When the new CSW41 Bosch Worm Drive Saw hit the market I had to get it, having already reviewed the Skil Mag77LT circular saw from which it is clearly derived. Next to a great framing hammer and a tape measure, a worm drive circular saw is a carpenter’s number one tool. In many parts of the country, worm drive saws are king over sidewinder saws due to their power, durability, and superior cut line visibility. Thanks to Bosch Tools, the king of circular saws has lost weight—roughly two lbs.—over previous lightweight saws and four lbs. over standard models. This is great news for those of us in the carpentry field. Lighter weight means less wear on your body and possibly increased productivity. In some cases that might even equate to more money.
The new CSW41 Bosch Worm Drive Saw is the second lightweight worm drive saw on the market. The first was the Skill MAG77 LT, an upgrade to the popular Skil SHD77M 7-1/4 inch Magnesium worm drive saw. Both the new Bosch worm drive saw and the Skil MAG77LT saws weigh in at 13lb. 1oz. To trim down weight, the motor and housing units were shortened by 3/8”, also making it more balanced. The motor housing and foot are made of magnesium instead aluminum or steel, as other models are. Some older Bosch models also have a composite foot, in fact, and the magnesium is a definite premium. The cast magnesium foot is perfect for breaking down sheet goods with a simple plywood track for accuracy. It has a bevel gauge from 0-53 degrees, clearly marked with silver paint and black markings, and positive stops at 0 and 45 degrees. Depth of cut is also well marked, though not with black markings.
The blade wrench is nicely nestled into the foot under the rear handle. It also serves to easily pop the diamonds out of new saw blades. The rear handle is plastic with Soft-Grip rubber over mold. The lower side of the trigger guard is a little fatter than other saws I use, and I found it to be uncomfortably thick. The trigger tension is also noticeably heavier than my current saws and power tools. The top, or auxiliary, handle looks like it has a rubber over-mold, but this is just stylized plastic. Looks are great, but this handle doesn’t offer the soft-grip comfort or control that is claimed on the box. The Skill version makes the same claim.
The lower blade guard on this Bosch worm drive saw functions smoothly, with a simple and reliable coil spring. It also has an anti-snag bump that moves the guard back as the shoe bevel is increased from 0 to 53 degrees, easing blade engagement in to work piece. A rafter hook is built in to the saw body. It lays nice and flat when not in use, but can be easily deployed when needed. The adjustment levers are large enough for easy loosening and tightening of the bevel and depth of cut. The motor is 15 amps and has plenty of power for cutting through a stack of 2x lumber. The blade arbor has a clutch built in, reducing the risk of kickbacks. It came with a decent framing blade to turn it in to a real light performer. I tended to use thin kerf blades with this saw. These make wonderful chain saw-like chips and they cut nearly twice as fast as ordinary blades.
I would definitely recommend the CSW41 Bosch worm drive saw, especially to the Bosch enthusiasts out there or to anyone trying to lighten the load, whether for the sake of their arms or for doing a remote job by boat or plane. A couple of pounds off a circular saw may mean being able to bring along another tool. With these advantages, I suppose all that’s left to look forward to is an even more compact 6-1/2″ top handled version, or an 8-1/4″ version of the same saw.