The Bosch CS5 is a reliable tool for both DIYers and professionals looking for a solidly built circular saw. It stands out in a competitive arena with its high-end design, quality and power. However, this 7 1/4-inch circular saw has a couple shortcomings that keep it from being the best in our review, including a lack of positive bevel stops and an awkward, though effective, dust chute.
The Bosch CS5’s 15-amp motor spins the blade at speeds up to 6200 rpm, which is the fastest of the models we reviewed. The second fastest was the Makita 5007MGA. Because the blade sits on the left-hand side of the tool, you have a clear view of your path while you cut, whether you are working with 2x material or plywood.
This power tool also channels sawdust away from the cut line, which makes your cutting path even more visible. The dust chute works very well; however, it blows the sawdust toward you rather than away from you – so expect to get covered in sawdust as you cut through long materials such as plywood.
Although the visibility means you don’t necessarily need a laser guide, the tool would be better if it included one. Tools like the SKIL 5280-01 and the Craftsman 3284 have this feature, which we found to be great to help you make sure you’re staying on track when you cut.
There are a couple of other feature omissions that kept this tool from being our best overall pick. It lacks an electric break and a rip fence. This isn’t a must for a circular saw, but both of these features enhance safety and utility.
Positive bevel stops allow you to quickly adjust the saw to commonly used bevel angles, making it easier, faster to cut. Additionally, they increase both accuracy and consistency from cut to cut. Unfortunately, The Bosch CS5 does not have this feature. This tool would be much more versatile if it included these stops.
Although the saw is powerful and can rip through materials quickly and cleanly, its left-blade design can take some getting used to, as its balance is different from the standard right-blade models. This is most noticeable when cutting smaller, 2x material as opposed to plywood. Still, it took us very little time to get used to it.
This powerful circular saw comes with several features that make it a practical purchase. It has an anti-snag lower guard that allows you to make regular and bevel cuts without advancing the guard. It also comes with a spindle lock, which makes it easy to change the blade and ensures new blades remain safely locked in place.
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The saw can cut a maximum depth of 2 7/16 inches at a 90-degree angle, and at a 45-degree angle, the Bosch CS5 can cut a maximum depth of 1 7/8 inches. You can make bevel cuts at up to 56 degrees, which is great.
The Bosch CS5 is worth considering for its sheer power, whether you are a DIYer or a professional – it works equally well on 3/4-inch OSB and 2x lumber. However, some shortcomings, such as an odd, messy dust chute and missing features, keep it from being one of the best saws in our review.