Porter-Cable’s saw was a really pleasant surprise! It provides an excellent combination of sensible features, located right where you want them to be. Up top, the saw has a huge “On/Off” switch that’s easy to activate — and you’ll never have to grope under the table to find it as you may with other saws in this group. Once it’s up and running, you can set the variable-speed motor with a dial just above the power switch — also helpful.
A gooseneck worklight and replaceable bulb shed light on your cutting line, and a dust blower puffs away the debris. The tool’s table can be tipped to a variety of bevel angles, like every saw here, but this is the only model to provide both a tilt angle indicator — it’s built right into the tabletop — and seven preset detent angles. The table tilted easily with a telescoping knob combination below and in front, and it locked positively.
Blade changing was pretty easy, thanks to a knurled nut on top that you can tighten without a wrench and a wingnut to lock the bottom blade clamp. Both of these provisions can also be tightened with a hex wrench. This saw also comes with a quick-release flip lever, nested inside a large knob in back and on top. Quick-release is a blade tensioning feature I really love, because it speeds the process of setting up internal cuts: just flip the lever to slacken the blade. Once it is reattached, flip the lever back again to bring the blade up to its previous tension — or nearly so. It’s very handy!
On-board blade and tool storage were also good plusses, and I appreciated the side-mounted vacuum dust port below the table. The hose stays connected and conveniently out of your way.
But here’s one final sterling detail of this goodie-loaded saw: it comes with a steel workstand. Kudos to P-C for including that! One hit to the pocketbook provides everything you need to get up and running for $189 as of 2011 ... less than the cost of the highest priced saw here. If you choose to purchase the Porter-Cable scroll saw, you’ll need to make a special trip to Lowe’s® — it’s only sold there.