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Miter Saw - Battery or Corded, 10" or 12"??

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Forum topic by Balbag77 posted 02-22-2021 02:36 PM 709 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Balbag77

8 posts in 15 days


02-22-2021 02:36 PM

All, first post!

I am a newly retired military member that is starting up a small workshop. I have about 400 sq. ft. of space to work with and really like the idea of a rolling miter saw stand for portability.

I have found some good deals on miter saws lately – a Makita 10” compound dual bevel saw with two 18 volt batteries for ~$500 and other corded versions from ~$350 up.

Question: is the cordless battery version worth the investment and is 10” or 12” the way to go?

Thanks, Dave

-- Locker, Pennsylvania


32 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

727 posts in 1630 days


#1 posted 02-22-2021 02:44 PM

Welcome to LJ.
Not an expert, I’m a hobby woodworker but…
It would largely depend on your intended use and projects. Will you be working mostly in the shop? Or will you be framing out in the woods without a generator?
I’ve had a corded 10” Ryobi for more than 20 years and have never needed to be cordless. only a couple of times did I wish I could cut wider boards.
A rolling stand is a great option. But clamping it to a workmate works fine when you need to leave the shop.

-- Sawdust Maker

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Axis39

434 posts in 607 days


#2 posted 02-22-2021 03:01 PM

Batteries are great if your hauling your tools onsite where you will have limited access to electrical power.

If you’re sticking with using the saw in the shop, or even a round your own house, stick with corded for now.

Battery technology is getting there, but the cost may not be worth it at this point.

I’ve been using a corded Dewalt 8 1/4” sliding miter saw for close to 20 years now. It’ll cut a little bit better than 11 3/4” horizontally, but only 3 3/4” or so vertically. It’s done all kinda of work for me, crown, stair treads, a dizzying array of cabinets, furniture, built-ins, etc. I’ve only run into a couple of times (usually on wide crown) that required me to rely n a bigger saw.

My experience has shown that a 12” saw has more flex in the blade and more magnification of any runout in the drive shaft. This make it harder to get a super accurate cut. Not impossible and some saws are better than others. But, a smaller blade means smaller errors. 12” will do for most work, most carpenters crank out miles of good cuts with them. But, my 8 1/4” has been super accurate since day 1. So, I always like the idea fo a 10” slider over a 12” anything… Unless you pan on doing a lot fo big wide crown.

I love my 8 1/4” saw, but I’ve been using it less and less in the shop. These days it mostly does rough cuts to length when I am bringing new stock into the shop. When it comes to actual finish cuts, I’ve been using my table saw more and more (and planes to fine tune when necessary). I create sleds to do my cuts… Usually it’s just crosscuts, but I just did a pair of doors that required a pile of miter cuts. I built a nice, easy sled to do all my 45’s super accurately.

In fact I’m in the midst of rearranging my shop and am seriously considering trashing the miter saw station… And going back to making my miter saw a portable tool.

So, if you’ve already got a table saw… You might consider saving the dough and make yourself a sled (or two or six).

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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Mosquito

10928 posts in 3303 days


#3 posted 02-22-2021 03:16 PM

In the shop for me, I use a radial arm saw for 90 degree crosscuts, but I also have a 10” Metabo HPT “Multivolt” (36v cordless). I like it because it can run on 36v batteries, or a plug-in power adapter. Best of both :-)

When it comes to corded vs cordless, I’d say go corded unless you’re already going to be invested in other tools that use the same batteries as the cordless, and you know you’ll be wanting to use it cordless. It is convenient to be able to just set it up wherever and not have to run an extension cord, but your workflow would determine whether or not that’s worth it.

I agree with John, unless you’re planning on cutting some quite large lumber, go with 10” over 12”. I use 8-1/4” in my RAS for the reasons he stated.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Wood_Scraps's profile

Wood_Scraps

46 posts in 29 days


#4 posted 02-23-2021 11:34 AM

Really depends on your intended application. If you’ll just be using it in and around the home, then definitely corded. Only reason I see to go cordless is if you’re dragging it around a job site every day or are homesteading and need something that can be used all around the property.

Based on your desired premise to have a rolling cart for around a small shop, corded seems like the easy answer. And a 10” slider would be my choice. Less money (blades too). Smaller footprint. Blade interchangeability with the TS. And you only give up a slight amount of cut capacity when compared to a 12” saw.

I too recently purchased a new miter saw. Have plenty of batteries for both Ryobi andMilwaukee. But pretty quickly ruled out cordless. Was initially set on a 12”. But ultimately found that a 10” had more upside (for me) and very little downside. Have been very happy, with no regrets.

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Balbag77

8 posts in 15 days


#5 posted 02-23-2021 12:38 PM

All, thanks for the input. I think 10” blade is the consensus here. I will be using this around the shop for cutting dimensional lumber. I do not have a table saw so this would be my main saw other than a battery powered circular saw. I am not sure I want to spend $2k for a Sawstop right now. The Metabo is an interesting thought to have both cordless and corded. I may want to pull the cart outside on warm days to make my cuts!

Any other suggestions on “must-have” shop tools is certainly welcome!!

-- Locker, Pennsylvania

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

946 posts in 4076 days


#6 posted 02-23-2021 12:44 PM

Might I suggest the Bosch 10” or 12” sliding miter. They are certainly worth looking at. I use a 12” model and couldn’t be happier with it. Good Luck, Work Safely and Have Fun!

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

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HokieKen

16686 posts in 2149 days


#7 posted 02-23-2021 01:13 PM

Far use in the shop, a corded 10” would be my hands-down selection. If you’re hauling it around and figure on using it where power may not be readily available, go cordless.

Thank you for your service and welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

727 posts in 1630 days


#8 posted 02-23-2021 03:21 PM



All, thanks for the input. I think 10” blade is the consensus here. I will be using this around the shop for cutting dimensional lumber. I do not have a table saw so this would be my main saw other than a battery powered circular saw. I am not sure I want to spend $2k for a Sawstop right now. The Metabo is an interesting thought to have both cordless and corded. I may want to pull the cart outside on warm days to make my cuts!

Any other suggestions on “must-have” shop tools is certainly welcome!!

- Balbag77

Must have tools depends on how you want to work. If you’re not doing production work, I would strongly recommend looking at hand tools rather than corded demons. Check out Paul Sellers for suggestions and great videos.
If you think you need power, I would suggest a bandsaw. It can do the rip cuts that you would do on the table saw. Takes up much less space and is generally quieter than a table saw. I’ve largely moved to hand tools, but still use the bandsaw and drill press more than I use my table saw.

Think about what you want to make and buy the tools as you need them.

-- Sawdust Maker

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1782 posts in 612 days


#9 posted 02-23-2021 05:31 PM

I had the Hitachi 10” 120V saw on the rolling cart because my shop is only 160 Sq. feet and needed to take it outside to make cuts. The rolling carts take up a lot of room. In the end I can make any of the cuts I use my chop saw for on other saws I have so I took the cart and saw out to allow more room. It is a decision I haven’t regretted. I think you will need to come up with a reason to justify batteries with their added cost, shorter run time and cost to replace down the road.

View SMP's profile

SMP

3442 posts in 916 days


#10 posted 02-23-2021 06:29 PM

I don’t know, if you don’t have a table saw, i would personally wait and look for a deal on Craigslist for a decent saw. Having a chop saw as your main saw is not great for building furniture, though they are awesome for building decks and framing etc. You could get the Kreg crosscut station for your circular saw for $60 to hold you over while you find a table saw.

View Wood_Scraps's profile

Wood_Scraps

46 posts in 29 days


#11 posted 02-23-2021 06:42 PM



All, thanks for the input. I think 10” blade is the consensus here. I will be using this around the shop for cutting dimensional lumber. I do not have a table saw so this would be my main saw other than a battery powered circular saw. I am not sure I want to spend $2k for a Sawstop right now. The Metabo is an interesting thought to have both cordless and corded. I may want to pull the cart outside on warm days to make my cuts!

Any other suggestions on “must-have” shop tools is certainly welcome!!

- Balbag77

That bolded portion is a dangerous question, lol. What folks recommend may not correlate to what you actually need for your unique applications and desires.

With that being said, going off of your comment that you’ll be cutting dimensional lumber, a miter saw is definitely a must. A table saw is another that you’ll likely find all kinds of uses for. As far as other “big” machinery, you may benefit from a bandsaw and drill press. For smaller power tools, the cost is significantly lower, so you can afford to add more diversity there. Assuming you don’t have any of these, I would suggest the following:

-Drill/Driver and Impact Driver
-Circular saw
-Jig saw
-Oscillating multi-tool
-Random Orbit sander
-18g Brad Nailer

The sky is the limit on all the tools you add, but the above would likely be the ones I use most frequently (not necessarily in order). Brand is up to you. I have both Milwaukee and Ryobi 18v cordless tools. Milwaukee has some crazy fanboys. But, I’ve been entirely underwhelmed with my Milwaukee tools in terms of reliability and performance. On the other hand, you may find folks talking poorly about Ryobi. But I absolutely love my Ryobi 18v tools. All have worked perfectly, and the cost for each tool has been very palatable.

Back to your original question, I think you’re on the right track in leaning towards a 10” corded miter saw. One thing to know is that miter saws aren’t really meant for producing fine finish level work. Instead, they’re meant for quick and effective cuts. The point of all that being, spending big dollars on a miter saw won’t necessarily translate into a significant difference; had you purchased a less expensive model.

Personally, I landed on the new Bauer 10” dual-bevel sliding compound miter saw from Harbor Freight. Got it for right at $200. It’s an outstanding saw for the money. Actually identical to the Masterforce model sold by Menards (but for around $100 more). Only difference is the Bauer has an LED shadow cut line, while the Materforce has a laser. And the shadow LED is by far a nicer feature.

While I love the Bauer saw, I will say that my personal quest for extreme precision meant doing a slight modification out of the box. The adjustment for the fence to the blade didn’t allow for quite enough movement to square things up. It would have been fine; only being off about a third of a degree. But, my OCD drove me to drill out the adjustment holes so that I could bring the saw to perfectly square.

In short, the larger point I’m trying to make is that you have options out there for miter saws that are both economical and more than adequate. And the dollars saved may be better allocated towards a nicer table saw and other tools.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5342 posts in 4971 days


#12 posted 02-23-2021 07:04 PM

Corded 10” here. Does all I ever need.

-- [email protected]

View RClark's profile (online now)

RClark

62 posts in 3195 days


#13 posted 02-23-2021 07:36 PM

Welcome.

So much is dependent on your intended use. I’m in agreement with comments about going corded unless you’re going to be dragging the saw around to various sites.

I have a 10” Craftsman (corded) that I inherited from my Dad over 20 years ago. It sits gathering dust in the loft. It just isn’t accurate enough for furniture construction, and unless I’m doing some rough carpentry somewhere, it’s not worth lugging out and setting up.

If I was just setting up shop, the only cordless tools I’d get right away would be a decent drill/driver set. I’d focus the dollars saved on getting other items for the shop.

-- Ray

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Balbag77

8 posts in 15 days


#14 posted 02-23-2021 07:44 PM

Thanks for all the replies. Initially, I will be making shop furniture like a workbench and rolling storage cart. I really like the thought of having maximum flexibility in moving around pieces as the job dictates. I have a second-hand Floor standing Delta drill press, Milwaukee cordless drill, impact driver, jigsaw and circular saw and 18 gauge nailer. I think my focus will be making shop furniture for my family as well as other furniture such as swings, adirondack chairs, etc. All that said, I am looking for a 10”, corded miter saw to continue the journey. Thanks

-- Locker, Pennsylvania

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Balbag77

8 posts in 15 days


#15 posted 02-23-2021 07:45 PM

Ray, what other items would you suggest?

-- Locker, Pennsylvania

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