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Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad

Portable Table Saws: We want your feedback!

comments (9) August 7th, 2014 in Blogs
patrick_mccombe Patrick McCombe, Associate editor

The DeWalt DWE7490 has 28 1/2 in. of rip capacity. The nearly identical DWE745 can rip up to 20 in. Both saws are available with matching stands. 
Bosch reinvented the ultra-portable tablesaw in 2012. The current model, GTS1031 has 18 in. of rip capacity. It too is available with a folding stand. 
The DeWalt DWE7490 has 28 1/2 in. of rip capacity. The nearly identical DWE745 can rip up to 20 in. Both saws are available with matching stands. Click To Enlarge

The DeWalt DWE7490 has 28 1/2 in. of rip capacity. The nearly identical DWE745 can rip up to 20 in. Both saws are available with matching stands. 

Ultra-portable table saws from Bosch (model GTS1031) and DeWalt (models 7490, 7491) have been around for several years now. These are the smaller saws you can carry one-handed. We've been using both tools for months now, testing them for an upcoming feature article that compares them head-to-head. We've developed our opinions, now we'd like to hear about your experience with these smaller jobsite tablesaws.

We want to know if you've had any problems, if you're still using your larger table saw(s), and generally what you like and don't like about these smaller saws. Your comments might just make it into the magazine layout. Please don't pontificate about your experience with other tools from these or other tool makers, we really just want to hear about ultra-portable table saws like the ones in the photos.

Look for the Ultra-Portable Table Saw Test in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Fine Homebuilding.

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Comments (9)

markj33 markj33 writes: I've been using the Dewalt 7490 after I found it on I'm just a hobbyist woodworker, but I love it. Handles everything I throw at it with ease, and I can tell it will last me for years. Great stuff.
Posted: 10:37 am on April 12th

BobboMax BobboMax writes: Ooops, blew it on the rip capacity- only goes out to 20"
Posted: 9:23 pm on August 25th

BobboMax BobboMax writes: I got a DeWalt 745 as a prize, haven't used it a lot, but here are my observations so far. For the price (about $300,) I'd really recommend it- I haven't used any of the really spendy saws, so I can't compare it to them, but I'd guess it compares favorably.

Relatively light, convenient carrying handholds. Nice "roll-cage" frame that protects plastic components. Blade cover plate (under table) is easy to remove (wingnuts) for cleaning caked on sawdust, includes vacuum port. Blade wrenches included, stored on saw with wingnuts. Max blade height is about 3-3/8- can't cut a 4x4 in one pass.

Fence is excellent- has "gear-drive" to keep it lined up, nice lever lock. Easily removed & replaced for crosscutting. Can be conveniently positioned on either side of the blade, can be cranked out to ~~27" for ripping plywood, has a little flipdown shelf to support floppy materials when it's extended past the table. Fence has storage clips for included push stick- no excuse for not using it.

Good safety provisions- relatively usable blade guard w/ riving blade to prevent kerf closing and good anti-kickback pawls, all relatively easy to remove & replace and all have relatively convenient on-board storage. The blade guards are transparent and have a detent to keep them up in the air when necessary. There's a blade viewing slot between them for lining up crosscuts. You have to crank the blade up to remove them but the guards, riving knife and kick-back pawls come out in one convenient chunk. The guards and pawls attach to the riving knife and can be removed separately.

Blade slot cover plate (in table) has tool-free lock, adjusting screws to keep it flush w/ table, metal inserts to keep kick-back pawls from chewing it up. Two riving blade thicknesses available for different blades (only standard kerf one is supplied.) Includes plastic horns for cord storage, plug w/ cord grabber.

On the downside, there's no storage for the miter gauge, but that's not much loss because the miter gauge is reeeally cheap- down in the "Why did they bother?" range. Also, not much of a loss because you usually use a chopsaw for crosscuts, but still, for small jobs, it would be nice to be able to use just one tool.

The instruction manual is kinda klunky- you can learn what you need to from it, but it needs a carpenter with good technical writing writing skills. Includes instructions for building some kind of sled for ripping small narrow pieces- nice idea but they're unintelligible.

Posted: 9:19 pm on August 25th

Gvlremodeler Gvlremodeler writes: I purchased the Bosch GTS1031 a couple of years ago for my remodeling business primarily for the compact size that fits into one of the shelving units in my enclosed trailer. I've been very pleased with the performance and it's a breeze to pull out and setup with the GTA500 stand.

With a new Freud Diablo blade it provides clean cuts requiring minimal sanding. I do use infeed and outfeed rollers when ripping 12-16' stock, but have found it quite stable for most of my work. I like the new riving knife and guard system although I often work without the guard. Connecting the outlet to my shop vac collects 95% of the dust when I'm doing a lot of cutting or working at a location where I need to control the dust.

I've tried ripping down full sheets of plywood with it, but this isn't the tool for that task due to the small table size.

Overall I've been very pleased.
Posted: 7:40 pm on August 13th

Snowedinagain Snowedinagain writes: After a lot of research I bought the Bosch 4100 with the Gravityrise 3000 stand. I have no regrets even though this was the most expensive of the three I had it narrowed down to. The others were the comparible Dewalt and the Rigid. The Gravityrise 3000 was a major selling point of the Bosch for me but the quality of construction won me over even though the Dewalt was a close second. My Bosch saw is smooth, powerful and accurate. Set-up is achieved in a few minutes. Sounds like the push stick holder of the Dewalt is nice but I can't fault the Bosch for anything major except that its warranty could be longer.
Posted: 5:33 pm on August 11th

liam liam writes: All I can say is SawStop or nothing. I need my fingers.
Posted: 2:35 pm on August 11th

NCDan NCDan writes: I have owned the Dewalt 744X for three years now and it is a great saw. I recently got a good deal on a Bosch wheeled stand and it has cut my setup time down and saved my back. The Bosch stand bolted right up to the Dewalt with ease. This saw is extremely accurate and tight, thanks to the gear drive rip fence adjustment. This saw has cut everything I throw at it with ease and I have had no problems with it at all. I highly recommend this saw if you are in the market.
Posted: 7:45 am on August 11th

patrick_mccombe patrick_mccombe writes: Thanks for the feedback BurgessBuilt. I agree, the push stick holder on the rip fence is really smart.
Posted: 9:39 am on August 7th

BurgessBuilt BurgessBuilt writes: I've been using the Dewalt 7491 with the wheeled base. This saw is a breath of fresh air compared to my previous Dewalt tablesaw. The features I notice the most when I'm using the saw are the wheels when first setting up, The push stick holder on the back of the fence right where you need it, a storage place on the saw for the guard and kickplate when its not in use, the height adjustment wheel is very fast, the bottom cage is so open that no dust accumulates within the saw, and the fence is easily reversible. I have not yet used this saw with a dust collector attached. So far I wouldn't even think about buying another saw.

Posted: 9:29 am on August 7th

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