Contractor Table Saw Reviews: A Professional Option

As opposed to the enclosed base of cabinet table saws and rolling stand of portable saws, contractor table saws come with open, fixed legs.

Through these contractor table saw reviews you will see that they are generally much bulkier than the other saws and come with larger tables. This is what makes them great for contractor work, since they handle wood of larger sizes.

Most of these saws run on a 120 volt outlet, as opposed to the 220 volt outlet for cabinet table saws. However, there are those that can run on 240 volts, and this makes them more powerful and efficient.

Although they are designed for contractors, there are those that come in smaller sizes for anybody who would like to have one in a home-workshop environment; these are not designed for the professional woodworker.

Tips for purchasing a contractor table saw

When you want a new contractor table saw, it is important that you consider certain factors as you look through your choices. You need to make sure that the table saw that you buy will provide you with high standards of performance and safety. Buying a contractor table saw in expensive, so your decision must be carefully weighed. You need a saw that will fit in the space you have, have the best design, and also Performa to the level that you want it to. You also need one which is durable, and will last for a long time. Here are some of the features that you should consider.

The power of the saw

The horsepower of the saw is what will determine the performance that it provides. The first thing to consider is the type of jobs that you will be handling, and these will determine the power of the contractor table saw that you need. Ideally, you should be looking at saws with a power rating of 5 HP to 5 HP. These saws will handle some of the toughest wood materials available. Those rated at 1 HP to 2 HO are suited for the home environment, where you will just be making cabinets and picture frames. Note that the higher the horsepower, then the more electric energy they will use, and the higher the chances of having a kickback.

What are the safety measures?

When working with power tools, you should always think about your safety. You really do not want the blade to come into contact with your hand when you are cutting the materials. In the past, such accidents were commonplace and that is why manufacturers have gone the extra mile, to have high-tech safety measures installed in these saws. The invention of flesh sensors has really helped in averting such cases, and they stop the blade in a fraction of a second, when they blade cuts into flesh. When you include flesh sensors, the price of the saw goes up, but this is a small const compared to having to lose a few fingers or a hand.

Does it have a magnetic switch?

This is another feature that you should consider. If you do not know what a magnetic switch is, then you will be happy to know that it makes sure that the saw is completely turned off, should it unexpectedly go off, such as when you have a power outage. In the past, the switch would stay on, and once power is restored, the blade would immediately start cutting. With the magnetic switch, the blade remains off, even when power is restored. So if the power goes off, and you are near the blade, you will not get injured when the power comes back on.

The size of the blade

The most common blade is the 12-inch blade, and this is usually enough for most woodworking projects. The blade size determines the thickness of the materials that will be cut. There are times when you might need a larger blade size, but this can be optional, and you will have to change it when working on large projects.

What kind of belt does it have?

Contractor table saws come with different types of belts and each has their advantages and disadvantages. The best choice would be the Poly-V belts which are considered the safest and most effective, when compared to the others. You can also get the traditional V-lets or the wedge belts, which have been used on table saws for quite a while now. Although the other options are good, they do not have the extra features that come with the Poly-V belts.

Dust collection system

When using contractor table saws, you will have a huge collection of sawdust, which can be difficult to manage as time goes by. You do not want to have to clean mountains of sawdust every few days. You need to ensure that the saw comes with a large-capacity dust collection bag. You cannot have a powerful saw that has a small bag, since you may have to empty it several times in a day. You need one that can take a day’s work, without emptying. The duct collection system should also be effective and ensure none of the dust escapes into the air. This enables you to work in a dust-free environment which will not be a risk to your wellbeing.

The Bosch 4100 09

This is a powerful table saw, and the 15-amp motor will cut through the toughest hardwood that you can find. It has a large cutting table that will take wood of up to 15 inches. It has a Smart Guard system for protection, and still allows you to go about your work without any hindrance. The system has a riving knife, a blade guard and anti kickback pawls. You should not use a thin-kerf blade with this table, so as not to affect the performance of the riving knife. The Squarelock rip fence allows you to maintain a high degree of accuracy when working on your projects; it locks into place and will not budge as you work. It also has a gravity-rise stand, which allows you to transport the saw with ease, and without having to dismantle it.

Things We Liked

  • Large cutting table allows for cutting wood of up to 25 inches.
  • Gravity-rise which folds away easily, and allows for easy transportation of the saw.
  • The squarelock which locks into place for maximum accuracy when cutting.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The riving knife will not work well with thin-kerf blades and may get bound up.
  • The miter gauge is poor and can be floppy at times.

There are few Bosch-authorized service centers should you need any maintenance and repair of the saw.

