As you might have recently read, my first impression with the Bosch Reaxx portable table saw was a mixed bag, filled with positives notes but also disappointment.
I have yet to put in more time with the Bosch Reaxx, but more testing is in my plans.
I spent a lot of time in the workshop over the weekend, and by workshop I mean getting sunburnt working in the driveway, choosing instead to get my drawers cut on a Dewalt table saw.
That Dewalt table saw, a DWE7491RS, simply provided a better user experience. It was easier to set up, easier to use, and I put more trust in its accuracy.
Right now I’m throwing a bunch of Dewalt tools at a project, for a series of upcoming reviews but also to gauge whether “sponsored projects” is something I could offer as an advertising option. But I didn’t obligate myself to use the Dewalt saw over the Bosch for the major progress push in my tool cabinet project. I preferred it.
That’s not really how I thought I would feel, at least not in the context of the Bosch Reaxx saw. I really thought I would love it. I wanted to love it. I had thought the Reaxx would be better, and that the premium price indicated a better portable table saw.
But the Bosch Reaxx table saw just doesn’t perform how I would expect a $1500 saw to perform. I expected a more… magical experience. Uncalibrated stops and a ringing blades were huge letdowns that continue to sting.
The far less expensive Dewalt saw has a better fence, is more square and better calibrated out of the factory, it has better guarding, and the blade spins truer.
But that’s all just a rehash of my Bosch Reaxx review complaints. Oh dear, more hesitations have come to light about the Bosch Reaxx.
A reader pointed out that another reviewer has encountered some weird power issues, where the saw has been struggling to cut through 2x construction lumber. I hadn’t experienced this, and I have more testing to do before I can really comment about. But it’s something to potentially be cautious about.
Bosch has a smartphone app that can allow your device to communicate with the saw via NFC. In other words, the saw should talk to your phone, if properly equipped, when the two are in close proximity. I haven’t tried this yet, but here are a few official Bosch recommendations:
1. Don’t use the phone/app while operating the saw
2. Set the phone to “airplane mode” while operating the saw
3. Always follow the Operations Manual, including avoiding distractions while operating power tools
Numbers 1 and 3 make sense. Distractions can still lead to severe injuries, despite the flesh-detecting and injury-mitigating safety mechanism.
Number 2 is the surprising one. I have to set my phone to airplane mode when operating the saw? Every time? Really?
Yesterday someone directed me to a live stream demo video on Facebook, where a Bosch rep on the Acme Tools channel tried to show how the safety mechanism will activate when the blade comes into contact with a finger-simulating sausage.
And in that video, the blade did retract… before it even touched the sausage. What?! Premature or unintentional tripping of the safety mechanism is not good to hear.
All these concerns and complaints are things that can be fixed, although some of the issues might be a little tougher to remedy.
Then there’s this news, that a US court has ruled in SawStop’s favor, (here’s a look at the original SawStop vs. Bosch lawsuit post) or at least partial favor, concluding that Bosch and the Reaxx are infringing on several SawStop patents. It remains to be seen what happens, but Bosch might be barred from importing and selling Reaxx saws and components – including replacement safety charge cartridges – in the US.
If I were eagerly waiting to buy the Bosch Reaxx, I would want to wait a little longer. There is a lot of promise in its capabilities, so I would watch the situation closely.
At the least, being told to put smartphones in airplane mode before operating the saw? That is highly unusual, not to mention an unacceptable inconvenience to many hobbyists and tradesmen alike. Plus, it could be a safety hazard. What if something happens to you or someone working nearby and you need to dial 911?
It looks like they’re not sure what tripped the saw in the Acme video. It’s not something I have seen or heard of anyone else experiencing, but it’s something I will try to replicate or at least investigate.
Perhaps with just some tweaking, Bosch should be able to turn the Reaxx into the saw we had been eagerly waiting months for.