I’m no stranger to Bosch’s 4100-09 saw with Gravity-Rise™ stand. I’ve used one several times to build projects for this magazine, including the Serving Tray Cart that appeared in the June issue. So, I was not surprised when it tested impressively here. Rip cuts were on the mark, thanks to a rugged, beefy fence that stayed parallel to the blade each time I reset it. A flip of a red lever underneath unlocks the rails so they slide out and extend ripping capacity up to 25″.
Which leads to a problem. A standard blade should not have that kind of space around it. Fortunately, Bosch sell very inexpensive throat plate blanks that can become zero clearance inserts. I have one for each of my three main blades and a fourth unused one that I put aside just in case. While I can make my own, it just isn’t worth the hassle as these are pretty affordable.
Move the wood to and then "through" the spinning saw blade slowly and steadily. It's alright to use your hands while you're still at least a foot or so from the blade, but once the end of the board or sheet nears the blade, you should use a pushing stick to keep the wood moving and to keep your fingers away from the blade. Even an experienced carpenter can have a lapse in concentration or a slip that can lead to serious injury.
The blade guard is the most noticeable and the most important safety element of every saw. Its purpose is very simple – it keeps your fingers away from the blade. Many people decide to unscrew this part and take it off to speed up the cutting process, but that’s a huge mistake. In fact, a massive percent of injuries happen because people alter the safety mechanisms in order to work faster. Risking your life for a few hours of effective work isn’t worth it, to say the least.
A table saw can be classified in many ways, and I’ve come across terms like contractor, folding, featherboard, hobby, induction, sliding and zero clearance. However, I will conform to the most basic and clear classification and range the tables accordingly. That means I’ll order them by benchtop table saws, jobsite table saws, cabinet saws and hybrid table saws.
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.
I decided to do the very same thing a while back. I thought it would take a few days to figure out everything about table saws and then just buy one. I was dead wrong. While table saws are simple in their construction, they are complex because there are so many factors, so many aspects, and so many different features to consider. After spending a large amount of time doing my homework, I decided to share what I learned with you, in the shape of table saw reviews and informational articles. Before you actually go and read them, let me take you on a quick walk through the website so you know what there is and where you can find it.
One of the biggest issues and potential hazards when working with table saws is kickback. Table saw kickback occurs when wood is ejected from the saw at extremely high speed. You can imagine the sort of injuries this can cause. Table splitters are effectively small vertical bits of metal or sometimes plastic that are designed to stop the wood flying back if there is a kickback. Attached to the splitter are anti kickback pawls either side, they look like table saw blades themselves but they are in fact there to grip the wood at stick into it in case of kickback.
In recent years, there has been a cloud of controversy surrounding the inherent safety issues surrounding the table saw. SawStop developed a flesh detection technology that pulls the blade below the table surface 3 milliseconds after coming into contact with skin. It really created a new class of table saw that, as of June 1st, finally has some competition in the form of Bosch’s REAXX.
We don’t always post the point totals when we do a shootout like this because it gets complicated – you have to decide what the important features and performance categories are, determine how much weight each one should hold, and then actually hash out the scores with the team. That said, some of these table saws scored so close to each other that I didn’t feel it was fair to just leave it up to the rankings.
All these saws have fences that extend to at least 24 in. to allow you to rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of plywood in half. And they all have a slightly different way of accomplishing this. DeWalt has the most straightforward method. You just push the fence out on its rails and flip over the board support. On the Rockwell saw, you flip out a hinged fence rail. The only drawback to this fence is that it must remain in the extended position for any cut, so it takes up quite a bit of room. The remaining saws require you to release one or two levers and pull out the fence extension.
If you’re a home DIYer or pro working mainly from a shop, you may have a wide table or countertop big enough to use the saw without any accessory stand. We would caution against working on sawhorses, though, as they can be wobbly and unsafe. It’s far better to spend a few extra dollars on a sturdy stand than to take risks with a rickety, improvised setup.
One thing you must be aware of with a contractor saw is the fact that they can be a lot more difficult to move from job to job, this is something that must be considered before purchasing. For thicker and harder type woods a cabinet table saw maybe the best way to go, especially for the long-term benefits, but for the average mid-sized contractor it’s still a great option. Read More
Most table saw blades come in 8, 10 or 12inchs in diameter, but you can also get a lot smaller and larger sizes if you require special cut sizes and cut depth sizes. When looking for a new blade when it comes to sizes, blades are measured in two sizes mainly, the mounting hole and the total blade diameter, make sure you take the mounting hole size in to consideration when buying a new blade as this could be something very easily over looked but could cause an issue.
Other features include a battery-powered laser for lining up cuts. I found it to be pretty dim under bright shop lights and not lined up correctly with the blade. It is non-adjustable. A pullout rear extension provides some added support for long rip cuts. Rockwell also offers a couple of unique accessories: a sliding miter table ($179.99) and a power planer-style “Finisher” ($129.99). It mounts on the saw for flattening board edges.
I am a general contractor in the Midwest. I used the saw and stand a lot for the 1 week I've had it. Overall the saw works well, dado blades are easily interchangeable, and it's surprising quiet. However, the stand base bent on me today. I had it passively mounted in the rear of my enclosed 7x16 trailer. Opened the door this morning after arriving at the job site and it had sunken over. I thought maybe it had come out of the mount I made, but sadly that was not the case.
Plus, it’s simply a great table saw in its own right. It’s powerful, efficient, and quiet. It cuts through all kinds of stock smoothly and easily, and the dust collection system helps it clean up after itself. Previous buyers who upgraded to this one said that the transition from their old cabinet units felt like switching from a family sedan to a sports car. We recommend it to anyone looking for the absolute best quality, for small to midsize pro shop work or the passionate home woodworker.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.