Saw debate: Double Miter VS Compound Sliding Miter

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Forum topic by TheFramerChris posted 02-06-2018 11:48 PM 1835 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 917 days

02-06-2018 11:48 PM

Hi everyone. I’m considering my first major tool purchase and I’m wrestling with which direction to go. I’m rather new to woodworking and have a background in custom picture framing professionally. A lot of the shops I’ve worked in either use a double miter saw (preset to 45 degree cuts) or a foot pedal chopper. If you aren’t familiar, it’s essentially a double miter guillotine that chomps bites out of a frame moulding a little at a time and is manually foot actuated.

My thought is a compound sliding saw would be more versatile but the down side is I would be using the saw blade twice as much on frame moulding profiles to cut both cuts out of the frame. I guess my question is how many blades do you stock in your shop? And two is it better to have a tool for specific purposes or to have versatility in your own shop perspective?

17 replies so far

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2656 days

#1 posted 02-07-2018 12:01 AM

A SCMS is more expensive and more versatile for stock width. They also tend to be less durable when moved frequently. For rough work (framing) where versatility is needed, most choose the SCMS vs. a CMS. For finish work I prefer a CMS A as they tend to be more accurate over the long run. I have rarely run into an issue where I HAD to have a 12” SCMS. My 12” CMS has almost always been adequate for 99.5% of all jobs I ever was asked to do.

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 2030 days

#2 posted 02-07-2018 12:01 AM

To me it primarily comes down to space and budget. If I had unlimited space, it would be best to have dedicated tools to save setup times and move quickly through a project.

View TheFramerChris's profile


11 posts in 917 days

#3 posted 02-07-2018 12:56 AM

I don’t have any experience with SCMS however I’ve never heard of them having accuracy issues.

I’ve also debated about getting a table saw first instead of a SCMS or CMS. And then just building a miter sled for the framing projects. Though I’ve never worked on a table saw before.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1310 days

#4 posted 02-07-2018 01:11 AM

I frame a lot of pictures too and recently went thru the same dilemma…which way to cut the miters. I don’t think you would be too happy in the long run with a sliding miter box. As posted, they really are for heavier duty type work like framing a house, etc. The slide assembly is just another mechanical item to get out of whack eventually. In fact, I have a non-sliding miter box and I find that the arbor is not really stiff and heavy duty enough to give the kind of smooth accurate cuts I am after. Based on what I have seen, either a nice cabinet saw with a miter sled or the guillotine type cutter is the way to go. The cutters I saw/used were not a foot pedal operated thing, they had a long handle and you just moved it with your hand to shave the molding. You still need to cut a rough miter with the cutter, but it was less money than a nice cabinet saw.
The biggest thing I learned about perfect miters is that it is about 50% good method and tooling to actually cut the angle and the other 50% is having good, straight, flat, square molding stock to work with right from the start. Anything out of whack with the molding and you can forget a perfect miter no matter what device you use to cut the angle.

View TheFramerChris's profile


11 posts in 917 days

#5 posted 02-07-2018 01:47 AM

If you have a framing supplier then you’ll know none of the material is ever good flat and square anymore. But that’s also why we have miter sanders as well as miter vices and Underpinners to help clean up for a more true marrying miter and to clamp the join together as the glue dries.

I guess the real struggle in starting ww’ing is knowing how to most use the minimal amount of tools possible until you build up your collection over time.

Can’t we all just start out with every tool we will ever need? Ha

View JAAune's profile


1881 posts in 3123 days

#6 posted 02-07-2018 02:42 AM

The Dewalt slider I used couldn’t get a glue-line cut on wider stock without a lot of careful re-cutting. The Kapex could but it also cost twice as much so I sold it and did other things with the money. I’m currently using a 12” compound miter DeWalt for the shop and a 10” Hitachi for traveling and they are both accurate and affordable.

I’d recommend staying clear of the sliders for woodworking unless you want to splurge on a Kapex.

I just use a good quality cross-cut blade (I think 120 teeth on the 12” saw). A spare blade is kept for rotation when the other is dull but it’s the same thing.

