Best Portable Table Saws of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

tablesawIf the ‘do it yourself’ bug has bitten you, there is hardly a tool that can help you like a portable table saw. You could be either an amateur artisan or a regular professional; a portable table saw can address a ton of your woodworking requirements. In fact, portable table saws incorporate multiple functions into one package, making it a very convenient tool. These include the ability to crosscut, miter, rip and bevel. It saves you the frustration of using hand tools as well as the significant investment required for heavy duty carpentry tools.

The challenge is identifying the best portable table saws. They need to be the right mix of quality, performance, price, brand, and availability. In this article, we will attempt to cover all those points for our five tops picks in this burgeoning market sector. Our reviews are designed in a way that can help you concentrate on products that provide a pretty comprehensive package. While the market is full of options, it is always good to go for ones that highlight the unique versatility of this tool. We will also go over everything you need to know in our buying guide so that you can purchase a portable table saw with confidence.


Our Top 5 Picks

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
DEWALT DWE7491RS
DEWALT DWE7491RS
31 x 24.5 x 31 inches
110 pounds
4.7/5
$$$$
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DEWALT DW745
DEWALT DW745
25.8 x 26.5 x 13.9 inches
53.2 pounds
4.7/5
$
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Bosch 4100-09
Bosch 4100-09
39 x 29.8 x 21 inches
124.2 pounds
4.5/5

$$$$$
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Bosch GTS1031
Bosch GTS1031
26 x 24.8 x 15.5 inches
64.8 pounds
3.9/5
$$
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Makita 2705
Makita 2705
36 x 16 x 32 inches
82 pounds
3.8/5
$$$
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We went through a large number of portable table saw reviews to help you identify the top options that you could choose from. If you do not have the time to surf through hundreds of options available online, this list will make the task easier for you. Of course, you can also use our buying guide to sift through options outside this list. In saying that, let’s get started with our top pick, the DEWALT DWE7491RS!

#1 DEWALT DWE7491RS – Our Top Pick

DEWALT DWE7491RSThe versatile and efficient DEWALT DWE7491RS is our top pick in this category. It cuts with high efficiency and has some striking safety features. All together, they make the overall user experience quite safe and absolutely hassle free.

Regarding reliability, Dewalt is a fairly dependable brand in the world of portable table saws. This latest offering from Dewalt comes with a big rolling stand that adds to the convenience element. It quickly cuts through over 3 inches depth at 90 degrees and nearly 2.25 inches at 45 degrees. This power is being driven by the powerful 15 amp motor. It cuts small and narrow strips of wood as well as large chunks.

It is extremely lightweight so that it can be easily moved around. The best feature for me is the unique capability to capture dust both below and above the blade. That keeps your workplace clean, and you save time. The safety features and ease of use further add to the convenience element. Additionally, the product comes with a 3-year warranty, which is quite good for a tool in this class.

There is one downside in that it is not exactly loaded down with accessories. However, the more serious hobbyist or professional would usually want to buy their own accessories anyway.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Great safety features
  • Convenient to use and clean
  • Very stable
  • Strong customer support and warranty programs

Cons

  • Lack accessories

#2 Bosch 4100-09 – The Runner-up

Bosch 4100-09Bosch has a long legacy of manufacturing great tools for generations, and the Bosch 4100-09 upholds that tradition. Slightly heavier than the Dewalt DWE, it comes with an innovative stand that makes it stand out. The gravity-rise stand cuts down the time to set this table saw by quite a lot, reducing set up time. It also comes equipped with pneumatic wheels that can roll on almost any surface without much hassle. Another selling point is the advanced T-slot miter gauge that makes sure that you get the right cut every time without fail.

It is an extremely durable and sturdy product. However, there are some drawbacks. First of all, it is expensive without quite backing up that price in all areas. It does not really have the elite safety feature of our top choice, and it also lacks high-end power. These are minor points (it is still safe and powerful), but you expect it to be perfect at this price.

In saying that, this is still a great piece of equipment. One safety feature that I love is the smart guard system. It does not just add to the safety element but also improves overall visibility. You can easily avoid kickback and direct blade contact using this system.

Overall, this portable saw is expensive but good value. It can do everything you need, and if you love the convenience the gravity rise system represents, this is a great buy.

