Our Guide to Buying the Best Table Saw for Beginners

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2022 Update: 

This will come to no surprise to anyone that buying tools in 2021 and 2022 has become increasingly difficult and expensive. Waits for popular tools can run months and prices have increased dramatically. 

When this post was first published I recommended a Grizzly hybrid saw as that is the saw I use in my shop. At the time it cost around $1,000 and was large and capable enough to handle almost any task yet affordable enough for most beginners. Now that same saw costs almost $2,000 and I feel that are far better options if you'll be spending that much money.

At most wood shops the action centers around the table saw. More often than now every single woodworking project will pass over the table saw at least once. Choosing the best beginner table saw is crucial to setting up a safe and efficient shop if you’re a new woodworker.

When I first started building out my woodworking shop 5 years ago the table saw was the first major tool I purchased. And for quite a while it was the only large power tool that I owned. I was able to do a ton of projects using the saw along with smaller tools like a miter saw, orbital sander, and drill.

Our Picks for the Best Table Saws for Beginners

The Best Beginner Table Saws

Here are our favorite beginner table saws for any shop size or budget.

DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
Top Choice
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
Best Value
Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30" Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30" Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
$329.00
$553.27
$2,487.00
$1,570.00
Saw Type
Jobsite
Contractor
Contractor
Contractor
Motor Size
15 Amp
15 Amp
1.75 HP
1.75 HP
Rip Capacity
24.5 Inches
32.5 Inches
36.5 Inches
30 Inches
Blade Size
8 1/4 Inches
10 Inches
10 Inches
10 Inches
Weight
54 lbs
110 lbs
310 lbs
220 lbs
Safety Features
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Flesh Sensing Technology
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Supports Dado Blades
Built in Dust Port
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
$329.00
Saw Type
Jobsite
Motor Size
15 Amp
Rip Capacity
24.5 Inches
Blade Size
8 1/4 Inches
Weight
54 lbs
Safety Features
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Supports Dado Blades
Built in Dust Port
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
$553.27
Saw Type
Contractor
Motor Size
15 Amp
Rip Capacity
32.5 Inches
Blade Size
10 Inches
Weight
110 lbs
Safety Features
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Supports Dado Blades
Built in Dust Port
Top Choice
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
$2,487.00
Saw Type
Contractor
Motor Size
1.75 HP
Rip Capacity
36.5 Inches
Blade Size
10 Inches
Weight
310 lbs
Safety Features
Flesh Sensing Technology
Supports Dado Blades
Built in Dust Port
Best Value
Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30" Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30" Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
$1,570.00
Saw Type
Contractor
Motor Size
1.75 HP
Rip Capacity
30 Inches
Blade Size
10 Inches
Weight
220 lbs
Safety Features
Blade Guard, Riving Knife
Supports Dado Blades
Built in Dust Port

Best Option for Mobile Shops

Dewalt 8 1/4 Inch Table Saw

Dewalt 8 1/4 Inch Table Saw Specs
Weight
Footprint22.75″ W x 22.75″ D x 13″ H
Blade Size8 1/4 inches
Rip Capacity24 1/2 inches
Cut Depth at 90 Degrees2 9/16 inches
Cut Depth at 45 Degrees1 3/4 inches
Dado CompatibleNo
Dust PortYes – 2.5 inch diameter
Blade BrakeYes
MobilityNo base included
Arbor Size5/8″
Motor Size15 amp

The Dewalt 8 1/4 inch table saw is a great pick for those with an extra small shop or contractors working on site. This saw is made for portability weighing in at only 54 pounds and featuring built in handles so it can be easily moved.

This saw is a popular pick for woodworkers looking to build a table saw into a custom workbench. The small footprint of only 22.75″ x 22.75″ means it can easily recess into a worktop or be stowed away under a shelf when not in use.

What this saw offers in size it does give up in capabilities. The 24.5 inches of rip capacity is large enough to build cabinets but can be limiting for larget projfects. The blade size is also only 8 1/4″ which is smaller than the standard 10″ table saw blade. This means you’ll be limited on blade choices.

The saw also doesn’t support dado blades which can be a deal breaker for some.

Sale
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
4,310 Reviews
DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)
  • Portability: Compact size for ease of transportation and storage
  • Easy adjustments: Rack and pinion telescoping fence rails make fence adjustments fast, smooth and accurate
  • Variety of cuts: 24.5 inches of rip capacity for ripping 4x8 plywood or OSB sheets
  • Power: 15 Amp, 5800 rpm motor
  • Onboard storage: Onboard storage provides easy access to the site pro guarding components and push stick when not in use

Best Table Saw for Small Shops

DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw

Dewalt 10-Inch Table Saw Specs
Weight
Footprint31″ W x 24″ D x 31″ H
Blade Size10 inches
Rip Capacity32 1/2 inches
Cut Depth at 90 Degrees3 1/8 inches
Cut Depth at 45 Degrees2 1/4 inches
Dado CompatibleYes – 13/16″ max width
Dust PortYes – 2.5 inch diameter
Blade BrakeNo
MobilityMobile Base Included
Arbor Size5/8″
Motor Size15 amp

The Dewalt 10 Inch saw is the bigger brother of the 8 1/4″ version. This saw is an upgrade in both size and capabilities as it can do almost anything that bigger, freestanding saws can do.

