5 Best Contractor Table Saws – Which One Should You Buy?

Contractor table saws are substantial machines. They are not as large as cabinet saws and portable. Many models weigh over 400 lbs., and they are not easily moved without a set of wheels. These models are not portables.

The size and weight of a contractor saw is part of its function; it can hold a lot of weight counterbalancing with its own weight. This review will look at the features most important when selecting.

They include the fence, the motor power, and overall usefulness and quality.

In a Rush?

Our Top Choice

Jet 708492K JPS-10TS

  • Heavy duty cast iron table with T-style miter gauge slot
  • Integrated arbor lock is accessed from table top for rapid blade change
  • Blade guard and riving knife have a quick release for tool-less mounting and removal

This finely crafted Jet 708492K JPS-10TS, 10-inch Proshop with 30-inch Fence has the features of a Cabinet model in the size and price range of a contractor model. It has a wide and useful table top, a secure rip fence system, and T-slot miter grooves.

The fence has a 30-inch length and automatically locks to square with the blade. The safety shield a riving knife combination goes on and off without tools for quick changes and bevels.

It has an enclosed cabinet and sealed motor area. The extension table and the table top are heavy metal with a machined surface. The right tilt is appropriate for right-handed operation.

Should You Buy?


If you are a serious hobbyist, woodworker, or construction professional, then you need a powerful full-featured model. Ultimately, you will be limited by portable models that have small capacities, and most hybrids which lack the power needed for high volumes of tough materials.

The solution for you is the contractor saw. You can get features similar to the cabinet model but these tools are heavy machines with large working surfaces, and they have much more reachable price tags.

The ultimate model is the cabinet style. These machines are the 18-wheelers of the saw highway. They are the biggest, strongest, and most powerful machines. They are also expensive; they are priced for the professional wood, carpentry, and construction trades. A homeowner or hobbyist could certainly benefit from having a cabinet saw, but it would far exceed his or her needs.

For most consumers, it is out of their financial reach. The better choice is to get the features of a cabinet saw in a lower cost package; that alternative way to progress is the contractor saw. There is a limited degree of portability in this tool; the idea of easily hauling a 400 pound machine is exaggerated at best.

The Top 5 Picks On The Market


The Jet 708492K JPS-10TS, 10-inch Proshop with 30-inch Fence, Steel Wing and With Riving Knife is a fully-featured power saw that can handle high-volumes of work on a daily basis. It has a heavy cast-iron tabletop with a machined smooth surface.

The wide area supports sheet-sized materials for ripping. The T-style miter slot holds the miter gauge in a firm position; you will have a solid guide for miter cuts and bevels. The extra-long rip fence adds to the machine’s versatility. You can rip board lengths and well as full 4×8 sheets.

The safety features include the protective riving knife. The vital safety component prevents cut ends from pinching the moving blade. The design keeps the knife in close distance from the blade so that the riving blade can reduce the likelihood of kickbacks.

The blade guard assembly and tall riving knife have a quick release lever. You can remove and replace the blade shielding without using tools. This quick change without tools is a very helpful feature. There are frequent uses of the it that involve adding or removing the blade shield. The shield should be in place whenever possible as it is the primary defense against accidental touching of the moving blade.

Changing blades to make dados and less-than through cuts is easier and safer because of the top table access to the arbor lock. Once locked, the machine cannot accidentally start. The arbor lock feature enables a one-wrench change of blade by opening and closing the retaining bolt.

It is strong, solidly built from metal parts, and balanced to hold heavy loads. The base assembles easily and offers a solid four metal leg stand with a wide stance. The enclosed cabinet protects the motor from the effects of dust and particles.

Weighing in at 414 lbs. the Powermatic 1791230K is a heavyweight machine. It has the elements of a cabinet saw that you should seek: a large working surface, heavy metal in the top, a zero clearance insert, and an excellent miter and fence system.

The left tilt arbor offers ample space to load sheet materials and rip entire sheets in a single pass. The motor is a 1.75 horsepower engine with dual voltage so that the professional contractor can load the machine to its full capacity by connecting to a 240Volt 20-amp circuit.

The safety features are important when operating a powerful machine. The blade guard is transparent, and the user can see the blade contact the stock.

The leaves of the guard move independently as the stock passes beneath them. The machine has a riving knife to help manage boards that pass the blades. The raised knife prevents the ends of cut boards from pinching in on the blades. The machine also ships with a second, low-profile, riving knife for dados and other non-through cuts.

When changing bladed for different cuts or dados, you can lock the spindle by a lever above the blade. You can change blades using only one wrench. The single wrench process is simpler and easier than having to maneuver two wrenches to hold the spindle and unlock the retaining bolt.

The table is large and cast iron top and wings. The miter system uses a T-style slot for a secure seat and true angle cuts.

