Which Are the Best Contractor Table Saws? Mechanopedia’s Top Picks
Whether you’re doing a lot of DIY things or you’re a well-versed woodworking professional, you’re going to be using a lot of tools – from table saws, sliding miter saws, sliding compound miter saws, and chainsaws to electric pole saws and cordless tool sets.
Consequently, this means that the tools you’re going to use will greatly influence the quality of your work and the time it takes you to get things done. That’s why you’ll need to have the best tools possible for the job if you want things to go quick and smooth. Otherwise, you might not get the outcome you want.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at a unique tool which is the contractor table saw. While they might be a bit trickier to find, these tools are a must-have for professionals and are a great addition to any DIYer’s tool box. We’ve compiled a list of the best contractor table saws out there, so you don’t have to do as much research. We’ve also included a buying guide to help you better understand the features and specifications of these tools.
And now, without further ado, let us take a look at the list
The Best Contractor Table Saw – Our Picks
This is easily one of the best contractor table saws you can find on the market. It includes a lot of features and excels at what it does.
First of all, this unit sports a 36-inch fencing system that ensures that the cuts you make are as precise and smooth as can be. There’s also the table extender which comes in handy when you’re working with long wood sheets. On top of all that, the portable support legs are reliable, so you can work knowing full well that the whole table saw won’t start wiggling or collapse all of a sudden.
With that said, it’s important to note that this table saw weighs about 360 pounds, which is not the lightest that you can find. Then again, this table saw wasn’t built to be portable.
When it comes to the motor, it performs admirably, peaking at 4 HP. It also includes a 10-inch blade. Additionally, the table top is built with cast iron, so you can expect it to last you a lifetime. However, there are still a lot of other impressive features such as some of the most advanced safety systems that you can find in a contractor table saw.
For instance, this saw has sensors that detect the distance between the metal, human skin, and wood and will trigger the brakes if the distance between the skin and blade metal is too close. This feature alone makes this the safest contractor table saw on the market, and above all, the best contractor table saw.
For the downsides, if you put on the nitpicking glasses and look very closely, you’ll find that the time the unit takes to level the extender table is a bit too long for your liking. Nevertheless, this is still one of the best contractor table saws that you can get today.
What we like about it
This wonderful product has so many great features as well as impressive specs. It has enough HP to handle anything you might throw at it. It also has the most advanced safety systems. The 36-inch fencing system helps a lot with precision, and the whole machine is very reliable and will last you a lifetime if you take good care of it.
With such a great contractor table saw at the start of the list, it’d be hard to find a rival. The fact that this chainsaw comes as a close second speaks volumes about its effectiveness. One of the few things stopping it from being the best contractor table saw is the inferior safety features when compared to the SawStop saw. Then again, this doesn’t mean that this table saw is not safe. It still has good safety features.
This saw also has enough HP to handle any task you put it through. We were also surprised by how well this table saw handles. It had minimal vibrations, which made the cutting process smoother and provided better cuts overall.
One feature that’s unique about this saw is the ability to work even with just 115 Volts of power. What even more impressive is that it still maintained good performance even in such conditions. There’s also the hose around the blade which collects dust in order to help you maintain a clear view of the cut.
All in all, while this is not the best contractor table saw out there, it’s very close and is an option that worth considering. It boasts unique features that set it apart from the competition and also has enough power for any task.
What we like about it
There’s a lot to appreciate in this model. For starters, its ability to work even with only 115 Volts of power while maintaining good performance is awe-inspiring. The dust hose on this model is also quite effective at keeping a clear view of the cut. Additionally, the 03-inch fence and extender give you a lot of free space to work with. There’s also a quality miter gauge that can lean up to 60 degrees to both sides.
If you’re looking for great value, then the Jet 708492K is the best contractor saw you can get. We were caught off guard by how well-built this contractor table saw is. It also comes with some nice safety features such as the riving knife. It also has relatively low kickback, which makes it great for beginners. On top of that, it has an easily accessible arbor lock on the top of the table which allows for quick and easy release of the blades when you’re changing them.
