bevel movement, giving you accurate cuts all the time.
The gravity rise stand is collapsible so you can bring the table saw and set it up to different workstations. Whether you are working at home or at various wood shops, this stand will always come in handy.
Furthermore, for tools that you need to bring alongside the table saw, the on-board storage provides enough space for them. All buyers are covered by a one-year warranty should they encounter problems with their unit.
- Features modular smart guard system and SquareLock Rip Fence
- Uses a 10-inch, 40-tooth carbide blade
- 29 x 21.5-inch square table that provides support and stability to materials
- Tool-free attachment of important parts and elements
- Comes with a gravity-rise stand for portability and ease of transport
- Has 25-inch rip capacity for cutting soft and hardwood materials
- Fair dust collection management
- Only has a one-year limited warranty
4. Craftsman Evolv 15 Amp 10 In. Table Saw 28461
The price of the Craftsman Evolv 15 ranges from $100 to $200, which makes it the best portable table saw today. It is a great tool for entry-level enthusiasts who are just starting to build their garage wood workshop.
Though it is small, it does not lack the power to cut all your day to day cutting needs. It has a solid 15-amp motor that can handle even hardwood timber for your project. And what is greater about this tool is that it won’t require much effort to do everything that needs to be done.
The manufacturer made it user-friendly so that beginners can experience the joy of woodworking right away. There is a miter gauge that is easy to adjust for controlling the tight bevels and corners.
Speaking of adjustments, rip adjustments is made simple thanks to the quick-mount rip fence. It is a large, flip on/off switch with a safety key that lets you have full control over the tool, too. Apart from these, the advanced guarding system makes it more versatile with impressive blade coverage.
For stability, the tabletop is made of strong steel and is large enough to handle all the materials and cut them accurately. Moreover, the tool comes complete with a stand so you can set up your workstation anywhere, anytime.
- Affordable table saw
- Includes a stand for portability
- Great for an entry-level table saw
- Has similar safety features, just like expensive products
- Includes a large, flip on/off switch
- Performance great for lightweight jobs
- The table stand is made of thin materials
- Limited availability of dust collection feature
- The tool is not compatible with a dado blade
5. Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
If you are looking to add a miter saw in your woodshop or garage workshop, choose the Hitachi C10FCE2 Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw. This tool is almost as powerful as a table saw, having a 15-Amp motor with a speed of 5000rpm.
It will be enough for all of your cutting needs due to a number of functionality and features. The bevel range and miters saw angle range are easy to adjust up to 45 degrees and 52 degrees respectively. This way you can do crosscuts and miter without too much effort. Aside from this, the tooth is made of tungsten carbide and has a measurement of 10 inches. It can cut a 4×6 wood material.
In addition, there is also a non-slip grip handle that is designed to give you full control over the miter saw. It does not just add comfort but also minimize vibration, allowing you to be more precise in cutting. Moreover, this product can better support a large wood, too. This is because of the larger table and a large extended flip fence that rises to 4 inches.
Meanwhile, the thumb actuated positive stops are designed to adjust the miter quickly. And lastly, the company provides a five-year warranty to cover consumers should they get a problematic unit.
- Cuts clean and accurate with the help of 15-Amp Motor and 10-inch tungsten carbide tooth
- Features easy to use controls or miter stops actuated for adjusting the miter saw
- Durable blade
- Flexible with miter range angle that is up to 52 degrees and bevel range of 45 degrees
- Elastomer grip horizontal handle that minimizes vibration and increases control or precision
- Includes a built-in dust collector
- Not ideal for projects that require finer cuts or works
- Some problems with the miter saw angle range
All of the products mentioned above are running on 15-amp motors, which make them a great choice. However, they are not equally powerful and suitable for your needs.
If you are an entry-level woodworking enthusiast who is looking for the best portable table saw that is affordable, you could start with the Craftsman Evolv 15. If you have experienced working with table saws and want something you can bring elsewhere, you have four other options, including a miter saw on the list.
Just make sure to know what kind of carpentry you are planning to do in order to pick the best power tool for your workshop.