What’s the Best table saw for under $300? (give or take a few dollars). Truth is, you won’t do much better than the DeWALT DW745 — an exceptional 10″ compact jobsite table saw with a 20-inch rip capacity, Site-Pro modular guarding system, rack and pinion fence rails, a metal roll cage and weighs only 45 pounds, just to name a few of the features.
Let’s take a closer look.
DeWALT is a well-known and trusted brand that is the trade name of the Black & Decker company, a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker. DeWALT target their power tools at construction professionals. Their range of saws include : miter saws, circular saws, reciprocating saws, jigsaws, table saws and track saws. DeWALT back their saws by a 90-day money-back guarantee, one-year free service contract and three-year limited warranty.
The DeWALT portable table saws are available as cordless and corded models. The whole range of table saws are compact models designed for easy transport between job sites. DeWALT also makes FLEXVOLT cordless table saws which are the ultimate in convenience, but also will cost you more money. They offer a choice of eight table saws, all of them portable job-site table saws. We review the DeWALT DW745 — a 10-inch table saw of professional quality with unique features. The question remains : Is the DW745 the best table saw for under $300?
Best Table Saw for Under $300
- Site-Pro Modular Guarding System allows for tool free adjustments of the guarding components appropriate for each application
- 20 in. of rip easily cuts a variety of larger shelving and trim materials
- Rack and pinion fence rails make fence adjustments fast, smooth, and accurate
- Telescoping fence rails retract to create a small, portable package
- On-board storage provides easy access to the Site-Pro guarding components and push stick when not in use
- Metal roll cage base offers greater durability than plastic bases
- Shoe bevels 0° to 45° for beveled cuts
- Weighing only 45 lbs, the DW745 can easily be moved on and off the job
- Adjustable rear feet designed to level the saw on uneven work surfaces
- Dust port allows for 2-1/2 in. vacuum hook up and minimizes clean up
- 24T carbide blade enhances cut quality and prolongs blade life
- Table coating reduces friction for smoother cutting
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the DeWALT DW745
This is not a regular-sized workshop table saw. It’s a compact job site table saw suitable for using with a folding stand. A job site saw is reasonably lightweight and portable and meant for quick deployment at any work site. If you buy the DW745S, you get the folding stand with it but this is the model without the stand. The DeWALT DW745 is a tabletop model and weighs 45 pounds; it is portable and you can move it around as needed. It is a neat compact unit and the rear feet are adjustable so you can level the saw on uneven work surfaces. The adjustable feet will be one of many thoughtful features you will appreciate about the DeWALT DW745 when you use it.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the DeWALT DW745
Fantastic rip fence
The unique DeWALT rip fence is the best feature of this table saw. You can quickly install the fence to the left or right of the blade. To ensure that you align the fence with the fence guide you align the locator screw on the fence rail with the fence head slot. At the same time you align the latch with the slotted opening in the fence rail. To secure it in place, you snap the latches on the front and rear of the fence onto the rails.
The rip fence rails are equipped with a rack and pinion drive that makes fence adjustments accurate and fast. This is an excellent feature on the DeWALT DW745. The front and the rear of the fence align perfectly, guided by the positive drive of the rack and pinion system. The advantage it offers is that the fence can attach anywhere on the fence guides, and it always remains perfectly aligned. Additionally, it enables you to extend the fence beyond the table width, to the right of the blade.
To support work that extends beyond the saw table the DeWALT DW745 table saw has a work support extension. It is normally stored out of the way, to the right of the rip fence. When you need it, you rotate it over the fence to the left. A lip then supports the work against the fence. Another advantage is that the telescoping fence rails retract fully to create a small, portable table saw.
The maximum rip cut against the fence, to the right of the blade, is 20 inches. That cut enables you to rip a 24-inch shelf board to a maximum of 20 inches. On the left side of the blade the maximum fenced rip cut is 12 inches. The rip scale is adjustable and you can set it to be really accurate. It is an invaluable time saving aid when setting up the workpiece for the cut. Most saws have rip scale adjustments, but I find the DeWALT scale to be clearer and easy to use.
Excellent safety features
The DeWALT DW745 throat plate locks in place and is easy to remove. You can also adjust it on all four corners to make it level with the table. The slot in the throat plate is quite narrow. It reduces the possibility that a piece of wood can become stuck in there and thrown towards you. The design of the bevel control allows you to tilt the blade to the left by up to 45°. The pivot point is placed close to the tabletop edge and enabled DeWALT to use a narrow throat slot.
DeWALT includes a riving knife with the saw with through-cut and non-through cut positions marked on the base of the riving knife. A non-through cut does not protrude above the top face of the wood. With non-through cuts you have to remove the blade guard and anti-kickback assembly. Since you do not cut through the wood, it cannot close up and cause a kickback, therefore it is safe to remove the riving knife.
