Portable Table Saw Buying Guide

Best portable table saw review and a buying guide. Find popular mini table saws for portable use, including Ryobi, Rigid, Dewalt and Bosch manufacturers.

Tips when buying portable table saw

Portable table saw is a small but powerful tool designed mainly for wood cutting and for DIY home projects, basic cabinetmaking and carpentry. Great advantage is the lightweight and compact size which allows an easy transport and convenient use.

Table saws with a portable construction are less expensive than other types of the table saws, but capable of performing as well as larger ones, even for some heavy duty tasks.

These table saws are mostly used for cutting softer wood, and they can perform a variety of cuts, such as rip cuts. They can also be used for sheet metal and plastic pipe cutting, for example.

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Components to consider

Portable table saws are constructed of the lighter materials where some components are made of aluminum and plastic.

Table saw consists of the narrow table, usually made of aluminum to minimize weight; circular saw blade, 10" diameter in size and mounted on an arbor, folding mobile base with a stand and two wheels for easy transport, and small universal electric motor as found in hand tools. The inevitable component of the table saws is the miter saw stand, a workbench that is designed to make a variety of cuts such as angled (mitre) cut or beveled (compound) cut.

Material that is being cut is sitting on the table, which provides support, while the blade is protruding through the table and workpiece and cuts it.

Table saw blade can be moved up and down, which allows control of the depth of the cut; and by adjusting the angle of the blade a piece of wood can be cut under the angle.

They use small and lightweight motors, electrical power of 3-15 amp results in lower performance; which is the reason why they are used for softer wood cutting, while hardwoods with more effort.

Lightweight construction brings problems also. There is a vibration which causes the table saw components to wear and jiggle out of alignment over time. As they use a direct drive where the arbor is directly attached to the motor shaft, portable table saw is loud when it is operating.

Where to use a portable table saw

Portable saws are great for homeowners; they use a standard voltage for homes, they are compact and space savers, designed for light to medium duty work, for softer and thinner materials that don't require lots of horsepower.

Portable saw is suitable for DIY home jobs and if used without legs or stands it is used as the bench or table top table saw. The largest models are designed for professional such as carpenters and contractors who need small size, mobility and light weight table saw but still with a good size work area (these portables offer an expandable work surface) and strong motors.

The best portable table saws are usually high priced with more and better quality features such as the rip fence, mitre gauge, blade guard assembly, blade wrenches, extra blades and other.

Look for the portable saw where mitre gauge, used for fast accurate cuts has a positive stop at 45 and 90 degrees, and the mitre gauge slot is perfectly parallel to the blade, again for accuracy. Rip fence has also to be parallel with the blade, as it is used as a guide for parallel cutting.

Collapsible design is recommended as it minimizes the storage space and if equipped with the pneumatic wheels it can handle the toughest and unexpected job site terrains.

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