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I made a stop at the local Lowe’s today to grab a wall box (and some drywall materials to fix the “other” hole I made before I found the right spot) and came across the above display in the tool corral. It made me wonder: If you were faced with this selection — from left to right: Skil’s 3310 for $140, Skil’s 3410 for $190, Porter Cable’s PCB220TS for $300, and DeWalt’s DW744X for $500 — which saw would you buy? And most importantly, why?

The two Skil entries are obvious choices for the financially strapped. Any saw that’ll cut even reasonably straight in the $150 range is pretty hard to complain about. (Well, you can complain, but no one will listen. They’ll be too busy telling you that you should have shelled out a little more cash.)

But that’s a pretty big jump up to $300, isn’t it? And $500 for the DeWalt is a huge jump. Incredibly, as far as I can tell, each of these saws is made for the same purpose. I do know — having used saws from crappy to excellent — that there is a difference in quality among saws, even sans feature differences. In short: If it doesn’t cut accurately, you’re screwed. But how much does one have to spend to get that accuracy at a minimal level?

Of course, you can spend a whole hell of a lot more on a saw. And you can spend more on a stand, too. But as I stood there blocking the isle pondering, I just really would like to know which one of these three saws you’d buy. Let me know in comments?

PS: You’re welcome to do any research of your own, but to simulate my experience I’ve added links to Lowe’s online shop for each saw below.

Skil 3305 [Lowe’s]
Skil 3410 [Lowe’s]
Porter-Cable 10″ Jobsite Table Saw [Lowe’s]
DeWalt 10″ 15A Jobsite Saw [Lowe’s]

 

56 Responses to Which Contractor Saw Would You Buy?

  1. Bearman says:

    You may want to check pubs like Fine Woodworking at your local library. They typically have a monthly article comparing various models of power woodworking tools. Recently it was on routers.

  2. turbogeezer says:

    The rack & pinion fence on the DeWalt does it for me.

  3. Frank Hicinbothem says:

    None of the above– I picked the Bosch 4100. Street price around $500, and the quality is far better than any of the low-end saws mentioned, including that overpriced DeWalt. Not a big fan of Bosch’s pop-up stand, though.

  4. Ry says:

    Have to agree wtih Frank, the Bosch 4000 series beats the pants off of any other portable saw, but it has a price tag to match. (I’ve heard the DeWalt nearly matches it, fwiw.)

    What you’re paying for is mostly power and ease/accuracy-of-adjustability. I ripped some 6′ long 2″ thick oak on a Bosch the other day and it didn’t flinch or slow down, and had no blade-burn when i was done. Try that with the $150 Skil model…

  5. Toxicboy says:

    Thanks Bearman, I was hoping this post would give info as what to look for because I know for me its the “knowing what to look for” that has kept me from getting one.

    I would love to know WHY a “Bosch 4000 series beats the pants off of any other portable” and why the “quality is far better than any of the low-end saws”. Are statements like this just brand loyalty or measurable differences.

    • Crash Cozilla says:

      ToxicBoy, Are you DAFT? BOSCH power tools are well used throughout the world. Well established over 100 years ago by Robert Bosch. And have European quality engineering that is second to none. Skil tool products are the lower end items owned by BOSCH in Chicago, Illinois USA. Instead of asking WHY so sarcastically. You mite want to research the facts very easily yourself. And come up with your own conclusions. And maybe not waste your own valuable time. From personal choices and opinions from other people that you don’t know. Or seem to even want to know at all ?

  6. Sprague says:

    ANY of them!

    Just pull all the guards off – put the blade to full height and use it like a Jackass – and you too could be a millionare!

  7. Bajajoaquin says:

    But a Jackass with mangled hands.

    No thanks. I’ll keep my fingers and my meager salary.

  8. JKB says:

    I’m no expert but the advice I’ve received, and it makes sense, is first you check the fence. You can’t overcome a crappy fence. Does it lock down parallel to the blade and perpendicular to the table? Is it easy to adjust, especially the fine adjustments? Next is the table. The more expensive tables and the fixed tables have more thermally stable tops such as cast iron whereas the portable saws have cast aluminum. Then you get into ease of other adjustments, power, largest piece size, etc.

