Delta Table Saw Review

Delta Table Saw Reviews | The Best Models Reviewed and Compared

A table saw is easily one of the best investments a contractor or woodworker can make for their workshop or worksite. Delta is a well-known manufacturer of table saws and other power tools, it has gained its customers' trust due to its high-quality products. There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing a good table saw; today, I offer you five detailed Delta table saw reviews along with some useful tips to help you choose the right Delta table saw for your needs:

History of Delta Power Equipment Corp.

Delta began in 1919 in the garage of Herb Tautz. He began manufacturing small scroll saws in 1923 and sold them through a subsidiary called Delta Specialty Co. Initially making small hand tools for turning and wood carving, Tautz’s initial success was due to quality craftsmanship, so he started making larger power equipment and eventually invented both the first miter saw and scroll saw.

The company was purchased by Rockwell Manufacturing in 1945 and was called the Delta Power Tool Division. This division started acquiring other companies and gained product lines like the radial arm saw, drill presses, shapers, and joiner and became the dominant producer of stationary power tools and equipment by the 1960s. By the 2000s, it began to launch over twenty new products and became the leader in quality woodworking equipment.

Delta is one of the few brands that have stood the test of time with many builders and woodworkers using the same Delta power tools for their entire lives. Delta has a commitment to quality that started in the beginning with Herbert Tautz who would be proud of the innovative design and advances that his company has developed over the years.

Table Saw Buying Guide

Types of Saws

You will find that most of the table saws on the market today fall into one of four categories. As you shop for a table saw, it is important to know the difference between them.

Portable Table Saws

Designed to be easy to lift and move, portable table saws are ideal for carpenters that will spend a lot of time at the work site. They have the same functions as a large table saw, but they are used on a smaller scale. Featuring a universal motor that is lightweight, a portable table saw can be louder and less powerful than a cabinet saw.

They also tend to have an aluminum top that can be less durable, produce more vibrations, and feel less stable to operate. In recent years, portable table saws have become easier to use for woodworking and carpentry projects.

The Delta 36 6020 Portable Table Saw is an excellent example of what you can expect from a portable saw. Here is a YouTube video that shows you how it folds up for easy storage and how easy they are to carry around.

Contractor Saws

Originally designed to be portable enough to take to the next worksite, contractor saws are affordable, open-based table saws that have a straightforward design. Usually pretty lightweight, contractor saws have a good price point for homeowners and hobbyists and are also a good option for a small shop.

With a cast iron table top, contractor saws do have to make a concession for their affordable price, so they include open-webbed stamped metal, or cast iron extension wings. Gearing, trunnions, and arbor assembly are also not as strong as with the more expensive table saws. One unique feature of the contractor saw is that the motor hangs off of the back of the saw which makes it easier to transport.

The Delta 36 5100 Table Saw is an excellent example of what you can expect from a contractor saw. Here is a YouTube video that shows you how it works and how to use one correctly.

Cabinet Saws

Cabinet saws got their name from the fact that they have a cabinet-style base that is fully enclosed. Designed to meet the durability and performance requirements of a professional woodworker, a cabinet saw is more substantial than other table saws, and is made of cast iron and steel with heavier gearing, trunnions, and arbor assemblies. They also feature more powerful motors than other table saws, allowing them to easily cut through the thickest hardwoods with little vibration.

Features of a cabinet saw include an enclosed motor in the cabinet base, which makes it quieter and easier to collect dust, heavy-duty trunnions that hold the arbor assembly, and a motor which is attached to the base of the cabinet. Cabinet saws tend to be constructed to more exacting standards than their inexpensive counterparts. Plus, they include flatter tables, more reliable fence systems, and their pulleys and bearings are more robust.

Hybrid Saws

Hybrid table saws combine the best features of cabinet saws while staying affordable for a DIYer or hobbyist. Hybrids often have a cabinet saw-style base or a short enclosed base and legs. They come equipped with substantial arbor bearings and trunnions and often include an advanced drive belt system. Hybrid table saws also include trunnions that are mounted to the base of the saw allowing you to have precise blade and miter slot alignment.

Table Saws Features

A table saw works with a fixed position blade with workpieces that are pushed past the blade to make the cuts. You can make straight, long, or rip cuts or repeated crosscuts faster and more precisely with a table saw than with a handheld circular saw. It can also make special cuts like bevel or angle, and miter cuts.

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    Rip fence – This bar is found on the table and is used as a guide for a workpiece when it moves past the blade.
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    Miter gauge – This adjustable guide moves the workpiece along the blade to make cuts at specific angles.
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    Bevel system – This mechanism allows you to tilt the blade to create bevel cuts.
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    Riving knife – This mechanism stops the workpiece from pinching the blade to lessen the risk of kickback. 
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    Anti-kickback pawls – These metal arms have teeth that can grab onto a workpiece in case it kicks back towards you. 
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    Blade guard – This shield pivots to protect you from debris and dust as well as a kickback or any accidental contact with the blade.
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    Amps – This is a measurement of the motor’s power which higher amps meaning more cutting power. 
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    Arbor or shaft locks – These locks will immobilize the blade and shaft to make it easy to change the blade.
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    Dust chutes and blowers – This feature will help to remove the dust from your work area. 
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    Micro-adjust rip fences – These fences provide fine control over your work.
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    Extendable rip fences – These fences can slide or fold out to give you expanded rip cutting capability when you need it. 
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    Mobile stands – These stands will give you portability and support for your saw. 

Table Saw Motors and Drive Configurations

Normally found with a universal motor, direct-drive saws will have a direct link between the blade and the motor to transfer all of the power you need to the blade. You will normally find these types of motors on a portable saw as they can give you a lot of power in a small package. Keep in mind though that these types of motors can be very loud.

In comparison, a belt-drive saw will usually have an induction motor and a belt to transfer the power you need to the blade. This motor is often able to last longer since the motor can be offset away from the dust that is created. These are also quiet motors that can cut denser material than the direct-drive saw can. They also require more preventive maintenance than a direct-drive system will, so you need to periodically check the belts for wear and proper tension.

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    Rolling stands can give you a portable but stable work area for your saw at the worksite.
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    Mobile bases can give a stationary saw portability with casters that lock so that the stationary saw stays where it is while in use. This is a good option if you have a small shop or you share a space, as they allow you to roll the saw out of the way when you are not using it.
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    Extension tables can give you a large, stable work area when cutting wider stock and will mount to the side of the table saw.
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    Dado sets are able to cut straight and wide slots in just one pass which is especially helpful when creating shelving and joinery.

Top Delta Table Saw Reviews

Perfect for DIYers or contractors, the Delta 36 6020 Portable Table saw is portable enough to take to the work site and gives you the high quality you expect from a Delta product. It features a quick-adjustment fence to give you precise cuts and a maximum rip right of the blade at 30 inches. This is a great table saw to handle those large rip-cutting projects.

Delta Table Saw Features

The Delta 36 6020 is easy to store with a simple stand that unlocks with your foot, plus you can raise it to a standing position wherever you plan to work. It also has handy onboard storage for all your accessories, including your fence. This complete package comes with a 10-inch blade, blade guard, miter gauge, and push stick.

Delta Table Saw Specs

Features

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    Aluminum table top that includes an RH table extension
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    Large and easy-reach ON/OFF switch
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    Fence and guard storage found on the side of the saw
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    Cord wrap found on the back of the saw
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    Tabletop has easy clean-up with a retractable blade below the table top

PROS

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    Good portability, moves around easily
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    Easy setup
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    Wide table allows you to cut a variety of woods

CONS

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    Needs more power
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    Shallow throat plate gives you very little clearance

Taking the design of the Delta 36 5000 and adding a set of cast iron extension wings, the Delta 36 5100 features a ripping capacity of 52 inches on the right side of the blade and a pair of stamped steel wings. This is a design that keeps the experience of the woodworker and hobbyist in mind.

Although it may not have the same advanced safety features and power of a professional saw, this is a precise and easy to use table saw that will appeal to the serious woodworker who wants to take his career or hobby to the next level. It also has an affordable price tag in comparison to other saws in this category.

This 10-inch contractor saw includes a split-guard design that is tool-free and an industry standard. It allows the riving knife to rise and fall by using a lever that is found on the inside of the throat plate. The Delta 36 5100 also features an anti-kickback pawl that features tool-less assembly and a blade brake feature that stops the blade tight before the power is turned off.

Features

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    Precision cuts every time with a heavy-duty, one-piece rail system
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    Large and easy-to-reach ON/OFF switch
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    The blade is stopped by the blade brake right before the power is turned off
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    Fast assembly with fewer parts
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    Dual rip windows and a heavy-duty Biesemeyer-style fence 

PROS

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    Great saw, very accurate and quiet
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    Good value for the money
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    Easy to set up on your own, no need to make adjustments

CONS

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    Doesn’t have a lot of power, kind of sluggish
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    Startup is weak with a slow spin

Related Article:
For a competing high quality table saw brand, read our Ryobi table Saw Review.

