For many DIY remodelers and carpenters, purchasing power tools is an expensive process.
At times, it’s not necessary to buy a high end power tool that is designed for contractor use on a jobsite.
The Craftsman Evolv Table Saw 15 Amp 10 In. 28461 is definitely not designed for professionals in the field, but that is not to say that it is a toy.
While there are some compromises made to get to the low price that this is being offered for, it can provide good results for light jobs and infrequent use, and if you’re in the market for a low cost unit to use at home, this could be a good option for you.
Let’s take a closer look with following Craftsman Evolv Table Saw review at what’s on offer.
Product Features on the Craftsman Evolv Table Saw
- Extendable table design.
- Powerful 15 AMP motor.
- Plastic transparent blade guard assembly.
- Blade height lock.
- 5000 RPM blade speed with no load.
- Safety power switch key.
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?
When the unit is assembled it weighs just over 50 pounds (50.4lbs).
While this is relatively light for a table saw, because it is designed to be attached to the included stand, portability is not a strong point.
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 will find throughout this review, the tool is designed for home workshop use, so portability is not a major concern. Professionals who need a portable saw for jobsites 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.
The tool runs at 120V and it is recommended that a 20 AMP main outlet is used for the device.
If there are other devices running from the same circuit, then some kind of breaker protection should be used.
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 any 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.
Always ensure that your cables meet the above requirements if you purchase the Evolv table saw.
What is the Performance Rating of the Table Saw?
With a maximum of 5000 RPM at the blade and a 15 AMP motor, the Ctaftsman Evolv has adequate performance for composite and ply boards.
For hardwoods, a quality carbide tipped blade should be used, and the pieces of material should not exceed 3 inches for 90 degree cuts, or 2.5 inches at 45 degrees.
Performance is suitable for light flooring work, cabinet making, siding, cutting wood for interior trim, or general carpentry.
What are the Rated Rip Capacities?
As an entry level unit the Evolv has a smaller table space than some more expensive tables.
Total rip capacity to the right side of the blade is 14.75 inches, and to the left there is 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 included with the unit is made with a locking mechanism, which will be appreciated by owners.
Unfortunately, there have been some concerns with the quality of the fence, especially when it comes to keeping it square.
Part of the problem can be put down to how the fence works. Because the fence doesn’t include rollers, it needs to be manually set.
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 evolve doesn’t use the same type of dust ejection system that can be seen on more expensive table saws, the underside of the table will eject the dust, and a catch bag could be used underneath to help with cleaning.
This wouldn’t account for any dust coming from above the table, which could be frustrating for some users.
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 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, and 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.
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 is 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?
The included user manual is extensive, and will be invaluable for amateurs and hobbyists.
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.
- Low cost.
- Stand included in the package.
- Comprehensive user manual.
- Good cutting performance for lightweight jobs.
- Similar safety features to more expensive models.
- Clips are included on the body for all provided accessories.
- Poor quality safety key.
- Inconsistent build quality experienced by users.
- Thin materials used on the table stand.
- Few accessories available for dust collection, table extension etc.
- Not compatible with a dado blade.
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, and 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.
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 4.3/5 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 in the range $100 to $200, 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.
Check below for the latest price and offers on Amazon.
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, high quality titanium blades with carbide tips 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.