Regardless of whether you are a seasoned industrial expert in the construction or carpentry industries, its common sense that a power tool of any capacity is not going to be the cheapest purchase you will make.
From air compressors to table saws, these power tools are manufactured specially for jobs and projects that not everyone does. In addition to that, they are built using materials and parts that are costly as well. This is why the overall price of such products is quite high.
The reason for mentioning all of this is to make you understand that buying a power tool is not a small decision.
One has to make several considerations and do plenty of research to ensure that they get the right product for the purpose they were looking for. The wrong purchase would be a waste of money and resources that could’ve been allocated elsewhere.
Let’s take a closer look with following the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw review and see what’s on offer.
Buying a Table Saw
As mentioned above for other power tools, table saws are also not a product that you buy on a whim. You need to have an understanding of the product itself along with its features, etc. to be sure about it being the right product for you.
Besides manufacturers, you have various table saw options based on types, price, and models. Although most people with limited use can get by without a table saw, it definitely makes the job easier for more intensive projects.
You can choose from the following types of table saws available in the market:
Portable Table Saws
These kinds of table saws are designed for those contractors who want to transport their table saw to different locations. There are two sub-types in this category:
- Bench-top table saws are the smallest and most compact table saws that are meant for light-duty work.
- Jobsite table saws are a bit bigger than benchtop saws as they are more rugged and allow for more functionality at the job site.
Stationary Table Saws
Unlike the previous kind, stationary table saws are designed for more heavy-duty and professional work. And as the name suggests, these saws remain in one area. This category includes 3 sub-types of table saws including:
- Contractor saws are larger than jobsite saws and meant for a bit more professional work. 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 the combination of 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.
- Cabinet saws are designed for professional contractors and hobbyists alike. They are given the name as the machine is enclosed in a cabinet. Although not portable, this table saw is robust and precise in functionality.
Craftsman Evolv Table Saw Summary Review
If you are a hobbyist with lightweight contractor needs, 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 15 Amp is the perfect solution for you. While it’s not targeted at professional contractors, it is not a toy that everyone can use.
Even though there were some compromises made to accommodate the low pricing, the table saw delivers good results for infrequent lightweight tasks. If you are in search of a compact and cost-effective tool to use around the home, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a good option for you.
Combining our expertise and research into the unit itself, here is a summarized review of the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw:
|IMPORTANT FEATURES||PROS & CONS
|- The extendable table design makes the saw functional for longer pieces of wood|
- The unit 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 table 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
- The unit comes with the stand included in the package
- The unit also comes with a comprehensive user manual
- The blade offers a good cutting performance for lightweight jobs
- The saw has safety features similar to those found on more expensive models
- The package comes with clips for all the accessories provided in the package
- The quality of the safety key is poor
- Several user experiences report the build quality as inconsistent
- The table stand is built out of thin materials
- There are only a few accessories available for dust collection, table extension, etc.
- The table saw is not compatible with the Dado blade
Based on these important features, pros, and cons, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is not suitable for professionals who might work on more complex projects. However, it is suitable for DIY projects around the home.
What Are Suitable Applications for the Craftsman Evolv?
Before even considering the Evolv, it is important to understand that the device has not been designed for professional use.
It is a tool designed for the home, and can be used for DIY, hobby carpentry, and other enthusiast woodworking. Because of its relatively small size and user friendly design, it can also be a good tool for teenagers who are interested in carpentry and are learning about power tools.
It is priced at the entry level end of the market, and should be considered as such.
Because it comes with a supplied stand, there are no additional costs to get started, and all of the basic accessories are included in the box. It meets low budget requirements, while still providing quality cuts on smaller and lighter materials.
Does the Unit Stand Up to Frequent Use?
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 deterioration of the motor.
Electric motors provide excellent torque for cutting jobs, however, they should not be run continuously for a production type environment.
Again, this tool is aimed at enthusiasts in the entry level of the market, and for use on light jobs, it will stand up well.
How Portable is the Unit?
Completely assembled, the whole unit weighs just over 50 pounds or lbs. This weight is relatively light for a table saw. However, despite the low weight, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is not a very portable unit.
While it would be relatively easy to move around a workshop, having to load and unload the unit for transportation would be cumbersome. As you have already read it a few times in this review, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a tool designed specifically for use in the home workshop. This means that the transporting and moving the table saw around is not a major concern for you.
