Best Contractor Table Saw Reviews: Top Rated Models for the Money

When a portable/jobsite table saw just won’t cut it, most professionals turn to the contractor models. These units have the extra power, workspace, and precision adjustments to help pros get the job done on the go.

However, a lot of models that are advertised as “contractor-grade” aren’t really up to snuff. They’re underpowered or built too lightly to hold up to demanding full-time use. What’s the busy professional to do? Read this guide, of course!

We’ve put together this guide to show you three of our favorite contractor table saws on the market right now. We’ve compared lots of different models, from all the key brand, and taken a careful look at features, prices, specs and reviews from professional and amateur reviewers alike.

As your saw experts, we’ve compared dozens of options, to find the best solutions for the woodworking pro, or ambitious DIYer looking for an upgrade over a small portable unit. In the end, we narrowed down the field to find a concise list of the most powerful, sturdy, accurate, convenient, and safe units we could find.

Drawing on our extensive research and our team’s own experience, we’ve written our own in-depth reviews of three great table saws for the contractors out there!

You can find our comprehensive reviews of all our favorite models below. You’ll also find a handy guide to shopping for your ideal contractor table saw below the reviews!

Let’s get right into it with a glance at our Top Three!

[comparison_table product1=”jet” product2=”powermatic” product3=”sawstop”]

Best Contractor Table Saw Reviews

1. Jet

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Jet 708492K JPS-10TS


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Our top recommendation for a budget-friendly contractor table saw comes from Jet. It’s a solid, sturdy choice with just as much power as you’ll find on contractor models that cost $500 more.

We love its modular guard system, as well as the light weight and compatibility with standard household electric feeds. It’s very reasonably priced at close to the $1,200 mark, and it’s our top pick for folks looking for the lightest and least expensive mode which doesn’t sacrifice performance!

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 60” L x 32” W x 35″ H
  • Motor: 1 3/4 HP, dual voltage, pre-wired for 115V
  • Blade speed: 4000 RPM
  • Max depth of cut: 3 1/8” at 90 degrees, 2 1/8” at 45 degrees
  • Max rip capacity: 30” right of blade, 12” left of blade


It’s powerful, and it’s fast. The Jet has just as large a motor as the most expensive contractor units. It’s capable of putting out 1.75 HP, and it’s wired to do so on 115V household power! That’s ideal for worksites where you mightn’t have access to 230V hookups. All that brute force adds up to a top blade RPM of 4000, which is outstanding in our books. That’s speed you’d expect on a cabinet model. And if you have access to 230V power, you can easily rewire for that, too!

It has an enclosed half-cabinet. That makes for superior dust collection, which is all channelled out a standard 4” port. It’s all made from steel plating, which is highly durable–a big step up over the aluminum components you’d find in worksite models. The cabinet protects all your internal components, and helps keep the saw running well over time. It also provides space for a cast-iron trunnion set to hold up the motor. It’s mounted to the worktop, and provides a smooth, quiet cut.

It makes for easy angle cuts. You get a miter gauge in the package, and the worktop is pre-cut with a T slot. The Jet has also has heavy, metal flywheels for adjusting the bevel angle and height of the blade. We like that the bevel gauge is printed large on the side of the cabinet, so it’s easy to read. Same goes for the miter gauge–it has a big, legible rule that’s easy to work with on the site.

It comes with a precision-ground cast-iron worktop, just like the premium models. Previous buyers had no complaints about its smoothness. The baseline stamped steel wings give you a sturdy workspace for wider rips, especially compared to cheaper aluminum wings. We think they’re an excellent choice for portability, since they’re still lighter than cast-iron.

The 30” fence locks down easily with a knob, just as you’d expect. It has sturdy metal rails, and a metal facing on either side, which makes for smooth cuts without the potential for wear and tear.

The guard and riving knife assembly is modular and user-friendly. You can exchange the components without using tools. We also love the independent panels on the guard, which help to control dust spray and minimize gaps in blade coverage without impeding your work. You also get a quick-release riving knife for when the guard is impractical, and a low profile secondary riving knife to use for non-through cuts.

It’s also easy to change the blades, since there’s a quick-release arbor lock at the top of the motor bay. That makes it possible to perform one-handed blade changes. Read more on How to Change Blades.

