Post by hecon5 on Jun 11, 2020 9:09:10 GMT -5
I created a separate thread so others might see this is a review, and not some YouGloob unboxing video. I'll be updating it as I get to use it more, but wanted to kick things off with some initial thoughts. I know it's not the first review here, but it's mine.
For context/use case comparison: I will be using this for framing and general purpose saw cutting like wall openings/sub-floor opening/repairs. I have an MT55cc I'll be reviewing separately that will take care of dusty/fine work, but I intend this to be my main workhorse for now.
Light:One of the brightest ideas about this saw is the light. When you first plug the saw in, it turns on, then turns back off after about 20-30 seconds. It's quite bright, but not so bright that it washes out your vision, a problem I've experienced with other saw lights. Pick up the saw, and it magically turns back on. I held the saw as still as I could, and it turned off after 20-30 seconds, and the slightest jiggle, and it turns back on. It appears to be controlled by an accelermeter in the saw somewhere. Incredibly handy, and switch-less, so I'd imagine it'd last a long while. Hopefully saw vibration doesn't break the accelerometer, but they're usually pretty resilient.
When plunging / depth is set really shallow (raised all the way up), a shroud comes out of the dust housing to cover the extra saw blade that would have been exposed (more on plunge later), and the light rides along with, so it's always the same distance from the work surface. Because of this, it's also 'right there' and cleaning dust off it is straightforward. With the saw off (duh), simply wipe it with a finger or whatever handy rag you have and it's clean. Not hidden away in some deep chasm you have to stick your finger up next to a blade and hope to goodness you aren't going to bump the trigger (looking at you DeWalt miter saw). Nice. The depth lever also knees back so it locks in the full upright position and won't suddenly sink back down if you apply pressure to the saw without setting the depth lock. I'm not certain as to how strong it is, and wouldn't put my whole weight on it, but it looks like it will be useful so I don't drag my blade teeth all over.
The angle / pivot is quite smooth. The only thing I don't like about it is that it tends to rock back a half degree when locking down, and the stop at the 90 mark seems to be a little squishy; I haven't had time to check with my square thoroughly, but it doesn't look out of square. Since I don't intend to use this for ultra accurate bevel cutting or sheet corner folding, I highly doubt this will ever come into play.
It's adjustable per blade diameter (within reason), and spring loaded. I noted the manual says to remove the riving knife for plunge cutting, but as it's spring loaded, that seems utterly unnecessary, especially since once you start traversing it should be able to flip down and do its job. Nice feature, for sure.
Quite accurate. Literally the only thing (that won't affect sane measurement places of the globe) I'd like is a Imperial tick mark, too. But only because I'm lazy. Using my metric / imperial tape measure works fine. I typically like to stick in one measurement unit and not convert, but since some things in the US require inch measurements (or are standard in inches), I can't abandon imperiousness and just do all my work in metric #alas.
First impression is that it's the hokiest part of the saw, and almost feels like an afterthought. That said...it's not a plunge cut saw, it's a cross cut saw. After playing around with it, I really like that it works the way it does; only downside is that I have to get the hex key out to lock it, and it doesn't have wing bolts like all the other adjusters. Presumably this means you can lock it firmer and it won't budge. Haven't used it for cutting, and don't think I'll use it much for precision depth cutting (MT55 will take care of 99% of that), but I like it. The way it's set up allows you to rely on the depth gauge and not bother with matching two gauge points; simply set your saw to the depth using the gauge, loosen the screw, drop the depth stop pin down, tighten it up and you're off. Raise the saw, plop it down, right back to where you were.
Oh my, I like that. Took me all of 30 seconds to figure out where the shroud release is, fall in love with it, and never want to reach over the top of a blade housing ever again like on every other saw I've ever seen. Even if the shroud cable breaks, I'd replace it 40 times rather than go back to reaching over and having a little moment of "oh boy I hope my fingers don't slip onto that blade".
I also like most of the adjustments / settings are located pretty close to each other. With the sole exception of plunging where you need to open the shroud and lower the saw (though I think with practice even that will be smooth), all the adjustments can be done with one hand, while the other is holding the saw steady.
