Complete Buyer's Guide and Reviews of the Best Cabinet Table Saw On The Market (5 Top Saws Reviewed)
Reviews by woodworkers for woodworkers
For professional woodworkers, millworking companies, furniture makers and even some small scale manufacturers, the table saw will be the most used piece of equipment in their facility. Needless to say it is a decision that should be given some thought and you should make sure that you purchase the right machine for your business.
Why your shop needs a great cabinet saw & why a standard table saw isn't enough
Your full sized table saw or cabinet saw as it is often referred to as, will be the most used piece of equipment in your shop.
If you are a small scale millworks company, repair shop, maker space or another business that rely’s on your tools to make a living, you already know that having the right equipment makes a large difference. A quality table saw just may be the most important item in your shop.
It is well understood that the increased horsepower means cleaner, faster cuts through even the densest, thickest wood. One other benefit of heavy duty table saws such as these cabinet saws is just how stable they are. Cabinet saws are not designed for contractors that need their table saw on the job, they are designed to be heavy duty and make precise accurate cuts. The saws we recommend here, offer just that.
Full sized table saws (cabinet saws) allow you to:
- Cut dense, thick wood. You won’t have any problem cutting dense stock
- Have large work surfaces and outfeed tables. Because these machines are designed for millworks companies, there is plenty of room to maneuver your project. This room is also great for those woodworkers that create their own sleds.
- Highly accurate cutting. The sheer size and power of these machines means faster, more accurate cuts.
What features should your new table saw offer?
Knowing what specs you’ll need in your table saw will help make an informed decision on what equipment to put in your shop.
- Horsepower. Most full sized cabinet saws lines start at 3HP and some saws such as Powermatic’s line run all the way up to 7.5 HP.
- If you work with a lot of hard woods and thick stock, look at band saws with at least 4 HP.
- Dimensions. The sizes are fairly comparable from brand to brand. Just make sure you have room in your shop for this beast.
- Enclosed base. There are a handful of retailers that will market their hybrid saws as cabinet saws…don’t be fooled. If your saw stands on legs, it’s a hybrid. There are great hybrid saws on the market…but they’re not cabinet saws.
- Brand name. There are a few brands to avoid. If you buy any of the products that we feature, you’ll be doing just fine.
- Fence system. Woodworkers can be picky. Just make sure your saw is compatible with your favorite fence system. If you’re buying anything from our list, your fence will fit just fine.
Selecting the best equipment for your woodworking shop:
SawStop - 5HP Cabinet Table Saw Review
Winner: Best Cabinet Saw
Winner: Safest Cabinet Saw
SawStop has become a name that is renowned with professional woodworkers for the safety of their products. Their patented stopping technology is proven to have saved many woodworkers their fingers and/or hands.
The SawStop features a safety system that set the saw apart from others. Aside from that, all of the traditional functionality of a high-end cabinet saw is present in this machine. Infeed and outfeed table options, custom fences and a router table that connects to the base of the saw. This saw is a winner and strongly recommended for both amateur and expert woodworkers.
- Great name brand with incredible safety features
- Built in dust collection
- Infeed table, outfeed table and router table add-ons
- More expensive than competing saws due to the safety features
Laguna - Fusion F3 Table Saw Review
Runner-up: Best Cabinet Saw
Laguna has long been our favorite name when it comes to woodworking. Their Fusion F3 sets the standard when it comes to commercial table saws or cabinet saws. This motor has some serious power and the table extension offers very impressive size.
Both 36 inch and 52 inch rip options are available and all saws come with built-in dust collection. The only knock on this saw is it has 3HP instead of the 5 that is offered by the Powermatic saw. While this is plenty for 95% of wood shops, some companies opt for the Powermatic as it is a bit heavier and more powerful.
Not only is the Laguna the best cabinet saw on the market in my own (and other woodworkers) opinion. It is also the lowest price option. This is a clear purchase.
- Great name brand and warranty
- Competitively priced
- Easy to clean and adjust
- Built in dust collection
- Slightly smaller than other saws.
- No infeed or outfeed table option
Powermatic - 5HP Cabinet Table Saw Review
Powermatic specializes in building heavy-duty machines for the professional woodworker. Because of this, they offer more options of heavy duty cabinet saws.
Their 5HP model is possibly the heaviest, most powerful cabinet saw on the market. This saw offers unparalleled stability and power.
