Wacker BTS 1035 Review
Identical Saw Reviews
Because the Wacker BTS 1035 is a private label saw, this review in effect is also a review of the Makita DPC7301, the Dolmar PC-7335 and the Speedi-Cut SC7314, because other than a few differently colored pieces of plastic, these are identical saws. Mechanics at a local construction supply use the parts interchangeably when repairing broken saws.
After having the chance to use the Wacker BTS 1035 on a few projects, I can see why this cutoff saw is being manufactured for so many different brands. Quite a bit of thought has gone into the design of this saw, making it worth comparison shopping against the bigger brand and model cutoff saws like the Partner K700 and Stihl TS400 (which have roughly the same horsepower and identical blade capacity).
One of the first things I noticed was how quiet the saw was. The reduction in noise over our other saws was pretty noticeable. Because I was curious, I had three similar saws running next to each other at idle to see if one wasn't audible over the others. At idle, the Wacker cutoff saw definitely made the least amount of noise. Once throttled up to full speed the noise level was more comparable to the other saws, but by then you're usually running it through some brick or a piece of concrete, so noise level isn't really as relevant.
The next thing I noticed was the saws control of vibration. This is another measure where it'd be nice to have some sort of vibratometer (remove your head from the gutter, please) to provide you with empirical data, but there isn't one. Or if there is, we don't have it. What I do know is that my hands stayed extremely steady, whether the saw was running at full speed, buried in a run of pavers, or above the pavers to cool the blade. In the past I've had some vibration issues with the Stihl TS400, and if you're a person that is more susceptible to the damage that can happen to hands and wrists from running heavily vibrating tools, this Wacker concrete cutoff saw would be a good choice for you.
And the vibration control extends to the spinning diamond blade as well. We've found that we're able to make more precise, delicate paver cuts with the Wacker over our Stihl and Partner saws, because vibration is so well controlled over the entire saw. I'm not talking about blade wobble. When I run other saws through a paver to make a sliver cut, many times the bouncing and lateral motion of the saw during the cut will break the cut piece before I can finish the cut. This saw allows me to cut very narrow pieces of brick pavers successfully, which is important if you do a lot of detailed cutting.
Controls on the saw are easily understood and easy to use. The blade guard adjustment provides a comparatively easy way to rotate the guard, and includes a pin-in-slot locking mechanism to prevent the guard from drifting back into it's previous location.
I also give kudos for the single-switch design, which means fewer moving parts, less things to break, and less time for a beginner to become proficient at using a saw. The Wacker BTS 1035 has a single switch with three positions: Choke, Run and Off. Compare this with Partner saws that have 2 switches, each with two positions, and the Stihl saw, which has 2 switches that each have three possible positions, all to perform the same functions. Putting the kudos aside for a moment, the placement of this switch on the Wacker saw has created a frequent problem of accidentally killing the saw. Often I found myself reaching for the idling saw to throttle up and plunge into a cut only to have a finger or thumb nick the switch and kill the saw.
Of the two other saws I placed side-by-side with it, the Wacker was the longest of the three. The body of the saw was also far bulkier, but overall the top of the handle was the tallest part of this saw and was no taller than the Partner K700. It was surprising to see how much larger this saw appeared, but I believe a large portion of that is a product of the protective plastic shroud cantilevered over the air-cooled cylinder.
The air filtration system is very good, on par with (and similar in design to) Partner saws. Dirty air is pulled through a multi-layered, oil-impregnated filter, then passes through a paper filter before passing through a final clear plastic particulate filter (as a side note I don't quite understand the need for this final filter, as the sieve size is far larger than anything that should be trying to get past it). The surface area of the oil-laden filter is on the small side, so I wonder if this saw will require more frequent changes of the filter, potentially meaning more down time and greater maintenance costs.
The power output of this saw was adequate. Because I like so many things about the saw I really wanted to brag about the power. Truth be told, as an employee and I were cutting parallel lines through a concrete slab to prep it for removal, his Partner K700, running an identical diamond blade, was cutting through the concrete more quickly than I was with the Wacker. That being said, having a larger fuel tank was nice, as I didn't have to stop for fuel-ups as often as my guy running the K700 did.
The availability and interchangeability of parts between this saw and the Makita DPC7301, Dolmar PC-7335 and Speedi Cut SC7314 make finding parts for your concrete cutoff saw easier. Ease of use, low noise, low vibration and adequate power make the Wacker BTS 1035 cutoff saw worth your consideration on your next saw purchase.
Wacker BTS 1035 Specs:
Power: 5.5 hp
Weight: 21.8 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 43 oz
Maximum Speed: 4,300 rpm - spindle
Arbor Size: 1 inch (25.4mm)