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When you don't have a permanent shop space or room to store a full-sized table saw this offering from Bosch just might solve all of your problems without creating a new one in your pocketbook!
Click image to enlarge

Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw

Portable AND functional. Who would ‘a thunk it?

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 5-31-2011

What It Isn’t


Before the naysayers get too loud let us admit that this is not a cabinet saw, not a hybrid and not even a traditional contractor saw because it was never meant to be. I know this bothers some people but I really try to base my review of a machine based on the design purpose to be sure that we are comparing apples to apples. Over the 10-plus years that I have been presenting tool reviews all but a tiny minority of the viewers like this reality-based approach so reality stays. Just to be civil we will wait while that little minority gets the ranting and nay-saying out of their system.

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw as shown here includes the saw itself, a 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade, rip fence, miter gauge, Smart Guard blade guard system, push stick, 2 blade wrenches and instruction manual. Bosch also includes a pair of hex wrenches (stored on-board) that are used for adjusting several things on the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw.

What It Is

The tubular steel chassis keeps this saw light without sacrificing rigidity. The rubber feet help keep the saw stable on improvised work site table surfaces.
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What the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw (#GTS1031) was designed to be is an easily portable 10” table saw that regular people can get from point A to point B even in the family grocery-getter-sedan and still have a capable saw when they get there. With dimensions of 22-1/2”-wide by 22-1/2”-deep and 13”-tall and an overall weight as tested of just 52LBS I think we can safely say they achieved portability.

Visually there are some aspects of the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw that just do not match up with the portability concept in today’s marketplace. The “chassis” looks (and actually is) very rugged because it is made from cleanly formed steel tubing augmented with steel plate webbing where needed. The chassis has rubber-like “feet” built into the bottom and one end so the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw can stand on one end to store or transport in a very small footprint. The slip-resistant rubber-like feet at each corner of the bottom of the chassis keep the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw stable on a table or other suitable work surface like some plywood lying across a couple sawhorses. The Bosch engineers cleverly designed storage mounts within the chassis interior for components like the fence, blade guard and anti-kickback pawls. These storage mounts keep these important parts safe during transport.

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw also has a tool-free, dust chute outlet that fits common shop-vac type hoses. The port is at the end of a shroud that encloses the blade below the table surface to maximize the power of a shop-vac to evacuate most of the dust generated. This shroud is built onto the blade mechanism so it rises, lowers and tilts with the blade automatically.

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw uses a 15-AMP, 120V, 4.0HP (Max) motor that has a no load speed of 5,000RPM. The motor has an arbor diameter of 5/8" that supports all common blades including the 10”-diameter, 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade that is supplied with the saw. The arbor and the surrounding space are designed to be compatible with a maximum ½”-width stacked dado set. Despite the compact size the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw sports a bevel range of -2° to 47°, has a maximum of 3-1/8"-cut capacity at 90-degrees!

Table Surface

The front-mounted controls (left) make setting this saw up easy and fast. The expanding surface (right) is more than capable of handling most jobs with the help of some outboard work supports that you should be using regardless of the saw size.
Click images to enlarge

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw has a cast aluminum table surface that is 22-1/2”-wide by 20”-deep. The right side extends to grow the overall surface width to 30-1/2”! The front rail has dual scales that let you set accurate rip cuts with the table closed or open and to the left and right of the blade. This table offers 7-3/4" of rip capacity to the left of the blade and 18” to the right. The table has two full-sized t-shaped miter slots that are nearly standard in full-sized table saws these days.

Bosch designed what they call the Squarelock™ Rip Fence that works surprisingly well for a saw at this price point. This is a T-square style fence that slides easily on front and rear rails. The single front level locks the fence at the front and rear to insure a solid guiding surface for rip cuts. The fence is made from a rectangular aluminum extrusion that makes building jigs and fixtures for specialty jobs very simple.

Bosch added a system for aligning the blade with the integral miter slots on the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw. This system is very much like that found on full-on cabinet saws. The instruction manual walks you through the procedure that is about as simple as with a good cabinet saw. This is a nice touch and eliminates one of the big complaints about saws in this category that usually lack this adjustment entirely or the simplicity of the Bosch version.