Additionally, there’s a 30-inch fence along with other accessories which are simple to set up. You can also expect this table saw to last since its build quality rivals even that of table saws that are double the price. This is easily the best contractor table saw when it comes to the value it offers.
The only caveat we have with this saw is the absence of an automatic power-off mechanism
What we like about it
First and foremost, the price of this formidable table saw betrays its true capabilities. You’ll find that this is one of the better options on the market even when compared to other saws that are more expensive. It’s easy to set up, comes with a riving knife, and the blades are very easy to change
The Delta 36-5000 is terrific for those who tend to work with a lot of long pieces of wood. This is mainly due to the railing system and the table extender that’s easy to line up with the main table. Both of these systems make it so you can accurately and smoothly put long pieces of wood. This saw is also able to cut through pretty much any type of wood thanks to the 10-inch blade coupled with the 15-amp motor, and the left-leaning miter gauge helps a lot when you’re making cuts at an angle.
What stood out the most about this saw was the tubular stand system which kept the table saw still and steady, which is especially crucial when you’re working with longer pieces of wood. There’s also the Delta which is sturdy and allows you to make very accurate cuts. When it comes to the brake system, it’s triggered by a button that’s placed at the front of the saw for easy access. When pressed, the blade will immediately stop.
Another thing we liked is the split guard feature, which makes the process of changing blades a lot easier. All in all, this is one of the best contractor table saws you can get on the market and is especially useful if you need to cut a lot of long wood pieces.
The only niggle with this unit is the support you get with the tool. This problem is not only specific to this product, rather the Delta customer support. Unlike other power tool brands like DeWalt or Milwaukee, Delta isn’t known for its good customer support team. In fact, it’s inconsistent, which isn’t that big of a deal but is still a bummer.
What we like about it
The power 15-amp motor is handy as it allows you to cut through any type of wood. We also like the reliable support and the strong braking system. There’s also the fact that this saw can function in 120V and 240V which is cool. And, of course, the best thing about this table saw is its heavy-duty rail system which is what makes it so great when you’re cutting longer pieces of wood. All of that makes this unit yet another strong candidate for the title of the best contractor table saw.
The Shop Fox W1837 Jobsite is a rather strange table saw. It tries to be one of the few portable table saws out there that’s actually good. However, this goal completely backfires and turns into its biggest weakness. The main problem here is that sacrificing weight and bulkiness for portability results in far less sturdy and stable support overall, which can easily be a deal breaker.
This lack of sturdiness also extends to the rest of the machine. This isn’t a high-quality machine by any means, and it shows. With that said, the asking price can justify the lack of quality as this is a rather affordable table saw.
The thing is, even with such a reasonable price tag, you’d be better off with other products since this unit’s main catch is its main flaw. Even its performance is lackluster. Many users struggled to cut through plywood without having to change the blades mid-cut. This is an overall bad product, so we don’t recommend you buy it
What we like about it
While this isn’t a good table saw, it still has a couple of good things going for it. For starters, this is a simple table saw to both uses set up and use. It’s also quite portable and quiet when you’re cutting with it.
The Shop Fox W1837 Jobsite suffers from a lot of major issues. The most prominent one is the lack of stability. The blades are also abysmal. Additionally, the top of the machine is not even straight, and the paint on the rail can leave marks on the wood. There are still some other flaws, but we’ll spare you the detail. We advise you to stay away from this product.
Choosing the Best Contractor Table Saw – Mechanopedia’s Buying Guide
There are several factors you need to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy the best contractor table saw. Here’s what you’ll need to take into account.
Weight and Material
Contractor table saws are usually bulky machines. Portability is not their forte. In fact, you can’t move it on your own. With that said, weight can still make a difference in how difficult it is to move it. Not all contractor table saws weigh the same.
