DeWalt FlexVolt Table Saw Kit

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DeWalt made a big splash in 2016 when it announced its new FlexVolt battery platform. FlexVolt batteries offer 60V Max to run larger tools (like the Miter Saw my crew and I reviewed in March), and they also enable you to run them in 20V max tools as well. My crew and I liked the cordless miter saw enough that I decided to request for review the cordless table saw that runs on the same platform. It’s been a busy year for us and as we find ourselves spread out on more custom home builds and remodels, I find that I’m jumping around more and more as well. So I wanted to see what a cordless table saw could offer me by way of efficiency and convenience. I have used Dewalt’s DW745, which is a 10-inch corded compact portable table saw. I’ve found it to be a great tool, so using a cordless version had a lot of promise in my mind.

A Smaller Blade Diameter
As a start, I should point out that the cordless FlexVolt table saw runs an 8 1/4-inch blade. It’s a departure from what we’re used to seeing in terms of a table-saw blade diameter (10 inches), but the 8 1/4-inch blade offers a max cutting depth of 2 1/2 inches, which seems to suffice for a cordless saw. It told me off the bat that the tool’s use was meant for certain, limited tasks – and that it’s not a saw that I want for larger timber, which we cut all the time. That was fine for me because when we’re cutting larger timber (like 6-by Douglas fir), we have a contractor’s saw or heavy-duty jobsite saw set up. I was looking for something super-portable to rip trim or framing lumber without having to do any set up.

Power and Run-Time
My first observation after turning the saw on was how quiet it is. It features a brushless motor, making it quiet and powerful – and also more efficient (than a brushed motor), which gave way to impressive battery life. The first thing I used the saw for was ripping 8-foot 2x4s; I was able to rip 20 in half on one single charge. That’s a total of 160 lineal feet, which isn’t too shabby in my book (it’s also in line with DeWalt’s claims that it can rip 308 ln feet of 3/4-inch OSB on a single charge).
While it comes with one battery and a fast charger (40 to 50 minutes of recharge time), I have two more back-up batteries from the miter saw kit, so I never found myself wanting for more juice. If you do buy this saw and need to run it for a full day at a time, I would suggest having one or two extra batteries depending upon the kind of work you do. Keep in mind that harder, denser woods run the battery down faster than softer woods. Is it powerful enough for PT? I ripped some pressure-treated 2x6 down for threshold. The saw had plenty of power, but it sucked the battery life down much more quickly than regular framing lumber.
The flooring contractor on the houses that I build has this saw, and he loves it. He runs hardwood flooring through it – and likes the saw’s accuracy and cut quality. He also found that he likes having it on the floor where he’s working. Between the two of us, my feeling is that the saw will cut pretty much anything; you’re just going to give up battery runtime the harder and thicker the material you cut.

Accuracy and Cutting Capacity
The rack and pinion fence rail is, as advertised, smooth and accurate. Fine-tune adjustments are super easy with a turn of the knob. The fence itself features a drop-down “mini” fence that works great for narrow rips because it allows you to safely see stock between the blade and fence using the onboard push stick. The push stick stores right on the back side of the fence, allowing you to quickly and easily retrieve it mid-rip. The fence, which is similar to that on earlier models, clips off the rails and stores under the table during transport or storage. I found the onboard rip gauge to be consistently accurate. The blade guard and riving knife are easy to take on or adjust as necessary because they don’t require tools, and they store right on the saw.
The fence does extend to allow for full 24-inch rips, but because it’s a light saw, you have to be careful about it getting “tippy.” At 48 pounds, the saw is about as easy to carry as a bag of mortar – and the cage/base is solid, but small. DeWalt sent me the DW7451 stand to use with it, but I didn’t love it. Because it’s such a small saw and so lightweight, even on this stand I felt like it wasn’t secure enough to comfortably rip large sheet goods with. Plus, the stand didn’t raise the saw up to a comfortable height for me. The metal base cage has large rubber feet that grip well. I used it often right on the tailgate of my truck. I have a spray liner, so the feet gripped well enough that the saw didn’t slip easily when I was ripping. I’ve been thinking about making a simple base out of plywood that the saw mounts to and hooks over the edge of my tailgate, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you’re running large sheet goods all day, I wouldn’t recommend this as your go-to saw. I feel totally comfortable running 3/8-inch soffit material in small quantities. Anything thicker and in full sheets, I’d want a larger saw or, at the very least, the saw to be mounted on a much more stable stand than the scissor-type.
The included blade works well for general purposes; DeWalt says that it is designed (thin-kerfed and has a special coating) to improve battery runtime compared with standard blades. Honestly, I didn’t test this out to get a good comparison. I did use a quality finish blade, however, to run trim and found the saw to be extremely accurate with no deflection at all (I ran a lot of cedar 1-by trim with it). There’s a miter gauge included, which stores on board, but like most on-site guys, we don’t cut miters on a table saw – we use an actual miter saw for better accuracy. I also got the available fold-up stand, but only got me about 18 inches closer to the table.

Bottom Line
The saw is super-portable and accurate, and makes really clean cuts even in hardwoods. That said, for a custom home builder and remodeler like me, the saw is ideal for for pickup/punchout and warranty work. It wouldn’t be my main saw for framing or finish work. It’s a great saw to have if you often need to do something in a hurry that requires quick set up, or if you’re a flooring contractor who’s working low to the ground all the time. Having only one battery limits the amount of work you can do – so if you do buy one, get at least one extra battery. The kit that I tested comes with a 6.0-Ah battery (which refers to the 20V-Max Ah capacity; it's much lower in a 60V-Max tool). A new 9.0-Ah battery is available, but not currently as part of the kit; you have to buy the battery separately.

Depth of cut at 45°: 1 ¾”
Depth of cut at 90°: 2 ½”
Max Rip (right of blade): 24”
Max Rip (left of blade): 12”
No-Load Speed: 5,800 rpm
Blade Diameter: 8 ¼” Weight: 48 lb.
Price: $500 for the kit (DCS7485T1 comes with (1) 60V MAX 6Ah Flexvolt battery and fast charger)