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Choosing a high quality Miter Saw for Miter Station

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Forum topic by MikeDVB posted 08-29-2018 02:47 PM 3332 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MikeDVB

180 posts in 1658 days


08-29-2018 02:47 PM

Hello!

I’m working on building out my shop and part of that is building a dedicated miter station. I have a cheap Kobalt 10” Sliding Compound Miter Saw – it ‘does the job’ but it’s not great. The laser isn’t adjustable that I can find and isn’t anywhere near where the blade actually points – and it has rails that slide back and make putting the saw near a wall near impossible.

I was looking at the Festool Kapex but I’ve seen a lot of reviews of the motor just giving up the ghost with a puff of smoke even when the saw has been well taken care of / babied. If it were $300~500 I’d still consider it but for $1,400+ I don’t want a saw that may or may not last more than a couple of years even if it is amazing while it works.

My two primary goals are being able to put it close to a wall as my shop space is extremely limited and good dust collection as my shop space is shared with the rest of my garage.

I have been looking at the Bosch 12” Glide saws but I’ve seen reviews of blade wobble / looseness in the arm / and a few other issues. I do understand that nothing is perfect and every saw/company is going to have a few issues regardless – but whatever I get I want it to last. If the wobble / looseness can be adjusted out / compensated for it’s not a big deal for me.

All of that said – if I could get any miter saw – what would you recommend keeping in mind distance from the wall behind it is at a premium and dust collection is a priority?

-- Mike


29 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

459 posts in 3056 days


#1 posted 08-29-2018 03:12 PM

I don’t know the answer, but thanks for posting a question I am considering, too.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1458 posts in 1700 days


#2 posted 08-29-2018 03:13 PM

I have the Hitachi 12” compound sliding miter saw and it’s been great so far.
It was set up at 90 right out of the box and needed no adjustment. It also can be set flush against the wall.

I made a dust collection hood to gather all the dust and after a year have had no problems with it.

I have a Dewalt 12” of the same style but it has to be set back a ways from the wall and I also can not get it dialed in to cut square. No matter how many times I get it lined up, when I go to make the cut, it is off.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1746 posts in 1971 days


#3 posted 08-29-2018 04:21 PM

IMHO – The answer to your question: what you want may not exist!

#1) Miter saws are intended for portable rough cuts framing a house, or cutting molding; where +/- 1/16 or even 1/8 inch are not an issue. So asking for perfectly true miter saw means you must be willing to spend a lot of money to gain best accuracy. Even best saws can be pulled out of alignment by operator man handling saw during operation.

#2) Saw that allows location to be closest to wall is typically a radial arm saw. Reason being the sliding mechanism is towards front and not sticking out back. Besides the Bosch and Kapex saws, couple of newer saws have been introduced that move the sliding mechanism out front to reduce space behind saw. Makita LS1019L and Delta Cruzer are latest examples.
Generally speaking you need 12-13 inches behind a 10 inch radial arm saw, and 13-14 inches wall clearance for newer front slide or articulating miter saws. (there is thread on Sawmill creek documenting various distances) All this said, a permanent miter saw installation is still going to require ~28-30 inches of total depth for saw and clearance for dust collection hood; regardless of which saw you pick and most small shops do not have room for a permanent installation this large.

#3) Dust collection on most miter saws is joke. There is too much of blade exposed in uncontrolled environment (.vs. cabinet saw with zero clearance insert), and that prevents catching majority of saw dust. From my evaluations, the Festool is best at collecting dust but it is not worth price unless you are using your saw inside a customers house and are required to have minimal dust.

It is these reasons above why I have never built a permanent miter saw station and continue to use hand saw or cheap 10 inch Hitachi chop saw stored under a shelf in my shop. I have bought and sold several different used miter/radial saws attempting what you seek, and never been happy with what I learned when I used the saw in real life.

Will follow this thread, like others before it; hoping that someone can prove my current knowledge of miter saws is wrong. It would be really cool to have a space saving design using an accurate miter saw with great dust collection that actually deserves permanent space in a small shop.

