Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
When I moved to a new home my shop area was radically downsized to half of a two car garage. In my former shop I had a 10" contractor's table saw for over 30 years. I really loved that saw but knew I was going to have to get a smaller saw. I reluctantly purchased the Bosch 4100-09 10" jobsite saw not expecting much. Wow was I wrong. I've had the saw for about a year and a half and use it daily to build medium to smaller sized projects ( boxes, trays, hanging cabinets, end tables). Right out of the box the saw performed well, I had my doubts about doing fine cabinet and furniture work but it is up to the task. I added the TS1002 outside table which is a necessity for larger boards. I also purchased the TS 1007 dado insert. The saw accommodates my freud 8" dado stack up to 1/2" which is sufficient for me. I use only thin kerf blades with a stabilizer and I've had no trouble ripping up to 1 1/2" hardwood. I do have to take it slower than on my contractor's saw but I
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.

Ryobi’s RTS21G comes in as the only table saw in the group under $200. It’s lightweight, reasonably compact, and we got acceptable jobsite cuts with the upgraded Diablo blade. The throat plate uses magnets to hold it in place while leaving it easy to remove for blade access. Using a threaded rod to push the height adjustment up, you’ll notice it’s easier and smoother on the way down. The stand folds up and can be Velcro-strapped to the back, though it’s a bit wobbly compared to the others when ready for action.
These tests and evaluations are very difficult, take a lot of time, and ultimately limited in scope as we’re not a professional testing company and we’ve got limited time to evaluate the tools. We cannot do longer term testing that would shed light on durability and we can’t possibly test every application that you might use of one of these saws for. However, we feel comfortable that all the table saws in this Head-to-Head are good saws and our testing helps bring to light pros and cons for each saw.
If you are making a cut that will require your hands to get close to the blade, (within 6 inches) use a push stick or two to eliminate the chances of your hand touching the blade. If this is a big concern for you, maybe consider a saw that uses flesh detection to stop the blade. The additional cost of the saw will be instantly appreciated the first time you need it.
Compared to some of the other miter saws we’ve used – predating the new riving knife requirement, the Bosch GTS1031 guard system is much easier to install and remove when necessary (and to put the saw back into portable mode). We timed ourselves and assembled and tore down the saw in just over 2 minutes – and we were confident that our time would get better with more practice. The table is made of machined cast aluminum and is texture-coated to make it fairly slick – something that really helped when cutting larger pieces of 3/4″ plywood for a workbench surface. As for extending the table – that was super-easy. You just lift the table extension handle upwards and slide the table to the right. This gives you a full 18″ of rip width to the rip fence with your material to the right of the blade. Collapsed, you get up to 10″. Motion of the rip fence and the table extension were smooth. While the fence had some wobble in it at the far end – this completely disappeared when you locked it down – and the shape of the rear of the fence locked it straight every time. It’s a good system and more than adequate for a low-cost portable saw like this. We’ve seen more robust fence systems. But typically the trade-off has been in weight as well as cost.

When your skin contacts the blade even slightly, the charge transfers, and a switch flips on the motor, activating an instant brake. The aluminum brake swings into contact with the blade, stopping it instantly. The brake also propels the blade down through the arbor, so it retracts completely below your worktop. That means that other than the initial contact, you won’t touch the sharp edge at all.

Because we’re passionate woodworkers who care deeply about the quality of the tools we work with, we have a tendency to recommend that even the most budget-conscious buyer spend a little more to get something high-quality. However, we know that some DIYers might have the ambition to take their woodworking to the next level with a table saw, but might not necessarily have the funds.

One notable feature on the Bosch is an arbor lock button, enabling easy blade changes. Changing the blade on most table saws is an onerous task, requiring the user to reach under the saw with one wrench to hold the arbor still while using another wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place. Because of the difficulty involved, many users choose to continue using a dull blade, rather than expend the effort to change it. Dull table saw blades can result in poor cutting ability, split-out, burn marks, and possibly dangerous kickbacks. The arbor lock button helps to eliminate some of the difficulty involved in blade changes, taking some of the dread out of the process. Popular Mechanics referred to this feature as, “so handy it ought to be an industry standard”. It is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer this feature.
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In the commercial construction business, we typically buy a job site saw for each project and use it up during the course of an 18-month job. When these saws hit the site, they are unboxed, assembled and immediately put into use. We rip stacks and stacks of sheet goods with these saws and the tolerances of the cut materials are not very critical. However, that example represents the portable saw use within our commercial crews’ business.
We used the Freud calibration plate on each of the test saws to measure runout. We removed the new Diablo blade, installed the calibration plate, and raised the trunnion to its maximum vertical adjustment. Before measuring the runout, we placed a black mark on the calibration plate to give a consistent starting position for the runout test. The same iGauging dial indicator provided the test measurements, only this time, the units were set to read out in mm. TBB noticed that in the initial saws, the movements were sufficiently small to need the smaller metric units.
Rockwell is the “freshman” brand among the other longer-standing benchtop power tool companies represented here, and its table saw revealed some “first rodeo” shortcomings. While the motor was amply powerful for my cutting tests, the blade arbor assembly was 1/16″ out of parallel with the miter slots. It’s a condition called “heeling” without easy adjustment in the manual. So, for my testing purposes I had to set the rip fence askew in order to align it parallel to the blade. The problem would need to be addressed on this sample saw for long-term use.
One notable feature on the Bosch is an arbor lock button, enabling easy blade changes. Changing the blade on most table saws is an onerous task, requiring the user to reach under the saw with one wrench to hold the arbor still while using another wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place. Because of the difficulty involved, many users choose to continue using a dull blade, rather than expend the effort to change it. Dull table saw blades can result in poor cutting ability, split-out, burn marks, and possibly dangerous kickbacks. The arbor lock button helps to eliminate some of the difficulty involved in blade changes, taking some of the dread out of the process. Popular Mechanics referred to this feature as, “so handy it ought to be an industry standard”. It is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer this feature.

With a 32½" rip capacity and motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛" deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. Happy customers sing this machine’s praises, reporting that it’s as sturdy as a table saw can get — plus, it’s easy to use, and assembling it is a cinch. They do however note that workers looking to produce finer cuts should seek out a replacement blade since the one provided is more suited for fast, rough work.


Stands are one of those features where the ends really do justify the means. Some made us wish the manual writers would take a cue from Lego—just make the *@#$! things easy enough for a 7 year old to understand. That aside, SawStop set itself aside brilliantly, taking just 10 minutes to setup. All we had to do was install the wheels and two handles. Even the packaging is designed to make the process easier and the instructions were super-easy to understand. Makita was nearly as simple only requiring us to install the handle and bolt the saw to the stand.

Cutting dadoes can be done with a dado stack blade. I use the Freud 208. Blade changes are easy, and there is a lever that locks the blade in place so I can get a good yank on the nut with the included (and stored onboard) wrench. There is an accessory throat insert for the dado blade stack, but the standard throat will easily handle a ¼ thick stack, which is what I usually use.

With a 32½" rip capacity and motor capable of up to 4800 rpm, the DWE7491RS is more than prepared to effectively deliver 3⅛" deep cuts to thick slabs of wood. Happy customers sing this machine’s praises, reporting that it’s as sturdy as a table saw can get — plus, it’s easy to use, and assembling it is a cinch. They do however note that workers looking to produce finer cuts should seek out a replacement blade since the one provided is more suited for fast, rough work.
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