As a contractor or someone who likes working with wood, you have a few options when it comes to the saws that you use in your shop, but once you get more serious about wood projects, you’ll want to invest in a cabinet saw. Also called a table saw, this is a saw that comes with an attached base as well as a table that extends from one end.
We ranked the SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly (Check price on Amazon.com) as the best cabinet saw because it has a design that extends the life of the saw and all other components. You get a professional rail system that uses a gliding design and an extension table that adds to the length of your work area. SawStop also added its patented safety system to prevent common injuries.
How to Choose the Best Cabinet Saw
The two most common materials used in the base of table saws are steel and cast iron. Though both will last for years, those made from cast iron are often a little more expensive. Cast iron will last longer than steel but will add to the overall weight of the saw too.
Cabinet saws produce more horsepower than contractor saws or portable saws. The minimum horsepower that you’ll find is three, which is strong enough for most standard jobs. If you need more power, you can get a cabinet saw with a four or five horsepower motor.
Check out the location of the dust port on a cabinet saw before you buy. A dust port is essentially a port on the back, front or side of the base that collects dust and debris produced as you cut. Larger ports will catch more of that debris.
A kickback is an action that occurs when the saw kicks back, which can cause injuries. Many cabinet saws now feature a sensor that detects when the saw comes into contact with skin and will shut the saw down in a fraction of a second. Some also come with automatic braking systems that help the motor come to an almost immediate stop during an emergency.
Cabinet saws are far from lightweight and can actually weigh twice as much or even more than a portable or contractor saw. Some weigh in the 300 pound range, but you’ll also find cabinet saws that weigh 500 pounds or more. Heavier saws are usually more durable and offer more support for the saw.
The amount of space that you have available in your shop can also help determine the type of cabinet saw that you buy. If you have limited space, you might look for a saw that comes with an expendable table. This type of table features legs that flip down to extend the length of the attached table.
Fencing refers to the pieces that fit on top of the saw that help you push your boards through and create even cuts. While there are different fencing systems available, you need to look for one that is reliable. A good fence system will fit cleanly into place and come out just as cleanly each time.
Though you may not think that the saw blade that comes with the saw is important, the size of that blade can detect the type of projects that you work on with the saw. Keep in mind that even if you purchase a cabinet saw that comes with a smaller blade, you may have the option of switching out the blade for one of a larger size.
Located on the front of most cabinet saws is a wheel made from cast iron or steel that you turn to adjust the speed at which you cut. In addition to hand wheels, some cabinet saws feature a lever or a switch that does the same thing.
Top Rated Cabinet Saws on the Market
Two of the highest ranking cabinet saws on our list come from SawStop, but this PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly just narrowly beat out the other model from the company as well as saws from other manufacturers. This is a professional table saw designed for contractors and other wood workers, and it comes loaded with features designed to make any job a little easier like a t-glide fence system that helps you make smooth cuts without leaving behind jagged edges or splinters. It also features rails that you can use with this system to hold your boards in place as well as an attached extension table with durable legs that stabilize the table.
At 85-inches long, this is one of the longest table saws around, and when you use the attached table, you’ll get even more room for all your projects. The SawStop Safety System designed by the manufacturer ensures that this saw comes to a fast stop in one second or less after the blade touches your skin, and it comes with an emergency stop button that stops the engine even faster. SawStop also gives you a hand wheel on the front and a second on the side.
The vibrations produced by other table saws can cause your hands to shake so badly that you risk injuring yourself or damaging your boards, but the Delta 36-L552 5 HP UNISAW Table Saw features a trunnion system with vibration protection that reduces the amount of vibrations that you feel, but this system can also help you make more accurate cuts and keep the saw running smoothly. Two cranks or hand wheels on the front allow you to change the height of the blade and the bevel in seconds, and you can see the exact angle or height specified on the bevel dial, which sits in between the cranks. This helps you adjust the angle down to just ¼ of a degree.
A cast-iron base provides stability to this table saw and reduces the risk of the saw bouncing across the floor as you cut. The saw itself features a five-horsepower motor that works so smoothly and quickly that you can cut most boards in minutes or less. This set also comes with a 52-inch fencing system for making accurate cuts on longer boards, an emergency stop button on the front and an extension table that you can easily fold up and down.
3. SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly with 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (Check Price on Amazon.com)
The second SawStop cabint saw that we felt was worthy of our list is this PCS31230-TGP236 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly, which comes with a 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System that is the same type of system that professionals use to make clean cuts on longer boards. This cabinet saw comes with an attached extension tables that increases the length of the table when working with larger boards, and this table can accommodate thin sheets of plywood and other materials too and help you keep a grip on those boards. It features both a power button and an emergency stop button that you can hit with one hand, your knee or even your foot.
Its patented Safety System designed by SawStop helps this saw realize when it comes into contact with your skin or a body part and then forces the saw to come to a complete stop in a single second to prevent serious injuries. It also features a blade that tilts to the left to keep it from rubbing against the fence, a system that is compatible with dado blades up to eight-inches in size or standard 10-inch circular saw blades and a limited one-year warranty.
Delta designed its line of UNISAW models to meet the needs of those who want a cabinet saw that operates like other saws, and one of the top of those models is this 3 HP Motor UNISAW, which comes with a 52-inch BIESEMEYER Fence System. It features classic elements on its enclosed base, including a green power button, a red emergency stop button and two separate hand wheels. The blade opening on this saw is one of the largest available with this size saw and lets you easily replace the riving knife as well as switch out the blade.
Designed with stability in mind, this table saw has an attached extension table that lets you drop the legs down to increase your work area, but those legs are slightly larger than those found on other saws to support more weight. It has a dependable base made from cast iron that absorbs vibrations to help you work safely, and the power button on this base is accessible from anywhere on the saw. The table saw also features a split-guard design that leaves the riving knife exposed for making faster adjustments as you work.
The Powermatic PM1000 1791000K Table Saw comes with an enclosed base made from cast iron that keeps sawdust and other debris from damaging the motor, but it also has a dust collection port that keeps that same debris away from your body and face. Though it is a large and powerful cabinet saw, it requires just 155 volts, which makes it suitable for use in smaller wood shops as well as residential homes. The tool-less guard assembly leaves the area around the blade exposed to make it easier to replace that blade, but this design also does a good job of keeping your hands a safe distance away from the blade.
It features a convenient power switch that you can hit with your foot or knee to turn on the blade without taking your hands off the board, and the cabinet has an emergency stop button that you can hit with any body part too. Powermatic added a durable miter gauge to this table saw that pivots up to 60 degrees in two different directions. You’ll also like the 30-inch fencing system that comes with this saw and its longer table, which has clearly marked measurements along the edge.
Jet has a strong reputation for providing great power tools at good prices, which is why its 708674PK XACTASAW Deluxe 3HP Cabinet Saw landed on our list. This table saw combines the great features that you want like a front hand wheel and an emergency stop button with a price that you can more easily afford. Its riving knife has a quick release design that makes it easier to remove the knife when you want to swap it out with the push button arbor lock, but the design of this knife also reduces the risk of kickbacks as well as the binding that can occur on other saws.
The belt system included with this saw is a poly-v drive system that helps the saw run more efficiently while keeping the sound level down, which lets you use the saw at anytime of the day without disrupting your neighbors. A heavy-duty trunnion helps stabilize the saw and ensures that you can move the blade into the right position for your project. This table saw also comes with a completely enclosed base that features a sealed built-in drawer that you can use for tools and other supplies.
Powermatic landed on our list a second time with its PM1000 1791001K Table Saw, which features the company’s classic black logo on a yellow cabinet, and that cabinet uses cast iron to extend its life. As it requires only 115 volts to run, this is more suitable for home use than other table saws and will not require that you upgrade your system or cause your power bills to rise. The table saw has a clean line between the collection hose and the blade surround to help more of the dust that you produce reach the collection port.
Both the power switch and the emergency stop button have a convenient design that make it easy to hit either one when your hands aren’t free, and pressing the stop button will bring the saw to a complete stop when your clothing or hair nears the blade. It features a tool-less guard assembly that makes replacing the blade a lot easier and a miter gauge that pivots to 60 degrees on both the right and left.