If you think that you’ll be moving the table saw multiple times, then you might be better off with a lighter model. Otherwise, if you’re going to leave it in the same place at all times, you can go with a heavier one. For reference, lighter table saws tend to weigh around 200 – 300 pounds while heavy table weighs 600 pounds or more.
When it comes to the material of the table top, the majority of table saws come with a cast iron top which is reliable and durable. With that said, there are other options such as stamped metal and stainless steel, which are just as durable but not as heavy.
The size of the table that you need depends on what type of work you’re going to do. While contractor table saws are generally bigger than regular table saws, there are still different sizes to choose from. Those who need to cut doors won’t need a big table saw as opposed to those who need to cut kitchen worktops or fencing panels.
Since contractor table saw are relatively expensive tools, you’re going to need something that comes with a good warranty, so you stay covered in case of any faults or breakdowns.
Horsepower indicates the motor’s power output. Obviously, the lighter the machine, the weaker the engine, but to give you some reference, the maximum power output of a light contractor table saw is around 2 HP. On the other hand, large table saws can dish out as much as 5 HP. All in all, the sweet spot for how much power to have is around 1 – 3 HP.
Fencing and Miter Gauge
These two are a must have in any contractor table saw. The fencing is for control and stability to help with straight cuts, and the miter gauge helps with angled cuts. Always make sure that the contractor table saw you’re getting has both of these.
This is rather self-explanatory. You’ll want to get a contractor table saw with more space since you’ll be using it a lot more than you would a regular table saw.
Safety should be your top priority, especially with tools that are designed to cut through hardwood. Luckily, contractor table saws already come with decent safety features.
Some of these features include a blade guard which is standard to all saws. It’s mainly made to protect your fingers from coming too close to the blade. With that said, you’d want to go with plexiglass blade guards as to not obstruct your view of what you’re cutting.
Additionally, you can find splitters and anti-kickback pawls which prevent debris from flying off and potentially hitting the user. There are also riving knives, magnetic “off” switches, vibration protection, and in some of the more advanced table saws, SawStop technology which immediately stops the saw in case your fingers come too close to the blade.
The material of the blade indicates which material it’s designed to cut. For instance, metal blades are designed for cutting wood. However, if you need to cut something made out of metal, then there are diamond tipped tungsten blades which are right for the job. Finally, there are tungsten carbide blades which are made to cut through plastic.
Teeth Per Inch
How many teeth are on the blade can determine how fast it is at cutting, and also how smooth the finish is. On the one hand, blades with a lot of teeth will cut slower and deliver smoother finishes. On the other hand, blades with fewer teeth cut at a faster rate at the cost of a less smooth finish.
Just like you need the right circular saw blade for your cordless circular saw and miter saw blade for your 12-inch miter saw, you have to pick an ideal blade type when looking for the best contractor table saw to nail every project perfectly.
There are two main types that you’re going to find on the market; these are rip blades and crosscut blades. Rip blades have more space between the teeth than crosscut blades. This means that cut faster, but crosscut blades can produce smoother finishes.
Blade sizes can vary between 8 and 12 inches. However, you need to use a blade that goes with the size of your table saw, so keep that in mind.
Picking the Best Contractor Table Saw – Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Go with a Stationary Table Saw or a Portable One?
Choosing between a stationary or portable table saw depends on whether or not you’re only going to keep it in one spot the whole time. If you think that you’ll be moving it to different places, then consider getting a lightweight table saw – either a portable or hybrid model.
Which Blade Type Should I Go With?
If you’re cutting wood, go with a metal blade. If you’re cutting plastic, use tungsten carbide. For metal, use a diamond tipped tungsten blade.
What Safety Features Can I Find in the Best Contractor Table Saw?
Some of the features that you should always find in any saw are the blade guard, splitters and anti-kickback pawls, and riving knives. Newer models also include SawStop technology, which is a formidable feature to have.
When you’re looking to buy the best contractor table saw, you’ll want to get it right the first time. Hopefully, you’ll be able to do so easily having read through this article.
- Our own experience