I used to help my grandpa out with a lot of house renovation projects back in the 90’s. He had a lot of old power tools that I didn’t like using, but I had to use them anyways, including his old table saw. It was not a fun saw to use. It was heavy, awkward and didn’t feel very safe. I look at this modern portable table saw, the Bosch 4100-09 and wonder what it would have been like to have efficient, quality tools available while working on those projects of the past.
What’s The Difference Between the Bosch 4100 and the Bosch 4100-09 Models?
The Bosch 4100-09 table saw is simply the Bosch 4100 table saw packaged with the Gravity Rise stand. I confirmed this by emailing Bosch support, they said that the “09” in the model number simply indicates a 4100 saw that comes packaged along with the stand. There is no difference otherwise.
Heavy Duty For a Portable Table Saw
The problem (or should I say potential problem) with most portable table saws is that a good table saw needs a little bit of weight and bulk to hold it’s ground. If you get a table saw that is too light, you might notice it jumping around a bit or moving/sliding when it’s under pressure or used in high-torque situations. Remember my mention of my grandpas old table saw? That old saw had a tendency to slide and move, it was not very stable.
The Bosch 4100-09 has good weight and a good stance, it holds it’s ground. The combo weighs 99 pounds (both the saw and the stand). Due to the design of the stand though it is a very portable saw. Alone, the saw is about 60 pounds and the stand is 39 pounds.
All you need to assemble this saw is a phillips screwdriver, a flat screwdriver, a combination square and a 10mm wrench. When you take it all out of the box, you will have the table saw, the rip fence, the table insert, the barrier guard assembly, the anti kickback device, the push stick and the miter gauge. The manual shows exactly how to assemble and fine tune all the pieces, and it can be put together pretty quickly.
Mounting the Saw
The 4100-09 has four mounting points on the corners of the base that can be used to mount the saw to either a workbench or a stand. The ability to mount and fasten the saw to a workbench surface increases stability (and safety). Even though this saw is slightly heavier than some other portable table saws, it is nice to have the option to secure it to any surface for further stability.
The Gravity Rise Stand
Because of the slick design of the Gravity Rise stand, one person can easily handle and move this saw. This is not an overstatement. The stand can easily be folded into an upright position and back down again.
Some portable table saws have less mobile stand designs and are much easier to move with two people than one. The Bosch 4100-09 truly is portable by design when you have the entire package of the saw and the stand. In addition, you can literally fold this saw up and lean it against the wall in your garage, giving you room to park your car when you are not woodworking. This is pretty nice for the weekend warrior types, like me, for example.
Just Roll It Around
The wheeled stand on the 4100-09 allows you to (just an example) push the saw out of your garage, roll it up to the back of your truck, slide it up in the bed by yourself and take it somewhere else. Unloading it is equally as easy. Being able to roll a saw around like this makes for much less stress on your body (and back) compared to having to dead-lift a saw from a workbench and carrying it with two hands. Being somebody that has experienced lower back pain problems frequently, I can definitely see the advantages here.
The wheels are 8-inch treaded pneumatic wheels. This gives you the ability to roll this around easily on tougher terrain and it glides alone very smoothly on paved surfaces. If you intend to drag the saw/stand up stairs, the wheels may not be large enough to keep the stand from rubbing on stair edges, so keep that in mind.
A Powerful, Soft Starting Motor
A high powered, smooth motor will result in cleaner cuts and smoother operation overall. This table saw used a 15 amp motor that provides 4 horsepower and up to 3,650 no-load RPMs. This stacks up really well against other saws in this class.
This power will give you plenty of cutting capability and owners of this saw love it’s ability to make effortless cuts. If you need better cutting performance than what is available out of the box, a simple blade upgrade will work wonders.
The power of the motor is handled well by the soft-start feature. The soft start feature gives the saw a very professional feel and reduces stress on the motor and mechanical parts of the saw. This feature not only makes the start-up operation of the saw feel smooth, it will make the saw last longer.
The Saw Blade & Riving Knife (and kerf tips!)
The 4100-09 comes with a pretty good carbide-tipped saw blade right out of the box. If you are more than an occasional table saw user you may benefit from upgrading the blade right away, but this is a nice blade. A cost-conscious approach to the blade would be to at least try using the saw with the stock blade first, and upgrade only if you feel the need to.
The stock blade has a carbide-tipped kerf of .128” and the plate is .086” thick. If you decide to get a different blade, Bosch specifically states that you need to make sure that the new blade has a kerf wider than .092”, anything less in width runs the risk of promoting binding between the riving knife and the fence. The riving knife itself is .090” wide, so you can see that Bosch is simply making sure that you use a blade that has a wider kerf than the width of the riving knife.
