The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is worth a look, especially if you're a first-time table saw buyer. But it's important to remember that regardless of whether or not you're a seasoned industrial expert in the construction or carpentry industry, it's common sense to assume that a table saw, of any capacity, is not going to be the cheapest purchase you'll make.
A table saw is manufactured specially for jobs and projects that are unique for professionals. In addition, they're built using materials and parts that are costly, which is why the overall price is often quite high. Because of this, buying a table saw, or other power tool for that matter, is never a small decision.
There's several factors you should consider before selecting your table saw, and doing your research is critical since the wrong purchase can result in wasting money as well as inferior performance. This review will help you not only learn specifically about the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw, but also help you have a better understanding of buying a table saw. As always, our ultimate goal is to help you make the best decision for you.
Buying a Table Saw
Table saws are not a product that you buy on a whim. You should have an understanding of the product to be sure that it's the right power tool for you. Although, most people can get by without a table saw, it definitely makes the job easier when working on more extensive projects.
Besides just looking at brand names, there are a variety of table saw types and models available. To start, you can choose from the following types of table saws:
Portable Table Saws
A portable table saw is designed for contractors who want to transport their saw to different locations. There are two sub-types in this category:
- Bench-top table saws are the smallest and most compact table saw, and they are designed for light-duty work.
- The more rugged job site table saws are a bit bigger and heavier than the bench-top saws, but they also allow for more functionality.
The DeWalt DWE7485 is an excellent example of a portable table saw. Learn More
Stationary Table Saws
Stationary table saws are designed for more heavy-duty professional work. And, as the name suggests, these saws remain in one area. This category includes three sub-types of table saws:
- Cabinet saws are designed for both professional contractors and hobbyists. They are given this name because they are enclosed in a cabinet. Although, not portable, cabinet saws are robust and precise in functionality.
- Contractor saws are larger than job-site saws. They are aimed at contractors who are looking for a more compact and affordable alternative to the much-larger cabinet table saw.
- Hybrid saws are a combination of the contractor and cabinet table saws. Since contractor saws lack some functionality and cabinet saws are quite heavy-duty, these saws combine the best features of the two saws into one.
The Shop Fox W1819 is a high-end stationary table saw. Learn More
Craftsman Evolv Table Saw Review
If you're a hobbyist or contractor doing light work, then a cabinet saw is not the option for you. You need something more lightweight that can meet all your requirements without costing you the price of a professional power tool.
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw may be the perfect solution for you. Even though some compromises were made to keep the price low, this table saw delivers good results for infrequent, lightweight tasks. If you're in search of a compact and cost-effective tool to use around the home and on small jobs, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a good option and definitely worth a look.
- The extendable table design makes the saw functional for longer wood lengths
- The Evolv Table Saw has a powerful 15 AMP motor that delivers efficient performance
- The table saw has a transparent, plastic blade guard assembly that keeps the user safe
- The Evolv Saw features a blade height lock
- The blade can work at the maximum of 5000 RPM speed with no load
- The saw has a safety power switch key
Pros and Cons
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a nice saw perfectly suitable for DIY projects around the home, but it is not suitable for professionals who work on more complex projects.
Suitable Applications for the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw
Before considering purchasing the Craftman Evolv, it's important to understand that the saw hasn't been designed for professional use. It's a tool meant to be used for home projects, and it's a good choice for DIY, hobby carpentry, and other enthusiast woodworking. Not to mention, because of it's relatively small size and user friendly design, it's also a good match for beginners who are interested in carpentry and learning about power tools.
The Evolv table saw is priced at the entry level-end of the market, and should be considered as such. Because the stand is included, there are no additional costs to get started. All of the basic accessories necessary are included in the box. This table saw meets low budget requirements, while still providing quality cuts on smaller and lighter materials.
The powerful 15 AMP motor has been proven to perform well under testing, and there are plenty of customer scenarios where the tool has been used regularly for over a year without the motor deteriorating.
Electric motors provide excellent torque for cutting jobs; however, they should not be run continuously in a production type environment.
Again, when used for light jobs, this tool will perform well.
With a maximum of 5000 RPM at the blade, and a 15 AMP motor, the Craftsmand Evolv Table Saw has adequate performance for composite and ply boards.
For hardwoods, a high-quality carbide tipped blade should be used. Make sure that when you use the saw for hardwoods, the wood sections should not exceed 3-inches for 90° cuts and 2.5-inches for 45° cuts.
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw performs at a rate that's suitable for: Light flooring work, cabinet making, siding, cutting wood for interior trim, and general carpentry.
