When you need to cut something serious and the typical jobsite table saw won’t do, you’ll need a contractors table saw to get the job done. Contractors table saws pack more power than the typical jobsite table saw and cut more accurately. That being said, they can range significantly in price and quality so in this list we’re going to review several and pick the best contractor table saw for each category. We’ll cover the power, safety features, likes, dislikes, and more.
Let’s jump right in...
In a Rush? Here's Our Top 3 Picks In Order:
Below are 5 of our favorites and why we love them. We also cover the things we don't like, the user experience, and more.
The Dewalt DWE7491RS is one of our favorites as both a contractors table saw and jobsite table saw at the same time. It’s portable, heavy duty, and powerful. While it’s not as beefy as some of the other contractor table saws, it cuts accurately, and has a powerful 15.0 Amp motor that spins out 4,800 rpm. Additionally, it has a 32.5” rip capacity which will allow you to cut full sheets of plywood with precision and ease.
As far as convenience goes, it has a smooth rack and pinion telescoping fence for easy adjustments on the fly and a 2.5” port that connects directly to a shop vac and keeps shop dust to a minimum. There’s onboard storage for all of the saw parts including the riving knife, miter gauge, push stick, and more.
If you need a lighter, more portable contractors table saw, this is our go-to choice and, at the time of this writing, more affordable than some of the larger options on this list.
What we like:
Our second favorite contractor table saw is the Bosch 4100-10. It’s also a cross between a contractors and jobsite table saw but closer to a contractor's table saw in power and performance. The 4100-10 cuts very accurately, has a 15.0A motor, and runs at 3,650 rpm which is slightly lower than the Dewalt but more than enough for almost any job you throw at it.
Further, it has a 25” ripping capacity which is big enough to cut full sheets of plywood down the middle as well. We like the 4100 a lot because it's very accurate in cutting and pretty much great right out of the box with little or no calibration needed.
What we like:
We’ve written about the SawStop before and we recommend it strongly as a contractors table saw. It comes with the one and only SawStop Safety System that detects if the blade comes into contact with skin and stops it in less than 5 milliseconds. That’s faster than the airbag in a car fires so the damage to you would be more like a paper cut than a saw injury.
As far as the cutting capabilities go, it has a 1.75 hp motor that spins out 4,000 rpm and can be ordered with rip capacities ranging from 30” to 52”. Another perk of the SawStop is that it has an excellent dust collection system. In fact, it collects 99% of the dust that’s created by the saw which is impressive and unlike any other saw you’ll find.
So who should use this one? Well, if you’re emphasizing safety features, it’s unparalleled. However, it’s heavy and therefore not a saw you could bring anywhere other than your shop. They do have a contractors portable version as well though. Additionally, if you’re cutting old wood that may have a nail or you cut damp wood, this isn’t the saw for you. If it hits anything that interrupts the electrical current in the blade, it fires the safety mechanism. It’s only for dry, clean wood. If this is what you cut and you don’t need a saw to move around, the SawStop is an excellent piece of machinery.
What we like:
If you want a contractor table saw that stays put and doesn’t vibrate, the Shop Fox W1819 is built like a tank. It comes with a 3 hp motor that spins at 4,300 rpm and slices through hardwoods with relative ease. While some of the other saws on this list are more portable, this one is not. It weighs about 530 lbs due to its cast iron table wings, trunnion, and other solid parts. This weight goes a long way to reduce vibration and keeps your cutting true though.
You can order the W1819 with either a 29.5” or 49” rip capacity depending on the types of projects you’re working on. It also comes with everything you need to get started immediately including the standard safety features like anti-kickback pawls, a clear blade guard, oversized shut off switch, thermal overload protection, etc. So what's the downside? There’s not much to report with this one. A few people have complained that the saw needs too much calibration out of the box but that’s the case with most table saws. Also, the miter gauge isn’t the strongest but unless you’re a pro, you likely won’t even notice.
What we like:
The Rockwell is an excellent and versatile table saw for both beginners and professionals who need something that's affordable, powerful, and reliable. It comes standard with a dust collection bag, built in stand, transportation wheels, and a laser guide for more accurate cutting.
It also has a 3 9/16” vertical cut depth at 90 degrees which can slice through a 4x4 on one pass. If you’re cutting thicker wood, this is about as good as it gets. Further, it has a 30” rip capacity and 4,800 rpm that can easily cut large sheets of wood both quickly and accurately.