When using the correct size saw blade with a riving knife (riving knives are now required on all table saws), you are going to get exceptional safety capabilities that pretty much eliminates blade binding and kickback worries.
Extra blades can be stored under the left side of the cutting table. The extra blade storage shaft is also used to store the arbor wrench securely. Having on-board blade storage is really handy if you need to keep different types of blades or spare/backup blades available at all times.
The Power Switch
The power switch to turn the saw on is conveniently located on the front of the saw, towards the bottom left of the front side. It’s easy to reach when using the saw which makes for easy operation. To flip the switch to “on”, you need to pinch the sides and pull up. This helps to prevent accidentally turning the saw on by simply bumping the switch with your hands or leg or something.
The power switch also has a hole that can be used along with a padlock to prevent operation of the saw (accidental or not). This feature adds further safety capabilities to it’s design, and the ability to lock the on power switch is great for situations where you want to prevent use of the saw by others for any reason.
The Smooth Cutting Table
The table on the 4100-09 is smooth and accurate. The table is 29” wide and 29 ½” deep, and made from machined aluminum. This table can also extend and it offers a total ripping capacity of 25” wide.
This large cutting capacity means that you will be able to make a lot of cuts that you normally might think that you’d need a larger shop saw for. And you can also purchase left side extensions (12” or 18”) to give you extra support on the left side for over-sized sheets of wood and other materials.
The Cutting Table Extension
One really nice feature on this table saw is that the cutting table has built-in extension capabilities (as mentioned in the previous section). This allows you to get a lot of cutting capacity out of this portable-size saw, up to 25” of ripping capacity to be exact.
The table extension slides smoothly when being adjusted, and features a lock handle that allows you lock the extension into place. The table saw cannot be operated if the extension is not locked, which is an extra safety precaution that we really like.
The Rip Fence
The rip fence is a pleasure to use and it glides smoothly on it’s rails. It attaches to rails on the front/back of the cutting table and is easy to attach to the saw. The rip fence can be unlocked and adjusted with just one hand with a single lock handle, and it’s easy to lock it into place accurately. Some portable table saws lack a little in the rip fence department, so it’s good to see a quality implementation here.
There is also a rip fence scale that shows you the distance between the rip fence and saw blade at a quick glance. This is a very useful feature that makes it a snap to adjust the rip fence accurately. There is also a magnifying glass implemented into the scale view as well so you won’t need to squint to see the distance between the fence and the blade.
Rip fence storage is available on the left side of the saw under the cutting table, right next to the extra blade storage area. This gives you a convenient place to store the rip fence when not in use and ensures that you won’t place it out of the way and forget it somewhere when not in use.
The Blade Elevation Wheel & Bevel Adjustment
On the front of the 4100-09 is the blade elevation wheel, it’s easy to access and easy to adjust. There is no lock for the elevation wheel, which seems kind of strange. But the blade does not give or move up or down unexpectedly when in operation, so this does not seem to be an issue whatsoever.
The bevel adjustment is also located directly on the front of the saw. Bevel can be adjusted just as easily as blade height and the bevel does feature a lock. There is also a blade bevel scale which shows the amount of degrees that the blade is tilted.
Overall, saw blade height and bevel is easy to adjust and everything holds tight in place when set and locked, which gives the operator of the saw confidence when making blade adjustments.
The Modular Smart Guard System
We already mentioned the riving knife when we covered some of the specifics about the saw blade. The riving knife is part of the modular Smart Guard system and the other two parts of this system are the main barrier guard and the anti-kickback pawls.
The riving knife sits directly behind the blade and is slightly more narrow than the blade. It is permanently attached to the saw and splits the wood as the blade passes through it, keeping the wood from pinching on the blade itself. This is the core of the Smart Guard system and the other two pieces attach to the riving knife.
The barrier guard covers the blade and its main purpose is to protect your hands and other things from coming into unnecessary contact with the blade. The anti-kickback pawls drag over the top of the materials as they pass through the saw blade and are intended to claw into and handle anything that gets kicked backwards.
Since these two pieces can easily be removed from the saw as needed, Bosch has provided a convenient place under the right side table extension to store them when not in use.
When all of these parts are in place, this saw is very safe and will help to prevent you from coming in contact with the blade and will prevent any kickback situations from injuring the operator.
The Miter Gauge
The miter gauge is used for cross-cutting applications and slides into the table by means of a t-slot channel. The miter gauge slides through the slots effortlessly. The gauge can be adjusted as needed and locks into position with a single lock knob. There is also a t-slot disk at the end of the miter that makes it easy to insert the miter into one of the two slots on the cutting table.