  9. Benjamen Johnson says:

    I don’t think any of the above are contractor saws. They are all direct drive benchtop models. Contractor saws usually have an integral open base, a belt drive motor, and a much larger table and fence

    I have the older version of the Dewalt and I bought it for the gimmick of the rack and pinion fence (which on such a small lightweight fence actually keeps it quite straight), but I really wish I would have spent the $500 on a contractor saw with a larger table and a bigger fence. You can actually get a pretty decent contractor saw for the same price, with the above models what you’re paying for is portability.

    Another issue with these benchtop saws is that many of the arbors aren’t long enough to use dado blades, or at least the full set, so forget about making 3/4″ dadoes if you buy the wrong one. Plus the motor might might not be powerful enough anyway.

  10. Frank says:

    It is hard to judge off of a photo. I definitely do not want one on wheels. They probably lock in place, but still seems like it would move or roll away while in use.

  11. browndy says:

    1. Whatever you get, I would suggest making sure it has one of the new riving knife and easily removable/replaceable split guards…it makes working safely much easier. (Maybe even the guy with the Ryobi wouldn’t have been able to cut off his fingers!) They greatly reduce the likelihood of kickback because the riving knife/splitter moves up and down with the blade, keeping its position always close to the blade as the wood moves through. Being easily replaceable reduces the PITA factor in using the guard so that it’s less likely to be permanently left off.

    2. For me the choice was the new model Bosch 4100 (successor to the 4000 Ry was discussing above), which has the riving knife/split guard just mentioned, and had the added advantage of a solid fence system and powerful cutting as Ry discussed with the 4000. I believe it and the DeWalt are pretty much neck-and-neck in the reviews. I didn’t get the digital gauge, so can’t comment on that, but I did get it with the “gravity-rise” stand, which is much touted. For a contractor, it’s undoubtedly helpful, but in my limited space its footprint is a little big. So I’m going to build a more compact stand and re-purpose the mobile stand elsewhere.

    3. I bought mine at Lowe’s for a little over $500 with the stand(it would have been about $350 without the stand); also check out http://www.cpobosch.com for occasional deals on reconditioned versions.

    4. I agree that cast iron would be better, but for me the aluminum works well in the humid Florida garage environment. I do miss all the magnet-based devices which would work with cast-iron, though!

    5. Haven’t tried it with a dado blade yet so can’t respond to the arbor length issue…

  12. fred says:

    I can’t comment on the others – although I’ve seen some good comments about some of the Dewalt’s.

    Have been using Bosch 4100’s for some time – 2 with the DG option.
    Some crews really like the stand – some don’t – Some really like the digital readout – some don’t – no accounting for taste. The saw seems to accommodate our Forrest and Freud dado sets – and has enough power if you’re sensible in using them but we often bring a Unisaw to larger jobsites.

    Now the Bosch does benefit from thin kerf blades – but be sure that the one you buy is a bit thicker than the riving knife.
    We’ve found that these blades work:

    FORREST DU10606125 DURALINE TENON BLADE 6OT .125K
    FREUD – AVANTI TK806L LAMINATE BLADE – 80T .098KERF
    FREUD – DIABLO D1080X ULTRA FINISH BLADE – 80T .098K
    FREUD – DIABLO D1084L VENEER SAW BLADE – 84T .098K
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LM75R010 RIPPING BLADE – 30T .091KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU79R010 PLYWOOD BLADE – 80T .098KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU85R010 CUTOFF BLADE – 80T 0.116KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU87R010 RIPPING BLADE – 24T .094KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU92M010 LAMINATE BLADE – 60T .126KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU94M010 PLEXIGLAS BLADE – 80T .11KERF
    FREUD – INDUSTRIAL LU95R010 SLD SRFC BLADE – 72T .126KERF

    We’ve set up zero-clearance throat plates (Bosch Plastic TS1005) as follows:

    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.091 THROAT
    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.094 THROAT
    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.098 THROAT
    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.110 THROAT
    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.116 THROAT
    ZERO CLEARANCE INSERT 0.126 THROAT

    Bosch also sells side and back table supports – and as you might have guessed – some of our guys think they’re fine – and others think that they are a waste of money.

  13. browndy says:

    Followup to the previous post: I forgot to mention that from appearances, the picture above shows that all of the saws have the riving knife/split guard system I mentioned. However, when I followed Chuck Gage’s links to Lowe’s site (at least my local store’s images/specs), the resulting pictures and specs mention only the older non-riving knife version. During this transition to the new mandatory riving knife/split guard system, I believe the stores are selling off their old inventory, so beware of the differences. The split guard has a characteristic curved plastic guard as you see above, vs. the almost rectangular simple one-piece guards on older saws.

  14. Mr.Miz says:

    I personally think that the saws in your local big box are targeted at DIYer like me. To be used once or twice a month tops. Even at the $500 mark I don’t think they are quite professional grade. So knowing that I think you should purchase according to your budget and then based on your skill level. I started out with a basic model like the skil’s. The purchase was mostly because of my budget and then as my abilities increased (and the amount of time I used the saw increased) then I upgraded to a better saw(more like the $500 ones). Sure it would be awesome if we all could afford a really high end saw, but that’s like driving a Lamborghini to your mailbox… Most people who use there saw to make a living probably have stronger opinions about the saw they used. If your going to use it just for one or 2 things buy the cheapest one, or maybe your using it just for a specific task… or rent a nice one. If you plan on trying to feed yourself or your family with what comes out of your shop then you better start saving and get the highest quality you can afford. (Notice I said start saving not just charge it willy-nilly.)

  15. Alex C. says:

    Another option..
    The Ridgid R4510 is very similar to the Bosch 4100-09 but much cheaper. It has a removable riving knife and a split blade guard for bevel cuts and can you can use a dado blade with it as well.

  16. DDT says:

    Ridgid for the price and quality overall. The fence had zero play I found.

    Dewalt because of the rack and pinion. I don’t know why some people knock it. It’s really annoying when you have to measure from the front and the back of the fence to make sure it’s not off. And, if you need to take off 1/32 of an inch, it’s a lot easier turning a knob than trying to nudge the fence over and getting it bang on. I’ll tell you one thing, the dewalt wheels are a joke on the stand. One broke within 2 months because the rim is plastic. Dewalt said they’d charge us 100 bucks for a new one (in canada). We made one out of plywood. Looks ghetto but it works.

  17. Jerry says:

    I love the ol’ yellow and black – DeWalt – but the price sent me elsewhere.
    It’s been over 4 years but I went for the Ryobi 10 in Table Saw w/ Transp Stand Model # BTS21. It was on sale at Depot for less than $200 and was what I needed at the time as I travelled to 3 or 4 job sites a day and needed the portability. I used it in that capacity for about a year and then began using it as my “everyday” shop saw. I couldn’t be happier and when it’s kept adjusted, it is pretty accurate.
    An interesting note about the Ryobi: nothing in the instructions mentioned it but there is storage for the fence, the miter guide and the guard assembly built in as well as a blade storage spot and a couple of wrenches that fit various adjustments. I would think that pointing this out on the packaging (or anywhere) would add a few sales.

  18. Dean in Des Moines says:

    I work with a dewalt similar, but older than the one in the picture. The rack and pinion fence works *very* well and holds up to being in the back of a pickup or in a tool trailer. The moter is strong enough for most jobs, including wet pressure-treated 2x stock. Don’t try a bevel cut however.

    That said, I don’t plan on purchasing a portable table saw for myself. That’s the bosses responsibility.

  19. fred says:

    It’s kind of funny how you fall into buying things sometimes. We had been using Delta contractor saws – and as I said bringing a cabinet saw out to bigger jobsites where we cold set up a proper shop. My carpenters had bad mouthed a lot of the tabletops that they had seen – but were persuaded to try a Bosch – when we were buying some new Bosch sliding miter saws. It seemed to stick – and the contractor saws have been mostly retired – except when we want to set up 3 or 4 saws at a time. I say it’s funny sometimes – because we’ve started buying Makita sliding miter saws which some crews like better than the Bosch. If we had done the purchasing in reverse order – we might well have Makita portable table saws.

