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10-Inch Portable Table Saws, continued

Bosch 4000K

Bosch Power Tool 877/267-2499

www.boschtools.com

Weight: 61 pounds (without stand)

Table size: 21 1/2 x 29 inches

Maximum rip right: 24 1/2 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 1/8 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: No

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 3,650 rpm

Electric brake: No (but has soft-start)

Street price: $499 (with stand and outfeed support)

Place of manufacture: Taiwan

0803fr1

This saw is equipped with soft-start circuitry and electronic feedback control. You can't see those features, but you can hear and feel them when you use the tool. Most saws start with a loud violent jerk, while the Bosch saw ramps up to speed smoothly. It maintains a constant speed during cuts and doesn't rev higher when you come out of a heavy cut. The first time I used this saw, I thought something was wrong with the motor because it took a second to come up to speed and sounded way too quiet to cut anything. But it cuts with as much power as any saw I tested, with the possible exception of the Makita. The rails and controls operate smoothly, and the fit and finish are good. There are two ways to use the fence: Narrow rips are indexed off of the front scale, and wide rips off of the back scale. Rips 13 inches and under are set in the traditional way by moving the fence along the rails. For wider rips, you lock the fence at 13 inches and adjust the cut by extending and retracting the rails. A large cord wrap on the back of the base makes it easy to stow the cord. The base keys into slots on the stand, so the saw is less likely to tip when you support long boards with the optional outfeed extension. This is one of two saws with a shaft lock for single wrench blade changes. The only thing I don't like about this saw is that the rip scale is not accurate for bevels of less than 90 degrees.


Craftsman 218030N

Sears 800/377-7414

www.sears.com/craftsman

Weight: 83 pounds (with stand; 63 pounds without)

Table size: 21 x 30 1/4 inches

Maximum rip right: 25 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 1/8 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: No

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 4,000 rpm

Electric brake: No

Street price: $399 (with stand)

Place of manufacture: Taiwan

0803fr2

This saw is very compact for a machine that comes with a bolt-on stand. A retractable handle and a pair of wheels allow you to roll it around like a piece of luggage. That's good, because at 83 pounds, you wouldn't want to carry the saw and stand by hand. The saw is stable when the stand is up, but the wheels are close together, so it's not very stable when you roll it across uneven surfaces. The Craftsman comes with a built-in extension that provides an extra 14 inches of support at the outfeed side of the table. This saw has average power and is capable of performing any standard carpentry task. The rip scales are easy to read, though the rails don't slide as easily as they do on other models. Bevels are set with a rack-and-pinion mechanism and lock into place with a captured nut. The most unusual feature on this tool is the automatic cord reel that's built into the base.


DeWalt DW744S

DeWalt Industrial Tool 800/433-9258

www.dewalt.com

Weight: 58 pounds (without stand)

Table size: 19 3/8 x 26 5/8 inches

Maximum rip right: 25 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 1/8 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: Yes

Amps: 13

No-load speed: 3,650 rpm

Electric brake: No

Street price: $499 (with stand)

Place of manufacture: Taiwan

0803fr3

The DW744 was the first compact job-site saw capable of making 24-inch rips. This was made possible by the development of telescoping rails. DeWalt's version of this mechanism relies on rack-and-pinion gears to fine-adjust rips and keep the fence parallel to the blade. The fence is attached to a fixed location on the rails, so all rips are set by extending and retracting the rails. You can cut without a tape measure because the scale and pointer are easy to read. All the mechanisms on the DW744 saw operate smoothly, and the fit and finish are topnotch. My only complaint is that the 13-amp motor feels a little less powerful than the 15-amp motors on other saws. The DeWalt comes with a scissor-style stand and can be equipped with optional supports on the left and outfeed sides of the table. The bevel is set manually with a quick-action lever, and a pivoting shelf can be used to support wide, thin stock during wide rips.

