No time to read? Our #1 for the best cabinet table saw is SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
Demanding amateurs and professional woodworkers alike know how important it is to equip their workshop with a good table saw. Those who need extra power, stability, and accuracy, will often opt for a cabinet table saw. Nothing beats the feeling of operating a heavy-duty cabinet saw that cuts through hardwood like a hot knife cuts through butter.
The question is, which one is the best cabinet table saw out there? We have spent 40+ hours to help you decide. With that said, let’s get right into it and find out.
In this article, we will be reviewing these cabinet table saws:
- SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly with 52-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System, Rails and Extension Table
- Shop Fox W1820 3 HP 10-Inch Table Saw with Extension Table and Riving Knife
- Grizzly G0690 Cabinet Table Saw with Riving Knife, 10-Inch
- Delta 36-L552 5 HP Unisaw, 52-Inch Fence
- Powermatic PM1000 1791001K Table Saw 50-Inch Fence
How to Choose the Best Cabinet Table Saw
With many different choices available, choosing a cabinet saw that is best suited to your needs may seem intimidating. I mean, how do you know which features separate the good from the not-so-good? We are here to make the search easier for you. We have put together a list of handy tips that will help you choose the best cabinet saw.
You are shopping for a cabinet table saw because you are serious about your craft. You can’t afford to buy an underpowered table saw that would struggle with and burn your exotic hardwoods. Essentially, you need two things: a powerful motor and a sharp blade.
Generally speaking, for thin pieces of softwood, a motor with a horsepower of 1-2 should be enough. Anything beyond that and you will need more muscle for your table saw. Something with the power of 3 HP or more is sufficient to cut anything you throw at it. The good thing is that cabinet saws rarely come equipped with motors that pack less than 3 horsepower.
Cabinet table saws are large and heavy, which makes them more stable than any other type of table saw. The bad news is that it needs a lot of space. But, you wouldn’t be reading this article if you had insufficient breathing room in your woodshop, would you? 500+ lbs of weight should tell you that once the table is assembled and put it in its place, it is deemed to stay there for the foreseeable future.
Who needs portability anyways? The best thing about having all those extra pounds is the stability that you get. But, you should also look at the weight distribution as well. A lighter saw that has better footings and well-distributed weight can be more efficient than a super-heavy table saw that you plop down on the ground.
Nothing will give you as much precision as a heavy cabinet saw. In combination with a powerful motor, cabinet saws will cut through hardwoods with ease. You will trade off some accuracy by opting for a lighter table saw. Larger, heavier, and less mobile means more stable and more accurate.
In addition to that, look for a model with features that decrease vibrations. With more vibration, you get less precision and make your machine more prone to wear and tear. Less vibration also means less noise (which your neighbors will appreciate).
Safety should be your #1 priority when working in the shop. This is ESPECIALLY true when working with a cabinet saw. You should understand the risks and adhere to necessary safety precautions when operating a cabinet saw. Wear safety gear. Do not stand right behind the piece that is being fed into the saw. Use push sticks.
Also, make sure that your new cabinet table saw comes with essential safety features. Having a riving knife attached above the saw is a must at all times. Take it off and your risk being hit with a piece of flying wood. Kickback pawls, in combination with a riving knife, will further reduce the risk of kickback. Blade guard, while obstructs the view, will keep your fingers from getting too close to the saw.
See if the manufacturer of your cabinet table saw has included a no-hands kill switch or automatic switch-off mechanism that will stop the blade in case of injury. This feature does not come with all saws. It is useful and gives more peace of mind.
On top of that, manufacturers like SawStop equip their table saws with fancy technology that senses the electrical conductivity of your skin and mechanically stops the blade that is spinning at thousands of RPMs. This adds a layer of security and will give you some more peace of mind.
Read more about how to safely operate a table saw.
If you are browsing for cabinet table saws, you are not playing around. Chances are, your saw will be running 24/7. Thus the likelihood of creating massive amounts of sawdust is high. Dust sucks. Not only is it an environmental hazard, but it can also obstruct your view and even cause damage to your cabinet saw.
