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Review by rasp posted 06-20-2012 05:30 PM 9526 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
137.285540 137.285540 137.285540 Click the pictures to enlarge them

A neighbour down the street asked me to look at his mitre saw. He said it wasn’t cutting square in any direction. I tuned it up best as I could and figured, while I’m here, I could review it.

10 inch Craftsman Professional, at first, I was impressed. Craftsman engineers did a good job disguising cheap metal as a ‘professional saw’. The only reason I’m going to be so harsh on this saw is the fact they stick a big “PROFESSIONAL” logo on them. I’ll take that as a sign they aim to sell this saw to contractors and other tradespeople that will use them everyday. Those type of people are very demanding of their tools.

The first gripe I have this with saw is the dust bag. The port for the dust ejection is right infront of the handle, so when the dust bag is attached, it covers the handle. This isn’t really that big of a deal, it doesn’t hinder performance of the saw. What bugs me about it is that it’s such an oversight on the engineers part. If they couldn’t think of a way to make this area flow nicely, what else did they skimp out on? what else did they say was “good enough”?

So I start by making a few test cuts, seeing where everything lines up. Where your hands are located on the saws handles as you cut. How you have to crank the knobs, how much torque to apply. The whole saw was a little sticky, so I sprayed the moving bits with some WD-40 and let it sit for 10 minutes. When I come back I quickly go over all the knobs, dials, slides, moving parts, making sure they are freed up and slide nicely.

It crosscuts to a maximum of 13 1/8”, and will cut a board up to 14-15 inches wide if you just lift the closest edge of the board a little bit, to finish off the cut.

The base moves as if it was suspended in thick, rusty jello. I lubricated this area with WD-40 and I couldn’t get it to slide nicely. Changing the angles on the base of the saw is a nuisance simply because it doesn’t turn freely. This should ride on some kind of machined surface or have some kind of a bearing. I also blew the whole saw out with compressed air before starting to set it up, so there is no built up wood dust shavings or chips in the moving parts. I also noticed the positive stops for the saw were kind of weak. You can skip right over them, and there isn’t a little tab to “lock” into place, as the Makita mitre saws have.

The more recent Craftsman saws have adapted to this style of design I believe. Tightening the front knob locks in the desired angle, and you have to loosen and tighten this knob for every angle adjustment. I personally prefer the Makita style, where the screw thread remains tight and you simply push a tab in to turn the bed and adjust the angle. Much easier, one handed operation.

As I was checking the two 45 degrees on either side, I noticed the trigger lock is designed specifically for right handed operators. I am right handed, I’m also a pretty strange individual and sometimes have to hold the handle with my left. It’s nearly impossible to turn the saw on with your left hand. You end up wrapping your mitt around the handle like some kind of mandible claw (Mick Foley reference), definitely going to result in severe carpal tunnel syndrome if you have to work like that on a daily basis.

I tried to Google the serial number, but it seems like this saw in a few years old and discontinued now. They seem to change their designs a lot, every other year they have new saws, and no more support for their old ones. I don’t think I would purchase a Craftsman mitre saw, there are too many oversights. I would stick with something that has been around a while, something tried and true, where you can still order specific parts that belong on that particular saw. This Craftsman saw is also HUGE. The footprint measures 24 by 30 roughly, and the sliding rail needs quite a bit of room away from a wall to get maximum travel. The saw is pretty heavy and awkward to hold. I’m 5’9” and weigh 160lbs and I find this saw very uncomfortable to lift and carry through doorways. i can see many door frames damaged from the clumsy sidestepping you would have to do to fit through.

3 stars. lots of room for improvement, so much improvement, it’d be a different saw made by a different company. I can’t see professional people using this saw on a job site for more than a few hours. It’d get tossed in a dumpster. Which makes me wonder, who would buy it?

View rasp's profile


75 posts in 3478 days

10 comments so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3469 days

#1 posted 06-20-2012 07:17 PM

I have an older craftsman miter saw (non-sliding). The only thing I use it for is rough cutting boards to size that fit on it. It is inaccurate in every way a saw could be. The middle of the table (where it rotates – and where you had shouldn’t be to hold the piece down) is about 1/16” of an inch higher than the rest of the saw where the fence is attached (and where you hand SHOULD be, thus pushing the piece off the table). this makes for some nice bevels where you don’t want them.

I keep meaning to upgrade, but I also keep using my table saw for everything. If I had a need for compound miters a lot, I would upgrade.

Rasp, I am also a lefty and this saw cannot be used left handed. Very annoying but I find that is common in a lot of tools. I don’t think there is a chainsaw made that can be safely operated left-handed.