Pros

  • Rip to very fine thickness
  • Accurate and precise
  • Durable
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Safety features are relatively weak
  • Power is relatively weak

#3 DEWALT DW745 – Best For The Money

DEWALT DW745The DEWALT DW745 is the best value for money proposition on the market. Whether you are a professional or simply an amateur, this can be a viable portable table saw to invest in. I would say though that this saw is probably a better option for the beginner as it lacks rip length which would likely be required for professional jobs.
Other than that, this is a great portable saw. It is lightweight and easily moved from location to location. It also has a pro guarding system that basically allows quick and easy adjustments. It also has a metal roll cage to help with durability. Furthermore, it has built in storage which is always welcome. That is a lot of features at this price point!

So, if you do not need maximum capacity when it comes to rip length, I would strongly consider this budget option. The three-year warranty is the clincher for me. That is fantastic for a budget portable saw.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Extremely portable
  • Easily adjustable
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Maximum rip length is limited.

#4 Makita 2705

Makita 2705The Makita 2705 is a bit of an outlier on this list as it is not as portable as the others. You might be thinking “Why is a not so portable saw on the list?” Well, this is a great saw for a niche buyer, one who needs a lot of power.

This one ranks fairly low on the list of the best portable table saws. This is primarily because though it comes with most of the standard table saw features; it is not terribly portable. You have to understand that portability is a huge factor for these midrange table saws.

The Makita 2705 is bulky in this context and scores poorly in comparison to many other options available in the market. Moreover, the dimensions of the table saw make it rather difficult to carry around.

The fence adjustment in the Makita 2705 also leaves a lot of room for improvement. You have to understand that the rip fence is one of the most essential elements of a portable table saw. This essentially keeps the wood in place and in the absence of a proper fence adjustment, it will be difficult to manage.

The main selling point is power. If you will not be moving your saw and you need pure power, then this is a pretty good option. It also has all the standard features and is safe.

Pros

  • Powerful – 4800 RPM

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Fence does not do its job

#5 Bosch GTS1031

Bosch GTS1031The last one in our list of the top portable table saw picks is another offering from Bosch. If you are looking for a sleek and extremely portable table saw, then this is for you. It weighs merely 52 pounds and can be easily carried around anywhere that you might go. The ergonomic grip and the uniform weight distribution further enhance the portability aspect.

Overall, this portable table saw is extremely compact. It is about 13 inches high and a little under 23 inches in width. You can keep it standing or even lay it down side by side. Despite the compact design, it is still extremely sturdy. The steel base makes it very stable.

The rip fence slides lock in exactly. That helps the wood stay stable and at the same time, enhances the overall accuracy of the cut. The 15 amp motor works extremely efficiently with over 5000 rotations, faster than most other models and even higher than industry standards.

At this point, you are wondering why this is not number 1. The problem is with all that power, precision, and all those great features; you can get only 18 inches of cut from it. This severely impacts the usability of the product. While it can still be used for some home based products, its use in a professional setup is fairly limited to smaller projects. It also only has a one year warranty which is pretty light.

If you are looking for a great saw to do small projects, this is a fantastic choice.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful

Cons

  • One- year warranty
  • Small max rip length

Factors To Consider When Buying a Portable Table Saw

Deciding on what portable saw to get is not an easy task. There is so much out there on the market and such a wide combination of options. You can use our top 5 picks to get a taste of what’s out there and maybe find your perfect portable power saw right off the bat. However, we feel that you should also be equipped with the knowledge to go out and make your own decisions on portable table saws. We are going to run through the most important factors and features to consider before you make your purchase. These are factors that have a direct impact on performance.

Lightweight: Typically, you want to choose a portable table saw that is relatively lightweight but sturdy. This will make sure that you are able to work faster and more efficiently compared to heavier options. It also cuts down the strain involved in using this tool as well in moving from one location to another. While looking for lightweight options, do not compromise on the stability element though. If your table saw is not sturdy, it can easily be wobbly while cutting the wood or other material. This is a safety risk but also will end up with junk projects and mistakes. Woodworking is all about precision, and that requires stability.

