Choosing the right portable jobsite table saw isn’t as straightforward a choice as it may seem. Because you are looking at a saw to take on the go, the variables aren’t as simple as they are for a saw that you’re going to set up and leave in place. Our reviews took a look at a handful of models on the market and ranked them in terms of performance and value.
If that’s enough for you, we’re happy to have helped. But it’s a pretty big investment, so we totally understand if you want a little more information than a handful of words on a few specific models. We want to help you there, too. We assembled a buyers’ guide based on the criteria we used in ranking these saws and offered some insights into how we used them.
We hope that you find value in what we’ve done, and wish you the best of luck in finding the right saw for you.
|Bosch 4100-09||124 lbs||4.9/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Hitachi C10RJ 10″||96 lbs||4.3/5|
|Jet JBTS-10MJS||90 lbs||4.1/5|
It was a no-brainer to give the DeWalt DWE7491RS our nod as top pick. It does everything you want from a portable table saw. It’s got a powerful motor and delivers cuts as accurate as you might reasonably expect from a portable table saw. It has good features to help maximize its performance once you get it to where you need to do your work. But, above everything else, this one is a snap to move around.
It weighs in at almost 100 pounds, which doesn’t sound very portable, but it comes with a built-in stand that collapses and is designed so you can get it from Point A to Point B seamlessly. Portability is a pretty big deal when it comes to portable tools, and that’s especially true of table saws that can be big and bulky. This one delivers.
The only drawback was that the miter gauge isn’t very accurate. It might also move around a little bit. If this were a stationary saw, in fact, that would be enough to warrant dropping it out of the top rank. But portability means sacrificing a little in accuracy and this one otherwise brings it.
It was a close contest between the DeWalt and the Bosch 4100 for our top pick. Both saws are powerful. Both of them are pretty easy to use, and both are comparably priced.
The Bosch pulled away in terms of cutting accuracy. We expected some loss in accuracy in a portable saw. That’s just the nature of the beast. But the Bosch held up pretty well. It still wasn’t as good as a stationary saw, but it was pretty close. And where the DeWalt’s miter gauge is, to put it mildly, problematic, the Bosch delivered up-and-down accuracy. It’s a worthy bearer of the Bosch name.
We dropped it to runner-up because as much as we liked its accuracy and dedication to quality cutting, it just wasn’t as compact or portable as the DeWalt. If you’ve chosen to buy a jobsite saw, you’ve already made portability one of the most important criteria in choosing which one you want. This one is portable, and not difficult to move around. It’s just not as portable as the DeWalt.
As an occasional, budget-driven portable jobsite table saw, Skil’s 3410-02 delivers the best for-dollar value of all the saws we looked at.
Our review models all shared common things in terms of quality and power. Can you get the saw to a jobsite? Can it perform basic work there? Is it safe? On all three of those, for the Skil the answer is yes. It also does this at the lowest price of all these saws. That makes it a great budget value.
When it comes to separating the best of the best, it’s the little things that make the difference. Although this one is the lightest at 67 pounds, the stand doesn’t come with wheels. While it’s technically portable, wheels make the added weight of the others more manageable. It’s also not designed to take the constant beating of a jobsite, and while we expect some degradation in quality for the price, the miter gauge is just not very good.
It’s the most affordable, and it does a basic job. For more than that, however, we’d recommend looking at something more expensive.
Hitachi’s C10RJ is a portable saw. There is no disputing that. You can move it to a jobsite and you can cut wood with it. It does so reasonably accurately. On top of that, it’s not going to latch onto your wallet like a vampire.
That’s mostly what got this saw dropped down to fourth place. It does everything it’s supposed to do, but unlike our top pick and runner-up, it just doesn’t excel in anything. Since you’re paying a comparable price for it, it’s not a very good value.
What’s worse, however, is that it’s pretty awkward to use. It takes some work to get it into a comfortable using position and takes some work to use comfortably. That’s easier to overlook in a stationary saw. But in a saw that you’re using in an environment full of variables, that’s a problem.
