Bosch 10" Worksite Table Saw with Gravity Rise Wheeled Stand
Portable table saws are a necessity for carpenters, and a great convenience for avid DIYers and woodworking enthusiasts with small workshops. They don't take up as much precious floor space as a cabinet saw, can be easily moved around the shop, or from shop to work site, and, can provide with a fair degree of cutting accuracy.
The Bosch 10" Worksite Table Saw with Gravity Rise Wheeled Stand (4100-09) has a lot of excellent features that make it an ideal choice for the work site or small shop.
There are several versions of the 4100; you can purchase the saw alone (4100), with a Gravity Rise wheeled stand (4100-09), or with both the wheeled stand and a digital rip fence (4100DG-09). You can purchase the digital display (DC010) for the fence separately. Bosch also provides a range of additional accessories.
Of these, the one I found most useful are the rear table extension (TS1002), which extends table depth to 39-1/2"; the side table extension (TS1003) that extends the left side of the table by an extra 12" and the total width of the table to 52"; the zero clearance table insert (TS1005); and the dado table insert (TS1007). I found that these accessories worked very well on the 4100, particularly as I found the table top, at roughly 21" x 29", a bit on the small side when processing sheet stock.
If you don't have a decent duct collection system (or shop vacuum when on the job site), then you might consider the optional dust bag (TS1004). I used the 4100-09 (with the above accessories) on a recent renovation of a workshop, and was suitably impressed with its performance.
|Parts are labeled for easy assembly|
|Thick walled tubular framing adds stability and rigidity|
The Gravity Rise stand comes unassembled, but only takes about 45 minutes to put together (quicker if you dispense with the coffee and donuts). All the parts are labeled, and the assembly instruction sheet clearly written and easy to follow. What impressed me with this stand was the quality of construction. The 1-1/2" tubular framing is thick walled and covered with a powder coat finish, so it should stand up to years of rugged job site use.
|Large wheels for easy work site maneuverability||Easy table leveling with height adjustable feet|
On one end of the stand are two large 1-1/2" x 8" treaded pneumatic wheels that make it easy to manoeuvre the saw around the work site. On the other end (the end with the handle), are two adjustable feet. Wing nuts make height adjustments pretty quick. The table saw simply bolts to the top of the stand. When assembled, the table top is roughly 37" from the floor.
What is especially convenient about this stand is the unique 'Gravity Rise' design, that enables you to collapse or open up the stand with the twist of a single lever, from a work mode to a portable/storage mode. This is a great feature for a small shop, as you can store the saw when you won't be needing it for some time. Contractors will also find it a blessing when moving the saw from shop to work site.
The 4100 has a powerful 4 HP, 15 amp motor, which I found adequate for cutting sheet stock, 2-by lumber, and 8/4 hardwood lumber. The motor features both soft start (the motor uses less current on start-up for a smoother and quieter start) and Bosch's Constant Response Circuitry (an electronic system that monitors motor power under load, adjusting torque as needed while maintaining an even delivery of blade speed.)
|Compact, easy to store||Just as easy to tote to a work site|
The blade mounts directly on the motor's 5/8" shaft. I use the 40 tooth carbide blade that comes with the saw for general purpose cutting and switch to an 80 tooth finish blade when I want super fine cuts, particularly on veneered panels. At 1" long the shaft can accept most stacked dado blade sets, like the Freud SD208. Blade height is controlled with a hand wheel. I was surprised to find that you can't lock the height adjustment wheel in place. While it hasn't moved during the time I've been using the saw, I'd still prefer a locking version.
Behind the height adjustment wheel is the bevel locking lever, which adjusts the bevel angle. I didn't particularly like this system; the lever is very stiff, and once you move it to the 'unlock' position, the blade and motor assembly flop to one side. You then have to push the assembly to the angle you want, and then tighten the clamping lever.
|Height adjustment wheel (in front); Bevel locking lever (behind wheel)||Blade release lever|
You almost need three hands to do this. I would have much preferred a conventional bevel adjustment wheel. However there are positive stops at 45° and 90°. The bevel scale is accurate enough for rough cuts where precision isn't overly important - where a half a degree either way won't matter. When I need precise bevel cuts I use a digital angle gauge to set the blade manually.
Blade change is a snap with the convenient arbor locking lever; pull the lever forward to lock the arbor, and then use the single supplied wrench to change the blade. The toggle style power switch is located on the lower front side on the saw and I found that I could easily flick it off with my left knee. The shroud that surrounds much of the motor helps deflect dust and wood chips to the 2-1/2" dust port. If you connect a shop vacuum to the saw you'll pick up a good 80% of the dust at source; the rest falls to the floor.
|Dust port at rear of saw||Standard throat plate|
The table top measures approximately 21" x 28" in the closed position. However you can extend the right side of the table by means of a locking lever under the front edge of the table; simply flip the locking lever and pull the right side of the table outward. The width of the table top is increased to roughly 40". This gives you a maximum 25" rip capacity on the right side of the blade. There is 8" of rip capacity on the left side of the blade. If you regularly cut wide sheet stock, you might find the table top a bit small; that's where the side and rear table extensions that I mentioned earlier come in handy. You can leave them closed up tight against the table top, and extend them only when needed.
The 4100 has a machined aluminum table top; while the pebbled finish does help reduce friction when moving stock across the surface, I found that it's quite susceptible to scratching. Nothing to be concerned about as it doesn't affect the functionality of the saw; it's merely a cosmetic concern. Unfortunately you won't be able to use any magnetic jigs or accessories on the table top. The metal insert plate snaps into place, and is fine for rough work. For better (chip free) cuts it's advisable to purchase the zero clearance insert (TS1005) or make your own insert.
