Tool Test: Portable 10-in. Tablesaws
These are the first five saws with safety features so well designed that you just might use them.
Synopsis: Tablesaws are usually thought of as large, shop-based tools, yet tool manufacturers have found a way to bring the functionality of the tablesaw to the job site via portable tablesaws. In this tool review, FHB editor-at-large Kevin Ireton takes a look at five portable 10-in. tablesaws. While he finds that four of the saws get the job done, Ireton says that the big news with portable tablesaws is the addition of a riving knife, a safety feature meant to reduce injuries related to kickback. Blade guards and antikickback pawls also make today’s portable tablesaws safer to use.
If you ask me, “portable tablesaw” is an oxymoron. A good tablesaw is big, heavy, and stable. Portability favors small, lightweight, and collapsible. Hence, the better the tablesaw, the less portable it is. I don’t have the luxury of a shop, though, so I need the best tablesaw that I can still move up and down my cellar steps, and in and out of my truck, without help. I also want to traverse a finished house, through doorways and up stairs, without damaging anything.
For 20 years, I’ve used an 8-in. Makita tablesaw (2708) that I drop into a fold-up Rousseau stand (www.rousseauco.com), which comes with its own stout fence. I have an outfeed table (also from Rousseau) that gives me 18 in. by 45 in. of solid support for whatever I’m ripping. Yes, I have to make three trips to set up this rig, but all the parts are light and maneuverable. I’ve built kitchen cabinets with this saw, and I’ve used it to cut everything but firewood. This is the standard against which I judged the tools in this review. While I’m not sure I’d trade any of these saws for my old Makita, their new safety features…