Safest Table Saws – 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: June 29, 2021

If you're new to woodworking, finding the appropriate table saw can seem complicated.

This article will take a closer look at the safest table saws.

We'll discuss some of the vital aspects of a secure device and why we chose the tools we did.

Comparison of the Safest Table Saws

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Large aluminum top has increased work space
  • Restart protection helps avoid accidental startup
  • Powerful 15-amp table saw is strong and efficient
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  • Compact size for easy storage and transportation
  • Metal roll cage promises strong job site durability
  • 5800 rpm motor is 15 amps and made for power
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What Makes a Table Saw Safe?

Table saws can be relatively dangerous pieces of equipment when not used properly. Producers have been trying to make these tools safer to use. What sets the products apart that made the safest table saws list? 

The safest table saws on the market incorporate the following.

The Blade Guard

The blade guard is a standard but essential element of a safe table saw. As the name implies, this covering keeps the blade away from your skin. You can't cut without pushing back the guard, so you can't accidentally hurt yourself.

Riving Knives and Splitters

The purpose of these blades is to keep the cut you're working on open. If the wood can't close behind the blade, it reduces the risk of pinching and kickback.

Photo credit: reddit.com

Magnetic Switches 

This type of feature is useful if you live in a location with frequent power outages. If the power goes out or your machine faces overload, the magnetic switch automatically deactivates the device. 

If the power happens to come back on, you won't have to fend off stock flying wildly or crazy spinning blades.

Flesh Sensors

Several of the table saws on the market now incorporate flesh-sensing technology. To prevent injury, these saws deactivate when they come into contact with flesh. This new tech has saved countless fingers and hands.

Review of the Safest Table Saws

We've done a review of the safest table saws to make your purchasing decision easier. We'll be taking a closer look at some of the top choices on the market to see how they compare.

Best Overall:
Bosch Power Tools 4100-10

Bosch Power Tools 4100-10 Tablesaw - 10 Inch Jobsite Table Saw with 25 Inch Cutting Capacity and Portable Folding Table Stand

PROS

  • Protects you against accidental startups
  • The riving knife helps to ensure safe cuts
  • Anti-kickback pawls add a layer of protection
  • The responsive circuitry keeps the speed and power well-modulated
  • A translucent barrier guard ensures hand safety while providing a view of the cut

CONS

  • The rip fence may be hard to adjust
  • It doesn't include flesh detection sensors

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most recent customers seem pleased with the functionality of this machine. We saw scattered reports of motor bearings burning out quickly or the stand failing. However, everyone else says that this is a rugged machine, ideal for heavy-duty applications. Customers appreciate the ease of use and the responsive circuitry, which helps prevent power surges.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several things about this machine that appears heavy-duty to us. However, the main attraction has to be the three-pronged approach to cut safety. 

You have a translucent blade guard that lets you keep your hands safe while still allowing you to see where you’re cutting. Right behind that, the riving knife keeps the woodcut open to prevent pinching and kickback. 

Alongside the riving knife or splitter are the anti-kickback pawls, which hook into the wood to stop it from reversing. When you combine this three-step guard with the responsive circuitry, you have an ideal table saw. 

Bottom Line 

The portability, safety, and extra protective measures majorly contribute to this tool, making it among the safest table saws around. This saw contains many safety features that help to keep you in one piece. Furthermore, it has a strong motor and is easy to transport. With blade guards, riving knives, and responsive circuitry, this machine is a perfect choice.

Editor's Pick:
Dewalt Dwe7485

DEWALT Table Saw for Jobsite, Compact, 8-1/4-Inch (DWE7485)

PROS

  • 24½ inch rip capacity
  • Telescopic fence rails for easy adjustments
  • Internal storage for components that aren't in use
  • 5,800 revolution per minute motor for heavy-duty cuts
  • The modular blade guard is translucent to facilitate a view of where you’re cutting

CONS

  • Doesn't feature a splitter
  • Doesn't include SawStop technology

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most recent buyers give this tool a five-star rating. Considering that the saw is lightweight, compact, and portable, customers love the features. Many customers have commented on the sturdiness of this device and claim that it works well. Most clients also agree that the accuracy is fantastic for such a lightweight machine.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several reasons why this DeWalt made the safest table saws list. Foremost, it's lovely to find a portable device. The entire setup, including the telescopic fence rails, folds neatly into a portable package.

Furthermore, for the compact size of this device, it's mighty. You can rip hardwood with ease, thanks to the high-powered motor.

This saw also implements most of the safety features that are present in standard table saws. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a splitter. However, the many other safety features make up for that.

Bottom Line 

The Dewalt DWE7485 has many useful perks, and most contractors will love it. Its superb portability places it at the top of the line in that area. It also features all of the standard safety devices. If you want a lightweight, heavy-duty table saw, then this is an ideal choice.

3. Makita 2705

Makita 2705 10' Table Saw

PROS

  • Three-part blade guard system
  • Can rip four pieces of stock simultaneously
  • Conveniently movable fence for easy operation
  • Table extension on the right-hand side of the tool
  • The 4,800 revolution per minute blade speed creates optimal efficiency

CONS

  • No magnetic switch
  • Doesn't include flesh detection

What Recent Buyers Report 

The majority of clients are pleased with the outcome of their purchase. We did find one report of a saw that the supplier didn't calibrate well before shipping it to the customer. Another report claimed that a part was missing. Altogether, the rest of the clients were pleased with the efficiency and sturdiness.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What placed this Makita table saw on the list of safest table saws? First of all, this machine has a host of efficient functions. We particularly appreciate the table extension, which allows you to cut larger stock pieces.

From a safety standpoint, the see-through blade guard, riving saw, and anti-kickback pawls are fantastic. The giant on/off switch facilitates easy deactivation when needed. This tool is built to last, and you can easily use it for various applications.

The 15 amp motor also means that you can rip hardwood without a glitch.

Bottom Line 

If you're looking for a solid table saw that you could use in a multitude of different ways, then this is an excellent choice. The saw incorporates many features that enhance efficiency. You'll also find a variety of other constructs to avoid kickback and help keep your fingers intact when ripping stock.

4. Delta Power Tools 36-5100

Delta Power Tools 36-5100 Delta 10-Inch Left Tilt Table Saw with 30-Inch RH Rip

PROS

  • Easy to assemble
  • Quick-stopping blade brake
  • Efficient one-piece rail system
  • Riving knife to facilitate safe cuts
  • Conveniently located power switch for quick deactivation

CONS

  • Alignment may be a bit off
  • Parts get shipped separately, and they could get lost in transit

What Recent Buyers Report 

Many recent customers are pleased with their new acquisition, but not all. There are several complaints from customers claiming that the factory poorly aligned the saw. Other clients claim that parts of the tool broke very quickly.

The majority of buyers are delighted with it, saying that it serves their needs well. It's a heavy-duty saw and useful for the price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

What prompted us to include this piece of equipment in the safest table saws list? It has several noteworthy features, among which affordability isn't the least.

The extendable tabletop is a fantastic advantage to any operator. The blade guard, riving knife, and pawls for anti-kickback are safety superstars. We also love the fact that this tool has a low shutdown time. Whether you use the brake or the power button, the machine will stop almost instantly.

It's easy to maneuver this device, so portability is an added advantage. Having a portable yet efficient table saw is the dream of any contractor.

Bottom Line 

Affordability is this tool's main attraction. Portability and usability follow close on its heels. It's concerning that there are many complaints about parts getting lost in transit or lousy customer service. Apart from those complaints, there's nothing to discourage us from recommending this table saw. 

Honorable Mention:
Shop Fox W1837

Shop Fox W1837 10' 2 hp Open-Stand Hybrid Table Saw

PROS

  • 30-inch stock capacity
  • Has a built-in dust port
  • Three-part blade guard
  • The fence is removable for easy placement
  • A hybrid between a cabinet saw and a table saw

CONS

  • A cumbersome piece of equipment
  • Only maintains a speed of 3,450 revolutions per second

What Recent Buyers Report 

Most buyers are pleased with the acquisition of a Shop Fox W1837. Reports claim that it's a remarkable tool when bearing its affordability in mind. There were scattered reports of tables not being aligned well or having low accuracy. However, most clients are exceptionally pleased with their Shop Fox and say that they'd happily buy another.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A prominent feature is that this is a hybrid between a table and a cabinet saw. Having some of the additional setup tools of the cabinet saw is a plus. This tool is also accurate.

While this setup isn't very portable, it's incredibly sturdy. The cast-iron device is sure to last a while. 

The blade guard on this setup is made of highly transparent materials, facilitating easy viewing. You get all the protection without compromising visibility.

Bottom Line 

If you want to do woodwork that requires a high accuracy level, this device is worth considering. The parts are minutely adjustable, and the built-in dust port makes it easy to see what you're doing. Furthermore, the blade guard allows fantastic visibility. It's easily one of the best and safest table saws for any fine woodworking hobbyist.

Table Saw Safety Aspects to Take Into Consideration

When you're using a table saw, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to help maintain your safety. Let's look at some of them now.

Maintain a Safety Margin

Maintaining a margin of safety around the blade is critical. Never allow your hand within four inches of the blade on any side. 

Don't Stand Behind the Blade

When you're feeding stock through a table saw, the most dangerous place to be is directly behind the blade. You should always avoid standing in the zone between the miter slot and the fence.

Don't Apply Pressure to the Back of the Wood Stock

Applying all of the pressure to the back end of the stock when feeding it through is dangerous. Typically, the wood acts as a lever and lifts the front end. That type of scenario can create a kickback.

Photo credit: bobvila.com

Use a Riving Knife or Splitter When Possible

Riving knives and splitters prevent the cut from closing after the wood goes through the blade. When possible, use these tools to help prevent kickback. 

Don't Try to Push the Stock Through Faster Than the Blade Pulls It

If you're new to using a table saw, it can be tempting to push against the blade hard. There's no need to apply undue pressure, as the blade's centrifugal force helps pull the stock through. A little pressure goes a long way, and pushing too hard can be dangerous.

How Does a SawStop Work?

A SawStop type table saw sends a constant stream of electric pulses through the blade. It's not a strong enough current to shock you, but it allows the device to 'see' what's feeding through it. In a way, the technology is similar to ultrasound.

Photo credit: thesharpcut.com

When the blade comes into contact with something made of flesh, like a human finger, the electric pulses change. 

Because all flesh types are conductive, while wood is an insulator, the blade instantly knows to deactivate.

In the case of SawStop brand saws, the device contains a spring-loaded aluminum brake pad. When the blade comes into contact with flesh, the brake pad instantly slams into the blade and stops it dead. A secondary technology retracts the blade into the table, out of harm's way.

After an incident like this, you'll have to replace both the brake pad and the blade. However, a blade is considerably easier to replace than a hand. 

Do's and Don'ts Of Using a Table Saw Safely

There are a few things that you should always do when you're using a table saw and others that you should never do. Let's discuss them in detail, starting with the don'ts. 

Don't - Wear Loose Clothing

When you're using a table saw, you should never wear gloves, jewelry, or long sleeves. You also shouldn't wear loose-fitting clothes. The blade can easily snag on any loose items and drag you into the saw.

Don't - Stand Behind the Blade

It's a recurring theme, but an essential one. Positioning yourself behind the blade is a dangerous idea. If you get a kickback despite your safety precautions, standing behind the blade puts you in the firing zone. 

Blunt materials can give you a bruise or break some ribs. Any material with a sharp edge can be dangerous to soft flesh.

Photo credit: protoolreviews.com

Do - Wear Ear and Eye Protection

Hearing loss is a silent thief, and you don't want to find out when it's too late. Protect your ears with safety muffs and your eyes with goggles.

Do - Turn Off the Saw Before Making Adjustments

It's easier than you think to accidentally power on a saw. Make sure you can't accidentally flip the switch before working on the table.

Do - Use a Push Stick or Push Block

It's a good idea to use a pushing tool because it will help keep your hands safe. Choose between a stick or a block based on the type of material you're cutting.

Photo credit: thespruce.com

Safe Table Saw Comparisons

We've compared some of the significant players in the table saw safety game to give you our opinion. 

Reaxx vs SawStop

Bosch has recently launched the Reaxx series of table saws. Like SawStop saws, they have flesh detection technology that should protect you from severe injury.

