Partner K650 Active III Review
The Partner K650 provides lots of portable power for relatively shallow cutting jobs. The K650 is only available as a 12" blade saw.
Our first K650 Active II was purchased in 2000, and quickly became the workhorse for the majority of the projects we installed, because of it's power (4.8 horsepower) and it's light weight (20.7 pounds). Though the K650 only accommodates a 12" diamond blade, it was perfect for our brick paver installations, as we seldom needed to cut deeper than 2 ¾" (the height of the thickest pavers we install). And because most often we're cutting in paver patios with lots of curves, the smaller blade gives us the best opportunity to cut the pavers where they lay, rather than having to pick them up and move them away from the patio to be cut individually. I've even go so far as to try to source some 10" blades to run on this saw, as they'd give us the ability to cut even tighter curves with this concrete saw. I didn't find any that would fit this kind of saw (hint to diamond blade manufacturers).
When our K650 Active II grew legs and walked away on us, it was replaced with a K650 Active III and it didn't miss a beat. A shade lighter than the Active II (19.6 pounds), the Active III has the same power and curve-cutting ability of it's older brother. On projects where we need to cut a run of pavers 100' or more, an extra pound or two really make a difference, so the 650 is often the saw that's grabbed first.
As with the other Partner saws we've owned, balance is excellent. The placement of each of the handles relative to the blade offers the user exceptional saw control and we've found it to reduce fatigue, as less arm strength is needed to maneuver the saw around the cuts of a patio.
The multiple-stage air filtration system is great, but as I mention in the K700 review, there could be a little better system to anchor the air filtration system to the chassis of the saw, because too often I find the paper filter has had to clean unfiltered air that has somehow gotten past the oil-impregnated filters. This may in part be due to the tendency for these light, powerful saws to vibrate parts loose during use.
While bolts vibrating loose does happen, the transfer of excessive vibration to the user does not. Partner has done an excellent job isolating the handles from the business end of the saw, giving the user a comfortable experience no matter what's being cut.
It comes equipped for dust-reduction via the water kit, spraying water into the blade guard, catching most of the generated dust and dropping it to the ground. Though this does prevent a lot of dust from clouding the work space and entering your lungs, we never use it, because too often it deposits the fine particles deep into the pores of the brick we're installing, where it's impossible to clean out. So we just gear up for the dust, and cut dry. I also think that dry cutting may extend the life of some parts of the saw versus cutting wet (see the troubleshooting article about our K950).
Partner K 650 Active III Specs:
Power: 4.8 hp
Weight: 19.6 lbs (only available in 12")
Fuel Capacity: 25.7 oz
Maximum Speed: 5,400 rpm - spindle
Arbor Size: 1 inch (25.4mm)