Bosch has come out with a new 18V metal-cutting circular saw, model CSM180, which they say is the smallest metal-cutting saw [of its kind] on the market. It’s built with a metal-cutting motor, a balanced design, and ergonomic handle.
As you might know, saws like this are specially designed for cutting steel studs, struts, tubing, and other metallic materials, such as conduit and copper tubing. I’ve used these saws on aluminum channels and extrusions before as well.
Metal-cutting circular saws are great for times when an abrasive or multi-cutting chop saw isn’t available, or when you want to take the tool to the work. There’s a huge convenience when you factor in cordless aspect as well.
While I can’t verify that this is the smallest metal-cutting circular saw available, it is quite compact and easily managed. We’ll have a review up on it as soon as I can get some more use in.
- 5-3/8″ blade size (30T is included with tool)
- 20 mm arbor size
- 0-4,250 RPM
- Weighs 5.75 lbs
There’s a bare tool option (CSM180B) and 2-battery kit (CSM180-01). The kit comes with (2) 4.0Ah FatPack Li-ion battery packs and a charger.
One thing to point out is that this is a “right-handed” saw, in how the blade face is to the right. Some other saws, such as Dewalt’s 20V Max cordless metal-cutting saw, are “left-handed” saws. Some users prefer right-handed wood-cutting circular saws, others prefer left-handed, and a lot of the time there’s no choice, you must simply follow the trend.
Price: $199 for the bare tool. $349 for the kit
Buy Now(Kit via Amazon)
Buy Now(Bare Tool via Amazon)
Reminder: Amazon’s $25 off $100+ Bosch promo is still going on, thru 12/21/2015, and this new metal-cutting saw is eligible. See the other holiday brand promos here.
Can these metal-saws be used for sheet metal, or are metal shears the way to go?
Yes they can cut though sheet metal goods; fast and easy. Another option is a pair of cordless nibblers.
I can’t comment about this saw – but we had a of Makita BCS550Z saw (now superseded by a newer model) that came with a kit – and I believe that it performed fairly well on emt- but was too small for corrugated roof decking. I recall that some of the guys liked it – but there was no groundswell of emotion to buy additional ones – as the guys seemed to prefer using portable bandsaws for channel iron, emt and unistrut. I do remember that the Makita proprietary blades used to be hard to find – so blade availability might be something to check out with this new Bosch. BTW – for roof decking we used both Evolution and Morse 9 inch metal saws – for sheet metal we used Kett shears and for cutting up old oil and propane tanks – we liked (except for all those little chips) Kett nibblers.
“….we liked (except for all those little chips) Kett nibblers.”
You mean “Wolverine nail clippings” ? (:D
I’ve been wanting the Milwaukee equivalent 2682-20 M18 Cordless 5-3/8″ Metal Saw for quite some time:
Not sure how the Bosch stacks up against it but the Milwaukee has gotten considerably great reviews.
If you can stand a corded version and 8 inch blade (with considerable weight difference) the 6370-20 Milwaukee 8″ Metal Cutting Saw is simply amazing!
I believe all the Milwaukee come with Evolution metal cutting blades.
The Milwaukee 6370-20 is a good tool and like the Makita 4131 (7-1/4 inch) corded metal cutting saws – I think their good performance is about being designed for the task with the right motor speed, blade guard and Cermet Tipped blade for metal cutting. My experience with the Milwaukee was that it was much better made than the Evolution (9 inch saw) and its almost clone from Morse that we used for roof decking – but if you need that extra inch of blade diameter – you can baby the Evolution/Morse to do their job
Milwaukee markets their own Endurance blades. I’ve got the V28 but it gets a 6 7/8″ blade. These saws work well but blades are expensive and easy to damage. They’re always my last resort for this reason.
We used the Morse Metal Devil blades – which also were no exactly cheap – so we often figured their cost into our bid for the job.
My makita cordless will do cutoffs of 1/4″ or even 3/8″ steel angle. Not a production tool for these materials, but it’ll do it without much hesitation.
Super handy tools – you’ll never use a hacksaw again.
Again, not brushless.
How well do these sorts of metal saws work on ~1″ thick aluminum?
If you mean one inch aluminum square stock or rods(or L-stock or aluminum cable or H-channel or T-slot etc etc), pretty gosh darn well. Better precision than a reciprocating saw. I’ve seen people trim custom fabricated Festool-style tracks with great results, easily achieved/performed. If you mean one inch thick aluminum sheet…not as great. Personally I’d use a (very)good quality jigsaw with the most appropriate blade I could find(Bosch brand most likely). Someone else may(definitely) have more experience than me, there might be a better approach.
Yeah.. believe it or not, I have a few 4ft x 10ft x 1in sheets of aluminum…
1″ thick plates? This is not the tool for the job! I’m not even sure what to recommend for something like that.
1″ aluminum bar? I would probably try a bandsaw first.
I’m really trying to think about what could be used to cut 4′ x 10′ x 1″ sheets/plates. that’s a pretty demanding task.
Looking online, some people have used table saws and worm drive saws on 1/2″ aluminum plates. I’m not sure those are safe tools for the job, especially for a plate as large and heavy as you have.
Maybe a vertical band saw, after you found a way to cut the plates down to more manageable sizes.
Or you could hire out the work to a machine shop with a plasma cutter or waterjet.
