The Flex SMS 190 18.0 EC Review

The Flex SMS 190: Light in Weight – But no Lightweight

I can’t do without my mitre saws. Yes, ‘saws’. I have a mains-powered one in my workshop and a 36v cordless example that is essential on the jobsite. The site version has to be light enough carry easily – I have no desire to cart a 30Kg monster up several flights of stairs. And they must be accurate – I expect and get workshop-style accuracy from my cordless mitre saw. The deal is that they get handled with care when being moved.

The Flex SMS 190 is only recently launched into the Flex range of cordless tools. Sometimes, coming to the table when the dust has settled on the competition a bit, can be an advantage – in the case of the Flex SMS 190 I got the impression that the R and D team made sure that it has all the features and benefits that are needed to make it bang up to date.

Flex SMS

For example, I liked the very clearly marked detent scale for setting bevels. It was precise and positive and operated very smoothly via a small lever that released the

detent lock. The scale is marked up to 48 degrees on both sides so users can have a bit more scope for ‘wrong’ angles.

The Mitre lock was a big lever on the back of the body that was clear and easy to reach – no chance of scraping your knuckles against things. The scales were again clearly marked and easy to set with a spring- loaded pin that made finding zero easy.

Flex being used

Considering that this saw was out-of-the-box new, the controls were silky smooth and as such, were commented on by other people who I invited to have a little try out on it. The controls are all easy and light to operate. The trenching feature was nice and robust and clear to see and operate too. I have used other saws where the controls required a bit of bullying to operate properly, so it’s great to have a saw so easy to handle.

It is clear that the whole machine is well made. The castings are crisp and well finished and the Flex-Red paint job is to a high standard. The side tables are well finished with a flat surface, as is the back fence. The end tables have two big carrying handles cast into them and they make this saw ultra-easy to pick up and carry. There is also another big plastic handle on the top of the saw that needs to be screwed in after it is taken out of the box and this offers the option of a one-handed carry. Quite possible, since the saw weighs just 13 Kgs without a battery pack.

Several manufacturers have started making both plunge saws and mitre saws with two 18v battery packs. Saws use a lot of energy, so it does make sense to do this. I wondered how the Flex would manage on its single 18v battery pack. The truth is, it managed much better than I thought it would. Typical softwood sections like 50x75mm were cut almost effortlessly. With hardwood, the cuts were as easy, only bigger sections like 75x75mm needed a bit more patience. The finish left by the blade was almost polished and, it is clear that the thin kerf blade is high quality. For most of my saws I would normally replace the original blade with a high-quality specialist one. In this case I wouldn’t bother.

I think that the Flex SMS 190 is a great addition to the range of Flex power tools – it may be light in weight, but it is no lightweight when it comes to performance.

Video Review of the Flex SMS 190

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