DeWalt Quality With a Coupe of Quirks
Just recently became the proud owner of a new DeWalt DCS7485N-XJ 54V XR FlexVolt Table Saw and overall I'm pretty happy with it. With a couple of relatively minor exceptions though I can't give it quite 5 stars, maybe I was expecting just a bit too much from DeWalt given their usual high standard of quality going by others' experiences.
I bought his as an unneeded gift, still new in the box, which was supplied with a single battery and a charger. So it was much cheaper than buying it in kit form, which comes with two batteries. And fortunately I got it cheaper than buying it as "Skin only" and then having to buy a battery and charger separately.
The blade, straight out of the box was nice and square so I didn't need to adjust that :)
The fence however, was a different story. It needed a slight adjustment to make it square parallel to the blade, which was easy enough to adjust, and something that's covered in the manual.
But vertically, that was a whole different matter. I ran a bit of wood through it, and checked it with a square and could see the edge was not perpendicular to the face of the timber. I checked the fence with a digital inclinometer and it was leaning in toward the blade by 0.2 deg, enough to make a difference when you're after precision, and it was quite clearly visible too :P
I could see what the problem was, when I locked down the clamp at the front of the fence would pull down further on the left side of it. There was nothing in the manual for adjusting the fence in the vertical plane, either, which was rather bothersome :P
Upon close inspection, I thought the fence locating bolt in the sliding rail at the front might have some room for movement to adjust it a bit higher, so that when the clamp was locked down, the bolt would act as a stop for the fence, not only in holding the positioning of the fence horizontally, but also vertically.
But, there was no play in the locking bolt to allow vertical adjustment. So with a bit of close scrutiny and looking at what could be done, I found that there was only one option, I had to file a notch in the top of the groove where the bolt sits in the sliding rail to allow some movement vertically. Subsequently, because the locking nut behind it is square and fits neatly in the slot to keep it in place, I had to grind down a millimetre or so from it too. Fortunately I only had to do this for the front, not the rear bolt as well.
Once I made the mod to allow the guide bolt to be lifted enough to stop the fence from tilting as it was locked down, it did the job beautifully. So now it cuts square, both on the horizontal and the vertical :)
As for the battery, it lasted reasonably well, before needing a charge. It does take quite a while to charge the battery though, which can be a nuisance if you're only half way through a job :P Battery management needs a bit of forethought, such as charging at the end of everyday for when it's being used. For heavier daily use you'll need at least a 9.0ah, or even a couple of batteries to last the distance. Looking forward to the AC adapter option, which I hope will be available some time soon :)
The mitre gauge has a bit of slop in the track, and it's a bit of an after thought and cheap and nasty, so renders it pretty useless. For a better more precise option, there's a couple to choose from.
Starting from the cheapest (yet by the reviews, still just as good as the more expensive option as the first Incra one in the link below) is this one;
Then there's these from Incra;
Most of my work is using pine from used pallets, needless to say that this table saw cuts through pine like butter. So after sorting out the calibration, all in all, I'm pretty happy with it and look forward to getting a lot of use from it :)
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