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What miter saw do you recommend ??

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Forum topic by Scott Albrecht posted 01-28-2020 04:52 AM 824 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott Albrecht

21 posts in 2639 days


01-28-2020 04:52 AM

Hello every one !! I will be in the market for a new miter saw to replace my current Mastercraft this year. The MC has been a decent saw for me but it lacks the precision I want for wood working, its more of a contractor saw. My new saw will receive a miter saw station (possibly a portable one).

I would really appreciate any and all recommendations and your reasoning.

Thanks

Scott

-- I am not a hoarder...., I am a rescuer of still usable things !!


23 replies so far

View HuckleberryWoodWrks's profile

HuckleberryWoodWrks

45 posts in 42 days


#1 posted 01-28-2020 04:57 AM

What’s your budget? Looking for a basic MS, sliding or compound? Assuming you plan to cut longer stock then would be applicable with a TS sled?

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SMP

1792 posts in 545 days


#2 posted 01-28-2020 05:10 AM

Here is my thinking. Is your current saw a 10 or 12”? And do you want to get one the same size? If so, I recommend getting a high quality blade for yours and give it a full tune up – make sure its square each direction, make sure the tables are flat and coplaner etc etc. See how it works for you then. If you still want better, get your new one and you’ll have a good blade for your new one(pretty much all saws come with crappy blades to increase their profit margin)

Fwiw, i have a dewalt dws780, but would easily recommend whatever Dewalt or Bosch fits your needs. Don’t have experience with other brands except a really old craftsman.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

913 posts in 551 days


#3 posted 01-28-2020 07:33 AM

If your not cutting square, try squaring your current fence to the blade. The fence has a couple bolts to loosen up and square your fence to the blade, then retighten those bolts. Do you have room for the rear clearance of the sliding miter saw. I would recommend the 12” over the 10”. Your able to cut all the way through a 4×4 verses the 10” blade. I recently replaced my old ‘no name’ miter saw (blade guard shattered), looked at two sliding miter saws and eight different compound miter saws (chop saws). I went with the Porter Cable 12” chop saw. I didn’t have the extra clearance in back of the saw.

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CaptainKlutz

2466 posts in 2134 days


#4 posted 01-28-2020 10:34 AM

+1 tune up the old saw.

IMHO – Miter saws are not designed for fine wood working accuracy. They are carpentry tools.
None of the sliding miter saws are perfectly accurate out of box. Most will never be accurate.

If you want accuracy, stick with 12” non-sliding (AKA chop) saw, and make a jig to hold lumber at 45 degrees. Even if you your jig is 44/46 degrees the corner will always mesh to 90 degrees perfectly.

Suggest always use a full kerf blade on miter saw. Thin kerf/Thin plate blades have too much flex and automatically induce variability that is hard to track down without video analysis of the cuts.

Technique matters with miter saw. Slow, constant, smooth, vertical motion inline with saw blade is critical to accurate cuts. How you retract the blade out of cut matters too.
Even the best blade/saw cuts like dog carp, if you pull/push side to side during use.

Thanks for reading my opinion.
YMMV

-- 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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controlfreak

483 posts in 241 days


#5 posted 01-28-2020 11:54 AM

I needed the cart for mine for taking it outside to do long cuts. I also like the outriggers for support. The saw with cart was just to damn big and was always in the way. I now use my table saw and may even get a manual miter saw if I feel the need to get cuts on longer boards done. Chop saw is in storage and I really haven’t missed it.

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

458 posts in 2884 days


#6 posted 01-28-2020 01:05 PM

I prefer 10”. Dewalts newest version is nice and quiet. However I’ve had my issues with DeWalt, so I think I’ll be going with Makita on my new saw

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4675 posts in 2027 days


#7 posted 01-28-2020 03:34 PM

If shop space is an issue, you might want to look at either the Hitachi or Bosch sliding miter saws. They both have a design where the sliding mechanisms does not protrude behind the saw so they do not require that the base of the saw sit at least a foot away from any walls or whatever is behind them. The Bosch design uses a dual articulating arm design which is pretty cool. The Hitachi design is sort of a “duh” moment. It has the same sort of guide rails as the Dewalt and others but instead of them sliding out the back requiring extra space, they are fixed and the saw slides forward on them.

I cannot comment on the accuracy of either of them but if I were buying a sliding miter saw, I would look closely at these space saving features. Lowes seems to put the Hitachi saws on sale fairly often.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

334 posts in 1170 days


#8 posted 01-28-2020 04:19 PM

If space is not a concern and you want something that can still take the abuse contractor type jobs and project I would recommend the Dewalt 779/780. Durable and accurate, but big footprint. I have had the 780 for a number of years now and it has tackled a lot of varied work. If I was looking for a more space efficient saw that was going to stay in the shop I would look hard at the Bosch glide saw or some of the saws with forward rails such as the Kapex. I think Hitachi and Makita both had some more budget friendly saws that slid forward on the rails as well, but I cannot recall the models.

View them700project's profile

them700project

209 posts in 1658 days


#9 posted 01-28-2020 04:19 PM

I went Kapex. But I dont recommend it. It is a phenomenal saw but too much money. I really only use it for rough cutting, I could have got away with anything for that purpose. I use my TS for almost all my crosscuts.

If I were to do it again I would have bought a 12” bosch, Took the wife out to a nice dinner, and spent the other 750 on other tools.

View TheBeej418's profile

TheBeej418

4 posts in 42 days


#10 posted 01-28-2020 04:26 PM

Let’s be honest, the majority of saws are all more than capable of cutting standard boards and/or moulding.

While the usual suspects would all be fine, consider how and where you’re going to use it. I have a 10” sliding Makita. It’s heavy. Going to a 10” or 12” fixed saw is less than half the weight and a 12” will cut an 8” board at 90*. Additionally, I want to build a miter bench now and have the common style where the slides go out the back. I have to keep the darn thing 14” away from the wall which stinks. The new ones have the slides to the front for more balanced weight and an ability to get it closer to the wall. Bosch makes one with a cool glide arm to accomplish a similar thing.

In the 9 years I’ve had my saw, while I like the idea of the slide, I’ve never cut anything I couldn’t have done with a fixed 12” saw.

-- Brian, Nashville, TN

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RobHannon

334 posts in 1170 days


#11 posted 01-28-2020 04:29 PM



Let s be honest, the majority of saws are all more than capable of cutting standard boards and/or moulding.

While the usual suspects would all be fine, consider how and where you re going to use it. I have a 10” sliding Makita. It s heavy. Going to a 10” or 12” fixed saw is less than half the weight and a 12” will cut an 8” board at 90*. Additionally, I want to build a miter bench now and have the common style where the slides go out the back. I have to keep the darn thing 14” away from the wall which stinks. The new ones have the slides to the front for more balanced weight and an ability to get it closer to the wall. Bosch makes one with a cool glide arm to accomplish a similar thing.

In the 9 years I ve had my saw, while I like the idea of the slide, I ve never cut anything I couldn t have done with a fixed 12” saw.

- TheBeej418

I thought I would rarely use the slide function on mine, but where I have used it a lot more than I expected is repeated stopped cuts to make dados for lap joint in construction lumber. Not something I would recommend for fine work, but for decking or framing where needed its often easier than doing it with a skillsaw.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

846 posts in 187 days


#12 posted 01-28-2020 05:11 PM

I agree with some comments above, the new bosch design is a dandy. I have a makita though.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything (S. Clemens) Edit: Now where is that darn pencil/ tape measure!

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

7081 posts in 2905 days


#13 posted 01-28-2020 06:21 PM

I bought the first Makita 12” SCMS. It cuts a nice smooth line, but it’s a bugger to get aligned straight and square. I bought it 20 years ago and I would think by now they’ve made improvements to it. The crappiest issue is that the angle stops are so loose and sloppy I don’t even bother with them. I’m thinking of upgrading to that new Bosch 12”.

View Woodbum's profile (online now)

Woodbum

909 posts in 3705 days


#14 posted 01-29-2020 11:23 AM

Bosch 12” SCMS. I don’t use the slider very often, and keep that feature locked; but it is there when I need it. At less than half the price of the Festool Kapex, which I feel is grossly overpriced for the power and torque that it has; the Bosch is a real bargain buy. Plenty of power, accurate and very versatile. The slider action is the best in the business and it is truly wall hugging. Dust collection is so-so without a modification of the dust collection chute; but it is as good as any other sliding miter. I use a Kapex at work and hate it, and owned a Dewalt for a lot of years before the Bosch. If not for the fantastic pricing I got on the Bosch, I would probably still have my Dewalt, which was an old single bevel 12” miter saw with no slider. JMHO and thoughts based solely on personal experience. Good luck, work safely and have fun!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

6282 posts in 2360 days


#15 posted 01-29-2020 05:38 PM

Bosch or Makita, get a slider only if you need the capacity, non-sliding saws are less expensive, take up less room and have fewer places where they can fall out of adjustment.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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