I was excited to work with the new Bosch Axial Glide “folding” miter saw (AGS), especially since I’m still enjoying a prosperous relationship with its older brother—the 5412. With an innovative articulating arm straight out of a transformers movie, the neato factor of this unit alone has stirred more interest in carpentry circles than Obama-Care has in rest homes.
Since ThisIsCarpentry is an on-line publication, I’m making the assumption that anyone reading this review is internet savvy—most of you have probably checked out the specifications for this saw already; hopefully you’ve also watched the cool video on the Bosch site. So I’m focusing this review on the real world issues we, as carpenters, face on the job. If you want technical jargon, read Popular Mechanics. In this story, I’m going to take a developmental approach and measure progress by comparing this saw—and its “improvements”—to its predecessor, which just so happens to be my workhorse miter saw.
I’ve used the new AGS on three different projects, providing a variety of experiences to test the saw in both my shop and on the jobsite. We did some heavy cutting building a redwood pergola; we performed some fine finish work on a fireplace mantel; and we chewed up more than a couple board-feet of Sapele for an entry door unit. I can tell you right away, this saw is a big step up from my old slider.
Out of the box
One thing I’d like to note before I get into the meat of this discussion is that—for the first time—I got a saw out of the box that was dead nuts (perfectly calibrated). Ironically, I’ve used two different saws for this review, and both tools came out of the box cutting perfectly square, plumb, and precise, which is critical if you’re a carpenter like me—on the clock all the time. Not many professionals replace a saw just because a new one came out. Most of us replace a saw because something happened to our last one, usually right in the middle of a job; which means we’re buying a new saw to get back on schedule. That’s when it’s really nice to open up a fresh can of cut-straight without having to spend a bunch of time dialing it in.
Having the latest and greatest may seem frivolous to some, but toting around a bunch of pounded tools gives customers the impression you don’t invest in your business. The value of the subconscious impression is often underestimated. Contractors can either reinforce their customers’ confidence, or get them thinking otherwise. When a client watches us roll out our tool setups, we set the tone for their job. We go out of our way to be sure our tools communicate the message we want our customers to hear: we pay attention to our industry; we keep up with technology in our profession. This saw definitely communicates that message.
Visually, the AGS features a design that screams state-of-the-art, and that design offers some great benefits. First benefit: saving space. The AGS saves a foot of space behind the saw. The absence of sliding rails allows you to push this monster right up against a wall. Finally, a big boy saw that doesn’t gobble up half a room for setup. The AGS is also the smoothest sliding mechanism I’ve ever worked with. Actually, it’s too smooth! Thankfully there is a resistance adjustment that allows you to dial a little friction in, otherwise there’s no resistance and the saw feels foreign! It floats there; you don’t feel confident that it’s going to stay where you put it. And while sawdust does have an impact on the axial arm, it has no effect on the smoothness of the glide.
Beyond the value of the “wow” factor, this saw has the ability to get the job done—this beast handles framing and finish. With a 15 amp motor, the AGS cuts through 3X12 wet rough redwood without a hitch. Much like my earlier model, this 12-in. saw gives you the capacity to cut up to 3 1/2-in. thick material 11 1/2 in. deep, which means you can cut headers with it. You can cut boards on the straight up to 14 in. wide and base up to 5 1/4 in. tall. But there is a catch: tall material—like baseboard, can only be cut on the left side of the saw.
Anything over 4-1/2 inches tall extending off to the right will get caught up on the belt housing beneath the motor, which prevents the blade from reaching bottom. Bummer for those who like to cut base standing against the fence.
|I also maxed out clearance cutting full dimension 2×12 at 45 degrees on the flat—and for the same reason: the belt casting on the right saw of the saw limits the cutting capacity.|
Festool has gone and thrown down the healthier-woodworking gauntlet, making dust collection a hot topic these days. Most manufactures are making an effort to improve dust collection on their tools, and Bosch is a frontrunner. This saw claims 90% collection. For my review, I thought I’d to try to validate the manufacturer’s claim. Huh? Yes, I devised a not-very-scientific but accurate testing method. Bear with me, and I’ll share with you a glimpse of my inner mind at work.
Before I describe this simple procedure, a fair warning: I am a carpenter, not a scientist. The results of my rudimentary yet painstaking test should be viewed with a splinter of Douglas Fir. I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of opinions about the validity of my procedure. I welcome all.
|I let the dust settle, tapping on the tent to be sure all remaining dust fell on the workbench. Next, I carefully tilted back the tent and vacuumed up all the dust not collected by the saw—both the dust on the saw, and the dust around it.|
|Hippie teens of the ’60s and ’70s will love this part: I weighed the bags on a hi-tech digital scale. First I weighed an empty bag—it came in at 4.0 oz. Next, I weighed the bag used on the saw, which came up to 12.7 oz.|
Finally, I weighed the bag used to vacuum up the remaining dust—it weighed 6.5 ounces, netting 2.5 ounces of dust not collected. Are you still with me? Good.
I added both amounts of sawdust together to arrive at the total amount of sawdust produced: 11.2 oz. Dividing the 8.7 oz. (dust collected by the saw) by 11.2 oz. (total sawdust produced), provides a pretty good estimate of the AGS’s dust collection effectiveness—about 78%, pretty danged impressive for a do-everything saw. But a little short of 90% claim. Keep in mind, the test wasn’t rigidly scientific (and I’ll need to test my Kapex next!).
It’s important to note that dust collection performance varies depending upon the type of material you’re cutting and the technique you’re using—plunge cutting, “radial arm” cutting, or “reverse radial arm” cutting. These dramatically different criteria must drive engineers nuts! But there’s one thing I found very quickly that could be improved on the new AGS: The flexible dust shroud isn’t quite stiff enough. With my vaccum on hi-power it didn’t take many cuts before the shroud shut its mouth.
|I solved the problem with a slight modification using wire and duct tape (no laughing, please—it works!). I trimmed the tape and the wire flush with the dust shroud. Now it stays open no matter how hard the wind blows.|
Dust Collection Variables
With wide stock the blade must be “plunged” into the material at the beginning of the cut. When plunge cutting, the hook angle of the teeth is incredibly steep and a high-speed stream of sawdust is shot back at an angle that cannot be effectively captured. Once the blade has been dropped through the material—fully plunged to “blade bottom,” the sawdust stream is at an angle, which can be captured effectively. On the other hand, when cutting narrower material, you can start the blade fully plunged and enter the material at an angle that shoots the sawdust directly into the collection shroud—sort of. If you watch the video below, you’ll notice that the dust is also shot straight up and past the dust shroud, which means that even less dust is collected when plunge cutting crown in position. Oh, and if you’re wondering how I shot this video, see the photo to the left of this paragraph.
After watching that video clip, you might have the impression that the dust is coming up and out through a hole in the dust port, but it’s not. The dust is shot straight up past the dustport and strikes a depression in the dust port housing. And I already know what you’re going to ask! So what’s the dust collection effectiveness when cutting crown in position? You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I tested that, too. Using the same testing procedures, I arrived at far less than 78% dust collection while cutting crown in position—less than 60% efficiency. Cutting crown in position is one of the most challenging chores for a dust collection system. However I’m not satisfied with those test results and will soon re-test the Bosch AGS, as well as my 4412 and my Kapex. I believe a “comparison test” is the only way to accurately judge which dust collection system is the most efficient. Look for those test results in a future TiC article.
New miter gauge design
Miter angle capacity is unchanged on the AGS: this saw swings all the way out to 50 degrees left and 60 degrees right. Detents are also unchanged, and are in the same popular locations for all the common crown cuts. But some of the standard features on the older 4412 have been tweaked on the new AGS.
|While my older SCMS has detents cast into the table (above LEFT), the new AGS has a plate mounted beneath the table, similar to the miter angle plates found on top of other miter saws, but this plate is far more robust (above RIGHT).|
New Fence design
The fences are much better on this new saw. They slide smoother as a result of being machined to a higher tolerance, and they are easy to remove. The new cam lock insures you won’t lose a setscrew like I did once on my previous saw. I also appreciate that the sliding fences will lock anywhere along their range. This makes quick work out of finding a good flat spot for a clamp when clamping a stop for repetitive cuts. Bosch saws also come with scales cast into the fences, which is handy: I use those scales for repetitive cuts, or when removing a small amount of material—without having to fumble with a tape measure.
Upfront bevel control
One of the things I like most about the Bosch family of saws is the up front controls. It’s far more convenient to have the adjustment levers in front of the saw rather than having to reach around the back to adjust the bevel. One improvement I noticed on the new AGS is the paddle for the bevel lock, which now has a definite lock: rather than a soft friction lock, the new paddle actually “clicks” as you lock it down. I know—that’s a small detail—but it is an improvement. One thing missing from the new saw is the adjustable handle. If you prefer the pistol grip position, you’re S.O.L.
Speaking of handles, one of my major complaints about this saw is the lack of carrying handles. As one would expect for a 12-in. SCMS, this tool is a heavyweight: at 65 pounds it’s a mother to lug out of the van and across the jobsite. But unlike my older model (which can be grabbed in several positions, once I fold up the arm on the AGS and lock the saw down for transport), there is no good spot to grab hold of this tank and wrestle it out of the van. A few trips into the wild with this tool have convinced me that it isn’t worth lugging for one-day jobs when something smaller will “handle” the task.
While mentioning what I don’t like about this saw, I’ll move onto the blade guard. I’m having a real hard time adjusting to it. The articulating arm places the blade high—it’s kind of “in your face,” so guard removal (never a good idea) is out of the question. It may just be that the guard could use an adjustment, but, as-shipped, I can’t sight down the blade through the view-window to my mark. I suspect that a minor “owner modification” could solve this problem, but it would require tweeking the saw—which some tool geeks aren’t comfortable doing. But there is room for improvement here. My older saw has a far better window in the guard, which allows me to look through the guard and sight down the blade to locate my measurement mark.
Also, the position of the saw on the arm creates a line-of-sight problem for me. At 6 ft. 1 in., I find myself crouching down to locate my line, and the guard is frequently in the way. Fortunately I’m a lefty, and generally work from the left side of the saw. This is advantageous in this case, as the left side has the best sight line. While I’m complaining I’ll mention the blade….
This is an “out-the-box” tool review. I used the 60-tooth carbide blade supplied with the saw. Although it’s fine for most “general purpose” work (and some carpenters like David Collins will disagree with me), I think a saw of this caliber deserves a top-notch blade. Most snotty prima donna finish guys (like me!) will chuck this fuzz-maker in lieu of something with more teeth.
Also, the occasional on-site dado is not quite so easy with this new articulating arm. Why? Because the arm flexes up and down just a little: I can get a full 1/8 in. of bounce on the blade depth while cutting a dado with this saw. I managed to improve the cut after figuring out that gentle, consistent cutting works, while slamming the saw back and forth with reckless abandon doesn’t work.
A new favorite?
All negatives aside—and seriously, there weren’t many—this saw really shines in the shop! With its reduced depth requirement (this baby sits comfortably on a standard 24-in. deep base cabinet), big cutting capacity (14-in. wide boards!), plus decent dust collection, I love using this saw in my shop. Coupled with Bosch’s legendary build quality, I expect the AGS will be a reliable workhorse for many years.
As you might have guessed, dust collection is a big issue to me. In fact, I modified my old Bosch SCMS and improved the collection capacity significantly. I’m putting together a story on the performance of that modification package, as well as some ideas I’m developing for improving the AGS. So keep your eye on TiC for that article–it will be coming soon.
While I don’t think there is a better saw on the market today for a shop set-up, for a mobile carpenter, this unit is a bit too cumbersome to deal with day in and day out. However, I expect a 10-in. version may come along before too long, and with a few refinements, the AGS design may take over the portable market, too.
Robert “Robby” Myer is 42 years old, married with two children, and calls Pleasant Hill, CA home.
Robby literally grew up in the building industry as the son of the owner of a Northern California chain of lumberyards, Piedmont Lumber. Robby worked for Piedmont for 23 years, heading up the Architectural Millwork Division before a tragic fire destroyed his location and showroom. Ever ambitious, Robby purchased the surviving door shop operation from his father’s company and decided the time was right for him to finally take on the industry himself—folding the door shop operation into his existing architectural millwork design and installation firm, Craftsman Collective Inc. As such, Robby created a custom woodworking operation specializing in building, finishing, and installation of custom doors and millwork.
Robby is currently expanding the new operation to add a 10,000 square foot showroom and retail store focused solely on finish carpentry. This store, set to open in March 2011, promises to be the destination for all things finish carpentry, featuring Festool brand tools, Kolbe windows, Robby’s first line of signature doors, over 400 profiles of molding, and tools and accessories for carpenters, by carpenters.
Robby has built custom homes of his own design, including his personal residence, as well as homes built on speculation. One home graced the cover of Residential Design/Build magazine, and was honored to become the “poster child” for Andersen Windows for the year 2006.
Robby’s installations have graced some of the most magnificent homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he has designed architectural details for over 500 homes and showrooms throughout his career.
Robby has been published in numerous magazines, including the Journal of Light Construction, a residential trade magazine. Robby produces internet content, is co-host of a weekly home improvement radio show, and teaches carpentry clinics, with a focus on helping homeowners and contractors develop their talents and keep up with the latest innovations in home improvement.
Robby, nice review of this saw thanks. And that is my concern also about this saw is the weight to lug around.
Hopefully a 10″ will come out and be lighter and I would give it a try. I also have owned lots of miter saws and currently using the kapex light weight for me is a big factor.
Good luck on your store someday I will have to get up there and see it I will help you sell festools for a day!
I don’t think anyone could possibly sell Festool better than you Kreg! Or pants for that matter. Your Hired!~
One point on the dust collection and the photo’s not real clear. The take off before the hose is a full 90 and in the HVAC world that’s 4′ of ducting. I know my Kapex is about 140 to 160. You failed to mention the diameter of the hose, I noticed Festool but 27mm or 36mm? But I’m impressed by your dust test, and await your comparison testing.
~David, You couldn’t be more correct. I’m very surprized the engineers at Bosch came out of the saw with a 90. Very inefficient. I wanted to test the saw as shipped, but already have a mod package in development. 1st thing gone, that 90. The hose I used was Boschs anti-static hose at 35mm. My mod package on the 4412 uses a 2-1/4″ which moves alot more air. The mod package for the AGS will will see a 2-1/4″ hose mated to bosch fittings. They don’t offer a 2-1/4″ hose but have 2-1/4″ ports in the vac. Go figure..
I’d say your dust collection test was well designed and executed. I much prefer a real world test and yours was one of the better ones.Great review.
I agree completely–how could I not given that you have such an agreeable name. What an innovative testing procedure. It’s about time someone did some ‘real world’ testing on dust collection. And identifying the different problems associated with collecting dust from a sliding/gliding compound mitre saw is also a great idea.
I also just bought this saw, and while I also love the way it came out of the box “dead on” it also provides one of the best adjustments should it go off. I will play with the friction adjustment because right now the blade is moving forward when I only want it moving down. The biggest thing for me is the lack of a laser. Because of the guard design and also of where the blade first makes contact on some cuts (due to the design to eleiminate backside space) the blade is starting it’s cut mid board. I think a built in laser was critical for this machine and am sorley dissapointed in it’s lack.
Never really got into the lazers, grew up without them and still can’t get away from the ‘touch and go’ technique I was taught on the 15″ Hitachi so long ago. What I’d really like to see on miter saws is a few well placed LEDs to light up the material under the blade.
What a wondrous world of tools!!!
…….and to think I was ecstatic with my Makita 14″ chop saw back in 1980–cast iron base and all.Many thanks for a fine analysis…..this is THE PERFECT REVIEW- the one I’ve been looking for….and well written.
I’m looking forward to your follow up between Kapex and AGS. Ed Latson
Longfellow Builders** Danby VT
Thanks for the kind words Ed. Give me a month and we’ll know how the DC of the AGS stacks up against not only the Kapex, but my very simply modded 4412.
Great article. Now what do I do replace my 5412 with this or a Kapex?
One thing that is worth noting if anyone does buy this saw, is that the dust collection works really well when you use a better blade. The 60tooth stock blade is terrible for collection. It kicks the dust all over. Upgrading it (like I do on every saw) to a quality blade that is designed for your material at hand (ie: trim and moldings 100tooth) makes for a much better experience when collecting dust.
Also, while this saw is large and heavy, one thing that I learned from reading the manual is that this saw is designed to be carried from the back. Not the front. It helps to carry the wieght. I do think they could of still put a topside handle on it though.
I just wish I would of read that sooner as I have lugged it out to a few jobs carrying it from the front. It does pay to read the manual.
There are a lot of small tweeks that can be done to improve the DC performance, and I’ll share those in another article, a better blade does help considerably. As for carrying it from the back, once its in my hands it’s like any other 12″, heavy. Getting it into my hands is where my complaint lies. I’d like some handles.
Thanks for such a fantastic review. As a long-time 4412 owner, I enjoyed getting your real-world take on this tempting tool. As a east bay homeowner, I’ve spent a lot of time in your store buying material, and getting advice on millwork for my DIY whole-house remodel nearby in DV. I was sorry to see it go, but can’t wait to visit your new place in March. It sounds like a little bit of heaven.
Great to see more locals checking into TiC! Feel free to come by anytime. We are open for business during the buildout. I’d be happy to give you the nickle tour, just call first to be sure I’m there as I’m frequently in the field installing. Get the address off the website.
While I agree that a craftsman should use quality tools, I have to disagree with the statement, “Having the latest and greatest may seem frivolous to some, but toting around a bunch of pounded tools gives customers the impression you don’t invest in your business.”
When a guy shows up with some tools that show some wear it says to me that the man is experienced. When I was working as a diesel mechanic, I noticed that it wasn’t always the guy with the biggest shiniest tool box that was the most respected. It was the guy who had both a wealth of tools and a wealth of knowledge and often the tools showed some of the scars of gaining that knowledge. Some of my automotive tools are 30 years old, some of my woodworking tools are over twenty, and they show the wear of experience.
Thanks for the comment, I agree with you to some extent. But, if that mechanic doesn’t have today’s diagnostic equipment, can he still do the job as well as the guy who does invest in today’s equipment? While there are indeed indicators of experience in carpentry, an old coping saw for example, or a Stanley hand plane, that definitely support your statement, as far as a miter saw set up goes I stand behind my statement.
I agree with joe, we use our tools every day and to a homeowner I believe they would like to see some experience behind the tool. You can’t compare a mechanics hand tools to new diagnostics tools in this circumstance! If you do that you need to compare a hand saw to a mitre box! That is a no brainer!! You are trying to compare computer technology to hands on work! It would be like pulling up to a customers house with a brand new Cadillac Escalade or a 2010 Chevy 1500. One screams pricey, while the screams trustworthy. Brand new tools don’t look that good on the job!
Your review makes me wish I needed to replace my other saws. I like the look of the articulating arm.
I did get a chuckle out of the, “Mostly snotty prima donna finish guys (like you!),” People who have high standards and expectations should get to trial and evaluate specialty tools first. Thank you for reporting this.
I do use a plastic tent around my Hitachi slider and it dramatically cuts down the airborne dust. In the near future I will trial another idea I have for a semi-circular tent with additional multiple suction points to capture that elusive spreading blade contact dust. I also bought a dust deputy to see if it keeps dust out of the filter.
Being slightly scientific I would suggest that the vacuum filter kept some of the content and that would either increase or decrease the collection efficiency of the saw or vacuum depending on when you cleaned it.
I worked for a guy in Calgary, whose finishing carpenter tools and van not only looked pounded out, and his chop saws mostly never had blade guards. No problems with sight lines there, but that is being safety foolish. Needless to say that I did not work for him very long. If a tool failed and even uglier version sitting in his van could replace it. Even the homemade mitre saw bench would collapse in a heartbeat if you accidentally kicked or overloaded it. (Plank with an upright)
Rookies that work for unsafe, impractical people look out for yourself or join the unemployment line missing a few digits or limbs.
So why would a house-builder hire a guy like that without evaluating his work space and hazard potential?? I would prefer to be risk adverse. Not everyone with well worn tools is a craftsman.
Solid review, thank you,
Now I ask Bosch…
Why a 12″ saw…Who really requires a 12″ saw? In 27 years of finish carpentry and cabinetmaking I have never not been able to perform a function because I didn’t have a 12″ saw.
For 10 years I ran the Hitachi C8FB 8.5″ and it did everything I asked.
As far as the rest of the saw looks, I like the innovation of the pivot slides but the typical Bosch gadgetry still overwhelms an otherwise simple function…cutting wood into two pieces.
I’ve always liked a smaller unit for most projects. Although, fans of ‘nested in place’ or ‘upsidedown and backward’ crown cutting appreciate a bigger blade, I can’t understand the trent toward the bigger units. One saw to do everything I guess. But if you are a fan of a little 8-1/2″, check out the Makita. Awesome dust collection and light a feather.
Nice review. I always appreciate the view of folks who do this stuff for a living.
An idea for measuring dust: weigh the vacuum before and after (difference is weight of dust collected. Also weigh the wood before and after – difference is amount of dust created. Calculate the ratio. This seems like it would work and might be easier and cleaner to accomplish.
Hmmm. An interesting suggestion. I may use this to provide suppliental calculation.
Hey Robby..very nice review. Goes appreciated brother and a shout out to Gary for this new site of his!
I’ve read elsewhere several user reviews about the tables not being flat. I’m copying and pasting a piece from a review I read from a cabinet maker. It’s pretty much the same comment I heard else where so would you mind commenting on this?
“My problems with the bosch are that it’s tables were not flat and there was excessive flex/play in the head and table. So much so that i could not achieve a consistent square cut. I have since read 4 reviews that stated similar problems…..so mine is not the only one. I received NO satisfaction from bosch tech when i called about this problem. That poor customer service turned me off from bosch completely. The last thing was the fact that this saw and blade is made in china. If you want to know the main reason the new bosch is cheaper than the kapex….look no further. It is not the workers getting the money…it’s bosch.”
Thanks much Robby
No worries Andy, thanks for the comments. I checked my table after reading your post. Flat like a fingerjoint board. I do have a little flex up and down at full extention. I can get about an 1/8 bounce if I’m aggressive with it, but nothing a little finesse can’t cure.
Read this review last week & it was so well done I had to read it again. Loved the ‘real world’ test. Quite frankly the tech spec sheet is fine, but at the end of the day I want to know how it works. I (like a few others I’m sure) am certainly considering replacing my SCMS. Attention to detail coupled with quality tools yield great results & happy customers. I think that is everyones end goal.
Look forward to reading more from you.
Thanks! I’m working on a follow up article now, testing the DC abilites of a few saws. Pretty interesting stuff.
Thank you for the post. Very interesting that you want your customers to see you use good tools. I’m sure I will think of that when I see various people working around the neighborhood.
I still don’t know if I should get this or a Kapex. Just a home guy making furniture and doing some carpentry and really sick of out of square cuts and dust.
Well Pete, truthfully you’d be happy with either. I am. The DC on the Festool might have a very slight edge, but I’m pretty happy using the Bosch in my shop. If it helps with the decision, the Bosch is considerably less expensive…
Can anyone tell me if this tool has a depth cut adjustment, for when you don’t want to cut all the way through your material… for a dado.
Yes it does. A rather slick one at that. You can set the depth, make your dado, flip a lever aside and over ride the dado, using the saw for other cutting tasks without changing your dado depth setting, then flip back and do another dado with the same depth of cut.
Thanks for the quick comment. I am considering this saw vs. the Milwaukee 6955-20 12-Inch Sliding Miter Saw with Digital Miter Angle Fine Adjust. Have you done a comparision? I’m a sculptor with a wide range of needs, not a finish carpenter or a contractor exactly.
i haven’t so much as seen the Milwaukee in person, let alone use one. I believe it got pretty good reviews though. Honestly, I don’t think you could go wrong with either saw. The biggest benefit to the Bosch is the articulating arm. It really saves space allowing you to put the saw up against a wall.
I enjoyed this article. I am so glad someone in the industry is testing this saw. I have owned 3 Bosch 10 inch slide saws. They were good saws except for the blade guards. We always had problems with them. My crew and I all prefer the 8.5 inch saw. Lighter , more accurate.
We keep a 10 and 12 inch also but we rarely use them. Some times we need the cutting capacity on beams or staircases. I will have to admit I have always wanted to try the festool kapex. The problem I would have if I were to like the kapex is, we usually set up 4 cut stations on a job. This would be pretty expensive. I am so glad you tested the dust collection on this saw. We have had this problem with dust for years. We have just this year purchased big gulp dust shields on an adjustable stand.
With a light plywood box built around the shield and a shop vac or dust collection, this works better than anything I have found. I believe the dust collection is a major issue the wood working industry needs to address.
There is no telling what this fine dust and mdf dust is doing to our long term health.
Thanks for a great article.
Did you have time for the comparison test, Old Bosch vs Kapex vs the new Glide?
Greatings from Denmark
I have a small indoor hobby shop and the Bosch 12″ axial glide (AGS) and am trying to optimize the dust collection port. I don’t own a Kapex but think that their dust collection design looks more efficient. You mentioned that a TiC article with ideas your developing for improving the AGS would be coming out. I am really interested to see what you have come up with. Are any photos available?