That being said, there are a few features that we have to mention. Firstly, there’s a lot of plastic on the saw which makes it lightweight. This is great for portability, however, it also results in the saw vibrating more and this can interfere with your cuts. Second, several people have complained that their saw arrived with a crooked motor which couldn’t be adjusted. This may be a random thing but enough people reported it to make this concerning.
What we like:
A contractors table saw offers the ideal balance between a high-end cabinet table saw and a less expensive portable table saw. This is very similar to a hybrid table saw in fact. That being said, below we’ll cover some of the most important points to consider when deciding on the best contractor table saw for your woodworking needs.
If you’re cutting through typical sheets of wood like you would purchase from The Home Depot, then almost any table saw will be more than adequate. However, if you find yourself often cutting through 4x4 and thicker woods like this, you’ll want something with a deeper cut depth at 90 degrees. A saw like the Rockwell above for example can cut through a 4x4 on one pass. With others, you’ll need two passes. This may or may not be an issue for you if you don’t mind the double pass though.
A high power motor is just a good idea in general. But if you’re cutting hardwoods or thicker woods, a higher power motor will serve you well. In general, you want to aim for a motor that’s over 4,000 rpm. But keep in mind that a lower rpm motor can have higher torque which can make it equally or even more powerful than a higher rpm motor. So look closely at the specs of the motor and don’t discount something just because it isn’t the highest rpm on the block.
Table saws are very powerful and injuries can be severe if you’re not careful. At a bare minimum, your table saw needs to have anti-kickback pawls, thermal overload, an oversized shut off switch, and a blade guard. You also want to get a saw with a riving knife. The knife is the piece of metal behind the blade. It keeps the wood you’re cutting from pinching the back of the sawblade which would then cause the wood to kickback at you. The best safety features of all table saws goes to the SawStop brand saws. They’re the only one with the skin sensor that instantly shuts the blade down. They also have the best dust collection but like we said in the review of it above, it’s also not the right saw for those who cut damp wood, reclaimed wood, or any other wood that isn’t basically directly from the store.
You know your budget and you know your requirements. The only thing that we always advise when it comes to choosing your tools is that you don’t base your decision solely on price. We’re value buyers here. This means we don’t look for the cheapest option because we know cheap is most often crap. We look for the best balance of affordability with power, safety, and every other desirable feature. So consider the value of your purchase, how long you want it to last, how often you use it, etc. and then make your decision accordingly. It’s better to wait and save up for a saw that’s safe and built to last than to settle on junk because you don’t have the money right now.
There’s a variety of saws on this list ranging from under 100 lbs to over 500 lbs. We did that on purpose because you may want a portable contractor saw or you may want one that’s stationary for your wood shop. If you want one that can move around to different job sites, the Dewalt is our number one choice. If you want one for your wood shop, check out our guide on the best hybrid table saws to see more options in this category.
Dust collection on most contractor table saws (and table saws in general) is generally pretty bad. They almost all have a 4” dust port to connect to your collection system but at the end of the day, there’s going to be some cleaning to do anyway.
It goes without saying that you want a solid warranty when you’re making investments into your tools. A great warranty indicates a great product generally because the company stands behind their product.
If you’re cutting full sheets of plywood or larger wood in general you want a minimum of a 25” rip capacity. This means you can cut a 50” wide piece of plywood down the middle. If you need to cut larger than that, opt for a larger rip capacity.
The heavier the table saw, the less it's going to vibrate when cutting. This is why some of the more expensive saws have the super heavy cast iron wings. Other saws, like the SawStop can be upgraded to cast iron. However, if you’re bringing your saw to job sites, you don’t want this because it’ll be too darn heavy to move around. There’s a balance to strike here and that depends on what you’re using the saw for. If you’re using it on jobs, you have to sacrifice some of the weight and stability for portability. The Dewalt is our favorite because it strikes the best balance between weight, stability, and portability.
Each of the saws on this list are solid and you’ll be happy with any of them. However, there are some that rose to the top for us and come with our highest recommendation. Those are:
There you have it. Those are our top 3 picks for the best contractors table saw. We review this list often and make updates if our recommendations change. But those three saws we just listed have remained consistent for a while now so unless the companies close down, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.