It’s not easy to find a great table saw due to the fact that there are a ton of models available – models that all claim to be better than the one next to them.
Many times, beginners end up purchasing a table saw that doesn’t need their needs in terms of quality and this is why I highly recommend you doing some research and learning about the different table saws and their features before purchasing one – even if you’re an expert, research will pay off.
In this particular review, I’m going to be talking about the Bosch gts1031, because I feel it might just be a suitable table saw for you, especially if you’re looking for something that is on the light side.
As long as you’re able to carry 52 pounds (that’s how much this table saw weighs), then you will be able to carry this with one hand.
Since it’s fairly small and doesn’t weigh a whole lot, I didn’t expect much out of this as far as power goes. Do you think this is going to be a powerful table saw? The discoveries might just shock you …
Setting Up and Calibration
Taking the table saw out of the box, you will find that it is perfectly set up. The blade is perfectly square at 0 degrees and sitting parallel to the miter gauge. You will also find that the fence will be set straight and parallel to both the miter gauge and the blade. So this is definitely a bonus.
This table saw has all of those nice features you would expect it to have. It has a 10” blade, 15 amp motor, -2 degrees -47 degrees bevel adjustment, and a no-load speed of 5000 RPM.
I like the size of the table, measuring at 22.5 “ wide and 20” deep. One side of the table can actually be extended and once it’s extended, it will bring out a maximum rip capacity of 18”.
- Dado Capacity: ½”
- Weight of Saw: 52 Pounds
- Table Width and height: 22.5” W x 20” D
- Table depth of cut: at 90 degrees, 3-1/8”
- Arbor Size: 5/8”
- Max Motor HP: 4.0
- Rating: 120 V
- Amperage: 15 Amp
- Blade Diameter: 10”
- Ripping Capacity (Left) – 7-3/4”
- Ripping Capacity (Right): 18”
Nesting at the core of this light table saw, you will find a nice powerful 15-amp motor. This means that this saw is capable of ripping through hardwoods, and much more.
It is capable of cutting wood as deep as 3-1/8” at a right angle, while still having the capabilities of cutting as deep as 2-1/4” at an angle of 45-degrees.
In terms of power, does this model compare to the jobsite table saws that are larger? Most large job sites saws will have a 15 amp motor and a maximum of 4 horsepower.
This saw offers a fast blade speed of 5,000 rmp’s, while a lot of the others I just looked at are offering 3,650 rpm’s, even though they’re larger than this one.
Personally, I like how this table saw is on an all-steel base. With it being so light, I didn’t expect it to be all-steel, but it is. If you’re familiar with table saws and other power tools, you know that they take a beating, and if you get one that isn’t able to tolerate that beating, it’s not going to last very long.
Fortunately, this one right here can withstand long hours of work, and it’s comforting to know that it can handle it.
In this day and age, most top of the line table saws are going to come with on-board storage. On-board storage is a major plus, because you can store all of the things you need within your reach, like attachments, tools, the rip fence, and so on.
With this particular model right here, balance and mobility are two of the biggest advantages. Looking at the table saw, it is evident that the manufacturer put a lot of time into it, because it is durable, and well-designed.
I like the design of the base, and it even has a carry handle, making it easy to move around with one hand. The storage, as I mentioned, is a convenient feature as well.
The storage may not offer a whole lot of free space, but it is enough to fit the basic tools such as sandpaper, screwdrivers, and so on.
Safety first! This saw right here has a large array of security mechanisms packed into it. It has a push stick, rip fence, Smart Guard System and a miter gauge. Each one of these mechanisms help to improve the safety aspects of this table saw.
So, even if you have never used a power tool before, the chances of an accident occurring while you’re correctly using the machine are minimal. However, even if you’re an expert, I recommend reading the manual and familiarizing yourself with the table saw before you turn it on.
Just keep in mind that regardless of how many safety features are on a power tool, this doesn’t mean you should skip past the safety equipment – safety equipment is always mandatory.
Also, it’s worth noting that the safety features that are on this table saw are module. This means that they can be attached and detached and don’t forget about the riving knife that is included. If you’re not familiar with what a riving knife is, this is there in order to help prevent kickback.
When materials get stuck between the fence or table and the blade, kickback occurs and in return, this causes the material you’re cutting to get ejected back towards you at a fast speed, which can be very dangerous as it can cause a serious injury to the operator.
However, when a riving knife is included, this will separate the material after it has been cut in order to eliminate the chance of kickback.
There are also anti-kickback pawls, which is a similar safety feature. The pawls allow the food to go in only one direction, and that’s forward.
Like I previously said, the safety features are all modular, so the pawls can be attached to the riving knife without having to hassle around with it.
Another useful piece of safety equipment for the Bosch GTS1031 would be the blade guard – this attaches to the riving knife. The blade guard comes in handy, because it will prevent the user from touching the sharp blade while it’s in use, but don’t worry, because you will still get maximum visibility.
With 1700 watts of power, you should have more than enough power to get the job done – it’s great for all of those DIY projects around the house.
It is even capable of cutting through dense wood and what’s really cool about this particular power saw is the fact that no special plug is required – you can plug it into a regular household outlet. This means that as soon as you have it all put together, you can start using it without any special power source.
Reliability and Precision
This table saw has been designed in a way so that it prevents loss of material. After you use the saw, you’ll notice that there isn’t a whole lot of debris left over when you’re done with the project. Also, the SquareLoc Rip Fence will give you the opportunity to cut wood with great precision.
Ease of Use and Keeping Your Area Clean
Using this machine is easy and everything is pretty straight forward, but again, I do recommend reading the owner’s manual before you turn it on for the first time.
When it comes to woodworking, the area can get pretty dusty, especially if you’re using a table saw that doesn’t have its own dust ports.
Luckily, this table right here comes with a dust collection port – it’s 2”. Mind you, it does not come with a vacuum, but you can take a workshop vacuum and easily attach it to the dust port.
Rip Fence and Rip Capacity
This portable saws rip capacity is 18 inches. Since it has an 18 inch rip capacity, you can use it on large sheets of material like hardwoods, plywood, lumbar, shelving, flooring, and many other applications. The main reason it is able to cut through all of this type of material is because of the powerful engine – the no load speed is nesting at 5000 RPM.
Ease of Use – Rip Fence
In case you didn’t notice, the rip fence has been designed by Bosch. It can keep the ideal alignment with almost no need of adjustments. When you do adjust the fence, all you need to do is lift up the lever and put the fence in, and then lock the lever back down. It really is that easy to use.
There are some complaints about this particular lever being on the stiff side. However, you can loosen it up, but this is not recommended because it is tight for a reason.
If you were to loosen it up, the alignment may get messed up and not be as perfect as it is when it’s tight, which will leave you with worse problems than the stiffness of a lever.
The compact design is another feature that makes this table saw stand out from the crowd. You can also adjust the depth of the blade and bevel at the front panel, which definitely comes in handy.
The controls are easy to adjust and smooth, which is something that I have noticed with Bosch tools. There’s a large power switch, which is easy to reach and makes itself very visible – I personally like large power switches on my table saws, because you never know when you’re going to find yourself in a predicament where you need to shut the saw off right away.
Controls and Adjustment
You’ll find the blade-height controls next to the power switch box – I personally feel that they may be a bit too close to the power switch box, but it’s not all that big of a deal.
To adjust the bevel, you don’t have to mess around with anything too much. There’s a red knob that rotates – it’s sitting next to the blade height adjustment wheel and is easy to find.
You can also extend the table by raising the red lever that can be found under the surface of the table. In order to prevent unauthorized use, there’s a hole through the power switch where you can put small locks – I feel this is great, especially if you have children.
Storage and Portability
When it comes to portability, it’s apparent that Bosch was not playing around. Ever accessory can be neatly placed inside the saw. This includes the fence (this can be attached under the table). There’s handles on the saw so that you can easily carry it around.
The sides and front of the saw are buried behind the structural features, and this gives it a rectangular shape that makes it easy to put in storage or transport. This feature will be even more handy for those folks that have a small garage, because they can easily store it without it getting in the way.
If portability was an issue with your last table saw, portability is not going to be an issue with this one. There’s just something about being able to fit this saw into a small garage and the ability to store it away neatly makes it even better.
- Ease of Use
- Good Safety Features
- On-Board Storage
- Dust Collection Port
There’s a thin throat plate on this table saw that doesn’t always snap into position like it should with the first snap. However, you’ll learn to get used to it and it’s not that big of a deal.
Then you have the rip fence clamping lever that I told you about being too stiff. This will make you feel weak and send you back to the gym to work on some hand exercises, but like I said, you shouldn’t loosen this because it can cause problems that are far worse than a stiff lever.
Final Conclusion on the Bosch GTS1031
Sure, there may be some small complaints, but those complaints are offset by so many praises – quick setup, portability, easy to store, ease of use, easy adjustment, perfect calibration straight out of the box, solid performance, flat table top, the ability to be able to use a dado set with the box and great documentation.
Long story short, when you go with the Bosch GTS1031, you can rest with the satisfaction of knowing you chose a high quality saw that is going to last for many years to come.