The 4 Best Table Saws For Beginners [Updated October 2020]

Last Updated on October 30, 2020 by Paul King

Table saws are one of the most important basic power tools for any shop. They offer a lot of cutting power and flexibility and are critical if you’re working with larger pieces that aren’t suited to other kinds of saws.

You need a great table saw for your workshop whether you’re a beginner craftsman or an experienced professional. These table saws we recommend are all great, regardless of your level of experience but they’re also all easy enough to use for even the greenest of beginners.

We’ve included a comprehensive review of our top table saws for beginners along with a buying guide to help you choose a table saw with the best combinations of features and benefits for your shop.

DeWalt is one of the better power tool brands for beginners thanks to their efficient design, good warranty policies, and quality of life improvements that help make each of their products easy to use.

Let’s take a closer look at this portable table saw.

One of the best features of this table saw is that it’s designed to be completely portable. That’s an important feature for a beginner saw since portability also means less storage space. This saw is a good option if your workshop is tight, or if you need to keep the saw in storage at least part-time.

Plus, it’s a great addition to a portable workshop for contractors, construction professionals, and mobile craftsmen of all stripes.

The saw offers 25.8lbs of ripping capacity, plenty for working with 4×8 plywood.

The 15-amp motor works well almost everywhere and offers 5,800 rotations per minute. That’s more than powerful enough to handle hardwoods and more challenging cuts while offering the consistency and ease of use beginners need to succeed.

The metal roll cage is also designed to make it more durable. That’s an important feature if you’re planning to use this saw as a portable tool.

DeWalt has also designed the rail and fence system to be easy to move and adjust. That makes it easier to make on the job changes without having to fight the saw in the process.

This saw also comes with its own push-stick, which is important for your safety while you’re working. You’ll also get a miter gauge and a set of blade change wrenches. The anti-kickback pawls also help keep the saw, and your project, stable while you’re cutting.

Why we like it

  • Comes with a lot of built-in safety features important for beginners
  • Small enough to be used as a portable saw
  • Big enough to handle large sheets of plywood
  • Powerful but energy-efficient motor
  • Easy to store
  • Standard DeWalt warranty

Our Verdict

Overall, this DeWalt saw is a great portable option if you’re looking for a powerful saw that doesn’t take up too much space. The increased safety features also make this an excellent choice for beginners since it’s easy to use and has minimal risk. It’s one of our favorite table saws under $500 as well.

Our Rating

5/5

Skilsaw might be a slightly smaller brand than some of the other options on our list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great option for beginners. Here are some of the reasons we love this saw.

This saw’s greatest strength is it’s ripping power. The gear system is designed to provide the most possible torque, which lets you rip through wood faster and more efficiently. It has a 25-inch rip capacity, plenty of space for a larger piece of plywood, and another large project.

Extra ripping power might not sound like a great option in a beginner saw, but the guard system in front of the blade still makes this an excellent choice.

However, this blade is a little shallower than some other options, in part because of the compact size of the saw. It’s only tall enough to handle materials slightly larger than 2.5 inches, 2 and 5/8 inches to be exact.

That combination means that you have more than enough power for any material that you can throw at this table saw. Add the all-metal design and you have some serious durability and versatility.

This saw is also a great option for beginners thanks to its ease of use and quality of life features. The rack and pinion system is designed to be easy to use and offers fast transitions for different angles.

Despite being an all-metal design, this table saw is still very lightweight and compact. The smaller design is great for portability, while the all-metal frame is also slightly lighter than frames made from a combination of different materials.

Why does lightweight design matter in a table saw?

These smaller saws are great for smaller workspaces and let you move the tool from place to place inside your workshop. This saw is also small enough to fit in the back of your car to take with you to a worksite. Of course, all-metal construction is also more damage resistant so your saw can handle all the bumps and jostling on the road.

