Portable table saws get better all the time. Early super-lightweight models were weak, unstable, and inaccurate. Now we see more power, better stability, and features like rip fences that are up to their tasks. After testing Bosch's brand-new 10-inch portable table saw (the company's first such tool), I'd have to say it's a strong entry into this category. The saw performs well and has convenient features.
The Bosch 4000 Worksite table saw gets plenty of power from its 15-amp, 4.4-hp motor, and didn't flinch or bog down when I ripped through some tough 1 3/4-inch-thick LVL framing, or a rough-sawn 3x8. Needless to say, 1x and 5/4 trim sailed through smoothly. It helps that the saw comes equipped with a 40-tooth, carbide-tipped blade.
Power is important, but I also look for stability in tools like this. I can't stand working with a tool that hops around or vibrates too much. At 60 pounds, this saw is a middle-weight, yet it operates like it's heavier. The soft-start motor helps, and the saw locks into its folding stand to lend stability. The stand itself is sturdy and stable, and very convenient to set up and take down.
I also like this saw's fence. The flush lever-lock handle operates easily, locks firmly, and even has a soft grip. The fence moves fairly smoothly when changing rip dimensions, and an aligning plate and clamp system hold it parallel to the blade. Locking V-blocks in the rear channel stabilize the fence's outfeed end. You can customize fence and lever-lock tension with an adjustment screw.
This tool's coolest features may be the right-side table and fence extension, and the side and rear extendable lumber supports. They extend the die-cast aluminum table surface dimensions from 29"x25" to 52 1/2" x 9 1/2". This provides a maximum rip dimension of 25 inches. Ripping full sheets of plywood is easier because the left side and outfeed are supported during the rip. The right-side extension is an actual table extension; the fence rails follow along. The other extensions are sturdy lumber supports.
It took me a couple of hours to assemble and set up the saw and check its adjustments. You can quickly check the bevel stops and square-up the blade, fence, and miter gauge before starting to work. The blade-height wheel adjustment and lever bevel lock operate smoothly for a portable saw. Thanks to the saw's arbor lock, you only need one wrench to change blades. The Bosch 4000 comes with a dust port, cord wrap, on-board blade and wrench storage, and on-board fence and miter gauge storage. It sells for between $499 and $529, depending on where you buy it.
I think this saw would be great for all phases of construction. We'll see how it compares with its competition when we test all the 10-inch portable table saws in our July issue Tool Test.
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