The Bosch Worm Drive Construction saw is so well made, that you might want to put it behind glass for awhile. You can tell this is a quantum leap in quality. The fit, the finish, the exactness are all there. Fresh out of the box, I took a 2x6, set the blade depth, and hand cut through it without a guide. Then I took the Bosch Digital Protractor, and measured the angle of the cut. (Another highly recommended item. It measures in tenths of a degree, which is equal to 3600 dots in a circle, no matter how small the circle.) When I measured the angle of the cut, just using the factory set detent for 90 degrees (plunged all the way to the end) it measured 89.9 degrees. That is accurate to within a tenth of a degree. There is an allen wrench able, threaded stop that you can adjust for that detent. So I could tweak it to totally perfect if I want to get the last tenth of a degree. For now it is sufficient :-) It is nice that Bosch takes the time to accurately set up the saw from the factory.
The nice thing about the cut in the 2x6 was that it was super smooth, just using the 24 tooth, very sharp blade that comes with the saw. Almost imperceptible saw marks anywhere on the edge. That is something for a non-edge guided handheld circular saw. It didn't even slow down, and no need to put on ear protection to use it. If I can exaggerate, and only a little, this thing is about as quiet as an electric can opener. The geared transmission gives it a smooth, slower spin rate, that is able, thanks to the gear reduction, to plow through anything. I have never met a saw that cut with such ease.
The other thing is that this saw almost guides itself. I don't exactly know why, but I have had to fight to keep a line on lesser saws. This one keeps the line for you, or at least it seems that way.
I am going to mount it to the Tru-Grip Pro FTR series clamping edge guide. With 2, 4, and 8 foot models, using their saw base plate, you can easily, and accurately rip a 4x8 sheet of plywood, or any size material. They also make a router base plate, and stop for that system.
The nice thing about the Bosch Worm Drive is it has a threaded hole in the base for mounting the available edge guide. Between that, and the other 3/8" hole in the base, I can easily mount, and dismount it to the Tru Grip system, or the Bosch edge guide. That way I can use it freehand, and when I want to install it to the Tru Grip system, it is only two screws, without having to drill holes in the base. The Tru Grip Pro Series with the saw base plate, gives you table saw accuracy, out in the field. No slight off angles, leaving saw marks in your work. You could build furniture with this thing, or use it to rip through any size wood.
I also checked the accuracy of the base plate to the blade, as in is the edge of the base plate exactly parallel to the blade. If it is off, when used as the edge for your guide, it will bind your blade, burn your wood, and constantly revolt by kicking back at you. The results, the right side base plate is perfectly true to the blade. So there is no off angle from the front of the blade, to the back of the blade, relative to the base plate.
I know you probably think I'm nuts writing about this level of exactness in a circular saw, but that is just how accurate this thing is. What this all means is that when you are powering through a two by twelve, this thing sings right through it. Yes it does sing. The sound it makes is chimes. Now you really think I'm nuts. But check it out. I guess you can tell I love this saw.
Just click on the picture, and blow it up on your screen, and see what I am talking about. This isn't a saw it's artwork! Fine is the artist that loves his tools as well as his work, and this saw is worthy of your attention. Highly recommended. Costs a little more than the competition, but every dime is put into the saw.
on May 9, 2002
This saw is awesome. It has all of the innovative fearures of the Dewalt saw, with the proven chassis of the Skill 77. This saw is powerful, very light, and has great features like a magnesium shoe, 50 degree bevel, rafter hook, and a smoother guard for angle and bevel cuts. I would highly recommend this saw. It is definitely worth the extra $20 over the Mag.
on December 11, 2003
My Skil 77 was a tired old work horse so I started shopping around for a new worm-drive saw. There were several new left side blade saws on the market, but they looked and felt cheap and I was really happy with worm drive. I was about to settle on another Skil 77 when I ran across this beautiful piece of machinery. What sold me was the extra 2 amps of power. Having used the 13amp Skil for many years, I was surprised to find this 15 amp monster. This Bosch has about the same feel of the Skil. The 15 amp motor doesn't slow down at all even when ripping through wet, heavy, pressure treated lumber. I bought this saw a year ago and it is still an absolute joy to work with. It cuts smoothly, straight and true. The plate is much better built than that on my skil. I still have my skil 77 and use that for ripping up pallets and scrap lumber for the camp fires!
on October 31, 2005
First, let me say this: I'm not in construction. I don't use this saw for framing or cutting rafters, etc. I'm a furniture maker and I wanted a good agile saw for cutting rough lengths of stock and sheet goods. This saw might be a little overkill for what I need, but it does what I need VERY well. There's something about a wormdrive saw...it can't be explained, you have to try it.
What I like:
* This saw, surprisingly, cuts like butter through *everything*. My true test was 8/4 White Oak and I braced myself for kickback or bog-down...and almost lost control of the saw when it zipped though it like nothing. Scared me!
* It's a nice low profile saw. Less machine means more view, better control.
* I'm getting used to, and falling in love with using a "lefty" saw. It's hard to get used to not leaning over to see your cut line, but once you try it, you won't go back. I don't like stabilizing the base with my hand so close to the blade, but you find other ways.
* I never used the blade that came with it. I immediately replaced mine with a Freud Diablo 24 TPI Framing blade...sweeeeet! Highly recommended.
What I don't like:
* This saw is heavy. Really really really heavy. It's deceptive because it's such a small profile saw, but you'll be surprised the first time you heft it.
* Start up torque is immense. Lay the front of the saw flat on a surface, pull the trigger, and the right side of the base will jump a full inch off the table. This means you need to keep a death grip on the handle and keep it well away from your work-piece until the saw is up to speed.
* NO CASE. I know it's a contractor's saw that is expected to be in use more than traveling, but I know a lot of circular saws that come with cases... cmon Bosch...
This is a serious saw with a lot of power that will simply buzz through anything you put in front of it. It's a tad heavy so I'm not sure how guys on the job will use the "belt clip" without pulling their pants clean off. It's also a bucking bronco for the first 2 seconds after you fire it up, but after that it's smooth as silk. All-in-all it performs solidly well.
on January 17, 2004
I own six worm drives, two of which are now Bosch, the other four are Skil Mags. I have to admit that I don't always choose the Bosch first. I try to reserve it for more "Special" projects. It may be silly but I try to protect this very durable tool from itself. After two years and many thousands and thousands of cuts, they still perform as they did right out of the box, with precision, speed and solid, comfortable control.
In my opinion Bosch makes some of the very best tools available today. If Amazon could vouch for me, they would tell you that I have most of the Bosch tools available though their website. This saw hovers at the very top of tools that I have purchased in my 28 years of construction experience.
Bosch tools and Amazon.com prices and service has greatly improved my attitude about buying tools. I am always looking for ways to improve the way I perform on my jobs and believe that good tools are a big part of the quality we strive for.
Buy the saw, you won't regret it.
on November 1, 2003
On a tip from a friend out west I purchased this saw sight unseen. It has turned out to be the one tool I will never voluntarily part with. The first day I brought it in to the site everybody said,"Why pay so much for a silly looking saw? What's wrong with our typical DeWalts or Makitas?". Well, they quickly learned that the silly looking saw beat the pants off anyone else's saw. Use it once and you will never go back. Everything about it is smart and solid. Plenty of power, from compound angle cuts in 2X material to cutting green red oak mortise housings, never a lack of torque. The base is lightweight but solid enough to withstand a good fall off the scaffolding. A great framing hook that bites well into stock and will also nicely fit on pipe staging rungs, so it never has to experience that good fall from the scaffolding! Far less noise and vibration from this saw than from any other I have ever used, which after days of relentless rafter cutting you will appreciate. Honestly the best saw I have ever run. And those guys who laughed at me the first day? Every time I turn to use it they have grabbed it instead of their old standby!