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Miter Saw Upgrade

4731 Views 23 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  459fitter
Hi LJ's. I am currently looking to upgrade my Kobalt miter saw. It has been a good saw for the money, but its time to move on to something that will give me a little more confidence in my cuts.
I am wanting a 10" slider for under $500. I mostly make small boxes, but do need to make the longer cuts on occasion. I have read lots of reviews on different saws and am looking at Makita, Bosch, Hitachi, Dewalt and Milwaukee. I only have experience with my Kobalt at home and my Bosch 4410L at work, which I love, but don't want to spend that much, but of course, would like to get the most bang for the buck. I would love to know your thoughts and any direction would be much appreciated.
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Brad, I have a Dewalt DW705 and have been very happy with it. It is not a slider, but it is very accurate and I recommend it.
Jet has come out with miter saws fairly recently. They seem reasonable and look good. We have sold several, and guys like them. I have a Makita 12" Slider and love it. Bosch is also very good as you already know. My son hates his DeWalt.
The Makita LS1013F consistently receives very high marks from those who own one and reviewers alike. Even with the freight added it's within your budget. For a little less money you might consider a reconditioned model these guys.
You could get a 12" Rigid Sliding Miter saw from Home Depot. It sells for $549 normally but if they're not running any current promos you can get a 10% off coupon form HD or from Lowes which HD will honor and that brings it down to $500. I don't have any experience with that saw but others here probably do I'm just suggesting one within your budget. My neighbor does have one though and I've never heard him say anything bad about it.

HD also has a Makita 10" for the same price if you really want to stick to the 10" but even if you're doing small boxes now the 12" might come in handy in the future.
Last month, Home Depot was selling the brand new Milwaukee 12" slider WITH a FREE wheel support stand included for $499.00. I upgraded from my 12" Makita cms, and absolutely love the extra capacity. It is very rigid, too, as the slide mechanism is underneath the table instead of on top, so you don't get the racking effect as you do on the Bosch, Makita, or Hitachi. I highly recommend it.
I recently included a miter saw review on my blog. You can read it at
This review also concluded the Makita LS1013FL is the best 10 inch sliding miter saw. You can also find links to deals on miter saws. Hope this helps.
When you read accuracy ratings remember they overlook that the Makita is arranged backward. So when they test for play on the Makita with the blade at full extension the rails are at zero extension and play is minimal. However when the blade is near the fence the Makita rails are at full extension and its here that the Makita has play comparative to other saws. All the reviewers seem to miss this important fact and it skews their reviews. I own both the Makita and the new Bosch and so had lots of time to compare them and discover this interesting fact. The accuracy in terms of play is the same on these two saws when you compare apples to apples i.e. when both have their rails fully extended. However the Bosch's much better ergonomics, the front controls, the smoother table operation, and more positive and accurate stops led me to put the Makita in my seldom used van and take the much nicer Bosch and put it in my busy shop.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to help. It is nice to get input from those that actually own and use them.
drbob- thank you for the link.
mcase- You bring up a very good point about the rails that I had not heard or thought of.

Does anyone have any experience with the newer Dewalt DW717?
Brad, We use the Dewalts at work. I think we have like 3 of the DW717 that are about 3 to 4 years old. Other than brushes every couple of years They have held up well. We had a Bosch and it lasted less than a year. Hope this helps.
The following is only my opinion. I am not being paid by anyone.

I have the older Dewalt 12'', its about 17 years old. I have used it for remodeling, building decks, fencing, etc… but now its mostly used for small projects including cutting the miters for my boxes. Its is extremely accurate and very easy to readjust if needed. We have the new Dewalt slider at our cabinet shop, and use it seldom…but no complaints.

"D" shaped handles and NO safety button are more user friendly to me, but thats something you need to determine for your self.

Food for thought:
Unless you regularly cut siding or install shelving, or cut large compound miters, you may not use a slider that often. They are made very well but are still more likely to have accuracy problems (many moving parts) than a std miter saw.They take up more room, and I dont particularly care for how they operate when making a non sliding cut, which is the most common for me. I just dont care for the way the head pivots in comparison to a std miter saw.

So, I determined that for myself the bonus feature of being able to cut wider boards, on those rare occasions, was less important to me than how much room it took up and how smoothly it was to use most of the time, how easy it is to dial everything back into alignment, and there is the cost to consider.

That said, sliding compound saws are wonderful tools and worth every penny…if you need one. I could definitely use one now and then, but manage without. Do your research, find a model or two that you like, consider shopping on Craigslist.
The economy sucks right now and you just might be helping out someone else out, as much as yourself.
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Hi Brad - Wish I could help more, but I'm not too savvy when it comes to miter saws, especially sliders….I'd be wasting everyone's time trying to recommend one over the other. As with most cutting tools, the end performance often comes down to good setup and blade selection. For a slider you'll want a blade with a low to negative hook angle.

Also, as with many tools, buying used or refurbs are usually where the big savings are. Pick one you like, then keep your eyes peeled for the deal on the century. As always….buy the tool, not the brand. Good luck!
Brad, sorry about just now getting around to adding a comment to your topic. I have a Hitachi slider and it works fine for my needs. I agree with Scott in that you should buy a tool that suits your needs rather than simply getting a specific brand. The main gripe I have with my Hitachi is its fence. It has a 5" gap between the left and right side and it is only 2" high on the left side. The gap in the fence makes it unsafe to cut any stock shorter than 12" on the saw.

In comparing it with the Dewalt that you asked about, the Dewalt has a larger motor, increased beveling/mitering capacities and a better fence. But like most situations increased capabilities also mean increased costs. It is a tough decision that you have but at this level your are going to get a quality tool irrespective of the brand name. A friend of mine once advised me to go for the most tool my budget would allow. The times that I have let cost become the overriding factor in purchasing a tool I have come to regret it later.

Let us know which direction you decide to go.
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Brad, I had not commented because I don't own a slider and don't know that much about them. Andy kind of touched on what I was thinking… It would be nice to be able to cut a wider board every now and then, but I really don't need that feature, since I can always make a setup on the table saw for anything my miter saw won't handle.

A lot of people complimented the miters on my Octo-box project, and they were cut with my $200 Ridgid non-slider.

Not that I'm trying to talk you out of buying a slider… I'm just saying I never saw a pressing meed to spend the extra money and shop space.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I have been mulling this over for awhile and its nice to get some different thoughts and view points. I think I am now leaning away from a slider since I mostly make smaller boxes and only need the larger capacity from time to time. I may just keep my 10" slider in the shed for those rare times when I do need it. After consideration of the replies, I realize more of my "needs" and not just "nice to have", not to mention the valuable shop space the sliders take up. Thanks again to everyone for your replies. It's been a big help.

Charlie- I thought the miters on the Octo-box were great. From the outside, it looks as if its all one piece. The only way to tell its not, is when the lid is open. Very well done!
I've read good reviews on Hitachi sliders and I own a dewalt,Bosch and Rigdid There all good but I guess I like the front controls of the Bosch best.

Take a look at the Craftsman 12" slider if you have not completly ruled out a slider. I have this saw and it is a great value. Think only con is that it, like all sliders, needs extra space behind for the slider mechanism.

Take a look at Bob Kollmanns review of the 137.212390 a few days ago.

Happy New Years!
Brad, I bought the Hitachi C 10 FSH slider when I needed more capacity while doing some very large crown molding for a designer lady friend of mine. Wasn't too sure about a slider but I'm very happy with the purchase. I build the cost of it into the job so I was lucky in that respect, but its become a very valuable tool in the shop. I put on a much better blade than the one that came with it and now its used almost daily here.

My other miter saw is a 10" Delta that I've had for years, I still use it for the smaller more repetitive cuts, since its built into a bench with sliding stops. The Hitachi is on a mobile base that rolls around where ever I need it.
Jim- I would have to agree, I too like the front controls on the Bosch I have at work.

Rick-Thank you for the link. It looks like another good alternative.

James- The Hitachi has been high on my list. I have read lots of good reviews on those as well.

Thanks LJ's
To state it simply, I would buy a 10" Hitachi or Makita sliding compound miter saw. These two are consistently the most enduring and favored saws I see in the field as a professional. This statement is in total disregard for price if you are on a budget.

Bosch has a good product and DeWalt's saw has had a lukewarm reception among the contractors I know.

Now for the long answer:

I would choose a 10" because they have nearly the cut capacity of the 12" and they tend to have a more stable cut because there is less distance from the arbor to the tip of the blade to allow for blade deflection.

10" blades, generally speaking, are less expensive to buy. Blades such as the CMT General can be used on both the chopsaw or the tablesaw with excellent results.

The CMT General happens to be one of my favorite blades because it gives an excellent cut either way and it is only a 40 tooth blade. This blade defies the common thought that a high tooth count is required for a clean cut. This blade gives me exceptional cuts and with only 40 teeth costs less to resharpen than a 60 or 80 tooth blade.

I own 3 saws and my favorite is the 10" Hitachi C10FSH. It is incredibly accurate and I like the laser for quickly finding where to locate my cuts.


The 12" DeWalt DW 705 is a good workhorse. It is accurate and lightweight so it goes to the field the most.

The Makita goes to the field when I am cutting a lot of material like shelving or siding because of it's wide cut capacity.

Concerning DeWalt: I cannot speak so much for the new generation of sliders but like I mentioned the reception has been lukewarm for them.

Personally speaking on DeWalt, I had purchased the sliding compound miter saw and the dual bevel chop saw and returned them both. I started with the 12" sliding compound miter and could not tune it to create a square box so I returned it. I bought the 12" dual bevel miter saw and had the same issue. But I have had great service and accuracy from my DW705.

I had used the Hitachi 10" and 8" sliding saws in the field and my brother's shop and was always impressed with the stability and accuracy. Even more impressive was how old some of these saws were. That was what drove me to purchase the Hitachi and I have not regretted it.

My opinions and observations are formed by what I see and experience in the field as a professional. They are not by controlled conditions and side by side comparisons measured with micrometers and digital equipment.

It is common practice for contractors to share another's equipment such as a chopsaw or tablesaw when they are already set up on site. One thing that I notice from this is that a trim carpenter is more finicky about his tools than a framing carpenter and this would be obvious. But both situations can give valuable information on the durability and accuracy of equipement.

Buy the best that you can the first time, it will save you money in the long run.
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