Partner K950 Active Review

You get so much more handheld saw from just two extra little pounds. Our K950 was the second concrete handheld-style saw we ever purchased, after the Stihl TS 400. I had a team of 4 or 5 and we were working on a project that required more than one guy running a handheld saw, so I went to my favorite construction supply store and rented a K950. It felt a little heavy, but as soon as I dropped it into the paver patio we were cutting in, I knew we needed to own one. I clearly remember cutting a run of brick pavers where they laid, roughly 30 feet or so, going through them so quickly and easily that I let out a big “Waahoooo!”

This saw has an outstanding amount of torque. If you’ve ever held a spinning bicycle wheel vertical by holding just one side of the axle, you’ve got the sense of what the torque on this saw is like. If you hold this saw in the air (not in the material you’re cutting) and try to rotate the saw left or right, the saw will work against that effort; that’s how much torque this saw imparts on a big 16″ diamond blade (it’s also available in 14″).

And truth be told, Partner has taken steps to make the K950 handheld a light saw. Where the chassis of the K650K700 and K750 are some sort of metal alloy (most likely aluminum), much of the body of the K950 is plastic. Our K950 is seven years old, so I can say with a little authority that the chassis material has not affected the long-term durability of the saw.

I think one of the reasons the saw ends up being so heavy is having a 16″ diamond blade turning on it – believe it or not the 16″ blade has almost double the surface volume of a 12″ blade, so it’s also almost twice as heavy. Add a full tank of fuel and this saw is getting close to 30 pounds. But for certain cutting jobs, it’s worth it.

We began using the saw for both paver and retaining wall cutting, but have now made it more exclusively a retaining wall and large block cutting machine, as the added power cutting pavers isn’t as much of a benefit as the added weight is a detriment. But it can cut through 6″ retaining wall block without flipping the block over to finish a cut – a huge benefit and time saver with that kind of work. Another reason we don’t use it for pavers is the diameter of the blade. It’s difficult to get a 16″ blade to cut pavers where they lay, in a curved line, without gouging pieces of pavers you don’t want to damage. Even a 12″ blade has trouble with tighter inside curve cuts, but with a 16″ blade it’s just about impossible.

I know what you’re thinking – “Just take off the 16″ diamond blade and put on a 12″ blade, dummy.” The thing is, why bother when we already have at least one other (lighter) saw already outfitted with a 12″ blade. It’s easier just to grab the smaller saw than to fiddle around with changing blades.

Over the last 12 months or so we’ve had problems with shredded belts, and in working to solve the problem have ended up replacing several parts between the crankshaft and the blade. But again, this saw is seven years old, so I’m going to give it a pass for our recent problems, as they seem to be a matter of wear and tear on moving parts on the saw. I know plenty of contractors who only plan for a saw to last a single season, maybe two. Part of that is surely the misuse of the saws in the wrong hands, but part of it is also likely the brand of saw. So I’d say seven years before any major repairs is a pretty good track record.

Overall this has been a very dependable, useful saw for us. Because of it’s power I would not put it in the hands of smaller, weaker employees, or employees with less experience with a handheld concrete saw. It’s ideal for cutting thicker materials (3″-6″), but overkill for cutting pavers or scoring concrete.

Partner K 950 Active Specs:
Displacement: 94cc
Power: 6.1 hp
Weight: 22.7 lbs for the 14″, 24.7 lbs for the 16″
Fuel Capacity: 23.7 oz
Maximum Speed: 5,700 rpm – spindle
Arbor Size: 1 inch (25.4mm)