table saws – PORTER-CABLE PCB220TS, 2017

When it comes to a table saw, there are certain factors you want to look at, including the RPM, rotations per minute, portability and how sturdy the rip fence is. PORTER-CABLE’s PCB220TS model is hit and miss in these categories.

Summary

A potable table saw is very important. PORTER-CABLE’s model scored high in portability because it is a rolling saw, meaning it has wheels, so you can push it. Even though it’s heavy, at 73 pounds, if you can roll it, it won’t exert too much energy.

You also want to look at a saw with high rotations per minute (RPM). PORTER-CABLE’s saw has 5000 RPM, which is excellent. RPM is important for a few reasons. When a table saw is cutting wood, it’s not cutting like a blade that’s going to smoothly slice through something. Wooden materials aren’t soft enough for that, so instead a saw has to rip through it, using the blade’s teeth and pressure from the speed and power of the motor to cut. High RPM means that the saw can rip through any type of wood, even layered sheets, and make smooth, quick cuts without splintering or catching on the wood.

Another feature to look for is a reliable rip fence. A rip fence is a tool that comes with all table saws and lays parallel to the blade, keeping the wood in place. You want a rip fence that is easy to adjust and stays steady, not moving around. PORTER-CABLE scored low during our research, and a lot of that score is due to the rip fence. This saw’s fence is too easily knocked loose. It should also stay parallel the entire time, and if it’s moving around it won’t stay parallel, meaning your cuts might not be accurate. It’s also a hazard to be mid cut and have your rip fence move, especially if you become distracted.

Luckily, PORTER-CABLE’s model features all the industry standard safety measures, including tool-less blade guard, anti-kickback and left blade tilt. PORTER-CABLE also has useful help and support options and a three-year warranty. Three years is a long time in the tool world, especially if you’re using your saw frequently, so this warranty allows you the assurance that you’ll get what you pay for.

This saw does have deep cuts and a bevel of up to 45 degrees, meaning it can make angled cuts. These features matter because if you’re buying a table saw, it’s a big investment for a tool and you want one that has ultimate functionality.

Overall, PORTER-CABLE’s PCB220TS table saw is not the best of all the table saws we reviewed, but it has high RPM and is very portable. Its main drawback is the inconsistency of its rip fence.