What is the Best Table Saw for Dado Cuts? (2022)

lady operating Powermatic PM1000

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A trusty table saw can also make groove cuts with flat bottoms, also known as dadoes. However, not every model on the market can make these cuts or accept this type of blade. Before you spend your money on a unit that cannot do this job, our team of woodworking experts has created a list of the best options that will save you time.

Premium Pick
Powermatic PM1000
Editor’s Choice
DEWALT DWE7491RS
Budget Option
Delta 36-6023
Powermatic PM1000
DEWALT DWE7491RS
Delta 36-6023
• Cast iron table
• Poly-V belt drive system
• Accu-Fence system
• Pivoting miter gauge
• Rolling stand
• 15.0A high-torque motor
• Rack & pinion fence
• 4800 RPM
• More affordable price
• Dado capacity
• 15 amp motor
• Rack & pinion fence rails
Premium Pick
Powermatic PM1000
Powermatic PM1000
• Cast iron table
• Poly-V belt drive system
• Accu-Fence system
• Pivoting miter gauge
Editor’s Choice
DEWALT DWE7491RS
DEWALT DWE7491RS
• Rolling stand
• 15.0A high-torque motor
• Rack & pinion fence
• 4800 RPM
Budget Option
Delta 36-6023
Delta 36-6023
• More affordable price
• Dado capacity
• 15 amp motor
• Rack & pinion fence rails

Reviews of the Top Table Saw for Dado Cuts

1. DEWALT DWE7491RS

The Dewalt 10-inch table saw can handle dado cuts with a max width of 13/16 inch with a no load speed of 4800 RPM. It’s considered a compact job site table saw, which mostly means the unit is easily portable. The rolling stand makes it easy to move the unit from one place to another.

No matter what type of cut you are doing, the DeWalt DWE7491RS can manage and allow you to make quick and easy adjustments thanks to the Rack & Pinion Telescoping Fence system. 

The Dewalt table saw comes with many accessories including a push stick, rip fence, and a 10-inch 24-tooth carbide circular blade. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

2. Powermatic PM1000

The Powermatic PM1000 gives woodworkers a ton of table space to work with. The unit will accept dado blades but it does require a dado insert, which is sold separately. You can count on the durability and long-lasting performance of the PM1000 due to the cast iron crafting.

The beveled edge allows for a smoother operation and the poly-v belt drive system will minimize vibrations for more accurate cuts. The miter gauge on the large table saw pivots in both directions, which can accommodate a wide range of cuts. To make the table saw even more intuitive, it has an arbor lock that makes one-handed blade changes easy. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

3. Delta 36-6023

The Delta 36-6023 is a portable jobsite table saw that will accept dado blades. It has a wheeled stand that makes it very mobile and it has a large 32.5-inch rip capacity. 

Don’t let the smaller and more compact size or the affordable price fool you. The Delta 36-6023 has a 15HP contractor-grade motor that can power the blades through hardwood and treated lumber.

It also has a rack and pinion fence system that makes adjustments quick and easy. The unit has a transparent blade guard to keep your fingers safe and the compact unit collapses for easy storage when you’re on the move. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

4. SAWSTOP JSS-120A60

The SawStop JSS-120A60 is the best table saw for dado cuts in terms of safety. It features a patented safety system that halts the blade when it comes into contact with skin and drops it below the table to avoid further injury.

The table saw has more table depth, which equates to more accuracy for larger workpieces. You can incrementally adjust the blade for more refined cuts and the power tool also has industry-leading dust collection. The portable table saw can be wheeled from site to site and there is onboard storage to keep your tools handy. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

5. Grizzly Industrial G1023RLWX

If you’re looking for a more stationary model, then the Grizzly Industrial G1023RLWX cabinet table saw is the one for you. It has a built-in router table with an all-sealed ball bearing construction for added strength and durability.

The powder-coated finish will prevent rust and corrosion, which will ensure the table saw will last much longer. You can make quick changes between the riving knife and splitter guard and the extra-large handwheels make arbor movement easier. 

The G1023RLWX is CSA and UL certified and has a superior dust collection system to minimize messes.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Table Saw for Dado Cuts Buyer’s Guide

There are certain things to look for in the best table saws for dado cuts, and it’s more than just the accessories it comes with and features such as the rip fence and blade guard. Our experts say the top table saws that accept dado blades will have the below features to make sure you get the best dado grooves. 

Size and Portability

Do you plan on moving your table saw from the workplace to job site, or do you need a stationary model that sits primarily in your workshop? The size of the unit will determine the size of the workpiece and the unit’s mobility. 

Our woodworking team suggests going for a table saw that has a wheeled stand if you’re a mobile contractor. If you have a workshop, then the extra table space a larger and more permanent table saw can have will give you more surface space.

For the portable table saws, make sure the stand is wheeled and can fold for storage, otherwise, you will just have a benchtop table saw that you have to carry around by hand. These woodworking tools can be pretty heavy, so don’t underestimate the importance of a wheeled table saw stand.

Motor Power

The motor is what powers your table saw blades, and dictates how powerful your tool is. The motor power is measured in HP, or horsepower [1], and the higher the number the more power it has. For industrial jobs, our construction experts say you need around 5 to 10 HP. 

If you are just a hobbyist or only deal with smaller jobs and furniture, 1 to 5 HP should be sufficient. In general, a table saw with a lower motor power will be more affordable. However, the number one determiner will depend on the type of material you work with. Hardwoods and treated lumber may need a more powerful table saw that is compatible with dado blades.

Cutting Capacity

The cutting capacity refers to the rip capacity and the cut, as well as the miter and bevel measurements. Look at the measurements before you purchase your table saw. The measurements are usually depicted in inches, and the larger the different capacities are, the larger the material can be and the more room you have.