The Rockwell RK7241S

This Rockwell saw is an advanced contractor table saw which comes with a laser guide which shows you where the cut is going to be made. If you have marked the wood to be cut, then this laser serves you well in knowing that you will cut right over the markings. The laser is powered by AAA batteries and not the saw, so you have to keep replacing them with time. It has a 30 inch rip fence which folds out thereby giving a wider rip capacity than most saws in this class. It has a 15-amp motor and is therefore very powerful; you should ensure that the blade is properly aligned to avoid any binding or kickback. The miter gauge stays true and secure once the wood is placed on the table. It has a stand that folds nicely, and has a trolley for moving it around. This is truly an amazing saw.

Things We Liked

  • You can easily see where you cut is going to pass, thanks to the laser guide.
  • It cuts the deepest cut in this class of contractor table saws, with a cutting depth of 3-9/16 inches.
  • The rip fence can fold out to provide a larger rip capacity.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is not easy to adjust the blade, making it a tedious task.
  • The laser guide should use the saw power and not the AAA batteries.
  • There is some difficulty in getting access to customer service staff, when you need some instruction on adjusting the blade.

Makita 2705X1

This is a contactor table saw that comes with powerful features such as the right extension table. This extension can be extended allowing you to cut trough a full sheet of plywood. The extension is also sturdy so it can hold heavy wood pieces without any problem. This is a saw with a very deep cutting depth, and this allows you to work with thick materials. The Makita 2705X1 has a lot of power, thanks to the 15-amp motor, and this allows you to work on the hardest woods that you can find. The riving knife and spreader help in keeping the wood from binding to the blade. The large size of the saw can be a hindrance since it presents challenges when being brought in through standard door sizes. It also has a fence that does not get out of place easily, and this can be costly when you make a small mistake.

Things We Liked

  • It allows you to work on large sheets of plywood thanks to the extension.
  • It has a very stable stand.
  • Due to the thick cutting depth, you can stack up to 4 pieces of plywood for a single cut.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The saw is quite large and heavy and cannot be lifted by one person. This makes transportation or fitting very challenging.
  • The rip fence does not get out of the way quickly and any mistakes you may make will cost you a lot, when you have to buy extra material to replace the damaged one

The Grizzly G0661

This is a heavy-duty contractor table saw, which is made entirely of cast iron. This means that the table and extension are very sturdy, so you will have no give when you are working with heavy wood pieces. It has a 2 HP motor, and this provides just enough power for all your woodworking projects, without using a lot of electrical energy. It is well designed and strong, and this makes it a professional woodworker’s tool. This is a table saw that has a dado insert, so you do not have to buy it as an accessory or engineer your own. Apart from the sturdy cast iron design, it comes with a strong motor that will run for extended periods without any problems. This means that you will have lower maintenance and repair costs when you use the Grizzly G0661 for your projects. Its design makes it easy to use as everything is laid out as it should be; no alignment or adjustments are needed.

Things We Liked

  • This is a sturdy saw made from cast iron.
  • It has a powerful motor that will cut through any material.
  • It has both dado inserts and zero clearance built in.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The zero clearance insert can be a bit wobbly and loose.
  • The miter gauge is also sloppy and loose.
  • The fence rails have not been drilled properly for the extension table.

The Dewalt DWE7491RS

This Dewalt model is a contractor table saw that comes with a patented material support system, which allows the operator to make very narrow rip cuts. This saves you a lot of money since you will waste less material. It comes with a telescoping fence rail, which allows it to handle materials of wide dimensions. You can rip wood that is of up to 32.5 inches. It comes with a 15 amp motor which makes it very powerful indeed. You can cut through hard wood without any problem. This is a sturdy saw that can take a lot of punishment. It is quite heavy due to the steel constriction, but this also makes it very durable. It is easy to use, and has a stop button next to the knee which you can use to stop the saw in emergency situations. The flip over fence rail allows you to make narrow cuts with ease.

Things We Liked

  • It has a flip over fence rail for narrow cuts.
  • The fence rail can telescope to support wider materials.
  • It is easy to move thanks to the wheels on the stand.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The steel constriction makes it quite heavy.
  • The miter gauge is one item that most woodworkers agree should be changed.It is clumsy and loose.
  • The table comes with poor finishing, and the color comes off even at the slightest friction with any metallic surface.

In conclusion

Contactor table saws are just a lot more advanced than portable table saws, but their one challenge comes in their transportation. You would need a very large vehicle to transport a contractor table saw. They are designed to be portable, and this is balanced with the power to perform better than the portable table saws.They are also less costly than the really heavy-duty table saws.

This is the best solution for someone who is doing construction at a job site and needs quick and accurate cutting of timber or wood panels. They are also ideal for hobbyists and amateurs who are looking at creating amazing works of wood. The price and the functions are well balanced, and these saws will handle most of the jobs that you throw at them. The saws are built to be stable, because of the difficult jobs that they have to handle. Take a look at the models that we have discussed above and then make the choice that is right for your needs.

For further reviews on table saws, don't forget to read our other reviews.​