Updated: June 8, 2015

Contractor Saw Reviews:

Table saws have evolved over the years but contractor saws are still some of the most popular table saws you will come across in reviews. A good contractors saw should be versatile and precise no matter whether it's used on a jobsite or in the shop. It should be able to shape, miter, square, rip, and groove wood. The heavier, more powerful cabinet saws are great when working in workshops, but the better contractor saws are mobile and you can take them to job sites. You'll also save quite a bit of money if you can manage with a contractors saw instead of the cabinet saws which are much more expensive. Delta and Jet are the leaders when it comes to top rated contractor saws and most will cost you between $600 and $1000. The high end Powermatics are not much more than $1100, so it's worth looking into those if you have a few extra $100 to spend.
contractor saw


Buying Guide - You will find that contractor table saws vibrate quite a bit (compared to cabinet saws), have more dust (since they are open bodied), and lack a little power on denser woods, but overall they perform admirable. The vast majority all have 1 1/2 HP motors to help power you through your workload. Ultimately you want a saw that will give you the needed accuracy on smaller cuts and the sheer power when ripping stock lumber. Keep in mind that you will have to assemble the saw when it arrives at your house and we read online that it takes between 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours - depending on features and model/manufacturer. You'll want to become familiar with the assembly/disassembly process since odds are you will be moving it from work site to work site. The good news is that you don't have to break it all apart just to move it - only a few things need to be disassembled and put together again when transporting a contractor saw. Adjustments are a way of life if you use a contractors saw so you want to find a product which makes it easy on the operator to make slight or major adjustments. You want tilt adjustments and blade height changes to go smoothly and quickly so you can get on with your work. The fence needs to be reliable and smooth - Jet, Powermatic, and Delta have the best ones. Safety features like blade guards and switches are mandatory on any saw you buy so you can stay safe operating it. Look for a contractor table saw with a sturdy base - a solid, heavy base means less vibration while running it. We found some great buying guides for contractor saws - one done by David Wright on Woodcentral.com and the other by Joe Youcha on Toolsofthetrade.net. Also, Toolcrib.com had a nice article with recommendations as to which contractor saws are worth the $$$. Individual product reviews for the Powermatic 64A on Sawdustandshavings.com and one for the Delta #36-682 on Newwoodworker.com really helped us in finding the best contractor saws on the market. Chris Baylor does a wonderful review on the Sawstop CNS175 Contractor Saw and gives it high marks. Lastly, we turned to Amazon.com for their wide selection of saws and very informative owner reviews and comments on the site. After reading dozens of consumer reviews and pitting them against what the experts say, we came up with some clear winners in this category. You can see all the top selling contractor saws online here. They carry all the top brands like Jet, Delta, Grizzly, Makita, Powermatic, Shop Fox, and Bosch.

Best Contractor Saw:

BEST - The Powermatic 1791230K 64B is the workhorse of the bunch and gets high praise from woodworking experts, do it yourself homeowners, and professional contractors. The 10-Inch left tilt 1-1/2 horsepower contractor saw with 50-Inch Accu-Fence has 2 cast iron extension wings, a table board, and legs. The 64A from Powermatic has a fence that is very accurate and easy to use. The 3VX belt drive and T-slot miter gauge with stops are just 2 features that owners appreciate. It features a 4 inch dust port, blade guard and splitter, and blade and dado inserts. Some consumers think the Powermatic brand is overrated, but in head to head reviews it holds up quite well. The Powermatic 1791227K is another model to consider - it offers 30 inch fence and is priced under $1000. We say before you buy a Powermatic, consider the features on the cheaper Delta and Jet saws listed below to determine if spending more will really get you superior performance and features. Many owners who have used both Powermatic and Delta contractor saws say the Delta is the "better deal".


Top Rated Contractors Saw:

RECOMMENDED - It's hard to beat the DELTA 36-980 on price or performance when looking at the competition. At $300+ cheaper than the Powermatic, the 36-980 from Delta offers a 1 1/2 HP induction motor, cast iron table with wings, an integrated mobile base, an easy to adjust blade. The 2 year warranty is nice although a few owners mention that assembly can be a pain on the Delta. Otherwise, they say that the saw runs quiet and the motor is plenty powerful. Many reviews mention words like "best saw I've ever owned" and "outstanding table saw". Similar models from Delta - the 36-982 and the 36-977 are also highly rated and worth taking a look at. You can see all the Delta contractor saws here. Another saw you should consider is the new JET 708307K which replaced the older JET 708301K. The newer Jet contractor saw is about $300 more and adds a few more features. The 708301K comes standard with a 1 1/2 HP motor, an open style stand, under cabinet dust collection hood, a 30 inch micro glide fence, and the ability to make a 30" rip to the right and 12" to the left. Jet has a reputable name in the industry and their saws are well liked by professionals and DIY weekenders. Check out the most popular Jet contractor saws on Amazon here.


Budget Contractor Saw:

Both the Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand and the Grizzly G0444 10" Table Saw 1-1/2 HP Single-Phase 110V are what we consider to be "budget" contractor saws. The Grizzly looks more like a typical contractor table saw with a sturdy looking stand while the 4100-09 resembles a portable table saw attached to a separate stand. Both get excellent feedback from customers on Amazon and at less than $600 make a great buy. Bosch has a solid reputation in the power tool industry and reviews for their 4100-09 are completely positive. The G0444 gets a perfect 5 star rating from all 13 reviewers on Amazon and almost all agree that this is the best low end contractors saw on the market. Comments include "two thumbs up", "clear instructions for assembly", and "great saw at a low price".