We love the paddle-style stop button on this one. It’s enlarged, and sits on top of the start button, so you can easily shut the machine off with a leg or hip if your hands are engaged.

It’s easy to assemble. This one has a special leg support design which makes attaching the worktop and motor assembly to the legs a cinch. It’s much easier that some other contractor models, and previous buyers said they only needed an hour or two to get up and running out of the box. Reviewers also noted that this one cut nearly dead on out of the box, and needed very little adjustment to get started.

It’s relatively light, at just 238 pounds. That makes it easier to get on and off the truck when you’re loading into worksites.

We’re recommending the standard, base-line version of this saw. However, it’s available in a range of configurations, so you can choose the one that’s best for you! It comes with either a 30” or 52” rip capacity, and either stamped steel or cast-iron extensions.

It’s all covered by a 5-year warranty.


The stamped steel extensions aren’t nearly as good as the cast iron option, although they’ll serve most woodworkers just fine. We recommend people who are concerned about weight get the cast-iron extensions, but if you’re a demanding pro, you may want to go the cast-iron route.

Some buyers weren’t thrilled with the fence. They thought it felt a bit cheap compared to some more expensive options. It’s definitely lightweight, but we couldn’t find any complaints about precision.

Even our least expensive contractor recommendation still costs over $1,000.

2. Powermatic

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Powermatic 1791230K 64B


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Our top midrange choice for contractors comes from Powermatic. While the company is now owned by the same parent company as Jet, Powermatic still retains a certain thoughtfulness of design and sturdiness of build quality that set them a rung above Jet in our rankings.

This unit is a smartly designed contractor table saw with some hybrid elements which make it even smoother to use and easier to adjust. Thanks to its extended rip capacity and heavier trunnion construction, we think it’s ideal for contractors who work primarily from a shop, but want something they can take with them when the job requires.

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 79 5/8” L x 27” W x 36″ H
  • Motor: 1 3/4 HP, dual voltage, pre-wired for 115V
  • Blade speed: 3800 RPM
  • Max depth of cut: 3 1/8” at 90 degrees, 2 1/8” at 45 degrees
  • Max rip capacity: 50” right of blade, 12” left of blade


It has a lot of the features we liked on the Jet: a precision-ground, cast-iron worktop, a steel half-cabinet enclosure and legs, and a 1.75 HP motor. The blade settings can be adjusted via sturdy cast flywheels, and the fence slides along a metal rail system. The guard system is all modular, and there’s a quick-release knob for fast blade changes.

Even though it’s a contractor’s table saw, it borrows some smart design features from Powermate’s hybrid lineup. The trunnion is a single piece of cast-iron, rather than two pieces with a pin joiner, which is how the old version of this model was built. The trunnion is also mounted to the frame of the cabinet as opposed to the worktop, which is how most contractor models are constructed. It has a riving knife and splitter assembly which mounts to the same trunnion as the blade, so that your safety features always line up with your cutting edge. Those are all nice improvements over the more traditional Jet unit.

It’s a powerful performer. Even though it has the same motor specs as the Jet, and a comparable top blade RPM, reviewers agreed that the Powermate simply felt more powerful. We’re going to put that down to the efficient belt-drive system under the hood. It’s the same system the company use in their bigger cabinet saws, and it’s a pro at zipping through even hardwoods without ever feeling bogged-down. It also cuts smoother and quieter than the Jet, thanks to the hybrid-style trunnion construction.

It provides a lot more workspace than the Jet. The Powermate gives you an extra 20” of rip capacity, and a nice wide worktop to get it all done. Previous buyers said they were very pleased with how much room they had to maneuver compared to other contractor models. This one can rip full sheets of flat stock like plywood if you need it to! There are also a few other features we’re loving: The edges are all beveled to make miter gauge entry smoother, and to protect your stock from being dinged up as you feed it through. We also like that the wings are made out of the same cast iron as the worktop and trunnion. Overall, it’s an even more spacious option than the Jet, and it feels even sturdier.

The fence is more precise and well-constructed than the one on the Jet. This Powermatic uses the same AccuFence system as the company’s premium models, so it feels like a big step up over most contractor-class fences. It locks easily with no play on the rail. The facing is a special synthetic compound which is incredibly smooth. It stands up extremely well to wear and tear, and maintains its smoothness better than metal, especially since you don’t have to polish it. The AccuFence is one of our all-time favorites for cabinet models, and it feels even better in a contractor context, since it’s miles better than the Jet’s.

The miter gauge is also a lot sturdier and more precise on this model. While the Jet’s gauge feels a bit light and rickety for professional cuts, the Powermate’s is the same they ship with their cabinet units. It’s hefty, and made almost entirely from metal. We also love that the fence plate on this gauge is extendable, so you can modify the distance from the blade at any angle. It also has an extension plate, which makes it easier to accomplish wider crosscuts at an angle.

There are hooks on the frame for you to store accessories, making the whole thing a bit more space-efficient. These are a good place to keep the miter gauge, adjustment wrenches, and other extras when you’re not using them.

It’s better at dust collection. This one has the same 4” exhaust port as the Jet, but the interior is molded a bit better, which aids dust extraction. Previous buyers said they were very impressed with this one as compared to other contractor models. That’s another smart design feature Powermatic have taken from their hybrid lineup and applied on this unit.

As with the Jet, previous buyers found the Powermate easy to assemble, and very close to dead-on out of the box. They found they only needed to tweak components slightly to get perfect alignment.

It’s compatible with Powermate mobile bases. You’ll almost certainly need one to move this unit around at jobsites, since it’s on the heavier end of the spectrum.

It’s covered by a 5-year warranty, just like the Jet.


It doesn’t reach quite as high a cutting speed as the Jet. The two motors are the same size, but the Jet’s top arbor speed is a solid 200 RPM better than the Powermatic’s.

You get a pretty nice expansion of workspace over the Jet, but no real improvement in specs. You’ll have the same max depth of cut ratings, and the same motor horsepower, even though this one costs an extra $500 or so. However, in a subjective sense, the Powermatic simply feels better to use. It cuts just as strongly, with an improved steadiness and precision thanks to the additional cast iron parts and generally superior build quality.

It’s heavier than the Jet, at over 400 pounds. You’ll probably want to think about getting a wheeled base or other external transport solution for this one, if you’re going to be using it on the go.

It doesn’t have the Jet’s paddle-style Stop button. That’s a downside in the safety department, but nothing close to a deal-breaker for us. This one’s simply a better choice for the careful professional who knows what they’re doing.

3. SawStop

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Sawstop CNS175-TGP36


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Our top quality recommendation for a contractor table saw comes from SawStop. It’s a powerful, sturdy unit with a best-in-class safety system onboard. We think it makes an excellent choice for both shop and worksite applications. If you’re a safety-minded woodworker, or simply looking for the best overall quality in a contractor table saw, this is our top pick for you!

The Specs:

  • Dimensions: 69-1/8 x 45 x 34-3/4 inches (WxDxH)
  • Motor: 1 3/4 HP, dual voltage, pre-wired for 115V
  • Blade speed: (not listed)
  • Max depth of cut: 3 1/8” at 90 degrees, 2 1/8” at 45 degrees
  • Max rip capacity: 30” right of blade, 12” left of blade


It’s the safest contractor model we’ve seen to date. The SawStop features the company’s patented blade brake system, which can save your fingers or limbs when things go awry in the shop or at the work site. The system is simple but effective: the saw blade has a slight charge running through it. Human skin is conductive, so the second skin hits the blade, the charge transfers, which trips a fuse inside the machine.

That activates a metal brake block, which immediately intercepts the blade, stopping it, and dropping it below the arbor. Power to the motor is also shut off. As a result, you’re looking at being out of harm’s way in less than 5 milliseconds. That’s the difference between getting a slight cut and losing a finger or worse.

It also features a couple of other key safety touches which we’re loving. There’s an enlarged, paddle-style stop button like on the Jet, so you can shut the machine off even when your hands are free. There’s also a key lock which prevents anyone turning the saw on without the key.

That’s ideal for home workshops with kids around, or busy worksites where it’s not always easy to keep track of all your tools. And like our other two recommendations, you’ll get a modular guard and riving knife system which moves in sync with the blade.

Overall, users said they found themselves working much more relaxedly around the shop and site, knowing that the danger of working with their table saw was greatly lessened. We don’t think you can do much better than the SawStop where safety is concerned. That’s why it’s our top worksite recommendation for pros who want to meet every safety standard possible, and for any application where new woodworkers will need to use the table saw.

It’s just as powerful as our other recommendations. The SawStop has a 1 ¾ HP motor, which can cut anything within its depth easily–just like our other recommendations. It’s compatible with both household and industrial electric feeds, so you can rewire for either voltage.

However, most previous buyers agreed that since it performed so well at 110, they didn’t see any reason to rewire the unit, Buyers said it sliced right through oak planks with no issues, and said that in migrating from their cold contractor unit, the SawStop felt like changing from a sedan to a sports car.

Previous buyers were especially impressed by how smoothly and quietly the motor ran. One creative reviewer on Youtube showed how he could set a nickel on its end atop the table, then start and stop the saw completely without the coin falling over. That’s some impressive dampening! It’s mainly thanks to a solid cast iron trunnion (just like the Powermate uses).

It has a fence system that’s every bit as good as the Powermate’s. It has a synthetic facing which makes for easy gliding for your stock, and a precise locking system which doesn’t allow for any wiggle in your setting. Previous buyers said their fences were just about dead on out of the box, and only needed very minor tweaks.

It’s also the best at dust collection. This one is available with an overhead vacuum hookup, but previous buyers said it was much more effective than other contractor units even without the overhead system attached.

It’s sturdy and precise. The SawStop has the same cast iron worktop and steel frame/enclosure as our other recommendations, and it adds the Powermate’s solid cast iron trunnion. It has rugged but smooth fence rails, and nicely weighted adjustment wheels for the blade settings. The worktop, fence, and extensions are all very well-made, with an extremely high level of quality control. While many buyers said they initially bought the SawStop due to the safety features onboard, they were pleased to find that it was actually higher quality than other contractor units they’d used in the past.

It’s more maneuverable than the Powermate, since it weighs over 100 pounds less. This one is also compatible with a few different wheel options: either SawStop’s mobile wheelbase or a jobsite cart. Buyers loved both the base and the cart, and said that both were more rugged than third party options, which helped justify the extra cost.

As with the Powermate, there are storage hooks at the sides of the cabinet for you to hang your accessories when you’re not using them.

It’s the easiest to assemble by far, and reviewers found the instruction manual and diagrams incredibly helpful and straightforward. That’s a big upgrade over the Jet and Powermatic, which have decent manuals, but they’re translated awkwardly in many places. Most buyers also said that their machines arrived either perfectly calibrated, or within a fraction of a degree from perfect alignment. The quality control out of the factory is one of SawStop’s major strengths.

SawStop have excellent customer service, and a great reputation for quality control. Previous buyers who received units that had been damaged in shipping said the company overnighted replacements, and went far beyond the call of duty to make things right for the customers.


It’s only covered by a 1-year warranty. While you can add on coverage for up to 2 extra years at purchase, we’re disappointed by how little coverage you get from the factory for such an expensive saw.

It’s a premium unit, and it comes with a premium price tag. The SawStop will easily cost you $2,000, which isn’t a casual purchase by any stretch. We recommend it specifically to folks who make their living woodworking, or DIYers who don’t have a limited budget and prefer to be as safe as possible.

There are downsides to the emergency stop feature. The machine uses a solid metal brake to stop the blade instantly, and the blade will be unusable as a result. That means you’ll need to have both a replacement blade and a replacement brake

SawStop don’t list a top blade speed under the specs, which is a bit annoying when you’re trying to make an objective comparison. However, based on feedback from reviewers and the fact that it has the same HP, we’d estimate that it’s roughly equivalent to our other recommendations. Still, we always prefer to have a hard number when we’re trying to evaluate a saw.

It doesn’t have cast iron wings as standard. These extensions are stamped steel like the Jet’s, which is a step down from the Powermate. That switch does save bulk, but it makes this one feel a bit less premium, especially when you consider the price. Cast iron extensions are an optional extra.

The biggest disadvantage on this model is its limited workspace. It has the same rip capacity as the Jet, which is almost $1,000 cheaper. It’s certainly less spacious than the Powermatic, so it’s not ideal for wider stock. If you need a bit more room, SawStop make another version of this unit that we think is ideal for contractors who work with bigger stock.