The saw can be purchased either with or without a mobile stand so you can pick the vesrion that best works for your shop space.

The upgrades on this saw over the smaller version include an increased rip capacity of 32 1/2″, 10 inch blade, dado capabilities, an upgraded telescoping fence, and higher weight for better stability.

This saw weighs 110 lbs yet is still maneuverable enough that it can be used on the jobsite if needed.

The 10 inch blade is capable of handing lumber up to 3 inches thick although the motor will start to bog down with harder woods.

Sale
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
4,167 Reviews
DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw, 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity (DWE7491RS)
  • Your purchase includes one Dewalt table saw, 10inch 24-tooth carbide blade, rolling stand, push stick, miter gauge, rip fence, 2x blade wrenches, blade guard assembly manual
  • Other Specs: Max rip to left of blade – 22inch | Max rip to right of blade – 32-1/2inch | Max width of Dado – 13/16inch | Arbor size – 5/8inch | Amps – 15 | Depth of cut at 45inch – 2-1/4inch | Depth of cut at 90° – 3-1/8inch | No Load Speed: 4800 RPM
  • Rolling stand designed for easy set up and breakdown with excellent stability
  • Rack & Pinion Telescoping Fence System Make fence adjustments fast, smooth and accurate
  • Features a 15.0A high torque motor with the power to cut pressure treated lumber and hardwoods

Safest Table Saw for Beginners

SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw

Sawstop 10-Inch Contractor Saw Specs
Weight
Footprint69 1/8″ W x 45″ D x 34 3/4″ H
Blade Size10 inches
Rip Capacity36 inches
Cut Depth at 90 Degrees3 1/8 inches
Cut Depth at 45 Degrees2 1/4 inches
Dado CompatibleYes – 13/16″ max width
Dust PortYes – 4 inch diameter
Blade BrakeNo
MobilityMobile Base Optional
Arbor Size5/8″
Motor Size1.75 HP

The Sawstop contractor saw is our pick for the best table saw for beginners. While the price may come as a shock to some we feel that the combination of size, features, and safety technology make it the best pick for a beginner woodworker.

This table saw features 36 inches of rip capacity, a 1.75HP motor and Sawstop’s flesh sensing technology all built on top of an open contractor style base.

Sawstop offers a ton of accessories for their saws like mobile bases, overhead dust collection, sliding crosscut tables, router tables, etc so you can turn this saw into the ultimate work station.

I have used this saw a few times in a small shop where the owner cut down the rails to 30 inches so the saw could slide under a workbench. Since they never need to use it to its full rip capacity this was a great way to get a full capacity saw that can fit in an extra small shop space.

If you’re interested in the safety features of the Sawstop but the price is out of your range then there may be hope that we see a Sawstop alternative show up soon.

SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
101 Reviews
SawStop 10-Inch Contractor Saw, 1.75-HP, 36-Inch Professional T-Glide Fence System (CNS175-TGP236)
  • SAWSTOP PATENTED SAFETY SYSTEM: Stops a spinning blade on contact with skin. The blade stops in less than 5 milliseconds, and drops below the table, minimizing a potentially life-altering injury to a mere scratch.
  • UNMATCHED QUALITY: The trunnion and arbor are built for precision, strength and stability. Poly v-ribbed belts reduce vibration and help ensure a great cut. Table flatness is measured diagonally at 0. 010” maximum gap.
  • RELIABILITY: The Control Box houses the on-off switch, power paddle, and on-board computer, and constantly checks that all systems are working to reliably keep you safe.
  • CONFIGURABILITY: Over 150 unique configurations, makes the Contractor Saw the most configurable SawStop saw. Adding a mobile base, sliding crosscut table or router table, are just a few of the ways to make this your ideal saw.
  • UNIVERSAL PERFORMANCE: The Contractor Saw offers versatility, reliability and safety for a variety of users. The cast iron table top (Cast Iron Wing Assembly, CNS-CIWA, sold separately) creates a better-than-hybrid performance in the shop at an affordable price.

Best Starter Table Saw

Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw

Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Saw Specs
Weight
Footprint42 1/2″ W x 30 1/2″ D x 23″ H
Blade Size10 inches
Rip Capacity30 inches
Cut Depth at 90 Degrees3 1/8 inches
Cut Depth at 45 Degrees2 1/4 inches
Dado CompatibleYes – 13/16″ max width
Dust PortYes – 2.5 inch diameter
Blade BrakeNo
MobilityMobile Base Included
Arbor Size5/8″
Motor Size1.75 HP

The Delta contractor table saw is, in my opinion, the best value for a table saw in 2022. To be able to get a sawfor this price that has a 1.75HP motor, 30″ rip capacity, dado capability, and built in stand is pretty outstanding.

