I became a fan of this saw within about ten minutes of using it. I happened to be cutting up some 75mm thick, hard American Maple when it arrived. I thought that there was no time like the present, slotted a battery pack into it and started cutting. The brand-new blade was sharp as a razor, the power delivery was spot on and although the depth of cut, at 62mm, wasn’t quite enough to cut through the 75mm thickness of the maple, there was not even a change of note from the motor as it sliced through the timber. Now that is a good first impression. And subsequent use just proved that my first impression was the correct one. This must be a first – a recommendation for a product by the end of the first paragraph of a review.
It is clear on close examination that Flex has done its homework on what is needed for a cordless circular saw. These saws are often used for smallish cutting and trimming jobs, often working at height or in awkward situations. They do need to be accurate, powerful enough, light and easy to handle, and with enough adjustment to be versatile on the worksite. Used with a straightedge, they should also be able to cut boards of all kinds like ply, OSB and MDF. With a depth of cut of 62mm one can appreciate that smallish is not always that small.
Construction of the saw base, blade guard and adjustments is of a well finished cast alloy. And I do mean well finished – there are no bumps and glitches to spoil it and the actual base of the saw is flat and square. Another nice touch is the slight rounding over of the front of the base so that feeding it into a cut is eased.
All of the adjustments on the saw body and base are toolless via small plastic-handled cam clamps. They are very positive and easy to use and clamp tightly when set. One of my pet hates is too much free play in the depth of cut settings on portable circular saws, but there is no problem with the Flex. And the depth setting is accurate too. When it comes to blade angle settings there are a couple of nice touches too. The protractor blade settings have a clear white on black scale for easy reading. There are also three fixed settings at 50, 45 and 22.5 degrees that are selected via a small control knob so these angles can be set accurately for repeat cuts.
Features and Benefits
The body and motor housing are made of Flex Red plastic – strong and well put together and certainly able to withstand a few knocks. There is a compact EC (brushless) motor that is very quiet and torquey. It sits directly underneath the main handle so that your hands feel as though they are operating on the centre of gravity, although the handle does appear to be set higher than other equivalent saws from other makers.
Somehow Flex has managed to include a bright LED light underneath the handle where it is not quite as visible as it might be, but the overspill of light is still generally useful. Right next to the light is the spindle lock needed for changing the blade with a hex key attached nearby.
Some users might think that the handle position is a bit high but the position of the auxiliary handle allows the saw to be guided easily, and in fact keeps your view of the blade and cut line clear. The handles have a good coating of black rubberised overmould for grip. In order to start the saw, the safety button has to be depressed before the trigger can be pulled. This is suited to both left and right handers.
Another feature I liked was that the brushless motor has a brake that stops the blade within a couple of seconds after the trigger is released.
There are also a couple of options when it comes to collecting dust. On a cordless saw where users might not yet have sorted out the option of dust collection via a cordless vacuum, the small dust bag does a remarkably good job of collecting the fairly large amounts of dust thrown out by the blade. The bag is robustly made with a nylon mesh outer and clips into place, so it does not simply fall off as a push fit bag might. It is fair to say that it keeps clients happy when working indoors as the dust that escapes is minimal, but you will need to keep an eye on when the bag needs emptying. A task that is easy to do because the bag simply unclips. The dust does not need to be emptied through a small nozzle.
Another option is to fit the dust spout. This too is clipped into place and is a standard 35mm fitting for most small dust extractor vac nozzles.
Finally, there is a small pressed steel fence that can be attached in slots either in front of or behind the blade. I rarely use them, preferring to rely on a straightedge instead. But still no searching in the box for the fixing screws for it – they are a simple cam clamp fixing.
The Flex CS 62 comes in a handsome fitted L-Boxx with two batteries and a charger. Although nominally rated at 5 Ah I find that the battery packs perform well and charge efficiently. I especially like the fact that Flex chargers have a minutes countdown on them so you know exactly how long you have to wait for your battery to be fully charged.
There is a lot of value and performance built into this saw and current Flex users should find it a no-brainer to acquire should they need a circular saw. Its features should also appeal to others looking for a good quality, well specified cordless circular saw. I like it very much.
Aimed at: Pro and demanding amateurs who need a quality tool
Pros: Efficient, easy to use and adjust, robustly made with a good depth of cut.