- Very sturdy, low vibration
- Strong warranty and name brand
- 5 HP & 50 inch Rip capacity
- Easily adjustable
- Priced above the comparable Laguna saw.
Jet - 3HP Deluxe Cabinet Table Saw Review
Jet has been making professional woodworking products for over 30 years and has built a strong reputation as making reliable equipment.
While the 50 inch rip capacity and the 3 horsepower are strong metrics for a cabinet saw, I find that the lack of an infeed and outfeed table add-on makes this saw less popular with millworking companies. Regardless, Jet is still a strong brand and this is a quality saw.
It’s worth noting that this is a heavy duty saw. I’ve used several Jet saws but this one really has some power behind it. Despite such a powerful motor, I didn’t feel like that blade was vibrating at all.
- Sturdy, low vibration
- Strong warranty and name brand
- 3 HP & 50 inch rip capacity is enough for any professional woodworker
- No infeed or outfeed table option
- Priced a bit higher than the competing Laguna saw
Can I Make Due With A Hybrid Table Saw or Contractor Saw?
If you’re a mill working business, cabinet maker or other full-time woodworking business, it would be a wise investment to upgrade to a cabinet saw that will last you a generation. Hybrids are great tools for businesses that do SOME woodworking, but if wood is more than 30% of your business, opt for the full-sized table saw.
A contractor saw or a benchtop table saw are a no-go. If you’re a hobbyist or contractor, they’re portability is great and their power may be sufficient. However, they don’t belong in a millworking shop.
One of the Best Cabinet Table Saws In Action
Renowned for their safety, have a look at this full-sized SawStop cabinet table saw in action and see if it would be a fit for your business. We selected it as our choice as the best pick in the cabinet table saw category. As mentioned above, keeping your fingers is a nice touch that the SawStop offers.
What Features and Accessories You Should Look For
When selecting the best cabinet table saw for your shop, you should understand how much power you need, what size limitations you have, if any, what size motor you’ll need on your saw and have a general understanding of what features you need with your unit.
Equally as important as the features you should look for when purchasing a cabinet table saw are the features that you may want to add on to your unit after the fact. For instance, some companies such as Powermatic have a variety of features available as well as small, medium and large cutting table size. However, there are fewer after market accessories that can be added on to these saws.
Is a 52 Inch Rip Capacity Enough?
For the majority of cabinet makers, a 52 inch fence is plenty on a table saw. However, if you are a high production manufacturing facility, it may make sense for you to go straight to getting a cabinet table saw or a panel saw.
While the panel saw will give you the width needed for even wider stock, for the vast majority of cabinet making facilities, a 52 inch fence will get the job done. This is especially true considering many cabinet makers take the fence off of their saw altogether and just use their custom sleds.
Is The Price Justified? I Already Have a $300 Craftsman Saw
If you are really looking to create professional wood projects, you’ll need something much more serious than your standard Home Depot table saw. While the best cabinet table saws are not inexpensive, it is the price of doing business and the professional woodworkers that are dedicated to building cabinets as a career make their money back hundreds of times over.
Simply put, your standard 10 inch table saw is great for hobbyists. However, if you are a career woodworker, the cost of a professional table saw, with a 5 hp one phase motor, riving knife and a table extension will be an investment in your new career that you cannot miss on.
What are the Best Saw Safety Features?
There are a handful of safety systems on the market, but the majority of them just protect against one or two small occurrences that may or may not ever happen. For instance, a riving knife helps stop the table saw blade from kicking back. Or, more realistically, it helps limit its large blade kickbacks.
The SawStop is the best cabinet table saw in the class due primarily to its safety system. Sure, the saw has great dust collection, a full range of accessories and has very low vibration for precision cuts. However, it is the safety features that really make this my favorite cabinet table saw. View the video of the cabinet saw in action above if you haven’t already. Sure, the price of the SawStop saws is higher than it’s competitors, but it’s an investment that you’ll be happy you made.
Dimensions for the Best Cabinet Table Saws
If you are looking for a cabinet table saw, chances are you are scaling up your production and need something more substantial than a benchtop or hybrid table saw. You should know that scaling up your cabinet production or any other woodworking production should also mean that you are moving into a large space or that you already have a large shop. The best cabinet table saws have at least 50 inch rip capacities, enclosed bases for the large motor and two additional legs at the end of the table extension. Because of these larger dimensions, you’ll need some room to operation around your new cabinet saw. Especially if you use either an infeed or an outfeed table which many cabinet makers find adds speed to their cuts.
The motor alone adds substantially more weight to the cabinet table saw than you get with the hybrid or craftsman saws. Combine this with features such as a 52 inch rip fence that comes with many models of cabinet table saw and you’ll have a saw that has some serious weight to it. Double check the dimensions of your shop before ordering one, because this saw is likely the largest piece of equipment you’ll own.
What Saw Blades Should You Use
I have found that some people are unclear about what exactly a cabinet saw is and therefore think that they need to get some type of special blade if they are planning on getting a new cabinet style saw. Essentially a cabinet saw is just a larger version of a table saw. You still can use your standard table saw blade. Just be sure that you are using something quality or you may be unhappy with the way your woodworking project comes out. There are countless examples of saving a few hundred dollars on a table saw that doesn’t have a riving knife, insufficient table size or a quality rip fence and therefore the dimensions of the cut are then thrown off and the wood and time are wasted.
While the blade dimensions are really no different than you would use with a smaller table saw, it is important to invest in a quality blade so that the increaser power output you are getting from the larger motor is not wasted. You could have the best saw motor in the world, but if you have a cheap, dull blade you won’t be pleased with how your cabinets came out.
What Criteria Did We Use to Pick the Best Cabinet Table Saw
In making our pick for best cabinet table saw we had to think about what really matters for commercial woodworkers. These are folks that are working in their shop all day and need the best quality equipment. A mediocre table saw won’t cut it when you do woodwork for 40+ hours per week.
Top quality cabinet table saws typically highlight features such as:
- a rip fence at least 50 inch rip capacity. You’ll find that many saws come in at closer to 70 inches. This will be a new feature for you if you are upgrading from a bench top table saw.
- At least a 10 inch blade. 10 inches has become somewhat standard for cabinet saws, although you’ll find a saw or two that accepts a larger blade.
- A motor large enough and with enough HP and have the RPM capacity to work all day, rip large thick pieces of wood and also have the ability to be fine tuned to the parameters that the woodworker finds to be best. These cabinet motors come in larger sizes than those of a standard table saw. The weight and size is typically not necessary for a hobbyist looking for a smaller package table saw, but it is needed when stepping up to a cabinet table saw.
Features Specific to Cabinet Saws (fence, HP, rip capacity, etc.)
Cabinet Saw fence
Having a quality fence system is seen as a “nice feature” when you are a hobbyist woodworker. However, if you are a professional cabinet maker, you’ll find this feature to be a must.
Due to the fact that you will be ripping large pieces of wood down to size all day, a rip fence is a must. This will allow you to cut the plywood down to size with precision and with the speed that will be necessary in a commercial shop. The best cabinet saws have at least 50 inches of table size and a quality, easy to move rip fence so that you can quickly size your cuts to the proper dimensions before making them.
A feature that has become standard in the woodworking industry is the riving knife. It used to be seen as an extra safety feature that many woodworkers think got in the way. However, it is now seen as a necessary safety feature that comes standard on the SawStop, Powermatic, Jet and Grizzly saws. If you are looking to buy a cabinet table saw that doesn’t appear in this article, check first to make sure it comes with this safety feature.
The more time you spend in your woodshop, the more likely the saw blade is to kick back and potentially cause a serious injury. A standard riving knife will cut down this risk significantly and should be seen as a necessary safety measure in all shops.
If you are looking at a saw that doesn’t come with a riving knife, there are several places where you can buy a knife after-market and add it onto your saw.
In order to ensure precision, all of the best cabinet table saws come with powerful motors. In general, these motors range from 3 hp, all the way up to 7.5 hp. You may think that this is overkill and that you don’t need this much power, but in fact purchasing one of these cabinet saws end up being worth its price and it ends up being an investment that will save you money in the long run.
Having the additional hp in a cabinet saw motor means that you won’t need to replace the blade as frequently as you otherwise would. You may also find that the proper motor will give you the ability to make cuts with greater precision and that your pieces will come out to the exact dimensions that you intended.
Since you are looking for a cabinet saw to outfit your shop, I’d assume that you’re a commercial woodworker, cabinet maker or maker of other quality furniture. Because of this, I think you may benefit from reading a new article that I put together about selecting the best band saw for resawing.