When choosing a contractor table saw, you want to balance size, weight and power to get the perfect model. While in the past contractor saws were heavy models that required 2 or 3 men to move about, there are now some great lightweight models. But you can still get those heavy, powerful traditional contractor models. We’ve shown you our two favorites from both categories above.
At the end of this review article, we’ve provided a list of features that we look for in the best contractor saws. But first, we’ll show you our top picks.
The best contractor table saws are:
- Dewalt DWE7491RS
- Sawstop 10-Inch Contractor Saw (CNS175-SFA30)
- Metabo HPT Jobsite Table Saw
- RIDGID R4512 Cast Iron Table Saw
- Makita 2705X1 10-Inch Contractor Table Saw with Stand
- Sawstop 10-Inch Contractor Saw (CNS175-TGP236)
- Delta 36-5152T2 Contractor Table Saw
7 Best Contractor Table Saws
Top Contractor Table Saws
|1.||Dewalt DWE7491RS||This model achieves great mobility and light weight without sacrificing the power of traditional contractor saws. The Dewalt DWE7491RS continues to impress us and constantly rates highly in our table saw reviews. (Go to review)|
|2.||Sawstop Contractor Saw (CNS175-SFA30)||This is a large traditional contractor saw. The appeal of this model is its great safety and precision features. It’s Sawstop’s most portable and jobsite friendly model. (Go to review)|
|3.||Metabo HPT Jobsite Table Saw||Get this saw if you want a truly portable table saw that offers enough power and size to handle most jobs on the jobsite. (Go to review)|
|4.||RIDGID R4512 Cast Iron Table Saw||This is a great heavy-duty option with the look and feel of a traditional contractor table saw, but it also comes with a more affordable, budget price. (Go to review)|
|5.||Makita 2705X1 10-Inch Contractor Table Saw with Stand||We love how lightweight this model is, and the heavy-duty wheels make it an excellent jobsite option. (Go to review)|
|6.||Sawstop 10-Inch Contractor Saw (CNS175-TGP236)||Sawstop is an industry leader when it comes to safety, and they also offer a precise and smooth cut. This is the larger of the two Sawstop models in this review. (Go to review)|
|7.||Delta 36-5152T2 Contractor Table Saw||This table saw can handle the largest stock, with a massive 52” rip capacity. It can cut through hardwood and softwood with ease. (Go to review)|
1. Dewalt DWE7491RS
Our Rating: 9.5/10
It’s fair to say that the Dewalt DWE7491RS is one of the most used and most favored table saws for contractors in a range of categories (price, portability, reliability, longevity and innovation).
While some of this is based on our opinion, there’s no shortage of YouTube or Amazon reviews that show this to be a value for money saw.
Weighing in at only 110lbs, this table saw is ideal for those looking for a portable saw that can be used in a workshop or on the jobsite. The portable rolling stand features angled legs that provide a solid base of support for accurate cuts on all jobsite terrain.
Despite being made with portability in mind, this saw also has some heavy-duty features like a 32-½” rip capacity for cutting large stock, a 15AMP motor to power blade speeds of 4800RPM and a flip over fence that can be used for narrow cuts.
The key feature with this model is of course the reliable and industry-standard rack and pinion telescoping fence system that allows for accurate and fast adjustments that do not compromise on the quality of each cut.
Rack and Pin Rail System: Dewalt is definitely the market leader when it comes to the rail and fence builds allowing for accurate and consistent cuts every time.
Lightweight & Portable: At a weight of only 110lbs and an easy folding rolling table saw stand this saw can easily be stored in a van for jobsite use.
Contractor Approved: This table saw is not only one of the most purchased and reviewed table saws on the market but also one of the most recommended by most jobsite contractors.
Dado Cuts: This tool has the capability to use a dado blade however you need to purchase additional accessories (such as a wide dado throat plate) in order to use this feature which raises the initial cost.
2. SAWSTOP 10-Inch Contractor Saw (CNS175-SFA30)
Our Rating: 9/10
The Sawstop CNS175-SFA30 is condensed into a small and more portable model than its predecessor (though by portable we don’t mean lightweight as it still weighs in at 245lbs!).
The portability comes from a smaller (yet still relatively large) 30” rip capacity, aluminum fence and a fully integrated mobile stand. Due to the weight and size, it’s likely that you’d still need two people to move this to, from and around a jobsite though the mobile cart (sold separately) would really boost the portability of this saw.
