Review of the Bosch 4100-09 Table Saw
Bosch is known as a manufacturer of professional grade power tools. However, most of this brand’s most highly touted models are of the hand held variety. In this Bosch 4100-09 table saw review we put the saw through its paces to see how Bosch’s flagship table saw compares to other products.
Keep in mind, the table saw market--especially the worksite table saw market--is not flush with professional competition. However, for the purposes of this review, we compared the Bosch to DeWalt, Makita, and a few other brands.
As such, this product should not compared brands known for light industrial or heavier workloads light Delta, Grizzly, or Jet. Moreover, this also excludes different types of table saws like cabinet or contractor table saws from a truly appropriate comparison.
Motor: 15 amps
Blade Diameter: 10”
Bevel: -2 to 47 degrees
Cut Depth: 3 ⅛” at 90 degrees
Provides a powerful motor with 15 amps
The stand is extremely convenient
The blade is precise with little vibration or play
The important components are made out of light, yet durable, aluminum
A lower than average RPM of 3650 limits versatility
Pretty much all of the guides need to be replaced
The dust collection is substandard
Many of the knobs and fasteners are made out of plastic or with plastic parts
The Bosch 4100-09 is a 10” worksite table saw designed for professional projects of the residential, consumer, and light commercial variety. This saw checks a number of the boxes for similar diameter table saws like a 15 amp motor, a two foot cutting clearance, and a collapsible stand.
It should be noted that this is a right clearance table saw, but Bosch has been able to keep vibration down to a minimum. As such, those who prefer left clearance table saws for their generally superior vibration reduction will not be disappointed.
The table measures 39.13" x 30" x 20.9" and is 60 pounds with a table width of 29”. It comes with a patented pneumatic Gravity-Rise stand and features both a barrier-guard device and anti-kickback pawls for safety features.
Because the primary job of a table saw is to make straight rip cuts, power is one of the most important factors. Keep in mind, the power of the table saw is only part of the equation. You can have two similarly powered table saws that drastically differ in how effectively they cut--an issue that can be magnified depending on the hardness of the wood being cut.
Still, the power of the table saw’s motor will often give you an indication as to the quality of its cut. In this regard, the Bosch meets the industry leading standard of 15 amps. While this may seem expected, many Bosch product actually sacrifice a bit of overall power to provide more precision.
However, when you need to make extended rip cuts, you need a saw that can keep up with the workload, and that kind of saw needs to have enough power to keep cutting. In this regard, it seems Bosch realizes when their standard design philosophy may not always suit every type of tool.
Drive configuration is a bit of a trade off. There are two types of drive configuration, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The direct drive allows the motor to directly spin the blade. This generates a bit more power, but it also has a tendency to create more vibration.
Belt drive table saws use a belt to spin the blade. This does limit the power a tad, but the minimal loss of power is more than made up for by the additional precision of the blade and the overall lack of vibration--a necessity for worksite table saws which generally do not have the additional heft to otherwise prevent undue vibration.
Bosch seems to recognize this fact and uses a belt drive configuration. This configuration allows the Bosch to maintain an exceptionally powerful motor without sacrificing any of the precision you have come to expect from the brand. However, the loss in power is translated in a way that may make this table saw less effective for some users as we discuss in the following section.
The other major factor when determining how effective a table saw is at cutting is the RPMs of the blade. However, this is not necessarily a black and white feature as different types of wood are but best at different RPMs. Still, it is generally seen that the more the RPMs, the better the table saw is at cutting.
This is due in a large part because of the types of wood most commonly used for rip cuts and the expected finish of a rip cut. To be blunt, table saws--especially portable ones--are not truly expected for finish work. In that instance, you would probably be better off with a contractor table saw or even a cabinet table saw.
Still, all kinds of wood types may require a rip cut. As such, Bosch has erred on the side of versatility instead of maximum cutting power. Specifically, the no load RPMs of 3650 is more than 1000 rpms below the standard 4800 RPMs for the competition. This allows the Bosch to be more effective at cutting softer woods without burning the wood, but it also makes the Bosch less effective at cutting the hardest of woods altogether.
While this quality will not determine how effective the table saw is at making a cut, it will have an impact on the type of cuts you can make. In this instance, the larger the cut depths, generally the more versatile the saw. This is especially relevant when compared to the standard sizes of lumber.
A table saw with less than 2” of 90 degree cutting depth will not be able to handle many of the standard sizes of lumber. However, the Bosch provides a maximum 90 degree cutting depth of 3 ⅛”--generally more than enough for most rip cuts that would be made on a worksite table saw.
However, there is some discrepancy between the maximum bevel cut depth. Essentially, some sources cite the Bosch’s maximum bevel cut depth at 2 ½” while others put it at 1 ⅞”. Keep in mind, 1 ⅞” is not enough to clear many of the common standard lumber cuts and will reduce its versatility for bevel cuts.
