Sliding Compound Miter

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by NCJOB posted 12-04-2018 03:35 PM 1106 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NCJOB's profile


7 posts in 417 days

12-04-2018 03:35 PM

I am a hobby wood worker, meaning I do a little wood working as I get the opportunity which isn’t all that often. I would really like to have a 12” sliding compound miter saw, but I am also very limited on funds. I honestly do not have $250-$400 to spend on a name brand saw with the small amount I will be using it. I am looking at one of the Harbor Freight saws. I have purchased a number of hand tools from them, but have never been brave enough to purchase a major power tool. The hand tools have always worked well for me and allowed me to equip my shop without going broke. If I did wood working for a living, I would definitely be looking as this from a different view point, but since it is a hobby, price is a big part of my consideration when making a purchase.

HF has two 12” saws in my price range after a 20% discount. They have a Chicago Electric and a new brand called Admiral. Can anyone speak to the quality of either of these saws. I would like to have a sliding compound miter saw, but I don’t want to purchase something that is a total piece of junk that is only going to cause me grief from day one.

I am also open to another brand or even a name brand that I might be able to get at a low price.

Since someone will probably ask, I would be making small craft type projects such as wooden boxes, toys, decorative items, etc. I am not into building a fine piece of furniture at this point (may someday when I retire and actually have time to work on a project of that nature).

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.


-- Jeff, NC

8 replies so far

View Joeswoodshop's profile


5 posts in 412 days

#1 posted 12-04-2018 04:03 PM

I am not a fan of a lot of HF power tools. However if you are going to go that route I would pick up that Hercules 12” saw. Looks like a Dewalt copy and has good reviews. Also question why you want a 12” slider if your making crafts,small stuff? I have a 10” and a 12” and the 10” can cut 80% of what I need a miter saw to cut. If you go the cheap cheap route your probably going to regret it. The best advice I always give is to buy the best, even if you have to save a little longer. That way you only pay once! Good luck.

View jimintx's profile


933 posts in 2185 days

#2 posted 12-04-2018 04:16 PM

When you write that you aren’t able to spend 250-400, does that mean you have an upper limit of something a bit south if $250? The Hercules 12” saw is only $50 under 400, if zi am looking at the same one Joe has in mind.

Just for conversation:
If it is for small stuff, then 10” is probably good, and sliding feature likely isn’t needed. Sliding components add flexibility, and fitment play in the system, and can thus be the source of imprecise cuts. That might exacerbated by going cheap.

Also, do you want the compound miter feature?

I suggest a great way to look at some options is to shop carefully for miter saws on the Home Depot web pages.


-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2081 days

#3 posted 12-04-2018 04:19 PM

First, you don’t really need a slider if that’s what your doing. A 12” miter saw will cut a 7-8” wide board.

Second, if you buy HF you’re gonna get what you pay for. Personally, I wouldn’t waste my money.

Used is the way to go IMO. You should be able to pick up a non slider for <$200. For example, 30 second search: here's the exact model I have for 100 bucks.

All that said, a sharp, tuned up hand saw cuts quite well.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View RobHannon's profile


326 posts in 1131 days

#4 posted 12-04-2018 04:26 PM

The cheaper HF slider probably will be fine if it is not going to be used on sites, i.e. thrown in and out of the back of a truck. Not gonna be anything to write home about but if you spend some time on it you should be able to get 90 degree cuts on it reliably.

If you are patient, used is the way to go. Keep an eye out for construction/remodeling folks who want to switch over to some of the battery powered mitersaws that are gaining popularity.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1496 posts in 3450 days

#5 posted 12-04-2018 04:50 PM

If you do not have a table saw yet and you’re interested in doing woodworking, I really think you’re better off getting a used TS and build a crosscut sled. You’ll have much more precise cuts and overall versatility. I’ve got a compound miter saw that I mostly use for rough work, and would not buy a slider, (certainly not a HF one), because of the footprint it needs in the shop and the poor accuracy of it’s cuts…. I do occasionally dream of knocking over a bank and buying a Kapex though :-)

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

View waho6o9's profile


8811 posts in 3178 days

#6 posted 12-04-2018 04:53 PM

Might I suggest Craigslist as there’s a plethora of good saws that will cut down on your frustrations
when you use the lower end saws. Keep in mind 12” saw blades are not cheap.

Best of luck.

View NCJOB's profile


7 posts in 417 days

#7 posted 12-04-2018 06:31 PM

Thanks everyone for the advise. It has been really helpful and I think I am going to hold off on the HF saw.

I do have a TS and I think the sled is my best bet for the moment. Sled would also give me a great project to work on.


-- Jeff, NC

View SMP's profile


1558 posts in 506 days

#8 posted 12-04-2018 07:23 PM

Thanks everyone for the advise. It has been really helpful and I think I am going to hold off on the HF saw.

I do have a TS and I think the sled is my best bet for the moment. Sled would also give me a great project to work on.



Actually a lot of jigs make really good projects that can be used on the table saw. They don’t take expensive wood. Most you don’t have to get exact. And they are really useful and will help your woodworking as you progress. Several books on just jigs to make. I have a 12” dewalt sliding compound miter saw but I use it mainly for construction type of stuff, flooring, decking, crown molding, etc. The only time I use it for “woodworking” is when I just need to chop a piece or 2 to length, and don’t want to get my table saw out(its on wheels and I cut outside- no dust system).

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics