Best Table saw for making Cutting Boards

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Forum topic by scahoon posted 04-21-2014 08:12 PM 2934 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1581 days

04-21-2014 08:12 PM

Hi There:

I have been making cutting boards, both end and edge grain, for about a year now. Using walnut, hard maple, cherry and eucalyptus. I struggle with my cheap Ryobi 10in. table saw and I want to upgrade. Limited space in garage so I am looking at portable type saws. Cashing in some AMEX points so I have ~ $600 to spend at HD. Question is which one is best for what i want to do? Dewalt, Ridgid, Bosch? I like the lifetime warranty with Ridgid. I like the rack and pinion with the Dewalt. Love the Bosch reputation for quality. If they all are within $100 or each other, what is my best choice?

Any advice from experienced cutting board pros would be most appreciated.



25 replies so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2079 days

#1 posted 04-21-2014 08:36 PM

View Scott's profile


121 posts in 2249 days

#2 posted 04-21-2014 08:56 PM

Not sure there’d be any distinct features/specs that would make one table saw any more useful for cutting boards than another.

From my limited experience making cutting boards (only 5), the R4512 works for basic ones. However, what made me upgrade my fence to a Biesemeyer was trying to make a Sinister style board that required getting consistent straight cuts over long lengths. The standard fence on the 4512 left me with slight curved boards when doing anything longer than the length of the fence.

I have had the 4512 bog down in 8/4 maple as well. Although that would probably be reduced if I actually changed out the blade to a dedicated rip blade instead of using a combo blade for everything.

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2301 days

#3 posted 04-21-2014 09:43 PM

Seems like this saw is the new buzz (no pun intended). Check out the two forums and two reviews posted below. The first forum I started, then quickly another LJ member posted another forum.



-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2301 days

#4 posted 04-21-2014 09:44 PM

Edit : Removed duplicate entry

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 04-21-2014 10:20 PM

While the Ridgid 4512, illustrated in post #1, and its older sibling, The Craftsman 21833 might be superior to any non-induction motored portable they are generally less expensive as well. They both have a cloudy history of defective trunnions causing arbor misalignment. All of these saws certainly do not have this problem, but many do. I know because I own one. And the manufacturer will not admit that there is a problem, but just happen to have a heavier trunnion available, for purchase of course.

Don’t know about the little Delta at Lowes. Not enough history.

Bottom line, neither of these three saws will be as small or as light weight and portable as the three portable saws you indicated an interest in. Personally, I like the smallest Dewalt and the similar small Bosch, if I was looking for portability. Then if I wanted to go movable, like a hybrid, I’d look at a Grizzly 715.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#6 posted 04-21-2014 10:23 PM

I think a belt drive saw with a heavier arbor assembly
will be preferable and make it easier to get smooth
cuts, not to mention quieter.

View knotscott's profile


8056 posts in 3400 days

#7 posted 04-22-2014 01:29 AM

A full size belt drive saw with an induction motor has the lion’s share of advantages. Buy a portable only if you need to move it from site to site. None of them are worth a hoot without a good blade and good setup.

The ABCs of Table Saws

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View scahoon's profile


7 posts in 1581 days

#8 posted 04-22-2014 06:55 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I wish I had the space for that Ridgid cast iron but…

I think I’ve narrowed it down to the table top models from Dewalt and Bosch. Didn’t see one from Ridgid and the reviews of the portable Ridgid on the stand are inconsistent. I’m leaning toward the Dewalt as the Bosch is neraly $200 more for similar power and size.

Any Dewalt-ers out there?

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2095 days

#9 posted 04-22-2014 07:13 PM

+1 to knotscott. If you are using hard maple on any kind of a regular basis, you will be pretty limited without a full size belt driven saw.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View dbhost's profile


5725 posts in 3257 days

#10 posted 04-22-2014 07:26 PM

Are you using the stock blade on the Ryobi, and have you bothered to make sure it is set up properly?

I do agree that a big 1.5 HP induction motor is leaps and bounds better than a 1.5 HP universal motor that your Ryobi (and mine) has. But that doesn’t mean your saw is useless or even should be a struggle to cut anything within its rated capacity.

Remember you are dealing with a low powered saw by comparison, but the trade off there is you get portability.

You need a clean, sharp, appropriate blade for the cuts being made. General purpose blades are good overall, but not great. If you are going to do a lot of rips, then set the saw up with a good rip blade. Make sure it is a thin kerf blade as the wider the kerf, the harder the saw has to work to drive it through the wood.

Likewise, with crosscutting, use a quality crosscut blade.

You can get good blades for not a ton of money at Home Depot for that saw. Just grab a Freud Diablo 24 tooth ripping blade, and a Freud Diablo 80 toolth crosscutting blade. The Diablo blades at Home Depot should all be thin kerf.

Likewise, I have heard good things about the Irwin Marples blades. Steer clear of the Irwin Marathon or similar though, those are best left to general contractors doing framing work…

Also accurate setup will allow your saw to work with ease getting through that material.

I am not trying to talk you out of buying a better table saw if you want one, I just want to let you know, that even a $3,000.00 Sawstop will give you fits if it isn’t set up right and is running a lousy blade…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3610 days

#11 posted 04-22-2014 07:38 PM

Yes I agree with D B HOST it is not always the saw, but the way it is set up and the quality and sharpeness of the blade.One saw iMHO will not make any item easier than another .It is just down to the way you use it and as said set up blade etc. Of course to add to this a good fence, and mitre gauge, is also very helpful too. Have fun Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View scahoon's profile


7 posts in 1581 days

#12 posted 04-22-2014 09:02 PM

I am using the exact blades you mentioned, Freud 24 and 80. My issues with the Ryobi is I am constantly battling it to maintain a 90 degree vertical. It is always slightly off and I’ve tried everything to get it to maintain. It will not lock. Also, the stock fence is useless so I use two different sleds I built for most cuts. I’m just over it. Placed it on Craigslist to get it out of the way. When I start an end grain project there is enough work and planning involved. Having to factor in additional time and effort trying to coax good cuts off of my TS has become tiresome.

Appreciate the advice here.

View dbhost's profile


5725 posts in 3257 days

#13 posted 04-22-2014 09:19 PM

You sir have a very good reason for upgrading for sure.

And while I really like my BT3100, I must admit, most Ryobi table saws leave a ton to be desired…

I am curious. Are you aiming at bench top table saws and not jobsite saws? There is a difference (Benchtop saws are much smaller, jobsite saws typically have a folding stand, usually with wheels to allow for easy transport…).

I am not sure if either of these types of saws will have adjustable trunions etc… to allow you to fine tune all the necessary alignments in order for you to get the sorts of results you want. I am not saying you can’t, but you put the odds against you with the smaller saws.

Having said that, space and budget appear to be major factors here.

If I were needing a table saw that I could fold away and get out of my way, I would honestly give either the Ridgid R4510, or the Bosch 4100. Considering the price difference, I would lean heavily toward the Ridgid…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1601 days

#14 posted 04-22-2014 09:55 PM

I’ve been looking to upgrade, i have a ryobi portable table saw, bought it before i was serious or knew much of anything about woodworking, the dang thing is tiny. I’ve been looking at craigslist everyday just waiting for some decent deal but haven’t found one yet.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2099 days

#15 posted 04-22-2014 10:05 PM

If you’re planning on a job site/portable just to save room, instead you could look for a decent used belt driven contractor saw, and just take the wings off of it. And if the fence rails stick out too far, lop’em off. That way you get the better motor/power but in a the smallish foot print.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

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