For the same model with a wider fence:

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This model is nearly identical to the 36” model we’ve just looked at, only with a a 52” fence system. It’s ideal for folks who work with whole sheets of plywood or other flat stock. Plus, it’s only about 20 pounds heavier than the 36” model!

We recommended the 36” model in our Top Three because most of us don’t work with full sheet material on the worksite. If you do, this is a perfect alternative. Our verdict: if you’ve got the room and use for this model, go for it!

Which Contractors Table Saw is Right for You?

The Jet is the best choice for folks on a tight budget. It’s the most portable unit here, since it’s the lightest by a long shot. It’s also the most affordable, by a solid $500. For all that, it has just as powerful a motor as our more expensive recommendations, and it comes with an excellent 5-year warranty. On the downside, it’s not quite as sturdy or precise as the Powermate or SawStop. We highly recommend it to contractors who travel frequently, and need the absolute lightest saw for doing so. It’s also a great choice for DIYers who are looking to move up from a portable table saw without breaking the bank.

The Powermate is our top choice for people who mainly use a contractor table saw in a stationary setting. It’s the sturdiest of the three saws we’ve recommended, since it has cast iron wings as well as a solid cast iron trunnion. It’s sturdy, smooth, and powerful.

This one also has a very accurate fence, and a 5-year warranty, ideal for frequent shop use. Best of all, it adds 20” of rip capacity to the Jet’s workspace. However, it’s not as good as our other models for portable applications. While it can be mounted on wheeled bases, we think it’s a bit heavy for frequent travellers. It’s best for contractors who work mostly out of the shop.

The SawStop is our top quality choice, and we recommend it to anyone can afford it. It’s well-built, accurate, and miles beyond the Jet or Powermate where safety is concerned. While it’s expensive for the amount of power and workspace you get, we don’t think you can do any better in a contractor saw. The only real downside for us is the price, and the fact that cast iron extensions cost extra. This isn’t a small purchase, so we recommend it only to ardent DIYers or full-time woodworkers. And if you’re interested in the SawStop, but find the 30” rip capacity too limiting, check out the enlarged version we recommended above!

How to Choose the Best Contractor Table Saw

Know your power supply:

Contractor saws can have a wide variety of motor sizes, and they’ll each require a different source of power. You’ll need to choose between models which have either 110-120V standard power feeds, and models wired for industrial 220-240V industrial electricity.

Make sure you know the power supply in your shop, and from your job site generator. Most home DIYers will want to buy something that runs on standard power, while the majority of professional contractors probably have a 220-240V industrial hookup, and should look for a saw that’s wired accordingly.

Dual-voltage saws that can be rewired are the most flexible choice, so they’re what we’ve recommended in this guide. Contractors who work at lots of different sites, on different power supplies will find that a dual-voltage unit is the best choice, especially for the unpredictable long term. For instance, if you’re working off a generator system that only puts out standard power, but then upgrade to a more industrial power system for your job sites, you’ll be able to simply rewire your saw, rather than having to buy a whole new one.

It’s also worth knowing that most saw motors are rated for power at industrial voltage, even if they’re compatible with standard household power. You’ll almost always get more out of the same motor on a more substantial power feed, but we’ve taken care to choose recommendations which perform admirably on standard power as well.

With that said, it’s best to be skeptical of HP ratings above 2 on standard power, since we’ve found that most saws on household hookups can’t actually hit that benchmark. Know that if you’re planning to cut thicker stock, especially hardwoods, you won’t want to use your contractor table saw on household power.

Think about your stock:

As with any saw, you shouldn’t start shopping for a contractor table saw without considering the types of wood you’ll be cutting. Think about how thick of stock you generally work with, and get a unit with a depth of cut rating that can handle a bit more than that size.

Make sure you’re thinking about angles when you look at depth of cut, since using a bevel angle of 45 degrees will usually take down your depth of cut by an inch or so. If you cut a lot of angles, you’ll want to look at the “depth of cut at 45 degrees” rating in the specs.

You’ll also want to look for a rip capacity that accommodates the widest pieces you work with on a regular basis. Most of us can get by with a 30-36” rip capacity. If you can do so, you’ll end up with a more compact, portable saw. However, if you work with a lot of wider stock, like full sheets of plywood, you’ll want to get a saw with a rip capacity at 52”.