Should you prefer to keep it in place you lower the riving knife so that the top edge lines up with the blade’s top edge. To do that you raise the saw blade arbor to its maximum height and loosen the riving knife lock knob. It has a lock pin you release by pushing in the knob. Once released, you can slide the knife to the position indicated by the markings on the riving knife and the lock pin will snap into place. Then you tighten the riving knife lock knob. It’s a simple operation on the DW745 that on some table saws is a very annoying task.
The cutting edge
The blade they supply with the saw is a DeWalt 10-inch carbide-tipped blade with 24 teeth. The DeWalt blade has anti-vibration slots cut along the edge but some users complain that vibrations in the blade widens the cut. There is the obvious option to replace it because spending money on a better blade is a sound investment on such excellent table saw. When replacing the blade, you may choose one with more teeth or even a special blade designed for cross and rip cuts. Some folks reason you will mostly do rip cuts on a table saw since cross cuts remain a compromise on a small job-site table saw. I believe it is possible to do accurate safe cuts within the limits of the saw. Lower down in the review I supply useful guidelines on doing accurate and safe cross cuts on any table saw.
The DeWALT 10-inch blade cuts 3-1/8 inches deep at 90°, and cuts 2-1/4 inches deep at 45° blade tilt. The arbor fitted to the saw is too short for a dado blade set, although one or two manufacturers offer a two-blade dado. You will have to do wide cuts with multiple cut-and-slide cuts.
The motor on the DeWALT DW745 is a powerful 120 Volt 15 Amps corded unit with a no-load speed of 3,850 rpm. The starting current of the motor is high so I recommend using a dedicated power socket with a 20 Amp trip switch. When using the saw on an extension cord you must ensure that it is a good quality cord, suitable for external use and 20 Amps.
The dust port diameter is 2-1/2 inches. Users report it is effective when used with a vacuum or shop extractor. However, some feedback is less optimistic, saying it kicks dirt in your face. The lesson we learn is that you always wear a face shield or safety glasses when using a table saw. The blade rotates towards you, and any particle that dislodges from the teeth travels in your direction and can harm you. It’s always better to be safe.
DeWALT attaches a push-stick to the rip fence, so it is always at hand. The push stick is a handy addition to a table saw used to ensure you don’t cut your fingers on a narrow cut. You should use it whenever there is a possibility that your hands could come in contact with the blade. I suggest you keep the plastic one that DeWALT provides and implement it with push sticks you made from hardwood stock. To help you do so, the user guide has a scaled drawing of a push stick on the back page.
Cross cut guides
The miter guides that DeWALT pairs with the DW745 table saw has some minor shortcomings. As with all miter guides, the back plate you support the work against is too short, it is meant to be extended with a length of wood. I recommend that you extend its length so extends past the path of the blade when placed in the left or right slot. A 2x4 will be fine. During your first cut in any of the two slots, the blade will cut a slot in the guide that serves as a perfect gutting mark. It makes it really easy to line up your mark with this cut. Unfortunately, a miter cut will destroy this line guide.
To remove play between the slide and the walls of the groove you may have to attach tape or shim stock to the slide. What you do is you strip the miter gauge and attach shim stock to one side of the slide. Use a length of shim stock that will remove the play between the slide and the wall of the groove. It must be the same length as the slide. You glue it to the slide with a good quality glue. It works really well, and it is cheaper than buying another miter gauge.
Sturdy smooth table
The table coating of the DeWALT DW745 reduces friction so that the material can slide over it smoothly. It reduces the effort to push long sheets across the table when rip cutting. The work table of a table saw is its sturdy component, the most critical part that offers the rigidity you need for accurate cuts. It’s therefore also the component that they mount the motor and its bevel controls to.
The DeWALT DW745 has a metal roll cage base that offers greater durability than plastic bases. Some lower-priced table saws use a plastic base because they may reason it only supports the tabletop. The disadvantage is that the plastic base cracks when it cannot absorb all the blows it receives during transport.
To reduce the risk of serious personal injury, DeWALT provide a blade guard assembly that you mount to the top of the riving knife. It is not possible to use it with all cuts, but whenever possible you should have it in place. The blade guard is transparent. You can lift the blade guard and tilt it back to remove a piece of wood that got stuck in it. The blade guard assembly includes an anti-kickback assembly that will bite into the wood during a kickback situation.
Is DeWALT DW745 the best table saw for under $300? I think it is. The rip fence guide and ease of use feature that DeWALT includes with the DW745 table saw must make it the best at that price. Everything about it makes it a stable, solid, portable table saw. DeWALT DW745 has one minor flaw that is common to even the most expensive table saws, the miter guide. But I believe all job sites have a miter saw for those cuts anyway.
✓ For more information read our comprehensive review from a different DIY specialist on the DeWALT DW745.