This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. For the longest time, I’d held off on adding a table saw to the shop arsenal. My past experience has been one of frustration and inconvenience. Good quality table saws require significant space in the shop. To get a good cut you had to sacrifice a massive amount of space – which I don’t have. Portable versions often were too heavy and would get sidelined for the lighter, more versatile circular saw on the job site. So bring on the straightedge and hope for the best. Right? Combining a quality shop saw with mobility seemed flat-out pointless as you’d need to completely redesign both to make one version that met the real demands in the field. Then DeWalt came out with the DWE7485 Table Saw – an attempt to combine the benefits of a high-quality shop saw with the portable site saw. We were sent the DeWalt DWE7485 to review – join us as we detail our experience with it.
DeWalt DWE7485 Table Saw Makes the Cut
Naturally, once I had it in my hands, I opened the box, set aside the instructions and proceeded to dig in. The setup was dirt simple and after a few minutes of Styrofoam removal, I had the machine fully exposed and ready to rip. I intended to do a test run to build a pair of cold frames out of a single 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of plywood and some scrap two-by-fours.
Once I had a few minutes to look it over, turn a few knobs and levers here and there, I got the gist of how things worked and how versatile this tool would be. It is replacing a much older Craftsman version with similar but outdated, limited, or missing features.
There are a few distinct features on the DeWalt DWE7485 table saw that caught my eye right away.
Reveling Over the Rail System
The first and perhaps the most intelligent feature is the track system for setting the fence. The fence is attached with a simple push clamp and can be mounted to either side of the blade. That’s a nice touch especially when you’re working with left- or right-handed cuts. It also has a fold-down support for wide rips that extend beyond the base of the saw.
But what immediately sets the fence off is this track feature. It allows an exact setting to 1/16” accuracy by turning a simple knob at the front of the table. This was a drastic improvement over the clampdown and cross-your-fingers method I’ve been accustomed to. The knob and fence move perfectly square along the blade plane because of the front and back rail. It interlocks with the knob creating a solid fence. Instead of measuring the front and the back of the blade I can set the cut width and start ripping.
The DeWalt DWE7485 Measurement Rail Makes Sizing Simpler
One thing to watch out for is the left- or right-oriented measurements. They are indicated on the front in either yellow or white. Because the fence can be positioned on either side, you’ll need to pay attention and keep a tape on hand to confirm your cut before trusting the measurement. I say this because I messed up on one of my first cuts when I set the rail to the right measurement – but on the wrong side. The cut was perfect, but the orientation was off. Oops.
Once I figured out how to read the built-in measurements on the table, it got easier from there. I’ve worked on job sites from an era where you always measure twice and cut once. Especially when you’re working with limited, expensive, or rare materials. But after a few passes with this saw, I quickly realized that my measurements with a tape were often less accurate than my cuts using the saw’s built in ruler.
After a few times of second-guessing myself, I realized it was easier to trust the machined surfaces and let the tool do the work. Eventually, I got to the point where all I had to do was set the fence to my desired cut and make a pass. Simple. I nearly stopped measuring altogether. It was awesome. I kept a tape on hand just to make sure the plans for my project were going to work out the way I wanted. But other than that, the tape measure became a backup.
Set Up this Table Saw With Blade Guard Options and Alternatives
Another feature of this tool is the variations tools for saw blade protections. The DeWalt DWE7485 table saw comes with three attachments all useful for specific table saw applications: an anti-kickback assembly, a splitter, and riving knife, and a standard blade guard.
I started out with the standard blade guard. It has twin plastic guards that operate independently on either side of a hinged point that rests directly behind the blade. As your sheet goods go through, the guard lifts to allow the material to pass through. It’s extremely useful for lengthy panels or siding to aid in board lift or bow near the blade.
The small footprint can be a challenge if you need to work a fair distance from the saw. Especially when you’re running an 8-foot sheet through (or longer) and you’re not within arm’s reach. But it still has a large enough base with the extended support to handle a standard sheet of 4-by-8 material. The blade guard helps to guide uneven or warped sheet goods into the cut. The anti-kickback at the rear of the blade guard on either side is an added safety. Plus, it has a secondary dust port so you can attach a vacuum to collect shavings if working indoors. A primary dust port is fixed on the underside of the saw.
But the blade guard does have limits. The plastic shields on each side prevent the fence from getting right up next to the blade. This creates a challenge when taking a smidge off the end of a board or if you need to cut back a door. It also has a low hinge point that prevents thicker boards and dimensional lumber from passing through on end, or notching a post.
This is where the riving knife can be useful. It allows the blade and fence to come much closer and still prevents board sway beyond the blade. I found this to be much easier to use than the freehand alternative on my old machine.
DeWalt DWE7485 – Jobsite Ready Right Out of the Box
A few of the tools that came with this little contraption made a big difference. On my first cut I realized I needed a push stick and noticed that one was included. It’s tucked in a spring clamp behind the fence – a perfect place to keep it. Just within reach. It was nice to not have to fumble around for it. The way it stows away creates a safe place for it when not in use as well. It’s a little skinny for my liking, but it does the job and prevents me from using it for anything else – as often happens when I’m too lazy to go find the right tool.
Changing the blade is also made simple with the included low-profile end wrenches. This was a major drawback on my previous setup because I had to rob from a wrench set just to change out a blade – something that is not always an option on a job site. The end wrenches secure to the side with a simple wingnut so you can change out your blade with gloved hands easily.
The DeWalt Table Saw Makes Clean Cuts at Any Angle
One of the tools I took a solid liking to was the miter gauge. One of my greatest hesitations on table saws was the perceived inability to make angled cuts. Effectively anyway. With my chop saw, I can only reach so far. So, when it came to a long angled cut I was at a loss, left resorting to the old standbys: chalk line and circular saw.
This setup makes it possible to get a clean cut at an angle up to 30 degrees in either direction over a fair distance of board. The miter gauge is like a locking protractor on a stick. It rides in a groove machined into the table on either side of the blade. By holding your material on the gauge, the angled cut can be achieved with or without a fence. A compound miter can be achieved when tilting the blade.
Tilting the blade is achieved with a locking dial at the front of the machine. It has a range of -2 degrees up to 47 degrees. At zero, the max depth is 2-9/16” and at 45 degrees, max cut is 1-3/4” – not bad. Don’t deviate from the 8-1/4” blade that comes with it. And keep in mind that blades for other work must be able to withstand 6,000 RPM. I had no problem cutting everything from the full sheet of plywood to my dimensional lumber scraps with the factory blade.
Set up for Speed and Safety
One of the dormant features of this saw is weather resistance. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, working in the rain or snow is a common occurrence. So sheltering a tool for a short term – or long term – storm is out of the question. There are basic safety features like GFCI plug and surge protection built-in. Plus, the “off” switch is a bump-style push button that can be easily triggered with a gloved hand, elbow, or wrist.
The power button is enclosed with a dust and water-resistant membrane. To test this feature out, I left the machine out in rain, hail, and dust storms for a few weeks. Other than a little pollen buildup, the end result was nothing that a quick rinse or an air hose couldn’t clean up. As with any power tool, it needs to be dry before use. A quick bump proved the saw was still effective and unharmed after my intentional abuse.
This was a big plus that is often understated. Weather resistance is a solid selling point in my opinion. Especially if your gear has to travel in the back of a pickup through a storm. And, even if power were to trip, like from a short, surge, or too much power draw from using a dull blade, the saw has a trip reset button to get you back up and running once you’ve fixed the problem.
A Platform for Full Sheets of Plywood
At the base of it all is a machined, 19” by 19” cutting surface. This can be extended either left or right by using the fence rail support. When fully extended, the saw can achieve a 24.5” cut. That’s right. You can rip a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet right down the middle without a problem – and still have a fence and support to keep it straight.
Even without instructions in hand, I was able to fumble my way through the DeWalt DWE7485 table saw. This saw turned a simple project into a breeze and I can’t wait to give it a go on more complex, finish work around the house. It’s not so heavy that two people need to pack it around and the built-in handles are a bonus. Still, my scrawny frame managed to pack it around just fine. The rubberized handles are somewhat small but any larger and they would extend beyond the footprint of the machine.
Sold on the DeWalt DWE7485 Table Saw
As an out-of-the box solution to a failed saw in the field, or when you absolutely have to get the right cut on your next indoor trim project, this saw fits the mold. To be honest, getting it set up was the easy part. Putting it away was much harder. Mostly because I wanted to keep feeding that blade.
It’s obvious that DeWalt took an in-depth look at the common problems that workers face in the field. And they did right by finding a remedy for each one. A push stick within reach. A bump-off safety switch. Swappable blade guards. An included miter tool. Mounted blade changing tools. And perhaps the most important of all: a reliable fence. What’s more is they took these answers and combined them with a portable, job site-ready tool that doesn’t require a moving crew to get set up. If you’ve got power and a plan, this saw is one way to get the job done right. The first time.
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.