A cabinet saw is an investment most of us make for a lifetime, so you want durability, accuracy, sensible features and plenty of power. To that end, I checked each saw’s cast-iron tabletop for flatness with a straightedge and feeler gauge. All were within .003″ of flatness — a satisfactory measure for me. I examined arbor shaft and blade flange runout with a dial indicator to see how closely blades would spin on a single axis and plane. I considered .001″ reasonable for shaft runout and .002″ acceptable for the flange. All 10 saws met these tolerances.
Then, I tested each saw’s mettle and general manners by making 25 rip cuts, bevel rips and crosscuts on 3-ft. long slabs of 8/4 poplar or birch. A fresh Freud LU84R combination blade was installed in each, and dust collection was provided by a new Oneida two-stage dust collector drawing 850 cfm of working pressure — more than sufficient for this purpose.
While all the saws were up to the task of heavy cutting, dust collection efficiency varied widely. Finally, I scrutinized individual saw features carefully.