It's not the least expensive portable table saw you can buy, but reviews point to the DeWalt DW745 portable table saw as a better choice than the cheapest entry-level saws. It cuts smoothly, and thanks to its 45--pound weight, travels lightly. This is a bench-top saw, but an optional stand (Est. $65) is available.
Excellent cutting performance for the price. Reviews praise the saw's light 45-pound weight, excellent rack-and-pinion fence and easy adjustments. The telescoping rails extend to provide a maximum rip capacity of 16 inches; other support is needed if cutting large panels. The motor isn't soft start, but most reviewers say this saw cuts fairly smoothly, with plenty of power. Popular Mechanics notes that's because despite its relatively low speed, the 3,850 rpm motor produces plenty of torque. The plastic miter gauge is the main weak point. It's also not designed to be used with a dado blade set. If you need dado capacity or to cut miters to fit out-of-square corners, consider the well-reviewed Bosch GTS1310 (Est. $370), which also has better onboard storage.
Portability personified. The DeWalt DW745 is a benchtop table saw with a small footprint and roll cage, designed to be carried around as needed. The saw can also be bolted to an optional folding stand, the DW7450 (Est. $65). Reviewers say that it is worth the price for those who need a stand. "Sturdy when open and compact when folded, the stand is well worth buying if you have this saw," says Jesse Wright at Tools of the Trade. Wright also notes that the dust collection system is "reasonably good," but that you'll want to attach a vacuum for best results. Fine Homebuilding says that the rest of the feature line up is in line with what you will find on other "high-quality" table saws: "easy depth and bevel adjustments, simple two-wrench blade changes, standard-size miter slots that work with aftermarket accessories, and a large power switch on the lower left front of the saw body, where it is visible and easy to reach."
Safety features that are easy to use. Thanks to voluntary UL standards, most table saws come with effective safety features including riving knives and blade guards. What some table saws don't come with are safety features that are easy and convenient to use. With the DeWalt DW745, that's not an issue. Gary Katz at ThisIsCarpentry.com says that installing and removing the blade guard has been made simple and easy. "Trust me, this is one table-saw guard you won't throw away in frustration," he adds.
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The DeWalt DW745 gets a respectable 4-star rating in this roundup review comparing it with 10 other portable table saws, earning kudos for its accurate fence and "enviable power." However, it doesn't rank at the top -- it loses points for its limited ripping width and lack of dado capacity.
Review: Portable Table Saws: We Test 11 to Find the Best, Roy Berendsohn, Not Dated
This thorough, objective review compares the DeWalt DW745 with the Bosch GTS1031. Performance is judged equal, based on tests cutting plywood, shelving, 2-by-4 lumber and red oak -- including some beveled cross-cuts -- but the DeWalt blade leaves a smoother edge. Although the Bosch can be stored on edge and can accommodate a stacked dado, editors give DeWalt the lead overall: it's lighter, and adjustments are easier than on the Bosch.
Review: Compact Table Saw Showdown: Bosch vs. DeWalt, Stuart Deutsch, Not Dated
3. Tools of the Trade
A finish carpenter provides a detailed, well-illustrated review comparing the DeWalt DW745 with its main competitor, the Bosch GTS1031. Both saws have blade guards that are judged excellent and easy to use. Jesse Wright finds the rack-and-pinion fence on the DeWalt its best feature; it's very easy to adjust. Overall, though, he prefers the Bosch because of its onboard storage and easy transport.
Review: Ultra-Portable Table Saws, Jesse Wright, Oct. 13, 2011
This review examines the DeWalt DW745, with specific focus on its blade guard and riving knife. Gary Katz compares it to the one found on Bosch portable table saws and awards the lion's share of kudos to DeWalt's implementation. He does grouse a little that it takes a lot of cranking to raise the blade fully, and that the noise level of this saw is high.
Review: DeWalt DW 745 10-in. Portable Table Saw, Gary Katz, Nov. 18, 2011
Carpenter Michael Inskeep compares the DeWalt DW745 with the Bosch GTS1031, using both with a Rousseau table that comes with its own fence. Both saws have fine blade guard systems. Despite the nice roll-cage design of the Bosch, the DeWalt is the favorite of both the author and his whole crew. Inskeep finds that the DeWalt cuts smoothly with all three blades he tried, while the Bosch wobbles too much even with its own blade. Not all of the nearly 50 readers commenting here agree; many defend the Bosch, especially since it can accommodate a dado.
Review: Portable Table Saws: Bosch or DeWalt?, Michael Inskeep, Jan. 20, 2012
6. Fine Homebuilding
This single-product review of the DeWalt DW745 praises the rack-and-pinion fence "which is easy to adjust, and has an excellent hairline indicator to make zeroing in on precise measurements a cinch." Other adjustments are also deemed easy to use, and the miter slot takes aftermarket accessories. Camp says the DeWalt has "plenty of power for any task I threw at it," and notes only two drawbacks: the lack of dado capacity and a supplied blade of poor quality.
Review: DeWalt - DW745 Compact Job-Site Tablesaw, Kit Camp, March1, 2007
Over 325 owners review the DeWalt DW745 table saw here. Most are happy with it, especially for the price. It earns a 4.6 rating and is the #1 Best Seller among table saws.
Review: DeWalt DW745 10-Inch Compact Job-Site Table Saw with 20-Inch Max Rip Capacity, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of September 2014
More than 130 owners have reviewed the DeWalt DW745 here, giving it a high average rating of 4.7 stars. Most praise the saw's power, fence and small footprint. Roughly 97 percent say that they would recommend this small table saw.
Review: DeWalt Model # DW745 15-Amp 10 in. Compact Job Site Table Saw, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of September 2014