In a contest for “Most power-hungry tool on the job site,” the front runner has to be the table saw. Making rip cuts all day takes a big motor, and spinning that big motor takes power. That’s why, despite the lust for a totally cord-free job site, the table saw has been last in line. There have been some very capable compact table saws, with smaller blades, but no one had put out a full-size table saw, with a standard 10” blade. That changed recently, with the introduction of the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw. The Metabo HPT folks sent us one to evaluate; we’ll see if it makes the cut when we pull the plug.
Designed as a 36V Cordless/Corded saw, the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table saw can get its power from either a single MultiVolt battery or a corded adapter. With a rip capacity of just over 35” to the right of the blade and 22” to the left, it’s big enough to easily handle sheet goods.
Similar to the way the artist formerly known as Prince changed his named to an unpronounceable symbol, the tool brand formerly known as Hitachi has morphed into Metabo HPT. This helps to explain why most features on the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw are almost identical to those on the Hitachi C10RJ table saw we reviewed favorably a couple of years ago. The only difference I could spot is that the blade’s top speed on the MultiVolt model is 5,000 RPM, vs. 4,500 on the C10RJ.
Take a moment – OK, a COUPLE of moments – to check out the list of features and specs, check out the short video from Metabo HPT, and then we’ll take a closer look at some of those features:
• AC/DC convenience meaning the tool can be powered by a MultiVolt battery OR the MultiVolt AC Adapter (both sold separately)
• Features Brushless motor technology for more runtime, increased power and extended durability with essentially no maintenance
• 36V DC Brushless motor produces 5,000 RPM to power through the toughest ripping applications
• Soft start function reduces noise and recoil at start-up
• Electric brake halts the rotation of the blade within seconds for added safety
• 10″ 40-Tooth carbide tipped blade included for high cutting capacity
• Bevel range of 0 degree to 45 degrees for cuts ranging from 3-1/8″ (at 0 degree) to 2-1/4″ (at 45 degrees)
• 28-3/4″ x 22″ working table top with outfeed support of 28-3/4″ x 2″ for easy and stable material support
• Telescoping table extension supports 35″ of ripping capacity to the right and 22″ to the left
• Both the bevel scale and bevel height adjustment knobs for the blade are situated on the front of the cabinet for easy access and viewing
• Equipped with a 3/4″ T-slot miter gauge that features a large scale with adjustable positive stops at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 degrees to the left and right to help guide material accurately for a truer cut
• On-tool accessory storage allows for easy access to needed items and convenient storage while not in use
• 8 x 13/16″ Dado capacity allows for simple dado cuts
• Easy adjustments for blade height or angle, as well as simple fence adjustments to adhere to the cutting material
• Overload protection automatically shuts off the motor in a possible current overload situation to help prevent damage to the saw
• Riving knife ensures cutting material does not bind and/or kick-back during operation
• Oversized power switch with emergency off safety cover is designed at knee level for immediate shut down as an added safety feature
• Dust port located at the rear of the base measures 2-1/2″ and can connect to a shop vac or dust collection system for a cleaner work environment
• Weighs 67.3 lbs. with a MultiVolt battery attached
• Standard accessories include10″ 40-T Carbide Tipped Blade, blade guard assembly, anti-kickback pawl assembly, miter gauge assembly, push stick, rip fence assembly, VIC rip fence assembly, out feed support assembly, (2) blade wrenches, 4mm hex bar wrench and 2.5mm hex key
• Accepts a MultiVolt battery that delivers 4.0Ah of runtime at 36V in MultiVolt tools (sold separately)
• Battery can also power Hitachi or Metabo HPT 18V slide type tools, including cordless nailers, generating an impressive 8.0Ah of run time for increased flexibility and multipurpose use
• With a 36V MultiVolt battery it’s never been easier to tackle any job, anywhere, with the power you need
• Higher capacity battery cell technology with 21700 cells that deliver over 1,440W of power- roughly 46% more capacity than a standard 18650 cell battery resulting in longer runtime and increased power output
• 4-Stage fuel gauge located on the face of the battery to make it easier to monitor the charge status
• MultiVolt battery pack is compact and lightweight at only 2.1 lbs, eliminating any added bulkiness or weight
• Multiplex Protection Circuit in the battery communicates with the tool and charger, preventing over-load, over-charge and over-discharge to improve safety and ensure a long battery life
• MultiVolt battery charges in 52 minutes using the UC18YSL3M charger (sold separately)
• Charger has a built-in USB port that can charge USB enabled devices
• Charger will also charge Hitachi and Metabo HPT 18V slide type batteries in addition to MultiVolt batteries
• Insert the 36V MultiVolt battery when cordless portability suits the application or plug in to a power source and save the battery to get conventional corded use of a MultiVolt tool with the MultiVolt AC Adapter ET36A (sold separately)
• With a 36V MultiVolt battery, it’s never been easier to tackle any job, anywhere with the power you need
• Covered by a 2-year tool body warranty
• Compatible with MultiVolt Battery/Charger Starter Kit UC18YSL3B1
• Compatible with Individual MultiVolt battery 372121M (BSL36B18) 36V/18V MultiVolt Lithium Ion Slide Battery (4.0Ah/8.0Ah)
Compatible with: ET36A 36V MultiVolt AC Adapter
• Fold & Roll Table Stand (374769)
• Dado Table Insert (374761)
• MultiVolt 36V Battery (372121M)
• MultiVolt AC/DC Adapter (ET36A)
• MultiVolt Battery/Charger Starter Kit (UC18YSL3B1)
Prepping The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw To Make Some Sawdust
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt table saw comes out of the box mostly assembled; the blade is even installed, which is a rarity. You’ll just need to install the outfeed support and the fence, which only takes a minute or so. Then it’s on to the safety features.
Note when installing the anti-kickback pawl and blade guard (you ARE installing them, right?!): The saw is shipped with the riving knife in its lowest position. To install the safety items, you need to remove the throat plate, flip a lever, and move the riving knife to its upright and locked position. THEN you can easily attach the pawl and/or the blade guard.
When they’re not needed, the pawl and blade guard both stow securely under the table. There’s a stowage spot for all the accessories, including the push stick, miter gauge, and blade wrenches, and everything stays securely attached.
Bringing The Power – Meet The MultiVolt
One of the features that makes the Metabo HPT MultiVolt table saw unique is its dual-power capability, so let’s take a look at that feature first. The Metabo HPT MultiVolt system uses a battery that senses the type of tool it’s connected to, and adjusts the voltage accordingly.
When the battery is connected to a 36V MultiVolt tool like the table saw, it cranks out 36 volts at 4.0 Ah. When you slide it onto an 18V tool, though, it reduces the voltage to 18V. As a bonus, it provides double the amp hours for tools on the 18V platform, at 8.0 Ah. This backwards compatibility is a great bonus for anyone on the 18V Metabo HPT or Hitachi platform.
Getting that battery charged quickly is the job of the MultiVolt charger, Metabo HPT part # UC18YSL3. Available separately or in a starter kit with a MultiVolt battery, the charger brought our battery from one bar to fully charged in about 45 minutes. The charger can also charge Hitachi and Metabo HPT 18V slide batteries.
To help protect your investment, the MultiVolt battery has a Multiplex Protection Circuit built in. This circuit communicates with the tool and charger, preventing over-loading the saw, and over-charge and over-discharge of the battery. The charger also has a built-in USB port, to keep your cell phone or MP3 player fully juiced.
Part B of the Corded/Cordless equation is the AC adapter, aka the Metabo HPT ET36A. The adapter consists of a unit that looks like a MultiVolt battery, which slides into the recess on the saw. A cord connects the adapter to a transformer, with a longer cord to plug into an AC outlet.
The cord on the adapter is almost 21’ long, which provides great flexibility when it’s time to set it up. A swivel connection where the cord meets the “battery” portion that gets inserted into the saw should help with longevity. Here’s a quick video overview of the MultiVolt system from Metabo HPT:
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw Takes A Stand
At 67 lbs. with the battery installed, the Metabo C3610DRJQ4 table saw can be a tad unwieldly for one person to schlep around. Additionally, Metabo HPT recommends bolting the saw to a table or other stable surface before using it. Fortunately, an optional wheeled stand (Part No. 374769) is available for the saw, and even more fortunately, the Metabo HPT folks sent one along for us to use.
Assembling the stand is easy. The package includes all the bolts necessary to assemble the stand and attach it to the saw. Deploying the legs on the stand is easy once you’ve rolled the saw to your work space – just press a button and pop out each leg. An adjuster on one leg keeps the unit from wobbling around, which may be considered an undesirable trait in a saw with a blade spinning at 5,000 RPM…
When you’re ready to fold it up and roll on to the next job site, or pack it off to storage for a bit, the legs retract quickly and easily, giving the saw a nice compact footprint. The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw rolls easily on its big wheels, and it’s easy to get up and down stairs. Just make sure it will fit through any doorways along the way; I had to rotate it sideways once or twice. The saw is very stable when it’s standing in the upright and locked position.
Start Me Up
Once the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw is set up and plugged in or batteried up, operating it is smooth and intuitive. A large safety switch makes it unlikely you’ll power it up accidentally, and the large red OFF switch makes it easy to power down. The saw has a soft start feature, and takes two or three seconds to get to full speed. A blade brake stops the blade, taking about three or four seconds to do so after hitting the stop button.
