Publication Date: January/February 2002

Contractor Table Saws

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

Craftsman

22849

245 lbs.

20" x 27" (44" x 27" with extensions)

3,400

1.5

90°: 3 3/8"

45°: 2 1/4"

$599

Comments: Craftsman has been selling this saw style longer than I've been alive. I have an early version in my basement. Compared to the other saws in the test, Craftsman's fence has a lot of catching up to do. The drive mechanism is identical to Ridgid's and Delta's and the motor has good power. It's not as well machined, though, and has more slop than its brothers. www.sears.com/craftsman

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

Delta

36-431

300 lbs.

60" x 27"

3,000

1.5

90°: 3 1/8"

45°: 2 1/8"

$899

Comments: This is a nice, well-made saw. With its long fence rails and extension table, it's a very attractive shop tool. It comes with a great Biesemeyer fence and uses an arbor wrench for blade changes. I wish the motor had more power. The saw's dust-collection device is okay for the jobsite, but should be enclosed for a shop. www.deltamachinery.com

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

DeWalt

DW746X

254 lbs.

40 3/4" x 27"

3,000

1.75

90°: 3 1/8"

45°: 2 1/8"

$899

Comments: This saw is more of a junior cabinet saw than a traditional contractor's saw. The fence allows a level of adjustment sophistication not found in its competitors. It's the only saw with a drive mechanism that can't jump and it's got the best dust-collection port. It's among the highest priced in this group and has excellent options like a cast iron sliding table, but they'll cost you. www.dewalt.com

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

Jet

JWTS-10CW2-JF

300 lbs.

40" x 27"

3,450

1.5

90°: 3 1/8"

45°: 2 1/8"

$699

Comments: This saw does everything well. Its suspended-motor drive mechanism, like Powermatic's, has fewer adjustments than the Ridgid, Delta, and Craftsman saws, and seems to work well. The switch is a classic push button--tried and true. The fence stayed square throughout the test, yet it's not as finely made as the Biesemeyer or DeWalt fences. This model has a built-in dust-collection insert. www.jettools.com

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

Powermatic

64A

321 lbs.

40" x 27"

3,450

1.5

90°: 3 1/4"

45°: 2 1/8"

$899

Comments: This one's very much like the Jet saw--a solid tool. I like the Biesemeyer-style fence very much, even though this fence has a smaller front section and a shorter "tee" than Delta's Biesemeyer fence. The drive mechanism worked well in the test. The switch is a solid, industrial push button. The built-in dust-collection chute is nice. This saw will probably work hard and wear well. www.powermatic.com

Tool

Weight

Table Dimensions

Rpm

Hp

Max. Cutting Depth

Street Price

Ridgid

TS2424LS

254 lbs.

44" x 27"

3,100

1.75

90°: 3 3/8"

45°: 2 1/4"

$597

Comments: This is a well-built saw. It assembles and disassembles quickly and moves easily, and is the best saw to take to your jobsites. The rolling base is standard equipment, and works well. The fence is excellent. Tight machining tolerances give it a smooth performance under load and the 1.75 hp motor handles tough cuts. www.ridgidwoodworking.com

This article is reprinted courtesy of Tools of the Trade