I have been looking to buy my first table saw. I am interested in getting started in hobby woodworking. My plan is to start with smaller furniture projects and see how I do and how they turn out. My first planned project is to build a night stand.
Since I am starting out, I decided to start with a cheaper table saw. I realize it will not be professional quality, but there is no sense in spending thousands of dollars if I end up hating or being very bad at woodworking. So my goal is to spend around $400-$600 on a saw. I also have a smallish work space, about the size of a single car garage, so having a table saw that could be moved out of the way, might be helpful.
Two years ago I purchased this Dewalt Miter Saw. I have used it mostly as a “chop saw” to handle repair and remodeling projects around the house. But I was very pleased with the clean and accurate cuts that it produced. I also own a Dewalt reciprocating saw that I like as well. So I initially considered the Dewalt table saws. My list of contenders was:
- Dewalt DW745 – Most popular table saw on Amazon. Pros: The most inexpensive option at $299. The Dewalt name. Cons: No stand. Very small (20 inch) rip capacity. I am not sure Dados are supported.
- Dewalt DWE7480XA – Pros: Slightly wider rip (24 inches) and it includes a stand. Cons: $399 ($100 more) for those two features. Still a small rip capacity. The stand lacks wheels.
- Dewalt DWE7491RS – Pros: Super wide rip (32 inches) and a rolling stand. Cons: nearly $600 for these features ($577). At this price, there are lots of contenders. The rolling stand requires manually folding up legs.
- Ridgid R4510 – Pros: While it lists for $679 on Amazon, $399 for a refurbished one, I found a brand new one at Home Depot for $399. It has a rolling stand and decent rip at 25 inches advertised (closer to 26.5 in actual use). Cons: Not a brand I am familiar with.
Needless to say, I went with the Rigid. The price/feature ratio is what sold me. I would have loved to have purchased the big Dewalt, but I couldn’t justify spending $200 more at this point. If I really use this a lot, I am sure I will want a nice ($1000+) saw and not any of these. So I consider this a starter saw.
My First Impressions
- The thing is freaking heavy (100+ lbs). You will need help moving the box around.
- The assembly instructions for the stand are a joke. It is a single diagram with a dozen bullet points. Best I can tell, the first few bullet points come pre-assembled (maybe these instructions were provided with older different packaging?). The rest of the bullet points are confusing as hell. Get a six pack ready for when you finish.
- The stand is really convenient. Given the weight, I thought raising and lowering the stand would be a pain, but it is remarkably simple.
- The saw arrived fully calibrated and aligned. I checked the blade alignment and it was straight and true on all angles. The fence is perfectly true, even out to the full 26.5 inch rip. (For whatever reason, I seem to get about 1.5 inches more capacity than advertised.
- The table height is 35 inches. This is just odd. Nearly all table heights are 36, why this is one inch shorter is beyond me. I plan to insert some wood spacers between the stand and the saw to raise it up to 36 inches.
- There is no soft start on this saw anymore. But it turns out my 15 amp miter saw also lacks soft start. It isn’t a problem in my shop, I have 20 amp breakers that seem to handle the load just fine.
I like the saw. After I spend more time I will write up some more detailed comments.
Best I can tell, the base Dewalt model is nearly identical to the high end Dewalt model in the sawing and motor components. But unfortunately, they really charge you a hefty premium for simple features like additional capacity.