When JLC asked me to review DeWalt's new 10-inch model DWE7491RS jobsite table saw and rolling stand earlier this year, I quickly agreed. At the time, we were using a compact DeWalt DWE7480, a DeWalt DW744X with a scissor stand, and a Bosch 4000 mounted on Bosch's TS2000 rolling "Gravity-Rise" stand. We wanted to see if the new mobile DeWalt would be an upgrade.
After we had used the saw for several months, DeWalt rolled out the DWE7499GD, which has a "Guard Detect" warning switch but is otherwise identical to the DWE7491RS. So we also tried that model to see if the enhanced switch was worth the extra cost.
Out of the box, it took me roughly 20 minutes to assemble each stand and bolt down both saws. I quickly verified that the blades were square to the table tops at 90 degrees and were parallel to the rip fences and miter-gauge slots. After I aligned the throat plates flush with the table tops using four adjustment screws, the saws were ready for action.
If you visit dewalt.com, you can view several videos that clearly demonstrate the key features of these saws. Built on a tubular-steel roll cage, the saws use DeWalt's signature rack-and-pinion fence-adjustment system, but the maximum rip capacity has been stretched to a class-leading 32 1/2 inches. Our other table saws can rip 4-foot-wide panels in half, so we can already rip them to any dimension, but the extra support to the right of the blade is occasionally helpful. A separate strip of extruded aluminum flips over the top of the fence from right to left to support the right-hand edge of your stock when you're making wide rips. With a quick adjustment, it can also serve as a low auxiliary fence to make narrow ripping safer and easier. A push stick is clipped to the back of the fence within easy reach.
The miter gauge is small and flimsy, with no positive stops. That matters to us because these table saws can crosscut and miter wider stock than our sliding-compound miter saws.
Like all of the latest jobsite table saws, the two DeWalts feature a modular tool-free safety system that is clearly not an afterthought. It includes a blade guard that's permanently attached to a splitter, separate anti-kickback pawls that quickly snap on, and a separate riving knife that can be used instead of the guard assembly. The guard assembly has a rear dust port that helps eject sawdust away from the table and can hook to a vacuum.
To install or remove the guard assembly or the riving knife, you simply raise the blade all the way up, pull the release lever at the left end of the saw table, and slip the splitter or riving knife in or out. We normally don't use blade guards with our jobsite table saws because they often get in the way, but this system is so well designed that we're all at least using the riving knives to prevent binding.
The unique Guard Detect on/off switch on the DWE7499GD works like a typical paddle switch when the blade guard is properly installed. If you try to switch on the saw without the guard installed, however, a flashing light warns that the blade is unguarded. You then have to turn the switch's bypass knob once to start the saw, and you have to repeat this two-stage actuation every time you turn on the unguarded saw. This procedure does remind us to work safely, but it currently adds $150 or more to the cost of the saw.
The included accessories all stow beneath the saw table for transport and storage. Unfortunately, you can't carry spare blades on the saw like you can on a couple of our other saws. We regularly use several blades for different applications, and onboard storage saves trips to the truck.
On The Job
Folded up, the 90-pound rigs are easy to load into and out of our vans and pickups, though they won't quite fit under a tonneau cover. They also roll easily around our jobsites on two firm wheels that offer a satisfactory amount of cushion.
Setup is simple. First, with the stand resting upright, you unfold all four legs toward you until they snap into the locked position. Foot pedals allow you to release and extend the two bottom legs without bending over. With the legs extended, you then pull the stand's top handle to tip the saw up onto them. Reversing the process is just as easy.
Equipped with the factory blade, the saw effortlessly ripped everything from 100-year-old reclaimed 1-by fir with rock-hard knots to 3-inch-thick Douglas fir. Working solo, I also ripped full siding and sheathing panels. The splayed legs gave the stands exceptional stability without creating a tripping hazard and held firm even while I fed the sagging panels from well behind the saw. Overall, we think these rock-solid stands are a more important safety feature than the modular blade guards.
The saws efficiently eject most of the sawdust out the back and away from the saw with or without the blade guard installed. Dust collection was about average when we hooked a vacuum to the main dust port, and improved a bit when we hooked a second vacuum to the blade guard, though we still weren't dust-free. Mysteriously, DeWalt doesn't sell a Y-connector that would allow you to hook one vacuum to both ports, though woodcraft.com reportedly carries accessories that can do the job.
The Bottom Line
If we needed a new jobsite table saw, I'd definitely consider buying the DeWalt DWE7491RS. It's mobile, easy to set up, precise, powerful, and stable. If DeWalt would add onboard blade storage and a better miter gauge, the saw would be even better. The Guard Detect safety switch on the otherwise identical DWE7499GD works as advertised but costs a pretty penny. That added expense wouldn't make sense for us.
Josh Dunlap is production manager of Consolidated Design & Construction Group, a residential design/build remodeling contractor in St. Louis.