Canadian Woodworking

Bosch PROFACTOR 18V 8-1/4" portable table saw

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A well-designed, ruggedly constructed, full-featured saw that works equally well on a jobsite or in the workshop.

Author: Carl Duguay

Portable table saws are a necessity for carpenters and renovators, and a great convenience for avid DIYers and woodworking enthusiasts with small workshops. They don’t take up as much precious floor space as a cabinet saw, can be easily moved around the shop, or from shop to work site, and can provide a fair degree of cutting accuracy.

The Bosch PROFACTOR 18V 8-1/4″ portable table saw (GTS18V-08N) has a lot of excellent features that make it an ideal choice for either the work site or small shop.

Manufacturer: BOSCH
Model: GTS18V-08N (bare tool)
Price: $449 (bare tool)
Warranty: 5 years (3 years on battery); 180-day no-questions-asked return guarantee
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Key Features:

 

Battery platform: 18V
Brushless motor
Overload protection

Soft start

Restart protection
Electric motor brake

Spindle lock

AMPShare system
Fuel gauge

Blade diameter: 8-1/4″
Rip capacity: 25″ (R), 12″ (L)
Bevel angle range: -2° to 47°
Max. cut capacity 90°: 2-1/2″
Max. cut capacity 45°: 1-3/4″
Weight: 44 lbs.
Includes: 8-1/4″ carbide-tipped blade, mitre gauge, smart guard system, rip fence with auxiliary fence, table insert, push stick, blade and adjustment wrenches

The GTS18V-08N is a bare tool – it doesn’t come with a battery or charger. This is a PROFACTOR tool and for optimal power performance you’ll want to use it with a Bosch 8.0Ah or 12.0Ah high power battery. However the saw is compatible with any Bosch 18V battery pack.

If you’ll be using this saw on a job site then you might want to get the optional folding scissor stand (GTA570). If you use a dado set you’ll defiantly want to get the dado insert plate (TS0801). An optional dust bag (TS1004) is available, but for optimal dust control get the vacuum hose adapter (VAC004) and connect the saw to a dust extractor or dust collector.

I only had a 4.0Ah battery on hand and found that the GTS18V-08N had ample power for ripping sheet stock, 2-by lumber, and 8/4 hardwood lumber. However, with a higher amp-hour battery installed you’ll get longer run times. And having a second battery on hand will enable you to use the saw all day long with no down-time.

As you would expect from Bosch, this saw has all the basic features you’d want on a premium table saw:

  • Brushless motor (delivers higher efficiency and performance than a brushed motor)
  • Soft start (uses less current on start-up for a smoother and quieter start with less startup torque)
  • Overload protection (protects the motor if it overloads or overheats)
  • Restart protection (prevents accidental startup when switching batteries)
  • Electric motor brake (reduces injuries from kickback and blade contact)
  • Spindle lock (makes blade change easier and quicker)

 

You can also use any battery that has the AMPShare branding with the saw. AMPShare is a shared battery system that lets you run cordless power tools from over 30 pro brands (including Fein, Wagner and Titan) using the same battery.

Bosch AMPShare battery
Bosch AMPShare battery.

The blade mounts directly on the motor’s 5/8″ shaft. I use the thin kerf 24-tooth carbide blade that comes with the saw for general purpose cutting and switch to Diablo 40-tooth blade when I want finer cuts, particularly on veneered panels. At about 1″ long the shaft can accept most stacked dado blade sets (check out our Best stacked dado sets money can buy). Blade height is controlled with a (rather small) hand wheel.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
The handle on the blade height adjustment wheel is a tad on the small size.

Behind the height adjustment wheel is the bevel locking lever. The lever is a tad stiff, and once you move it to the ‘unlock’ position, the blade and motor assembly flop to one side. You then have to push the assembly to the angle you want and retighten the clamping lever.  The bevel scale is accurate enough for rough cuts where precision isn’t overly important – where a half a degree either way won’t matter. When I need precise bevel cuts I use a digital angle gauge to set the blade manually. There are positive stops at 0°and 45° (which can be adjusted if the saw gets out of alignment.)

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Bevel angle release lever.

Blade change is a snap with the convenient arbor locking lever; pull the lever forward to lock the arbor, and then use the single supplied wrench (conveniently stored on the saw frame) to change the blade. The riving knife should come fully aligned from the factory and it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to realign it. The process is somewhat more time consuming than any of the other realignments, but entirely within the scope of anyone with basic shop skills. Fortunately, the instructions provided by Bosch are clear and well laid out.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Arbor locking lever simplifies blade change.