The SawStop brand saws incorporate a brake block that crashes into the blade, instantly stopping it. The Bosch version deactivates and retracts the blade with a different set of technology. Both are effective, but SawStop is a touch faster in terms of reaction speed. 

The aluminum break makes it necessary to replace a SawStop blade after its sudden stop. Replacement isn't required on the Reaxx saws.

Corded vs Cordless

As far as safety is concerned, there's little difference between a corded and cordless machine. If you installed the corded machine wrong, the cable could be a tripping hazard. Apart from that, the only real difference lies in portability. 

Cordless power saws are much easier to maneuver and take to the field. On the other hand, corded saws last much longer since they plug in.

How to Use a Table Saw Safely

Using a table saw doesn't have to be a hazardous experience. Let's take a step-by-step look at how to use the safest table saws.

  1. Ensure that the saw is off. You never want to work on potentially dangerous machines with the power running.

  2. Ensure that the relevant tools are in place. If you want to use a riving knife or splitter for your project, install it now. If not, you should ensure that the blade guard is in place.

  3. Use your stock to assess where the rail should be. Before making your cut, position the fence so that the blade will cut the wood in the right place. Lock it in place.

  4. Power on the saw, but don't activate it.

  5. Position yourself so that you're to the side of the stock. You don't want to stand between the two miter rails or directly behind the blade.

  6. Activate the saw. You are now ready to make your cut.

  7. Use the push block or push stick to direct the wood through the saw. Keep the stock firmly against the fence to ensure a smooth cut.

  8. Maintain a safety zone of four inches around the blade. Ensure that no part of you comes within the zone while it's running. Never lean over the blade to work with the stock.

  9. Once the stock is through the blade, deactivate the saw. Once you've made your cut, make sure that the saw isn’t running before retrieving the pieces.

  10. Celebrate your first cut and the fact that you still have your fingers.

These steps constitute the basics for making a safe table saw cut. Nevertheless, there's far more for you to learn. Have a look at the video below for more information. 

Conclusion

The safest table saws have a lot to offer the discerning user. It can be challenging to comprehend what you're looking for when you're new to these tools.

In this article, we looked at some of the best features of a safe table saw. Remember to look for a device with a blade guard, anti-kickback pawls, and a riving knife. If you find a table saw with these and practice safety precautions, you'll do well.

Recap - Safest Table Saws

Heading out? Here's a refresher on the safest table saws:

  1.  Bosch Power Tools 4100-10
  2.  Dewalt Dwe7485
  3.  Makita 2705

People Also Ask

Many people have questions about table saw safety. Unfortunately, this tool has a reputation for being dangerous due to misuse. These tools don't have to be a health risk. Let's answer some of your frequently asked questions about the safest table saws.

Are Table Saws Dangerous?

Any blade moving at high speeds with great power can be dangerous. A table saw can easily remove a hand or finger if you're not careful. 

The table saw isn't dangerous in itself but can become a risk when not paired with safety precautions.

How Do I Make My Table Saw Safer?

Use your blade guard whenever possible to protect your hand. On cuts that permit it, use a riving knife or splitter to keep the cut open. When you're using a riving knife or splitter, you can also add the anti-kickback pawls.

If you have the funds, get a table saw with flesh detection sensors. Many manufacturers also allow you to order a magnetic switch for your device.

Photo credit: protoolreviews.com

Does a Table Saw Need a Riving Knife?

The riving knife prevents the wood from closing after going through the blade. If the cut can't shut, it won't pinch in the blade and create a kickback. However, it isn't possible to use a riving knife for every type of cut. In such circumstances, it's acceptable to try and make the cuts without said tools.

Can All Table Saws Use Dado Blades?

Unfortunately, it isn't possible to use a dado blade on every type of table saw. Many different tools can take a dado blade if the arbor is the right diameter and the right length. It's wise to check the specifications of the table saw before trying to attach a dado blade. 

What is the Margin of Safety When Operating a Table Saw?

When you're working with a table saw, you should maintain a margin of 4-6 inches around the blade. Your hand should never pass within four inches of the blade, if at all preventable.