One of the first things we noticed about the Bosch saw during initial testing was the vast difference in its appearance against the other saws available for the woodworking market. The company has chosen to integrate a 2-axis multi joint arm system with 12 sealed precision ball bearings which results in awesomely smooth traveling and fine control. Bosch has taken the sliding rail system and gone ballistic with its implementation bringing out a product that can, in our opinion, easily handle 1/32" accuracy. With its sealed ball bearings, you can forget about its performance degrading or the sawing becoming any less smooth over time. The saw also comes with an integrated "glide damper" allowing woodworkers to manoeuvre to different glide actions increasing or decreasing resistance, but the default mode is just fine too. Another key advantage of the kit is its unbelievable space saving capacity: it saves up to 12" of workspace, its arm flush folding into the back of the saw so no matter how small or cramped your shop is you'll always have space for this beauty.
As with previous model, the GCM12SD features all bevel lock levers and range selector controls in the front of the machine and retains the SquareLock Quick Release fence system. Any optional accessories are also very easy to attach, e.g. sacrificial jigs, fences, etc. But one of the most surprising features included in this saw is the 14" horizontal cutting capacity and the significant increase over the company's Axial Glide 12" Miter Saw taking it to new extremes. This version also boasts dual purpose dust port adapts claiming up to 90% dust efficiency and a quick test did assert the vacuum was very efficient.
The one qualm we had about this model was the integrated safety switch that needs to be physically pressed to be activated. We would prefer for a model in this price range to work on a default safety setting without the need to activate a safety latch/trigger. However, Bosch counters this with a clear lower guard which provides an unobstructed eye line through each cut.
The GCM12SD cannot be challenged when it comes to power with the saw pulling in a full 2 HP with a 15A motor and 3,800 rpm which effectively makes a statement: don't go anywhere else for your miter sawing needs. And while it doesn't include an integrated laser it does provide compatibility with the company's LS010 Laser Wash Guide or any other aftermarket laser system. Additionally, it can be used with Bosch's T1B miter saw stands, T3B TracRac and T4B Gravity Rise.
Concluding our review, this really has to be one of the best miter saws on shelves right now and quite possibly, ever. It's safe to say that we have never quite come across a saw quite like this one and considering that it's priced at the similarly top of the line 12" miter saw, reflects the company's decision of redefining its industry's expectations from mainstream professional tools.