    I’ve also noted before that there is lots of buzz about the lawsuit brought against Ryobi-One World – based on what was said to be partial blame for what appears to have been an accident resulting from admitted misuse of a low-end tabletop saw. From what I’ve read – the jury felt that Ryobi was negligent for not incorporating flesh-sensing technology in their saw. For commercial saw users – even with shallower pockets than Ryobi – this is of great concern. While the new industry voluntary standard riving knives and split blade guards add a new dimension to improved safety – in my opinion – they – and even flesh-sensing blade-stoppers – are not a substitute for proper training, proper attitude and awareness on the job, adequate PPE, diligent supervision, before job safety briefings and empowering every employee to stop a job if his or her safety or that of a fellow worker is a concern. We try to instill the thought that everyone needs to go home from a hard days work tired but uninjured – and that in this regard you may well be your brother’s keeper. With all of this said – I think that this issue bears careful watching and consideration – and if warranted – change out of the machine that has been the mainstay of woodworking.

  20. Steve says:

    I’m going to go with “none of the above”. I’d get a Sears Craftsman 21289. While still portable, it is closer to a real tablesaw. It’s also belt drive.

  21. Gary says:

    7 or 8 years ago I had the Dewalt. I used it for the typical DIY tasks and then I got into making furniture. It’ll do it, but you have to be careful ripping 8/4 boards. I’ve since upgraded, but it did what I needed it to do at the time.

  22. Kurt says:

    None of the above – would look for an older, used Delta on Craigslist, and use some of the money I saved on a Forrest blade. In fact, that is what I did do, except that I got the saw for free 20 years ago, replaced the motor, cleaned and repainted it and it has given me excellent service.

  23. squidlow says:

    None of the above.

    I wonder if they’re even really aimed at the contractor market? They’re all imported Chinese junk aren’t they?

  24. Joe C. says:

    My Dewalt has held up well in over five years of nearly daily use for exterior trim work. No, it’s not a contractor saw, but it works well, has plenty of power for what it’s designed for, is accurate, and a lot easier to carry around than a “real” contractor saw.

  25. Scott says:

    I own a Ridgid R4510 that I picked up at Home Depot a couple of years ago. I love the ability to wheel it anywhere and set up and take down in my limited work area. The fence is pretty decent and I’ve had no issues with it with the smaller type projects I’ve encountered.As with any small protable saw, it would be nice to have a more robust feeder and out feeder area for long cuts, but for a smaller portable saw, it gets the job done.

  26. Rick says:

    Not a single saw you have pictured there is a Contractor Saw. Those are bench tops saws with legs (aka a Jobsite saw).

    Contractor Saws are belt driven. Everyone saw there has an arbor and blade attached directly to the motor shaft.

  27. Coach James says:

    “But as I stood there blocking the isle pondering, I just really would like to know which one of these three saws you’d buy. Let me know in comments?”

    I would se which had the largest table and easiest to use controls. Which fence locked the most secure and is easiest to adjust. Which was easiest to adjust the blade. That’s the one I would get.

    I get it that they’re all junk, buy an old saw, buy something else etc, but for some folks those $150 saws are the only option.

    One of my friends used a $150 Craftsman to revovate his entire house including making all new cabinets for his kitchen.

    If companies determine that they have to have the skin detecting technology on their saws so ignorant juries don’t bankrupt them, kiss the cheaper saws goodbye. And a lot of less well off people will lose the opportunity to use a less than perfect but still highly useful power tool.

  28. Neo Displacer says:

    Low end saws will only frustrate you. There is too much run out on the blade/motor. The motor is undersized. The fences aren’t true. The table is not dead flat. Besides frustration, they are dangerous. Add all of their flaws together and try to feed a big sheet or some hard lumber through them and it gets hinky fast. I nearly lost the tips of two fingers using one these POS. Having worked in a cabinet shop with real saws (big motors, cast flat table, run out in .0001, fences true) it gives you the false sense that this stuff is easy. Oh I mis-spoke, it is easy with the right tool. My advise, shop the used market for a real cabinet saw or buy a track saw.

