Small enough to carry with one hand, but big enough for job-site work.
Synopsis: Tablesaw manufacturers have found ways to design their tools for maximum portability, and in this article, associate editor Patrick McCombe puts two of them to the test: the Bosch GTS1031 and the DeWalt 7490X. He identifies the five features that matter most in an ultra-portable tablesaw—power, riving knives, fence design, rip capacity, and portability—and describes how these two tools stack up. In the end, he leans toward the DeWalt because of its rip fence, but acknowledges that if portability were his primary concern, he’d choose the Bosch.
My introduction to job-site tablesaws took place more than 20 years ago when I was issued an 8 1⁄4-in. Makita by my employer. It was a good saw, and at 40 lb., it was easy to carry. Then in subsequent years, the job-site tablesaws I used seemed to get bigger and bigger.
Most recently, I’ve been using a Bosch 4000 with Bosch’s Gravity Rise folding stand. It, too, has been a good saw, but when mated to its wheeled stand, it weighs 113 lb. and fills the bed of a compact pickup. Given the saw’s bulk and my aging back, I was intrigued when Bosch introduced a smaller tablesaw, model GTS1031, with an 18-in. rip capacity. In the company’s advertising, an average-size carpenter is shown carrying the saw with one hand while climbing a staircase. Even without the stand, there’s no way I could carry my saw with one hand.
Not long after Bosch introduced this compact saw, DeWalt introduced its own. DeWalt now has an entire line of ultra-portables. For this test, I considered three, which are similar but have different rip capacities — the DW745 (20 in.), the DWE7490X (28 1⁄2 in.), and the DWE7491RS (32 1⁄2 in.). I decided to put the DWE7490X up against the…