Imagine yourself laboriously hauling your planer or table saw to a place where you will do your woodworking tasks, and you don’t have someone to help you. Chances are, you will be exhausting yourself even before you begin the actual project. Why? Because the sheer weight of this piece of equipment is enough to enervate you. But if you have a mobile base for a table saw, planer, or bandsaw at hand, you will indeed have an easy time transporting your heavy equipment from one point to another without over-sweating yourself.
Moreover, if you drag your heavy equipment across the flooring of your house, you may end up leaving a trail of scratches on the floor, with your wife fuming mad at you for a day or two. You surely don’t like such a scenario to happen. So, I would rather advise you to use a mobile base.
A mobile base, of course, is a simple mechanism that allows you to carry your heavy equipment to where you will be using or storing them. It will enable you to move massive equipment and tools without enervating or exhausting all your energy. Thus, you would still feel fresh and energetic to engage in the woodworking task at hand after hauling your massive machines using the mobile base.
- Essential Factors to Consider When Selecting a Mobile Base
- Most Recommended Mobile Bases Options for Band Saw, Table Saw, and Planer
Essential Factors to Consider When Selecting a Mobile Base
There are myriads of mobile base brands and models in the market today. They differ, of course, in their features and quality. So, when buying a product like a mobile base, if you want to make a wise purchase, you need to be cognizant of the following essential features to look for in a mobile base:
Sturdiness and Steadiness
Mobile bases are designed for the purpose of hauling heavy equipment and tools from one place to another. As such, they should provide a steady base and a sturdy one for your equipment. Of course, the mobile base is at its best when sliding along smooth floors. Yet, you can test the sturdiness and steadiness of a mobile base once you let it plod along a bumpy and debris-ridden floor.
A high-quality mobile base should have a design that allows it to glide across bumpy and uneven grounds smoothly. You surely don’t want a mobile base that bogs down quickly when running through obstacles. It should also provide steady support once it is immobile.
Custom and Universal Bases
If you’re shopping around for a mobile base, it will be good to consider custom bases. Of course, custom mobile bases are designed for something specific, like a particular machine. So, if you have heavy equipment that you frequently move from one place to another, it will be helpful to have a custom-built mobile base for that machine.
Universal bases, on the other hand, are versatile mobile bases designed for adapting to whatever machine you want to haul around. They can handle most of your heavy machines without a hitch.
The carrying capacity of a mobile base refers to the maximum load it can handle efficiently without caving in. Mobile bases, of course, vary in their carrying capacity. The range that they can usually effectively handle is from 300lbs to 1,500lbs. Most machines in your workshop, however, will not go beyond the 1,500lbs. So, most mobile bases can handle your equipment pretty well.
Nevertheless, you want to ensure that your mobile base will not bog down during the transporting process. Otherwise, your machine’s integrity may be compromised.
Wheels are essential features of most mobile bases because these wheels are simple tools that make the movement of the mobile base smooth and safe. The wheels, of course, bear most of the weight pressure of the machine. Hence, before you shell out your hard-earned money for a mobile base, it will be best to check its wheels. Its wheels should be capable of absorbing the heavy weight of the machine without caving in.
Wheels come in different types of materials. Some are made of plastic; some are wrought in rubber. Some wheels also come with a bearing system for better absorption and distribution of weight.
Mobile bases are wrought in different types of materials. Some are made of lighter materials, while some are of sturdier materials. If you intend to use your mobile base to carry a 1,500-pounder machine, you better choose a mobile base with sturdy construction.
It will be good to go for something made of iron and Ispat instead of aluminum, considering that aluminum is not designed for carrying massive weight.
Since the mobile base comes with dual functionalities of transporting loads and providing sturdy support, anything that can’t address these two functions is not worth buying. It should also have a reliable lock system. Imagine, for example, you are pushing or pulling your mobile base along an inclined path and want to stop it from moving; you need a lock system that could keep the mobile base steady even if it is on an unlevel track.