The toggle style power switch is located on the lower front side on the saw and I found that, even though it’s on the small size, I could easily flick it off with my left left knee. What I find especially convenient is the fuel gauge located just above the power switch – otherwise you have to reach under the saw and remove the battery to check battery status.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Battery is located underneath the top behind the power switch.
Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Battery power level indicator just above the power switch.

The shroud that surrounds much of the motor helps deflect dust and wood chips to the 2-1/2″ dust port at the rear. Still, portable saws are notorious for the amount of dust that they spew. If you connect a shop vacuum to the saw you’ll pick up a good 60 to 70% of the dust at source.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
A dust bag isn’t included so hook up to a dust extractor.

The table top measures approximately 22-3/4″ x 18-7/8″. You get a full 25-1/8″ rip capacity on the right side of the blade (with the provided thin kerf blade) and a generous 12″ rip capacity on the left side of the blade. The machined aluminum table top is very flat with no discernable dips or hills – certainly nothing that will affect cutting accuracy.

The finish on the top has a lightly dimpled texture helps reduce friction when moving stock across the surface. Unfortunately you won’t be able to use any magnetic jigs or accessories on the table top. The metal insert plate snaps into place, and is fine for rough work. For better (chip free) cuts it’s advisable to purchase the optional zero clearance insert (TS0800) or make your own insert.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Flat in all directions.

The industry standard 3/8″ x 3/4″ mitre slot on the top has a T-shaped design; a flange on the end of the mitre gauge keeps it from inadvertently lifting out of the mitre slot (which is very important as the mitre gauge that comes with this saw has a very short arm). The mitre gauge isn’t very impressive, though adequate for use on a construction site. If you plan to use the saw to make cabinetry or furniture then I’d quickly upgrade the mitre guide (check out our 5 mitre gauges head to head). I like that there are mitre slots on both sides of the blade, which makes it easier to mount a crosscut sled.

mitre gauge
Lackluster mitre gauge.

The large feet (made of a durable, impact resistant plastic) provide a lot of stability and also provide flat surfaces to balance the saw when you lay it on its side. Built-in handles, along with a not-too-heavy 44 pound weight, make the saw easy to cart from shop to truck or around the work site. I like that all the accessories can be conveniently stored right on the saw.

There are 3 sets of lugs on both the front and rear rails that enable you to position the rip fence on the saw. The lug positions are set at the factory but you can, if you wish, easily move them.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Mounting lugs for rip fence

I love the rack and pinion fence on this saw. It keeps the fence parallel to the blade, and the rail adjustment knob enables you to make precise fence positioning. The fence remains square to the table top and parallel to the blade at any position. The rip scale markings on the front rail are very easy to read and the scale pointer can be adjusted if required.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
The rack and pinion system means smooth rip fence adjustment.
Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
The rail lock level locks the fence firmly in place at the desired position from the blade.
Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
You can set the rip fence precisely using the scale on the front rail.

The hi-low rip fence slides smoothly across the rails, and at the press of a lever, locks securely in place. The flip-over fence creates support that can be used in two says. When ripping stock that is wider than the table top set the flip-over fence at the same height as the table top – it provides support for the stock so that it doesn’t flip downward. When ripping thin stock set the flip-over fence so that it sits above the table top – it makes ripping thin stock easier and safer. It takes all of 5-seconds to re-position the flip-over fence. And when not in use you can store the fence under the table top.

Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Flip-over fence set for ripping small stock
Bosch Profactor cordless table saw
Flip-over fence set at the same height as the table top to support wide stock.

The GTS18V-08N has a very effective safety system.  The Bosch Smart Guard system is quick to attach or remove. The system consists of an adjustable riving knife, a pair of articulating safety guards, and anti-kickback pawls. The plastic safety guard attaches to the top of the riving knife and the kickback pawls attach to the back of the safety guard. What I like about the safety guard is that the plastic arms move independently and also lock out of the way when needed.

The saw gives you a respectable 2-1/2″ of cutting depth at 90° and 1-3/4″ cutting depth at 45°. I find that the saw operates smoothly for such a light unit and there really isn’t any noticeable vibration. Over the span of a couple of months I’ve cut scads of plywood and 4/4 Ash. The saw blade continues to run true, and I’ve not had to make any adjustments to the saw.

If you’re looking for a reliable compact, portable saw, or if you have a small shop and want to be able to easily move and store a table saw, then I don’t think you can go wrong with the Bosch GTS18V-08N. It’s well designed, ruggedly constructed, and has a range of very useful features.

 

Published:
Last modified: November 30, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.


1 comment

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  2. Awsom saw. I have a 220 powered Delta X when I had 2 garages and a shed, now I’am down to a two car garage. Got to unload the big saw and go down to something like this. Size and space

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