Portable Table Saw Suggestions?

Bill Satko

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Methow Valley
When I sold my table saw and all my other stationary tools before moving to my current home, I envisioned buying a top of the line table saw for my new wood shop. Well I don't have that wood shop and it is still somewhere in the distant future. I am finding I need a table saw for project work around the house. I have track saws to handle most of my sheet good needs. My main needs are in ripping 2x and other solid woods. A case in point: I have some scrap 2x2's that I need to rip into 1x1-1/2 cross sections. With the linear feet I need, sawing by hand would take forever and trying rip these 2x2' with a circular saw would be difficult.

This saw needs to be portable and not take up much space. I thought of a battery powered table saw and I already have the correct amp hour batteries that it requires, but from reviews I don't think I would get the run time I would like.

I am leaning toward the Dewalt 15 Amp 10" contractor's saw (DWE7491rs). At $650, it is at the price point I think reasonable. I considered the SawStop contractor saw, but it is too pricey and their compact saw is just too small and also costs more than the Dewalt.

Anyone have any opinions on the Dewalt or maybe a better option that I am overlooking?

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Darren Wright

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I’ve got a Ridgid, and it’s fine for what it does, but I wouldn’t give it a stellar rating. I think I chose it because it could run a small dado stack. The extending fence was nice, but like an old craftsman you have to measure the front and back of the fence for parallel to the blade.
 

Bill Satko

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Methow Valley
Thanks Tom and Darren! The Dewalt has been top rated in most reviews I have read. The SawStop contractor saw has also gotten a lot of good reviews, but I can't really justify the price. Safety is important, but I had a conventional table saw for many years without an injury. That was due to my healthy respect for the damage they can do and not getting complacent about getting my fingers anywhere close to the blade. I am often dismayed how often experienced woodworkers and carpenters don't use push sticks in a lot of the YouTube videos I see. And the crazy things I see YouTubers do around router tables. Yikes!

If only a bandsaw was more portable, I would go in that direction. Storage is the key for me and being able to move it outside to use. I am going to have to negotiate some storage space in the wife's pottery room. I already have my planer stored there. I am thinking I need to get a foldable portable stand that the table saw has for the planer, so that both can fit in the space that the planer currently resides in. Besides, the current planer stand does not do well on rough terrain. I think Charles Lent suggested the same thing.

I am hoping to build a storage shed this year to relieve my storage problems.
 

Brent Dowell

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I had a Ryobi BT3000 once upon a time. The one take away I have from that saw is that I would not get a tablesaw with a 'universal' motor. It was loud!

I'd say whatever you get make sure it has a normal electric motor driving it.
 

Charles Lent

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1 1/2 hp or larger Induction Motor, and a good fence system are the most important requirements, and seldom can you find both in a smaller table saw. I'll also add 3/4 X 3/8" snug fitting miter slot and a good miter gauge that fits this slot properly to this list. This is needed for accuracy and if you will be using any accessories with the saw, since most are only made to fit this size miter slot. DeWalt and other portable table saws seem to have forgotten this in their portable saw designs.

Though getting out of the portable table saw category a bit, an original Delta Contractor Saw fits all, except the portable category. At least their induction motor comes off easily to make moving the saw lighter and easier. The legs come off too, but not as easily - so this saw is more of semi-portable in class. This saw's biggest problem is saw dust containment - there really isn't any without buying add-ons, and still there will be sawdust everywhere. When running this saw from 120 volts it is a 1 1/2 hp saw, but the motor is designed to produce a full 2 hp when connected for 240 volt use, so a benefit when 240 volt power is available in the shop. On the job site, and connected for 120 volts, it can be plugged into any 15 or 20 amp receptacle.

A clean used older Delta Contractor saw with a good fence and miter gauge can be found in the $2-400 range quite easily The model numbers 34-444 and up have very few differences, mostly cosmetic. I found one, put new bearings in it, cleaned it up a little and aligned it. When ready to give my adult son, it was every bit as accurate as my 1980's Unisaw.

Charley
 

Bill Satko

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Methow Valley
I pulled the trigger on the Dewalt. I understand the limitations of the portable saws but you must understand that I have absolutely no space for anything other than something that can be folded up and wheeled around. All my sawing will need to be done outside. A portable saw will be heads and shoulders above what I have now, a hand saw or a circular saw.

Often life necessitates that you make do with less.
 
Messages
192
Location
Emporia, KS
I pulled the trigger on the Dewalt. I understand the limitations of the portable saws but you must understand that I have absolutely no space for anything other than something that can be folded up and wheeled around. All my sawing will need to be done outside. A portable saw will be heads and shoulders above what I have now, a hand saw or a circular saw.

Often life necessitates that you make do with less.
I think it will do quite well in your situation!
 

Charles Lent

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A good track saw is very portable, very accurate, and can do "almost" everything that a table saw can do. Be careful which DeWalt saw that you buy. One of them (and I don't remember which one) has a better fence.

I have a 3 HP Unisaw with a 52" Unifence in my 14 X 26' shop. The end of the side table is up against the approximate center of my 26' shop wall. I don't cut full size sheet stock, so don't need the 52" capacity, but couldn't bear to cut it down, hoping that some day I'll have a bigger shop. At 81, I don't think this will ever happen in my lifetime, but with my luck it will just as soon as I cut the saw table down.

I break down full sheet material to approximate size on a cutting table outside my shop in the driveway, using straight edge clamps and a circular saw. The cutting table is just a frame of 1 X 4" stock all glued together with biscuits, and with 2 X 4" cross pieces placed where a set of Banquet Table Legs attach, plus one across the center for improved strength and stability. The 2 X 4's are laid flat and flush with the top edge of the 1 X 4's so the legs fold up inside the table frame. The table stores folded and on it's edge up against my full sheet stock in my shop. I made a Lexan base for my circular saw that has grooves to guide it with the groove extrusions on my 4 and 8' straight edge clamps, much like a track saw.

Charley
 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
A good track saw is very portable, very accurate, and can do "almost" everything that a table saw can do. Be careful which DeWalt saw that you buy. One of them (and I don't remember which one) has a better fence...
For ripping 2x stock into 1x1-1/2 strips (as Bill has noted) I think I'd rather use a portable table saw (even with a less than ideal fence) than a track saw.
 
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