A few people suggested a ‘metal cutting circular saw’ but I was skeptical… My first choice would be a plasma cutter but I don’t have one unfortunately.
I don’t recall us ever cutting much aluminum over ½ inch in the field – and in our metal/pipe fabrication business we dealt mostly with steel and stainless steel. We could handle some pretty thick stuff on our big old Marvel vertical tilting band saw – and we had an arrangement with another firm that had a plate saw. Water jet cutting was something we thought about (more a fantasy) – and that might be your best long-term solution if you have enough work to justify the cost (we couldn’t for our needs). In our contracting business we sometimes cut small aluminum and brass plates (probably more in the 3/16 to 3/8 inch thick range) on a jobsite table saw. I looked at an old inventory and see that we had some blades bought for this purpose:
OSHLUN SBNF-100060, TREND U*PSB/AP25496, and OSHLUN SBNF-100100
I’ve been an enthusiastic user of many Bosch power tools since the mid 1990’s but this offering will not be added to my list of saw options. It seems no tool brand is the leader in every application or category. The various tool brands all have their stronger areas as well as some weaker launches. Metal cutting circular saws are not Bosch’s strongest showing. DeWALT is also so-so with their battery powered metal circ saw. Both brands have some decent bandsaws and chop-saws, at least. Milwaukee and Makita have slightly better portable metal cutting circulars.
But if you are someone wishing and waiting for an excellent battery powered metal cutting circular saw with brushless motor, chip/debris options(on-board collection, vacuum port, or basic side discharge), with smooth cutting performance on thin and thick metal, threaded rod, struts, emt, and most woods and laminates—check out the upcoming Panasonic/Greenlee LCS-144…..it is scheduled to hit the market sometime around 2005 or something. Can’t even remember how long I’ve had that saw. It’s not going to cut through heavy duty iron as well as a bandsaw, it’s not the best for auto applications, it’s definitely not a replacement for chop/abrasive/cold saws in the fab shops…but one-handed/overhead/all day work sessions with strut, emt, rod and so on…it has no rival. Well, I’ve never seen one at least. I’m sure in Germany they’d sell it in das kindergaartenschaammer section, ya, ya.
I would have mentioned the Greenlee as I’ve seen electrician’s with them – but I thought it had been discontinued. My other quibble with one off tools (like the Panasonic Cordless drills that were so well rated a few years back) is that once you buy into a battery platform there is a disincentive to buy across lines. With corded tools – it was much easier to say that we liked Porter Cable (plus PC- Betterley) and Bosch routers, Bosch Jig saws, Makita and Mafell planers, Lamello biscuit joiners and lipping planers, Milwaukee Sawzalls and Super Hole Hawgs, Skil worm gear saws, Fein and Metabo grinders, Fein and Festool dust extractors, Festool and Mafell track saws, Fein oscillating tools and so on.
Hopefully tools in the future will offer power technology options that are friendlier to the end users. Hopefully. The marketers and manufacturers of all these various tools MUST be well aware of the extremely pervasive customer frustration/dissatisfaction about the nearly total absence of battery cross-platform options. The battery chemistry changes so rapidly and the companies change form factors frequently, pod to slide or 18v to 20v(to be fair though many newer 20v tools are upgrades from previous gen 18v) or my favorite…Milwaukee V18 to M18. Even Makita battery tech(designed to match the needs of pros more so than their competition in some crucial ways, IMHO) has it’s fair share of issues and complications.
The whole battery ‘issue’ is probably the most common experience for tool users across all markets. From the first-time buyer to the DIY or homeowner to the most qualified pros…nobody’s happy with the battery tech.
My opinion is that multiple ecosystems are potentially worthwhile if the budget allows…I-R automotive is great, Festool drills sure are nice in the woodshop, and Hilti makes a real nice 36v reciprocating saw…but who can afford all that? Not me. Whether confined to one battery system(with limited tool options) or committed to several(with the expense and hassle that comes with such an investment)…it’s a compromise one way or another compared to traditional A/C tools.
My preferences largely align with yours on this topic…Bosch 1584 or 1677 or a Hole Hawg, Skilsaw, P-C trim saw, Multimaster, whatever tool one prefers…they all plug in to the same common widely available A/C outlets.
BTW, I THINK the Greenlee/Panasonic line is discontinued, though the batteries can be rebuilt with fresh Li cells.
Here in the Midwest some deals pop up, which is why I mention Greenlee here and there.
The saw, two batteries, charger and case-$89 at some Menards locations. The compatible SDS Rotohammer with SDS-to-standard drill bit quick adapter was selling for $79 recently. A great tool for electricians.
fred, one last thing, if I may…best wishes and good luck in the impossible task of picking the superior biscuit tool. Domino? Lamello? The world may never know. It’s probably maybe the Domino.
I retired in late 2012 and repaired to my home shop with its limitations. So in January 2013 I bought a Domino XL – added some accessories from Seneca Woodworking and Festool since then – and have almost never again looked at my biscuit joiner (my personal one is a Dewalt – the Lamello we had in the shop was a bit too rich for my blood). In 2 years, I’ve used Dominos to build big oak doors and some small garden totes – and a number of other things more in the middle of the size range. The tool is a game changer for me- I no longer have access to a dedicated mortising machine – and taking the mortiser to the work instead of the other way around is a lot easier in my home shop.
The Festool TS75 can cut aluminum with an aluminum blade. I don’t know how thick though.
I prefer left side blade