  29. fred says:

    @ Neo Displacer:

    I’ve seen the display at Lowes – it includes low end tabletop saws – up to a Bosch 4100 – of which we have 6. Is it the same as one of the 5hp or 10 hp saws we have in the shop? – Of course not! I didn’t read Chuck Cage’s question so narrowly as to believe that he was asking – “which saw would you buy if it were going to be the mainstay of your cabinet shop? “ These saws have a place – the Bosch 4100 fits well and is easily transported in one of our Ford E350 “rolling toolboxes” For creating on-site built ins – including light dado work , ripping trim and casing – and the like its accurate enough and has enough power to get the job done. Can it safely handle full sheet goods – not really – but we break sheet goods down before cutting on these table saws. We do the same with our Unisaws – preferring to handle sheet goods with either our panel saw or our sliding table saw – for gang cutting. What I do agree with – is the notion that buying a tool that is not up to the task you put it to – will cause frustration or worse. If you’re setting up a shop to try your hand at making furniture – your advice about looking for a used cabinet saw is sound – but even here you need to know what your doing and be prepared to do some tune-up work or even a major overhaul – and you may need to compromise to accommodate your budget and space – like maybe we couldn’t afford that 10hp Altendorf. Also we need to remember we are doing mostly finish carpentry with this class of saw – not precision machining – so while in theory a dead flat table top is nice to consider – as is zero run-out – the finished product is where it counts.

  30. Travis says:

    I bought the cheapest table saw I could find, which at the time was a Task Force brand. I quickly came to regret that decision. Even though I only needed to be accurate to within about 1/8 inch for the project at hand, I had difficulty achieving that with the saw. The fence would not stay put. The miter gauge had so much slop in it, you might as well eyeball the cut.

    Looking back, think the money would have been better spent on a circular saw, some sawhorses, and a straightedge guide. Even if I had enough money for a better quality table saw, I think I’d rather spend it on a track saw.

  31. Average Joe says:

    I’m no electrical engineer, but I think we can all agree that there is only so much power (watts) one can wring out of a 20 amp 110V circuit. The longer the extension cord one uses, the greater the power drop and all that. So about the only thing a manufacturer can do is increase efficiency by using better bearings, slicker surfaces, and more convenient options. In the end, we all get about the same number of watts to run with, and nothing beats a sharp blade and careful setup of a cut.

    When I take my show on the road, or just don’t want to yuck up the garage with the Delta Contractor Saw, I favor the Dewalt DW745 with the DW7440RS wheeled base. I am happy with it and it suits my needs because it has a small upright storage footprint, I like the rack and pinion fence, and works great with my Incra slider/miter whatever I needs it to be – jig. I also like a neat place to store the cord, the push stick, and the blade changing wrenches. Being able to roll the saw out of the garage next to my obnoxious neighbor’s minivan with the windows rolled down, is a guilty pleasure.

    I own a bit of Festool also, and have often visited the Festool European websites to see how it’s done across the pond. Below is a link to a discussion on a Festool pull saw. Leave it to the Germans to take a fairly simple TOOL and turn it into an INSTRUMENT. I’d guess it costs equal to four or five BMW payments.

    http://blogs.popularwoodworking.com/editorsblog/Festools+Table+Saws+Foreign+Country+Foreign+Tools.aspx

    If I had the space, I’d have bought the Bosch 4000 series saw with the gravity base. I already own the Bosch 4410L SCMS with the gravity miter saw base. It also suits my needs and I have less than 1/2 the cost of a Festool Kapex saw (less the MFT III table) wrapped up in the whole affair.

    I could have taken up smoking and drinking, but tools are my drug of choice.

  32. fred says:

    @ Travis

    When Festool came out with their track saw – I gave it serious consideration. Its high quality – exact track and plunge action make it superior and more convenient to our jobsite method of breaking down sheet goods with a circular saw and a clamped-on straight edge. Of course you still need to support the sheet (thick foam board works remarkably well if its in use and a extra sheet is available on the jobsite). Now that the Deawlt and Makita variants to the Festool are available on this side of the pond – you even have some choice in what to buy. But – a track saw is Not a replacement for a table saw on the jobsite. As an example it would be difficult to use a track saw to rip or taper casing and trim – a task that we do almost every day.

  33. fred says:

    @ Average Joe

    If and when that Festool “table+saw” gets to market here – I know my installers will want one.

