All Replies on TS Sled vs. Miter Saw vs. RAS

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TS Sled vs. Miter Saw vs. RAS

by AJswoodshop
posted 09-15-2012 11:01 AM

37 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 09-15-2012 11:10 AM

I use my TS for all crosscuts that will fit on the saw, and use the CMS for things like long molding. A good cast iron TS is inherently more robust and more accurate than a CMS. I don’t own a RAS.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2299 days

#2 posted 09-15-2012 11:55 AM

That’s what I do too. I use my CMS for molding, and tricky cuts you can’t do with a TS sled.


View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 09-15-2012 12:01 PM

when I used power tools the only time i used anything other than my table saw to cross cut was….? not sure, I cut eight foot boards on the thing. just needed side outfeed. Now a days, i still use one of three saws to cross cut normally, panel saw, carcass saw, or small cross cut (basically a dovetail saw with cross cut teeth)

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2459 days

#4 posted 09-15-2012 12:11 PM

I started out with a RAS. My main cutting appliance for many years. Rips, cross cuts, mitering, dadoes -everything. After acquiring a TS, the RAS was relegated to miters and cross cuts. About a month ago a friend gave me a SCMS and the RAS was downgraded a flat surface that collects junk. I’m considering giving it to one of the son-in-laws.

I built a couple sleds for the TS but hardly ever use them. The logistics are much simpler with the CMS.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2599 days

#5 posted 09-15-2012 12:53 PM

I use the TS and miter gauge with wooden fence.

I use my miter saw for rough cutting to length.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2515 days

#6 posted 09-15-2012 01:27 PM

I prefer the RAS, but mine returns to dead nuts zero if I move it (a Dewalt). My miter saw has been retired to the barn and comes out for home improvement projects.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bondogaposis's profile


4755 posts in 2373 days

#7 posted 09-15-2012 02:23 PM

I use a RAS for most of my cross cutting. I leave it set up for 90° cuts and never change it. For miter cuts and other angled crosscuts I use the table saw and miter gauge.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View EEngineer's profile


1103 posts in 3636 days

#8 posted 09-15-2012 02:47 PM

Even with a sled, I find cross-cutting long pieces on the TS to be painful. I kept a GP blade on the TS because I didn’t want to be changing between a rip and crosscut blade all the time. I had a fixed 10” miter saw that I found to be more accurate with long pieces and at weird angles, but the width restriction was limiting. I finally broke down and bought a 12” sliding compound miter saw.

Rips happen on the table saw, cross-cutting up to 12” (hasn’t proven to be limiting yet) happens on the miter saw and the TS almost always has a rip blade on it. I’ll have to finish a couple of projects on it to be sure, but right now it seems more convenient.

I was real close to pulling the trigger on a RAS instead of the sliding miter saw but space limitations dictated the miter saw. In either case I would need longer wings to support long stock, but the RAS just intruded into shop floor space more.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#9 posted 09-15-2012 03:06 PM

I own a Dewalt 9’’ MMB RAS its all cast iron I do all my crosscuts on it and some angle cuts. I own a 10’’ Unisaw but I use it for ripping mostly. But I have rip on my RAS.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3181 days

#10 posted 09-15-2012 04:30 PM

Yep, same as Scott here. The TS and Miter gauge/sled get the majority of those cuts due to accuracy. The CMS gets the longer boards or the rough cut down to size before using the TS. I too don’t own a RAS, but I used my Dad’s Craftsman for a longtime and never really felt comfortable with it. I also thought it always seemed underpowered.

