Is Miter Saw accuracy a myth?

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Forum topic by greggt posted 01-17-2017 12:41 AM 3189 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1004 days

01-17-2017 12:41 AM

I’m in the market for my first miter saw and I’ve been all over the internet searching for the best choice, but it’s been a highly frustrating journey. As I read through reviews of saws on the different forums or sale sites like Amazon I see a wide range of reviews. 10 people will say a saw is very accurate, and the next 10 people say the same saw isn’t very accurate, or that it falls out of accuracy regularly.

I definitely do not care to spend festool money, but don’t mind dropping $500 or $600 on a decent saw IF it is a quality product.

13 replies so far

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 2970 days

#1 posted 01-17-2017 01:48 AM

Depends on your definition of accuracy, how tight of tolerances you work in, and how much time you are willing to spend to get it tuned up and accurate. I use mine to rough cut lumber before milling, and chopping down cut offs for my chimnea…. but I have had the saw tuned for dead on square cuts and stop blocks for repeat cuts.. to me a quality sharp blade plays a big role, way less blade deflection in a sharp blade.

Sliding mitre is nice, but not needed. I wouldn’t go much more that 3-400 on a saw, but that’s just me

View OSB's profile


147 posts in 1034 days

#2 posted 01-17-2017 01:53 AM

I have used a DeWalt that seemed more than good enough for framing miters and that was without any tune-up. The 90° cuts seemed pretty square, I usually mark my angles and set the angle by eye sighting along the blade so I can’t tell if the rest of the scale is accurate but the way I use it, it doesn’t have to be.

View Kirk650's profile


672 posts in 1257 days

#3 posted 01-17-2017 01:55 AM

I have a Ridgid 12 inch slider. Late last year I finally got serious about setting it up properly, and I put a high tooth count CMT blade on it. Now 45 degree cuts are at 45 degrees, and all cuts are glass smooth. Dust control still stinks.

Prior to this saw I had a non-slider, but it was just too limiting. I sold it and got the slider.

If I was going to buy a new one, I’d look real close at the new Bosch 12 incher.

View Mike_D_S's profile


596 posts in 2723 days

#4 posted 01-17-2017 02:09 AM

Well, I can’t give you much varied experience as both miter saw I’ve had have been Dewalts (12” slider and 12” non-slider). But I liked both of them and felt their accuracy was more than adequate once properly checked and adjusted if needed.

I kept both of them on a higher shelf for storage and I know they got banged a little getting them down and putting them back up and I never had any trouble with overall alignment.

I can tell you the slider can be deflected a tiny bit when the slide is extended out a ways if you put some force on it, but from playing with other sliders in the same kind of $400-600 price range that was true of all of them, even the Bosch folding arm one. Now whether 1/100th of an inch deflection is critical to your work is maybe the question to ask.

When locked down in the back position, the slider is as stable as the non-slider i had and accuracy was plenty good for anything I wanted to do.

Unless you absolutely need a slider, the Dewalt 716 would be my recommendation based on my personal experience.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Aj2's profile (online now)


2482 posts in 2306 days

#5 posted 01-17-2017 02:35 AM

I have a Bosch glide and is very good for the money.
Your just going into have to Spend alot more then 500 if you want a tool that take operators skill out of the picture.
This is the real question is it the Archer or the arrow?


-- Aj

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5974 posts in 2917 days

#6 posted 01-17-2017 02:53 AM

For rough milling I use a Dewalt 716 as others have commented. For precise miter cuts I made a miter cutting jig for my tablesaw and find it is easier to use and much more accurate. This leaves to Dewalt to cut to length and on occasion cut a odd angle. Like others I tuned mine up but the miter jig and my cross cut sled are much easier to use and very accurate.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Tabletop's profile


139 posts in 1256 days

#7 posted 01-17-2017 08:46 AM

The Bosch 12” slider gets my vote. Don’t own one but have used it, smooth and consistent. I hardly ever use one at my shop. I have sleds for my table saw, very accurate and saves time.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7797 posts in 3422 days

#8 posted 01-17-2017 01:20 PM

+10 for a TS Sled.

I have had my 12” RIDGID MS for ~15yr and it was great for framing decks and such. When I got serious about WW-ing I discovered that I really couldn’t get the increased accuracy I needed. I was always off by at least 1-degree. Now I mainly use the MS for sizing 8/4 and 12/4 hardwood for milling.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1222 posts in 2743 days

#9 posted 01-17-2017 01:36 PM

I get the best results by using a shooting board after cutting miters or even square pieces. The joints are seamless.

-- Jerry

View greggt's profile


2 posts in 1004 days

#10 posted 01-17-2017 06:04 PM

I don’t mind setting up a saw if I know that is the routine needed. Just didn’t want to spend the extra money for a saw that I expected to be accurate 24/7 without some routine TLC.

I anticipate like most utilizing my table saw for most cust requiring more precise accuracy and using the miter for cutting things to length for easier handling during milling.

I appreciate the information.

View knotscott's profile


8332 posts in 3884 days

#11 posted 01-17-2017 08:07 PM

Accuracy is relative to what you’re used to and what’s required. A saw’s accuracy is also largely potential, as opposed to an absolute given….there are always many variables in play in addition to what the saw can do. With that said, a good table saw has more robust mechanisms than a miter saw, so has more potential for accuracy on all but very long pieces. But even most modest miter saws can be made to cut with reasonable accuracy if a miter saw is what you need.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View alittleoff's profile


541 posts in 1785 days

#12 posted 01-18-2017 01:41 AM

I have a dewalt 717 I believe is the no. I added the light to it, didn’t get the lazer. Seems to me a lazer is not accurate and really I never trusted one on my old saw. The dewalt will have to be set up and I double check mine every once in a while just to be sure it’s still dead on. No matter what saw you get it will have to be set up. I think the dewalt 716 or 717 either one would be fine. Mine cuts very good and accurate. Also like others said you can’t use a 10.00 blade and expect good cuts.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3876 days

#13 posted 01-18-2017 02:15 AM

I have a 10” slider from HF that is accurate for building most anything but not precise enough for “perfect” miters. I have a 8 1/2” Delta that I bought about 12 years ago and it is perfect for those fine woodworking joints.

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