The built-in stand sets this saw apart from competitors since it is actually quite stable out of the box and doesn’t require a custom stand or supports to combat vibration, which are often necessary with cheaper and lighter units. DeWalt sells a nearly identical saw with a less robust stand, and after viewing it in a big box store, I was glad to have this one.
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There’s not doubt that many are finding issues with these saws. However, a bit of perspective is likely in order. These are not stationary saws, never will be as no one wants to move around a 500lb beast from job to job. There are thousands and thousands of these on job sites and guys are making a living with them. If we need really precise cuts in the field we either use a track saw or we bring the piece back to the shop. I’m with you…it would be great to have precision in the field…but it’s all a trade off…money and weight. We’ve had great luck from these saws and we use them daily.
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What is a fence? How important is it in a table saw? It gives you an option for horizontal or vertical adjustments. A good rip fence should be aligned to the blade at all times. Without a fence, everything will be disgusting. Ensure that it is heavy and that it can glide smoothly across the rails. Also, make sure that the locking mechanism is perfect and convenient.
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The DeWalt doesn’t go above and beyond here but has some standard safety equipment as part of its Site-Pro Guarding System. The Blade Guard Assembly is a standard clear plastic set of guards that allows the wood to be fed to the blade but shields you from putting hands on the exposed blade in a slip. The guards will lock in a raised position when you need to see the blade—for example, when adjusting the blade height—which lessens the temptation to remove this safety feature when it’s in your way.