With a three-horsepower motor that works with any standard 220V outlet, this Grizzly G0690 Cabinet Table Saw with Riving Knife is suitable for professionals as well as those who do smaller projects at home. The completely enclosed base features a larger dust collection port that can pull more debris away from your face and hands when working with wood to help you stay safe, but the base also has metal hand wheels on both the front and one side. Near the front hand wheel is a power box that features a bright green button that turns the saw on and a bright red button that brings the saw to a full stop during an emergency.
Capable of working with dado blades, this saw has a maximum capacity that varies based on the type of blade or knife that you use, but it can cut down to 3-1/8-inch at a 90 degree angle, and it cuts down to more than two-inches when used at a 40 degree angle. Standing 34-inches from the floor, the cabinet also measures 62-inches long and 41-inches wide and comes with an extension table for use on larger projects and with longer boards.
This Jet 708493K JPS-10TS, 10-inch Proshop Table Saw with 52-inch Fence is a more affordable that still meets the guidelines and standards for professional use, and the 52-inch included fencing system helps you more easily maneuver boards and wood sheets through the saw. When you use the riving knife, you’ll notice that it has a close proximity to both the table as well as the blade, which significantly reduces kickbacks. Both the knife and the guard surrounding\ the blade have a tool-less design that lets you remove elements before changing the blades.
Though it features an enclosed cabinet like other table saws, this cabinet comes with dependable legs that lift the cabinet off the ground to reduce how far you need to bend over to use it, and those legs will keep the table at the perfect height for daily projects. It comes with an extension table that extends from one end, a front hand wheel for adjusting the height of the blade and miter gauge slot in a T-shape.
Designed to help you save some space in your workshop, this Grizzly G1023RLWX Cabinet Left-Tilting Table Saw features a smaller cabinet that takes up less space but lots of features that are perfect for wood projects. Those features include a built-in router table that you can actually use when making crown molding or intricate designs in wood as well as a T-track clamping system that keeps boards from shifting. A fencing system further secures those boards, and two crank hand wheels let you adjust the blades.
The power button on the front is easy to press with one hand before you cut, but you can also press both this button as well as the stop button with another body part when your hands are full. It features a table that extends out slightly from the top of the cabinet with measurement markings to help you more easily cut wood to the depth and size needed.
Don’t let the simple design of this Shop Fox W1824 Hybrid Table Saw with Extension Table make you think that it won’t meet your needs because this table comes loaded with impressive features like an enclosed cabinet made from precision-ground cast iron and cast-iron trunnions that make this saw operate quietly. The table that extends from one side features a material on top that reduces friction as you move wood across the top, and you can use this table at the length that you need. It comes with T-slot miter gauge and an emergency stop button too.
Though called a hybrid saw, this is really one of the more affordable cabinet saws on the market. The T-shaped fencing included with this saw lets you use boards at two different angles and ensure that the boards do not slip out of place as you cut. The saw also features two crank hand wheels and a large dust collection port.
The last spot on our list of the top cabinet saws goes to Jet with its 708492K JPS-10TS 10-Inch Proshop Table Saw, which comes with a 30-inch fence that can make any amateur feel like a pro. It features a riving knife for use on select projects that sits so close to the blade assembly that you won’t notice any kickbacks as you cut and an integrated arbor lock that reduces the time needed to change blades. A large hand wheel on the front features a simple knob that helps you keep a grip on the handle and turn it as well as measurements along the front.
As an enclosed cabinet saw, the base features a closed design that reduces the risk of dust and other debris from reaching the engine and causing internal damage, and four dedicated legs underneath the cabinet support both the saw and table. Made from cast iron, this table saw also features a T-shaped miter gauge and a steel wing that slightly extends the size of the table on top. The table has a convenient power switch on the front as well as an emergency stop button.
The winner for Cabinet Saw
Cabinet saws must be dependable and durable, which is why we picked the SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly as the best cabinet saw. This saw comes with a glide fence system that extends the area in which you have to work and ensures that each cut you back is both clean and even. It also comes with an extension table that extends the length of the table and a three-horsepower motor that runs a little quieter than you might think.
A patented safety system designed by SawStop keeps your hands free and protects your body against injuries, and this system forces the saw to shut down quickly after coming into contact with any skin. This saw also has a durable hand wheel on the front for quickly operating the saw and cutting boards as well as an emergency stop button that you can press to bring the whole system to a stop.