In this article, I’ve looked for the best budget table saws to recommend for newcomers to woodworking.
After sifting through six budget table saw options, I decided the DeWalt DWE7485 8-1/4 Inch Table Saw offers beginners the best mix of price, sturdiness, accuracy, and quality.
Investment in a good table saw is a must if you wish to take your woodworking to the next level, but choices and price ranges are many, and sorting through it can be bewildering for newcomers.
I remember my first table saw purchase many years ago when I agonized over the choices. When you’re on a tight budget and get the purchase wrong, it’s a mistake you get to live with for a long time.
If I were doing it all again, the DeWalt DWE7485 would be my table saw of choice. It’s not the cheapest table saw but close to it. This table saw has a powerful engine, portability, and the back-up of Stanley Black & Decker – a reputable power tool brand.
That’s not to say other table saws didn’t make an impression, so I’ve suggested four different table saws below. Your final choice will depend on the size of your wallet and your end-use.
Let’s dive into some detail and find the best budget table saw for your needs!
My List Of The Best Cheap Table Saws:
1. Best Overall – DeWalt DWE7485 8-1/4 inch Portable Table Saw
The DeWalt table saw just feels sturdy. It is designed to be transportable. It has a cast aluminum table to reduce weight, but there’s nothing flimsy about it.
I like the design of this saw. It has a locking rack and pinion adjustment for the fence, making repeatable setup easy. The fence can also be quickly connected and disconnected from the rack & pinion while retaining accuracy.
It is a corded model and it has a powerful motor.
The miter gauge looks adequate, as does the riving knife and blade guard. The blade guard is plastic, but given the price and portability, I can understand why.
It also has a fitting for dust extraction, which is a welcome change from the older DeWalt table saws which had the extraction underneath which caused them to be clogged up so often. I’m not sure how well the guard would stand up to bouncing around in the back of a truck, though.
The blade depth is easily adjustable with the rotary handle at the front. As this is an 8-1/4 inch blade, 2-9/16 inches is the deepest cut you can make with the blade at 90 degrees. Pretty standard for that blade size, but if you regularly cut 4 x 4 timber, you might want to look for something with a larger blade.
If I had one niggle, it is when setting the blade to cut a bevel. You need to unlock the mechanism while eyeballing a pointer against a scale to set the angle you need, then relocking. Not a showstopper, but a pinion gear and a rotary handle would be nice for greater accuracy.
The bevel goes to 48 degrees which is a good range.
One important note is that this model will not accept dado blades, so this is not the saw to buy if you plan to do dado work.
Let’s be clear, this is not a table saw for cabinet makers doing precision work, but for most of us, the accuracy will more than suffice. It’ll rip, crosscut, miter, and bevel, meeting 95% of the tasks most of us do in our workshop. Importantly, it’ll do it at a price which was second to cheapest of all of the table saws I reviewed.
The DeWalt doesn’t include a stand included in the price, but that’s not an issue to my mind. You can buy a stand as an optional extra, but every such stand I’ve tried is a bit flimsy for my liking. I’d rather just sit it on a bench or make a wooden stand. However, if you’re traveling a lot around construction sites, the lack of a stand might be important to you.
I strongly recommend the DeWalt DWE7485 8-1/4 inch Table Saw due to a good mix of price, quality, and sturdiness, with the after-sales back-up of a reputable manufacturer.
2. Best Under $300 – Goplus Table Saw, 10 Inch Table Saw
The cheapest table saw of all those reviewed, I was struck by Goplus 10 Inch Table Saw for several reasons. It offers a 10-inch blade with a 3-inch depth of cut, is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and accepts dado blades.
Now let’s be clear, this table saw is not in the same league as the previous two table saws reviewed, but if you can accept some obvious flaws, it’s a lot of table saw for the price. Let’s take a look at the flaws and then return to the positives.
The rip fence is a weakness on this table saw for several reasons. It’s not a rack and pinion as with the other table saws; it uses a manual handle you raise to unlock and push down to lock.