Giving us the best of a high-quality cabinet saw and the portability of a contractor saw, the Delta 36 5000 is a hybrid table saw that features a cast iron table and a saw mechanism that is comparable to higher-quality cabinet saws but is easier to move. It also includes a pedestal made out of steel tubes that are attached to a lockdown lever and allows you to move the saw around your shop with relative ease. 

This 10-inch contractor saw has an industry standard split guard that features tool-free assembly. It allows the rise and fall of the riving knife to be controlled by the inside lever of the throat plate. The anti-kickback pawl also has tool-less assembly and the stand features fast assembly with fewer parts.

The Delta 36-5000 features a 15-amp induction motor that has a 45-degree left tilt, a 30-inch ripping capacity, and a max depth of cut at 90 degrees. Safety features include a blade brake that halts the blade just before turning off the unit. It also features a dust port that fits a 2.5” hose.

Features

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    Maximum stability and support with the unique tubular stand
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    Dual rip windows with a heavy-duty Biesemeyer-style fence
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    Large and easy to reach ON/OFF switch
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    Precision cuts every time with a heavy-duty one-piece rail system
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    The blade is stopped by the blade brake right before the power is turned off

PROS

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    Has plenty of power, works well
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    Assembly is easy and straightforward
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    Good value for the price, very accurate

CONS

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    Takes two people to set the table upright
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    Safety guard is useless

Perfect for cabinet making, boat building, and woodworking, the Delta 36 L552 is a left-tilt cabinet saw that features dual-crank controls that are upfront and include locking cams, scales that are speedometer style, and a Biesemeyer fence measuring 52 inches. It also features a 5 horsepower motor with 220 Volts that can cut through hardwoods and products that are engineered like melamine and MDF.

If you need to make through and non-through cuts, the Delta 36 L552 features tool-less adjustment riving knife that can make grooves for picture frames and shelves, check cuts for furniture, rabbets, and dadoes. A large throat plate makes blade changes easy, and the single-cast trunnion gives you better control of vibrations. You also get convenient and expandable storage under the table as well as a bi-level dust extraction that improves dust collection and safety.

Features

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    Single-cast trunnion system gives better vibration control as well as smooth and precise operation
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    Easy blade height and bevel adjustments with the dual front cranks
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    Easy fine tuning with the Bevel Dial that gives you precision within 1/4 degree
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    Large cast-iron base for stability
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    True American Marathon Motor gives you added power and is available in both 3 and 5 horsepower

PROS

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    Sliding fence works very smoothly
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    Great cutting saw with no bumps
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    Good value for the money

CONS

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    Fence and table were time consuming to construct
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    There was a gap with the fence table when it was set up

With a 52-inch ripping capacity, the Delta 36-5052 features a true rise- and-fall riving knife that is controlled by a lever in the throat plates. This 10-inch contractor saw also has tool-free industry standard split-guard design and features tool-less assembly of the anti-kickback pawls. The Delta 36 5052 also features a 15-amp induction motor with dual voltage from 120 volts to 240 volts, a 5/8-inch blade tilt that is 45 degree to the left, and a cut depth of 3.5 inches at 90 degrees.

It includes safety features like the large and easy to reach ON/OFF switch, the blade brake that halts the blade within milliseconds of turning off the power, and a dust port that fits a 2 ½-inch hose. It also includes a heavy-duty fence, dual-rip windows, and a table size of 20 x 27 inches that includes an extension board

Features

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    Maximum stability and support with a Unique Tubular Stand
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    Precise cuts every time with a heavy duty one-piece rail system
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    The blade is stopped by the Blade Brake right before the power is turned off
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    Heavy duty RH extension board that comes with support legs
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    Large and easy to reach ON/OFF switch

PROS

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    Well-built table saw that is heavy duty and high-quality
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    Very powerful and operates smoothly
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    Great safety features, very accurate

CONS

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    Would be better with sturdier legs
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    Assembly is really a pain

Conclusion

When it comes to table saws, Delta Power Tools is a well-known and trusted brand in the industry, so you can’t go wrong with one of their products. For DIYers and hobbyists, you will want to stick with the Delta 36-6020 Table Saw or the Delta 36-5100 Table Saw that were designed with hobbyists and DIYers in mind and feature less powerful motors and easy to use features.

Professionals will probably prefer the Delta 36 6020 Portable Table Saw, the Delta 36-5052 Contractor Saw, or the Delta 36-L552 Unisaw that offer features professional woodworkers and contractors would want, including larger ripping capacities, powerful motors, and reduced vibration. No matter what your needs, Delta has the right table saw for you.

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