The industry standard 3/8" x 3/4" miter slot on the top has a T-shaped design; a flange on the end of the miter gauge keeps it from inadvertently lifting out of the miter slot. Of course it accommodates almost any aftermarket (or shop built) accessory.
|A lock handle releases the right side of the table||When extended you get a 25" rip capacity to the right of the blade|
Right in front of the throat plate is a 'Pre-Cut Indicator'; simply a round plastic insert embedded in the table top onto which you can draw pencil lines to mark the edges of the blade or write down critical measurements. It might, at first, seem a bit useless, but I've found the pre-cut indicator to be very useful.
The motor housing is made of a durable, impact resistant plastic. There are four holes, one in each corner, which you can use to bolt the saw to a work bench - if you purchase the saw without the Gravity Rise cart. There are also hand holds on either side of the housing that making carrying the saw that much easier. At 60 pounds it's not overly heavy. Bosch makes good use of the area around the sides of the housing. There you'll find a place to store an extra blade and blade wrench, rip fence, miter gauge, push stick, saw guard and anti-kick back pawls. There is also a handy cord wrap on the back of the saw.
The Squarelock Rip fence is one of the better fence systems you'll find on a portable saw. The 2-3/4" T x 1-3/4" W fence slides smoothly across the rails, and at the press of a lever, locks securely on both rails. The fence clamps into a v-groove on the back rail. A tension knob enables you to T-slots on the fence allow you to use aftermarket or shop built accessories. At the front of the fence is a magnifier that makes it a bit easier to see the scale markings on the front rail.
|T-shaped miter slot||Pre-cut indicator makes a useful memo pad|
Aligning the fence is quite easy if you follow the simple instructions in the accompanying user guide. The miter gauge isn't nearly as impressive, though adequate for use on a construction site. If I was using the saw to make cabinetry or furniture then I'd quickly upgrade the miter guide; it fits sloppily in the slot, and there isn't any way to adjust the gauge for a slop free fit.
The 4100 has a very effective safety system (the Bosch Smart Guard). Of course, you need to use the system in order to benefit from it. I'm always amazed at how common it is to see safety features removed from power tools on job sites. Fortunately, the Bosch Smart Guard system is not inconvenient to use, and quick to attach or remove. The system consists of an adjustable riving knife, a pair of articulating safety guards, and anti-kickback pawls. The riving knife can be locked into one of two heights depending on whether you're using the safety guards or the riving knife alone.
|Miter gauge stores on the left side of the motor housing||Rip fence and safety system accessories store on the right side of the housing|
You can also position the riving knife below the table top (when making non-through cuts). Adjustments are very easy; you simply rotate a locking lever. The riving knife is .09" wide, so if you replace the blade, make sure you use a blade that is the same width as the riving knife, or slightly wider; I've used a .094" thick replacement blade without any problems.
The plastic safety guard attaches to the top of the riving knife, and the kickback pawls attach to the back of the safety guard. What I like about the safety guard is that the plastic arms move independently and also lock out of the way when needed. The guards are attached to an aluminum arm that has a split (forked) design, which gives you an unobstructed view of the blade when the guard is in place. I found that it only took me a couple of tries attaching and removing the whole system to get the knack of it. It's a very intuitive, tool-free system that is easy to use, and I highly recommend that you make a practice of using it all the time.
|The rip fence locks securely on the front and rear rails||V-groove at the rear rail|
You get 3-1/4" of cutting depth at 90° and 2-3/8" cutting depth at 45°. The saw operates reasonably smoothly for such a light unit, and there really isn't any noticeable vibration. Over the span of four weeks we ran scads of 2-by lumber, plywood, and 4/4 maple. The saw blade continues to run true, and we've not had to make any adjustments to the saw. However with time I expect that some adjustments will have to be made. An errant blow against the saw blade, or dropping the rip fence can knock them out of alignment.
|The Bosch Smart Guard||Riving knife and anti kickback pawls|
The saw comes with positive stops at 90° and 45°, and these can be quickly re-aligned. Every once in a while I check to ensure that the blade is still parallel to the miter slot. This adjustment isn't difficult, just a bit time consuming - as long as you follow the procedures outlined in the instruction manual. Basically there are two bolts under the front of the saw table, and two located at the back, that need to be loosened so that you can gingerly realign the blade.
Aligning the rip fence is just as easy, and a lot quicker, via two adjustment screws located on the top of the fence. The riving knife should come fully aligned from the factory and it's unlikely you'll ever have to realign it. The process is somewhat more time consuming than any of the other realignments, but entirely within the scope of anyone with basic shop skills. Fortunately, the instructions provided by Bosch are clear and well laid out.
|Riving knife in position to hold the safety guard|| In five seconds the guard is attached|
If you're looking for a reliable job site saw, or if you have a small shop and want to be able to easily move and store a table saw, then I don't think you can go wrong with the Bosch 4100-09. It's well designed, ruggedly constructed, and has a range of very useful features.
|The quick release lever for the riving knife|
|The guard can be positioned up and out of the way|
Carl Duguay, September 2010
- 15 amp, 4 HP motor
- 3,650 RPM (no load)
- 5/8" arbor
- 10" blade diameter
- 3-1/4" cutting depth at 90°
- 2-3/8" cutting depth at 45°
- 21-1/2" x 28" table size
- 25" rip capacity (right); 8" rip capacity (left)
- 8-1/2" dado capacity
- -2° to 47° bevel angle
- Aluminum table top
- Soft start
- Electronic speed control
- 60 pounds weight (99 pounds with stand)
- 1 year warranty
- Includes: saw, stand, rip fence, miter gauge, 40 tooth blade, wrench, push stick, instruction guide