Small Table Saws
For some people, when it comes to choosing a table saw, there is one criteria which is more important than anything else. Size! Not all of us have the opportunity to work in large open and spacious workshops where the cabinet saw takes pride of place with space all around. There are some amazing examples of small compact and amazingly organized workshops where woodworkers have had to adapt to what they have. In a lot of these small workshops you will find brilliant, compact, feature packed small table saws.
Its not only the small workshop woodworker where every inch of space counts. The mobile woodworker and contractor needs to move their table saw from job site to job site and having something that’s small, light, sets up quickly and accurately is more important than anything else.
Whats the Best Small Table Saw?
Size and Weight
So when it comes to looking at small table saws, there are a couple that come to mind:
The Bosch GTS1031 and the DeWalt DWE7480XA are two of lightest and smallest table saws around at the moment. The DEW7480XA weighs in at an incredibly light 48lbs (That’s without the stand), where the GT1031 is slightly heavier but still a very respectable 52lbs. Now I wouldn’t want to walk any great distances carrying them, but they are probably the two lightest saws available and should be easy enough to move around.
These two saws also have small table saw surfaces. The GTS1031 is 22 1/2″ x 20″ where the DWE7480XA is 22″ x 23″. The DWE7480XA is worth a special mention because even with its small table surface, with the extendable wing it is still capable of a max rip of 24″ so will be able to rip a full size sheet of ply in half.
The Bosch GTS1031 has a unique all steel base and frame, Its a bit like a roll cage for your saw. It protects the controls and levers as well as providing protection for motor and internal mechanisms. This allows you to be confident that your saw is protected when transporting as well as allowing you to easily store the saw horizontally or vertically if space is at a premium in your workshop.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
Motor and Power
As you would expect from a portable table saw both the GTS1031 and the DWE7480XA use 15 Amp direct drive brush motors, and its good to see two fine examples with these saws. The Bosch GTS1031 packs a very impressive 4hp motor that spins at 5000rpm. it really is up to the job, and for a saw that costs $350 you can’t really ask for much more.
The motor in the DeWalt is an equally impressive. It’s strong enough to handle most materials and spins at 4800 rpm.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
These saws were designed with portability in mind so its nice to see that they both have the ability to safely store all of the accessories, such as miter guage, blade guard, push sticks and blade changing wrenches, on the saw. meaning you don’t have to carry anything separately from job site to job site.
Both of the saws have very effective and accurate fences. The DeWalt uses a very clever rack and pinion styles fence which adjusts accurately and smoothly and square to the blade. The Bosch comes with a brilliant their absolutely brilliant “Square Lock” fence system. The fence glides effortlessly across the measuring rail. when the button on the fence is pressed it locks perfectly square to the fence. Force is applied at both the front and the back of the fence so you can be confident that it won’t move.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
So given the choice which saw should you go for. For me I think I would go for Bosch GTS1031. Its the cheapest saw here ($350 at the time of writing) and suits my style of woodworking. I like to work in the workshop most of the time, but their are occasions when I will want to move the saw to the job site. The motor is strong and will easily cut anything I need it to. It also accepts a stacked dado blade which is amazing in a saw this small. Now on its own the saw has a max rip capacity of 18″ which is smaller than the DeWalt and their may be occasions where I need to rip full size sheet materials in half, which is why I would build a custom out feed table and fence for when using this saw in the workshop.
The DeWalt DWE7480XA is an amazing saw and DeWalt have managed to improve on their incredibly popular 745. This would be my choice if you absolutely needed the wider rip capacity that the DeWalt offers without needing to build your own custom out-feed table and fence. you should be aware that the DWE7480XA wont accept a stacked dado blade, the shaft for the blade isn’t long enough.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]
Getting more from your small table saw
Andrew Betschman is a woodworker from Ohio who has made this brilliant example of a custom out-feed table for his portable table saw. By doing away with the default fence and adding a custom one, he has created a huge surface on which he is able to cut a wide range of materials. And one of the best things about it, is that the saw is still mobile if Andrew needs to move it from job site job site
You can see more of Andrew’s photos at lumberjocks