Why I bought the Bosch PKS-40 circular saw
The Bosch PKS 40 is a circular saw that I bought because I wasn’t comfortable cutting big sheets on my table saw. A lot of times I’m working on my own and then I prefer cutting down the sheets to a manageable size with a circular saw. If for rough construction purposes, the circular saw is fast and safe and I don’t even need to go over to my table saw.
The reason I bought the smallest (and cheapest – around €95) green Bosch is that I do not need to cut thick wood material. The PKS-40 only has a 600W motor but it seems to be enough for the materials it can cut. The engineers did a great job at sizing the motor power for the saw. The saw comes with a 130mm blade. It cuts smoothly without having to much tear-out. With the saw I also bought a Bosch blade for high quality cuts. It didn’t have a price on it so I just took it with me. The damned thing costed me as much as the circular saw on itself. But man that thing cuts trough wood as smoother than a hot knife trough butter.
This baby saw can cut up to 40mm deep (straight down) and 26mm on a 45° angle. That doesn’t seem a lot but it’s all I need to cut standard sheet goods. Another advantage of this smallest saw is that it’s nice and light. If you’re about to use it a lot (cutting the OSB-sheets to size for your entire house) the weight adds up at the end of the day.The saw offers the possibility to connect it to a hose for dust collection. I’m saying dust collection because that’s what you get when you are cutting MDF. The fine fibres tend to spread out trough out the house. It can’t be healthy for your lungs and it’s a mess to clean up afterwards.
In the box that came with the Bosch PKS-40 there’s also a parallel guide. I didn’t really use that yet because I feel that the inscriptions on the base plate are not that precise to work with. Instead I made a couple of tracks for it so I can just align the track and cut it precisely.
The circular saw has a five safety features that I like. First of all to start the machine, you need to push a double button so you won’t occidentally start it. It also has a blade guard and a splitter. The guard moves nice and easy and the splitter makes sure the wood doesn’t close in after the blade has passed. Wood can sometimes bind on the blade sending your piece of wood or the saw in an unpredictable direction. It also has a soft start function so the machine doesn’t jump on you at start-up. Another thing that I like is the motor brake. It slows the blade down pretty fast after you’re done cutting. I see these safety features on a lot of circular saws but I still mention it because my old circular saw (got it from my grand-father!) didn’t have any of these and I swear I would have had an accident with that machine. You had to watch where we were picking it up (as not to start the motor). If you started the heavy thing it would cause a momentum and pull on you. There was no blade guard and if you were done cutting the blade kept on spinning for over a minute so you couldn’t put it down safely.