Recently I reported the results of our nearly larger-than-life cordless circular saw shootout featuring sixteen of the tools in blade-to-blade combat. This endeavor was a lot of fun (and work!) and it yielded a bonanza of helpful information that can help you in your quest for great tools. Shortly after publishing the results, I began a series of spotlights on each saw with the first of two Milwaukee saws in the competition. The next circular saw in the hot seat is the veteran Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw, a 6-1/2-inch blade-left that’s been a contender in all of my tool shootouts over the last ten years.
Can it still run with the pack? That’s what I wanted to find out.
The Bosch 1671B Circular Saw is a blade-left design. While that was once only the domain of worm drives (direct drives), the 6-1/2-inch cordless class seems to have adopted it.
Whereas many of its competitors now have a brushless motor, the 1671’s motor is brushed. Nearly every manufacturer has at least one brushless model out now and it’s a big advantage for motor life and runtime.
One of the features you don’t see on every circular saw is a rafter hook. Even though this model is pretty old by cordless standards, Bosch put one on there. It’s a feature many Pros demand on circular saws and reciprocating saws.
On the safety side of things, you get a blade brake.
A couple notable features are missing. There’s no LED light for your cutline or bevel stops. It’s also only sporting a 6-1/2-inch blade. Most newer models on both 18V and 36V platforms have 7-1/4-inch blades. We won’t call them omissions because the fact of the matter is that they weren’t widespread when this model first came out.
The feel in the hand rates Very Good and the guard/trigger combination is easy and comfortable. The trigger safety is a push in style. It works well, but a push-down mechanism is easier more natural.
Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw Features
- Brushless Motor: No
- Rafter Hook: Yes
- Metal Blade Guard: Yes
- Blade Brake: Yes
- LED Light: No
- Riving Knife: No
- Bevel Stops: None
- Battery storage position in tool with power disconnected
High Noon at the Circular Saw Corral
Here’s a recap of the testing parameters from our shootout. I familiarized myself with the saw’s feel and comfort by cutting making rip cuts in dimensional lumber. Then I moved to more quantifiable things like cutting speed, tracking cutline markers, blade visibility, guard operation, and the ease of following a rafter square straight edge.
So how did the Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw perform?
Quite well, in fact. The cutline marker accuracy is dead-on at 45° and 90°. Blade visibility rates Very Good, although the blade guard lever does enter the sight line during the cut. The blade guard action itself is likewise Very Good. The large outboard lobe aids the action during the cut.
The saw’s deep cutting ability – including its deep bevel cutting – rates Good. The no-load RPM is adequate but it slows more than others when I push it.
A 4-foot cut in 2-inch deep OSB took 10.37 seconds, ranking it 8th in speed overall. That’s still in the top half of the power/speed category among its competitors. But battery efficiency has improved so much that it no longer requires 36 volts to do what the Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw does.
The Bottom Line
The Bosch 1671B Circular Saw is still a capable tool years after its original introduction, but it’s bulky and heavy compared to its 6-1/2-inch peers without enough of a performance edge to justify it.
In the final accounting, the Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw is the 3rd-fastest cutting 6-1/2-inch saw and places 9th of 16 competitors with 70.5 points. It’s not that it’s a poor performer; it’s just that its capability has been matched or superseded by newer, more efficient 18V technology. It no longer takes the bulk of a 36V pack to do the work.
This seasoned tool of the jobsite can still get the job done, but it means committing to a limited battery platform when there are lighter choices with more platform flexibility from which to choose. With Bosch’s Core18V battery on the market, there’s surely a brushless 7-1/4-inch circular saw in the works. If you’re already on Bosch’s 36V platform, this is a supplementary tool that will get the job done. But if you’re not, wait for the next 18V model from Bosch.
Bosch 1671B 36V Circular Saw Specifications
- Model: Bosch 1671B
- Voltage: 36V
- Tested Battery: 4.0 Ah battery; 144 Wh rating
- Blade Diameter: 6-1/2″
- Blade Orientation: Left
- No Load Speed: 4,000 RPM
- Depth of Cut: 2 1/8+” at 90°; 1 3/4+” at 45°
- Bevel Capacity: 0-50°
- Weight with Battery: 10.6 pounds
- Warranty: 1 year limited
- Price: $225.00