Professionals who need a portable saw for job sites are not the target market for this tool, so any portability downsides should not be a major influence on the suitability of the product.
What Kind of Power Source is Required?
At 15 AMP, the Evolv is similar to some more expensive and more capable units. The power of the motor is definitely one of the assets of this power tool but it also means that power guidelines should be adhered to.
As for the power source required for the device, experts recommend that you use a 20 AMP main outlet for the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw. Since the table saw runs at 120V, this should be enough to activate the tool without causing damage. However, if you use a circuit that has other devices running on it as well, some kind of breaker protection is necessary for the device’s safety.
Extension cords can be used with the Evolv, but they must be able to meet the power draw of the unit. The tool uses a three-pronged power plug, so the extension cable must be of the same design.
14-gauge cable should be used for an extension cord up to 25ft, and a 12-gauge cable used for a 50ft extension cord. Anything above 50ft will not be suitable for a 15AMP device and should be avoided.
Note that the speed of the motor is limited by the power being supplied to the device. Slow RPM and otherwise poor operation can be caused by using poor quality extension cables.
It is crucial for your safety, the table saw’s performance, and longevity of the device that all of the abovementioned cable requirements, etc. are all met properly.
What is the Performance Rating of the Table Saw?
With a maximum of 5000 RPM at the blade and a 15 AMP motor, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw has adequate performance for composite and ply boards.
For hardwoods, a high-quality carbide tipped blade should be used. Do make sure that when you use the saw for hardwoods, the pieces of material should not exceed 3 inches for 90-degree cuts and 2.5 inches for 45-degree cuts.
In addition to that, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw performs at a rate that is suitable for: light flooring work, cabinet making, siding, cutting wood for interior trim and general carpentry.
What are the Rated Rip Capacities?
As an entry-level unit, the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw has smaller table space than some more expensive tables. Besides that, the total rip capacity to the right side of the blade is 14.75 inches and to the left, there are 10.75 inches of available space.
Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the table is limited to ripping material that fits within these measurements. Providing 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.
How Good is the Rip Fence?
The rip fence in the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is one of the features that most owners appreciate greatly. This is because the rip fence in the unit is comprised of a locking mechanism.
Unfortunately, however, some users have voiced some concerns regarding the quality of the fence, especially when it comes to keeping it square. A significant part of the quality issues can be dedicated to the way the fence works. The lack of rollers on the fence means that it needs to be manually set. And as we already know, manual setting can lead to human error.
To achieve straight cuts, the rip fence should be measured to the blade after adjusting and locking it.
This is not necessarily something that works against the overall functionality of the tool, but it is a step down compared to more expensive tables/fences that can be adjusted on the fly, without measuring to confirm accuracy.
How Does It Perform with Dust Collection?
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw doesn’t use the same type of dust ejection system that can be seen on more expensive table saws.
As for the dust collection system of the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw, the underside of the table ejects the dust out. You can use a catch bag and place it underneath near the ejection point to help with cleaning up the dust.
Even though this system seems to be effective in collecting the dust, it can still be frustrating for users as it doesn’t account for the dust coming from the top.
Unfortunately, Craftsman doesn’t currently sell any dust accessories for this particular model, so owners will need to improvise a solution.
Because the table is intended for lightweight work, the lack of any shop dust collector outlet is not a surprise.
What are the Safety Features of the Saw?
This saw cannot be powered on without the use of a safety key, which is included in the user manual packaging of the box.
This safety key allows the switch to be activated, and spares can be purchased from craftsman.
Other safety features include the transparent blade guard and kickback pawls that will grip material and prevent it from being kicked back towards the user in case of rapid blade stall.
What are the Maintenance Requirements?
Maintenance is simple and will feel familiar to anyone who has operated power tools in the past.
The electrical cables should be treated carefully, and regularly inspected for any damage that could cause a short or electrocution.
The blade should always be kept clean and free of deterioration, and the unit should be regularly inspected for dust buildup. The easiest and fastest way to clean dust from the unit would be with an air compressor.
How Easy to Use is the Craftsman Evolv?
Ease of use has clearly been taken into consideration when designing this unit.
Bright colors are used on locking parts and moving mechanisms, making all measurement labels are bold and easy to read.
