Best Mobile Bases For Table Saws & Power Tools (2021 Review)

Best mobile base for table saws

If you buy a large, heavy table saw, particularly a cabinet-making saw, moving it can be an issue. I reviewed six mobile bases, and from those, I selected the Shop Fox D2057A Adjustable Mobile Base as the best mobile base for table saws.

As a young woodworker, I purchased a cabinet-making table saw with a built-in planer. It was cast iron and a quality brand. However, the shed I had was tiny, and being immovable, the saw dominated it, making a small space even smaller. In those days, a mobile base such as those we’ll look at today would have made my life considerably easier.

The Shop Fox D2057A stood out from the other options for robustness, quality, and price. Those first two attributes are important, as once you’ve got your table saw on the mobile base, life can get difficult if you’re in the middle of a job and an axle breaks on one wheel, or the supporting frame begins to bend.

Let me take you through my analysis of these six mobile bases, to assist you in your purchase decision.

Features

There are eight features I value in a table saw mobile base. These are:

  • Overall look
  • Load capacity
  • Frame construction
  • Wheel construction
  • Axle strength
  • Castor Brake
  • Extras available 
  • Price

I will review these for each product, with the total providing an ultimate ranking.

The Six Best Mobile Bases For Table Saws:

Best Overall – Shop Fox D2057A Adjustable Mobile Base

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Robust, well-designed

Load capacity

700 lbs

Frame

Solid rectangular tubing

Wheels

3-inch metal castors with poly tread

Axle strength

Bolts - about ⅜-inch

Castor brake

Screw down legs - knobs too small, need to bend

Extras

Extension bars available

Price

Surprisingly reasonable

Overall rating

The D2057A stood out as a great all-rounder, with a good weight carrying capacity meeting the needs of a large table saw. I look for strong axles as some bases have pressed steel pins which can shear, buckling structure and leaving you stranded, or toppling a high machine such as a bandsaw, onto the floor. This model has sturdy-looking bolts which are capable load carriers. 

I’m not a great fan of the screw jacks as I’d prefer them to be foot-operated, rather than requiring me to bend down and screw them down or up. Also, the plastic knobs on the jacks are tiny and hard on the hands. 

While the metal castors are great, I think they’re a little small and would jam on debris in the workshop. So there are points I would prefer to see improved, but on the whole, this mobile base provides great value for money and is more than adequate for a large table saw. The D2057A is the one I’d buy.

PROS

  • Strong thick-walled tubing construction
  • Good axle strength
  • Good load capacity
  • Good price for the quality

CONS

  • Metal castors are quite small
  • Hand operated screw-down jacks 
  • Knobs on screw jacks are flimsy plastic

Highest Quality – Bora Portamate PM-3750 Mobile Base & T Extension Combo

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Robust, well-designed

Load capacity

1500 pounds

Frame

Thick walled rectangular tubing

Wheels

3-inch metal castors

Axle strength

Bolts - look about ⅜-inch

Castor brake

Foot operated

Extras

Extension T-bar included

Price

Expensive

Overall rating

If you’re looking for the Rolls-Royce version of the six bases, this is it. Yet, it’s overkill for our purposes, given its 1500-pound weight-bearing capacity with a huge purchase price to match. I can well believe the load capacity figure of 1,500 pounds, given the strong, thick-walled rectangular tubing used in the frame. 

The Portamate PM-3750 addresses one of my main criticisms of the D2057A above, with the stabilizing jacks being foot-operated with a sturdy-looking pedal. The wheels are equally sturdy, yet, they’re 3-inch metal castors without any tread, making it even more likely to jam on floor debris. 

On the plus side, this model comes with a Tee-extension as standard. This supports the legs of a table extension, allowing everything to move together. This model is designed for heavy cast-iron machine tools and would acquit that purpose admirably. If I had unlimited funds, this is the mobile base I’d buy as it’s pure class, but I don’t have unlimited funds, and at over twice the price of the D2057A, I couldn’t justify it.

PROS

  • Extremely strong thick-walled tubing construction
  • Outstanding load-bearing capacity
  • Good axle strength
  • Foot-operated floor jacks
  • Extension tee comes as standard

CONS

  • Metal castors are quite small 
  • Eye-watering price

Best Budget – WEN MB500 Universal Mobile Base For Power Tools

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Adequate for lighter loads

Load capacity

500 pounds

Frame

Drilled parallel flange channel

Wheels

3-inch poly castors

Axle strength

Bolts - look about 1/2-inch

Castor brake

Foot operated

Extras

None

Price

Budget price

Overall rating

While the WEN MB500 is at the budget end of the spectrum, it incorporates some good features. I must admit to being skeptical about the 500-pound load capacity. I’m sure it is engineered for that, but if you get asymmetric loads or hit a stone while moving your table saw, I wonder whether the side rails would buckle or sag. If I owned it, I’d de-rate that load capacity by 100-pounds. 

That aside, the foot-operated jack screws win the MB500 some points, as do the axle bolts. In my opinion, the WEN MB500 is a great buy at the price point if you’re budget conscious and don’t intend to push the load limit.

PROS

  • Great price
  • Bolted axles
  • Foot operated jacking mechanism

CONS

  • Small poly castors
  • Rails appear light

Runner-Up Quality Buy – BORA Portamate PM-2500 Universal Mobile Base

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Adequate for lighter loads

Load capacity

650 pounds

Frame

Drilled parallel flange channel

Wheels

3-inch plastic castors

Axle strength

Bolts

Castor brake

Foot operated

Extras

None

Price

Budget price

Overall rating

This model is from the same stable as our best quality pick, and has many of the same features. Yet, there are points that I’m not keen on. Let’s first look at the good points. 