-- jay,

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2698 days

#11 posted 09-15-2012 06:15 PM

I think a table saw and a really good sled is the most accurate. I use a scms for most of my cross cuts though. It all depends on what your doing and how much acuracy you have to have.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#12 posted 09-15-2012 07:16 PM

Grandpa = +10

My SuperSled has made a very BIG difference in my WW-ing. And like Jay, I pretty much restrict my MS for rough cutting long boards down to TS sized pieces.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View BilltheDiver's profile


255 posts in 2908 days

#13 posted 09-15-2012 07:22 PM

I use my units aw for rips and my ras for crosscut including miters. Using a wisely digital angle gauge insures a return to 90 as well as the angle for any bevel.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3569 days

#14 posted 09-16-2012 08:02 AM

We use miter saw up to 12”. Over that and we use ts. We do have 2 dreamt RAS, both are great and have a reach of 17”. One RAS Haas permanent dado and does great. Other has cross cut blade and is used as back up. RAS does poor on quality of cut on back side of cut whereas miter saw and ts has great quality cut using good quality blades.

-- .

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2879 days

#15 posted 09-16-2012 08:45 AM

I use an adjustable fence on my RAS

I never take it off the 90 of the fence

I also prefer it for compound angles.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2299 days

#16 posted 09-16-2012 12:58 PM

Man, I thought people would use a TS sled!


View hamburglar's profile


42 posts in 2121 days

#17 posted 09-16-2012 02:17 PM

I used to use the table saw sled all the time. Then I used my miter guage on a whim and haven’t used anything else. I need to figure out a way to get the slop out of it though… (or upgrade) Every once in awhile I will forget to push it ‘that one certain way’ and my miter will be off just a hair.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#18 posted 09-16-2012 02:47 PM

”...Every once in awhile I will forget to push it ‘that one certain way’ and my miter will be off just a hair….”

And THERE is the problem. I use the sled, even though I have a high dollar Incra miter. Simply, fewer mistakes…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3181 days

#19 posted 09-16-2012 03:10 PM

I love that sled, Mike. Unlike you, I didn’t want to waste my nice Incra miter gauge so I bought the Miter Express to go with it. It provides some of the same functionality as your Supersled, only without the satisfaction of a cool DIY device.

Still, when you have a sled, especially one for miter cuts, it’s hard to imagine using something else, unless you are on a job site, of course. The CMS is very great for that.

-- jay,

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2599 days

#20 posted 09-16-2012 03:23 PM

Jason, to tune your miter gauge bar to the slot, either use a strip or two of aluminum tape, or another way is to use a nail set and punch a few dimples on the side of the bar. This will raise the surrounding metal a bit and make for a tighter fit. If you raise too much metal a file or sandpaper can knock it down a bit.

Learned from kelly mehler’s tablesaw video and book.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Roadster280's profile


31 posts in 2141 days

#21 posted 09-16-2012 03:36 PM

Well there are RAS’s and there are RAS’s. And there are crosscuts and there are crosscuts.

I used to have a run of the mill RIDGID RS1000. It was OK, but inaccurate if moved off 90 deg. Then I got a Delta 33-411, 16” longarm RAS. That will crosscut 29” (and rip 41”, if I was that brave/stupid). With new bearings in it, it is smooth as glass, and is 5HP to boot. So, big crosscuts, or repetitive ones, the RAS. Small or fiddly ones, Bosch GCD12SD glider.

I don’t see the need for a crosscut TS sled in my shop.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20587 posts in 3128 days

#22 posted 09-16-2012 10:14 PM

I have a Makita 12” slider and it makes great cross cuts for frames, but I will be using a sled to make small segments for lay up for turning. I don’t like to do small pieces on the miter saw…. too dangerous unless they can be clamped in place with your fingers far away!! I can do that on a sled. Be safe always!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View sedcokid's profile


2733 posts in 3621 days

#23 posted 09-17-2012 12:13 AM

I use my TS and miter gage.

Thanks for asking

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2379 days

#24 posted 09-17-2012 12:28 AM

hand saw for all… :-)

Seriously thouh… I use SCMS for 90% of my cross cuts… (mine is very accurate) up to a certain width. It is also easier for very long lengths etc… And I use table saw and cross cut sled for anthing over that certain width (about 320mm). I don’t have a RAS or really have the need (or room) for one so can’t comment on that.