The Hitachi does its job. It’s not terribly expensive and it’s portable. It doesn’t do anything especially well, and it’s awkward to use. At least it’s not the JET JBTS-10MJS.
The best thing about the Jet JBTS-10MJS is that it’s easy to set up and take down. In fact, we’d even say that it excelled. That is as much an indictment of the saw as it is praising its positives.
It fails the very basic tests of a portable jobsite saw in that it’s heavy and clumsy to move around. That by itself would be enough to drop this turkey to the bottom of our rankings. But our problems didn’t end there. It’s also poorly manufactured and not at all steady once set up. This makes for poor cut control and unsafe tool usage.
Those problems might be forgiven a little bit if this wasn’t also easily the most expensive model we tested. That is, this was the worst quality saw we reviewed at the highest price. We can forgive a lot, but that’s something we can’t.
Buying the right jobsite table saw is a pretty big deal. For starters, they aren’t cheap. They can be several hundred dollars in price. From that standpoint alone, spending some time comparison shopping is worthwhile.
The jobsite table saw is also, by its very nature, a tool intended to be portable. You’re going to take it with you to where the work is, so it’s something you’ll want to be able to depend on. You’ll find yourself fresh out of alternatives if it doesn’t deliver what you need when you need it to.
We get why you’d read our reviews and perhaps want a little something more. We’re prepared to deliver it to you here with some tips we accumulated while researching.
Jobsite table saws are a fairly specific line of tools that trade some performance for rugged construction and portability. If you wanted to go for straight-up cutting quality, you’d be looking at workshop table saws. If you’re looking up jobsite table saws, it means you’ve decided you need a table saw that you can take to where the work is.
This is an important first step in getting the right saw to meet your needs. Right now, you might have browser tabs open researching different kinds of portable table saws. That brings us to your next choice: either a jobsite saw that comes with its own stand, or a benchtop saw that either sits on working space at the jobsite or for which you can pay extra for a separate stand.
Let’s assume that you choose a portable jobsite table saw instead of a benchtop saw. Why? Simple — you’re reading a review of portable jobsite table saws. The next question is how to pick the right one for you.
The primary reason you’re looking at portable jobsite table saws is that you want to work at the site, not haul what you’re cutting back to your workshop. Naturally, your first priority in choosing a saw is finding one that pairs portability with your needs.
An obvious starting point here is weight. If you can’t move the saw to the site, it’s not really all that portable. At 67 pounds, the Skil 3410 was the lightest of the portable saws we looked at. The rest of the saws are at least 20 pounds heavier. In fact, the other four saws we looked at are all bunched within a few pounds of each other, roughly between 90 and 100 pounds.
Maybe you’re building a moonshine still on the side of a mountain or something. We’re not here to judge, just to offer insights. But in that case, weight is likely to be important.
For the rest of your jobs, that’s why God invented the wheel. If you drive to a jobsite with stable floors, the saw’s weight can be mitigated by a functioning pair of wheels to handle the weight. In that case, look at jobsite saws that feature a stand designed to move around. A design that is intuitive to collapse and move around is superior to one that is clumsy. One of the reasons that the DeWalt DWE7491RS got our top pick was that it’s really very portable.
Your choice here is pretty straightforward. If you bought a stationary table saw, one that you set up and leave in your workshop, your intention is to take the work back there. But you’re looking for portability, which means you need to maximize the amount of power you take with you into the field.
In truth, you could barely fit a butter knife in the space between these saws when it comes to power. All of them have 15 amp motors, and while we could dive right into the weeds about relative RPMs, in practice that doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of raw cutting power.
You’re looking beyond the models we reviewed, so you will want to consider the amount of power a saw can deliver in the field compared to others of comparable portability. You can find highly portable saws with smaller motors. Your choice comes down not to raw numbers one way or the other, but serious consideration of what kind of power you need versus how portable you need your saw to be. It’s a little more complicated than looking at numbers on paper.