Completely assembled, the whole unit weighs just over 50 pounds. This is relatively light for a table saw. However, despite the low weight, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is not a very portable tool.
While it would be fairly easy to move around a workshop, having to load and unload the saw for transportation would be cumbersome. This is because the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is designed specifically for use in a home workshop. In other words, moving the table saw around was not a major concern for the manufacturer when the saw was designed.
At 15 AMP, the Evolv is similar to some of the more expensive and more heavy-duty table saws. The power of the motor is definitely one of the assets, but it also means that power guidelines should be adhered to for safety.
Experts recommend that a 20 AMP rated main outlet is used for the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw. Because the saw runs at 120V, this should be enough to activate the tool without causing damage. If you use a circuit that is also powering other devices simultaneously, you should use some sort of breaker protection for the device's safety.
Extension cords can be used with the Craftman Evolv, however, they must be able to meet the power draw of the unit. 14-gauge cable should be used for cords up to 25-feet, and 12-gauge cable for 50-foot cords. Anything longer than 50-feet is not suitable for a 15 AMP device and should be avoided. The tool uses a three-pronged power plug, so the extension cable must be of the same design.
Note that the speed of the motor is limited by the power being supplied to the saw. Slow RPM and otherwise poor operation can be caused by using poor quality extension cables.
It's crucial for your safety, the saw's performance, and the longevity of the device that all of the above mentioned requirements are met.
Rated Rip Capacities
As an entry-level table saw, the Craftsman Evolv has a smaller table space than some more expensive units, and the total rip capacity to the right of the blade is 14.75-inches and to the left, 10.75-inches. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean that the table is limited to ripping material that fits within these measurements. Provided that proper support is given, the saw will be able to work with larger pieces of material.
Unlike some higher-end saws, Craftsman doesn't offer any table extension accessories for this unit, so custom extension tables/support will need to be used.
The rip fence on the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is one of the features that most owners greatly appreciate. This is because the rip fence has a locking mechanism.
Unfortunately, the fence will need to be manually set because it doesn't have rollers, and as you may suspect, manual setting can lead to human error. To achieve straight cuts, the rip fence needs to be measured against the blade after adjusting and locking it in place.
This extra step is not necessarily something that works against the overall functionality of the table saw, but it is a step down compared to more expensive table saws with quality fences that can be adjusted on the fly, and don't require measuring to confirm accuracy.
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw doesn't use the same type of dust ejection system that can be seen on more expensive table saws. Because the table is intended for lightweight work, the lack of any shop dust collector outlet isn't a surprise.
The underside of the Craftsman Evolv simply ejects the dust, and you can use a catch bag and place it underneath near the ejection point to help with clean-up.
Even though this system seems to be effective enough, it can still be frustrating for users as it doesn't account for the dust coming from the top. Craftsman doesn't currently sell any dust accessories for this particular model, so owners will need to improvise a solution.
The Evolv table saw cannot be powered on without the use of a safety key, which is included in the user manual packaging of the box. The safety key allows the switch to be activated, and spares can be purchased directly from Craftsman should you ever need a replacement.
Other safety features include the transparent blade guard and kickback pawls that grip material and prevent kickback towards the user should the blade ever stall unexpectedly.
If you've operated power tools in the past, you'll find the maintenance requirements to be simple and familiar. If you're a new table saw owner, the maintenance tasks will be easy to learn and perform.
The electrical cables should be treated carefully and inspected for damage regularly, and the blade should always be kept clean and free of debris. The saw should be regularly inspected for dust build-up. The easiest and fastest way to clean dust is with an air compressor.
Ease of Use
Ease of use has clearly been taken into consideration when designing the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw. Bright colors are used on the locking parts and moving mechanisms, and in addition, all the measurement labels are bold and easy to read.
The rip fence, and other similar parts, include easy locking mechanisms that are highly visible and easy to engage. All of these things help make this table saw very easy to use, especially if you take the time to go through the user manual.
When considering the price of this saw, construction quality is relatively high. However, this is not to say that it's perfect. There are some problems with the design. Both the stand and the table saw require some assembly out of the box, but all instructions are provided in the user manual.
The stand is made from thin steel which is enough to support the table saw, but could easily be damaged from impact with other tools or objects. Plastic and steel are used in the construction of the table, which is also common on much more expensive table saws.
The overall quality is generally quite good for the price.
The package includes all of the basic accessories needed to start using the table saw.