  34. Zathrus says:

    Regarding the jury ruling against TTI, this is the only blog / tool industry reporter I’ve seen that is actually bothering to read the full court transcript rather than (just) make off-the-cuff remarks about how stupid the jury is, or the guy, or whatever. I’m looking forward to his finishing the 1200 pages of court documents:

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/29261/how-to-win-15-million-lessons-from-the-tablesaw-lawsuit

  35. niterod says:

    squidlow why does it have to be “chinese” junk? junk is junk, your rich american ceo is selling you this junk and laughing all the way to the bank…back to the discussion, I have a ryobi portable w/the fold up stand etc. from HD. $300 pretty good investment. althought ripping full sheets of plywood gets a little tricky by yourself, best if two people are there.

  36. Shopmonger says:

    I actually have the equivalent skill 3410 on a non mobile base and I have to say i love it. I cut 4x material all the time, is pent money on a nice Freud blade, it also use a dado stack on it. It cuts very nice, i have had it 5 years and no run out on the arbor yet. I use to make furniture and other wood working projects. The fence is still nice and tight and true to the blade. I have found that it is not all about the money. Those that have said that they would get a $500 saw are missing the point. The table saw does not make the wood worker…. I was going to get a Unisaw…but find myself not going that route yet because i really don’t find much downside to my Skil. I would rather spend the 2k on wood for projects. AS for the Cheap China Crap comment…that just shows us the ignorance in some of the posts…..

    @ Neo Displacer– perhaps some looking into these saws before one speaks is a wise concept. SEE ABOVE

    No they are not contractor saws, they are direct drive bench top units, but they are seen mostly on construction sites…..so easily misunderstood

    ShopMonger

  37. fred says:

    @ Shopmonger

    There is lots of truth in what you say. I made a similar comment in the recent post about the Shopsmith. Sometimes people get hung up about statistics and the theories about what makes a good tool and forget that it is supposed to be a tool – not a work of art. Now a really poor tool may never be able to produce good results – but an adequate tool in the hands of a craftsman can do well. Would you’re having a Unisaw make your work better – I can’t tell. What I can say is that I bought one over 30 years ago for my home shop – based on recommendations of others and some familiarity with it in commercial use – and it has served me well – but my skill level is not up to to the saw’s capabilities – so I might have been just as well served by a lower cost option. In our commercial shop – that’s a different and multi-faceted issue. This discussion is true to other sorts of human endeavor too – not just carpentry or woodworking. Buying a Stradivarius would not improve my violin playing (which is non existent) but in the hands of a master would be a worthwhile thing. Similarly some folks think that buying top-of-the line tools will automatically improve their craftsmanship – when the truth is that they may need to study and practice their craft to make any improvement. If yuou buy a “decent” tool and learn that you need additional capabilities that is one thing – but if you eschew a tool because it doesn’t meet some machinist-grade tolerance then that just foolish.

  38. Pete in Elma Wa says:

    I had a Bosch 4000 that I loved, I bought it because of the fence, very acurate and the slided out out feed support as well as the right side support. I liked the way the portable base worked, and how well it supported the saw. It had a dead flat table as well, and would handle a 3/4 wide X 8 inch dado stack. The blade holder, miter, and fence storage as well were very well designed. Simply, everything worked well at the time. And yes I think it was worth the extra money compared to the others. I now use a 800 lb Jet Cab saw in my now larger shop and I love it even more. But that is like apples and oranges.

  39. Scott R says:

    One more vote for the Bosch saw. Bought a Jet Gold series saw because it had a cast iron top. Sold my Bosch and wish I had it back.

  40. B. Foo says:

    I got the Ridgid portable table saw because it was the most like a “real” table saw for the money at that time. I think I paid about $300 when it was on sale. I’ve since replaced is with a hybrid but that Ridgid served me well for a number of years.

  41. A.Crush says:

    I’d get one of the Skil’s when it’s on sale or clearance for some kind of killer deal, then since I saved a ton, get some really really good blades for it.

  42. brew says:

    I own the dewalt and have used a bosch 4000 many times on the job. I would not trade the dewalt for the bosch. I do like the stand on the bosch, but also like the new stand for the dewalt.

  43. Travis says:

    @fred

    For rip and taper cuts with a track saw, you might want to see this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrjLYn-6WY

    If I had to make those sorts of cuts every day, I think I’d put the track on a bridge system like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXV2XJTwn9Y

    That’s two links to the same manufacturer (Eurekazone). I don’t want to seem like I’m shilling for them (I’m not). So here’s one more to something similar from Festool:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_VC8m42T8k

    The point I’m trying to make here isn’t so much about brand as it is that the track saw is a safer alternative to the table saw. They are also generally easier to transport to a jobsite.

