When buying a table saw (a.k.a. bench saw), especially for the first time, there are a few important things to pay attention to before taking the leap. In this article, we first look at the various aspects and components of a table saw. We then move onto examining actual table saws for the home workshop available in the UK in our more specific table saw reviews towards the end of the page.
What to look for when buying a table saw
First off, it helps a lot if you know how you intend to use this cutting machine. In this way, you can determine what rip capacity (the distance between the blade and its parallel fence) to go for - cutting WITHIN the rip capacity of the table saw will allow you to cut very square cuts.
The fence itself will ideally extend the full length of the table and be secured at both ends so that no inadvertent lateral movement occurs when rip cutting. However, for less experienced users or if the table saw is to be used only occasionally, having a fence that extends only part of the way across the table can mitigate kickback risk by allowing the workpiece to move slightly away from the blade after cutting. Kickback can occur if the workpiece snags between the fence and the blade throwing the workpiece back at the user potentially causing serious injury. More experienced or regular users of the table saw will be more aware of this risk naturally ensuring that it is minimised.
Table Surface Area
Table size is also an important consideration when purchasing a table saw and in general it's best to go for as big a surface area as you have the money for so that larger stock can be properly balanced while cutting. Often consumer table saws have extendible surfaces around the cutting area that can provide for a much greater overall surface area without permanently taking up a large amount of space. Table saws most often come with these extensions at the sides that are useful for cross-cutting longer workpieces, but rear extensions to the table surface which are often overlooked by manufacturers are equally important and are necessary when making longitudinal rip cuts.
Blades come in a variety of diameters. The best practice when picking a table saw is to opt for one that can handle blade sizes that are compatible with any mitre saw you might possess or intend to purchase so that blades are interchangeable between the two cutting systems.
Most table saws today can vary the height at which the blade can protrude above the surface of the table so that it can be adjusted for cutting different thicknesses of material. The maximum height that a blade can reach above the table surface can be an important consideration when working with larger workpieces. Generally the higher the blade can go, the more versatile the table saw.
One area that often gets forgotten about when purchasing a bench saw is the dust collection ports available to which vacuum systems can be attached. Most table saws come with a port that aspirates excess dust from the bottom of the machine but only some machines also have a dust collection port as an integral part of the blade guard. This upper dust collection port can be especially useful in further reducing the mess associated with sawing.
It is generally not a good idea to use a normal home vacuum cleaner with a table saw especially when generating finer sawdust (such as from MDF) as this can rapidly overload a vacuum that was only designed for house dust. A dedicated workshop vacuum designed to handle copious amounts of sawdust, both fine and coarse, is often needed especially if the table saw is to see a lot of use.
One important safety feature is the blade guard, which should be easy to remove and reattach as this will mean that it will be used as often as possible. Sometimes certain types of cutting necessitates blade guard removal and if it is difficult to do so can mean that the blade guard does not get reattached afterwards. This is not a good working practice for obvious reasons.
Equally important is the incorporation of a riving knife - the bit of metal that sits directly behind the blade that travels up and down with the blade when its height is adjusted. It may not seem to do much but it is absolutely critical to ensuring the safety of the operator by preventing the cut surfaces of a workpiece from pinching together again after being cut. The lack of a riving knife presents a significant safety hazard to the operator since if the pinched surfaces come back in contact with the blade, the workpiece can be lifted on the blade and thrown back towards the operator - a kickback.
Corded vs Cordless
Finally, a word about the power system of the table saw. Table saws have traditionally been mains-powered devices primarily due to their power-hungry nature making them less compatible with battery-based systems. However, these days battery systems have evolved sufficiently to make a battery-powered table saw a realistic proposition. There are multiple reasons why one might want a battery-powered tool over a mains-powered one or vice-versa, most of which also apply to the corded vs cordless table saw argument as well.
The main advantages of mains-powered table saws are that they are typically less expensive than their battery-based counterparts, and that they are not restricted to a limited number of cuts by a limited battery capacity.
On the other hand, battery-powered table saws tend to be far more portable than mains-based machines and don't require the user to be close to an electrical socket. Cordless table saws also usually belong to a company's power tool battery system, which allows batteries that power other tool types to be used to power a cordless table saw as well.
Brushed vs Brushless
When it comes to cordless table saws, two types of electric motor exist: the traditional brushed variety and the newer brushless kind. As the name indicates, the make up of a traditional brushed electric motor involves the use of small carbon brushes that facilitate the electrical connection to the rotating central core of the motor. Brushless table saw motors, in contrast, obviate the need for these brushes giving them several advantages over their brushed brethren:
Given these considerations, a cordless, brushless table saw is usually superior to a traditional brushed one and should always be the preferred choice assuming you can afford the higher cost.
Popular CORDED Table Saws in the UK
|Bosch GTS 635-216
|Einhell TC-TS 2025
|Bosch GTS 10 XC
|Parker Brand PTS-250
Popular CORDLESS Table Saws in the UK
** weight includes battery pack(s)
Table Saw Reviews: So what is the best table saw in the UK?
Lumberjack BTS210 Bench Saw Review
The Lumberjack BTS210 is a great table saw for the price which is also classed in the budget category. Lumberjack is a relative newcomer to the power tools market and the company provides simple, well-priced table saws of reasonable quality in an effort to differentiate its products. Nice features include a fence that extends the full length of the table and can be clamped on both ends. As table saws go, Lumberjack table saws are not very quiet and this one is certainly on the higher end of the noise scale. But if you are looking not to spend an arm and a leg on a bench saw as you use it only occasionally, then the Lumberjack BTS210 could be the right table saw for you.
Evolution FURY5-S Table Saw Review
We have previously reviewed the FURY5 table saw (see the below section: Discontinued) from Evolution Power Tools but more recently this saw has been replaced with a new iteration, the FURY5-S, which has both positive and negative attributes compared to its predecessor.
On the positive side, the updated model comes with greater capacity than the earlier FURY5, able to cut timber up to 85 mm in thickness in the default 0º blade orientation and up to 65 mm when the blade is angled at 45º. The FURY5-S still uses the same useful 255 mm (10”) multi-material blade that can be used to cut a variety of materials including timber, plastic and metal. It also has a similar 1500W high-torque motor that runs at 3250 rpm, a relatively low speed compared to other table saw motors. Also just like the previous model, other more specialised Evolution blades can also be used with the FURY5-S, including a wood-only blade for cleaner woodcutting, and a diamond blade for cutting masonry-type materials like ceramic tiles.
In addition to the deeper cuts, the updated FURY5-S model also comes with a larger table size than its predecessor, more generous in both depth and width. This is mostly due to the increased size of the side extensions which are significantly wider than the previous model. The vacuum system on the later model is also an improvement on the earlier machine, now coming with ports in both the base of the machine and the upper blade guard, which connect together to more effectively aspirate away any cutting debris.
On the more negative side, the FURY5-S represents one of the ‘generic’ consumer power tools that are manufactured in the same set of Far East factories and then badged according to the company under whose brand it will ultimately sell (in this case Evolution Power Tools). These types of machines tend to be built using a single basic template but incorporate slightly different components from brand to brand presumably at the behest of the commissioning companies. This kind of ‘generic’ machine is common in today’s power tool market at the lower end of the price scale and can most often be found in benchtop tools including the pillar drill, bench grinder, electric tile cutter, planer thicknesser and bobbin sander. Although buying one of these generic tools usually works out to be less expensive than more unique machines, it also means that any flaws in the basic design tend to be duplicated across the various brands. In the case of the FURY5-S table saw, it is particularly similar to the Vonhaus, the Einhell, and the Parkerbrand machines which we have already reviewed elsewhere on this page.
As a result of this generic design, the FURY5-S is lighter than its predecessor partly due to the use of less robust materials making up the machine’s body and user-operated components, many of which are made of inexpensive plastic. This is especially true of the stand on which the saw sits which is made up of lighter, flimsier metal. Although the lighter weight makes the machine more moveable, it also makes it less robust against the rigours of the workshop and also puts it at more risk of tipping over if too large a workpiece is cut on it without due care. Indeed, as a result of this lower overall stability, the FURY5-S comes with extra leg extensions on the rear legs to reduce the risk of just such an occurrence.
Also as a result of its generic pedigree, the FURY5-S, like its predecessor, still has a less-than-optimal rip fence. Like so many other budget table saws, the rip fence does not extend the full length of the table and is free-floating on its distal end, with a securing lock only located on the end closest to the user. This makes it susceptible to being moved out of alignment if too much pressure is applied during rip cutting reducing the accuracy and squareness of the cut. As with other such table saw fences, the recommended course of action is to make one’s own full-length fence or adapt the current one so that it can be securely fixed at its furthest end. The generic mitre gauge on the FURY5-S also comes with its own inadequacies, with particular note being the excessive play in its movement along its track. The mitre gauge tracks themselves are also non-standard in size so replacing this loose mitre gauge with a better quality aftermarket solution is not easily done.
The generic Far Eastern build also means that manufacturing quality control can be a bit on the low side with some customers ending up with machines exhibiting subtle defects that reduce the overall accuracy of the machine. Some common types of quality-control issues reported by owners include blades that are not exactly square with the edge of the table or rip fence, or a riving knife that is not perfectly aligned to the blade.
Although the larger size of the FURY5-S compared to its predecessor provides better support for cutting larger timber, it also means that the table saw has a relatively large footprint and takes up quite a bit of floor space, something that is usually at a premium in the home workshop. Add to that the inability of the side extensions to be folded down makes the machine more inconvenient than its predecessor when it comes to setting it up or dismantling it for storage.
Finally, a common question more experienced table saw users often ask is whether a table saw can be used with Dado blades or Dado stacks. In the case of the FURY5-S, the answer to this question is no as the arbor on which the blade sits is too short to accommodate anything larger than the standard table saw blades. In addition, the reduced rpm of the machine together with the less common 25.4 mm bore size means that it is not recommended to use blades other than the small selection from Evolution Power tools.
Overall, the FURY5-S shows some improvements in design over its predecessor but is still lacking in other areas. Of particular note is that it represents another version of the generic table saw that is available to consumers at the lower end of the price scale. The FURY5-S does have its unique capabilities that are characteristic of Evolution saws, but it also suffers from some of the same issues other saws of the ‘generic’ category suffer from. One of the most obvious of these is the variability in quality from the manufacturer which often has a direct impact on the overall accuracy of the machine. As a result, the FURY5-S is not recommended for very accurate work nor work that will be very visible in the final build. It is better suited for rough dimensioning of timber, structural work, and the occasional rip cutting job where accuracy is not mission-critical.
VonHaus 1800W 10-inch Table Saw Review
The table saw from VonHaus is a cutting machine for the budget end of the market. For the price, you get a decent enough table saw but with some features where quality has obviously taken a back seat. Assembly of the table saw is straightforward with instructions that are clear and concise and with well-machined manufactured parts that fit together properly - something that is not always the case with workshop tools at the economical end of the price spectrum. The table itself is of a reasonable size measuring approximately 67cm by 48cm - good enough for the majority of DIY cutting jobs. The motor is a powerful 1800W which will slice through even the hardest woods without much trouble and shows its power right from the get-go as there is no soft-start feature on the motor (which is true of most budget table saws) and the machine tends to ‘explode’ (rather shockingly) into full-speed action as soon as it is switched on. The VonHaus table saw conveniently has dust extraction ports located both on the top blade guard as well as on the back of the machine, which are quite effective at removing sawdust (although some does still escape), and a vacuum hose splitter is required to connect both ports to the vacuum system at the same time. The stand that comes with the VonHaus bench saw is level and sturdy although takes a little while to assemble and is not intended to be in any way portable.
On the more negative side, features like the rip and crosscutting fences on the VonHaus table saw are not particularly inspiring. In the case of the rip fence, it does not extend the full-length of the table and, although it locks properly on the front side of the table saw, it is free on the other end allowing it to move slightly out of alignment if too much pressure is applied when crosscutting. In addition, the mitre guide is also somewhat sub-standard especially compared to more expensive table saw equivalents as it is itself a bit flimsy and shows more wobble than desired when seated in the saw table’s tracks.
Overall, the VonHaus table saw is worth the money one pays for it if it is to be used by the occasional DIY-er rather than the carpentry enthusiast or professional. However, for more avid users, the VonHaus table saw is recommended by a number of DIY-ers as an inexpensive ‘base’ on which to build one’s own more professional table saw, usually by adding extended surfaces around the cutting area as well as upgrading the various fences and other components with a little bit of DIY hacking.
Einhell TC-TS 2025 Table Saw Review
The Einhell TC-TS 2025 is a mid-level table saw that has a number of nice features but also a couple of not so nice ones. First off, it has a powerful 1800W motor which turns a 250mm diameter blade. It can cut up to a depth of 85mm in its default perpendicular cutting position and up to 65mm when the blade is angled at 45°, both of which are relatively high cutting maximums compared to other machines in the same table saw category.
Useful features on the Einhell table saw include the ability to adjust the angle of the blade relatively quickly using the same control wheel that also adjusts the height of the blade, while the cutting blade itself can be fully lowered below the surface of the table if the table saw top ever needs to be used as a flat working space instead. Another nice touch with the Einhell table saw is the convenient stowage of spare blades and the spanners required to change the blade, which is located on the side of the machine.
For its relatively high-powered motor, the Einhell TC-TS 2025 is a surprisingly light weight machine coming in at only 21kg. This is in part achieved through the use of light weight plastic for its main body enclosure and for the majority of its other components. This makes the Einhell table saw easier to move around the workshop when needed, but also makes it slightly less durable in the long-term, although these days most table saws in this price range make ample use of plastic making the Einhell table saw no less durable than competitor machines. The Einhell’s lighter weight also makes it slightly less stable than heavier machines especially when loading or unloading larger workpieces. However, although its lighter weight means it is more portable than other machines, the rest of its physical characteristics have not been designed with portability in mind. Nowhere is this more evident than in the table extensions on either side of the main table which are attached using permanent nuts and bolts rather than some kind of a removable mechanism to allow them to be stowed away quickly when the machine needs to be moved.
Other nice features of the Einhell TC-TS 2025 are the vacuum ports integrated both into the top blade guard as well as the main body of the machine which is responsible for aspirating away the sawdust and debris. However, although it is good to see them designed into both the main body and the blade guard (something that is not found on all table saws), their overall effectiveness at keeping the workplace clean is mediocre with quite a bit of sawdust still escaping.
Another useful feature on the machine is the ease with which the blade guard can be removed and replaced through the use of a thumbscrew. Although it is always recommended to use a blade guard for safety reasons, there are times when it needs to be removed for certain types of cuts. By making the blade guard effortless to remove and replace goes a long way to ensuring that it is used as often as possible. The riving knife on the table saw is also removable, however its absence makes the use of any table saw more dangerous as the risk of kickback increases.
Table saws in this price range generally have sub-standard rip fences and mitre gauges, and unfortunately, the Einhell TC-TS 2025 table saw is no different. To begin with, the rip fence on the machine does not project the full length of the table and is not designed to be locked down on its furthest end. This makes the fence more prone to being accidentally nudged out of alignment while cutting which leads to inaccurate results. The mitre gauge or sled also leaves some room for improvement with basic design and predominantly plastic build. Usually, the situation can be improved with a better quality after-market replacement, however, the non-standard-sized track on the Einhell machine’s table makes finding a compatible one a difficult prospect.
On the yet more negative side, the lack of measurement markings beyond the central table into the side extensions is also a disappointment, as well as the inability to attach the rip fence beyond the central table on the table extensions. This significantly limits the rip cutting capacity of the machine when using the rip fence.
Overall, the Einhell TC-TS 2025 table saw is not unlike many of the other machines in its price category with some useful features. It also has a decent build quality that is typical of most of the German company’s power tools. However, design-wise on the Einhell TC-TS 2025, there is some room for improvement, especially with the side extensions, the rip fence and the mitre gauge. Consequently, The Einhell machine is only recommended for the DIYer who just needs a good machine for occasional use which will not break the bank. For the more seasoned DIYer or professional however, they will likely be better served by looking elsewhere.
Ryobi RTS1800EF-G Table Saw Review
The RTS1800EF-G table saw is Ryobi’s contribution to the UK consumer table saw market. Feature-wise, this Ryobi table saw has an 1800W electric motor which can make cuts in wood up to 80mm deep at 90° and up to 55mm at 45° making it a reasonably capable machine. The Ryobi table saw incorporates a soft start feature meaning the motor more gradually increases to full speed compared to other consumer table saws where the lack of a soft start can make these powerful machines abruptly jump into action rather unpleasantly. The blade size that comes with the Ryobi RTS1800EF-G table saw is the standard 254mm (10 inch) diameter 48-tooth cross-cutting type that is typical of 1800W machines but of course this can be changed to suit the job at hand. This Ryobi saw is relatively light for a table saw coming in at just under 27kg, and with its integrated wheels and trolley system making up part of its leg stand, the RTS1800EF-G is quite a portable machine.
Table size on the Ryobi RTS1800EF-G is quite good, with an unextended total surface area of approximately 546mm by 520mm, and with a right hand side table saw fence extension that increases the rip capacity of the table saw up to a maximum of 480mm.The fence itself, which nicely extends the full length of the table, features a secure locking front and rear attaching mechanism which helps with accuracy when making cuts (although we still prefer the rack and pinion system of the DeWalt DW745).
One other noteworthy positive with the RTS1800EF-G is the ability to quickly release and replace the blade guard without the need for any tools. As alluded to in our introduction to table saws, this is actually an important positive safety feature. This is because some types of cutting necessitate the removal of the blade guard, and being able to replace it effortlessly again afterwards increases the likelihood that it will be used as often as possible. The blade guard itself is transparent making visualising the cutting line also much easier for the operator.
Turning to the more negative aspects of Ryobi RTS1800EF-G, there are a couple of minor points that weigh down what is otherwise a pretty good table saw. First off, long-term durability of the table saw is a little questionable, as although the surface of the table is made of sturdy aluminium, the machine’s body has a significant number of lighter weight but less durable plastic parts. This may make the machine more susceptible to damage in the harsh environment of the workshop. Another minor issue to be aware of with the Ryobi table saw is that the leg stand is not as sturdy as we would have liked it to be. This is primarily because the designers of the power saw have clearly prioritised its portability over its robustness. However, if stability is more of a priority, then the Ryobi table saw can always be used on a solid table top with the leg stand removed. Finally, although the Ryobi table saw has a dust collection port on the back of the machine, there is no similar port designed into the blade guard as there is on some of its competitor machines.
Overall, the Ryobi RTS1800EF-G is a good table saw from a reputable company with features that have been thoughtfully designed. In addition, it is a reasonably capable machine for this category of table saw and so should be able to tackle any DIY-ing jobs that it encounters.
Evolution RAGE5-S Table Saw Review
The Evolution RAGE5-S table saw forms part of Evolution’s ‘Build Professional’ range recognisable from the orange colour scheme used on their professional line of power tools. As such, the RAGE5-S table saw is designed to cater to the demanding needs of building professionals and incorporates a number of features that are usually seen on much more expensive machines.
The RAGE5-S table saw has a 1800W electric motor, which should be capable of handling most cutting jobs, however, unlike more expensive machines it does not exhibit a soft-start feature making it start up rather abruptly. The table saw comes with Evolution's 255 mm diameter blade which has been made famous by its ability to cut through a variety of materials including wood, metal, and plastic. On the RAGE5-S table saw, the blade can cut wood up to a maximum depth of 83 mm or up to 58 mm when the blade is tilted to its fullest extent of 45°. The tilting of the blade uses the preferred mechanism of a locking lever system typical of more professional machines as opposed to a rack-and-pinion mechanism found on more budget table saws.
The default table surface area on the RAGE5-S is about what one would expect from a table saw of this size, but the RAGE5-S also has extendable side arms on both sides of the machine that, when fully extended, almost doubles the width of support that the table can provide which is especially useful when crosscutting longer pieces of stock. Fully extended, the rip capacity of the table on the right side of the blade is a generous 65 cm, while the rip capacity on the left side of the blade can accommodate 30.5 cm, making it a very capable table saw. The rip fence itself is very sturdy and, although it is locked and unlocked using a single front lever-operated clamp, the other end of the rip fence also hooks firmly on to the table preventing any inadvertent lateral movement when making rip cuts. One note of caution however, is that it is possible to clamp the fence slightly out of alignment, but if care is taken when positioning the fence, this can be mostly avoided. Finally, the left table extension incorporates a sliding front-to-back carriage which makes crosscutting on the RAGE5-S table saw a pleasure to do, and is a feature that is generally hard to find in this price category of table saw.
The RAGE5-S table saw weighs a hefty 33.5 kg but fortunately the power tool has been designed with an integrated trolley system which allows the machine to be quickly folded up and rolled over to another location within the workshop or worksite. Unfortunately, the designers have not taken into account rolling the machine through a standard-sized doorway as it is approximately 15 cm too wide for most doorways found in a typical building, forcing the operator to turn it sideways and essentially drag it through a doorway rather inelegantly.
Dust collection on the RAGE5-S is facilitated by a single dust collection hose that splits itself between the upper blade guard and the underside of the machine which is a good feature to have in order to minimise sawdust getting everywhere, however the dust collection effectiveness itself is more mediocre than excellent.
One notable negative with the RAGE5-S table saw that is worth mentioning is that a number of reviewers have reported that the machine can suffer from inaccuracies in build quality with such things as less than perfectly flat table surfaces, blades that are a few millimetres out of alignment, or components that don't perfectly fit together to create the desired function. However, this is probably not so surprising given the price of the machine and the fact that Evolution has clearly prioritised packing the machine with useful features over ensuring perfectly consistent build quality from machine to machine. As a result don't expect to have a perfectly functioning table saw right out-of-the-box, as a little bit of DIY hacking is likely needed before you can get consistently accurate cuts.
Overall, the RAGE5-S portable table saw has a lot to offer with its many features and its reasonable UK price, however, it is best suited for an owner that does not mind a bit of fussing over it particularly when setting it up, in order for it to work perfectly accurately. So as long as that caveat is acceptable, the Evolution RAGE5-S table saw is highly recommended.
Note that if you're buying the RAGE5-S from Amazon, due to its heavy weight, it is a bit of a lottery as to whether couriers will treat the package with sufficient care, as a number of users have reported receiving damaged packages most likely due to courier issues. Fortunately both Amazon and Evolution are both quite responsive when it comes to customer service and any problems have been quickly resolved. So just be sure to check all parts of the machine for both damage and quality control issues before you begin to assemble it, so you are not left with the dilemma of whether to just forge on with a less than perfect machine or go through the pain of disassembling and repackaging it for return.
DeWalt DW745 Bench Saw Review (our favourite)
The DeWalt DW745 table saw is an excellent all-round machine that is also built for portability, if you can afford the high price tag. Features we like include the ability to change the angle of the blade simply by unlocking and moving the blade to the required angle. This is much better than the more common method of having to use a rotating wheel to wind the blade to the right angle. In addition, the rip fence on the DeWalt table saw is adjusted by means of a rack and pinion as opposed to a freehand adjustment - this affords very accurate placement of the fence at the desired width.
Another excellent and unique feature, especially if you need to move your bench saw around a bit, is the metal cage that surrounds the plastic casing of the machine. This protects the machine and allows one to pretty much just throw the machine around without too much thought. We also like the fact that the fence goes the full length of the table and is secured on both sides and there is even a dust extraction port at the top of the saw blade. This is a sweet machine saw and one of the best portable table saws available in the UK if you have the money to pay for it, and it is definitely our favourite!
Parker Brand PTS-250 Table Saw Review
The PTS-250 table saw from Parker Brand represents a good value proposition for the DIY-er on a budget. With this budget power saw, one gets a decent level of capability without it costing an arm and a leg. This table saw is sturdily-built (with the exception of a couple of components discussed further on) and sports a standard 255mm diameter saw blade. The blade is powered by a hefty 2000W motor, making the PTS-250 table saw one of the more powerful available to the DIY consumer, and providing more than enough power for any of the timber-cutting requirements of DIY work. The saw can cut timber up to a healthy 85 mm in depth when sawing perpendicularly, and up to an equally-considerable 65 mm when cutting at an angle of 45º. However, with this high level of power comes with it a high level of noise, so one thing home users will have to take into consideration when purchasing is its location of use, especially if one does not want to annoy the neighbours.
Another excellent feature of the Parker Brand PTS-250 is its generous 642 mm x 938 mm table surface dimensions, providing a fair amount of support for the cutting of larger wood stock. This large work surface area facilitates a reasonably-sized maximum rip cutting capacity of 41 cm when using the rip fence. Unfortunately, the rip fence that comes with the machine leaves a lot to be desired as the accessory does not extend the full length of the table, nor does it lock down to the table on its far side. This invariably means that the unclamped end of the rip fence tends to move a few millimetres out of alignment if too much pressure is applied, which results in less than perfectly-parallel rip cutting. For more accurate work, making one’s own sturdier rip fence that can be clamped down on both ends of the table is recommended with this machine.
In addition to the rip fence, the Parker Brand table saw also comes with its own mitre gauge. Unfortunately, like the rip fence, this too is similarly lacking in design primarily due to its overly loose fit in the mitre slots of the PTS-250 table surface. This looseness is not as critical as the unwanted movement found with the rip fence but again attests to the overall budget nature of the table saw.
Another positive feature of the table saw is the measuring ruler attached to the front edge of the machine which extends the full width of the table surface including its side table extensions. These side table extensions, however, have been designed to be fixed into place permanently, which means that the table permanently occupies a relatively large footprint and does not lend itself to being easily moved around the workspace. A better design would have made these side table extensions hinged so that they could be lowered for compactness if the machine needs to be relocated. This is particularly poignant given that the table saw is relatively light in weight compared to several other competitor machines and would have even been considered portable were it not for its bulky nature.
Initial setup of the machine is also, for the most part, a positive process requiring an hour or so to put it together. Instructions are clear, and the machine is relatively easy to assemble. However, the machine is a bit let down by the difficulty one encounters when ensuring that the blade is accurately aligned with the mitre slots and the table surface as a whole, with the misalignment between the back and front of the blade often in the order of a few millimetres. Time needs to be spent making sure the blade is aligned to the table if accurate rip cuts are to be made, and this alignment needs to be regularly checked with the increasing use of the machine.
Overall, the Parker Brand PTS-250 is a good budget table saw with some nice features, including its high power and high cutting capacities. However, like other budget machines, accuracy on the PTS-250 suffers, given the difficulty in aligning the blade, or if attention is not paid to the inadequacies of the included rip fence and mitre gauge. Once again, like other budget machines, the Parker Brand PTS-250 table saw is often used as a ’foundation’ on which to build a much more accurate and capable power saw. This can be accomplished by adjusting and replacing some of its less than perfect components and through a little bit of DIY hacking.
Table Saws: Discontinued
Evolution FURY5 Table Saw Review
***Update: The FURY5 has since been discontinued and replaced with the FURY5-S which has some enhanced specifications.***
The Evolution FURY5 table saw is a machine with a lot of nice features but also a couple of not so nice ones. First off, the Evolution blade is excellent. The same blade can be used to cut a range of different materials including, wood, aluminium, and even steel, without the need to change the blade as is common with most other table saws. Like most machines, changing the blade or adjusting the height of the riving knife can be done by the removal of two screws which give access to the insides of the machine, but since the blade can be used on a variety of materials, this should be a relatively infrequent occurrence. Unlike other table saws, changing the angle of the blade involves rotating the same wheel that raises and lowers the blade. Although this is a little more convenient than having two separate adjustment wheels, we still prefer the DeWalt DW745 table saw's 'floating' system of blade angle change (see earlier DeWalt DW745 review). Unfortunately, the machine is let down slightly by having a fence that does not go all the way to the end of the table which can lead to inaccuracies when cutting shorter stock. However to compensate, they have provided a facility to allow attachment of your own (full-length) version of a fence that you might conjure up. Overall a very versatile machine and definitely a contender for the top spot.
Pingtek Blueline PT48250-B Table Saw Review
This is a budget table saw and as you might expect requires a little bit of fiddling and calibration to get it working smoothly and accurately as their manufacturing process is not always spot on. In addition, assembly instructions are on the inadequate side making it more difficult to put together than one would hope. If you are the solutions-oriented DIY type (which you probably are since you are interested in a table saw!), then this should not be a problem for you and will certainly increase your understanding of how it all works together. On the positive side the table saw surface extensions make for a big working area which is a big plus, but unfortunately, the rip fence can not be moved all the way to the end of the right-side extension which is a bit of a disappointment if you plan on cutting anything larger then its relatively small rip capacity. The fence itself is also a bit flimsy and requires a little innovative thinking to get it firmly attached to the table. In addition, the saw can not take Dado blades limiting its use to rip, cross and mitre cutting only. It is also only suitable for cutting timber so if you need to cut any other materials on a table saw, then this is not the table saw for you. Overall the saw is very good for the price but only if you are willing to do a little bit of messing around with it at first to get it all working smoothly, and the very responsive customer service from Pingtek certainly makes a difference.
Pingtek Blueline PT48250-S Table Saw Review
This is the second of two Pingtek table saws that we have decided to review here which just goes to indicate how popular Pingtek saws are with consumers. With this model, instead of table extensions increasing the overall surface area of the table, you have a sliding extension to the right of the table which also houses the rip fence increasing its rip capacity dramatically compared to its sibling. The unique feature of this table saw is the sliding carriage where part of the table itself slides with the workpiece being cut acting as a sort of rear extension to the table - this sort of design is usually only seen on much more expensive saws. However, a minor negative is the catch that is designed to keep the carriage in place when not sliding is a touch on the flimsy side. The machine is also more highly powered than its sibling with an 1800W motor but once again, it can only be used for cutting wood which puts a limit on its use. Although the fence only clamps on one end, it is pretty firmly held and there is very little lateral movement (if any) at the unclamped end. One let down is that although they have a dust extractor port on the top of the blade guard, no tubing is provided to fit it and Pingtek doesn't supply it - you have to come up with that yourself. Once again with the Pingtek table saws, a bit of fiddling is required to get the saw operating precisely, but you get very good after-sales service from the company to help you fix any issues.