A reliable dust collection system is paramount to have in a cabinet table saw. Good news is that the table saws we have reviewed come with proper dust collectors. While dust collection is not the most significant reason to choose one model over another, it is an extra element that separates the merely decent from the excellent. Nevertheless, if you plan to use the saw frequently, you may want a dust collection port with a size of four inches or more.
Good table saws come with high-quality blades already added to the set. However, you may find that you need a more advanced blade for your project. Many manufacturers have already factored in the fact that you probably will want to purchase your blades separately.
Look for cabinet saws that can accommodate the correct blades for the job. Given that you want to cut big pieces of wood, it is critical that your table saw can carry the right size of blades and dado sets. Also, consider the effort and time that it takes to swap out the blades.
How much space do you have in your workshop? Make sure that you have enough because this bad boy will need a lot of it. A cabinet table saw is not just a purchase; it is a commitment. Once assembled, it will probably remain stationary for a long while. Measure the size of your workshop before making a purchase. You wouldn’t want to realize that you are a few square feet short from being able to accommodate a cabinet table saw in your workspace.
Now I know that you are anxious to start ripping hardwoods with the new cabinet saw of your dreams. You have to remember that If you order your cabinet from an online retailer, they will send it over to you in several pallets. Delivery can take a week or two. But, as the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait, right?
Best Cabinet Table Saw Reviews
Now let’s dive into the reviews of each of the five best cabinet table saws on the market right now.
SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw
We have nominated SawStop PCS31230TGP252 as our #1 not only because of it’s excellent extras and quality of the build. As if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with its top-notch safety features. Since you are paying high dollar for a cabinet table saw, you are entitled to get a quality product.
And with SawStop’s cabinet saw, you get precisely that. Many buyers have said that the accuracy of its T-Glide fence system exceeded their expectations. It is nice to know that the machine is well-calibrated right out of the box.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most users purchased this cabinet saw due to its safety features. Of course, woodworking purists will say that the #1 safety feature of a table saw should be the operator himself. And I agree with that. But, there is no single human being who is 100% error-free, is there?
The SawStop Safety System works by detecting electrical conductivity. As soon as your skin gets too close to the blade by just a fraction of a millimeter, the safety break gets activated, and the blade is stopped. The downside is that working with very fresh wood may also trip the brake as moisture also conducts electricity. When in doubt, make a test cut with the safety mechanism turned off.
With regard to the dust collection mechanism, this saw won’t let you down. Many buyers have praised this saw for how good its dust collection unit is, which is great considering how often table saws come with inferior dust collectors.
Some users have gone as far as naming this saw “The Ferrari of table saws.” I have never driven a Ferrari, and I don’t know how it feels. But, one thing that I know for sure is that much like a Ferrari, SawStop will command a high price.
Shop Fox W1820 3 HP 10-Inch Table Saw
We have picked Shop Fox W1820 as our number two on the list. All in all, this is a well-built saw that will fit the needs of serious amateurs and demanding professionals alike. 3HP Leeson motor and triple belt drive will provide you with adequate cutting power. It is well calibrated right out of the box. Large cast iron trunnions will offer the stability that few other cabinet saws can guarantee.
Many users have lauded its solid build and the quality of components that comprise this saw with some going as far as saying that this saw will outlast their grandchildren. Another thing that we like about this table saw is that its miter gauge comes with a fence, which offers better support. This is great for working with longer pieces of wood, which would not be possible with a simple miter gauge without a fence. Shop Fox W1820 makes tilting the blade between 0º and 45º for beveled cuts reasonably easy.
The only reason why this saw only made it to #2 is that quite a few users disapproved of the quality of its extension table. Additionally, many have told the user’s manual could be more user-friendly.
Grizzly G0690 10-inch Cabinet Table Saw
It may seem like a cabinet saw is not something that you can get on a budget. However, this is not the case for Grizzly G0690. Grizzly is the best cabinet table saw for the money on our list. Don’t get mistaken, though. It is not a cut-rate budget saw — quite the contrary, this a high quality, robust machine that will deliver adequate performance. With a 3 HP motor, you should rip hard materials without the risk of leaving any burns.