Again, our team reiterates that the cutting capacity you need will depend on the dado blade you want to use as well as the materials you work with and the type of cuts you need to make.

Dado Blade Type

Speaking of the type of dado blades, our experts will cover the most common ones.

Stacked

First, we have stacked dado blades, which are one of the most commonly used for a dado cut. A stacked dado blade type is exactly as the name suggests – a stack of 2 or more dado blades together. Why stack dado blades together? Our experts say the main reason is to get dado cuts that are wider than what you could get from a single blade. 

How many can you stack together? To make sure your table saw can allow for a fully-stacked dado blade set, you have to look at the dado capacity. One benefit of stacked blades is it gives you more options than just a single blade.

Every unit that is compatible with dado blades will have a max width figure you can refer to. You may also get yourself a set of chipper blades, which further improves the accuracy of your dado cuts. Chippers usually go on top of the outer blades. 

Adjustable

The adjustable dado blade type is also very clearly described in the name. It’s a blade set that can be adjusted to fulfill your needs. It’s easy and it’s a one-size-fits-all option, but the issue our team has with adjustable dado blades is it takes longer to achieve your desired cut. However, time is something our team members are willing to sacrifice for ease of use.

Wobble

A wobble dado blade is meant for wide cuts and it really does wobble from side to side when it’s making the cut. It contains a central arbor that will adjust the blade angle to the axis. The cuts from a wobble blade will be even wider than stacked blades, but some members of our team do not prefer it due to the vibrations.

Miter Gauge

The miter gauge is a safety and accuracy feature on the best table saws for dado cuts. The gauge is mounted to the left and will guide your blade down your workpiece when you’re making the cut. We definitely suggest ones with a locking feature so you won’t have to keep one hand on it while cutting.

Make sure it is easily adjustable and do not go for one that will obstruct your line of sight. There are many job site table saws and full-sized units that have this component made from plastic, which isn’t very desirable in the eyes of our experts.

However, not all full-sized saws or jobsite table saws have flimsy components. If possible, look for a miter gauge that is crafted from metal such as aluminum for more durability.

Fences

Fences just guide the dado set or other types of blades for more accurate cuts. It doesn’t matter if you are cutting grooves in door panels or just plain cutting wood, you need a fence for precision.

Look for rack and pinion telescoping fences for the easiest and most intuitive adjustments. The rip fence will help your machine make rip cuts for larger pieces and the best ones can be adjusted. 

Dust Collection

Many people pay so much attention to the type of circular saw blade on a table or cabinet saw they forget about the aftermath. Saws make a big mess, especially in a smaller workspace. It’s important for dado-compatible table saws to have some sort of dust collection port integrated into its body.

A dust port will prevent dust and debris buildup, which makes your workspace a safer environment and it keeps your line of vision clear. It also keeps you clean and your clothes free of dust and it’s also a safety feature as it minimizes ignition from a rogue spark.

One of the best things about dust ports is they make the cleanup after work much easier and quicker.

Additional Features

For table saws that use dado blades, our experts say a blade guard system is very important. The addition of this small component will prevent the blade from coming into contact with your skin. 

A table saw may also have other safety features such as an electric brake that will halt the dado set instantly. Whatever it is, our experts stress that safety features for any woodworking tool should be a top priority. Just make sure the blade guard assembly doesn’t take up too much time. 

A table saw can come with accessories and add-ons such as a carbide tooth blade. If your jobsite table saw does not come with a blade, make sure that the measurement of your specific table saws goes with the blade in question. A table saw can come in various sizes that are measured in inches. The size indicates the diameter of the blade rather than the saw itself.

For example, a 10-inch table saw will take 10-inch blades. Dado cuts can be dangerous, so some models may come with a push stick, to keep your fingers away from the blade. Blade wrenches and extra dado blade sets may also be included.

Advantages of Table Saw for Dado Cuts

A table saw is incredibly efficient, so using one for dado cuts means it can power through a variety of thick materials and achieve the perfect cut with the help of guides and fences. With the right pieces and the correct dado blade type, you are looking at one of the easiest ways to achieve dado grooves.

How to Make a Dado Cut on a Table Saw

A woodworker needs to first make sure the dado blade is compatible with the table saw, and don the proper safety equipment. The next consideration is how thick of a cut you need. Place your wood piece on the flat table surface, and stack your dado blade set until you reach that cutting width, but do not exceed the maximum width your table saw allows. 

Once you have achieved the right measurements, mount your dado blade set onto your saw and set the cut depth. You can feel free to make a couple of passes just to test out the cut and see if anything needs to be adjusted.

Safety Tips and Reminders

Are dado blades dangerous? That’s a question our construction team gets asked quite often. Working with any power tool can be dangerous, but it won’t be if you take the proper precautions.

Make sure you know how to use the table saw with the dado set and familiarize yourself with safety features like an electric brake or pushblock for table saws. Not all table saws can accept this type of blade and it can be dangerous to attempt these cuts if it doesn’t. Read the manual carefully to understand how to work your unit. 

Wear all the safety equipment needed such as goggles, and avoid loose clothing and hanging jewelry. If you have long hair, make sure to secure it in a ponytail and keep it away from the blade. Make each cut carefully and slowly and always remove the excess materials and keep your workspace clean. 


Our Top Pick For a Table Saw for Dado Cuts:
DeWalt DWE7491RS

The best table saw for dado cuts is the DeWalt DWE7491RS 10-inch table saw. Dewalt table saws are made for excellence and durability. This best portable table saw in particular is for woodworkers on the go that comes with many accessories including the blade. The max width of the dado cut is 13/16 inches and the powerful 15.0A motor makes sure you can cut through hardwood. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson