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Dewalt DW745

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Forum topic by Hermando posted 1140 days ago 9652 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Hermando

75 posts in 1394 days


1140 days ago

I have been reviewing many types of table saws for building furniture pieces as a hobby and something to have portable for other types of remodeling. I would like a real hybrid saw, but is that practical?, I don’t know. I have some older makita portables, but I would like something more precise. I have been looking at a Dewalt dw745. Found it on sale at Lowes for $299, but with a price match from HD, I can get an additional 10% off.

price is good, but is it a decent precision saw for fine furniture and wood working. I can manage larger pieces with routers and circular saws. Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks. H.


16 replies so far

View StephenO's profile

StephenO

37 posts in 1142 days


#1 posted 1140 days ago

The DeWalts are benchtop/jobsite saws, so their main selling point is portability. I have a DW744, and it is a pretty good little saw. It has enough power for most normal applications, can handle a dado stack (I don’t think the 745 can, though), and is pretty accurate for its small size.

However, you mentioned fine furniture. This is a game-changer. If you plan on doing cabinetry or handling larger pieces, the smaller size of the DeWalts is a serious handicap against them. I have a 744, and was pretty happy with it after mounting it to a solid, heavy cabinet and adding wings, an outfeed shelf, and modifying the fence with a 3”x36” piece of multitrack to give it more length and truer cuts.

THEN, I bought a Jet Proshop hybrid, which I just got put together and tuned up this afternoon. BIG difference. In fact, I just gave the DeWalt to my brother, because I can’t see myself using it for anything after seeing how much easier life is with a solid, full-sized table.

If portability is your primary concern, go with the DeWalt or a Bosch 4100. If your main focus is on fine furniture and such, you might want to seriously consider taking the plunge and stepping up to at least a contractor saw, as these will suit your needs much better.

-- -Steve, Seattle

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Hermando

75 posts in 1394 days


#2 posted 1140 days ago

Stephen, I appreciate your advice and I think it confirms my original thought about purchasing another portable. I posted a Makita 2703 with a stand here on LJ. I found this saw on CL and had it completely overhauled. Its powerful and runs great but still its meant for a jobsite. I also have an older Makita 2708 with a rousseau table. This is a jewel of a saw, but then again it still has its quirks with precision.

So as it is my shop area is in the garage and needless to say a Hybrid/Contractor does require much more space. Unless I can get my wife to let me make dust in the basement. I know the limitations of the Dewalt, but thought it would be a better precision tool than I have. I don’t really need another portable, but its one of those things about tools. Do I need it or do I want it..

I agree that I should just invest in a true saw for the purpose of making fine furniture and I would be much happier in the end. I have looked at the new Ridgid/Craftsman and Porter cable each about $550. Any thoughts on which might be best as far as quality. I have read all the pro/cons.

View Hugh Anderson's profile

Hugh Anderson

49 posts in 1288 days


#3 posted 1139 days ago

Hi,

I have the Porter Cable, I like it. Actually, my previous saw was the DeWalt DW745 – the difference is pretty big, to my mind. I found the DeWalt to be NOISY!!! The fence system is pretty easy to use, but definitely not a fine furniture item.

I just bought an after market fence for the Porter Cable – that makes a massive difference. Had to make a couple of modifications, but nothing too difficult.

You height might matter too. I am 5’8” and the table height of the Porter Cable, almost 39”, is too high for me. So I have had to build a rolling unit to get 5” lower, and dispose of the included caster base.

Hope this helps.

Hugh

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StephenO

37 posts in 1142 days


#4 posted 1139 days ago

Actually, my hybrid saw doesn’t take up much more space than the DeWalt did on its cabinet. I mounted the Jet on a mobile base, and it tucks up against the wall when I’m not using it.

As Hugh mentioned, most portables are noisy, as they run universal motors (as opposed to the induction motors in the bigger saws). They are also MESSY, as they aren’t really designed with dust collection in mind-they were designed to sit on a portable stand at a jobsite where half of the sawdust drops out the open bottom.