Best Luck!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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ChefHDAN

1440 posts in 3326 days


#4 posted 08-29-2018 04:35 PM

I’ve got a 15+ year old 12”Ridgid CMS and have it on a stand that is mobile. To the left of the saw I have a work bench and built a prop that matches the height of the saw bed for anything laying to the left, and when there’s more than 20” I have to pull the saw off the wall to clear the compressor.

As very well said above, the CMS is the handy tool to whack something close to size. I’ve built an enclosure and have a 4” DC line on it but it still goes pretty much everywhere. If I need to get precision I go to the TS and use sleds and stop blocks there to get exact square cuts.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View FloridaCracker's profile

FloridaCracker

18 posts in 901 days


#5 posted 08-29-2018 05:07 PM

Well i use Dewalt, Milwaukee its the person not the saw. Its everything from setting the saw up right. Keeping it all squared and in good shape and i say it easy to be within 3 thou. If not it wont make the cut to be used.
My dad instilled on us to do it right. When building cabinets to natural wood trim you cant have any gaps.

-- FloridaCracker

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

385 posts in 1127 days


#6 posted 08-29-2018 08:01 PM

I have a 20+ yr old Hitachi 10” double compound slider, it was a premium tool when I bought it and it has served me well.
Having said that, it takes up an enormous amount of floor space not counting the area that has to be clear on each side of it.
If buying today, I would get the biggest diameter blade and the shortest front/rear footprint available.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

353 posts in 4194 days


#7 posted 08-29-2018 08:45 PM

Thinking outside the box because of your storage situation. Have you considered a crosscut plunge track saw?

-- Wuddoc

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2421 posts in 2274 days


#8 posted 08-29-2018 08:48 PM

I vote for the Bosch Glide with a Forrest Chopmaster blade. That’s what I use

-- Aj

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2435 days


#9 posted 08-29-2018 08:51 PM

I am with Klutz on this. I have a Dewalt that I like, it has been a workhorse. That said, it is for rough cuts and deck building. I would not consider a miter saw as part of a workshop unless you are forced into or have a lot of space.

Wuddoc asked a great question. A track saw might be a better option.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

214 posts in 436 days


#10 posted 08-30-2018 01:45 AM

The Bosch glide is good as I could expect from a slider. The reality is though even a cheap hitachi non slider will cut better than any slider on the market. There is a reason most high end trim carpenters use a dewalt 716 over the slider everywhere cut capacity isn’t a issue.

View Scott410's profile

Scott410

21 posts in 382 days


#11 posted 08-30-2018 02:29 AM

I use a Dewalt 716, works great and I feel it is pretty accurate.

View MikeDVB's profile

MikeDVB

180 posts in 1658 days


#12 posted 08-30-2018 03:51 AM

Sliding isn’t really required to be honest. I just want to be able to cut a miter on a piece that’s too long to crosscut on the table saw.

I think if I go with a non-sliding 12” saw I should be ok.

I appreciate all of the feedback and advice. I’m going to give the saws mentioned a look for sure.

-- Mike

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 980 days


#13 posted 08-30-2018 12:12 PM

Back in January I set up my shop. I too initially intended to have a permanent miter station. After careful consideration, which included a radial arm saw and taking up an entire wall…I found just about all of the advice posted above to be true. I bought a Portamate miter table and just continue to use my DeWalt 716. I make a lot of picture frames and so, at the suggestion of some fellow lumberjocks, I also added one of those Rockler miter trimmers. This setup does everything I need to do miter wise and does it well…and it don’t take up an entire wall in the shop. You cant beat the convenience of a radial arm set up with extra long tables for crosscut and miter cuts on long heavy boards and i still wish i had one, but how much do you really do of that???

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11755 posts in 3905 days


#14 posted 08-30-2018 12:26 PM

My 10” Bosch glider will cut a little over 11”. I don’t need more. It’s only two years old but, it’s used every day and, it’s maintained it’s accuracy with no blade wobble or glide arm looseness.
I use a a Tenryu 80 tooth miter blade.

-- 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 edapp's profile

edapp

300 posts in 1906 days


#15 posted 08-30-2018 01:24 PM

My dewalt 10” slider has surprised me with its accuracy. I built a large shroud around it and have it piped into my DC with a 6” port which works very well. If I had to replace it though, I would probably go with the bosch just to have it take up less space.

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