Bosch 10" GTS1031 Compact Table Saw - Review
Of all the bulky and awkward jobsite table saws, none is more bulky or more awkward than the full-sized Bosch model that comes attached to one of the most infuriating saw stands known to man. It's a fine item if you're just wheeling the saw around a driveway, but any relocation beyond that is pure agony due to the fact that the saw can't be detached from the large, wheeled stand. But since we feel a rant coming on (that saw is one of our true bete noires of the tool world), we'll divert to the matter at hand, which is Bosch's new compact table saw, a tool that is the apparent opposite of the sprawling, gargantuan full-sized model. A while ago, Bosch sent us one to check out and here's what we thought...
The new Bosch is about as stripped down as a table saw gets. There's nothing fancy about the look of the tool, nothing polished, nothing extra. Just the saw platform, the motor, the basic features, and the standard accessory package. But even with this bare-bones approach, everything is very well thought out and nicely integrated. And whether it was intentional or not (probably not), the saw fits perfectly in the mouth of a Jawhorse. Way to go guys.
Where the other Bosch saw is an immovable mountain, this one is so compact you need to resist the urge to move it every 20 minutes or so just because you can. It's still pretty heavy at 52 lbs which is only about 5 lbs lighter than our full-sized DeWalt, but the big difference is in how you carry it. The Bosch's roll-bar body places a padded handle right in the center of one of the sides, making for an extremely easy carry. The DeWalt has to be two-handed from the sides of the table top which usually results in funny grunting noises coming from the person carrying it.
Carrying the saw is easy, but so is storing it. The full sized models can only go in the back of a truck one way, right side up. This takes up a lot of real estate. The Bosch, again, because of the roll bar body, can be placed on its side no problem.
The tool comes with a miter guide, a couple blade guard items, and a push stick. The push stick is standard fare and we strongly suggest making your own (there's all kinds of insanity here).
From what we can tell, all of this great portability comes at the expensive of a single feature. The Bosch saw has a rip length of 18 inches, a half foot shy of the magic 24. At 24 inches, a table saw has complete command over a sheet of plywood, at 18...almost, but not quite (the DeWalt compact has a 15 inch rip). If you need a 2' strip with a clean edge, there are work-arounds; make two cuts, circ saw with a guide. But with this saw you're not going to be able to rip a sheet in half. Is this important? Well, that's up to you. To us, it's pretty important, but it's in no way a deal breaker. Like we said, there are ways to make the cuts you need, so everything is still do-able. Overall, we're of the opinion that this tool is going to appeal to the carpenter who already has a large saw, but likes the idea of a portable second one. Maybe he has two jobs going at once, maybe the little one is for the final 10% of the job, the little punch list type stuff, maybe the project is new construction and the compact saw is stationed up on the second floor while the big guy lives on the first.
Overall, we really like this tool and truly appreciate the ways in which Bosch has trimmed it down. It's nice to use a table saw that isn't agony to set-up or move around. The saw costs a little under $350, which seems to us to be a reasonable price.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 16, 2011 5:58 AM