Fine Homebuilding with Compact Tablesaws

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Written By Jim J Neal

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 30,000 Americans are admitted to hospital each year with injuries from tablesaws. This is the only statistic that I can use to justify the price of SawStop’s fingersaving saws. SawStop is a great tool to prevent serious injury from spinning blades. This is especially important for jobs where novice workers are using tablesaws, which often occur in poor conditions.
SawStop’s newest addition is the smallest. It is designed for contractors who require a small but powerful job-site saw. The 10-in. CTS (Compact table saw) is roughly the same size as other portables for job sites, but it weighs 68 lb. more than the plug-in DeWalt models (48 lb. Bosch (52 lb.) and the DEW7480 (52 lb. For the GT1031.

SawStop CTS

Max. Max. depth of cut: 3-1/8 inches At 90deg, 2-1/8in. 45deg
Max. Maximum rip capacity 25-1/4 in.
Dimensions 23 1/2 in. Wide by 27 inches Long by 14-1/4 inches. High
Weight: 68 lb
Price $850; folding stand $130
DeWalt licensed the rip fence. It includes all of DeWalt’s top-quality design features, such as geared adjustment, flip fencing, and an accessible push stick. One of the most distinctive features of the saw is its control panel. It contains two rectangular lights (one green, one red) that can be turned on, off, on or blinking slow or fast. 13 possible light patterns give specific information about the electronics of the saw. Although it sounds tedious, checking patterns is easy. They are explained in a chart located near the control panel as well as in the 56-page manual. Before you use the saw, make sure to read the manual. There are details about blades that work with safety circuitry and materials that need circuitry activation before cutting. If the blade-stopping mechanism has tripped, you’ll find instructions on how to replace the blade or cartridge.
After using the saw for several days, I was able to easily check the light codes and put it through its paces. It is easy to deactivate the safety circuitry: Simply flip a switch at the control panel. My CTS came with a 24-tooth ripping knife that cut through 2x material quickly, but left a rough finish. I was able to get smooth results when I changed the blade to a finish-cutting one.
Bottom line: While the CTS features are top-of-the-line, it also offers a level safety that is unmatched by other saws.

Storage onboard. The saw’s back has a storage compartment that houses the miter gauge, blade guard, blade wrenches and blade guard. This is a nice surprise. It can be opened easily and removed so that it can be placed on the table for loading and unloading.
Photos: Top, courtesy SawStop; Bottom, Patrick McCombe

Fine Homebuilding #311