Updated: November 2017
Cabinet Saw Reviews:Any avid woodworker knows that a table saw is an essential part of a good workshop. For some, a regular table saw will do the work required. For others they need a larger unit that can work 8 hours a day - such as a cabinet saw. Contractor saws are great, but are meant for contractors who need a good table saw on a job site. The cabinet saw is the best overall choice although the hybrid table saws like the Grizzly G0715P are definitely becoming quite popular. A hybrid table saw uses the trunnion assemblies found in contractors saws - so they are mounted from the bottom of the table. The trunnion assemblies in a typical cabinet saw hang from the top of the cabinet. You'll save some money buying a hybrid cabinet saw but still get great power and accuracy. The "beasts" in table saws are the 3HP-5HP cabinet saws which can handle wood up to 3 1/8". The leading cabinet saws are the SawStop PCS31230-TGP236, Jet Xacta, Shop Fox W1820, and the Powermatic 1792000K.
Buying Guide - Dust control is a big issue for those that are using their cabinet saws daily and the fact that the cabinet base collects most of the dust is a nice feature. As we mentioned above, good old fashioned horsepower will range from 3 to 5 on the bigger cabinet saws. Depending on the quality of the blade, any piece of timber should cut smoothly and efficiently. If you are used to "burned cuts" with your less powerful table saw, don't worry because the powerful cabinet saws reduce burned cuts dramatically with a higher feed rate. Owners also mention that maintenance on their cabinet saws is much easier than say on most contractor saws because the main housing unit is simpler to access. Lower vibrations on cabinet saws mean smoother cuts and their stability (some weigh more than 800 pounds) is second to none. Locking in your blade height and angle are easy on cabinet saws and their operating noise is quieter than most contractor saws since the base is totally enclosed. Another feature that experts say is beneficial in cabinet saws is that the powerful motors will allow you to keep cutting through wood even when the blade is not at its sharpest. Something that is not possible with less powerful table saws. Most woodworking experts agree that when it comes to quality, most cabinet saws will last a lifetime if maintained. In terms of reviews, we found Amazon to have the most of any site and they carry all the top brands like Jet, SawStop, Delta, Grizzly, and Powermatic. We have done reviews on all types of woodworking tools but no category has had such positive remarks on the products like we found in the cabinet saw section of Amazon.com. There was not one saw that received an overall low score when you tally up all the owner reviews and customer comments. Most of the cabinet saws are priced between $1000 and $2500 with a few slightly cheaper or more expensive. One of the best head to head reviews we found was done on Toolsofthetrade.net (written by Bill Thomas) where they tested 6 heavy duty cabinet saws with 3 HP. Models tested include the SawStop 31230, Powermatic Model 66, Grizzly G1023SL, Delta 36-L31X-BC50, Jet JTAS-10XL50-1, and the Laguna TS. They were rated on power, fences, throat plates, tabletops, dust collection, miter gauges, blade guards, riving knives, and overall safety features. Other excellent expert review articles were found on Taunton.com and Woodcentral.com. I also consulted with a friend of mine that has been in the woodworking industry for over 30 years and he has used all types of cabinet saws for ripping lumber, cross cutting, cutting dadoes, and much more. We found all the top selling cabinet saws online. They offer the best pricing we could find and a good selection of Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic, and Delta.
Best Cabinet Saw:BEST - In reviews it's a tough choice between the Powermatic 1792000K, the SawStop PCS31230-TGP236, and the JET 708663PK. They are all 3 HP motors and supply any woodworker with a dream cabinet saw. We will start with the most expensive of the bunch, the Powermatic 1792000K Model PM 2000 a 3 horsepower cabinet saw with 50-Inch Accu-Fence, 2 cast iron extension wings, table board, and legs. The 230-Volt 1 Phase motor offers a quick release riving knife and a poly v-belt. It weighs approximately 600 lbs. Owners say the Powermatic is extremely stable, they like the micro-adjust miter gauge, and the cast iron trunnion is just one example of the heavy duty construction of this cabinet saw.
RECOMMENDED - The SawStop PCS31230-TGP236 is a 3HP cabinet saw with a 36-inch professional T-Glide fence system and you get the world famous SawStop safety system which knows when the saw comes in contact with a persons finger versus say a piece of wood. This technology saves lost fingers every day. Reviews are near perfect for the SawStop with owners mentioning the precision cuts, accuracy and smooth power. SawStop PCS31230 comes highly recommend from expert woodworkers and avid hobbyists.
GOOD VALUE - For under $2500 we say the JET 708675PK XACTASAW Deluxe 3-Horsepower, 1Ph, 50-Inch Rip Fence is an excellent purchase. For years Jet has been producing quality cabinet saws used in workshops that run them all day long. The Jet left tilt 3 HP 10-Inch cabinet saw with 50-Inch Xacta II Fence, 2 cast iron extension wings, table board, and legs. The one knock against Jet is their warranty service which some owners complain about. The vast majority of owners say the motors work fine, but a select few had issues.