Contractors who need to move table saws from site to site usually prefer portable jobsite table saws. Many of them come bundled with wheeled stands that make moving the saws around a breeze. There are even more compact models, however, designed more for use on top of a bench or table. If you have a small shop or are just getting started with a table saw, these can be a great way to get started without tying up a lot of money or a lot of space in your shop!
UPDATE: DeWalt has discontinued the DWE7480. While you may still be able to find some new units for sale, the supply is drying up. The review below might still prove useful to you, but I suggest jumping to the alternatives I suggest below.
Features and Benefits
Let’s walk through all the features of the DeWalt DWE7480 jobsite table saw and how they might be important to you. For more details on why these features matter, take a look at our complete buying guide to table saws.
Motor and Power Supply
The DWE7480 features a standard 120-volt 15-amp universal motor with a direct-drive system. This means the blade arbor is connected directly to the motor. These motors, common on portable jobsite table saws, tend to be loud but require no real maintenance. It can be plugged into a standard residential power circuit.
The power switch on the front is not as big as on some competitors, but it is relatively easy to turn off with your knee in case your hands are busy operating the saw.
The motor is powerful enough to cut through reasonable thickness of most woods (up to 1 1/2”), but go too much thicker than that, and it may start to struggle.
Table and Fence
As you’d expect given its “compact” moniker, the table is small, at 23” x 22”. You’ll have a hard time balancing large sheet goods on this table, but for smaller material it should be fine. The table is generally level, but there have been reports of people receiving units with uneven tables, so it bears inspecting before using it for the first time.
Perhaps surprisingly given the saw’s small size, the fence extends to give 24 1/2” of rip capacity to the right of the blade, beating many larger competitors in this category. To the left of the blade, rip capacity drops to 12”. An L-shaped bracket on the fence can be flipped down to provide extra support for wide materials or to make very thin rips where the fence would otherwise bump into the blade guard.
The fence itself uses DeWalt’s standard rack-and-pinion assembly, adjusted via a knob on the front of the saw. You’ll want to calibrate this out of the box, but once set, it should not require further adjustment. Be sure to blow sawdust out of the toothed parts of the rack-and-pinion mechanism to ensure they don’t become hard to operate.
Stand and Portability
Since it’s designed more for use on a bench top or other surface, the DWE7480 does not ship with a stand of any kind. Its metal “roll cage” is pre-drilled for securing it to a stand or other base, however. And DeWalt does sell an X-shaped scissor stand as an optional accessory if you don’t want to dedicate space on a bench to the saw.
The unit weighs in at only 45 pounds (without the optional stand). While you won’t want to carry it all day long, it’s definitely light enough to move around the shop without much trouble.
Blades and Cutting
The DWE7480 ships with a DeWalt-branded 10” 24-tooth blade. This blade is optimized for ripping lumber and does a solid job at that. If you want cleaner crosscuts, you’ll want to think about upgrading the blade. (In all honesty, I did quite a few of my own projects on a DWE7480 with the stock blade, and they turned out okay! But an upgraded blade definitely helps.)
The blade can be tilted for bevel cuts from 0 to 45 degrees using the mechanism on the front. The tilt angle can be locked while the blade height remains adjustable. With the blade straight up, the saw has a maximum cut depth of 3 1/8”, which drops to 2 1/4” at a 45-degree angle.
The blade usually arrives correctly aligned out of the box, but I have seen reports of people needing to adjust theirs to make it parallel to the fence and miter slots. The manual addresses this, but it’s not crystal-clear. Luckily, a number of YouTube videos are available to guide you.
One bit of maintenance to stay on top of is to occasionally blow sawdust out of the mechanism that raises and lowers the blade. If dust accumulates, it will eventually make the mechanism seize up and require more serious intervention. I once spent a good hour getting mine back in operation when that happened, but since then it has worked flawlessly.
If you plan to do any fine woodworking, note that the DWE7480 cannot accept any dado sets due to the short length of its arbor. This might be a deal-breaker for some of you!
Miter Gauge and Slots
The miter gauge on this saw is pretty mediocre. It’s made mostly of plastic, and tends to be somewhat sloppy in the rectangular 3/4” miter slots. It does not have positive stops at common angles like higher-quality miter gauges, making it hard to make accurate cuts. While it’s not completely useless, you’ll almost certainly want to replace this with a third-party miter gauge if you expect to use it for any cuts requiring precision.
The DWE7480 has a single 2 1/4” dust collection port at the rear, suitable for connecting to a shop vacuum. This is slightly smaller than the 2 1/2” ports common to many saws in this class. But it’s still a very common size and you should have no problem finding an adapter to connect it to your vacuum if you need one.
The dust collection does a decent job of removing sawdust from the blade compartment. You’ll definitely still get some dust accumulating on the top of the table, though, even with a vacuum connected.
The saw comes with the basic safety features you’d expect on any modern table saw. A clear plastic blade guard sits over the blade to keep you from putting your fingers where they shouldn’t go, while letting wood slide past. A riving knife behind the blade prevents the cut ends of a workpiece from pinching the blade and being kicked back towards you. And anti-kickback pawls hanging on either side of the blade have teeth that dig into wood if it does get kicked back.
Unlike some competitors, the riving knife on the DWE7480 has two positions. It extends up above the blade during normal operation, but can be adjusted to line up flush with the top of the saw if you’re making non-thru cuts. (In this lower position, the blade guard and anti-kickback pawls can’t be used.)
All of these components can be securely stored on the side of the saw itself, so you don’t need to worry about losing them.
- Compact size and light weight
- Respectable 24 1/2” rip capacity
- Precise rack-and-pinion fence
- Small table
- Mediocre miter gauge
- No included stand
- Can’t accept dado sets
How Does it Compare?
There’s not a ton of competition at the super-compact end of the portable jobsite table saw market. You may want to consider some slightly larger models if you’ll need to cut large sheet goods. Here are a few other options to consider while you evaluate the DeWalt DWE7480.
This is also a very compact saw, offering only a 22 1/2″ x 20” table and an 18” rip capacity. It’s a little heavier than the DWE7480, at 57 pounds, but has a somewhat sturdier all-metal construction. And the frame is designed so you can set it on its side for storage, which may appeal to you if space is at a premium. Read our full review of the Bosch GTS1031
If you want a DeWalt table saw, but the DWE7480 feels a little too compact, consider the DWE7491RS. Its table also isn’t huge, at 26 3/8” x 21 7/8”, but its maximum rip width of 32 1/2” is among the best in the class.
It also comes with one of the best-rated wheeled stands you can get on a portable table saw. If you don’t want to dedicate bench-top space in your shop, it’s easy to set up when needed, then fold up to store out of the way.
Read our full review of the DeWalt DWE7491RS
This model features a [worm drive](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worm_drive) rather than the direct drive common to most other saws in this category. This gives it some extra torque and lets it cut up to 3 1/2″ material. Its 25” rip capacity and 49-pound weight are very comparable to the DWE7480.
The DWE7480’s compact size makes it very attractive if you have a small shop. While it doesn’t come with a portable stand, it also doesn’t take up much room on a bench top. If you don’t need a fancy wheeled stand, the stationary X-shaped stand that DeWalt offers as an add-on works fine.
The rip capacity is impressive given the size of the saw, and beats out many others in its class. The miter gauge is not very good at all, but that’s common to many saws in this price range. Overall, the DeWalt DWE7480 is a great choice for the home DIYer or hobbyist.