No photos as of yet, however, we are going into our slower months so I hope to get to a follow up article before the end of the year. I have developed a few mods that improve the AGS D/C capablities, but the primary benifactor is cutting technique. I find that by pushing the blade through the material, as mentioned in the article, directs the high speed stream of sawdust toward the collection port. Of course this isn’t possible with every cut, but making this technique habit is the primary multiplier to DC efficency. Another suggestion is to keep your vacuum close and your hose short. Also, use the largest diameter hose your vac has available, keep your filters clean (with a bag) as the vacuums performance is as much a part of the equation as the saw.
Thanks for a very interesting article. I have just bought this saw in the UK and think it must have been upgraded slightly as it has a central carrying handle and dual lasers. The blade, by Freud, is also pretty good as well. However, I do have a concern and this is that I have had 2 , quite violent kickbacks. This seems to be on thicker stock just before the blade reaches the end of the cut near the fence
Both were controlled as I had the wood clamped but were a little worrying. The blade doesn’t seem to travel very far past the fence and I thought this may be the problem. Have you experienced this ? Thanks Geoff
I’ve had a few kicks myself. Usually the culprit is a sawdust buildup on the bottom of fence that prevents the board from setting tight against it (the fence). Also take a straight edge and put it across your fence on both sides, if the straight edge doesn’t touch the fence at the center near the blade, thats the problem. Adjust the fence. If you’re good there, go farther out away from the blade.l Move that straight edge out along your fence on your miter saw stand next and check same. Anything that holds one end of a board away from the blade even a little will cause a bind in the cut once the cut is made that will result in kickback.
edit last sentance…
…away from the FENCE even a little…
Is there a pic available of the European version with the handles and lasers? When will it be available here in US?
That is really helpful. I have used several mitre saws over the years, the last a DeWalt and not had such a severe kick-back. I think it maybe that the glide is so light it is exagerated. I will check the fence as you suggest and be a bit wary of it as well.Thanks again, best regards Geoff
Robby, you still loving the saw? Thinking of getting one for the shop, Eric
I do still like it, very much. I think it is the best 12″ on the market right now, but admit, I don’t use every saw that comes out. When I reviewed that saw I compared it to it’s predecessor which I was very familiar with. There were many improvements I felt significant.
Nice review. I always appreciate the view of folks who do this stuff for a living. Look forward to reading more from you.
I’ve just bought this saw, I’m a builder and not particularly a precision carpenter, although I’m having an issue with each side of the fence being out of alignment with no way to adjust them so they are precisely on the same plane? I have a 10 inch Dewalt and it has 2 screws per side that I can use to adjust the fence, but this Bosch has nothing?
All miter saws have some type of adjustment. It’s probably covered in the instruction manual, or you may find something online at Bosch.
I’m trying to find a review of your bosch mod package and can not find anything. I’m on the fence between the bosch and kapex, but this would clarify a lot for me. Thanks.
Could you tell me how to brighten the red light where the cut will be made, I can hardly see it.
Could you please complete the review and do the sawdust collection for Kapex. I’m leaning towards Kapex primarily due to the advertised collection, but if I can save 800.00 and get same or near results, I would change my mind.
I too liked the scientific approach. By the time I finished my carpentry apprenticeship (1980 – trained mostly by German expat finishers) we had gone from the Rockwell to the new Makita tools and some Bosch, which we loved. Ten years later I used Hitachi mitre saws and quite liked them. In my younger days I could care less about dust and my back, but now that’s changed. I’ll be building a new energy efficient home on Canada’s east coast next year and want to minimize dust for both health and “green” building principles. Your tip on the Makita 8.5 inch and its dust collection is appreciated. Keep up the good work!
I love the new Bosch saw.. took a couple months of saving to get but was so happy when I did cuz I was drooling the whole time. Had my saw for about 5 months now. Couple weeks ago a crack in the plastic detent plate appeared and caused all detents to be off by quite a bit. I was still using it just had to set it and tighten it at every stop I wanted to. Obviously doing trim your back and forth and back and forth and all day long it was getting pretty annoying. I just went into Home Depot and show them what was going on and I’ll be damned but they gave me a new one and took the old one. Not bad.