  44. Charlie says:

    I dragged a rusty, busted 1950s era Craftsman out of an old lady’s basement as a favor to my mom. Then I happened to need a table saw for a quick job, and the old heap was still in the trailer, so I bypassed the mouse-eaten wiring and hung a weight on the motor to compensate for the sheared-off motor mount.

    The ugly old thing cut so beautifully, even with a 20 year old blade, that I took it back home and rewired it, tapped out the sheared bolt, and compounded the table smooth. It’s been my go-to table saw ever since. No riving knives or rack and pinions or anything like that: just simple, dependable operation for hours at a time. I didn’t clean the rust off anyplace I didn’t have to, so it still looks like hell to a non-carpenter.

    I should probably mount it on a better cart, though; the stock one is huge and doesn’t collapse at all.

  45. Phil Blackwood says:

    The Ridgid model I have was chosen for the sheer fact that it had a full-size arbor to accommodate dado sets (price range for me).
    I have been happy with it. The DeWalts, etc. that I looked at did not.

  46. Brad says:

    I have been very happy with my Porter Cable contractor saw but today I would get the Bosch with its “gravity-rise” stand as its wheels make it a lot easier to move the saw around. Like every aspect of the Porter Cable except how the saw guard attaches as it is a bit of a pain to take off an put back on which is something I was doing a lot initially and not just leave it off.

  47. jacord says:

    I agree on the Bosch 4100. It is a great mix of size and functionality. On another note, stay away from Porter Cable tools that are sold at Lowes. Their table saw, miter saw, lathe, scroll saw, and any other bench-top tool are not even made by Porter Cable. They are actually made by an offshore company that purchased rights to use the Porter Cable name. I am a buyer at a medium sized lumber yard and got excited when I saw these tools at Lowes because with no Lowes within 100 miles of me, I thought it would be great to introduce the line here.

    Wrong! When I sat down with my DeWalt/Porter Cable rep, he informed me that they do not back the products since they are not made by Porter Cable. He pretty mush tolde me good luck on getting support on these tools.

    All I could think was how could such a good name like Porter Cable once had, sell out to big box stores making them look like crappy Ryobi tools…oh well, I guess that DeWalt does kinda the same thing with Home Depot. If only consumers knew the whole truth before they were misled down the wrong road.

  48. Matt says:

    The skil 3310 is on sale 69 dollars black friday at lowes!with a little tuneup and rigging i cant see how that price isnt a steal for a 15 amp motor. I am speaking for the non professional of course.

  49. Tim says:

    Never has the old saying “you get what you pay for” ever held more true, when talking about saws. Bosch, DeWalt and Makita….in no particular order. Visit with the saw, put your hands-on, test all the functions and settings. See which one “feels-good” to you. Amperage is more important than advertised HP……how often do you intend to use it? What do you intend to do with it? Ease of handling, etc……when and if, something goes wrong with it…who’s going to be able to do repairs or warranty work? DeWalt sometimes extends their warranty to two years if you buy 10% of your purchase price in accessories at the time of your purchase. Don’t forget the importance of the blade…..just as important as the saw. Don’t cut corners with the blade purchase (pun intended). Just my opinion…..15 years with ACMETOOLS.COM

  50. corey says:

    I went with the porter cable. i was so motivated to use it and out fit it with anything cross cut sled, aux fence, zero insert, joingter aux fence, taper/ ripping jig. it has been a fun saw to start out with but kick my self for spending the money on what i thought was a great brand. maybe fell victim to brand loyalty. i look eveyday for a belt drivin contractor saw or a smaller cabinet saw that i could put casters on. my shop is small so being able to fold and move out side to provide enterainment for the neighbors is grerat, but very rarely do i cut something like plywood with it. just because of the run out support ect. havent tried a dado blade yet but only taking a 6″ x 1/2″ stack probaly would be good for making joints shallow dados small projects. But you have to make what you get work untill you can up grade. my favorite guy to watch is steve from the woodworkingformermortals. he has made some great projets with his saw. so quality could be held in the operator.