Cuts up to 3-1/8” are possible with the 10” blade on the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw. Setting the height for the blade is easy, using the handle on the front of the table. A wheel around the handle makes it easy to adjust the bevel on the blade, and a lever locks it firmly in place.
Adjusting the fence is smooth and easy. An adjustment knob moves the fence smoothly back and forth, and gears on both sides of the table ensure the fence stays parallel to the blade. Once the fence is in position, a locking lever makes sure it doesn’t budge. For wide pieces, the fence flips 90 degrees, providing extra support when the fence is way out yonder, near its 35” limit.
To help with angled cuts, a solidly-made 3/4″ T-slot miter gauge comes with the saw. The scale is easy to read, and for added accuracy there are detents at commonly used angles on both the right and left.
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw Lets ‘Er Rip
We wanted to see how the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw would do using both the MultiVolt battery and the adapter, on a variety of materials. A narrow kerf 40-tooth carbide blade comes with the saw, so while it was all shiny and new, I decided to christen it with some oak.
On a current project, I’m trimming out all the doors and windows with oak. This includes the door casings, and I’m ripping the jambs down to the necessary width (mostly 4-5/8”) from stock 1X oak. In one large open doorway, I needed the jambs to be over 6” wide, so I boldly grabbed a piece of fairly expensive 1X8” trim, adjusted the fence, and inserted the MultiVolt battery.
When I fired up the saw, the brushless motor took a couple of seconds to get up to speed, but it sounded very smooth. I fed the oak through, and the blade worked its magic. The saw cut very smoothly, with no bogging or hesitation. I was very happy to see that the blade left a nice smooth cut edge, requiring just a quick touch-up with a finish sander to get it perfect.
Feeling more confident, I cut several more pieces of jamb material out of 1X8” and 1X6” oak. I also cranked up the blade height, and ripped some lengths of 2X4” material, as well as some plywood. The battery had no problem keeping the blade spinning through any of it.
Adapting To The Current Power
I then popped out the battery, which still showed three bars lit up on the built-in fuel gauge, and inserted the corded adapter. The adapter comes with a very heavy-duty power cord, and at over 20’ long, it was plenty long enough to reach an outlet without needing an extension cord.
After switching to the adapter, I cut more oak jamb material. I couldn’t feel any difference in power after making the switch. I also ripped more 2X4s and plywood, again with no stalling or bogging down.
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw has a large dust port underneath, and the saw does a VERY good job funneling sawdust to that port. If you’re on a job site where sawdust spewage isn’t an issue, go for it. For those working indoors, or where untidiness is frowned upon, connecting a vac or dust collector to the dust port collects almost every speck of sawdust.
Some Final Cutting Remarks
Overall, I was impressed with the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw. It has a great set of features, it’s well made, and the saw has good cutting power, with both the MultiVolt battery and the adapter. The standard 10″ blade size gives it great cutting capacity, and makes finding a replacement blade easy.
My only concern is with the capacity of the MultiVolt battery. It works great, and I was impressed by how much cutting it could do on a charge. I think it would be fine for limited or intermittent use, by someone cutting and then installing door jambs, for instance.
With a 4.0 Ah battery and a fairly high-demand motor, though, there’s little chance the battery would get through a day’s work on a busy production site. Since the battery fits pretty snugly in its recess, it’s also unlikely a larger, higher capacity battery is in the works. This means you’d either need a spare battery and charger along, or the ability to plug in the adapter.
My other issue isn’t to do with the saw, per se, but with the availability of accessories. I would LOVE to be able to use a dado stack with this saw, and it’s capable of handling an 8” x 13/16” dado set. I spent an hour trying to locate the dado table insert, though, with no success. I had the same issue when we reviewed the Hitachi C10RJ. The MultiVolt saw itself is only available through a very limited number of suppliers, and neither of the suppliers I located had the stand for sale. This makes for a frustrating experience for customers trying to buy and use their products; hopefully, Metabo HPT is working to expand its authorized reseller network.
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw is sold as a bare tool, so you’ll need to get a MultiVolt battery and charger or an adapter to make it start spitting sawdust. Luckily, Metabo HPT runs numerous promotions to make doing so cheaper – or even free! Current promotions include a free MultiVolt battery or adapter with purchase of a Metabo HPT MultiVolt tool, from now through 9/30/2020, and a $25 rebate, good through 6/30/2020. Metabo HPT backs the saw with a two-year warranty.
Buy the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw from Acme currently $499
Buy the Metabo HPT MultiVolt Table Saw from ToolBarn for $599