Bosch GCM12SD Sliding Miter Saw - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Bosch GCM12SD Sliding Miter Saw

Bosch - Bosch GCM12SD Sliding Miter Saw

Bosch puts its bevel lock at the front of the saw for convenience and the saw tilts 47° in both directions and miters 60° right and 52° left

$800 (As of 9/30/2010)

(2 user reviews) Write a Review

Editor's Review:

by Patrick McCombe

review date: September 30, 2010

Sliding miter saws are a mainstay of many home woodshops. The reason: their 12- to 14-in. crosscut capacity. This is most commonly achieved by one or more sliding tubes that provide the travel for the blade, transmission, and motor assembly. It’s a time-tested design, but there are a couple of problems. One is that the tubes stick out about 12 in. beyond the rear of the saw, requiring that the saw be positioned that distance from the wall. As a result, you end up with 2 or 3 sq. ft. of wasted space behind the saw—and most woodworkers would rather put that space to better use. The other is that the sliding mechanism introduces some flex and inaccuracy.

Bosch has solved these problems with its newest 12-in. slider. The saw uses a pair of hinged arms, each with three knuckles, to provide the travel for its 13-1/2-in. crosscut capacity. The big benefit is that you can put the saw right up to the wall. In addition, it’s very accurate because of the tight tolerances in the hinged arms. And you can adjust the tightness of the mechanism to your personal preference.

The saw bevels to 47° in both directions and miters to 60° right and 52° left. There are nine detents for common miter settings. Although we’ve seen it on past Bosch miter saws, I really like the up-front bevel control that eliminates reaching around the back of the saw for bevel adjustments. After replacing the stock 60-tooth blade with a 90-tooth version from CMT because it had less runout, I tested the saw with a number of cuts and materials and it performed exceptionally well right out of the box. The cuts were furniture-quality.

Bosch’s new saw (No. GCM12SD) is accurate, the controls are precise and intuitive, and the space-saving design is icing on the cake. At $800, the only downside is the price.

Editor Test Results:

Runout N/A
Accuracy of cut Good

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Bosch
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 877-267-2499
Crosscut capacity 13 -1/2 in.
Maximum depth of cut 6-1/2" against fence; 4x4 (nominal) under arbor
Maximum width of cut 13-1/2 in.
Maximum miter/bevel M- 52L/60R B- 47R/L
Double Bevel Yes
Horsepower 2.9 hp
Amps 15
Blade size 12 in.
Blade type 60T
Blade tilt Left/Right
Product warranty One year
Laser Optional arbor laser (LS010)

When I was in the market for a sliding 12" miter saw earlier this year, I closely reviewed multiple saw and this Bosch gliding saw was my top choice due to the gliding mechanism. Priced at $599 it was very competitive to most other brands. What kept me from buying this saw is that it does not have a "soft start"feature. Means, the saw kicks very hard when it starts, exactly what my old Dewalt did and what was the main reason I had used it rarely and wanted to replace it. Means, no soft start was a deal breaker to me. I wish Bosch would not treat US like second class, because I checked they home country and in Germany they only offer a "GCM12GDL" (notice the L at the end) thats the soft start version. They do not even offer a "non-soft-start" in Germany. So, I had to break my habit of buying Bosch tools and got a Makita LS1216L instead. The only thing the Makita doesn't have is the Gliding arm, but has a 4-rail system instead. IMO an excellent saw and I'm happy with it. But I would have bought the Bosch if it had soft start! (Btw. Dewalt 780 has no soft start either, but Jet 12SCMS does.) The Bosch GCM12SD has a strong 2,000 watt motor, or about 2.6hp if it had 100 percent motor efficiency. Means, in reality this saw has somewhere 1.5 to 2.0 horse power, but can't have the advertised 3.0hp unless Bosch reinvented physics. Again, I believe this saw has the potential to be the best 12-inch saw out there, if Bosch had implemented the soft start feature.

All in all a nice saw with a quality feel. The only downside is the cut quality on wider stock is average. The trailing teeth leave a small gouge /burn in the cut when the cut is completed. I exchanged the saw and the new model did exactly the same thing. Changing to a 90 tooth blade improved matters, but still annoying on a saw of this price range. Also the glide is effortless, which is great most of the time, but when kickbacks occur they are quite violent. The fence is solid, and dust collection decent.

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