Bosch GCM12SD compound-miter saw
This Bosch slider doesn't have tubes
Cutting wide stock on a miter saw usually means using a sliding saw with one or more tubes that provide travel for the saw’s motor assembly. It’s a time-tested design, but the slide tubes take up a lot of space—generally about 12 in. beyond the rear of the saw—and are especially vulnerable to the bumps and bruises common to everyday life on a job site.
Bosch has addressed this problem with its newest 12-in. slider. The GCM12SD is like no other sliding compound-miter saw you’ve seen. That’s because it doesn’t really slide. Instead, it uses a pair of hinged arms, each with three knuckles, to provide travel for its 13-1/2-in. crosscut capacity. The manufacturer claims the hinged design is more robust than conventional slide tubes and is less likely to go out of alignment. I tested this claim by whacking the hinge mechanism several times with a 3-ft. scrap of 2×4 and then making some test cuts. Even after a sound beating, the saw was accurate, and the hinge mechanism silky smooth.
The saw bevels to 47° in both directions and miters to 60° right and 52° left. There are nine detents for common miter settings, and the semicircular detent ring is adjustable for bringing the saw to square. Crosscut capacity is not as good as on the 12-in. slider from Makita, which goes to 15 in., or on DeWalt’s saw, which can go to 16 in. when part of the two-piece fence is removed (14 in. with the fence intact). But its 13-1/2 in. at 90° is fine for all but the widest soffit boards. I was able to cut a 45° miter in 3/4-in.-thick, 6-in.-wide stock standing up against the fence. With the stock lying on the table, I was able to cut a 45° miter on a 10-in.-wide, 3/4-in.-thick board.
My only complaint with the saw’s performance is the adjustable depth stop designed for dadoes. It flexes slightly when you push down hard on the saw handle, which can vary the depth of cut.
Bottom line: Bosch’s new saw is innovative and accurate, and the controls are precise and intuitive. Unfortunately, a tool of this size (65 lb.) is near the limit of what one person can carry safely. The price tag of $800 also makes it one of the most expensive choices on the market. If I were in the market for a new slider, though, I’d be tempted to pry open my wallet and take the plunge.