Sturdy machine - best in its class
It is NOT a cabinet saw and out of 5 I'll give it 4-4.5 stars. The finishing is excellent, the extras are welcome, the idea of adding a router between the saw table and extension excellent. Herewith a few points to ponder (or to be sorted out).... Being a matte table surface makes sliding a bit sticky, not much, but still. The sliding table is about just 1-1.5 mm (0.059") higher than the table surface, which makes it nearly impossible to square a piece of wood running over onto the sliding table, especially working from left to right against th...e fence. I have taken the slide apart to see if the sliders can be skimmed, but the tolerances are to small for that. I have raised the clearance plate thought to be more or level with the sliding table but then it causes issues in other ways. The fence is by default not square to the table (mitre slots or blade), but that was sorted out by loosening the top two hex screws and adjust it to the mitre slots. The blade was pretty much square with the table and mitre slots. The table surface by itself is not flat. Running a straight edge against the table surface, there is a lot of light shining through (Bosch, take note, add another 5kg to the saw by adding a decent skimmed top and align every thing) Recommendations: Once the warranty has expired I'll lose 5mm cutting depth for a 5mm shiny steel plate as a surface (some work to be done for the mitre slots). I'll also replace the fence with a SuperCoolTool fence (can do it myself). Otherwise, a steady machine with a lot of potential. I'll recommend this Bosch above all other portable table saws. In the long run with a lot of use - we'll see?
Very Good, Just Short of Great
Other reviews of this table saw and previous bad experiences with Bosch "Green" power tools led me to cross this product off the candidate list. Trouble is, none of the other saws available in our limited Australian power tool market scored well in the reviews either. So I made the rounds of the hardware stores and tool specialists to see the products for myself.
The "cheapies", Ryobi, Ozito, Einhell etc. were all small and of very poor quality. It would be difficult to make a straight cut. The only in-stock options I could find in the bett...er quality category were the Makita and the two Bosch saws. The Makita looked OK-ish. But the Bosch saws looked better. My budget would only stretch to the lower priced model, so with the salesman's reassurances stifling my misgivings, I took the plunge. Obvious benefits of the GTS 10 J were the accessories that come as standard, including a surprisingly stable folding stand, very good quality fence, mitre gauge, thin stock fence attachment, push stick, dust boot to connect to your shopvac, blade guard with riving knife, cord minder and hex keys. The best part is, everything has it's own little place on-board. Thus endeth the frustrating hunt for missing bits and pieces. Brilliant. No finger boards were included. This saw is designed as a job site tool, and the designers have done a great job of making it compact and robust enough to withstand real world wear and tear. It's just light enough for one man to lift and there are two separate pairs of "grab points" to give you carrying options. The stand sets up easily and has positive retaining clips to securely locate the saw into place. Sliding the saw into place however is difficult and the clips could use a bit of re-engineering. You can't just plonk it down on top, you have to slide it forward into clips you can't see. This isn't really a one man job. The tabletop expands on one side to accept large boards or panels. Unfortunately, the fence channel moves with the extension, so every cm you gain on one side, you lose on the other, moving the fence closer and closer to the blade. You can cut medium sized panels this way, but only in relatively thin strips. The fence however is excellent. It glides over the table top and when you lock it down it stays put, without lateral movement to throw off your setting. Saves a lot of time and aggro. The mitre gauge is typically flimsy and a bit wobbly but OK for small stock and rough cuts.
Questions & Answers
Is the smaller table size on the smaller gts 10J a nuisance for long (2m) timber lengths?
Actually no. There's enough length on the table to clamp a guide board, which you can make as long as you like. Feather boards are difficult, as the Bosch mitre slots are non-standard, although you can make your own mitre bars to fit. I always place a roller stand front and back (in-feed and out-feed) and have no problem. If you do mega amounts of long production work, just build two work tables and sit the saw in between.
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