Complete Buyer's Guide and Reviews of the Best Cabinet Table Saws On The Market
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 are getting 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.
It is well understood that the increased horsepower means cleaner, faster cuts through even the densest, thickest wood. One other benefit of heavy duty saws such as these cabinet saws is just how stable they are. Cabinet saws are not designed for contractors that need their 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.
Aside from the safety features that set the saw apart, 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 machine.
Contractor saws 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 mill working shop.
One of the Best Cabinet Table Saws In Action
Renowned for their safety, have a look at this full-sized SawStop saw in action and see if it would be a fit for your business. 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 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. However, if you are a high production manufacturing facility, it may make sense for you to go straight to getting 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 saw is great for hobbyists. However, if you are a career woodworker, the cost of a professional 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.
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 blade from kicking back. Or, more realistically, it helps limit its large 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.
Cabinet Saw Dimensions
If you are looking for a cabinet saw, chances are you are scaling up your production. 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.
The motor alone adds substantially more weight to the cabinet model saws than you get with the hybrid or craftsman saws.
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.
While the blade dimensions are really no different than you would use with a smaller 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.