You want to rip down lumber with your table saw. For this you’ll need a fence. You just can’t make an accurate rip cut without one. Check the fence sits on the rails firmly. You should be able to adjust it easily in both directions. A T-square fence is the most common type. Made from welded steel, it’s precise, user-friendly and durable. Some fences are mounted with bolts. Others are welded onto the head of the T-square. Miter gauges are priceless for making cross-cuts and other more advanced cuts. This gauge acts as a guiding device. It moves in the miter slot. You can angle between 45 degrees and -45 degrees. For angled or square cross-cuts or other specialty cuts, a miter gauge fully delivers.
In my opinion, the Bosch is the clear winner here. While both of the saws are technically portable, the Bosch’s wheeled, easy to set up stand will get you to work quickly, without the need to keep track of multiple parts and accessories. While the DEWALT is much lighter, that difference is negated by the fact that you will be forced to carry it from the vehicle to where you will be using it, rather than pulling it behind you like wheeled luggage.
The scales that indicate the width of cut fall into one of two categories: continuous and separate. Of the seven we’re reviewing, DeWalt, Ridgid and Rockwell are continuous. You simply line up the fence with the desired measurement. The other four best table saw options—Bosch, Craftsman, Ryobi and Porter-Cable—require you to lock the fence in a specific position on fully extended rails, and read the dimension on a separate scale. We prefer the continuous scales and really like the tape measure–type scale on the Ridgid.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve pulled out other jobsite saws only to have accessories fall off, or require off-tool storage. Bosch designed the GTS1031, however, to securely hold all of its accessories, even including the arbor wrenches (both of them) and an allen wrench for adjusting the riving knife and dust ejection points among other things. Our favorite was the rip fence, which simply flipped upside down and stored underneath the table – clever! About the most difficult adjustment was the riving knife, which is a tool-less maneuver, but one which requires you to stick your hand way into the blade cavity to reach the release lever. When making any adjustments to the blade, it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) to disconnect power to the saw as a precaution.