- Steel table stand
- Miter gauge
- Carbide tipped blade
- Push stick
- Blade wrench (open and closed)
- Hex key
- Rip fence
- Blade guard and kickback pawls
Craftsman no longer offers accessories on their official website, and with a table included, there aren't any additional items that would be necessary with the initial purchase.
For blade replacements, the 24 Tooth ATB Framing Saw Blade is recommended.
Since the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a beginners' table saw, the manufacturer has made sure to include a helpful user manual which is quite extensive and invaluable.
Not only does it include all relevant safety information and product specifications, but it also provides detailed instructions regarding various cuts and use case scenarios, and even includes an extensive glossary of terms and picture diagrams of all the tool's components.
Priced competitively, the Evolv is one of the most affordable table saws on the market. The price reflects its position in the market as an entry level table saw, and some of the compromises with quality and design are proportionate to the low price.
Shipping and Packing
The Craftsman Evolv comes in a single box with the stand dismantled. Accessories and bolts etc. are included in a separate box within the packaging.
Both card and styrofoam are used inside the shipping box to protect the table saw. It's a good practice to always inspect the package before accepting delivery.
The video below shows how to assemble the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw:
After Sales Support
Craftsman is a well-known tool manufacturer with generally good product support. Their website offers live support over the internet. Their phone support, however, is not as easily accessible as some of their competitors and is handled through Sears.
The Craftsman Evolv Table saw is manufactured in China and has the following technical specifications:
- Blade Arbor: 5/8-inch
- Blade Diameter: 10-inch
- Blade Tilt: 0-45°
- Power Rating: 120V AC-60 Hz
- Weight: 4 lbs
- Input: 15 AMP
- Max Speed No Load: 5000 RPM
- Cutting Depth @ 0°: 3-inches
- Cutting Depth @ 45°: 2-5/8-inches
- Dimensions: 26.9" x 19.8" x 12.9"
A one-year warranty is included with the product which covers the construction materials and overall workmanship.
Tips for New Craftsman Evolv Table Saw Owners
The best advice for new owners would be to read the complete user manual, especially if inexperienced. It is one of the most useful manuals you'll find with a large power tool.
Owners should also take note to stay within the material thickness limitations to ensure quality cuts. Along with that, they should also make certain that all the cable and power requirements are met to ensure their safety and the saw's longevity.
Alternatives to the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw
If you're interested in comparing the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw to other saws that match-up in the same class, we've found a few to consider. DeWalt manufactures a solid alternative to the Craftsman's table saw, and Bosch also offers an alternative.
Let's take a quick comparison of the main features of these three table saws:
26.9" x 19.8" x 12.9"
31" x 24.5" x 31"
27" x 32.5" x 13"
DeWalt (DWE747491RS) Table Saw
The DeWalt DWE7491RS is a 10-inch table saw with a 32-1/2-inch rip capacity. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Rolling stand designed for easy set-up and breakdown with excellent stability.
- Rack & Pinion Telescoping Fence System for fast, accurate fence adjustments.
- Flip over ripping fence for narrow rip cuts.
- 2-1/2" Dust Collection Port that easily connects to a vacuum for efficient dust extraction.
- Onboard storage system that provides easy access to the components when not in use.
Bosch (4100XC-10) Table Saw
The Bosch 4100XC-10 is a 10" worksite table saw with a 30-inch rip capacity. Here are a few of the main benefits:
- Gravity rise wheeled stand (GTA47W) is included and allows for single action set-up and take down, as well as easy job site mobility.
- Equipped 4.0 max HP motor the Bosch 4100XC-10 is a powerful table saw. 15-AMP and 3650 RPM makes this saw ideal for crossing-cutting and rip-cutting both fine and rough materials.
- The aluminum top provides plenty of work space and material support for all typical job site rip cutting widths. (25" ripping capacity).
- Soft-start circuitry for smooth but quick ramp-up to operating speed, which also reduces the risk of tripping a circuit breaker.
- The Smart Guard System includes the riving knife and Anti-Kickback pawls for added protection, and the guard assembly allows an unobstructed view while operating while preventing blade contact.
Final Thoughts on the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw
It's clear as we take a close look at the Craftsman Evolv 15 AMP 10" Table Saw that this power tool gets some things right, but fails in other areas. Overall, it should be expected that compromises will be made at this entry level price point, after all, this is a highly affordable table saw. But, to be fair, it has a few inconsistencies in build quality.
Despite some of the downside of this table saw, there's still incredible value for the money, especially if you're looking for a saw that can tackle lightweight tasks. For hobbyists and home DIY'ers, there are a few alternatives at a similar price that can get the job done just as well, if not better.