Owners report that you should check the fence settings after each adjustment and before cutting as it may require slight adjustment to get it accurately aligned. The fence also does not extend beyond the top to allow full sheets to be cut accurately.
Unlike the other budget table saws on this list, it doesn’t have a port to use with a dust extractor, so that users will require a dust mask and to do frequent cleaning.
The bevel adjustment goes to precisely 45 degrees. That may seem acceptable, but where I’ve used such similar table saws, the build tolerance of each table saw can mean you get just less than 45 degrees, which can be annoying in the extreme when mitering a corner.
On the positives, you get dado blade capability, a deeper cut than the other budget table saws reviewed, and portability due to the battery pack. When looking at owner reviews, none appear to mention the battery pack as an issue, and most agree that for a first table saw doing amateur work, it’s excellent for the price.
In my opinion, if budget is everything, this is the table saw to buy. You get a lot for your money, it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is, and while there are minor inconveniences when using it, for a first-time cash-conscious woodworker, it’s a good choice.
Want Cheaper? Read This: Best Table Saws Under $200
3. Best All-Rounder – SKILSAW SPT99T-01 8-1/4 Inch Table Saw
At first glance, the SKILSAW SPT99T-01 doesn’t appear too different from the DeWalt or the Milwaukee. It has the rack and pinion fence drive with quick disconnect, a cast aluminum tabletop, and the same blade depth adjustment and bevel adjustment methods.
Yet, there are some differences to the other models worth noting. As of time of writing this review, Skilsaw table saw’s price is lower than the Milwaukee and higher than the DeWalt, which is appropriate as it has fewer options than one and arguably more than the other.
Depth of cut on the Skilsaw is better than all others, excluding, of course, the 10-inch GoPlus table saw. At 2-5/8 inches, it’s 1/16-inch greater than the DeWalt, with 3/16-inch over the Milwaukee.
It’s also four pounds lighter than the others, even though it has a slightly larger footprint. Boasting a worm-drive transfer from the motor to the saw, Skil claims the arrangement allows greater torque at the cut. Additionally, the fence on the SPT99T-01 supports a 24-inch cut, technically allowing you to rip a sheet in half.
This table saw is corded, as is the DeWalt, so it’s without the portability of the Milwaukee, but unlike the DeWalt, the Skilsaw SPT99T-01 table saw supports dado blades.
Effectively, Skil has positioned this portable table saw nicely between the DeWalt offering and the Milwaukee product. A bit more expensive than the DeWalt buys you dado capability. Paying less than for the Milwaukee table saw means you forgo battery power.
In my opinion, this budget table saw is a great all-rounder. Capable, sturdy, and backed by a reputable manufacturer, as a quality entry-level table saw, you can’t go wrong with the SKILSAW SPT99T-01 8-1/4 Inch Portable Worm Drive.
4. Most Versatile – Milwaukee 2736-21HD Battery Table Saw
There are three important things to note about the Milwaukee 2736-21HD.
The first thing is the price – of all the budget table saws I looked at, it’s the most expensive. Still, a budget table saw, but pricey for all that.
The second is that you are buying into a specific power platform. The 2736-21HD forms part of the Milwaukee M18 battery platform for cordless tools. Yes, that’s the third point; this table saw is battery-powered.
Shipping with a high-output lithium battery pack, the manufacturers claim the power of a 15 amp table saw capable of a full day’s work on one charge, allowing you to rip up to 600 linear feet of timber. Owners who have reviewed the saw all concur that the battery lasts the distance and provides considerable power.
The final point worth mentioning is the Milwaukee one-key proprietary track and control system enabled on this table saw. The system allows you to monitor your saw location via your smartphone, giving you the option of disabling it remotely. While this might be useful for contractors on a job site, I’m not sure it adds significant value for new woodworkers at home.
Overall, the 2736-21HD appearance is not vastly different from that of its competitors, such as Skil and DeWalt. It’s a small table of compact form-factor with a rack and pinion drive for the fence, which has a quick attach/detach function.
The blade diameter is 8-1/4 inches, with a cut depth at 90 degrees of 2-1/2 inches which is only 1/8 less than the DeWalt. Once again, this table saw does not ship with a stand, although one can be bought separately.