 


Hitachi C10RA2

Hitachi Power Tools 800/829-4752

www.hitachi.com/powertools

Weight: 61 pounds (without stand)

Table size: 19 5/8 x 34 1/8 inches

Maximum rip right: 15 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: No

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 5,000 rpm

Electric brake: Yes

Street price: $319 (with stand)

Place of manufacture: Taiwan

0803fr4

The C10RA2 is an updated version of a saw that came out in the late '90s. Upgrades include a removable folding stand and a cord wrap. The most unusual thing about this machine is the large table, just over 34 inches across. This allows you to make wider rips than are possible with other fixed-rail machines. However, the maximum rips of 15 inches to the right of the blade and 16 inches to the left are considerably less than you can rip on a more compact saw with telescoping rails. Unlike the other saws I tested, this one has a sheet-metal rather than the usual plastic housing. The previous version of this machine was the first saw to come with a rack-and-pinion bevel mechanism. This saw has average power, and I like the folding metal stand. The fence slides smoothly and locks evenly on a pair of aluminum rails, but the clear plastic pointer is not easy to read, and the scale seems to have been misinstalled because there was insufficient adjustment to make the pointer match up with the rip.


Makita 2703

Makita USA 800/462-5482

www.makitatools.com

Weight: 44 pounds (without stand)

Table size: 21 x 27 inches

Maximum rip right: 12 1/4 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 9/16 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: Yes

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 4,600 rpm

Electric brake: Yes

Street price: $299 (without stand)

Place of manufacture: USA

0803fr5
This machine is an updated 10-inch version of Makita's venerable model 2708 8 1/4-inch saw. The 2703 has a small footprint and weighs only 44 pounds, so it's easier to carry and transport than other 10-inch models. Power is above average. The Makita is a simple, straightforward saw with none of the bells and whistles that can be found on other machines. The rails don't telescope, so rips are limited to 12 1/4 inches or less. That's plenty for cutting standard trim and framing lumber, but it's not enough for ripping 4x8 sheet goods. The rails are integral to the top of the saw, and the fence is of the basic clamp-it-on-and-rip design. The rip scale is not easy to read, so I would use it only as a rough guide. This saw can produce precise rips, but you'll need to set them up with a tape. However, there's an upside to the plain design of this machine: It's the only saw I tested that I'd feel comfortable leaving out in the rain or burying under tools and material in the back of my truck. Unlike other models, it has no delicate parts to ding or destroy. The 2703 wouldn't be my choice for building cabinets, but I'd be happy to use it for framing and standard finish work.


Porter-Cable 3812

Porter-Cable 800/487-8665

www.portercable.com

Weight: 63 pounds (without stand)

Table size: 19 7/8 x 25 1/4 inches

Maximum rip right: 24 3/4 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 1/4 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: Yes

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 4,000 rpm

Electric brake: Yes

Street price: $399 (without stand)

Place of manufacture: Taiwan

0803fr6

The rail extensions on the Porter-Cable saw slide smoothly and are held in position by a lever-activated lock below the table. Like the DeWalt, the 3812 has a single-piece top, so there's no table under the fence when you extend it for wide rips. Wide stock can be supported at the fence with a detachable metal angle. I'm not wild about using a removable support, but then the only time you need to is when you rip floppy material like laminate or 1/8-inch plywood. The 3812 has two scales that are designed to be used with the rails all the way out or all the way in. The saw is simple to use because all rips are set by moving the fence. The fence itself is solidly made and slides easily on the rails. If it ever needs to be squared, you can do that by adjusting a couple of screws. Bevels are set with a rack-and-pinion mechanism and are locked in with a quick-action lever. The saw comes with a T-slot miter gauge and can be equipped with an optional folding stand ($79) and an outfeed support.


Ridgid TS2400

Emerson Tool Company 866/539-1710

www.ridgidwoodworking.com

Weight: 120 pounds (with stand; 75 pounds without)

Table size: 21 x 30 1/4 inches

Maximum rip right: 25 inches

Cutting depth at 90 degrees: 3 1/8 inches

Scale aligns for bevels: Yes

Amps: 15

No-load speed: 4,000 rpm

Electric brake: No

Street price: $499 (with stand)

Place of manufacture: USA

0803fr7

The best and worst thing about the TS2400 is the stand. It's very stable and makes it easy to move the machine. But it's also bulky and heavy, so the saw takes up a lot of room even when the stand is folded. The saw footprint is smaller if you store it on end, but there's not always room to do that under a truck cap. This saw weighs 120 pounds including the stand. The maximum width of cut is 25 inches, and all rips are set by moving the fence along the telescoping rails. A unique tape measure­style scale automatically extends with the fence, so you can keep the right-hand side of the split table under the stock at all cutting widths. The substantial fence slides smoothly along the rails. The rails telescope by hand but don't move as smoothly as on some of the other saws. Bevels are adjusted with a rack-and-pinion mechanism and are locked in place by an unusual cam lever lock. The blade guard can be removed and installed without tools.