Parts like the rip fence include easy locking mechanisms that are highly visible and easy to engage.
With that, you can say that the table saw is very easy to use, especially if you take the time to go through and read the user manual included in the package.
What is the General Construction Quality?
When considering the price of this unit, construction quality is relatively high, but that is not to say that it is perfect. There are some problems with the design of the unit, and some owners have reported issues with the parts provided.
Both the stand and the table saw require some assembly out of the box, and all instructions are provided in the user manual.
The stand is made from thin steel which is enough to support the table, but could easily be damaged from impacts with other tools or objects. Plastic and steel are used in the construction of the table, which is also common on much more expensive units.
Problems arise from the quality of some of the components, such as the miter gauge being designed to fit loosely into a non-standard miter slot.
Another problem experienced by users is that some of the screw and bolt fittings have been poorly cut, leading to difficulties with assembling the unit.
In some isolated reviews, owners have received screws with stripped thread. Some dissatisfied customers have also reported that the safety key is easily damaged, rendering the unit inoperable until a replacement is sourced.
While the overall quality matches the price and could be considered good in most cases, the few customer complaints do raise some questions about quality control on this particular model.
Are Accessories Included in the Packaging?
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.
How Good is the Documentation?
Since the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw is a beginners’ table saw, the manufacturer has made sure to include a manual. The user manual you’ll find in the package is quite extensive and invaluable, especially for hobbyists and amateurs that have never operated a table saw before.
Not only does it include all relevant safety information and product specifications, but it also provides specific instructions regarding different cuts and use case scenarios. It also includes an extensive glossary of terms and picture diagrams of all tool components.
Tips for New Owners
The best advice for new owners would be to read the complete user manual, especially if they are inexperienced.
The user manual is one of the most useful that you will find with a large power tool, most important as it has clearly been aimed at amateur and enthusiast users.
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 and the unit’s safety.
What Do Consumers Say About the Product?
Even with some mixed negative reviews, the Craftsman Evolv 15 Amp 10 In. Table Saw 28461 has a high rating on the leading online retailer.
Negative reviews relate to issues with build quality and the professional grade capabilities of the saw.
How Much Does It Cost?
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 saw, and some of the compromises with quality and design are proportionate to the low price.
Some Recommended Accessories for New Owners
Craftsman no longer offers accessories on their official website, and with a table included, there aren’t any additional items that would be necessary at the same time as the initial purchase.
For blade replacements, 24 Tooth ATB Framing Saw Blade are recommended.
Shipping & Packing
The unit 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 to protect the unit. Always inspect the package before accepting delivery.
Here’s a nice video that shows you in detail what you need to do to unpack and assemble your brand new Craftsman Evolv table saw:
Does Craftsman Provide Good After Sales Support?
Craftsman is a well-known tool manufacturer with generally good product support, however, their phone support is not as easily accessible as some competitors and is handled through Sears.
Their website does offer live support over the internet, which can be found here.
- Blade Arbor 5/8 inch
- Blade Diameter 10 inch
- Blade Tilt 0 – 45 degrees
- Power Rating 120V AC – 60 Hz
- Input 15 AMP
- Max Speed No Load 5000 RPM
- Cutting Depth @ 0 Degrees 3 inch
- Cutting Depth @ 45 Degrees 2-5/8 inch
- Weight 4 lbs.
Where is it Made?
This power tool originates from China.
The unit measures 26.9 x 19.8 x 12.9 inches.
A one-year warranty is included with the product, covering construction materials and overall workmanship.
Our Craftsman Evolv Table Saw Review: Final Thoughts
It is clear from this Craftsman Evolv 15 Amp 10 In. Table Saw 28461 Review that the unit 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.
The facts are, this is a highly affordable table saw with some inconsistencies in build quality.
Despite having points against it, there’s still incredible value for money to be found with this device, and for lightweight tasks for hobbyists and home DIY’ers, there are few alternatives for the same price that can get the job done better.
If you want to do a more thorough research, then you should check out our comprehensive reviews of table saws .
And, if you want to learn more about table saw technical features and see some head to head comparisons, then you should check out our Table Saw Buying Advice articles. More specifically, you can have a look at our Craftsman Evolv vs Ryobi table saw head to head comparison.