Where this table saw shines is when ripping large 8′ x 4′ sheets. The fence will extend to allow a huge 24-1/2 inch rip capacity – this supports accurately ripping a full sheet in half. The fence on most table saws of this size only extends to 22 inches, stopping short just when needed.
As with the DeWalt, the bevel adjustment is manual rather than using a more accurate rotary handle.
Unlike the DeWalt, this model comes with a blade brake. Not of significant importance, but if you’re doing many cuts in a day, waiting for the blade to spin down between each cut can add up to decent lost time by the time the day is over.
Where this table saw shines over the DeWalt is its ability to accept dado blades of 6-1/4 inches diameter up to 3/4 inch thick. You will need to buy a dado throat plate separately to fit the tabletop as this is not supplied.
Backed by a well-known and respected manufacturer, offering a good quality, powerful table saw, if you regularly work on large sheets, need to use dado blades, or work remotely, this is the table saw for you.
More Budget Options Worth Looking At:
Standard blade diameters range from 6-1/2 inches to 10-inches for consumer-level table saws. However, this does not indicate the depth of cut, as over half of that diameter is under the tabletop.
Read the manufacturer’s literature to see what depth of cut their table saw provides for a 90-degree cut and a 45-degree cut. Your specific everyday woodworking requirements will dictate what to buy.
An important specification, motor power indicates the torque, or rotating force produced by a motor’s spindle. The higher the power of the motor, the greater the turning force produced. If you’re often cutting hardwood, more power is good!
The lower the motor’s power, the lower the torque, and the more gentle you need to be feeding the wood onto the blade to maintain blade speed and ensure a quality cut.
Fence Adjustment & Accuracy
The rip fence is the device on the table saw that parallels the saw blade. Adjustable, you can set the rip fence to the desired distance from the blade to get an accurate and parallel cut.
Rack and pinion adjustments allow a smooth and parallel adjustment mechanism, whereas lever adjustments require more fiddling and measurement to be sure of parallel. The former is usually more expensive than the latter.
Related: Best Table Saws Under $500
The blade can be angled, usually using a rotary handle, to allow vertically oriented angle cuts in timber. If you do frequent angle cuts, be sure to check the depth of cut at the cut-angle you are most likely to be using. The more you angle the blade, the vertical depth of timber on which you can cut the bevel diminishes.
The miter gauge allows you to set the angle at which you push the timber onto the blade. Think of it as a form of a protractor. Usually used at 90-degrees, you can set the miter gauge to angles beyond 45-degrees on either side of the cut centerline. It should be easily adjustable with a knob or lever and have graduated divisions for setting the correct angle.
Needing to use tools to adjust it every time you change the angle will get rapidly tiresome.
Related: Best Table Saws Under $1000
Dust extraction is important for your health by minimizing the dust in the air. It also clears sawdust from the blade, allowing clear sight of the cut as it proceeds. Most table saws have a tube to attach the hose from a vacuum cleaner or dust extraction unit.
Think of these as ‘stackable’ blades that you can combine to get different thickness cuts. They’re used to cut accurate grooves in timber. Cabinet makers use dado blades for accurate jointing of timber.
As with all machinery, the more you want the table saw to do, the more you need to be prepared to pay. Yet, in my opinion, if you’re just beginning woodwork, the DeWalt DWE7485 is the best budget table saw to get.
This table saw offers the right combination of capability, accuracy, quality, and sturdiness, at an attractive price. The only real drawback is the inability to accept dado blades, but if your woodworking trajectory follows mine, that wasn’t something I got into for some years.
Meantime, this saw will do all the crosscutting, ripping, and bevelling that you’re likely to come up against as you learn the craft. Backed by a time-proven manufacturer with good spares back-up, this DeWalt table saw is easy on your budget and powerful in your workshop. I trust this review has assisted you in your decision-making.
Still on the fence when it comes to buying a table saw? Read our comprehensive guide to buying a table saw which will dispel all of your doubts.