Popular Woodworking 2009-10 № 178, страница 25

Popular Woodworking 2009-10 № 178, страница 25

Good ^nd Bad) Standout features

There are a few standout features in this group. Some are impressive and a couple are not. To begin, the DeWalt saw is unique in many ways, as discussed above. But this saw has a feature we think e ach saw - benchtop and cabinet designs - should incorporate. The feature has to do with the throat plate and how it locks in place.

Nothing is more aggravating than having to use screwdriver to remove a throat plate. On many table saws (as in the Makita model reviewed here) you have to do just that. DeWalt has added a cam-lock knob that requires a quarter-turn to release. The plate locks in the saw, but is easy to remove when necessary.

The Craftsman saw delivers two standout features. One is good, one is not so good. On the positive side of the equation, the Craftsman benchtop saw combines the functions of height adjustment and bevel adjustment in one wheel on the front of the saw (the Jet also does this). Also, the Craftsman, Makita and Jet saws all have superior bevel-setting mechanisms. When you change the bevel setting of the arbor it stays put until you lock it. With the Bosch and Makita, the motor swings free when you unlock the bevel setting, making bevel adjustments trickier.

The undesirable feature of the Craftsman is that it's the only saw on which the blade is raised by rotating the height-adjustment wheel in a counterclockwise direction. I'm sure you could become accustomed to this, but for us the action is annoying. Plus, there's no Craftsman-specific stand available.

The Bosch saw exhibited the best dust collection when coupled with a wet/dry vacuum and the guard system is the easiest to install on the saw.

Get a Stand

For the Bosch and Makita saws, optional stands are available. The DeWalt is available only with a stand (though there are two stand options). The Jet benchtop table saw is the only saw of the five reviewed that includes a rolling stand with purchase. And the Craftsman saw, with no stand as an option, has built-in wheels and a telescoping handle to facilitate movement.

Yes, these are called benchtop saws, but positioning the saws on a stand does two things. First, the stands set the height of the saw at a workable height. We found that if a saw sat on a workbench, it felt a little high

No extra tools required. Hats off to the

DeWalt design team. The twist lock that holds the insert plate in position is the best design of all the reviewed benchtop saws.

for normal table saw operations and we felt we were stretching as we pushed the pieces past the blade. And second, the stands, complete with the saws attached, collapse and are easily stored in an out-of-way part of your shop.

How Things Stack Up

On pages 36 - 37, there is additional information pertaining to the setup of the saws, correction needed straight out of the boxes, noise levels and more. These factors help shape any purchase decisions and should be evaluated as well.

There is quite a range of prices on these five saws. The Craftsman saw is easily the least expensive saw in the review. It's a no-thrills, nuts-and-bolts saw that lets you do basic work. The Jet saw, even with the included rolling workstand, has too many issues centered on the riving knife to win top honors. DeWalt's table saw, with the rack-and-pinion extension adjustment and fence operation, is too out-of-the ordinary to make this saw my choice - normal operations are

Double duty. Some of the models use the height adjustment knobs to also adjust the bevel settings after the lock is disengaged. The Craftsman saw is the only saw on which blade height adjusts with counterclockwise rotation.

so different from other table saws. The saw from Makita has a few setup issues that were not correctable - that pushed this saw out of the running.

Based on the setup factors, the major features, on how these saws perform and the available accessories, the Bosch 4100 is the better saw. And we would pony-up the funds for the rolling stand (Gravity-Rise stand - model TS2000, $198) with the purchase. But bottom line: If space were not a concern and we could muster up a few hundred dollars more, we would reach for one of the available hybrid saws. But don't give up on the riving knife design. That's an important feature that will pay dividends to the end-user. PW

Glen is a senior editor of this magazine and the author of several woodworking books. Contact him at 513-531-2690x11293 orglen.huey@fwmedia.com.

Get a move on. Benchtop table saws are meant to be moved around the shop. Craftsman facilitates movement with onboard wheels. The Jet model includes a rolling base, the DeWalt comes with two base choices. Optional bases are available for the other saws.

Important setup. All the saws reviewed except the Bosch needed to have the blade-to-miter-slot alignments adjusted — variations were from three thousandths to 42 thousandths. Most saws were easy to adjust and the instructions were clear.

38 ■ Popular Woodworking October 2009

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