Im an avid reader of all the most popular wood working magazines. Out of all the tool reviews Iv read, DeWalt rarely gets good ratings, although thier specs are as good as any company. I own many DeWalt tools and have been extremely happy with there performance and quality. Whats the deal why does DeWalt get no respect?
I have the DeWalt DW746 table saw. I am EXTREMELY happy with it although many of the reviews I read comparing this saw with many others are not all that kind to the DeWalt. But it seems the main reason the DeWALT is counted down in the reviews is because of the price compared to the other saws or what I call the "bang for the buck" rating. That being said, I still prefer an American made product over a Taiwan made item. The DeWALT is supposed to be made in the US. Many of the Delta and Jet saws (contractors) are made in Taiwan. I don't mind spending a little more to keep some American workers employed and the saw is a great saw. I've only owned one other saw. It was a Delta table top unit which was a piece of crap but then again I only paid $169 for it compared to $900 for the DeWALT...so I would expect the DeWALT to be a much better saw. As I look around on construction sites, many, if not most of the tools used are DeWALT. That tells me something.
I also have the DeWalt DW476 table saw, and I am extremely happy with it. I've only had it a few weeks and already have gone back to purchase the 52-inch extension and the outfeed table, and I'm saving my pennies for the sliding table.
Like you, I've noticed the lackluster reviews for this machine in the magazines, but I would not want to trade my saw for another. I also own the DeWalt biscuit jointer and have no complaints about it, other than I wish it handled the smallest biscuit size used by the similar Porter Cable model.
If DeWalt has a bad or mediocre rep, I don't know why. I'm a happy customer so far.