-- -Steve, Seattle

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5367 posts in 1972 days


#5 posted 1139 days ago

Unless you need portability, I’d skip the portables and go with a full size stationary saw. Other than portability they have every mechanical advantage over the portables.

I’d be inclined to rule out the PCB270TS hybrid due to it having a plastic elevation gear instead of metal. Never cared for the fence much either. A good used saw is viable option if you can find the right deal.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1746 posts in 1160 days


#6 posted 1139 days ago

We have the 745 at work and it is nice. I am a cabinet installer so we are always moving from site to site. The saw is always getting tossed in the back of trucks/cars for moving and it remains true. I really like the fence adjustment system. Since the back and front of the fence are connected your fence will remain parallel to the blade. Didn’t like that it didn’t come with a stand, so we ordered one for like $75, but if you were going to be using it at home then you might be better off building a cabinet/stand. Again because we are moving it around a lot I am always impressed by how light it is.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Hermando's profile

Hermando

75 posts in 1394 days


#7 posted 1139 days ago

Jocks, you have given some great advice on the decisions for actually being a better wood worker. As we all know the right equipment makes all the difference in the quality of what is built as well a time/money saver in the long run. Material costs are expensive and there can be little room for error.

I did go out and look at the DW745 yesterday and I really think a wood worker can make some fine furniture with this unit. But its limited to the size. Aside from the noise and dust it would allow for some exact cuts compared to the lower end craftsman/ryobi saws. But as always not all of us have the budget for the larger more expensive saws. Buying used is a luck of the draw and from my experience can sometimes cost just as much as new. For example I bought a used Makita 2703. The guy wanted $80 and after I took a long look this unit had seen some pretty harsh conditions. The crank would not raise or lower the blade, the power switch was broken, the power cord was frayed/ bearings were shot. There was no fence or safety equipment. It did start though and I offered $40. I brought the unit to the shop cleaned it up and took it to Makita service and after all have spent around $200 with the Skil stand. It all took a while to build a mobile bench and tune it up. Its a powerful saw and no regrets on the investment, but still not perfect. I guess my point is buying used is not always a cost saver because it usually is not the tool/Saw we would have liked to have.

I have come to the conclusion just about any quality saw portable/hybrid can be a precision tool with knowing how to use that particular tools limitations and strong points. After a long look at the Dewalt 745 and self debate with where I would like to be as a wood worker I will now begin looking at one of the hybrids/contractor saws. Possibly a Jet or General or Steel City. I would not hesitate to purchase the Dewalt 745, because I think does have the features and design to make some true cuts, but I already own two portables, even though they are older, used and totally rebuilt.

Now any advice on the Ridgid/Craftsman/Porter Cable Hybrids would be informative

Hermando

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knotscott

5367 posts in 1972 days


#8 posted 1139 days ago

The new PCB270TS is said to have a plastic elevation gear that has caused some issues…it’d be much better if it were metal (like the others in this class).

The Ridgid R4512 and Cman 21833 are both made by Dayton, and are very similar. The Cman 22116 is made by Steel City/Orion and features a granite top, big yoke style cabinet mounted trunnions, a one piece cast arbor carriage/blade shroud, full enclosure, and a decent Biese clone fence. It goes on sale < $850, and have seen it reach as low as $700, which may still put it beyond budget.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View StephenO's profile

StephenO

37 posts in 1142 days


#9 posted 1139 days ago

I went through this exact same search. What made me decide on the one I bought is that I decided that I was going to buy a saw that I wouldn’t outgrow any time soon.

Sit down with a pad and paper a write out what your current needs are, and what things you are likely to want in the future. Then, surf the ‘net and find every review you can on the saws in your price range. As you read about what’s out there, you will likely become aware of features that you hadn’t thought of, and issues that you don’t want to deal with. This will narrow your search considerably and help you find what suits you best.

The best deal in the world isn’t a deal at all if you wind up with something that you aren’t happy with!

-- -Steve, Seattle

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Hermando

75 posts in 1394 days


#10 posted 1138 days ago

Steve/Jocks you guys have been very informative with sharing your experiences and insight on the right equipment for the job. I am sure many wood workers have been struggling with the same issues, as most can try to make due with the best tools for the least amount of money to spend. I am in no way a full time wood worker, but find it very relaxing and rewarding as a hobby. This all allows me to be creative and to be able to know its appreciated with the end result. I do believe in having the best tools (Sometimes Expensive). But always looking for the bargain. In alot of cases I negotiate with places such as Lowes and HD on price because they are very competitive with each other. other times you have to suck it up and save for the tool that will last a lifetime (almost). I will probably begin looking for a solid Hybrid, even if its expensive. I don’t need another portable. As you can see in the photo the Makita I have supported on the mobile base is just as big as a hybrid. Although if the price is hard to pass up I will buy the Dewalt 745, just because I think its a fine saw, great reviews and now might get even more affordable since Bosch came out with a new portable GTS1031 to compete. By the way any comments on this one..:-)

Regardless of the difference of each saw, which are night and day for what each table saw is meant to do. I think there are alot of wood workers who do use and purchase a portable table saw and can produce some quality work. But with all categories there are the cheap/mid level and expensive models and brands.

View StephenO's profile

StephenO

37 posts in 1142 days


#11 posted 1138 days ago

I have had very good results with my DeWalt but often it has been a challenge, especially dealing with larger pieces. Rip capacity wasn’t an issue when I bought the saw as I figured that 24” would be enough for anything I had planned for the immediate future, but it became a HUGE issue when I started working on larger projects. I got around this with a circular saw and guides, but it’s MUCH quicker to use the table saw and the resulting cuts are cleaner.

-- -Steve, Seattle

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1770 days


#12 posted 1138 days ago

I’ve got the Bosch 4100. It’s a competitor for the DeWalt, both of which are excellent saws for what they do, and at doing what they were designed to do.

But … it turns out … I really DON’T NEED the portability, and—because of that—wish I’d waited and found a good deal on a used Unisaw or Powermatic (or similar).

With cabinet saws ….

The weight … means they’re about vibration-free. The power is simply better, and—even if you never “need” it, it’s never a waste to have it.

And the good ones come with exceptional fences—the best in the business. This is more than a luxury, particularly if you’re ever going to try to build things like furniture … which … I am.

They offer better dust collection, too.

Once I upgraded my Bosch with a digital rip fence, extension outfeed supports for the left and the back, and a Forrest Woodworker blade (and dado stack), I have something that I can REALLY use, and that I REALLY like.

But I’d bet a buck that I’d LOVE a Unisaw. I’m STILL looking at/for one, and—eventually—WILL plunk down the $700-1000, and just get the darned thing—probably one that needs a bit of work, too, since—as it turns out—that’s pretty fun to do :-)

In short: if you don’t NEED the portability OF a contractor’s saw, then … there’s REALLY no advantage—that is … unless you simply can’t accept the idea of buying a USED cabinet saw.

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

View ulises48's profile

ulises48

24 posts in 893 days


#13 posted 893 days ago

Hello all. Do you think this DeWalt DW745 would be like overkill to cut wood to make pen blanks?
If so… what would you recommend for that job?

Thanks in advance

Ulises

-- We all have something to teach, and a lot to learn.

View Hermando's profile

Hermando

75 posts in 1394 days


#14 posted 891 days ago

Ulises, Check out my review for the DW745, I think it is not at all overkill but a very fine tool for what you might be looking for. I recently bought it from HD for a flooring project and find it very accurate and easy to operate.
H.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/2593

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2245 days


#15 posted 891 days ago

ulises48 pen blanks are small pieces, also using rough wood many times – a better saw for cutting those would be a bandsaw, or a handsaw.

for the OP – I had a bosch 4100 which I consider top of the line for portable saws. it has been a great saw bar none- but at some point I felt it wasn’t the best choice for fine-furniture and sold it to by a hybrid saw. if I had 220v in my shop I would have gotten a used cabinet saw. the weight of these saws and their construction compared to any of the portable saws make them a better choice with less vibration and higher precision when it counts.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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