|Review by Mike||posted 05-19-2012 05:40 PM||7508 views||1 time favorited||7 comments|
Well, this is my first review but this product impressed me so much I wanted to write one. For starters, I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as most on here and consider myself a beginner. I’ve never had access to really “nice” machines so always kinda “made due” with what I had. Up until now my table saw was a contractor style Makita 10” saw, which really isn’t capable or designed for precision…it’s for rough cutting 2X6’s and plywood. I’ve been wanting to make some furniture for my house for a while now, but never did because I’ve always felt held back because of the tools I had. For a few years while at Lowes I’ve stopped and looked at the Porter Cable 10” Table Saw model 270TS and admired it, but was unsure because of the price. I’ve got plenty of other Porter Cable stuff, including a circular saw I’ve used heavily for 20 years so it’s been a brand I trust. I always went over to that saw and though, wow this is really nice! But it’s inexpensive, and it’s at Lowes (I always order tools or buy them from an equipment shop). Well, a few weeks ago I was at Lowes again, admiring this saw and noticed it was on sale for $549.99 and Lowes was offering 0% financing for 12 months so after some consideration…I took one home.
As far as wood working goes, this was the best thing I’ve ever done. Here’s my review:
Upon getting it home, I opened the box while in the bed of my truck and brought pieces inside the basement and began building it. It went together really easily and during assembly I never had one of those “why did they make it this way” moments. Everything made sense and went together easily. The instructions leave a little to be desired, but these days it’s almost to be expected unfortunately. Once it was together I was able to really look around the saw and these were my impressions. It has a very nice fence, and miter gauge. The miter gauge slot is standard so you can add an aftermarket one if you like but for my needs I doubt I ever will. Right out of the box the table extensions bolted on and were exactly on plane with the machines steel top. The miter gauge and fence needed no adjustment, and the blade was a perfect 90 degrees to the table. The stand has a nice foot lever to drop some caster down to make it portable which is a nice touch, and when the casters are up it’s rock solid. On the stand are plenty of holders for the miter gauge, fence, wrench, and included push stick. This saw comes with a riving knife, which mounts quickly and does it’s job well so I doubt I’ll ever remove it. The blade guard is like all guards, clunky so I don’t have it on and probably wont use it. I really wanted to use the anti-kickback pawls but decided not to…they’re very sharp and will make wood, and the quick release design of them is clunky and doesn’t allow lowering the blade beneath the table. This is my only complaint! At least the riving knife is there to help reduce kick backs so it’s just a minor complaint. I didn’t use the included blade so I cant talk about what it’s performance would be. I opted for a Freud 60 tooth finish blade, and mounting it is a snap….you don’t need two wrenches to change a blade, you hold a button with one hand and use a wrench with the other. Really nice feature.
Running the saw. I cant believe how smooth and quiet this saw is. My old saw was a noisy rascal but this saw is very quiet. My Rigid shop vac hose plugged right into the dust port and the dust collection works nice. Before cutting anything I applied two coats of Johnson’s paste wax to the surface, so now everything (Miter, fence, and wood) glide across the table. The power switch is in a nice location, and is located under a “bump cap” so if you need to shut down just hit it with your knee. I’ve gotten in the habit of hitting the switch cover with my knee after each cut so I’m enjoying this trait.
I’ve only made one piece with the saw so far, a Shaker style narrow end table. I’ve begun another project and it keeps me grinning because I’m so surprised at how well it performs. Now I realize, the contractor saw I went from is no doubt the reason for some of my surprise, but this saw is just plain nice! I’m looking forward to many years of using this saw so time will tell if it’s built to last, but I have a feeling this will be in my shop for quite a while.
The included photo shows a slab of 2” thick Black Walnut I cut just this am. It came out perfectly square, and it looks like it went through a jointer and planer…it’s surfaces are that smooth. It’s original thickness was almost 2 and a half inches, and the saw ripped through it without ever bogging or slowing down. So can you tell I’m pleased and give the saw 5 stars?