Saw with the base extensions folded in.
Doug Mahoney Saw with the base extensions folded in.
Saw with the base extensions fully extended--note the levers for locking the extensions in place.
Doug Mahoney Saw with the base extensions fully extended--note the levers for locking the extensions in place.
A large paddle controls the lock for the bevel lock; the saw tilts 47 degrees to the left and 2 degrees to the right.
Doug Mahoney A large paddle controls the lock for the bevel lock; the saw tilts 47 degrees to the left and 2 degrees to the right.
This manufacturer's photo shows how easy it is to carry the saw.
Bosch Tools This manufacturer's photo shows how easy it is to carry the saw.

I’ve been using Bosch miter saws for years. I like them for their durability and the easy-to-use adjustments. For the past month, I’ve been testing out their CM8S 8-½-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw and I really like what it has to offer. It has the features I appreciate in the larger Bosch saws, but in a much more manageable weight. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve been so impressed with a tool.

The CM8S is very simple to use. All of the controls are big and can be handled with gloves on. I especially like how the bevel control is an over-sized paddle set to the side of the tool, and not behind it. This makes it much easier to unlock and set a specific cut angle.

The rear bevel also has a pivoting turret stop, which is set to the common angles of 22.5 and 33.9. It can also be used to set the bevel to a couple degrees beyond 45. A similar adjustment is on the other side too, so you can exceed 0 degrees on a straight cut if you need it. Both adjustments are intuitive and easy to use.

The miter adjustment is the traditional front dial that locks in with a twist. Bosch has included a detent override, like on their larger saws. It’s nice not having to fight with the detent if I’m slightly overcutting or undercutting an angle.

Another similarity with the larger Bosch saws is that the side supports are built into the base of the tool and have the ability to slide out when wider support is needed. It’s a much better system than the metal bars many other saws have. Those need to be carried separately and manually attached to the base (not to mention, I always seem to lose them).

Because the tool is so small and light (only 37 pounds), it can be carried with one hand. Bosch has made this even easier by putting a pivoting handle at the top of the tool. The handle is on the sliding portion of the saw, so it’s easy to set it to the center of gravity. Carrying the saw this way makes it feel more like carrying a full 5-gallon bucket than an awkward miter saw. Of all the features this saw offers, this one may be my favorite.

On top of all these handling features, the saw cuts well and was powerful enough to deal with all of my trim work, including some bulky handrails. It has a max depth of cut of 3 ½ inches, so it can just barely handle a 4x4 in one pass. The 12-inch cross cut is plenty for most common lumber dimensions.

There aren’t many downsides to the CM8S, and the ones I noticed aren’t major at all. The saw doesn’t have a soft start, so when the trigger is pulled, the blade abruptly goes into motion. It’s sudden, but it doesn’t affect how the saw performs at all and I quickly got used to it. The CM8S also doesn’t have an LED light. I don’t see these as essential on miter saws and, honestly, I didn’t even notice it was missing until about a week into testing.

There is no question $450 is a lot to pay for a single bevel saw, but I think it’s a good investment. My other Bosch saw is nearly 10 years old and still works like new; I expect that same durability from this one. It’s simply a nice tool with a good set of features.

Bosch CM8S 8-½-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw
RPM: 5,600 (no load)
Amps: 12
Angled crown at fence: 3 1/2 inches
Cut capacity at 90 crosscut: 12 inches
Cut capacity at 45 miter: 9 ½ inches
Miters: 52 degrees L; 60 degrees R
Bevels: 47 degrees L; -2 degrees R
Weight: 37 pounds
Country of origin: China
Includes: dust bag, blade wrench, blade
Price: $450