Versatility is highly valued in my shop but for less expensive tools that require little space, I’ll usually get duplicates and dedicate them to specific workstations or tasks to eliminate setup time. That’s why I have a small, portable chop saw and the 12” saw that is permanently mounted on a bench. I also have a small air compressor at the assembly table so I don’t need to run airlines from the 5HP compressor to drive a few air nails. The big compressor is just used for air-hungry jobs like spraying.

-- See my work at and

View AlmostRetired's profile


221 posts in 1520 days

#7 posted 02-07-2018 12:14 PM

I have the Bosch and it has been amazing. The retracting assembly saves me 10+ inches over the piston style.


View TheFramerChris's profile


11 posts in 917 days

#8 posted 02-07-2018 01:12 PM

Thanks for the recommendation Roger. I had been eyeing the Bosch GCM12SD for awhile. Specifically because of the space saving quality of it. I’ve seen many saw table builds where woodworkers like it for that reason and show the clearance saving when mounted with the backside against a wall.

View tomsteve's profile


1045 posts in 2025 days

#9 posted 02-07-2018 02:14 PM

whichever MS ya get, i highly suggest putting an auxiliary fence on it. my aux is about a foot longer than the table(both sides) and i can clamp stop blocks on the fence for repeated cuts.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5294 posts in 4766 days

#10 posted 02-07-2018 03:38 PM

I was in Lowe’s just this week and, for giggles, I stopped to look at the new Delta slider. It was sitting next to a Kobalt slider. Soooooo, I tried them both for deflection when the saw was fully extended. BOTH failed miserably.
There won’t be a slider in my shop any time soon. I’m stickin’ with my tried and true DeWalt compound MS.

-- [email protected]

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12217 posts in 4235 days

#11 posted 02-07-2018 05:54 PM

I also use a Bosch 10” with a Tenryu 80 tooth MIter Pro blade. I keep a 60 tooth on hand for rougher cuts. Though, it handles fine cuts pretty well. I almost always check the Bosch’s miter or bevel settings before a cut. It’s always been right on but, I feel better.
It’s best to use a negative tooth rake on a mitersaw. It grabs less.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Siv's profile


62 posts in 1375 days

#12 posted 02-07-2018 05:59 PM

If you’re only going to get a miter saw then the Bosch is what I would do. I have a non-slider and wish that I had spent more money and bought one with larger capacity (the Bosch is on my wish list).

However, if a good table saw is in your future then you would be fine with a simple miter saw or none at all. But a good table saw costs a lot of money!

I do a lot of framing and I have a cheap table saw and cheap miter saw. I can get the job done but it’s frustrating at best and dangerous at worst (my table saw is really crappy). I have seriously thought about buying the Bosch GCM12SD but I’m saving my pennies and will be spending on a good table saw instead. Ultimately the miter saw cuts miters really well but the table saw can do so much more.

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 2475 days

#13 posted 02-07-2018 07:10 PM

I have the Bosch 10 Inch Glide and it is a great saw. I haven’t had any problems with it not giving perfect cuts. I have mine mounted in the Bosch folding stand for portability and I also like the stand. If you are planning on doing lots of picture frames, I think a good TS and a 45° miter sled would actually work better, in the long run

-- Earl

View moke's profile


1574 posts in 3582 days

#14 posted 02-07-2018 08:39 PM

I have the Makita 10” SCMS…it’s nice, reasonably accurate….at least I can’t recall any issues. I check it for square and perpendicular every-time I use it though. I have a friend with a 12” Bosch articulating arm….it functions smoother, in less area, and appears to be a better saw. I have had the Makita for 10 years, but if I had to do it again I think I would go with the Bosch.

-- Mike

View Andybb's profile


2784 posts in 1409 days

#15 posted 02-07-2018 08:56 PM

I have a Bosch SCMS. It’s 10 years old. It’s deadly accurate and has been since I first set it up and has required no adjustments. I keep an 80 tooth blade on it. Crown mouldings and 4×4’s. It eats it all. I changed the blade last year for the first time for no other reason than it was 10 years old. Not even sure I noticed a difference. Not an endorsement of Bosch, just blade choice and usage. My wife has a “can we change that moulding?” disease so the compound feature is great.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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