So, you got into the woodworking world, and now you want to get a table saw for your small shop. And that is rational since these tools are incredibly versatile and provide you with remarkable results for the price.
But there is one issue – you are not sure of which one you should get. Among the thousands of tools and the surrounding jargon, it often gets quite puzzling for most people.
To help with that, we have assembled some of the best table saws for small shop owners. You will find options that adhere to your budget and space requirements, so let’s get to it without wasting any more time.
Table of Contents
- 5 Best Table Saws for Small Shop
- What to Look for Before Buying
- Frequently Asked Questions
5 Best Table Saws for Small Shop
A small shop inherently has a different set of requirements when compared to other scenarios. Below are the saws that we think will fulfill those requirements.
1. Bosch Jobsite Table Saw
Here, we have a powerful and chunkier toy for the users that need it. First of all, it has a mighty motor for a product as compact as this. And it also is 15 amps with an impressive output of four horsepower.
That allows it to go up to 3650 RPM, which does a superb job at rip cutting or cross-cutting any kind of materials. And of course, the dimensions are essential as well, which are 37.7” (d) x 29.4” (w) x 19.4”.
So, as you can see, it does not take a lot of space either. We did say it is heavier, though (110 lb.), half of which is due to the stand. You get an impressive GTA47W wheeled stand, which improves the portability.
Moreover, the saw features a durable cast aluminum top that provides you with a large workspace and a 30-inch ripping capacity. For safety, its restart protection will prevent accidental startups.
It does not end there – the soft-start circuitry lowers the motor’s initial intensity to avoid tripping a circuit breaker. Even better, the constant response mechanism keeps this saw powered steadily and maintains speed.
Furthermore, the riving knife and the anti-kickback pawls work together to ensure your safety while cutting and prevent kickbacks. And the Smart Guard System also plays a significant role in that.
2. Dewalt Table Saw
Next up, we have the DWE7491RS from Dewalt, unsurprisingly another high-rated product from this manufacturer. This one is a table saw with a fantastic stand included in the package. Let’s talk about that first.
This rolling stand is surprisingly easy to set up, and it adds a lot to the portability of the product. Moreover, stability also gets a boost. You also get a standard 24-tooth 10” carbide blade, which is decent enough to make it one of the best table saws for beginners.
Moreover, this saw does an exceptional job when it comes to its rip capacity. On the left, it manages 22 inches. And on the right, the number is a whopping 32-1/2 inches, which is more than what most saws provide.
The motor is a 15 amp one that goes up to 4800 RPM, which is powerful enough to cut any hardwoods. Plus, the cutting depth is 3-1/8 inches at 90 degrees and then goes to 2-1/4 inches at 45 degrees.
Another impressive feat about this saw is the miter gauge, which helps you achieve a better result overall. Moreover, it comes with a push stick and blade guard assembly manual to further improve your experience.
Lastly, it features the Rack & Pinion Telescoping Fence System. This mechanism allows for an effortless adjustment of the fence, which will result in a faster and smoother cut.
3. Skilsaw Worm Drive Table Saw
At this point, we have the mighty SPT70WT-01 from Skilsaw. You might be wondering what a worm drive is. It is a powerful circular saw that has its motor behind the blade.
Hence, it essentially allows for a much higher torque than most saws, which results in more power to cut materials. And as the manufacturer says, this is the first brass-geared worm drive table saw, which is impressive.
The motor is a 15 amp dual-field one, which provides a superb cutting speed and durability. Its operating voltage is 120 Volts and takes around 1800 watts of power, which shows how powerful it is.
And this motor makes the product rather unique. Moreover, the rip capacity to the right is 25 inches. That capacity is pretty remarkable, and you should be able to do most of your tasks effortlessly.
Moreover, the cutting depth is around 3-1/2” to rip various materials. The rip fence it boasts is quite remarkable too. It is self-aligning with on-tool storage, which allows for a much better cut. Lastly, portability is essential also.
To ensure that, this product weighs only 49 pounds, which makes it effortless to carry and move. Add the 24-tooth blade, guard system, insert plate, and push stick – and it is a deal that you cannot deny.
4. Makita Contractor Table Saw
Many users might need something more powerful than a good old Jobsite saw. Their workloads may require higher horsepower and a larger workspace. Out next saw is for you if you need that.
This one here is the Makita 2705 – a contractor table saw. The design is quite common in professional workloads. It has a 15 Amp motor that can deliver 4800 RPM, which shows why it is ideal for heavier workloads.
Moreover, its blade guard assembly has a cam lock, which allows for an effortless and tool-less installation/removal. And the cutting capacity is a decent 3-5/8” at 90 degrees and 2-1/2” at 45 degrees.
Furthermore, the dual side guards are adjustable too. Thanks to this, you can easily measure your blade’s distance to the rip fence for more accurate cutting setups. There are also two anti-kickback pawls.
These are independent of each other and play a crucial role in reducing kickbacks. To further enhance that ability, it also comes with a riving knife, which works alongside the blade to minimize kickbacks.
Moreover, as it has three different positions for through, non-through and dado cuts, things become much more comfortable. Unlike many other saws, you can use up to a 6” x 13/16” dado blade with it.
5. Dewalt DW745 Table Saw
Our first product is from a manufacturer renowned for its products in the woodworking world – Dewalt. And this Jobsite table saw is undoubtedly one of the most portable ones you can find in the market.
As it is a Jobsite saw, it already ensures that the product is portable and lightweight. Unsurprisingly, it weighs merely 22 kilograms. Therefore, you can move it around your workshop effortlessly.
Another crucial bit is the safety mechanism. It uses the Modular Guarding System to guard the blade and avoid any unwanted situations. Moreover, the cast tabletop surface comes with a coating to reduce friction.
It has a dust port reducer and overload protection system too. Plus, you can tilt the blade up to 45 degrees for the beveled cuts. And as it is a portable tool, it has a steel roll cage to protect itself from any impacts.
We also like its fence system, which allows slightly more than 24 inches of rip capacity. And the blade’s rip capacity to the left and right are 12 inches and 20 inches, respectively, which is decent for most of your tasks.
When it comes to the blade, it comes with a 24-tooth one. And the 15 amp 1850 Watt (up to 3850 RPM) motor, along with two blade spanners and miter fence, make this saw quite an enticing option.
What to Look for Before Buying
Choosing a table saw for smaller shops is drastically different from choosing one in general due to the differences in various aspects. This variance means that you will need to count for those factors when buying.
Here is a short guide regarding what you should look for to assist you with the choosing process.
The biggest issue with a small shop is the amount of space it has. Oftentimes most owners have to make their decision based on this fact only. Therefore, you ought to have a clear idea of how much space you can afford. Also, keep in mind that you might have to allocate space for other tools like the small lathe machines.
You should then start looking at the various sizes of products once you know how much wiggle room you can manage in your shop. Now, let’s see the available sizes.
You can find various sizes of saws depending on their motor strength, cutting ability, and the amount of workspace they allow.
1. Jobsite Saws
If you choose to opt for a Jobsite saw, it would be highly efficient in terms of the required storage space. Moreover, you will often find that a product of this category will come with a support stand.
And as it takes little space to store, it is also relatively light, meaning that the portability is remarkable.
2. Benchtop Saws
A benchtop saw is one of the most portable saws you can buy. It is considerably more compact and much lighter. The portability is right in its name – you can use one of these saws anywhere you want.
Moreover, you do not even need stands for it. This type of tool is much more affordable, and the motors typically use a blade-driven mechanism.
3. Compact Saws
A compact saw is more extensive than the previous ones – the benchtop saws. The chances are that it will also use a blade-driven motor, making it suitable for most workloads.
Despite being larger than some of the other sizes, these are still portable and do not require much space to store. Hence, it can be a worthy option for you.
4. Contractor Saws
Buying one of these products will mean you are leaning towards professional workloads. These are much heavier and take a hefty amount of space, so they might not be ideal for something like a small shop.
5. Hybrid Saws
A hybrid saw will essentially give you a lot of the abilities of a contractor saw but in a smaller form factor. However, these modern table saws still need a substantial amount of space to allow you to maneuver your material.
Moreover, these products are much heavier when compared to some of the more portable ones like benchtop saws and battery-operated jigsaws.
6. Cabinet Saws
If you want the highest amount of power and do not care about the amount of space your saw takes, this is for you. Oh, and it will probably cost two to three times more than the smaller ones as well.
So, needless to say, this is far from being the ideal option for a small shop. And as it is one of the heaviest and most costly, and powerful categories, it is somewhat safe to assume that most people will not require it.
Note: We have excluded the hand-driven saws for cutting wood in this classification as their size doesn't need any special attention.
Dust Collection System
There is no definitive winner when it comes to dust collection methods. Manufacturers use various methods to contain the debris created while cutting multiple materials.
Some suck it from above the blade and store it around there. And some capture it with a vacuum system and keep it below the saw. You will even find products that do a mix and match between both.
Instead of blowing your mind on these, try to make sure that the product that you choose has an efficient dust capture system and does not let it harm you.
The strength of your saw’s motor is also crucial. You will usually see these divided into two categories – direct drive and belt drive. The former is comparatively less powerful, with a standard horsepower of around two or below.
And the other one is found on heavier, costlier products and can output many horsepowers (sometimes even higher than five). But these are better suited for the large stationary products and are not necessary for most people.
Also known as the rip fence, this thing can play a huge role in determining whether you get accurate cuts or not. A quality fence stays parallel to the blade and will adjust effortlessly and accurately.
Products with high-quality fences might cost a little more but are worth it in the long run. And you can replace your rip fence if you are not satisfied with it as well.
Of course, this is one of the most vital aspects of any tool. Various safety mechanisms work in conjunction to ensure the user’s safety. Whether you're buying a table saw from Grizzly or from Bosch, you should give these features top-priority.
(a) Magnetic Switch
If your saw faces a power outage and you forget to turn its switch off, things can get ugly when the power comes back on. Therefore, manufacturers use magnetic switches that automatically go to the power-off position.
(b) Riving Knife
This feature is crucial, as well. If you have done a bit of research about table saws, you probably know that kickbacks are a typical issue with some lower-end products. The riving knife moves along with the blade and prevents them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best saw for my workshop?
As we have been discussing, it depends on the size and cutting capacity. A compact one will do most work just fine and need less space, while a larger one will cost more, weigh more, but provide more power.
2. How can I make the workpiece move effortlessly on the table?
The reason why you might have an issue with the movement in the first place is friction. Therefore, you need to follow a method that can reduce it. People have even used products like wax and have gotten positive results.
3. Are table saws dangerous?
Well, they can be if you do not maintain proper safety procedures. Among the woodworking tools, these saws are some of the sharpest and most powerful ones, so you should be careful of the hazards.
4. Is having a stand necessary for my saw?
If you do not feel the need for it, then no. However, having one means you have a steady place to use it. Some of them even have wheels for better mobility. So, it depends on whether you need it.
5. Can I use a smaller blade on my saw?
Logically, you can use smaller blades than the size your saw is primarily suitable with. Whether we recommend it or not is another matter, as it will also mean you lose a lot of your cutting height.
So, these were the best table saws for small shop owners. You can find various budget options across multiple form factors; therefore, choose whichever suits you the most. And once you get your very own saw, please remember to maintain safety precautions.