I received a test sample of the new Bosch Reaxx table saw GTS1041A, which features flesh-detection and injury-mitigation technology, and recently started putting it to the test.
I actually received the saw a few months ago, but with a kitchen remodel, a new baby, and lots of other things on my plate, I only recently had a chance to set it up. But that also means that I had grown extremely eager to get it going.
I built the roller stand first, and am very pleased with its quality. I especially like the swivel feet. It sometimes takes a little deliberate shifting to deploy the saw from its “stored” or transporting position, but repetition commits the minor fiddling motion to memory.
In other words, the Reaxx’s roller stand is not automatic, but I’ve also been using it on uneven ground, and it’s still loads easier to use than other types of saw stands and roller stands.
As for the saw, that part requires a little context. I have been using a Dewalt table saw recently, the DWE7491RS ($579 via Amazon), for a project I’m working on, and also to test it for review. So when I fired up the Bosch Reaxx, my recent Dewalt experiences were still very fresh.
I first noticed that the fence is robust and stronger-feeling than the Dewalt, but it isn’t as smooth to adjust. That was the biggest difference.
Setup was easy – you unscrew a red cap, insert the safety cartridge, attach the wire harness, screw down the cap, use the included spanner wrench to tighten it another 1/8 turn, lift the blade in a 2-action maneuver, and you’re ready to go.
The instruction manual wasn’t clear as to why the saw blade was in the lower released position. I’m thinking they test the safety mechanism of each saw before they leave the factory.
The first time I started the saw, the blade fell down. I hadn’t even raised the blade height, I was just doing a quick system test activation. To lift the blade, you have to hold a lever (in the above image it’s to the left, near the blade throat plate lock), attach the blade change wrench over the arbor nut, and lift it fast. I guess I wasn’t forceful enough?
When I made a test cut, the blade vibrated against the sides of the throat plate. The throat plate is more elaborate than most, with height adjustment screws, but it looks fairly well adjusted.
So why was it making a metal-rubbing-metal sound? Blade runout? Is the blade not secure in the operational position?
And then I checked the 0° and 45° calibration. It was off at both. Okay, maybe it shifted a little. UCH, the hard stop, which was supposed to be set at the factory, was off. So I had to take longer than I wanted to, to reach under the saw and adjust the stop cam.
The cam isn’t easy to reach, either. I had to blindly feel for it, and hope I was adjusting it properly. Maybe I should have done this with the saw upside down?
But then the 45° was off, Uch, I’ll worry about that another time.
You’re supposed to calibrate a new saw, but I like to see good saws calibrated and set square right out of the box.
While there are parts of this saw masterfully designed and engineered, I’m unhappy with too many things. The riving knife is a bugger to adjust, the saw was off square and the 0° stop improperly set at the factory.
And what is that metal-on-metal ringing sound? I need to check a kerf mark to see if it’s runout or something else. I have only used the saw with the stock blade, which are often junky.
With a $1500 price tag, I expected this to be the best portable table saw on the market. Ignoring my initial complaints for a moment, the user experience just isn’t as good as I have recently experienced with my recent Dewalt sample.
I do like the rear outfeed extension, but wish it was a little more secure during transport.
I have more testing to do, but to be honest, I’m not looking forward to it. I didn’t exactly enjoy my first few uses of the saw. Hopefully my impression will change, as I like the idea of a portable table saw with flesh detection and injury avoidance.
There are a lot of things that I like about this saw, and want to like about this saw. And right now, it’s one of only 2 portable jobsite table saws that offer any kind of flesh detection safety mechanism.
With the riving knife so finicky to adjust, especially compared to Dewalt’s design, I have the feeling that a lot of professional users will view it, and the other guarding, as optional. That’s a bad idea, as the flesh-detection mechanism does nothing to mitigate wood-launching kickback.
As I continue testing of this saw, what would you have me consider or evaluate? I know that, like myself, you guys have a lot of questions about it.
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Thank you to Bosch for providing this test sample unconditionally.