Setting up or taking down Craftsman’s spring-assisted stand is a six-step process, involving various release latches. It’s not intuitive like that of Bosch or RIDGID. And, once the stand is folded down, don’t lift the handles up too far when rolling the saw around, or the stand drags against the floor. A shorter woodworker might find this less of a problem than this 6′ 3″ tester did. I also found that the stand’s narrow stance and light weight couldn’t prevent it from skittering on the floor as I pushed heavy lumber across the top. A word to the wise: weigh the base down for heavy-duty work or for cutting large sheet goods.
The Delta Unisaw is a heavyweight in woodworking circles. It’s been on the market for years, and it’s a stalwart through and through. It has a super-powerful 5 HP motor which can blast through the toughest hardwoods and composite materials quickly. It also features one of the most precise bevel adjustments on the market, down to 1/4 degrees! It has a solid, single-cast trunnion which provides excellent vibration dampening, and an extra-heavy case iron base. In short, this is a hulking beast of a machine, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a shop favorite for years.
After cutting a bunch of wood with this saw, we really liked the balance of power and portability of Bosch GTS1031 – and I think that’s what this saw is all about. For raw Performance, the unflappable motor-blade combo earned a stiff 8/10 in our tests, while its affordable $399 price tag put it at a solid 9/10 in our Value scale. Sure, you can get cheaper portable table saws, but you’ll find it a challenge to track down the combination of power and portability the Bosch GTS1031 offers. Bosch’s gravity rise-equipped 4100-09 remains a compelling alternative or those wanting an integrated stand. It occupies an additional 15″ in width and 8″ in length and is a full 3.5″ taller. But it only tacks on 8 pounds in weight. If you’re cutting larger pieces of wood or need a saw with a stand, the 4100-09 may be your baby, but the new Bosch GTS1031, with its “toss it in the truck” form factor is our new sweetheart tool. While it has an available GTA500 folding table stand accessory, the real advantage of this saw is it’s stand-free portability – so don’t make it into something it’s not. After using this tool, we think you’ll want to take it with you, as-is, just about everywhere!
Look for guards with two independent panels on each side of the blade, so that while you work on one side, the other side keeps dust in the vacuum system, rather than flying off to the side. High-end cabinet units also have splitter and guard systems which are molded like the internal shrouding to amplify suction, so you should look carefully at those features.
To ensure that our runout measurements were accurate, TBB used a Freud calibration plate. Freud manufactures this ground stainless steel plate to a tolerance of ± .0005 inches in flatness across the plate. While TBB does not have a means to measure the accuracy of this specification, we did put this calibration plate on top of a polished granite calibration table and could not shine a light under any portion of the plate or slip the 0.001 feeler gauge under the edge.
About three paces from where I tested these portable table saws sits my late-model cabinet saw. As a serious woodworker and magazine editor, I can’t imagine not having it. Its powerful 3hp motor, spacious cast-iron tabletop and almost hair-splitting precision makes most other saw options pale by comparison. But all this said, a cabinet saw isn’t everything. The thought of moving that behemoth down the steps to a basement shop sends chills up my spine. I sure can’t toss it into a car trunk to help a friend down the road. My saw takes up a huge footprint of shop floor, and it cost a small fortune. I don’t know of any stationary table saw that sells for less than $700 new these days, and that can empty the coffer of a modest tool budget.
The miter gauge gets an “its fine” grade. Ok to support a narrow piece for a crosscut, but not long enough to do much more than that. I upgraded to an Incra miter 1000SE and never looked back. Although a crosscut sled is pretty easy to make (and I highly recommend getting one) I picked up an Incra Miter Express sled for real cheap at a garage sale, so I am happy to use that.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 are pretty evenly matched in having plenty of power and not-so-hot dust collection. I you’re looking for a light weight saw, the DEWALT comes in ahead since it weighs almost half as much as the Bosch. It is also the less expensive choice by far. The large work table, expanded cutting capability, and its Gravity Rise feature (with solid rubber wheels that make it easy to be rolling across rugged terrain at a jobsite) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.
A table saw is a powerful tool that makes short work of even large pieces of lumber, allowing you to make rip cuts down the grain of boards, beams, and even entire sheets of plywood. No carpentry shop or professional construction site is complete without a table saw. Deciding which saw is best suited to a given home workshop, furniture production factory, or building site is an important decision and merits careful consideration.
The Bosch will deliver a whopping big 25” rip, where the DEWALT maxes out at a 16” rip. Again, if you like the other features of the DEWALT better than the Bosch, this larger rip capacity might not sway your buying decision one way or the other. Personally, i would lean towards bosch, but that’s just me.It truly is the best portable table saw on the market today.
You have to know the amount of money you are willing to spend for the right saw. The truth is that the price will vary significantly depending on where you are buying the saw, the brand and the features it comes with. However, with a good budget, you can easily narrow down the options you may have. You will have a smaller range to work with and you will know what features to expect within that price range. Always be willing to spend a little more on the table saw you want in your workshop especially if you work on wood every day.