Bosch GTM12 Combo Saw


A chop saw that doubles as a table saw is always an appealing proposition and has given rise to a number of variations on the theme.

Some are a little harder than others to change between the two functions and it is generally best to do all the cutting you can in one set up before changing over to the other. Having said that the new GTM 12 Professional from Bosch is so well thought out that you can chop and change with hardly any effort in seconds. It is the fastest and easiest change I have come across to date. The only cumbersome bit of this design is the lower blade guard which protects the user from contact with the side of the blade when the saw is in the table mode.

A chop saw that doubles as a table saw is always an appealing proposition and has given rise to a number of variations on the theme.

Manufacturers work very hard to get their tools through the stringent safety tests required for an EN certificate but inevitably some of these guards are there to meet the requirements but aren't easy to work with. Another thing I found was that the lock pin on the chop saw was very difficult to release after using the table saw. I overcame this by pushing down hard on the table to release the spring pressure on the pin.

Another EU safety norm is for the blade to stop in 10 seconds but Bosch has gone for a much higher standard of just 2 seconds or thereabouts. The brake is electronic and is achieved with an auxiliary reverse winding built into the main field winding. This high burst of energy causes a noticeable flash which you can see through the vents. I am assured that this doesn't damage the motor or wear the brushes prematurely. Even if it did, two brushes for one finger seems a good deal and unlike fingers the brushes are easy to replace.

The accuracy of this saw seems excellent particularly with a new blade and it was good enough to use on high quality kitchen mouldings. In the table mode the parallel fence has a front and rear lock which means that it doesn't spring to one side as you push the timber past the riving knife. The blade angle is easy to adjust but when I checked it straight out of the box it was all properly set up and needed no fine tuning. The built in work light and laser guide are very useful additions particularly for use old codgers who need glasses. This laser guide certainly speeds up cutting because you don't need to lower the blade to check but you need to calibrate it every so often because it can vibrate out of alignment after some use. Again the adjustment is quick and simple with a screwdriver.

Despite having a 305mm blade the saw has a limited cutting capacity of 51mm as a table saw and with no sliding rail you can't cut any more than a 151mm skirting. There is also no tilting table so it will not do everything that a flip over saw will but provided you can work within these dimensions it has the advantage of being very light and easy to set up on the jobsite. I particularly like the spring loaded table height adjustment which uses to cam levers so you can set the blade to just show through. For kitchen fitters running down plinths and mitering cornices you have everything you need in this saw. It is also ideal for floor layers and even those looking to set up a small workshop.

The only drawback with this saw is that Bosch has been a bit stingy with things like length stops and quick clamps. Even the angle guide for the table saw is an extra, though I expect Bosch would argue that they aren't charging you for items you may never use. The chop saw mode being a much better way to cut mitres.


Bosch GTM12 Combo Saw
Review by ~ September 23rd 2008
4
4 out of 5 hammers

For kitchen fitters running down plinths and mitering cornices you have everything you need in this saw.