Worksite table saws, much like portable table saws, have to skirt the line between being easily transportable and substantial enough to provide a quality machine. The primary issue with worksite or portable table saws comes from the propensity of lighter materials and machines to produce too much vibration.
Considering we already know that the Bosch does an excellent job of limiting vibration, it is equally surprising that Bosch is extremely competitive in the transportability department as well. With a patented Gravity-Rise stand and 8” treaded wheels, moving the Bosch from one place to another is fairly convenient.
However, what is most impressive about the Bosch in terms of portability is its weight. Compared to other worksite table saws, the Bosch is close to 33 percent lighter. In fact, the Bosch is more comparable to the smaller class of portable table saws than the larger worksite class.
The materials used in constructing power tools will often provide a glimpse into the quality of the tool itself as well as the potential long term durability of the tool. However, there needs to be a fine line walked as many of the more durable materials are also heavier.
As such, you will ideally look for table saws that utilize either aluminum or magnesium for a majority of their parts. While not nearly as strong as steel, these other two metals are still fairly durable while shedding more than half the weight of steel.
For the Bosch 4100-09, this is a bit of a mixed bag. While many of the more prevalent components are made from cast aluminum, a worrying number of parts are made from hard plastic. This should not be a surprise since Bosch actually designed the first plastic housing for various power tools, but on a table saw, it presents some issues.
While a table saw may make its bread and butter on providing quality straight-line rips, it improves its versatility by being able to make quality bevel and miter cuts. For the latter, the blade itself generally remains at the fixed 90 degree angle and the workpiece is repositioned along a miter guide.
The bevel cut, on the other hand, can only safely be accomplished by tilting the blade as tilting the workpiece is liable to cause kickbacks and be impossibly difficult to stabilize. However, bevels are judged not just by depth but the maximum angle as well.
In this regard, the Bosch performs admirably if not spectacularly. This table saw does provide a -2 degree angle as well as a 47 degree angle, but there is not stop for the popular 22 ½ degree angle. Granted, few worksite table saws offer a 22 ½ degree angle, but it would have been nice to see.
Unfortunately, the included miter gauge is nothing worth writing home about. In fact, much like other guides and fences, the miter gauge is best replaced with a higher quality measuring instrument.
Sadly, this is one of the areas where the Bosch 4100-09 does not truly shine. Moreover, this is not an isolated incident where a few people have had issues with the fences. In fact, the poor quality of the Bosch 4100-09 is one of the biggest and most reported issues with this table saw.
Keep in mind, it is always possible to purchase fences separately--and is often advisable for most brands of table saw--however, for the amount of money this power tool costs as well as the expected reputation from the Bosch brand, you would expect more.
Furthermore, this is not simply an issue with the fence’s give, though that is a problem as well. Specifically, the fence sits at a slight slope. Ultimately, this means that even if you manage to get the fence bolted on securely, you must feed the wood through the saw perfectly at every stage or the cut will not be perfectly straight.
Considering how precise the blade itself is, not to mention the excellent job of controlling vibration, it is a shame that such an integral part is cheaply made when it does not have to be that way and does not save that much money by cutting this particular corner.
For a brand so focused on durability, it is surprising that Bosch did not do more to prevent the accumulation of sawdust. Moreover, that lack of a legitimate dust collection option shows itself to be detrimental in a number of ways.
First and most obviously, the accumulation of sawdust can make the cutting process itself more difficult and less effective. Aside from the fact that the sawdust makes it more difficult to see your cut line, the dust can also throw off the blade’s cutting action where even a little bit is still too much.
However, the primary concern with the Bosch 4100-09’s lack of effective dust collection comes in the risk it places on the table saw’s motor. The motor’s cooling fan has no filter. This means that any sawdust which falls in front of the cooling fan will get sucked in and into the motor’s compartment.
In real life terms, this does not mean the motor will immediately jam and fail on you. However, it does mean that you will either have to fashion a filter yourself or disassemble the table saw to regularly clean the motor to prevent sawdust buildup from ruining it.
Bosch 4100-09 Table Saw Review: Conclusion
Bosch generally focuses on hand held tools, and that is likely where it should stay. While this table saw is not a complete disaster, there are numerous design choices that definitely make you scratch your head.
For instance, the motor itself is wonderfully powerful and the circuitry is advanced such that loads to not cause as much of an issue with RPM control for the Bosch as it does for some other brands. However, a maximum RPM of 3650 simply places the Bosch at too slow a speed to effectively cut the hardest woods.
Similar issue plague the stand as well. The stand itself is exceedingly convenient with its eight inch treaded wheels and patented Gravity-Rise stand. However, the Gravity-Rise function works by pneumatics which offer few options of recourse should it fail. Moreover, the stand is actually the most difficult part of the product to assemble but often shows the most signs of shoddy manufacturing.
Ultimately, the Bosch 4100-09 is an okay table saw, but it is not indicative of Bosch’s traditional standard of excellence. The fact that this table saw is also priced significantly higher than most of its competitors without safeguarding certain design flaws does nothing to inspire confidence in the larger investment this table saw demands.