Ease Of Use: The convenience or ease of use is another key factor to take into account when deciding on the best portable table saw. You have to understand that this device should be something that can be carried easily, fixed simply and used efficiently as and when you need to. Maneuverability is a fundamental element in this matter as well. From setting it up to fixing the wood in place, you have to make sure that the table saw that you buy is convenient and simple to use in all situations and locations. The only caveat to this is if you have one fixed location in mind for 90% of your work or more.

High RPM: Rotations per minute are an important consideration when you are looking to buy the ideal portable table saw. It ensures that you can cut the wood/material a lot more efficiently and accurately. It also means that the thickness can be adjusted easily, and you can get a plank to the thickness that you would like. The high RPM also makes sure that the cut is relatively smooth and the rips do not show up in the form of uneven edges. On an average, most table saws have a 15 amps motor. It is the RPM that makes a big difference in performance. Anything above 4500 is fantastic.

Smoothness & Accuracy: This is another important factor to be aware of. You need to make sure that you decide on a portable table saw with a blade that can cut any type of wood easily. The fence needs to be able to fix the wood securely, and a miter gauge adds to the overall accuracy element. It also significantly adds to the range of options you can use the table saw for.

More Power: Well, the mathematics of it is fairly simple. When you decide to look for the best table saws, it is always better to go for the one with the maximum horsepower. A saw that is underpowered won’t be of much help in any case. On an average, a motor with 1-2 hp can easily cut through 2-inch thick wood. For greater thickness, you need to opt for table saws with higher horsepower. For example, if you are focusing primarily on wood that is nearly 3 inches thicker, you need a 3-5 hp motor that would run on 240 Volts.

Drive types: Another factor that decides the smoothness and efficiency of a portable table saw is the drive type. Generally, there are two types of available drive:

  • Direct drive

In a direct drive, the blade is directly connected to the motor. So the motor can transfer all its power to the blade directly. There is practically no loss of power in this process. It produces much less vibration and noise in comparison to a belt drive. They are relatively small and lightweight. They are also safer! It also costs less so generally it is a winner. However, there are reasons to go for a belt drive for bigger jobs.

  • Belt drive

As the name indicates, it has a V-belt and a pulley system through which the power is transferred. Given the much higher torque and power, these drives are more suited for heavy-duty sawing jobs, providing better efficiency when cutting thicker wood variants. Additionally, a belt drive throws up much less dust as the motors are mounted far away from the blade. I would say other than that; they are less safe and more costly.

If you are doing small jobs, I would want a direct drive. If you are doing big jobs, you almost have to get a belt drive.

Safety Features: All said and done, you have to accept that the portable table saws are amongst the more dangerous tools to operate. If you are not careful, you can easily get hurt. This makes the safety features some of the most important to consider. I would keep an eye out for features like anti-kickback pawls and blade tilt as they go a long way in avoiding accidents. Most also come with a magnetic switch that makes sure that the machine does not get started on its own accidentally. This is essential. Do not buy a portable table saw without a magnetic switch.

Left Blade Tilt: Often in the list of safety features for a table saw, the left blade tilt is featured prominently. Left blade tilt just produces much less kick back compared to right blade tilt, making the entire operation much safer. I would make this a priority, also.

Flesh Sensor: This is another very important safety measure. While it is possible that this might raise the cost of the saw, nothing is more important than your good health. Flesh sensors stop the blade immediately when they sense a finger on the blade. So instead of a severed finger, you get away with minor cuts. Always choose minor cuts over missing fingers! You do not want to be going to the emergency room with an ice box.

Lastly, I would consider warranty and customer support. Do a little online digging into the company that produces the saw and make sure that the warranty they give is honored and that they support their products.


Conclusion

The marketplace today is filled with a variety of options at every price range. Once, you have figured out your price range and needs; you should be able to find a choice among our top 5 picks. You can also use our buying guide to inform that choice or to inform your search for a suitable portable table saw in the wider market. There is so much out there, and the quality is getting better every year!

You must understand that the portable table saw technology is incredibly dynamic and it is continually being updated. However, the key tenets in our buying guide are unlikely to change so you can use this information to help you make buying decisions for years to come. We also have a buying guide on hybrid table saws which can be found here.