Troy started my Monday morning with a tough question. He’s looking to buy a new portable table saw and is trying to decide between the Dewalt DWE7491 and Skilsaw SPT99.
I have used the DWE7491, and still have a test sample that I’m not quite ready to let go of yet. It’s the best portable table saw I’ve ever used.
I know you are currently using/ reviewing the DWE7491. In a prior post, you suggested that I buy the 7491 over the Hitachi c10rj, which was $299 at Xmas. You also recently put up an interesting post about the new Skilsaw SPT99.
Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the DeWalt v.s Skillsaw? If your budget was about $500, what would you do?
From what I can tell, the Skilsaw worm drive is more powerful. The fence is supposedly really good, but maybe not quite as smooth as DeWalt’s. The stand is better with bigger wheels. The Skilsaw is also currently cheaper by about $50 and comes with a free sidewinder saw from ACME tools ($100 value) if I order by the end of the month.
The DeWalt seemingly has few faults. All the reviews I’ve found are really positive.
I’ll admit, I’m having some DeWalt fatigue. But, I don’t want that to stop me from getting the best saw for the money.
The Hitachi portable table saw is a good saw, but also a large one. It’s not on Troy’s shortlist, but I wanted to chime in about it anyways. It has a 35″ rip capacity. Personally, I still prefer Dewalt’s DWE7491, but I also don’t need even close to its 32.5″ rip capacity.
The Dewalt is a very good saw, and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone complaining about it not being powerful enough for what they need it for. The DWE7491RS saw with rolling stand is currently $549 at Amazon.
The Skilsaw SPT99 cuts deeper than the Dewalt – 3-5/8″ at 90° compared to 3-1/8″, and its rolling stand has large wheels, which might be advantageous when travelling over very rough terrain. Its rip capacity is 2″ smaller, at 30.5″.
Quite frankly, most people aren’t going to need the extra cutting capacity of the Skilsaw, or the extra ripping capacity of the Dewalt.
While the Skilsaw’s larger wheels might seem like an advantage, the Dewalt’s smaller wheels are still rugged and highly maneuverable. The Skilsaw’s larger wheels might really prove their worth when taking the saw up or down stairs.
I can’t speak about the saw’s power as I have never used it. But I can tell you that the Dewalt is plenty powerful for my needs.
If you ever do run into a sawing power issue with a portable table saw, there are ways you can compromise, such as going with a thinner kerf blade for those applications. Thinner blades might be more prone to flexing, but they remove less material and could be less taxing on a saw’s motor.
Between the Skilsaw and the Dewalt, it might just come down to cost and value.
The Dewalt is currently $549 with free shipping, via Amazon or Acme Tool. The Skilsaw SPT99, with Diablo blade, is $499 at Acme Tool, with free shipping, and you get a free bonus 7-1/4″ circular saw.
Free bonus tools are always nice, but can skew the mentality of a purchase. Do you need a new corded circular saw? Do you plan on reselling it, or using its value in any other way? No? Then try not to let it factor into the purchasing decision.
At $549 vs. $499, I would go with the Dewalt. It’s a tried and true model that very many users of all backgrounds are satisfied with.
If you think you might need the Skilsaw’s slightly taller cutting capacity or the power promised by their worm drive gearing, or you want an extra $50 plus tax in your pocket, then the Skilsaw looks to be a more attractive option.
The Skilsaw SPT99 has not been out for very long. There are some reviews, but they all seem to be of pre-release models by sites that partnered with Skilsaw for video content. I haven’t seen others yet, but I also didn’t look very hard beyond a quick Google search. Initial user reviews look to be positive, with just a few complaints.
As for my final thoughts, I find myself in a pickle. Personally, I would go with the Dewalt model that has already earned my trust. But I don’t want to close anyone’s mind to the possibility that the Skilsaw could be as good, maybe even better for them.
I think that the Dewalt DWE7491RS is the safe “you don’t have to think about it” choice. The Skilsaw SPT99 is one that you have to make a list of pros and cons for. It’s usually the other way around, with a higher-priced tool requiring more self-convincing, at least for me.
I don’t remember the last time I needed table saw cutting depth deeper than 1.75″ or so, or ripping capacity larger than 30″.
It seems to me that the Dewalt saw and stand might be more a little more compact when folded and upright, which is important to me. In the folded size comparison image, keep in mind that the Dewalt’s fence and guarding also tuck away underneath the saw.
One last point. The Skilsaw table saw comes with a Diablo blade, and the Dewalt saw with a general purpose Dewalt blade. Depending on the need, one might want to equip the Dewalt saw with a better or different blade of their choosing, potentially adding to the expense.
My preference for the Dewalt is based on what I know and have experienced firsthand, and from what I can see about the Skilsaw on paper. The larger wheels on the Skilsaw might not suit my needs, and the added folded-up size might be a disadvantage to my space-saving preference.
I would also be a little hesitant to try Skilsaw’s first-generation rack and pinion fence. The Skilsaw has a lower price tag, but it might not be convincing enough. Personally, the free Skilsaw circular saw does add a little to the sale’s appeal, but I also know that it would sit in a corner and collect dust.
Long story short, I have a strong on-paper and experiential-based preference for the Dewalt. But, I’m hesitant to declare it better than the Skilsaw, because the Skilsaw could be better for Troy or other readers’ needs.
Hopefully this helps Troy in making his purchasing decision.
Everyone else – Dewalt DWE7491RS vs. Skilsaw SPT99 – which would you buy if you had a $500-550 plus tax budget?