12" Miter Saw or 10" Sliding Miter?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by ARCarpenter posted 02-02-2015 02:54 PM 2797 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ARCarpenter's profile


26 posts in 1986 days

02-02-2015 02:54 PM

New guy here. Where to begin. I’ve been working with wood on and off all my life now. I’m currently 29 and am looking to quit borrowing my dads saw. I attached a picture of my latest project. This is a baby gate I made for our stairs. I didn’t want just a normal baby gate.

 photo 97B7FA97-45E2-4A91-ABB0-9D7AD76D85F4_zpswxlmdb5y.jpg

 photo 2BF6B434-2D9C-4A81-86D5-8A8B4DAD63BD_zpsmyune0sq.jpg

We just finished building our first house and now that things are starting to get settled down, I’d like to start building some things like the baby gate and maybe some farmhouse tables/benches and things like that. I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should look for a 12” Miter or a 10” sliding miter. I’ve been looking at Lowes. Budget is about $200. Don’t want to go over that much.

I’ve seen this Hitachi.

And this Kobalt.


16 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


2046 posts in 3857 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 03:04 PM

I have a 12” sliding saw. A Craftsman I got off a clearance table. I love the capacity of the slider and the 12” blade adds even more to the cut capacity. I would vote for a slider.

-- Chris K

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 03:22 PM

I don’t have any experience with either of these saws. My only experience with Kobalt was a tool box that had problems.

I would suggest that you select the largest saw you can afford and have room for. Although most of my crosscut can be done with a 10” non-sliding saw, there is the occasional piece where I appreciate the capabilities of my DeWalt 12” slider. There are also times where I miss the capabilities of the RAS (Radial Arm Saw) that I used to have.

Whatever say you choose make sure that it is accurate and will remain so. I found that my Craftsman RAS would go out of alignment with the greatest of ease. That said, if you have the room for it(about 3 feet by 3 feet) and could find an old (and accurate) RAS, it would by my choice.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View jshroyer's profile


80 posts in 2434 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 03:26 PM

i have the kobalt and i just got it. its an OK saw. i had 1 main issue with the saw. it needs the fence adjusted to fix it though. i wouldnt cut all the way though a piece of wood. so i just need to move the fence forward a little and it will be fixed. It also seems to be very loud. i need to put it in a box for dust control still but it is very loud for a saw. i am still happy with it though.


View RogerM's profile


801 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 03:47 PM

Eric – My thinking is in line with JesseTutt. I have a dated Dewalt 12” chop saw which I used a lot then was able to buy the sliding 10” Festool Kapex which is along the lines of the ultimate but pricey. I have both of these saws mounted in my miter/cutoff bench and can say they are both good saws and have their strengths. I still use the Dewalt for rougher cutoff work especially for thick stock. The Kapex is a very accurate piece of equipment and does really nice work with glass smooth cuts. In addition, it does not require a lot of rear clearance and can be mounted closer to a wall which is why I bought mine.

As is almost always the case, you get what you pay for and if consistent super accurate glass smooth cuts are important, you will need to buy a more premium saw. Miter saws are important in my shop and joints go together a lot better with a premium saw. Personally, all considered, if I were restricted to just one saw I would probably go with a 10” sliding miter.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2798 days

#5 posted 02-02-2015 03:57 PM

I did a review of the Hitachi here a couple years ago (Hitachi C12FCH 12” Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker). It’s a good tough saw. The one downside I didn’t mention is the fence is two separate pieces, which made it a pain to align. The miter detents are cast in, so you can’t adjust the miter scale to the fence, only the fence to the scale.


-- Just a Duffer

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2052 days

#6 posted 02-02-2015 05:06 PM

I’ve been looking at miter saws every day for a week. I think that I’m going with the dewalt 717 saw. This saw has detent locks for 22.5 degree bevel cuts which I want. The other saw I was looking at is the 716 dewalt. These saws are over your budget but it would be wise to wait a few weeks and save up for a better saw than your going to get for 200.00. The saw I’m using now is a harbor frieght 10 inch compound saw. I call it Elvis because of all the Rock and Roll that it does every time I turn it on. The saw I had before it, was an Hitachi compound saw. The bearings went out one day in the middle of a project I was trying to finish. I didn’t want to go shopping for a good saw so I ran down to harbor frieght and threw away 89.00 for what they call a saw just to make a few cuts I needed to finish. The Dewalt 717 is 449.00 on line at HD. The 716 is, believe 349.00 at lowes and HD. Just remember about me throwing away the 89.00 for something I couldn’t use later, and knowing when I bought it that it wasn’t what I wanted. Anyway good luck with whatever you decide to buy. Just get on the computer start looking at all of them. There’s a lot of them to look at.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3217 days

#7 posted 02-02-2015 05:35 PM

In the $200 price range, I’m fairly happy with this Craftsman 10” sliding miter:

I use my table saw for the vast majority of cuts, but there’s obviously still some applications where it’s not practical, such as doing crown/trim work. I actually have a Bosch 5412 as well that’s a superb 12” SCMS, but decided to downsize for a few reasons:

- It’s huge
- I don’t use it much (but it’s still nice to have a miter saw)
- It’s very heavy; around 70lbs. Add in the giant miter saw station I have with it, and it’s about 150 lbs

I’m not going to lie… the Bosch is a much nicer saw. Smoother slide and overally a much higher fit and finish. Having said that, I’m fairly happy moving down to the C’Man and here’s why

- Dust collection is better (it was terrible on the Bosch)
- Forward sliding mechanism – this saves a LOT of space and allows me to put it against a wall. Only other saw that I’m aware of that does this (and is in the same weight class) is the Festool Kapex
- MUCH lighter… at 43#, it’s even lighter than the Kapex
- I don’t really use a miter saw for real precision work, but I’ve gotten the fence squared up pretty good on it and I think it would work if my table saw were out of commission

Some of the stuff I don’t like about it

- Fit and finish is much lower quality than the Bosch. I don’t think it really affects anything for me as just an occasional user, but I think in the field, the Bosch would hold up a lot better
- Not really a huge negative, but it’s only a single bevel. Kind of have to relearn to use a miter saw because of that, but it also helps to keep the weight on this down
- Still cuts a 4×4, but I can’t do larger pieces of crown vertically

Craftsman has an awful lot of misses in their tool lineup, but I think this one may be a hidden gem.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3072 days

#8 posted 02-02-2015 05:49 PM

You don’t need a tall fence to cut crown – you need to know the spring angle of the moulding and then you can adjust bevel and miter to accomplish the same thing cutting crown flat (Fine Woodworking has these numbers posted somewhere).

I would buy a 10 inch slider as 12 inch blades cost a fortune. Unless you plan on cutting 4×4s I don’t see the need for that capability. I have the Kobalt 10 inch slider and it’s fine, in fact it’s overkill for most things I do. A friend has an older Hitachi 8.5 slider and it’s lighter and can crosscut a 1×12.

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3468 days

#9 posted 02-02-2015 05:52 PM

There are many tool reviews on this site written by woodworkers, (myself included) that should help you with your questions. For my 2¢ I’m still using the one I reviewed. It’s the second one of that type & brand that I’ve owned. I would by still buy that same brand after owning miter saws of other brands. I’ve owned more miter saws than I care to count. BTW, I still have all of my fingers. But my woodworking friends that have screwed up and lost finger(s), most have been lost with a miter saw, so please be careful.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 2046 days

#10 posted 02-02-2015 06:47 PM

Do you have a table saw yet? A 10” sliding miter saw was my first “big” tool purchase and if I had to start from scratch again, I’d buy a bench top table saw instead. Aside from the benefit of ripping boards, you could also easily make a crosscut and miter sled. People often build cabinets around them if and when they get more space to do so. One like the Dewalt DW745 is just out of your price range unless you get one used or on sale, but the Ridgid version is in your $200 price range.

Not really what you were asking, but something to think about.

View ARCarpenter's profile


26 posts in 1986 days

#11 posted 02-02-2015 11:50 PM

After thinking about what I typically cut and what I would actually be cutting in the future, I think a nice non-sliding would probably do me really well. I cut mostly 2×6 or narrower. If I do cut wider, it’s usually wide enough that I need my skill saw anyway.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3846 days

#12 posted 02-03-2015 12:23 AM

If I were you I’d get whichever one is cheaper, because as you acquire more tools you my find yourself using this one less and less. Watch for a used one, or post wanted ads. Craigslist, pawn shops, BuySellTrade facebook groups, and your local woodworking club can all be good sources for used tools.

Also keep in mind most sliders require extra space behind them for the sliding mechanism. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really can be annoying.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View dday's profile


178 posts in 2205 days

#13 posted 02-03-2015 12:36 AM

Don’t forget that HD and Lowe’s both will sometimes take the Harbor Freight 20% coupons on saws. That should save you a few bucks and maybe let you get a little better saw. Good luck.

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3905 days

#14 posted 02-03-2015 12:36 AM

Just my two cents,

Since I used to run a remodeling company I ended up with two Sliding 10” miter saws. I have a “10 Bosch and a Makita 10”. They were great for carpentry. However for cabinet making they are no where near as accurate as a jig on a good cast-iron table saw. Don’t get me wrong the sliders are handy. I keep one in the shop, but its really for quick rough cuts and projects requiring less than perfect results. For crosscuts and miters 6” and under I use the Incra miter gauge. For cross cuts up to 24” use a shop made cross cut sled with commercial adjustable rails. So if you already have a decent table saw with an accurately made cast iron top you can save some money and get better results. Again just a thought

View ARCarpenter's profile


26 posts in 1986 days

#15 posted 02-03-2015 01:47 AM

That Craftsman Saw looks pretty nice but it kind of bugs me that it works in reverse slide compared to others. I have to really get used to that. Lol

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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