Why we like it

  • All metal construction adds incredible durability
  • Lightweight and easy to move and maneuver
  • Small enough to work as a portable table saw
  • The high-torque design makes ripping easier, faster, and more efficient
  • Precise cutting design reduces material waste
  • Efficient rack and pinion system for making quick adjustments

Our Verdict

This saw might come from a smaller manufacturer, but it doesn’t feel like it. Sturdy construction, lightweight design, and high portability increase the usefulness of this saw. Its high-efficiency torque gives you extra ripping power without reducing cutting precision, and that’s a great combination for most users. This is why it’s no wonder it’s rated one of our best table saws under $1,000.

Our Rating

5/5

Milwaukee is another one of those big-name power tool companies that offers consistent quality and great design. Their tools are efficient, work well, and tend to be exceptionally durable. All those traits make them a good company for beginners to choose since their durable tools are less likely to run into any problems.

One of the best features of this saw actually isn’t the saw itself, it’s the warranty that comes with it. Milwaukee offers a 5-year limited warranty on this saw. While that might not cover damages, you cause through accidents or workshop mishaps, it does cover the function of the saw and all its hardware.

This saw also uses a high-efficiency brushless motor. Not only are brushless motors more efficient, but they also cut down on the normal wear and tear that can shorten the life of your saw. Brushless motors are quieter, longer-lasting, and deliver more power for the energy.

This system delivers an impressive 6,300 rpm, which is more than enough to handle even your most difficult cutting needs.

It’s just a tiny bit smaller than some of the saws on this list, with 24.5 inches of rip capacity.

This saw is a little different from the others on our list in one other respect though. This saw is a cordless battery-powered model.

Running on battery power gives you some advantages and disadvantages. It’s great for remote worksites that don’t have a good source of electricity, but it also limits your runtime to the life of the battery. This saw can cut roughly 600ft of plywood, but performance changes slightly depending on the density of what you’re cutting and how long the saw is running in a single go.

This battery happens to be much more efficient than most thanks to its redlithium design. This different version of a battery makes it more efficient.

An onboard storage system also works to make this system more efficient as a portable saw and provides a handy storage solution for smaller workshops as well.

Why we like it

  • Onboard storage for increased portability
  • Quieter and more efficient brushless motor
  • Longer functional life
  • Exceptional RPM
  • Longer than average warranty

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a great battery-powered table saw that you can take just about anywhere, this Milwaukee model is a great choice. It’s efficient and offers long-lasting battery power capable of hours of cutting before needing a new, freshly charged, battery.

Our Rating

5/5

Makita is another fantastic company whose tools are frequently a centerpiece of professional and beginner workshops alike. Their tools might not look as flashy as some other brands, but they have the efficiency you need to tackle just about any project with ease and skill.

This table saw comes right out the gate as one of the easier models for beginners thanks to its tool-less blade change system. That makes it much easier to switch to a different blade for different materials, not to mention making it much easier to switch out your blade when it’s getting a little dull instead of trying to power through one more cut.

For additional safety and customizability, this saw comes equipped with two independent and removable anti-kickback pawls and riving knives. That means that you have a lot of power over the kind of cut you want to achieve and can use whatever configuration is safest for your next cut.

That customization is a great element for beginners since it adds an additional level of safety, but it also stays useful as you gain more skill and are more comfortable working with new or different tool configurations.

We also liked that this saw’s guard system is designed so that you can see where the blade is contacting your cutting material while you work. The guard keeps you safe while making precision cutting easier thanks to visual contact with your workpiece.

This saw also provides a release lever so you can adjust the riving knife’s height, with three height options to help improve your saw’s performance.

As a 10-inch saw, this model is also one of the better options for mobile contractors, finishing workers, and other craftsmen who never know quite where they might have to work week to week. It might not be battery-powered, but the moderate power draw from the motor makes it an efficient and smoothly operating machine.

Why we like it

  • Extra anti-kickback security
  • Effective guard that maintains visual contact with your work
  • Quick-release lever system makes making tool adjustments much simpler
  • Easily portable design
  • Deeper cutting power (over 3”)
  • Saw is assembled in the USA

Our Verdict

This table saw is a fantastic option for contractors, finishing work, and even carpenters. It’s designed with a lot of flexibility for custom work, but also maintains the safety standards a beginner needs. A great table saw regardless of skill level, and one that will last long enough to let your skills grow with the saw. Check out some of our other favorite table saws under $600.