With that said, the saw has some drawbacks. The assembly process may prove challenging, especially if you are new to table saws. Some buyers have reported the user instructions are not as intuitive as you may hope. Moreover, other clients have said that Grizzly G0690 is not that well calibrated out of the box. You may have to spend some time playing around with the fence and blade alignment.
Delta 36-L552 5 HP Unisaw, 52-Inch Fence
For those of you looking for a high powered cabinet table saw, Delta 36-L552 is the way to go. With a motor that hosts a power of 5 horses, Delta 36-L552 is the most potent cabinet saw on this list. I cannot imagine a wood that this saw wouldn’t be able to rip.
As discussed earlier, vibration can severely hinder the accuracy of your cuts. The good thing about Delta’s cabinet saws is that they come with single-cast trunnion systems, which gives more vibration control. The cabinet constructions’ cast-iron base will also provide you with extra stability and reliable foothold.
Now for the drawbacks. A common theme that seems to be running amongst Delta customers is that shipments sometimes come with some of the hardware missing. Additionally, buyers have also been complaining about their level of customer support. Oh, and did I mention that you will be paying extra for all that extra power?
Powermatic PM1000 1791001K Table Saw 50-Inch Fence
The awesome thing about Powermatic PM1000 1791001K is that it can run with a 115-volt power outlet. This feature makes Powermatic more versatile than its pricier and more power-hungry counterparts.
This cabinet table saw comes with a miter gauge that can rotate 60 degrees to either side, which allows for a full range of cuts. You will not have to deal with a whole bunch of tools when trying to change a blade on this table saw. Powermatic’s arbor lock lets you swap out blades single-handedly.
On top of its versatility in cutting, the saw also has a blade surround and dust collection hose. You can add a 50-inch fence for better control when dissecting long wood sections, and the expanded design of the table allows for greater control of longer pieces of wood.
One of the main aspects where this table saw is lacking is power, which should not come as a surprise as it runs on a 115-volt electrical outlet. With just 1.75 horsepower motor, ripping more robust woods may prove to be challenging.
The Final Cut
If we were to choose just one machine out of all we reviewed, we would pick the SawStop PCS31230-TGP252 3-HP Professional Cabinet Saw. Its high stability, conductivity sensing auto-stop safety feature, powerful motor, and accuracy make it our #1 pick for the best cabinet table saw. It is priced higher than its counterparts. But, you get what you pay for.
Precautions for Using a Cabinet Table Saw
Table saws are among the most commonly used woodworking tools in woodshops. Table saws also cause most of the workspace incidents. Statistically speaking, more debilitating injuries appear to happen when operating cabinet saws, more than any other carpentry power tool.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a cabinet table saw cannot be operated safely, though. By taking common-sense precautions, you can considerably decrease the risk of injury. Below are the safety tips you should keep in mind before handling a cabinet table saw:
- Never start your cabinet saw with the blade engaged in the stock. The blade should be spinning freely.
- Wear safety equipment, i.e., safety glasses, hearing protection, and appropriate clothing. Never wear jewelry or loose-fitting clothes.
- Keep your work area clean. Excess sawdust and cutoffs can impair your ability to make secure, clean cuts.
- Before you start to use a table saw, always check its safety features (riving knife, blade guard and anti-kickback pawls) to ascertain they are set and working correctly.
- Always remember to disconnect the power before you change the blade or make internal adjustments on the saw.
- When standing at the cabinet saw, choose a position where you can maintain proper balance. Moreover, you should not stand in front of the saw’s blade directly so that you can avoid any potential kickbacks.
- You should not reach or make changes to the fence or blade while the blade is spinning. Instead, wait for the blade to stop before you reach to make adjustments.
- Use the proper blade inserts to avoid projectiles.
- You shouldn’t attempt free-hand cuts when the table saw is on. Instead, you should use the fence or the miter gauge to guide your stock, but the two components should not be used together.
- Check your wood for objects like screws, nails, staples, and loose knots before you start any cut.