Make sure you know all your standard stock sizes, and don’t forget to think about the type of wood you’re cutting! Thicker stock, and hardwoods in particular, will require a more powerful motor. If that’s the sort of cutting you generally do, you should probably think about a contractor unit with at least 1.5 HP, wired on industrial power.

Look for rugged build quality:

If you’re shopping for a contractor table saw, chances are you’re probably a contractor of some sort. If you make your living working with wood on jobsites or in your shop, you’ll need to pay special attention to the build quality on your new table saw. Look for rugged parts that can stand up to daily, heavy use.

You’ll want one or several cast iron trunnions supporting the motor, with a single cast-iron trunnion being the best, most durable choice. You’ll also want to look for a cast-iron worktop, a steel frame, and sturdy metal flywheels for making adjustments to the blade settings. You shouldn’t accept any plastic parts on your contractor saw, with the exception of handles and button surfaces. It’s also best to avoid aluminum.

We love aluminum for portable table units, since it’s so light and sturdy, but it doesn’t dampen noise and vibration as well as steel, and it doesn’t hold up quite as well over time. The best contractor table saws have cast iron wings as well as the cast iron worktop, solid trunnions, and steel frame.

If you’re a DIYer shopping for a contractor table saw as an upgrade to a portable unit, you probably don’t need to spend the extra money for something with cast iron wings or other premium build features. However, we always recommend buying as nice a saw as possible, so you’re not limiting your learning or the quality of your future work.

Consider mobility options:

Most contractors will use their table saw on the go at least some of the time. If you work frequently off-site, or will need to move your saw around your main shop floor on a regular basis, you should think seriously about how portable you need your unit to be.

If you’re going to be lifting it in and out of vans, trucks, or carrying it by hand around job sites, you should look for something light, around 250 pounds or less. If you’re buying something heavier, you’ll need to look for wheeled options.

Check for compatibility with wheeled bases or carts which can help you move a heavier saw around without needing a whole work team to help. It’s always a good idea to buy a base from the same manufacturer as the saw, to guarantee that the base is designed specifically to work with your unit. Plus, you can often save money by buying both together.

Look for appropriate safety features:

Whether you’re on a site or in a shop, you should expect any contractor table saw to have solid, dependable safety features. Expect a straightforward, user friendly guard system with independent panels at either side of the blade.

These systems are best because they always provide maximum protection on both sides of the cutting edge. You should also expect any new contractor model to come with at least one riving knife to prevent binding and kickback in situations where the guard is too intrusive.

We also suggest looking for key safety features like an enlarged, paddle-style “stop” button, so that you can easily switch the motor off even when your hands are free. If you’ve got kids living near your shop, or new woodworkers around your job sites, you should make sure the power switch has a locking safety mechanism so that unauthorized users aren’t able to turn the motor on.

If you’re running off a generator, a magnetic switch is a good feature to look for. These protect your saw from power fluctuations, and will prevent the motor from turning itself back on if power cuts out and then comes back online.

The latest thing in saw safety, and a huge advantage for meeting workplace code, is flesh-detection technology. These systems sense when skin comes in contact with the blade, stopping the blade and retracting it below the surface of the work top.

They’re extremely effective, and reduce the risk of using one of these machines a great deal. We recommend flesh detection to whomever can afford it. However, you should know that it can increase the cost of your saw, sometimes as much as 100%.

Maximize your warranty protection:

Any time you’re buying as expensive a tool as a contractor table saw, you should know that you’re covered for the long term. Make sure you check the warranty coverage on your new saw, and check whether it applies to commercial use as well as personal applications.

You should also look into extending your warranty with add-on coverage at the checkout. These additional policies can double or triple the length of your coverage, so they’re a smart buy-especially when you’re spending more than $1000 on a tool. Plus, they’ll allow you to deal with a helpful third party should anything go wrong.

You’ll have your needs met much more quickly and easily than you would by going through the manufacturer in many cases. Plus, it’s always nice to have coverage that doesn’t have a lot of fine print or exceptions.

What’s Next?

Still looking for your ideal unit? Check out all of Amazon’s top-selling contractor table saws here or click on You can also read our Best Table Saws Review Page.

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