A Portable/jobsite portable table saw is what you should think about purchasing if you are already tired of having to deal with the clumsiness and deficiency of accuracy of a circular saw if you are ripping material (cutting it to width alongside the board's span) and trimming small pieces.

You may effectively do a lot of things using these little machines such as rip, crosscut, miter and bevel numerous stock from 1x1 to 4x4s exactly over the layout line. Plus after you're finished with your project, you can easily pack it away. What's better yet is that you may always view exactly what you are carrying out because the machine stays still as the wood is being fed in.

You cannot really expect the portable/jobsite table saw, though to be as accurate as the bigger and undoubtedly higher priced contractor saw or cabinet shop saw. It furthermore battles a bit more with the dense types of materials. But a lot of models are tough and accurate enough to handle normal home repairs or remodeling work, especially when you get into the more expensive machines. You’ll learn in this article what things you have to be aware of when buying a table saw and which type is best for you.

The Basics

Rip fence:

The width of the rip is handled by this component. Needs to lock parallel to your blade at each setting. Look for a fence which grips onto and rides on front and back rails and that may be adjusted.


Most saws come standard having a 10 inch carbide-tipped blade which could crosscut a 4x4. Replacing it with a better, 40-tooth combination blade drastically improves the quality of cuts. Specialty blades deal with particleboard and different workpieces.

Splitter (riving knife):

Vertical metal piece directly at the back of the blade which restrains the blade from binding in the workpiece if the saw kerf begins to close up. An essential anti-kickback tool, it must mount on the motor assembly so it rises and falls along with the saw blade. Some splitters also adjust to match the width of the kerf.

Anti-kickback pawls:

Two sharp-toothed arms which keep the workpiece from moving backwards. You have to make use of a smooth-cut file to sharpen them and make them perform much better.

Table size:

In this case, larger is much better because the bigger your table size is, the more surface you'll have to support your materials. An optional right-side extension can amplify the saw's capacity to reach the middle of a 4x8 sheet. A lot of saws come with a rear bar that will help hold up the workpiece as it exits, but you need to still rig up out-feed support (a stand, sawhorses, or a table) that's ¼ inch lower than the saw itself.

Support at the proper height:

To make your saw as robust as you can, screw it through the holes provided (or at the very least clamp it) to a wood table with wide-spaced legs that's tall enough to set the worktop at 36 inches. Anything higher will raise the saw too high for comfort and security, except if you're very tall.

On/Off switch:

Should be front-mounted and convenient to swat or knee to "off" setting without taking a look. Most saws have either a plastic safety key, which should be put in before you may switch the power on, or a way to padlock the switch.

Collapsible stand:

Folding stands come together with several saws or purchase them separately. Even while it is handy, few stands are as stable as a sturdy wooden bench.

Complete weight:

The heavier the saw, the more stable but the less portable. Most portable/jobsite table saws weigh between 40 and 90lbs.

Miter gauge:

Easily-removed fixture for square and mitered crosscuts . Should fit tightly and move freely on the saw's table slots. Search for one that may be calibrated at 45 and 90 degrees.

Blade guard:

Protects the operator from the spinning blade, and must never be detached. The best blade guard is the one that rises up parallel to the table so that it's going to stay right on top of the workpiece.

Exhaust duct:

Exit spot for debris on back of saw. It would be ideal to look for one that can fit into a wet/dry vac or allow you to use a trash can below the duct to catch the particles so your work space will always be dirt free.

Choosing a Table Saw

The different table saws in the market have similar features but price also will determine its performance, stability, precision and safety. A lot of these machines fall into one of 3 price categories.

Under $200

An occasional use saw that is great for fast rips on 2x10s or smaller. This saw can rip or cut 1x materials but it can have a problem with 2x especially when it's wet or cold. It can't deal with 4x because it has an extremely strong vibration.


A midsize saw which can deal with a lot of jobs in a renovation, including ripping trim precisely. These saws have a better rip fence and a lot more stable blade-elevation mechanism than less expensive saws. They are able to rip or cut 1x and 2x material but have trouble with 4x. Many of these saws will have table extensions that will let you have a 25-inch rip capacity which is just enough to reach the middle of a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

Over $400

All-purpose saw perfect for both harsh and finish carpentry and even cabinet making. Comes with midsize or large table, accurate rip fence, tight blade-elevation mechanism, no-jolt soft start, along with a formidable motor with improved bearings. Has the capacity to cut 1x, 2x, and 4x material, and rip to the middle of 4x8 plywood.