Our Rating

5/5
best-table-saw-for-beginners

Beginners Table Saw Buying Guide

Now that we’ve gone over the details of our top pick table saws for beginners, let’s take a look at some of the reasons these saws are so highly rated by beginners and professionals. These are the features you should keep in mind any time you’re trying to pick a new table saw.

Portable vs Stationary Table Saws

There are two basic kinds of table saw, and picking the right version can make a huge difference in its performance and whether you’re happy with the saw you’ve purchased.

Portable

All of the saws on our list are portable because portable saws are a great choice for beginners thanks to their smaller profile and easier storage. These are a great option for smaller workstations in addition to mobile ones.

Portable saws come in a variety of designs, but they are usually slightly less powerful and versatile than larger stationary models.

However, they are more energy-efficient, easy to learn on and take up less space in your garage. Additionally, most portable table saws will need an accompanying stand. You can check out some of the best portable table saw stands we recommend for a better idea of what you would need.

Stationary

Stationary table saws also come in several varieties, but they are all bigger, more powerful, and generally have more cutting capacity than smaller portable saws. Stationary saws also tend to have their own table and stand, while portable saws need a table or stand to function.

However, stationary saws are usually more expensive, harder to store, and absolutely cannot follow you to a worksite.

Depending on the kind of work you want to do it might be worth it to buy a stationary table saw, but many professionals don’t see the need for them when portable saws are almost as versatile, smaller, and often more affordable.

Standard Parts

Any table saw you buy should have all of these standard parts for safe and efficient operation. Avoid saws that don’t include these, even the most minor of them are important in the performance of your saw.

Almost no new saws are offered without these parts, but some used table saws are sold without them.

Rip Fence

The rip fence is an adjustable guide on the side of your table saw that allows you to guide your piece into the saw, giving you more control. It also helps prevent wobble and gives you more stability while you’re cutting.

A good rip fence should be easy to move and run the whole length of the table.

Miter Gauge

A small attachment that can be used to guide your material into the blade at a specific angle. Your miter gauge can function as a support or alternative for a bevel system.

Bevel System

The bevel system is your saw’s ability to tilt the blade in one direction or the other in order to create an even angled cut.

Riving Knife

A riving knife helps separate two pieces you’re cutting so that they don’t get jammed or caught together as you cut. Some can be adjusted independently of the blade to some extent, while some riving knives match the blade exactly.

Anti-Kickback Pawls

Anti-Kickback pawls are attachments at the back of the blade that are designed to help prevent your material from kicking back at you. These aren’t perfect, but they do make kickback much less likely.

Blade Guard

Your blade guard is an incredibly important part of your saw system since the guard is one of your most important safety measures. This is what protects your hands and anything else you don’t want to be cut by the saw.

Power Source

Your power source is the biggest thing that determines when and where you can work with your saw.

Corded Electric

Corded table saws are some of the most common saws because they have consistent power, and it lets you work just about anywhere with a consistent source of electricity. These saws work longer, and you can count on them to be available when you need them, but they are slightly less portable than the alternatives.

Battery Powered

Battery-powered saws are more mobile overall, but they are also a more limited power source. You only have as much battery as you have, and when it runs out, you’ll need to replace it if you want to keep going.

These saws are great for workspaces that aren’t powered, but it can be frustrating when your battery runs out before you’re finished.

The Takeaway

Overall, while all of these are great saws, the DeWalt 8-1/4-Inch Table Saw (DWE7485) is the best balanced out of the list. It’s designed as a fantastic portable saw, with good durability, and a long-lasting mid-range motor that provides plenty of power but is a little less aggressive and best for beginner craftsmen who want a reliable table saw. If you’re budgeting and scared to spend a bunch of money on a table saw from this list, check out our more budget-friendly table saws under $200.

Paul King

I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.