These features all combine to allow you to quickly put the miter into one of the slots on the table and adjust it to make the right cut without much effort.
Bosch also recommends that you remove the fence from the table when using the miter gauge in either t-slot.
When not in use, the miter gauge can be stored in a designated storage area, like all the other accessories that come with this table saw.
Yes, this saw can be used to cut dadoes. It can fit 8″ stack dado sets that are up to ¾” wide. In order to use a stack dado set on this saw, you will need to buy the dado insert available from Bosch (the TS1007 Dado Insert).
A stack dado set can fit on the arbor by removing the inner arbor washer and using the outer arbor washer as the inner washer. In this scenario, you won’t need to use an outer washer.
The Vacuum Hookup
Don’t like sawdust? The handy vacuum hookup port allows you to attach the hose from a shop vac (or other vacuum) to this saw to help suck sawdust away as you cut. The port is a standard 2 ½ inches which will accommodate most vacuums, and there is also an adapter available for different hose sizes if needed.
The vacuum port can be very handy if you are using the saw indoors and want to minimize saw dust. An optional sawdust bag can also be purchased as an accessory that hooks up to this same port, if you prefer that to using a vacuum.
Lots of On-Board Storage
One thing that really enhances the usability of a portable table saw is plenty of on-board storage. This is vital to ensure that the many accessories and parts are readily available, no matter where you have transported the saw. We’ve already mentioned a couple specific storage features for certain accessories, but here’s a full run-down of the on-board storage features:
- The rip fence and miter gauge have dedicated storage racks.
- The power cord can be bundled on the cord wrap to keep it nicely secured during transporting
- There is a dedicated storage area for extra blades and the arbor wrench
- The hex wrench that is used to adjust or remove various hex heads on the saw is stored on-board near the saw blades
- There is dedicated storage spots for the modular Smart Guard parts, for when they are not in use
The majority of the storage is located on the right side of the saw under the extending table, but the miter is stored on the left side and power cord wraps up on the back side of the saw.
Bosch has a warranty plan that will cover you in the first year if anything is not working correctly with your saw. There is a one year limited warranty, a 30 day money back guarantee and a one year service plan. The one year limited warranty covers and defects or issues with workmanship.
What’s All Included With The Bosch 4100-09 Table Saw?
Now that we’ve covered everything, you are probably wanting a quick recap of what exactly comes with this saw. Here’s what you get:
- The Bosch 4100 table saw
- The Smart Guard system (guard and anti-kickback pawls)
- A push stick
- The miter gauge
- The rip fence
- A carbide-tipped blade
- The Gravity Rise stand
- An instruction manual
What Should You Expect To Pay?
We’ve seen quite a few places that sell the Bosch 4100-09 table saw (with stand) and we feel that you shouldn’t need to pay more than $600 to get this saw and can often get it for around $550. Amazon usually has really good pricing, we’d recommend starting there, especially since they often have free shipping available.
The Bosch 4100 (without stand) is more affordable if you don’t need the stand, and can be had for around $400.
What Are Other People Saying?
This is a very highly rated saw, and it has very many happy owners. Check out what some other people have said about this saw:
- “I have used it often and am impressed with its accuracy and ease of operation”
- “I have had this saw for about a year and a half and I love it. Everything is precise, solid, and well thought out. The fence is outstanding.”
- “I’ve owned it for about 6 months now, so I can say with some confidence I’m still very happy and don’t regret it for a minute.”
- “Great saw. I like the higher deck than its competitors.”
- “I’m not an expert and this is my very first table saw but you don’t have to be an expert to realize how well designed this thing is. “
- “I am very pleased with this saw. It folds up and stores against the wall right next to the tool chest. I am happily surprised that it does live up to its reputation!”
The best place to read reviews from other saw owners is Amazon, check out further comments and insight here.
Of course, there are many accessories available for this saw, all useful in their own right. Here is a quick list of the Bosch 4100 accessories. These work on any 4100 model table saw from Bosch:
- TS1007 Dado Insert – this is needed if you want to use a stack dado set on this saw
- TS1005 Zero Clearance Insert Assembly – reduce kerf clearance and helps to reduce chipping and splintering during cuts
- TS1003 Table Saw Left Side Support Extension – this extends the left side of the table 12 inches
- TS1002 Table Saw Rear Outfeed Support Extension – this extends the rear of the saw by 18 inches to better support longer materials during cutting
- TS1004 Table Saw Dust Collector Bag – this hooks up to the vacuum port to collect sawdust during operation
- DC010 Digital Carriage Display – digital display for quickly and accurately measuring cuts