Not everyone needs to use the miter gauge on a table saw since there’s typically going to be a miter saw around. If you do, you’ll like the positive locking detents at common angles. This saw felt like it was the weakest when pushing our 2x PT material through. Despite the ranking, it doesn’t feel under-powered – you just need to take your time. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on this model, but for $279, we don’t have many complaints.
You can store and transport the Bosch upright or on either of its sides. In between our tests, we found that the saw neatly stored away on its side on a workbench shelf. On the other hand, the DeWalt can only be stored or transported in its upright position. While it may possible to rest the saw briefly on one of its sides, there is the potential to damage the power cord, plug, or the ends of the telescoping fence rails.
Though you’ll still want to wear safety gear when using this table saw, it has safety features that will keep you safe too. One of those features is an emergency stop. One touch of the bright green power button brings the motor to life, but when you lift up on the emergency stop that surrounds the power button, you can stop the motor in its tracks. This button has a convenient design that lets you hit and lift it with your leg or knee too.
I never – not even with a big cabinet saw – enjoyed cutting down full sheets, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. So, for me, the bigger capacity of the big saws isn’t as attractive as just cutting down the sheets with a track saw. Suddenly, with a track saw and a quality saw the size of the 4100, I can achieve the same results in a smaller footprint, for less money, more safely (I consider a track saw safer than manhandling full sheets alone)
A riving knife is a piece of metal that comes included with your new saw. It’s shaped like a surfboard fin. Sadly, not all models come with this crucial part. If you purchase a model without it, make sure you design one for yourself as soon as possible. The construction of this piece is not a big deal at all; you can cut the shape in a matter of minutes and install it. Its purpose is to prevent the wood and debris from getting caught in the back of the blade which consequently kicks back thus jeopardizing your safety.
However, there were some limitations. The rip fence build, with a thin-metal body, is light-duty. At just 23⁄4″ wide, the saw’s narrow throatplate makes it harder to reach down inside for swapping blades or retrieving a fumbled arbor nut. While the white-on-black bevel scale display is easy to read, the thin red hairline pointer that marks tilt angles disappears over the top of it; the saw needs a larger, brighter indicator. There’s a geared mechanism for tilting the blade that engages when you push the blade height wheel in — a good thing — but the bevel lock lever is too short, and I would use care when bearing down on the plastic handle to tighten it.
Hybrid table saws are the latest thing on the market these days. They’re in between contractor and cabinet table saws in terms of price, power, and precision. These have either half-cabinets or cutaway stands like a contractor saw, but with the super-powerful motor and improved stability of a cabinet unit. They’re heavy, so you should be prepared to use them on a wheeled lift, but they can be transported fairly easily if you have helpers.
The DEWALT and Makita finished in first for our ergonomic rankings followed by a tie for second between Hitachi and Skilsaw and a tie for third place by Bosch and Ridgid. Both the DEWALT and Makita built their saw with the professional contractor in mind. Overall the entire crew really likes the saws with a rack-and-pinion fence system and the large wheels on the Skilsaw were also a big favorite.
It’s sturdy. This unit also has a metal roll cage frame all around, which helps it handle the rough and tumble of travelling to worksites on a regular basis. It has a locking mechanism to help it stay securely on stands. We’re also super impressed by how well-made the adjustment knobs feel on this one. Buyers reported using this one for several years with no issues.
This saw has a soft start and also seems to over-rev and then slow down to correct itself upon startup. Strange, and I'm hoping this isn't a precursor to a problem down the road but for now it works fine. The Bosch blade that it comes with was removed and replaced with a Freud. The saw cut like a hot knife through butter and I am very pleased with the overall performance. The miter gauge is a little sloppy in the miter tracks.
Like the Bosch, this Dewalt comes with a rolling stand. It’s convenient to set up and take down, since you can do it without helpers or tools. It rolls like a dolly, and opens into a nice, sturdy table. We especially like the splayed legs, since they lend the whole thing a bit more stability than the Bosch version. Unlike the Bosch’s stand, the Dewalt’s has semi-pneumatic tires which won’t ever go flat.
There’s also a secondary flip-down fence which allows you to make narrower rips. We love this feature, which should really become industry standard in the near future. It helps you make smaller cuts without needing to have your fingers close to the blade. Reviewers loved it, and said they found themselves using the feature much more frequently than they’d anticipated.