Again, the safety feature with this saw having the emergency stop brake is unmatched by other brands and anything that is not wood and not meant to be cut (metal, aluminum, nails, skin) will instantly activate the emergency stop brake upon contact. This means you can cut with confidence knowing that your risk of injury and loss of earnings are minimized.
The assembly for this model is also made incredibly simple thanks to the detailed, yet visually illustrative assembly diagrams and instructions. We do keep coming back to this point but again, a second person may be required to help with assembly as it’s still a relatively heavy model to move everything on your own.
Accurate and smooth cuts come courtesy of the powerful 17.5 HP motor and the capability for an 8” dado blade, 2 x steel wings and 150 different configurations make this an ideal contractor saw.
Safety: The patented emergency stop feature is specially made for those that value productivity and speed without risking their fingers in the process.
Cutting Accuracy: The saw is not only precise and accurate with cuts but it’s very quiet when operating, especially when compared with portable table saws for the jobsite.
Table Size: The large table size with this saw (20” W x 27” D) allows for ease of cutting a range of large woods.
Aluminum Fence: This table saw does not come with the solid T-glide steel fence like the model above but rather a cheaper aluminum fence which is less sturdy.
Shipping: A few people claim that parts get damaged during shipping (though customer service is great so this shouldn’t deter you from purchasing).
3. Metabo HPT Jobsite Table Saw
Our Rating: 9/10
This saw is ideal for any contractor looking to combine portability with the capability for large cuts with their table saw.
Sawstop and Delta provide a large cutting capacity with a sacrifice for the weight and portability of their tool. Metabo on the other hand has created a tool with a huge 35” rip capacity for large cuts but managed to build it onto a lightweight and portable rolling stand which is ideal for jobsite use.
The ergonomics of this table saw are also great and include onboarding for accessories (including anti-kickback tools), tool-free accessory changes that are utilized by a lever lock system under the throat plate, and a large working surface area for the table with an outfeed extension included.
The table boasts a powerful 15AMP motor with blade speeds of 4500RMP allowing for ease of cuts for most large and hardwoods. With that said we must admit that some of the large table saws we reviewed earlier definitely boast more power and would be better suited to contractors doing detailed work and dado cuts.
The telescoping fence on this model is the only drawback in terms of a heavy-duty contractor table saw. While the other models we’ve reviewed utilize a rack and pin or T-glide fence system, the telescoping fence on this model is quite basic in design which is something we know many contractors will want to upgrade.
Price: The highly affordable price for this reliable and accurate model makes it an ideal table saw for beginners and professional contractors alike.
Large Rip Capacity: The 35” rip capacity is great for cutting large stock on the jobsite and the addition of an outfeed extension makes this even easier for a solo contractor.
Portability: This is the lightest table saw that is still suitable for contractors weighing just under 100lbs which makes it ideal for the jobsite when combined with the rolling stand.
Size: The table itself offers a large cutting surface to support large stock however, it’s therefore deceptively large when it comes to transportation and storage.
4. Ridgid R4512 Cast Iron Table Saw
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The RIDGID R4512 is a heavy-duty, portable, cast iron table saw that comes with a more budget-friendly price.
Despite the weight (just under 270lbs), this table has a built-in mobile base with the added feature of onboard storage and a downward funneling dust collection port meaning that while this is a workshop saw, it can definitely be brought to a jobsite.
One of the things we like most about this contractor table saw is the dual clamp fence. Most table saw fences will lock in at the front, however, this typically leads to misalignment with the rear and can often lead to kickback or inaccurate cuts. This dual clamp fence really allows for accurate and consistent cuts.
With a rip capacity of 30”, it’s long enough to rip large stock however the extension wings leave a lot to be desired when trying to get them flat in line with the table. This could cause an issue if you are looking to bring it to a jobsite in a truck and need to constantly reattach them.
Overall this is a very accurate, reliable and affordable contractor table saw that is great for someone looking to upgrade from a basic portable table saw.
Dual Clamp Fence: The front and rear clamp fence allow for solid and accurate cuts.
Assembly: Ridgid has provided a helpful YouTube assembly video to make sure the assembly process is effortless.
Portability: The compact mobile base with a foot release lever allows for ease of movement around the workshop.
Onboard Storage: The table features onboard tool storage meaning that you can take this onto the jobsite and keep everything you need with the saw.
Power: A 13AMP motor is one of the weaker models that we’ve reviewed and is a sacrifice for more portability. It also only comes with a 6-foot power cord which is on the short side.
Alignment Issues: Some customers say that they have alignment issues when it comes to the fence and therefore find it difficult to repeat previous cuts.
5. Makita 2705X1 10-Inch Contractor Table Saw with Stand
The Makita contractor table saw is an ergonomic, powerful and portable table saw that’s ideal for jobsite use. A 15AMP motor that offers blade speeds of 4800RPM means that you can easily rip large stock on the jobsite.
The addition of a rolling stand with heavy-duty wheels makes this an excellent option to take to the jobsite, however, we do need to point out that once attached to the table, the saw can end up being quite heavy. It does have the capability to fold up to save on space for storage and transportation but we’ve definitely seen more portable table saws.
The cutting capacity and accuracy with this table saw is the real standout feature that will appeal to most professionals. The riving knife/spreader has three adjustable positions, two anti-kickback pawls allow you to work with speed on each cut and the 3/8 x 3/4-inch T-slot miter gauge allows for accurate crosscuts.
The ergonomics of the Makita are also excellent and really help to increase jobsite productivity. Full onboard storage, tool-less accessory changes and a gliding rip fence all help to cut quickly and efficiently (without a compromise on safety).
Tool-less Adjustments: The use of lever locking systems allows for easy, tool-free accessory and blade changes.
Ergonomics: Onboard storage for anti-kickback pawls and riving knife, a release lever for riving knife adjustments, tool-free accessory changes and the durable rolling stand make this an incredibly ergonomic and productive tool.
Accuracy: The Makita has one of the most accurate table saws on the market, even with factory presets straight out of the box.
Portability: At a glance, this would seem to be an incredibly portable table saw however the size when connected to the rolling stand means you’ll struggle for space in a van and will also be unable to get through most interior doors on a jobsite.
Fence Alignment: Despite the accurate cuts (which no one will dispute in our opinion) the fence alignment is very difficult to set with a slightly flimsy telescoping rail.
6. Sawstop 10-Inch Contractor Saw (CNS175-TGP236)
Our Rating: 8.5/10
Sawstop has been an ever-growing contender in the contractor table saw market as they offer portability along with precise and smooth cuts which are ideal on the jobsite.
The Sawstop CNS175-TGP236 is a slightly larger table saw weighing in at 310lbs but this offers a large 36” rip capacity. a sturdy T-glide fence and rail system, 10” blade and 150 configurations means you can easily handle any woodworking jobs with the reliability of a cabinet saw but with added portability thanks to the integrated mobile base.
The standout feature with this saw is of course the patented safety technology of the emergency stop brake when the blade comes into contact with human skin. This is a game-changing feature that gives a contractor peace of mind that a safety mechanism is in place to protect your body and ultimately livelihood.
There are a number of great accessories with this model however they do need to be purchased separately. While there is a great dust collection system in place, the overarm dust collection accessory is needed for optimal performance and needs to be purchased separately.
While this model is a solid and reliable table saw, the weight and size do mean that this is only a slightly more portable saw than a cabinet table saw and therefore it’s worth considering whether you’d want to look at a more portable table saw for jobsite use.
Safety: The patented safety brake is the standout feature on this model for those that place safety as a number 1 priority.
Tool-Free Accessory Change: The tool-free accessory change is a great modern feature that allows you to make quick changes in between cuts for maximum efficiency on the jobsite.
Portable Stand: The lever release system for the built-in stand is an ergonomic design that allows you to easily raise the saw and move it around (on stable flooring).
Assembly Instructions: Easy to follow assembly instructions with clear diagrams and images is a minor detail that really stands out when other brands seem to give little thought to assist the user with assembly.
Weight: weighing 310lbs means you’ll need two people to move this around the jobsite. The integrated mobile base helps to move the saw around workshops on your own though.
Accessories: The overarm dust collection and mobile cart (ideal for a jobsite) are accessories that need to be purchased separately.
7. Delta 36-5152T2 Contractor Table Saw
Our Rating: 8/10
Delta has a range of table saws which each have specific features, the 36-5152T2 model is a powerful and heavy-duty contractor table saw that can easily handle most large stock thanks to a 15AMP motor combined with a huge 52” rip capacity.
The heavy-duty, cast iron table is a solid build that comes with 2 x cast iron extension wings which show that this saw is made with cutting large stock in mind.
The adjustable belt drive is another feature that has longevity in mind to reduce vibration and improve motor life. Delta also provides a 5-year warranty just to make a point that their tools are built to last.
The built-in mobile base with foot pedal release makes this easy to move around the workshop, however, just like the Sawstop models above, you’d need assistance if you wanted to take this to the jobsite.
The heavy-duty T-square rail and fence system are sturdy, reliable and most importantly accurate. The Biesemeyer fence also has a flip-down feature that allows you to cut smaller stock as well as the much larger stock which gives this saw a great amount of versatility.
Rip Capacity: A 52” rip capacity is one of the largest that you’ll find on a ‘portable’ table saw.
Assembly Video: Delta has actually created a YouTube video to assist you with assembly for a visual guide. This is great for those that struggle with the assembly instructions.
Versatility: The large cast iron table, 52” rip capacity, sturdy rail system and modified fence allows for a range of cuts from small stock to large stock and hardwood to softwood.
Portability: The built-in mobile base is a great addition, however, you’d still need assistance if you wanted to bring this with you to a jobsite.
Dust Collection: Even with the 2.5” dust collection port, many contractors find that sawdust still gathers on the floor and inside your saw meaning more cleanup time at the end of a job.
What is a Contractor Table Saw?
Contractor saws used to be the go-to saw for contractors up until the 1980s. They were a portable, more versatile option than cabinet saws that were too heavy to move about.
Contractor saws were characterized by an outboard motor and large belt drive on the rear. While still heavy – weighing anywhere from 100 to 200 Lbs – two contractors could usually relocate them to a jobsite, making them the go-to option for contractors for many years.
Today, what we traditionally called “contractor saws” have been more or less made redundant with the emergence of high quality portable jobsite saws. The old contractor saws with the outboard motor and additional weight are less and less common – and those older models that are still around are usually confined to workshops nowadays.
Today, we use the term ‘contractor table saw’ to refer to a sturdy, powerful jobsite saw that sits somewhere between a hobbyist tabletop saw and a heavy, immovable hybrid table saw. They are high-power but also mobile so they can be moved to and from the jobsite. This makes them ideal for professional contractors.
What to Look for in a Contractor Table Saw
A contractor table saw is supposed to balance power and portability. There are a range of different types of motors that come with contractor saws, but in terms of power, you’ll want to look for a saw with at least a 15 Amp motor and 4500+ RPM. This power is necessary in order to smoothly cut through thicker hardwoods, especially when ripping (cutting against the grain).
Contractor saws were originally devised for their portability. Now, we have many lightweight portable table saws, and traditional contractor saws are seen as being quite heavy and immobile in comparison. Nonetheless, contractor saws fit somewhere between a cabinet table saw and a portable table saw – large and powerful, but often on wheels and certainly movable when the need arises. In this review, we’ve shared a variety of options for you with different ranges of portability.
The table saw’s fence stop is the guide rail that we use to achieve a smooth, straight cut. The fence is extendable to get it to the perfect width for your cut. But this is also the part the often separates good design and poor design. A fence can be flimsy and unstable, leading to rough and uneven cuts. One main issue is that when the fence is extended a long way, it can have too much give. Even a mm or two is enough to throw out your job. So a nice, sturdy, stable fence is very important.
The typical range for table saw blades is from about 7″ to 12″. A larger blade will cut through thicker stock, so we like to go for a 10″ or 12″ blade.
Rip capacity is measured as the distance between the fence and the blade when the fence is fully extended. A really good rip capacity is around 35″, although you can get some that go all the way out to 50″ plus. Of course, with bigger rip capacities also comes the issues with unstable and sagging fences (see discussion above). If you have thick stock, you might need a big rip capacity. For example, if you want to cut a 40″ piece of stock in half, you’ll need a table saw with a rip capacity of 20″, minimum.
Contractor saws have come a long way since the 1980s. Today, most contractors like a lightweight version they can put on their truck, and with models like the Dewalt that we reviewed in this article, that’s entirely possible. We hope this review of the best contractor table saws has been helpful for you – and good luck with your projects!
Simon & Chris