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3266 days

#25 posted 09-17-2012 10:31 PM

I have all three. The RAS is used ONLY for crosscuts within it’s capacity. The sled is used for most all other crosscuts and the miter saw is used for angle cuts and cutoffs as on 2×4’s, 2×6’s.

View MattHartzell's profile


12 posts in 2084 days

#26 posted 10-03-2012 05:36 AM

Just recently built a huge crosscut sled for the powermatic 66 TS. Love it. Crosscut 36” square tabletops routinely. Dewalt scms for trim and long stuff. Just re-built the table on our RAS, but I rarely use it.

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile


46 posts in 2095 days

#27 posted 10-03-2012 06:16 AM

depends on the project. scms for most homeowner type stuff because its fast, accurate, and can cut down really long stock (ex building a 140ft fence). for really accurate cuts, including miters, and reduced tearout, i go with the TS and sled.

-- Jason

View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 2433 days

#28 posted 10-03-2012 06:38 AM

I’m fortunate to have a sliding tablesaw with plenty of crosscut capacity (the outrigger table provides 47” of support to the left of the blade, and my crosscut fence offers extra support going out 8’ to the left of the blade).

Because I have a small shop, I usually do not leave all of that stuff on the tablesaw, so it takes me a few seconds to set up for a crosscut. If I’m just making a rough cut, I’ll use the SCMS.

-- Kelby

View Ironrooster's profile


9 posts in 2112 days

#29 posted 10-03-2012 11:02 AM

I use my RAS for crosscuts, rips, angle cuts and dadoes. Works great for me.
I don’t have a table saw or miter saw.
I suspect that which ever of the three you like best was the one that cost the most. Good tools cost more, but are a joy to use.

-- Paul

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2270 days

#30 posted 10-03-2012 04:34 PM

TS sleds – All cross cuts and miter cuts (the supersled is awesome)
Circular saw – rough cutting 8+ footers
CMS – PVC pipe, compound miters on the rare occasions I need them


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#31 posted 10-03-2012 05:30 PM

I have an older (1980s) Delta 10” CMS that is all cast iron and I use it for anything that will fit on it. I have wished for a wider and deeper cutting capacity, but for accuracy I would much rather use it than the TS/sled.

I only use the TS for stuff too wide for the CMS. Just the opposite from everyone else here it would seem.

I generally think I will get a 12” CMS someday, or a Festool if I hit the lottery.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2392 days

#32 posted 10-03-2012 07:30 PM

I second lumberJoe’s response. Also,, I have a small garage workshop like you do, and I had a RAS, and got a table saw and sent the RAS to my father. Took up wayyy too much space for the jobs it could do. Like you pointed out, it did great crosscuts, until you changed the angle and tried to go back to 90.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#33 posted 10-03-2012 07:42 PM

It largely depends on the shape of the board. Long sticks-CMS or RAS. Shorter lightweight pieces-TS w/Miter gauge. Shorter(more square) pieces-TS Sled. Each tool has its strengths and its weaknesses.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3983 days

#34 posted 10-03-2012 08:12 PM

Oh well…..The old RAS is junk/king debate.
Any tooling that is not set up well will yield crappy cuts.
I used a RAS for years, now use TS with sled, and CMS. All will work well if “trued”.
“It ain’t the arrow, it’s the Indian”.
AJ, good post ‘cause there are soooooo many opinions. Mine is just one. :)


View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2299 days

#35 posted 10-25-2012 01:20 AM

I think out of the three, the table saw sled makes the best cuts.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2309 days

#36 posted 10-25-2012 01:26 AM

Miter saws are made for crosscuts. If you have small boards not more than 8 inches wide I suppose you could use a TS or even a BS, but why?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2308 days

#37 posted 10-25-2012 01:54 AM

Depending on how long the stock is, I use either my TS, circular saw, or CMS for crosscuts. Cutting anything over a few feet long on the TS is a pain, even with a sled, especially when trimming an end where most of the board is hanging off the side of the saw.

When I get around to building my miter saw station with a SCMS, I’ll use that even more for crosscuts.

-- John, BC, Canada

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