For most woodworkers, a table saw takes center stage in their workshop. It is arguably the most important tool in any woodworker’s arsenal.
Whether you want to cut sheet goods, cut tenons, rip lumber, clean up a face, or even make coving cuts, the table saw can handle almost every task.
A good model can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
So, if you are looking for a saw to take pride of place in your shop, you might want to know which is the best saw on the market for under a $1,000?
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OUR BEST CHOICE
Shop Fox W1837 10"
The Shop Fox ticks every box you would want in a table saw. Large, robust, and accurate the machine can be used with either 120 v or 240 v, and despite being a heavy unit comes with castors making wheeling it around your shop simple.
Using this machine feels like working with a professional cabinet saw that costs several thousand dollars. In every department, it delivers excellent quality, accuracy, and safety. A very sturdy machine at over 200lbs, it can easily take center stage in any workshop.
Top Choices For Your Money
Buyers’ Guide: Choosing The Right Table Saw For You
Safety, Safety, and, YES, Safety!
Safety and table saws cannot be emphasized enough, they are responsible for most accidents in workshops, and you risk serious injury without proper care and attention. There are two key safety features that each saw you consider MUST have: a blade guard and a riving knife.
The blade guard sits on top of the table and encloses the blade when going through cuts. The guard should be strong, and not wobble, and surround all the blade. Ideal guards also have a small dust extraction outlet for above table dust suction.
The riving knife sits behind the blade, and its main job is to prevent kickback. With most modern saws the removable blade guards will attach to the top of the riving knife.
Look for a knife that sits at the same level as the top of the blade. Opting for a model where the knife protrudes over the top of the blade, makes making non-through cuts impossible. This leaves you in the dangerous position of having to remove an essential safety feature to make a trenching cut.
Anti-kickback pawls are a nice to have and relatively modern invention that is being incorporated into more and more saws. These are two sets of metal arms with teeth at the end that sit on the table attached to the back of the riving knife.
As a piece of wood passes, they lift up to allow it to pass and then the teeth drop back onto the wood. In the event the back of the blade catches the wood to kick it back, the teeth bite into the piece preventing kickback.
Although the fence may not seem a critical safety feature, it is! Look for a unit that has a fence that moves smoothly along its rails, locks down securely, and importantly stays parallel to the saw blade. If the fence locks down at an angle where the back of the fence is closer to the blade than the front, it can cause serious safety issues. When ripping, the narrower gap at the rear of the fence has the potential to cause the wood to move towards the spinning blade resulting in a significant risk of kickback.
Saw Table: Aluminum vs. Cast Iron
Most saws come with either a cast iron or aluminum table. While aluminum is lighter and means that the saw can be less heavy and more portable, it is always better to go for cast iron in every situation. The sheer weight and stability of cast iron tables create a robust and sturdy base to work on.
When looking for cheaper models (less than several thousands of dollars), there always tends to be slight imperfections with the table top. A saw table that has uneven spots will produce less than stellar results. You can remedy this with a straight edge and flatten the surface manually.
One of the main drawbacks with cast iron tables, is they tend to be rougher than Aluminum ones, meaning your workpieces don't glide as smoothly. You should regularly apply a layer of paste wax to your saw table and then buff it out, to create a smooth, frictionless surface.
The power of the motor is important; if your saw lacks the power to drive the blade, it can result in burning when rip cutting as well as several safety issues if you stall the blade. Obviously, more is better when it comes to power, but look for a minimum of 2 hp in a table saw motor.
Almost every saw on the market comes with a miter gauge, and in nearly 90% of cases you will end up having to modify it to work, or throw it away and use a sled for crosscutting. In an ideal world, your miter gauge should fit in its track snuggly and slide smoothly, with no slop or wobble from side to side. Sadly unless you are spending thousands of dollars on a table saw I would not expect this to be the case.
Top Rated Table Saws on the Market
1. Shop Fox W1837
Sitting proudly at the top of our list is this amazing saw.
It will set you back a bit, but provides a big bang for your buck. As a hybrid, it sits conveniently between a cabinet saw and a contractor saw. The tool comes with a powerful 2 hp motor and a 10-inch blade. The blade can tilt up to 45 degrees and is excellent for cutting bevels, chamfers, and compound miters.
The main body of it is an enclosed cabinet with a 4” dust extraction port that provides the type of extraction and cleanliness generally associated with much higher priced cabinet saws. The safety features on it also excel and include an interchangeable riving knife to reduce kickback. The knife is at blade height, so you can make trenching or non-through cuts easily by removing the top blade guard.
Working with the Shop Fox feels like you are working with a much more expensive model. A heavy cast iron table provides plenty of stability, and the features combine to make it a breeze to use.