With prices of table saws rising so fast over the past year this feels like looking back in time 5 years when there were still a number of great options for table saws under $1,000.

While this saw is certainly a step down in quality from the Sawstop it still is pretty comparable in the features it offers.

If I saw starting out as a woodworker and was on a sub $1,000 budget for a new table saw this is the one I would probably choose.

Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30' Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
19 Reviews
Delta 36-725T2 Contractor Table Saw with 30" Rip Capacity and Steel Extension Wing
  • Powerful 1. 75 Hp Contractor Grade motor easily handles hardwoods
  • 30 Inch Rip Capacity handles large stock and 13/16 in. X 8 in. STACKED DADO CAPACITY
  • Smooth and dependable adjustable belt drive table saw
  • Cast iron table top with 2 stamped steel extension wing
  • Heavy duty rail system for precision cuts every time

What to Consider with a Beginner Table Saw

Before choosing the saw I did A TON of research to find the beginner table saw that best fit my space and budget. Ultimately I settled on a hybrid saw from Grizzly. Note that this is an upgraded version of the saw I initially purchased. This saw features a huge upgrade to its fence over what I have! It offered a lot of the features of a full cabinet saw yet was light and small enough to put on casters so I could move it around the shop as needed.

The price was also great at under $1,000!

Safety First!

If you are a new woodworker then safety should be your #1 priority with a beginner table saw!

Table saws are incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous tools that can instantly derail your woodworker career when handled incorrectly.

Luckily, virtually all table saws sold today include safety features like blade guards and riving knives.

Blade Guards

Blade guards sit over the top of the blade and allow your work to pass beneath them. In the event the wood binds or kicks back the guard will help to prevent your hands from coming into contact with the blade.

They also often include anti-kickback components which will grab into the wood in the event of a kickback.

As someone who has experienced kickback once it is not something you want to be messing with!

Riving Knives

Riving knives are a thin piece of metal that sits behind the blade. They prevent the wood from binding on the blade which can also lead to kickback. Many older table saws do not include riving knives and they can be tempting to remove but I absolutely do not recommend doing so.

Sawstop Safety Technology

You may have heard of Sawstop table saws but if you haven’t here is a quick refresher.

Sawstop is a brand of table saws that include technology that can sense if your finger or hand comes in contact with the blade. In the event of contact with the blade, the saw instantly shuts down and drops the blade below the table. This typically results in nothing more than a small knick on the user’s finger.

The backstory goes that when Sawstop first developed the technology they tried to convince other brands to use it. When they refused Sawstop developed its own line of saws. This means that Sawstop is the only table saw that has this technology available.

While Sawstop table saws are an expensive beginner table saw I fully believe that this safety feature makes them 100% worthwhile.

They also make an incredibly capable table saw, so you’re still getting top-of-the-line level features on the rest of the saw as well!

Power and Size

Table saws come in a huge variety of power and size options. From the smallest job site saws to immovable commercial level saws and everything in between.

Job Site Table Saws

Job site saws are a great option for people on a budget, with small shop space, or who will be using the saw more for breaking down materials than making precise, finishing cuts. Their small size means they can be stowed away under a workbench when not in use or even integrated into a workbench tabletop.

Saws in this category can typically be had for under $700

Contractor Table Saws

Contractor saws are going to be your entry-level saws that have a built-in base. These feature open stands, larger tables, and larger motors.

These saws are still lightweight and easy to maneuver around the shop without sacrificing all of the power and size you lose by going down to a job site table saw.

Contractor table saws can range anywhere from $700 – $1,700.

Hybrid Table Saws

Meanwhile, hybrids table saws typically fall into the middle ground on size and power. I use a hybrid saw in the shop and it has been a great investment.

These saws have plenty of power to rip through thicker hardwoods and are large enough to handle large sheet goods or longer pieces of wood. There are times though when I can bog the motor down if I’m trying to rip 6/4 or thicker exotic hardwoods.

They are still light enough that they can be put on a mobile base and easily moved around the shop. In my current shop space I don’t have room for a permanent table saw station so this option is crucial.

The prices for hybrid table saws are typically between $1,000 – $2,000.

Cabinet Table Saws

Cabinet table saws are going to be your largest and most powerful saws. These saws often have motors up to 7.5hp which is large enough to cut through any wood thrown at it. They also feature massive footprints and cutting capacities.

One of the great options with these saws is their large wings make perfect spots for installing additional features like a router table or a sliding table.

Prices on cabinet table saws often start at $2,000 and can be as high as $10,000!

Final Thoughts on the Best Beginner Table Saws

Making that first big power tool purchase is an exciting time for new woodworkers. Suddenly a whole new world of woodworking is possible. Especially when you add on some accessories to the saw like a cross-cut sled and dado stack!

Take your space and budget into consideration but we always recommend going for the best saw you can get. As your woodworking skills progress it is always better to be able to grow into your saw’s capabilities rather than having to upgrade within a year or two.

Luckily, most power tools hold their value well on the used market so reselling and putting that money into an upgraded saw usually is a pretty easy process.

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