So, the lock system is an essential component of the mobile base. You should carefully consider the lock system when selecting a mobile base, for the lock system will make pushing around the mobile base safe and easy.
Lever Action, Foot Pedal, or Screw-down
Mobile Bases may either come with a lever action, foot pedal, or screw-down feature. The Vega mobile bases, for example, come with lever action, while the Rockler, General, and Delta feature a foot-pedal feature. If you often move your mobile bases from one place to another, you should go for the products of these manufacturers.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a mobile base that adjusts automatically to the uneven floor, you should go for mobile bases with a screw-down footpad. These types of mobile bases come in handy if you don’t move your mobile bases frequently over an uneven floor.
Another characteristic of the ideal mobile base is versatility. Go for something versatile enough for various usage. If you have much bulky equipment that you frequently move from one place to place, you should settle for a universal mobile base that lets you carry the different heavy equipment you have in your workshop.
Most Recommended Mobile Bases Options for Band Saw, Table Saw, and Planer
As mentioned above, mobile bases come in different brands and models, and each brand claiming to have the best mobile bases for your needs. Experts, however, have reviewed the different brands and models, and have come up with the following most recommended mobile bases in the market today:
1) Adjustable Mobile Base HTC2000
One best option you have today when it comes to a mobile base is the Adjustable Mobile Base HTC2000. It has all the essential features that can make transporting your heavy equipment easy and quick. It provides you with a sturdy and mobile base, despite its being lightweight at two pounds. Moreover, it has a maximum carrying capacity of up to 500 pounds.
The HTC-2000 is durable. It is constructed of industrial-grade materials. Of course, it has its limitation, for it is designed to carry only up to 500 pounds. But as long as you would not go beyond that maximum weight, you can always rely on this mobile base.
I found that it is versatile enough to carry various shapes of equipment, from square to rectangular equipment. You can extend its frame from 12 by 12; to 20 by 52; to 36 by 36 inches. It also features durable rubber wheels of 3-inch diameter.
All in all, it comes with four wheels, and the rear wheels come with operating levers made of plastic for easy unlocking and locking. This locking system makes it easy for you to stabilize and steady the mobile base when you are not moving it, even if it is standing on uneven grounds.
- It offers great stability with its locking system.
- Its wheels provide great mobility.
- It comes with an additional rail kit.
- Its foot operating levers seem to be very fragile, being made of plastic.
2) Mobile Base BORA Portamate PM-2500
The BORA Portamate PM-2500 has a slightly higher carrying capacity than the HTC2000, with its maximum capacity of 650lbs. It is perfect if you want to move around heavy machines like table saws, planers, band saw, shapers, jointers, and many other power tools. It is a universal mobile base. Hence, you can use it to carry different types of heavy equipment.
You can also use it to carry around cabinets, safes, toolboxes, and many other massive objects. It also features a locking system that you can operate with your foot. This locking system may not be the kind of locking system you would like to have if you are frequently moving your heavy equipment. Nevertheless, it is enough to keep your mobile base stable and steady.
It also features ball-bearing wheels. These wheels are around three inches in diameter and are non-marring. So, they are safe to move across your flooring without leaving a trail of scratches along the way. Moreover, it is a universal mobile base that lets you deal with heavy equipment of different sizes and shapes. You can adjust its shape from 12 by 12 to 20 by 52 to 36 by 36 inches. You can also add an accessory rail kit.
- It is capable of handling heavier equipment up to 650lbs.
- It features lockable wheels.
- Its wheels offer fantastic mobility.
- The casters don’t pivot easily.
- Bearings may tend to fall after several usages, according to some users.
3) SawStop MB-PCS-IND Industrial Saw Mobile Base
Another good option if you’re looking for a mobile base for transporting your heavy equipment is the SawStop MB-PCS-IND. The good thing about the wheels of this mobile base is that each wheel moves freely in different directions. This means each wheel can pivot 360 degrees. These four casters are equipped with bearing; Hence, they are high-performing. With each caster moving independently, you can direct the machine to whatever direction you would like to take.
The good thing about the SawStop MB-PCS-IND is that it has a higher carrying capacity than the abovementioned two mobile bases. It can handle up to 1000lbs of load. It can also handle this enormous load because of its hydraulic piston that helps in lifting the load. Moreover, it features three quick pumps situated on its foot pedal for easy lifting and moving of load.
- It features three quick pumps for lifting weight.
- It has highly specialized casters.
- It is quite controllable.
- Some users complain of bad customer service.
4) Bora Portamate PM-3750
Another mobile base that is worth considering is the Bora Portamate PM-3750. This mobile base boasts of being made entirely of steel, with sturdy brackets and smooth-rolling wheels and casters. You can increase its size or decrease it by an increment of one inch from 18.25″ x 23.5″ to 28″ x 33.5″.
It comes with a foot control locking system. Hence, you can ensure that this mobile base is stable and steady once the locking system is in place. It has 1,500 pounds maximum carrying capacity.
- It allows you a higher carrying capacity for handling equipment with higher weight.
- It offers greater maneuverability.
- Some customers complain of bad customer service.
- The smallest base of a cabinet that it can handle effectively is 18.25″ x 23.5″. If you load it with equipment with a lower base area, you need to replace its rails.
5) DEWALT DW7350 Mobile Stand
This Dewalt’s mobile base is more suitable to functions as a planer stand and other woodworking machines. However, I personally found that it’s perfect to works as a table for your planer. So, if you want something that can double as a planer stand, this mobile base and stand is the perfect choice for you. This planer stand is wrought in high-grade material to be able to support the weight of a planer.
You can also have a pre-installed fireboard with this mobile stand to accommodate the majority of DEWALT planers. Hence, this stand also features pre-drilled holes. You can also use this mobile stand to support other models of planers from other brands.
The DEWALT DW7350, aside from being a planer stand, also comes with a wheeled base. Yet, you may think that it has four wheels, being a mobile stand. But it only comes with three. Its two wheels are fixed, while the third one leads the way. The freewheel comes with a lever lock to allow you to control it with your foot.
- It affords you a ready planer stand that is compatible with most planers
- Its wheels are easy to control.
- It features three wheels instead of four.
- Some users complained of the bolt holes of the short and long rails not lining up properly.
6) Shop Fox D2057A
Another viable option if you’re looking for an adjustable mobile base is the Shop Fox D2057A. It has outstanding features, making it a good option. The Shop Fox D2057A, of course, is a heavy-duty mobile base. It is made of rigid steel, which gives it that extra strength and durability.
Moreover, it is capable of easily handling any heavy equipment weighing up to 700lbs in weight. Furthermore, you can adjust its carrying flatform up to 29.5 by 29.5 inches, which is enough to carry any heavy machine. You can quickly adjust its carrying area by adjusting its two bolts on its corner.
Since the Shop Fox D2057A comes with two swivel wheels and two non-swivel ones, you can easily maneuver this mobile base from one place to another. It also comes with two footpads. These food pads are retractable and allow you to position the machines at a proper level. Besides, you can equip the base with different mobile base parts from Shop Fox for increased capacity.
- It facilitates the moving of your heavy equipment.
- It appears to be very sturdy.
- It sports a low profile.
- It lacks a lever-locking feature.
With all the modern equipment that could facilitate the movement of any heavy equipment or tool, the mobile base is simply one of your best options. Lifting and transporting heavy machines will surely drain you if you would use your sole power. But with the use of a mobile base, you can move one heavy piece of equipment after another from one place to another without sweating yourself out.
Mobile bases may be slick and light, but they do have the capability of bearing heavy equipment. Nevertheless, you should still do your math and compute the weight of the equipment you want to move against the carrying capacity of the mobile base. Otherwise, you will be overburdening your mobile base if you load it with a heavier weight than what it is designed to handle.