There are a couple of big differences between doing the work at the jobsite versus taking the work back to your workshop. Taking the work back home means having a wider array of specialized tools on hand to take on multiple tasks with the same workpieces. If you need to round corners in a piece of wood after cutting it down, that’s easier done in the workshop than taking a portable table saw, a jigsaw, and a sander to the job site.
That also means having more control in managing unanticipated hiccups. Job sites are inherently harder on tools, so when you’re choosing a portable table saw it means taking a good, hard look at which ones are more likely to take a beating and keep working. You’ll also want to look at saws with long operational lives. You can get a saw that’s super simple to move around and delivers great cutting power, but if it won’t work under difficult conditions or is just flat-out poorly designed, you might as well be lugging around a suitcase full of rocks.
We mentioned that working mobile means having less control over working conditions than in your workshop. You might work around other people, some of whom might have, er, lax safety standards. You might work outside, where weather can change abruptly. You might have reliability issues with your power source. You are also limited in alternative tools, so you might feel inclined to stretch your portable table saw’s operational range, whereas if you were back in the workshop you’d use something else. The point is, the variables are greater, but you can still exercise a little control by having as many excellent safety features built into your saw as possible.
For starters, is the on/off switch easy to locate and hit at a second’s notice? Cutting the juice to your saw is the first step towards managing its safe operation. A good second step is kickback control. A saw that jerks back after hitting a knot is really dangerous. If you’re mobile, where you might have less than reliable communication with rescue services, it’s an even more pressing issue.
It’s a hard reality that if you use a portable table saw, you’re going to sacrifice some accuracy for portability. If you need laser-accurate cutting, look at a stationary saw. But if you need to take your saw to job sites, it’s not something to overlook. If your saw doesn’t cut very accurate bevels in the field, those frames you’re constructing aren’t going to fit. Beyond the saw design itself, look for models with excellent fences to help guide your cuts. Between basic design and its superior fencing, the Bosch 4100 cuts bevels to within one-eighth-inch accuracy. That by itself was enough to warrant ranking it runner-up. If it’d been as portable as the DeWalt, it would have been our top pick.
The Skil 3410 was our best for the money choice. It was also the least expensive model that we reviewed. It delivered the best for-dollar value. It didn’t deliver the best overall performance, however. The question of price isn’t just a matter of comparing prices and going with the one that will hit your wallet the lightest. It’s a matter of weighing different performance factors and sorting out which ones you need to pay for and which ones are luxuries. The primary reason the Jet JBTS-10MJS got dropped to the bottom of the pile was that it is the most expensive model we reviewed, and was so without delivering relative increase in performance quality.
It’s also worth remembering that there is likely to be some play in online pricing. What has an advantage today might be a few bucks more expensive tomorrow. While we don’t see a lot of circumstances by which the three portable table saws in the middle are ever less expensive than the Jet or more affordable than the Skil, there is likely to be considerable variance in their prices. Because we’re talking about an investment running into the hundreds of dollars, we don’t recommend strictly sticking to price differences of 10-20 bucks. Not only will you want to price out features and decide what you’re willing to pay for, if you apply some online shopping savviness you might be able to save a few dollars on the saw you want.
DeWalt’s DWE7491RS did it all for us. It delivered cutting power, accuracy, and ruggedness. It was also the easiest to move around, and at the price delivered a fairly reasonable value. The Bosch 4100 was the most accurate of the saws in our reviews, and at a comparable price to the DeWalt. It just wasn’t as portable. The Skil 3410 was the lowest-priced and delivered the best for-dollar value. The Hitachi C10RJ was a capable saw but awkward to move around and use, but it was at least more affordable than the JET JBTS-10MJS, which for the price was horribly unstable.
We hope you found our reviews valuable in making the right portable jobsite table saw choice, and if our reviews reflect the start of your purchase choice, that you at least found something of value in our buyers’ guide. We wish you the best of luck.