The PM-2500 has a foot-operated jack screw mechanism as the PM-3750. The mechanism is on the wheels, which tilt up or down, settling the base onto pads when up. While I prefer the mechanism of the PM-3750, this method is adequate. The axles use bolts, which is another plus.

Where I’m less happy is regarding the wheels. While it has a rubber tread, the wheel itself is plastic. Maybe I’m biased, but I’ve never had luck with heavy cast iron machinery and plastic wheels. I also have reservations about the rails, as they’re pressed steel, and the profile looks to be a potential weak spot to my eye.

This model comes from a good pedigree, yet with some budget inclusions and a price above our best budget buy above.

Runner-up Budget Buy – HTC2000 Adjustable Mobile Base For Power Tools

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Adequate for lighter loads that don’t move often

Load capacity

500 pounds

Frame

Drilled parallel flange channel

Wheels

3-inch plastic castors

Axle strength

2 x pins, 2 x bolts

Castor brake

Foot operated, with plastic  levers

Extras

None

Price

Budget price

Overall rating

The HTC2000 has a similar load-carrying capacity as our best budget buy selection, yet there are three areas I believe it falls short.

The lever-operated jacking mechanism appears to be a plus but look closer, and the levers are plastic, using an over-center cam to lift and drop the wheel. Worse still, the load on the cam is asymmetric, loading up one side of the lever and not the other. I fear that too many moves will see those plastic levers crack, and then your mobile base is no longer mobile.

Look closely at the swiveling wheels and you’ll notice the axles consist of a pin rather than a bolt. Also, note the angle the swivel wheels are at when loaded. They don’t assume a vertical position, creating considerably more load on the wheel frame. Finally, the price of this unit is 15 to 20% greater than the best budget buy.

If you have a light machine you don’t intend to move too often, the HTC2000 will be adequate, but you can buy MB500 for less, with fewer downsides.

Best Do-It-Yourself Base – Bora Portamate Mobile Base Kit PM-1100

Feature

Comments

Score

Overall look

Good for lighter loads - ability to make your own

Load capacity

400 pounds

Frame

No frame

Wheels

3-inch plastic castors

Axle strength

2 x pins, 2 x bolts

Castor brake

Foot operated levers

Extras

None

Price

Budget price

Overall rating

This kit is an interesting option. It has the wheel and lever options from our quality buy runner-up, the PM2500, but without the side rails, which I considered a bit dubious regarding strength. Buying this kit enables you to make up your own base using plywood or adding rails of steel.

The PM-1100 has some of the benefits of the PM2500 and a couple of the negatives. It has plastic wheels with pin axles, yet, it omits the side rails allowing you to create a robust solution. At the price, it’s cheaper than all the other options, and the kit is rated at 400 pounds, so if you’re prepared to do a bit of work yourself, this option may suit your wallet and your use.

What To Look For In A Mobile Base

I’ve touched on the areas I feel are important when purchasing a mobile base for your table saw, and it’s probably worth understanding why I focus on those features. Once you have a heavy load on a mobile base, there are some major design components I consider crucial and a couple of secondary issues. 

The wheels are important. Too small and every chip of wood, a bit of stone, or cotter pin lying on the floor will bring your movement to a grinding halt. Then you need to back up the equipment, remove the debris, and continue. I consider four-inch wheels, of metal construction, with roller bearings to be the gold standard. 

The jacking mechanism should be foot-operated and operate on the jack itself. The budget method of swiveling the wheels up and down works but adds complexity and a failure point. The lever must be metal and something you can lean on in heavy boots and not bend. Plastic will work for a time; sturdy metal will last forever.

I’ve spoken at length on the axles, as take all the load of those 400 to 600 pounds you have on the base. At 150 pounds per axle, I want a bolt in there, not a small pin. Some of the pressed steel pins will be good for a few months, and then you have an issue.

The side rails need to be hefty. Get a heavy machine rolling, then hit something on the ground to bring it to an abrupt halt, and with light steel rails they’ll be buckled in no time.

Then there are the plates in the corners of the base. They need to be thick, so they don’t bend and warp the side rails. They also need decent connecting welds. Light tack welds aren’t good enough because you have a problem if they crack.

Related: Looking to buy a table saw? Read this in-depth review first.

Conclusion

A mobile base is an essential accessory for a large table saw if you don’t have much space in your workshop. All reviewed products will make your large table saw mobile. My concern, however, is for the mobile base to last as long as your table saw, not just a few months before collapsing. 

For this reason, I’ve selected the Shop Fox D2057A Adjustable Mobile Base as the best overall for a large table saw. It’s sturdy and well designed, with all the attributes you need at a price you can afford.

Click on the links to review the products, then grab the product that best suits your wallet and workshop needs. I hope we’ve helped you with your buying decision

About the author

David Yeoman

David Yeoman

I'm a technical writer who writes in-depth articles for readers wanting uncomplicated explanations for creative topics made difficult by industry jargon. I'm a woodworker, metalworker, landscape photographer, writer, Python and PostgreSQL programmer, and pilot. Freelance after 42 years in the corporate world, I have an MBA in Technology.

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