Its a saw. It's pretty loud. But it's not as loud as I expected with the power it has. And it's quieter than some of the other saws I have of the same size. I like it. If you want an ultra quiet circular saw, use a hand saw or train some termites. Or, just put on your hearing protection like you should have on anyway.
Golly that's nice. Safety thumb release is incredibly intuitive and easy; no 3 fingered two handed safety releases here. Trigger works very nicely with little pressure so I can cut all day without giving myself carpal tunnel fingers. Upon releasing, saw stops quite quickly.
I've not put it through a ton of paces yet, but I do notice that the body of the saw heats up a good bit, even under minimal load pretty quickly. I'm going to be keeping an eye on it, but it was surprising. That said, it is a 1500W saw, so that energy has to go somewhere; so I'm not concerned, just noting it for others. If you're running this through your vacuum, the amperage is another thing to consider, and using a separate circuit if you're in the US might not be a bad idea. For you EU/220V locations, you're probably fine because you get to draw more power out of your mains .
If you don't read them, skip this paragraph. The manual is actually pretty useful. The first thing I noticed when I opened it up was that the front cover was a flap, and saw diagram isn't visible unless you open the flap. At first, I thought that was poor editing, but it turns out that you can open it up, and turn to the language / page you are looking for and see both the diagram and the information, no flipping back and forth constantly!
Slips on really easily. Easy to configure, and from what I can tell, stays square quite nicely. Also happens to fit on the MT55, so that's an extra bonus. Love it when accessories are cross-compatible. REALLY Nice upside: because it fits on the MT55, I'm going to mark it up and use it as the position indicator MT-PA somewhat like the one kraftt made (or at least try it out and see how that fares). It's a little bulkier, but I think for my purposes, it'll work well. I think it will also mean I can use the position indicator on both sides of the saw/rail, so that depending on cut direction/interference, I can line up either way.
KSS Rail + Saw:
So, when holding the saw & rail coupled, not going to lie, I pretended I was the Highlander for a second or two...maybe more than that. It's a big contraption. That said, it is surprisingly well balanced. Once I got it laid on a board, I didn't feel like I was going to lever off the board; even a 1x4 felt decent when laid on a sawhorse. I would MOST CERTAINLY NOT suggest two-hand freehand cutting (holding the board, saw, and rail and cutting). Definitely have the board supported on something like a stack of lumber/sawhorse/Festools in their Systainers so you don't cut something valuable; just one less thing to keep "still" while cutting. After a few cuts, I think I got the hang of it, and as long as your board is fixed reasonably firmly (I'm not talking bolted down, just not free-handing it, unless you're the Hulk and can vise grip a 2x8, rail, and saw all together. I can't, anyway. I agree with others; skipping the miter saw will be really nice. I'm not sold on trim work with it yet (need more blades, but with the KSS30/KSS40 I think the size would be just right), but I think that's more a function of the saw size than anything else.
This brings me to another reason to have the board supported: with the saw being so hefty, you are free to use your hands to hold and focus on the saw when the lumber is supported. In this case, the weight, while heavy, is not any more difficult than holding any other tool you're using for work and is balanced well so the weight isn't a major factor.
If I was going to be cutting 200 identical boards an hour off the stack for a single day re-roof or making a ton of identical cuts, I would skip the KSS and build a jig for my miter saw. For almost everything else, and for 1-3 person work pace, KSS is definitely the way to go if you're wanting to skip a tool load out that day. Since it can ride on rails, if you're doing OSB or sub-floor cutting, I think I'd probably skip the MT55 or table saw and go with this saw. Single tool to load out, does everything you'd need, and you can skip a miter saw AND a table saw; it's definitely powerful enough, and with the depth, you could line up several sheets at a time and cut them for skirting / offset staggering.
Jury's out on this one; I'm still figuring out if I can improve it. Much Better than most, but if you're cutting dusty materials (drywall openings/Durock/etc.), I'd suggest doing it outside or using the MT55. I think I may be too harsh on this, as I'm aiming for "perfect"; compared to most other saws, I'm very impressed. I've got a project coming up in a week or so and I'll update the dust collection when I've had more than a few minutes to play with it.
That's all for now. I'll edit this post as I refine my thoughts, but there's the first version.