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Witness the future, my friends. This is the secret the guys at Bosch have been almost bursting to get out there for the last year or so. Since I first saw it I knew it would be huge. For anyone who doesn’t use a sliding compound miter saw let me tell you what you’re seeing. This is a sliding saw with no rails. Bosch calls it an axial-glide system.

Here’s the deal: The new saw completely eliminates rails by mounting the saw itself to a pair of hinged arms. Those articulated arms have 12 sealed ball bearings in them that allow the saw to glide when you move it back and forth. We tried it recently at the Bosch event and it really is effortless; there’s even a control as the top hinge that can be adjusted to give more resistance if the glide is too effortless.

Like other Bosch saws of this type, the controls are all mounted up front so you don’t have to reach behind the saw for anything and can go about your business quickly after the cut is set up. The model we got our hands on very briefly was the GCM12SD 12” Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw so they are aiming straight for contractors at the moment. However, with something this cool we’re guessing a 10” version isn’t horribly far behind.

This rig has tons of features like the split, adjustable fence and out-feed sliders on either end, but it’s the lack of rails that make it a superstar. This system won’t gum up like rails and won’t have the same adjustment problems rails do, either. When this hits the shelves in the very near future it’s going to turn quite a few heads, not the least of which are those of the competitors’ design teams.

When you throw in the moveable detents, 15 amp, 3hp motor, removable fence and dust collection port at the rear, even with the rails you start to realize that this is a lot of saw for the money. Bosch says the saw will run about $699 — which is pro saw money for sure — but if we needed one of these on the job each day we could see springing for an extra $50 over the next best option. It’s a sweet new type of functionality that leaves the rest of the field struggling to catch up.

GCM12SD Miter Saw [Bosch]

 

24 Responses to Preview: Axial-Glide Compound Miter Saw

  1. woodworker01 says:

    So… A radial arm saw?

  2. jeff says:

    The rails wouldn’t be so bad if there were better dust seals on them. There are plenty of off-road motos with intact dust seals that keep their “rails” (suspension) working smoothly. Granted dust seals wouldn’t reduce the footprint though.

    Seeing all of the positive reviews of the Bosch so far on the web since it’s intro at GLT makes me think that my Ridgid will be on Craigslist in the near future.

  3. JW says:

    I love Bosch. I buy all there stuff and they never disappoint. That’s one company you can trust. Sorry to sound like a shill, but it’s the freaking truth!!
    I got a Bosch clothes washer (super efficient and cleans well), replace auto parts with Bosch (plug wires, plugs, filters, etc.) and all perform great and then a TON of Bosch tools. Like I said I love these guys. I’m at the point I will buy something from them without having to even test it, they are pretty reliable. Unlike most other companies. Again, sorry to sound like a fan boy, but I tell it like it is!

  4. olderthanyou says:

    This is innovative, forward thinking design at it’s finest. If I needed one I would buy it in a heartbeat. Oh hell, I think I’ll buy one anyway, just to give me an excuse to spend more time in the shop.

  5. KMR says:

    JW:

    Not everything Bosch is great, or even made by Bosch. A number of Bosch auto components are simply another company’s aftermarket item in a Bosch box. I can confirm this on at least four components because I sell the exact aftermarket item direct from the manufacturer, and the Bosch item comes through with the same manufacture tooling numbers cast into it.

    Bosch Platinum Plus plugs are very short lived. This is because Bosch is too cheap to put platinum on both the center and outer electrode. In our shop, the only plugs that get used are NGK.

    I do like Bosch plug wires, we stock, sell and install them.

    No experience with Bosch tools…

  6. Kris says:

    Anyone compared this against the Festool? Seems like it’s about 1/2 the price….

  7. Steve says:

    Wait, what year is this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3McwN_pkAY

    Or do you just mean it’s new for the US market? The video refers to the GCM 10SD, too.

  8. dreamcatcher says:

    Eat it Kapex. I heard Festool fanatics rave for about a year now how great and “innovative” the Kapex is. To me they were always just the same tool everyone else was making in a slightly different configuration, and two or three times more money.

    This article says it right. This is the future. Take it from me, I’m a trim carpenter, I will certainly be trading my [beloved] Makitas in for a couple of these.

    DC

  9. dave p. says:

    @ Steve, Woodworker01: I think you’re both missing the point. Read the words under the picture, otherwise known as an “article.”

  10. Steve says:

    @ dave p: Reading the article is what confused me.

    The Bosch 10-inch and 12-inch axial-glide saws have apparently been available for a year, at least in the EU. The article says, “we’re guessing a 10” version isn’t horribly far behind,” and “[w]hen this hits the shelves in the very near future it’s going to turn quite a few heads, not the least of which are those of the competitors’ design teams.”

    Both of those statements made it sound like (1) there isn’t a 10-inch model yet, and (2) the 12-inch model isn’t available for sale yet.

    Those were the details that struck me funny. It’s like a preview of something that happened a year ago. Good overview, nonetheless.

  11. Daz says:

    Looks interesting. I wonder what kind of laser guide(s) it has and if it has a depth-of-cut locker.

  12. Brau says:

    Well now, if they can articulate the arm, the next logical step is to automate the cut … hands free … or so to speak.

    Personally, I love the idea but I’ll wait for the Makita model. I Just don’t care for the ergonomics of Bosch mitre saws.

  13. Brau says:

    The article didn’t mention it, but anyone with limited shop space should notice how close to the wall this unit can be placed.

  14. dreamcatcher says:

    Brau,

    Ergonomics, or rather just plain “feel” of the tool is so often overlooked. Even when a tool is promoted as ergonomic it often doesn’t “feel” right, usually too thick of a grip because of some rubber pads or some weird shape that isn’t natural to us.

    I do love the feel of the Makitas, I have two LS1013’s. Everytime I get around other saws, or other tools in general say in a tool store or a friends garage, I give the tools a feel check. You never know when you’re gonna find that one tool that just “feels right”.

  15. fred says:

    We have both Bosch and Makita sliders. When we bought the Bosch units – some guys commented that they were the best ever. Same got said when we bought the newer Makita’s. I’m guessing that both models are competent saws – but personal preference – and your own ergonomics (height, arm lenghth, hand size, hand preference etc.) all make a difference. Brau is absolutely right about giving a new tool a feel check.

  16. FredP says:

    Steve,

    Instead of resisting people’s efforts to help you, how about verifying that you *may* not know what you’re talking about and do the research? The saw you keep mentioning may have a similar name, but it’s *not* the same saw.

    The saw you provide a link to at YouTube is a plain old compound saw with rails. If you *read* the article, it says that Bosch is releasing a saw with *no*rails. Now, stop flapping your typing fingers, read the article, view the pictures, then look at the video you linked to. In your video, the saw has rails. In the article pictures, the saw has no rails. Clear enough for you?

    FredP

  17. PutnamEco says:

    I think I’ll let some others try this new saw out for a while before I jump on the band wagon. I read that it has twelve bearings and all I can think of is twelve possible failure points, and twelve possible places to develop slack. Not saying it couldn’t be done right,but I’m waiting for the time to tell.

  18. fred says:

    @PutnamEco
    You know the old aphorism:

    “Be not the first by which the new is tried
    nor yet the last to set the old aside”

  19. aaron says:

    I’ve never used a CSMS, but I also have to wonder about the advantage of this system… i mean, it looks like its going to transform any second, but other than that?

  20. Kevin says:

    I have been lucky enough to use this saw. First of it feels just like most Bosch saws. Clunky and awkward. The axial system is a good idea as it can be placed right up against a wall like the kapex. The movement on the arm is about as smooth as the kapex but that’s where the similarity ends. The kapex is still on a whole different level. The dust extraction on the kapex is better, bevel adjustment is better by far, depth stop is much better, dual lasers, clamps, ect ect ect. The list goes on and on for the kapex. Clearly the one guy above who thinks festool will losing sales has clearly never used a kapex. These tools are for 2 totally different markets. You won’t ever get the quality, precision, reliability, performance and almost zero depreciation from the Bosch like you would a festool.

  21. Jim says:

    @Kevin,

    “The kapex is still on a whole different level.”

    Correct. And, they are at two completely different prices points! You did not mention that in your post.

    Most educated consumers with a limited budget focus on value. I am fortunate enough to have alot of disposable income and cannot justify the cost of the Kapex. I am an early adopter and have many white and blue “Festo” power tools. I appreciate quality tools and quality work. I also cannot justify rewarding a company that restricts free market ideas by restricting seller controlled pricing, refuses to adapt to the its customers needs by only using metric graduations (including arbor and blade sizes), and designs it products to use only their accessories which have limited availability are outrageously priced.

    But, maybe there is some relief in sight. The Euro just dropped 20+% against the dollar since the first of the year, that should equate to a $250+ price reduction in the price of the Kapex. …….Oh, wishful thinking.

  22. Kevin says:

    @Jim

    If you purchase tools based soley on price then thats your choice. An educated customer would not buy a bosch/makita/dewalt tool for value. I could go sell my 1 year old kapex for 85% of it’s MSRP. You cant say the same for any of the above brands. I just sold a Makita lS1013FL for $200 with 3 brand new blades! I paid $550 for this saw just a year ago.

    Perhaps go and use a Kapex for a day then decide if you think it’s a productive move for your buisness. Many high end cabinet makers and wood workers seem to think it is, as do i also. I purchase them for quality, performance, productivity and last but not least resale, as i like to change my tools every 3 years.

    So what if they use metric! 90% of the rest of the world uses metric. I use metric and imperial and have no problem using both day in day out. Also if you can not justify the cost of the kapex then your not using it for what it was designed and your quality of work does not require such a precision tool.

    You are also wrong about them not allowing people to make components for their systems. I purchase blades and componets that work with the festool kit all the time. Perhaps take a trip to the FOG (festool owners group) and learn something about good quality tools instead of spouting lie’s!

    It’s a high end tool for high end production. I also have a makita ls1016l which is also a very nice saw for it’s cost. still it’s no where near the saw the kapex is and it never will be. But both of these tools have a place in the market. If a saw comes along that is better than the kapex and it’s cheaper then great. But until a company can make a saw as refined as the kapex my money stays with festool.

  23. DDT says:

    These will be pretty pricey when they come out I imagine, so all of those that go and buy this for better craftsman results can sell me there “outdated” machines for less. I don’t care what make or model it is, unless you’ve got picture framing tools, your 4 mitres are always out.

  24. knottys says:

    Im not a trim carpenter but i do own both mitre saws the Kapex is one amazing saw but i love many of the axial glide features,the 15″ cross cut is super for my line of work and the fact i can cut 4×4’s is great. as a wood worker if i had to own just one id choos the axial glide if i was a on the go carpenter the weight and presision of the kapex would have to be the saw to own.

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