  51. Henry says:

    I’ll be surprised if I get any responses since this post is so old, but the Porter Cable has the one thing I’ve been looking for in an inexpensive jobsite saw…and that is that it has 3/4″ miter slots!! Every other saw in that price bracket has, for some reason, those little miter slots that most upgrade miter gauges and jigs/attachments won’t work with. Also, I have the Skil version of the Rousseau table saw stand in which I plan to mount it, which is much less expensive (on ebay) than the Rousseau, AND the fence has holes for mounting an auxiliary fence, which is a common complaint of the Rousseau.

    I also like the fact that the front fence rail is detachable, which is nice when installed in the stand. Any additional comments would be appreciated.

  52. Paul says:

    Three simple look fors 1. Motor size; horsepower and amps will it cut the wood or are you going so slow you might as well use a hand saw. 2 the fence how it moves and how it locks; a slider or gear, remember this is what makes a straight cut the blade can always be upgraded. and 3. portability, if you’re not moving it get a large one with a big table, if you’re always moving it than keep that in mind. it’s not rocket science just a table saw use common sence

  53. HillbillySUV says:

    Well, I see I’m not the only one dragging this topic back into the light. I am relatively new to the woodworking bug. I got bit in 2008 when I acquired a 100+ year old home which I intended to remodel. During the course of that multi year remodel I picked up a Skilsaw 3310 table saw at lowes for a whopping 129$ on sale.

    It was terrible.

    The fence would always twist a bit when it was clamped down,no matter what I did with the tension adjustment.
    To approach anything like 1/8″ accuracy over a long cut required a good square and a rubber mallet to tap the fence straight. Then you’d have to cut a test piece to see if it was still where you wanted it. The scale on it bore no relationship with reality that I could determine.
    The motor was so out of balance that even with a new blade on it, I had to weigh the base down with a couple concrete blocks to keep it from walking all over the floor. Worse, was the tendency to walk away from me at an angle whenever material was fed through it.
    The table itself looks to be aluminum. I don’t know if it’s coated with some sort of space age “super monkey grip” material or what, but material dragged across it something fierce. I took progressively finer sandpaper to it trying to polish it up a bit. No help.
    I waxed it. Slight improvement. I even got my buffer into the act. Even so sliding material across it felt like it had been coated with half dried maple syrup.
    Even with just my minimal use it died a little after a year. I was ripping a 2×4 when the saw bogged down. I backed the material off a bit and the saw accelerated to a frightening speed, smoke rolled out of the motor, and it tripped the breaker just as I managed to hit the power switch.
    Good riddance.
    I bought a late 1940’s Atlas table saw with a cast iron top and a belt drive motor for 120$ off craigslist. The seller said he remembered his dad building boats with it in the 50’s.
    It’s to heavy to be really portable, but that’s fine for me as it never leaves my shop and nobody asks to borrow it. It isn’t fancy but it is accurate, quiet, and a joy to use. Instead of trying to avoid it, I find myself using it all the time. Best of all with an occasional waxing the top stays slick as can be.
    I still have the Skilsaw. It sits outside my shop where I use it on nice days as a work table for smelly, dusty or just plain dirty projects. It’s heavy enough not to blow away. I finally found something it’s good at.

  54. Tim Bentley says:

    I have used 3 different table saws over the years. I one I like the best is the Porter Cable jobsite table saw. At $300.00, it’s a great buy and it is as accurate as the high dollar saws. I can move it where I need it, but most of the time it sits in front of my work table. I love the 30″ rip it has. The smaller saws at the max is 24″ and you have to still fight with it, especially if you are ripping a full sheet of plywood. My first table saw was a Delta and after burning it up, I bought the Porter Cable. This saw works great on the job site and in a small shop.

  55. T.Wade Jr. says:

    Just like no car seats or airbags when I grew up, same with the table saw. I came up in metal and cabinetry design shop. Anybody anygood looking for a good saw, wants power and accuracy. If you need a push stick use one, most are clever enough to not need anything but saftey glasses fellers. I don’t buy squat based on somebody else’s pre-engineered thoughts concerning my ineptitude. That’s why GM Europe built all the 145m.p.h. Escorts for Europe. They determined we were a limited intellect consumer base by comparison. My safety guard long since lost in pile at back of shop Cabinet Makers.

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