which miter saw?

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Forum topic by ptkaster posted 03-03-2013 09:22 PM 1752 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 3175 days

03-03-2013 09:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: help miter saw

First of all I would like to thank the people of LumberJocks for their help. I am deciding between the Harbor Freight saw here
and the cobalt saw here=:
the harbor freight has a bigger blade and capacity but the Kobalt is a name brand. They are the same price, which one would you pick?


15 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4381 posts in 4009 days

#1 posted 03-03-2013 10:05 PM

Honestly, I’d save up a little more and go for a better model. Kobalt is a brand that Lowe’s sells, but it’s the bottom of the line (equivalent to Ryobi at HD). When I was first starting out, I purchased a Ryobi miter saw, but I was never really happy with it and just recently got a Dewalt. The Dewalt is night and day better. It is accurate and the settings never move. What do you plan on using it for?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View ptkaster's profile


36 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 03-03-2013 10:47 PM

I dont really have that much money to spend(about a hundred bucks) and I want to get the most bang for my buck. The Dewalt is way out of my price range. I will probably be using it for squaring up stock and making segmented bowls.


View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4342 days

#3 posted 03-03-2013 10:50 PM

I’ll follow-up with Brandon’s question; What do you plan on using it for? And what are you expecting from it?

I would stay away from the Kobalt, not because of quality, but it’s only a 7 1/4” and I think you will be real disappointed with such a small blade.

If your basing most of your decision on price, then go with the Harbor Freight. It will be handy for basic cross cutting lumber and basic trim carpentry. I would have my doubts about real accuracy.

If your looking for more quality cross cuts and miters, then like Brandon said, you would be better to save up for a better saw. I realize it’s real easy for someone else to spend your money, so don’t feel bad if that’s all you can spend right now for a saw.

Most of us can’t afford the top of the line from the get-go, but we’ll be glad to tell you that’s what you need. LOL.

Good luck and enjoy your new saw.

-- John @

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4342 days

#4 posted 03-03-2013 10:54 PM

Sorry ptkaster,

I was posting the same time as you did. If that’s what’s in your budget, then I would go with the Harbor Freight simply because of the blade size.

I realize a replacement blade will be quite a bit more, but for now work with the blade that comes with it and save up to buy a good blade later on.

Good luck.

-- John @

View bandit's profile


25 posts in 3333 days

#5 posted 03-03-2013 11:02 PM

I’ve had the 10” model for about 10 years, it was my first miter saw and I’ll be glad to upgrade. Dust collection is very bad. It’s your basic miter saw.

-- Michael Garrett

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3621 days

#6 posted 03-03-2013 11:08 PM

I have the 10” Craftsman SCMS that is in this same category and like it a lot. Its not top of the line, but it certainly works for me.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View ptkaster's profile


36 posts in 3175 days

#7 posted 03-04-2013 02:12 AM

do you guys think that buying this would be worth the extra cost? It’s $50 more


View bandit's profile


25 posts in 3333 days

#8 posted 03-04-2013 02:19 AM

It’s basically the same as the Kobalt.

-- Michael Garrett

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


8842 posts in 3466 days

#9 posted 03-04-2013 02:24 AM

Try looking at pawn shops, I know crazy but in these difficult times people are shedding anything for a buck in the pocket. I have on next to my job and they have had some nice not so badly abused tools for sale as of late. If you want new I would go with something better than a Kobalt and even a HF, try Sears I bought one 15 years ago and it still works and is fairly accurate. Pitch the balde though, spend some money after you play with your shiny new toy and get a good blade. Bearpaw knows all the good ones drop him a line, myself I use Oldham blades in both table and chop saws.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Holbs's profile


2379 posts in 3086 days

#10 posted 03-04-2013 02:28 AM

i would spend a little time hunting around craigslist and estate auctions before buying a miter saw as last resort from harbor freight.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View trippcasey's profile


72 posts in 2981 days

#11 posted 03-04-2013 03:02 AM

Pawn shops and craigslist can be great places for quality used tools at affordable prices. I have bought many tools, electronics, and even a couch from craigslist. All have serviced me well, and most still are. I recently purchased a Craftsman plunge router still in the box from craigslist for $60. It had never been opened…until I got my grubby hands on it. I was about to buy the same router from Sears, but decided to see if there had been any new tool posts before I did. Check these places out before you purchase a lower quality saw and are not satisfied with what you get. There are all sorts of gems out there, but be on the lookout for the turds as well. My Makita LS1013 came from a pawn shop. I paid $220 for it 4 years ago. Retail was almost $500. I didnt care about having a slider then, but couldnt resist the deal. Ill bet you can find a great saw in your budget, and one you will get many years of good service out of, if you look around for a used one.

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

View scvwooding's profile


26 posts in 3008 days

#12 posted 03-05-2013 08:24 PM

Craigslist …. I purchased a Dewalt 705 ( last model made in USA ) for $100. It’s a work horse, probably 10 years old and still cuts great.

View DaveJinMA's profile


2 posts in 2981 days

#13 posted 03-05-2013 09:32 PM

I have to say I like that little Kobalt saw. I bought a few months ago before starting a hardwood floor install. If you can live with the limitations on the size of material it can cut and the power, it’s a useful saw. It certainly doesn’t take up a lot of bench space.

View 7Footer's profile


2575 posts in 3006 days

#14 posted 03-05-2013 10:01 PM

I have the older version of that HF 12” mitre saw, mine is only single bevel but basically the same thing. One upgrade I notice is HF finally put that yellow position stop like the higher end saws have, that might make it easier on cutting more common angles. Mine works okay, but I feel like i spend more time checking the angle with my square, a couple months ago I used my buddy’s Dewalt for some trim work and I couldnt believe how much nicer it was not having to check the angle manually before every single cut. Its hard to say because that newer version of the HF saw looks like they definitely made a couple essential upgrades from the one I have, one thing I notice they did not change though is thing in the back that tightens the saw for bevel cuts is made of plastic, mine is just like that one and it feels like its going to break every time I check to see if its tight. But I kind of agree with the others who say, check Craigslist and pawn shops for a higher end used saw, after I used that old Dewalt my friend had I have been wanting a new one ever since. Mine does cut pretty well with a good Dewalt blade, but I would trust a crosscut sled on my table saw before this HF mitre saw, you’ll spend a lot of time checking your angles for cuts.


View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 3006 days

#15 posted 03-05-2013 10:07 PM

this is my craftsman and it owes me nothing
I have the older version of this saw. it looks like it hasn’t changed. I wouldn’t go smaller than 12”. skip the slider for now. I choose this saw for the belt drive in order to get the motor out of the way. it was side by side the same dewalt and 100$ cheaper so cost had won out. I used it for trimming houses daily for 8 years and it is still going strong. DC bag really work well and a 2” vac hose fits right on. The overhead motor is great, it has been strong and true, but being used and abused for 8+ years it is starting to show it’s age. this was my first. I ended up getting a slider for free 2 years ago, but I had to rebuild the motor and get a new belt. it never leaves the shop cause it’s heavy and awkward to carry. also I really never needed the slide.

I will probably replace it with the same one when it finally gives up.

I under stand necessity, but spending more now may save more later so save till you can afford it

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