Controls

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw uses familiar, easy-to-use controls. From the guarded flip-style On/Off switch mounted on the front of the chassis to the handwheel blade height adjuster using this saw is very straightforward. The switch has a through hole that you can use to lock it in the Off position. The bevel function is controlled by a red locking lever that when released lets you tilt the entire blade assembly to the angle desired. A scale and adjustable pointer on the front of the chassis lets you set the angle quickly and accurately.

Modular Blade Guard

The independent guard sides (left) work easily and offer good protection for the operator. The riving knife (right) doubles as a splitter and mount for the rest of the guard system. Adjusting it between the two modes is easy and tool-free.
Click images to enlarge

Even portable table saws need good safety equipment and the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw incorporates a full modular blade guard system that appears to have been brought over from their larger 4100 series worksite saws. Most visible are the two blade guard plates that ride up on the material automatically and drop back to the table surface when the wood goes past them. These guard plates are hinged individually so they can work independent of each other to provide the best protection. And when you need to remove them for grooving type cuts all it takes is a flip of a lever. All of the removable components can be stored within the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw chassis on special mounts that mimic those on the riving knife to keep these components secure.

A pair of anti-kickback pawls that also ride up on the wood independently as it passes to help prevent kickback if control of the wood is lost. This anti-kickback pawl assembly is also tool-free and can be removed or installed with the push of a button.

The versatile riving knife/splitter serves as the mounting point for both the blade guard plates and anti-kickback pawls. When making non-through cuts such as making grooves the riving knife/splitter plate can be lowered to just below the top of the blade using a simple finger-operated locking lever below the table surface. Because the riving knife/splitter is mounted directly to the trunion it follows the blade through height and bevel changes so it does not need adjusting between cuts.

In the Shop

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw comes mostly assembled with only the modular guard system and fence needing to be installed from their “parking spots” within the chassis. I checked the miter slot alignment to the blade and while it was very close I decided to give the alignment system a try. A few taps later and the miter slot was within 0.002” of perfect so I left it alone. That adjustment also put the fence very close to perfectly parallel to the miter slots and blade so I made no further corrections there either.

The T-square style rip fence (left) is solid and with the easily adjusted table surface, easy to get aligned perfectly. the motor and dust shroud (right) move with the blade trunion so they are always in the right position for maximum effectiveness.
Click images to enlarge

The narrow kerf, carbide tipped blade that comes with the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw cuts well and should easily handle the big majority of jobs we would bring to this type of saw. The motor has plenty of power and combined with the reduced loads of a narrow kerf blade cuts very well if a reasonable feed rate is used. As you can see in the video, the cut edge is remarkably smooth because of the high-quality blade and being able to align this saw so closely.

I hooked the dust port up to my dust collector and found that the shroud surrounding the lower half of the blade does a good job of sending much of the dust that way. As with any table saw the only way to prevent ANY dust from coming over the top of the blade it so shut the saw off. Barring that, the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw dust system does a good job.

The blade guard and related components are easy to use and adjust. Here again the factory settings were right on so I did not have to tweak the alignments. The independent fence sides are nice, work easily and pretty much eliminate any good excuse for not using this guard. Changing over to use the splitter in its lower riving knife mode goes quickly and the knife does not lose its alignment with the blade as the height or bevel is changed.

Overall the performance of the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw throughout the evaluation was very good. Despite its compact size it handles normally sized work pieces with ease. With the assistance of freestanding supports, this saw could handle many larger work pieces as well. Use a moderate feed rate (as you should on any table saw) and the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw keeps on cutting very well.

Conclusions

Video Tour

The Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw seems to be a bit high end in terms of features and performance in this segment of the table saw marketplace. It certainly does not have full-on cabinet saw capabilities but if you are at all realistic about what you want it to do, the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw will be a welcome addition to the DIY’ers shop or the contractors on-site tool selection.

With a street price currently hovering around the $300.00 (5-27-2011) mark the Bosch 10” Portable Worksite Table Saw is a great value. This is a good price point for the occasional user as well as the pro that needs a compact table saw for not-so-big job sites.

Click Here to visit the Bosch Tools web site.

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