best contractor table saw?

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Forum topic by ptkaster posted 06-16-2013 03:27 AM 15989 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 3175 days

06-16-2013 03:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw 400 best table saw under 400 best tablesaw for the price best tablesaw under 400

I’ve been looking around for a new table saw for a while now. I currently own a $150 skil saw which is ok but doesn’t give me nearly the accuracy I need for some of my newer projects. It also seems somewhat unsafe since the safety mechs aren’t fully functional. Anyways, I have been looking on Craigslist for a good deal and everything is overpriced or from the 60s. So I am wondering what you guys thought about the DEWALT 15 Amp 10-in Table Saw
or any other table saw under $400. I want good capacity, quality, and hopefully some kind of dust collection because I can never keep my shop clean with my current table saw. I was thinking with the dewalt I could build a table for it and leave a hole for dust collection. What do you guys think?


18 replies so far

View josephf's profile


218 posts in 3154 days

#1 posted 06-16-2013 03:52 AM

How will you use it ? does it stay in one place or go from job to job . A good fense is important ,one you do not need to check for set every cut .some old saws have great after market fenses . you need an out feed ,you just do .Safer and more accurate not to be balancing boards on a small saw top when pushing them through . newer saws are more likely to have a riving knife though on small cheap saws if the blade binds you can just stall the motor and get the board out -though still not safe . I did all my carpentry,rough ,finish and trim on a 8” makita with a good stand for over 10yrs . The stand was the factor -it has a great fense and an out feed table .Power and blade size was not an issue .even did melimine on it with the right blade .
that dewalt has a good fense -you need to make an out feed .

View Andre's profile


4461 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 06-16-2013 04:03 AM

Just got back from Inside Passage School, 2 classes down 8 to go, What are you building? Consider a good Band saw as a better investment. Last year I bought a great 10in. Delta cabinet saw and a older 14in. band saw.
Built two Kernov planes and totally amazed as to the quality of the shavings I can now create!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Chris208's profile


246 posts in 3327 days

#3 posted 06-16-2013 04:12 AM

For my money, the ridgid ts 3650 is the best contractor saw. It’s not available new in the US, but is widely available on the used market.

It’s also available new in Canada from Craftex, so parts are still available.

The dust collection on this saw sucks, but its a great saw that can be had usually for $250-350.

It has a really nice fence, and cast iron top and wings. It’s easy to adjust, and stays adjusted pretty well.

View knotscott's profile


8415 posts in 4433 days

#4 posted 06-16-2013 11:36 AM

For clarity, the DW 15 amp saws are portable job site saws, not what most of us consider a contractor saw. Portability is the main advantage of a jobsite saw, otherwise nearly every advantage is in favor of a decent full size contractor saw with a belt drive induction motor, so if you don’t need to transport the saw from site to site, I’d definitely suggest a belt drive contractor saw. There is no clear “best” IMO…most actually have pretty similar basics, and many come from the same plants regardless of the name plate. It’s things like the fence, belt drive system, and wing material that make the most difference. The end performance will be largely determined by setup and blade choice.

The ABC's of table saws

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View toolie's profile


2203 posts in 3686 days

#5 posted 06-16-2013 01:52 PM

or from the 60s.

reviewing KS’s thread is a good starting point. and it would be, IMHO, unwise to discount a tool based solely on it’s age. i have two emerson electric built 10” CI TSs. they are clones of each other, just built ~25 years apart. while they function the same, the innards of the older saw have solid webbing in castings where the guts of the newer saw have hollowed out spaces in the webbing, primarily in an effort the save costs. sometimes, “they don’t build them like they used to” is valid and can provide a good value in a well performing power tool. just my $.02.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3246 days

#6 posted 06-16-2013 02:28 PM

I’m going to break the rules here. I know the price tag is important. It’s always important to me. Since I don’t have work space, I had to buy a contractor saw. I looked everywhere and read all the reviews. I spoke with a lot of people. The message I got was consistent. Bosch.

It was $150 more than I hoped to spend but with all the accolades and comparative reviews, I bit the bullet. So far I am extremely happy I went the extra 150.

Here is my non specific advise. If 150 separates you from what you feel is the best, keep thinking about it. Once you have bought and used your in-budget product for a while, will you wish you had thrown in the extra bucks especially when you were so close?

By the way. In my opinion. I liked the rigid fence and set up better than the Dewalt. In my limited experience, I have found Dewalt guts to be better.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View josephf's profile


218 posts in 3154 days

#7 posted 06-16-2013 02:41 PM

You just got alot of great advice . All very consistant .Your answer is in there . I agree with the comments made about the dewalt . I think you can find a good saw pretty cheap . Keep looking

View JamesT's profile


104 posts in 2969 days

#8 posted 06-16-2013 03:04 PM

A Ridgid 3650 is a good contractors saw that can be found for $250-325. A Ridgid R4511 granite top is a better saw (hybrid) that can be found for $350-425. Both saws are 120 volt, 1 1/2 HP, left tilt, and a craftsman riving knife will fit the 4511. Either saw will do a good job for most woodworkers. Just be patient and take your time looking.

-- Jim from Horseshoe Bend

View OhioMike's profile


89 posts in 3220 days

#9 posted 06-16-2013 03:16 PM

Good advice from all.

Also note that DeWalt’s web site says the saw you linked to will not accept a dado blade.


View eatsawdust's profile


35 posts in 3320 days

#10 posted 06-16-2013 03:19 PM

I really like the fence on the dewalt, I have owned both the larger dewalt and the smaller dewalt jobsite saws and both had solid motors. I really like the dewalt fold up stand as well. I have owned a Bosch and it is a solid second option. I also have heard that the new makita saw has a blade brake but I’m not sure about the fence. I have used the ridgid and would point you in a different direction.

-- Why does everything I enjoy doing have to be bad for the environment, I work in the oil industry and enjoy working with exotic woods from rain forests

View eatsawdust's profile


35 posts in 3320 days

#11 posted 06-16-2013 09:29 PM

Mike pointed out that this saw will not accept dado blades, while that is true, if your table saw is this small you would probably be better off using a router anyway. I wouldn’t put a dado blade in any jobsite saw, I would have no hesitation with a decent contractor saw though.

-- Why does everything I enjoy doing have to be bad for the environment, I work in the oil industry and enjoy working with exotic woods from rain forests

View bandit's profile


25 posts in 3333 days

#12 posted 06-16-2013 09:57 PM

Bosch 4100-09 it very good and comes with the stand.

-- Michael Garrett

View ptkaster's profile


36 posts in 3175 days

#13 posted 06-17-2013 01:21 AM

Thank you guys for your awesome advice. To answer your questions, I do not need jobsite capabilities but I thought maybe it would be better quality since it’s a Dewalt.


View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2878 posts in 3979 days

#14 posted 06-17-2013 08:42 PM

I agree with Cris208. I have had this saw for seven years now and love it. I paid $500 for it. Look for a used Rigid 3650.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 3130 days

#15 posted 06-17-2013 09:05 PM

Always answer this question the same. +10 Bosch 4100

-- Who is John Galt?

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