The rip fence comes in length up to 50 inches. It uses rack and pinion settings along the rail, front edge bevel. The needle thin indicator makes a precise reading on the easily viewed strip. There is room for an extension plate, and the machine ships with a melamine surfaced extension table insert.

This contractor style tool has a lot of power and features. The 1.5 HP motor turns the blade at 4000 rpm. The coded motor runs on 110v power for convenience.

You can load this machine and move it to a job site. The machine uses a 10-inch blade on a 5/8-inch inch arbor. You can convert to 220 v, and this gives you a choice of power levels for the operation.

The stand is a critical part of stable operations. Once assembled properly it will not shake. The heavy-duty welded steel stand reduces vibrations that can cause it to wobble.

It has left tilt for bevel and can rip on the right and left sides of the blade. The 40″ x 25” worktable includes 20” x 25” machined cast iron main table; two 10” sheet metal extensions surround the main table.

The machine has a 36.5-inch working height; this is a comfortable level that won’t cause discomfort. The table surface is the base for cuts and measures. The ground, polished cast iron tabletop will stay true. It resists warp effects from heat or moisture.

The all-important rip fence features a lockdown system; the system automatically closes to stay square to the blade. The quick-release handle on the rip fence is a key to fast adjustments. The scale offers micrometer adjustment for fine tuning.

The plastic handwheel on the base adjust the blade height and mitering. Safety features include a low profile riving knife for dado and a high blade for cut-through. The knife comes standard to spread wood pieces and prevent kickback safely.

There are anti-kickback safety pawls on the blade.

The manufacturer emphasizes safety first; the Sawstop system uses technology to reduce the potential for injury. The Sawstop uses a sensor to detect the electric charge of human skin.

When there is contact with the blade, the signal trips a circuit and the blade stops. It cannot reset for 90 seconds.

The miter fence is vital to precise cuts an repeated cuts that must be identical. The professional quality T-Glide fence does just that; it ensures accuracy. The T-Glide uses thick gauge steel, and it provides accurate settings and works well with the wide work surface. It gives precision measurements and locks down in place with deflection or movement.

Dust collection is another part of the safety system. Sawdust, particularly from pressure treated wood, as possibly harmful to health. The manufacturer uses under table shrouds to keep dust from rising.

It applies a dust collection system at the blade guard. The machine ships with a dust collection port adapter to help connect to a vacuum. The system catches most of the dust generated by operating the saw.

Part of the benefit of this tool is that it has weight to counter-balance loads.

You can add tow cast iron wings to the table and 70 lbs. in weight. The additions both increase the working space and increase the counterbalance effect of the saw.

With added weight, the idea of moving it seems more difficult. You can solve that situation by adding a connectable cart and stand. These solid platforms add mobility to the saw so that you could move it to a remote location if needed.

The Makita compact contractor saw has a mobile stand. The lightweight machine does not have the heft of the contractor models; it weighs in at 114 lbs.

The well-designed stand provides a wide footprint and enhances the stability of the tool. When loaded with sheet material like plywood or compressed fiberboard, the wide stance counterbalances the load. The machine runs steady with undue shaking or vibration.

The safety shield is an important part of this equipment, and you must remove and replace it to complete certain operations such as rip cuts or bevels.

The Makita 2705X1 provides a quick and easy way to insert and remove the safety shell and riving knife. You can perform this process with the power off without tools. The release lever helps make adjustments for the riving knife at three positions. One for through cuts, or the high position, a second for non-through cuts, and a third for Dados and grooves.

The machine helps keep tools and accessories at hand when needed. The machine has onboard storage for wrenches, the push stick, and two anti-kickback pawls. The top has grooves for the T-slot style miter gauge. These t-slits accept accessories also.

The Makita compact contractor saw has a mobile stand. The lightweight machine does not have the heft of the contractor models; it weighs in at 114 lbs. The well-designed stand provides a wide footprint and enhances the stability of the saw. When loaded with sheet material like plywood or compressed fiberboard, the wide stance counterbalances the load. The machine runs steady with undue shaking or vibration.

The safety shield is an important part of this equipment, and you must remove and replace it to complete certain operations such as rip cuts or bevels.

The Makita 2705X1 provides a quick and easy way to insert and remove the safety shell and riving knife.

You can perform this process with the power off without tools. The release lever helps make adjustments for the riving knife at three positions. One for through cuts, or the high position, a second for non-through cuts, and a third for Dados and grooves.

The machine helps keep tools and accessories at hand when needed. The machine has onboard storage for wrenches, the push stick, and two anti-kickback pawls. The top has grooves for the T-slot style miter gauge. These t-slits accept accessories also.

The Shoppers’ Top Choice 


This powerful model has the features of a cabinet saw in the compact package of a contractor saw. It has a large table and the weight to counterbalance hefty loads of lumber or sheet wood products.

The Jet model will perform at a high level for many years to come. It has a closed cabinet and solid metal construction.