Buying a table saw is one of the biggest and most important purchases you will ever make when it comes to power tools. It is an integral part of most job site equipment, as well as an essential item for most do it yourself projects. Choosing a table saw that fits your particular needs and budget can mean the difference in both profitability and frustration level.
There are several types of table saws. The types of jobs or projects you plan to use a table saw for will determine which type you buy. If you want a saw you can take from job site to job site, then you will need a table saw that is made to be portable so that it can be easily transported to the job site. Of the portable or work site table saws on the market today, the Bosch 4100-09 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw with Gravity-Rise Stand and the DEWALT DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 16-Inch Max Rip Capacity are two of the most popular.
But what is the best portable table saw? The DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw or the Bosch 4100-09 Work-Site Table Saw?
To help you determine which of these saws is right for you, I have compared their strengths and weaknesses. After seeing the features, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which saw best suits your needs.
So, let the games begin and we’ll see which saw emerges as the winner!
What is the Advantage to Buying a Brand Name Saw?
Let’s face it, money is always a factor in making a decision like this. The temptation is always there to buy some off brand product that will do the job for long enough to get you by until you can purchase a more reliable piece of equipment.
While buying generic no-name products might be fine for something like breakfast cereal, power tools are different. When you use power tools, your safety is at stake. If you pick up some cheapo piece of mass produced junk just because the price is less than a name brand, you might end up paying a lot higher price for it than you counted on. Why? Because generic power tools are not usually held to the quality control and accuracy as big box brands such as DEWALT and Bosch.
In other words, a malfunction might mean an injury. This distinction could not be more pronounced in any other job site equipment than a table saw. I have personally witnessed devastating injuries on a number of occasions that could have easily been avoided by the use of safety equipment that comes standard on most brand name saws. Liability for a job site injury can be a serious setback for well established companies, but for small, independent contractors it could mean the difference between business and bankruptcy.
Besides that, materials are expensive, and when you ruin even a couple of pricey work pieces with a saw that doesn’t provide accurate cut you will end up paying far more for that cheap saw than you anticipated. Having a good saw that you can depend on for accuracy and efficiency is a solid business move for any contractor. Both the DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 have a true riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a blade guard to prevent kickback and possible injury.
Now, let’s move on to a comparison of the DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw and the Bosch 4100-09 Work-Site Table Saw. The table below will let you see the basic stats of both at a glance.
As you can see, there are similarities between the DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw and the Bosch 4100-09 Work-Site Table Saw, but differences, too. You might find it helpful to see the main features of each tablesaw compared, one by one.
The DEWALT DW745 and the Bosch 4100 both have 15 amp motors, so power shouldn’t be a problem with either of these job site table saws. The DEWALT has a high torque motor that is capable of delivering a no-load speed of up to 3,850 rpm. The Bosch 15 amps and a no-load speed of up to 3,650 rpm. The difference between the two is not something that would be noticeable without sophisticated equipment, and will not affect performance in any significant manner. The noticeable difference between the two is that the Bosch 4100 comes equipped with a soft start motor that is lacking on the DEWALT DW745. This will cause a noticeable load on your power source, and may affect other tools and lighting attached to the same source during startup.
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.
The large cutting table surface of the Bosch 4100-09 Worksite Table Saw is roomy enough to handle large work pieces, giving you a ripping capacity of 25”. This is a really great feature if you plan to use the saw to rip solid or plywood panels, or other large materials. I use my table saw primarily for ripping sanded plywood panels for use in cabinetry, and many of my projects would be impossible with a smaller capacity saw. The rip fence glides across the saw cutting table, so you can actually use it with one hand, and locks in place for safety and accuracy. The DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw offers a 16” cut, considerably smaller than the Bosch. It is perfectly adequate for most application, such as ripping dimensional lumber and small trim applications. The type of materials and work pieces you expect to be cutting are a determining factor in your choice of table saws. If you plan on tackling any large scale projects in the future, the rip capacity of your saw is definitely a feature that you should take into consideration.
For routine jobs, either saw should suffice. But, if you want to be able to rip work pieces up to 25”, the Bosch would be your best bet.
Both of these table saws have a port that connects to a shop vacuum for dust collection. The DEWALT features a 2.5” port, while the Bosch has a 2” port. However, neither seems to do all that great a job. The Bosch might fare a little worse as far as the dust port clogging, but the DEWALT has some problems in this area, too. The Bosch is said to spew sawdust on the floor as though there was no dust collection port at all. The DEWALT racks up some complaints about the same problem.
The fact is, a table saw is designed to remove a large amount of material in a quick and efficient manner. With the volume of waste that is produced by any but the smallest table saws, a shop vacuum is not going to be up to the task. Short of purchasing a standalone dust collection system, the best that you can hope for from a shop vacuum is that it might keep some of the saw dust out of your eyes.
If you are in the market for a saw that you can easily take from one work site to another, ease of portability will certainly be a big factor in your buying decision. Based on weight alone, the DEWALT seems to have the edge simply because it is more light weight than the Bosch, at 45 pounds as compared to the heavier 99 pound Bosch.
The Bosch is, in fact, almost twice as heavy as the DEWALT. But…..there may be other things to consider when you think about the portability of a work site table saw. One consideration is the ease of setting up and moving the saw table. The Bosch, with its unique Gravity-Rise Stand and solid rubber wheels, may be heavier but easier to move and set up for use. The DEWALT wouldn’t require as much muscle to move, but the table is relatively small and it has no wheels. It bears mentioning that the DEWALT table is sold separately, and is assembled separately, whereas the Bosch unit’s Gravity-Rise Stand is a part of the overall unit. The stand allows the saw to be raised into working position in a single, fluid movement, and easily cuts set up time in half.
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 unique Squarelock fence of the Bosch 4100-09 Work-Site Table Saw is engineered to deliver optimal accuracy and true cuts. Its rip fence glides easily and locks for stability and precision cuts. The addition of a digital readout allows for pinpoint accuracy up to 1/32”.
The DEWALT DW745 Job-Site Table Saw has telescoping fence rails that extend up to 16”. Plus, its rack and pinion fence design makes it easy to make adjustments quickly and easily.
The DEWALT may score a couple of points on the rack and pinion fence, but the Bosch is fairly evenly matched with its Squarelock technology. So, this would probably boil down to a matter of personal preference for you as both would deliver excellent results.
The only dislike that I have found about the Bosch 4100-09’s operation is that unlocking the table causes a tab to pop up above the cutting surface. This tab interferes with the operation of the fence, and could lead to damage of the product. It also comes with only a one year warranty. It does have available rear out-feed extensions available, to help facilitate larger work pieces.
The DEWALT DW745, due to its smaller size, does not have the capacity to use a stack of dado blades (blades designed to be stacked together to make wider cuts, grooves, and notches). It has also been noted that the plastic miter handle is a weak point, and it limits accuracy. There are no available table extensions. It does, however, come with a three year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Bottom Line – What’S the best portable table saw ?
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 will go across rugged terrain at a job site) make the Bosch a Cadillac among Pintos, but, of course, that luxury comes with a price tag.
In the end, the old adage holds true; you get what you pay for. The portability, easy setup, soft start motor, added 9” of rip capability, more accurate miter, and availability to use dados give a clear advantage to the Bosch 4100, but in the end it is up to you to decide how much those features are really worth.
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.
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