View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 06-21-2012 05:29 PM

Boy, beating my dead horse…bought a Craftsman top of the line tractor, engine blew one month out of warranty, Briggs and Stratton INDUSTRIAL, only to find out B&S would not support the model since it was for Sears. Took three variable speed drills before I got one that had a switch that worked. Bought a Sears chain saw, found out it had aluminum main plate where the saw bar clamps on, screws starting walking out, would only cut in a circle. Bought a Sears belt sander only to have the non-keyed, hot glued on front roller melt off in the first fifteen minutes of sanding. Found out the hard way that the Sears “lifetime” warranty on tools does not cover sharpened edges, so the trimmers I bought that failed on small branches? Nada… This unit is no different, cheapened up just to make it look great and stay competitive.
For all those folks who run with Craftsman and love them, live long and prosper. I’ll buy the other brands…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3445 days

#3 posted 06-21-2012 05:36 PM

I think a lot of us (including me) were brought up by dads who worked with and swore by (not at) Craftsman tools everyday. If this is what they are producig today, the next generation (our kids) will not have that default confidence bred in through the years. You can only live on a good reputation for so long – at some point you have to met expectations. Step it up Sears – you are wasting the Craftsman name.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Dustmite97's profile


439 posts in 4441 days

#4 posted 06-21-2012 07:13 PM

I also have an older Craftsman non-sliding miter saw. It’s ok but certainly not great.

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4696 days

#5 posted 06-21-2012 07:43 PM

My sliding Craftsman is not all that great either. I’ve had it for 6 years but seems a later model as to yours.

Dust bag is at the back, but useless. It catches very little saw dust.

My biggest complaint is the sliding mechanism. It twists .03 inches as it pulls forward, and then twists again when you push in for a cut. This leaves the board edge wavy. I tested this with Wixley digital gauge set to 0 degrees and then watch it move to an angle as the blade is pulled toward you. I have no idea how to fix that.

It works as a good construction grade chop saw… not so much so for fine woodworking.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 06-22-2012 08:39 PM

A few months ago I was looking into buying a miter saw and looked to Craftsman first because I usually liked their tools. Checked out the compound sliding miter saws because I often work with 12” wide stock.

As this review says, even the ‘professional’ grade saws are still made with cheap plastic and not designed very good. Everything that should be metal to be durable, is plastic and will almost certainly break off.

Obvious now that Craftman has chosen to make cheap tools with cheap materials, that won’t last.

Realizing all these negatives, I saved up and bought the new Dewalt and love it, and clearly built to last.

-- Ben from IL

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4451 days

#7 posted 06-24-2012 06:45 PM

“I think a lot of us (including me) were brought up by dads who worked with and swore by (not at) Craftsman tools everyday.”

I was one of those people who followed my dad’s footsteps as a carpenter. Back in the 60-70’s all we knew was Sears. Progressing into the late 70’s early 80’s, all I owned was Sears Craftsman tools – wrenches, Radial Arm Saw, Circular saw, jig saw, 12 inch band saw. I used to catch tools on sale and put them in lay-away until I could pay them off.

I never had any of my tools break that I can remember except for a router that cratered under full load. I didn’t blame it because I had used it extensively for several years.

These days when I walk through the tool section at Sears, it is a big disappointment for me to see their lack of quality made tools.

I still have a Sears router and circular saw that work fine, but I got rid of the rest long ago.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View AmandasHusband's profile


58 posts in 3914 days

#8 posted 07-28-2012 02:26 AM

I have this exact saw.

Very accurate.

The review, not the saw.

-- In this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

View runswithscissors's profile


3133 posts in 3246 days

#9 posted 11-22-2012 08:24 AM

A “professional” branded tool is not aimed at pros; it’s aimed at DIYers who think,”Wow, if the pros are using this, I gotta have one.” I’m convinced that Sears has a clause that goes in all their tool making jobs they put out for bid, that only the crappiest bearings are to be used. Almost every tool maker has made stuff for Sears, but the quality sucks.
You can say much the same for tools that are called “industrial.”

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3169 days

#10 posted 01-28-2013 08:58 PM

wow!!!!!!!! I have a 12” craftsmen non slide double compound belt driven(prob 10 yo). It was my first chop saw, when I bought it my #1 was belt driven to get the motor out of the way. I have put up miles of crown and used it religiously in a daily setting for 5+ years. I looked at it side by side a dewalt and it was a hard choice but the price and crown stops sold me on it. that being said It does have some qurks but it is 10 yo and doesnt owe me anything. I think sears is failing to keep up. but don’t count the out yet. just tread lightly and use cation when making a big purchase.

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