Looking for a GOOD 10" CMS (not a slider)

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 02-24-2013 03:32 AM 1689 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2902 posts in 2814 days

02-24-2013 03:32 AM

Now that my shop is cleaned out and getting organized, I am making careful use of space to increase productivity. I love cross cutting on a tablesaw. Some people think it’s a hassle, but my sled and my cross cut blade is my best bud in the shop. Capacity is not an issue.

What is an issue is freaking miters. I cannot get a clean miter off of a table saw. I’m sure I am doing something wrong but I can’t figure out what. Incra miter gauges, sleds, digital angle finders have all failed me.

I want a CMS to use for making mitered boxes. I know a router can cut good miters, but it’s a pain to set up compared to a CMS, and let’s face it, who likes routing endgrain?

Right now I am favoring the DeWalt DW713. Does anyone have any experience with this saw or others that can consistently cut accurate miters (with proper set up and operation of course)?


18 replies so far

View gooseforsupper's profile


64 posts in 2704 days

#1 posted 02-24-2013 04:08 AM

I make custom laminated goose calls out of tiny segments that I cut on a compound miter saw. I can wholeheartedly recommend one saw. The Makita LS1013 sliding compund miter saw.

Last week I cut up 2200 small identical segments on the saw. The all measure 7.50 degrees and are about an inch long. I use a custom jig to hold the segments and the saw says dead on where I set it. My saw probably has done somewhere around 15,000 cuts and to this day it says dead on. No kidding! I love the saw.

One good thing it has going for it over the DeWalt is that the twin sliding bars are side by side, not one over the top of the other. It gives it more side to side stability and accuracy.

Just my 2 cents worth, I sure am glad I bought the Makita.

All The Best!


View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3651 days

#2 posted 02-24-2013 04:11 AM

I bought a Delta 12” compound miter saw as soon as Delta came out with a reliable laser so I could see where
I was going to be cutting, to used to hand saws, table saws and skill type saws to judge where that saw blade
would hit. It is great for straight cuts and miters. Used it on some heavy timbers last summer, and now I am
looking at the sliding compound miter saws. Woodworkers are never happy if there is a bigger or better tool,
but then it never hurts to look. If you are not going to be getting into heavy wood, then the 10” should be
OK, but I would look for one with a laser, unless you are better at guaging the cut than I am. Hopefully, a
friend may have one you could try so you can find out just what to expect.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2852 days

#3 posted 02-24-2013 04:33 AM

Joe, I own the DW713 and can recommend it. I put a 60T Diablo blade on it and I get clean, accurate, and consistent cuts. Miters are dead on every time. I’m not sure if the new ones come with the XPS LED system, but I added that to mine. Better than a laser IMO as it A) provides light :) and B) doesn’t need to be calibrated—the blade shadow is your cut line marker. Even when I buy my 12” slider I will keep the DW713 as it is proven performer in my shop.

-- John, BC, Canada

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2638 days

#4 posted 02-24-2013 05:58 AM

I like the dewalt, I have had this saw in operation for 10+ years and like it too.


-- Who is John Galt?

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2698 days

#5 posted 02-24-2013 12:36 PM

I own the DeWalt 12” CMS and use it several times a day. Wonderful machine! Stays dead-on. Lots of dust escapement even with a DC attached, but I think that is true for all. I just clean up daily with Shopvac or use a leaf blower out a raised garage door. My saw is positioned next to the door so when raised I can cut long stock down to size. I made a table extension to eccept longer than 30 or so inch material on left side. The Laser kit that came with it is super useful and very accurate once set-up correctly. I’ve been quite satisfied with the DeWalt 80 toothed blade that came with it and double blade packs go on sale a couple of times a year for the price of one.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

598 posts in 3883 days

#6 posted 02-24-2013 01:37 PM

lumberjoe, I have gotten the impression from others that the most reliable and accurate way to cut miters is on a table saw sled. Not to hijack this thread, but would you describe in more detail your (failed) attempts to cut them on your TS using a sled?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2814 days

#7 posted 02-24-2013 01:51 PM

There are too many variables involved with a sled.I get very accurate cross cuts, but not miters. It’s made of wood (Baltic birch plywood). Wood moves with humidity shifts. I get some good miters, but not consistent enough.


View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2573 days

#8 posted 02-24-2013 05:00 PM

If you’re even considering Hitachi, check out this web site

They sell new and also reconditioned

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2814 days

#9 posted 02-25-2013 01:52 PM

Thanks! I’ll have a look at the Hitachi.

John, they don’t include the LED system anymore, but that is one of the reasons I wanted the DW. It’s still available as an option and I hear great things about it. Plus where I am putting the saw doesn’t have the best lighting, so some kind of auxiliary lighting is needed anyway.


View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3851 days

#10 posted 02-25-2013 02:09 PM


I would think as long as you stay away from the cheaper price-point models you should be happy. I used a Dewalt for years for a job-site chop saw and was not that impressed with it’s accuracy…......But that’s not being fair to the saw. I bought a cheaper model and got what I paid for. It was OK for trim work, but never used it in the shop.

A couple years ago a bought a Hitachi. It’s a slider and I spent quite a bit more for it, but love the saw. I’ve been more then impressed with it’s accuracy and that I do use in the shop. With that being said, I’m sure the better Dewalts do the same.

I believe the reason most guys don’t like a chop saw for accuracy is they only want to spend a couple hundred dollars on one, but expect it to cut like a $3,000 table saw.

-- John @

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3724 days

#11 posted 02-25-2013 02:40 PM

I’d troubleshoot your issue with cutting miters on the table saw. Sounds to me it could be either a blade tilt issue or unequal, opposite board length, as required with a picture frame. If your straight crosscuts are good, then it has to be something simple.

Likewise, I would try it with only the gauge without any sacrificial fence…the wood does move over time and doesn’t necessary allow your boards to sit straight against the miter gauge. I would also make sure the pieces are clamped well to the fence (or otherwise) for critical cuts.

In my experience, getting accurate, clean cuts on the CMS is much more difficult.

-- jay,

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2814 days

#12 posted 02-25-2013 02:50 PM

My problem with the miter gauge is on wider miters (5+ inches) it’s tough to keep the board clamped to the gauge, against the stop block, and flat to the table. As soon as I get into the blade, the piece jumps in a bit or comes off the table slightly in the opposite corner. I know my sled is shot from the recent drastic temp changes. One side of the kerf is higher than the other. I am going to make another, but obviously this is going to keep happening unless I don’t use wood for a sled.


View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3012 days

#13 posted 02-25-2013 02:55 PM

I would really like to try this tool “miter trimmer” sold by Lee Valley:,42884

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3851 days

#14 posted 02-25-2013 02:59 PM


That’s a great tool, I’ve used one for years and love it!. I hand fit all my beaded face frames and use that to get the perfect miter. Cut strong and trim to exact size.

-- John @

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3080 days

#15 posted 02-25-2013 02:59 PM

Joe, I have to say I agree with Jay.
I just built a play table that had mitered skirts on the top. I own an older Harbor Freight crosscut saw that was built by Hitachi and is about the same as the one above. It was lent out to do crown moldings on apartments, did all the crown moldings on my farmhouse years ago, etc. You would think it could do a decent miter.

But for my table, I did a couple test miters, and fuggettaboutit!
I went to the miter that came with my Rigid table saw, set it at 45’, did a quick and simple check to make sure my blade was perfect at 0’, and within about 10 minutes, had four perfect miters, forming a square that I was able to glue up easily, and only a little hand sanding later.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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