Since I began my hobby of woodworking I have owned a few different table saws. I started out with an old 10″ Powr-Kraft TS-3333 that my neighbor gave to me for free, then I switched to a 10″ Dewalt DW-745 jobsite saw because it had a more reliable fence. After a while I decided the table on the Dewalt was just too small, so I sold it and switched back to the Powr-Kraft. However, as time goes by priorities change. I found myself desiring to have a second bathroom in the household and the basement had previously housed one. I therefore shrunk my shop and began putting a bathroom back into the basement. This significantly cut down the size of my shop, which was never large to begin with. I therefore found myself needing to switch away from the larger Powr-Kraft saw and I discovered this 10″ Kobalt jobsite saw at Lowes. Black Friday was just around the corner, so I waited and ended up paying just $170 for it.
One feature I like is the bright yellow/green colored switch. It is easy to see and large enough to get to quickly. A simple tap of the knee can turn it off if need be. It also has the ability to be locked it place with a padlock. If you have children that come to your shop it is good to know about the switch removal feature. Simply pop the yellow/green “key” out of the switch mechanism and store it somewhere safe, rendering the saw harmless to curious children.
The wheel and handle for raising and lowering the blade is robust enough to avoid feeling like a cheap toy. The action of the gears is smooth and easy, which makes adjusting the height of the blade a pleasant task. The angle adjustment for the blade relies on unlocking the lever beside the height adjustment wheel and then sliding the wheel to the desired angle. It isn’t the best method I have seen, but it is a common one that Kobalt has executed nicely here.
When I first purchased this saw I wasn’t sure about the fence. I had originally wanted a 10″ Hitachi jobsite saw that featured a rack and pinion style fence. However, the Kobalt was a much better price so I gave it a chance despite my reservations about the fence. Boy was I wrong, I absolutely love this fence! It clamps at both ends and stays in place very well. The front end of the fence has a wider footprint to allow for keeping the fence straight as the user clamps it down. I always clamp the front end down first and then check the back end with a reliable speed square before locking it down.
The front end of the fence also features a large window and red line for easy viewing of the tape measure. Here you also get a better view of the clamp lever, which is quite robust and has a smooth action. The lever at the back end of the fence is smaller but just as sturdy and smooth.
The rails of this fence system slide out to the right to allow for a max rip capacity of 30″ to the right of the blade. There are two offset tape measures on the front rail. One is for measuring when the rail system is closed and the other is for measuring when the rail system is fully extended. The whole system is locked and unlocked by a blue lever on the right side of the saw under the fence rails. It locks in place securely with absolutely no play.
The fence also provides storage for the stock push stick. As far as push sticks go, this is my favorite style and Kobalt did an excellent job on it. It is sturdy, comfortable, long, and thin enough to stay out of the way of the blade.
The on-board storage for the wrenches, anti-kickback pawls, Allen key, blades, and blade guard is a standard format among jobsite saws. This feature isn’t a big selling point for me because I don’t haul my saw from jobsite to jobsite. Plus, the holder for the anti-kickback pawls is awkward and difficult to use. However, I have seen very few people actually use the pawls (including me), so that likely isn’t a deal breaker for anyone. The blue lever in this picture is the locking and unlocking lever for the right-side table extension for the fence.
This is the on-board storage for the miter gauge and fence. It is sturdy and holds the pieces securely. The miter gauge itself is pretty decent for a low end gauge. It locks down tight by twisting the knob and the numbers are easy to read. There is a little play in the miter slots, but not as much as I have seen on other saws. One aspect of the slots to note is that they are “T-track” style. This doesn’t mean much to me but I know other folks don’t always like that.
A nice little aspect of this jobsite saw is it’s outfeed support. It sticks out about 4-5″ when fully closed and extends out to about 16″. It is a bit wobbly, but is firm enough for everything I have cut on this saw. However, I do not breakdown full sheets of plywood on this saw. If you don’t want to mess with it or need this saw to take up as little space as possible the outfeed support can be removed very easily.
Jobsite saws are not known for having good dust collection capabilities. This saw is no exception, the dust port is a small 2-1/4″ and the body of the saw is not completely enclosed. Even with a powerful vacuum attached I get sawdust all over the floor underneath the saw. Since I don’t spend all day in my shop using this saw, the dust collection isn’t a deal breaker for me.
The leg system is permanently attached to the body of the saw. However, I have read in forums that some folks have had success removing it by cutting the metal tubing. Shown here is the black locking mechanism that holds the leg system closed or open. It is sturdy and easy to use, as the weight of the saw assists in raising the saw into the stored position.
The insert has a wide opening that allows for the blade to be fully tilted. It is held in place by a horizontal tab in back that slides under the table and a vertical tab in the front that presses against the table. There is a finger hole that allows for easy removal and placement. The fit of the insert is solid and it stays in place well with no rattling when the saw is running. The insert is kept level by four screws that the insert rests on. These screws are accessible, even with the insert in place, through corresponding holes in the insert.
The aluminum table top might be a turnoff for some, but it is far superior to the painted aluminum one that was on the Dewalt DW-745. That one would get scratched up and cause my table saw sled to drag and stick. Overall this saw has been an excellent fir for me and my shop. I can open it up whenever I need it and close it and store it against a wall when it is not in use. As I get more into hand tools this saw will see less use, but it will remain a staple in my shop until the day it quits on me.
If you enjoyed this review or have some advice to share on the review or tool, please let me know in the comments below. I always appreciate hearing your thoughts.