The main drawback is the cast iron table; due to the high cost of machining a flat table there may be some unevenness present. This unevenness is not too big a problem and can be fixed with some fettling and a straight edge.
2. RIDGID R4512
The RIDGID R4512 is a high-quality machine that gave our top pick an excellent run, even though it will cost a few hundred dollars less. The tool feels very stable and sturdy and can perform almost every cut you would ever need. Equipped with a 13-Amp motor that drives the blade at 3,450 rpm the saw has plenty of power.
The blade guard on the machine is excellent and features a highly effective anti-kickback mechanism. For extra security the guard is transparent, so you can see exactly what is happening during every cut. The fence system on the saw performs very well and locks down securely and parallel to the blade.
Working with it is comfortable; the machine is stable and has a large worktop that helps support larger pieces. If you like to use various blades for different cuts, it comes with ample onboard storage that lets you keep everything you need from blades to wrenches within easy reach.
Assembling it can be a little awkward, there are numerous steps, and they do take some trial an error to get everything to fit together perfectly.
3. DEWALT DWE7491RS
DeWalt is a massive name with an excellent reputation in the tool world, and it delivers again with the DeWalt DWE7491RS. Costing around half of the top model, it delivers on so many levels. The unit is capable of 32 ½ inch rip capacity, which is incredible for a saw of its size.
The unit comes with a 15-Amp motor that delivers plenty of power and makes easy work of both soft and hardwoods. The motor can produce cuts up to 3 1/8 inch at 90 degrees, and 2 ¼ inch at 45 degrees.
The machine has a large work area providing excellent support for large pieces. It also strikes that right balance between portability and stability; weighing in at a relatively portable 90 lbs it can be moved around the shop or worksite easily, yet when in use has enough heft to offer a sturdy, stable cutting platform.
The safety features of the saw are also top tier, with a riving knife and removable blade guard that feels safe and sturdy in use. It also comes with an automatic brake system that gives you peace of mind and total control over your unit.
Along with a sturdy fence system that cinches down securely, the Dewalt DWE7491RS has a 2 ½ inch dust extraction port that keeps your work surface clean and tidy.
The main issue with the machine is that it is a finely tuned machine, and as such requires regular maintenance and adjustments to produce the best results.
4. Bosch 10-Inch Worksite 4100-09
The Bosch 4100-09 more than lives up to the Bosch name. It’s every bit of high-quality German engineering and can do almost anything you ask of it. The stable and sturdy saw is powered by a 15-Amp motor that can deliver up to 4 hp at 3,650 rpm.
You get a host of features on it, with the standout feature being the Smart guard system, which incorporates a top blade guard, riving knife, and anti-kickback pawls that have teeth to grab a piece of wood and prevent kickback.
The Bosch comes with a 5/8-inch Arbor, that can take a host of various blades including a dado stack capable of cuts up to 13/16 inch. For angled cuts, you can tilt the blade between -2 and 47 degrees, which covers almost every angle imaginable. When it comes to rip cuts the SquareLock rip fence is stable and secure and delivers a rip capacity of 25 inches.
The miter gauge provided with the saw is its only letdown. It does not feel solid and has some play reducing accuracy. If you opt for the Bosch, you will have to build a sled for crosscuts or purchase an aftermarket miter gauge.
5. Rockwell RK7241S
The Rockwell is our best budget option and delivers an impressive number of features for a few hundred dollars. Fitted with a 10-Amp motor it provides enough power for most cuts and has a solid fence that securely locks down providing 30” of rip capacity.
The 10-inch blade can make up to 3 9/16 inch cuts at 90 degrees, and when the blade is beveled to 45 degrees, your cutting capacity is still a respectable 2 9/16 inches. Surprisingly for a saw of its price, it can also handle dado blades, the maximum dado width you can use is 7/16 inches.
The standout feature of the saw is the guide laser. The propriety technology allows you to make accurate cuts beyond any similarly priced saw. The laser will automatically adjust when the blade is beveled to make sure every cut is precise.
As previously mentioned the laser can provide some great accuracy. However, that cannot be said for the rest of the saw. Various aspect of the machine will require regular and constant adjustments to keep things accurate and square.
Shop Fox W1837
The Shop Fox W1837 10" Hybrid Table Saw is a monster of a machine that delivers on every level!
You will not find a better saw for the money out there, to pick up anything with similar capabilities you are looking at spending two or three times its price.
If you want the ultimate capabilities look no further: the saw has excellent cutting features, dust extraction, and up-to-date well-designed safety features. It's so good it should be renamed the Shop Lion!