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View cathyb's profile

best sliding miter chop saw

by cathyb
posted 11-14-2012 09:23 PM

40 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 11-14-2012 09:34 PM

The Hitachi 12 inch slider is hard to beat… I love mine…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3957 days

#2 posted 11-14-2012 09:36 PM

Why are ya replacing the Mac?
Seems that a DeWalt is a very popular saw among general woodworkers. I don’t have a slider, but if I were to buy one today, I’d look at Makita and Bosch though my DW 10” compound has done well for my needs.


View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2625 days

#3 posted 11-14-2012 09:41 PM

when wood magazine reviewed miter saws, they rated the makita top tool. what ’s leading to the replacement of the current makita?

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2513 posts in 3680 days

#4 posted 11-14-2012 09:48 PM

I have Makita power tools and they have been OK for what I need. If you shop around maybe you might find something better than the one you are thinking off changing.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2121 days

#5 posted 11-14-2012 09:50 PM

I’ve been mulling this over all summer myself. I originally decided on the Makita, but returned two of them both with the same defect on the bevel lock lever. The model in the store worked find, but I guess my local HD got a bad batch. I currently feel the Dewalt DW780 is probably the best one, but I can’t spend $600 on it.

View Wood_smith's profile


260 posts in 3022 days

#6 posted 11-14-2012 10:00 PM

I bought a Craftsman, not a top-end saw, but it works well for me.

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3006 days

#7 posted 11-14-2012 10:19 PM

Well, “best” would probably be the Festool Kapex. It certainly is the highest priced SCMS at nearly double its closest competitors.

But “best” for one person isn’t necessarily “best” for another, and you might assign value differently to different features than I would.

That being said, the Kapex is a nifty saw. My favorite features:
- the lasers are dead nuts accurate
- fairly quiet and smooth
- the hold-down is really nice and clamps securely
- trenching feature for quick dados
- light and portable
- good dust collection for a miter saw
- doesn’t need much space at all behind the saw (saw head slides forward on fixed rails)

Personally I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth what I paid for it and if I use it enough to justify it. But it’s a heck of a saw.To me the most important features were actually the small footprint (cramped shop) and the smoothness/quietness.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View BenI's profile


332 posts in 2175 days

#8 posted 11-14-2012 10:20 PM

I currently own a Dewalt DWS780 and it’s a great saw. Accurate out of the box and built to last and the stock blade is actually pretty good. Very nice feature is the XPS system that shines light down the blade so you see the exact cut and never have to adjust anything after swapping blades.

Plus Dewalt has a deal every few months that you buy the saw, get a free stand ($200 stand) with it. Either a mobile base one or a full size, either way a great value.

-- Ben from IL

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2185 days

#9 posted 11-14-2012 10:58 PM

I wouldn’t replace an old Makita (assuming it has the dual slide) with a new one. I have an older 10” and a newer 12”. The newer one is Chinese and clearly not as well made. I suspect the others have cheapened theirs up as well. Maybe Festool, if you have lots of money !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View MJCD's profile


541 posts in 2368 days

#10 posted 11-14-2012 11:06 PM

I have to go with either the DeWalt or the Bosch Glide.

I have an older DeWalt, and it’s rock-solid, huge (an issue when I have to use it in the field), but still accurate and tough – it’s not pretty or modern, when compared to the Bosch Glide or the Kapex; but the do work.

The Bosch Glide will cost about $800, and re-thinks the whole miter saw application. Its dust collection ranks below the Kapex, had quality problems when first introduced, but is $400 cheaper and Bosch quality.

I’ve read great things about the Makita, but don’t know enough to comment – I’ll leave that to professionals on the Forum.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3305 days

#11 posted 11-14-2012 11:25 PM

Over the years I have owned a Ridgid, a Makita, a Bosch 10” slider and now have a Kapex. Yes, the Kapex is more expensive but to me it is worth every penny and hopefully it will last a very long time. Once I got over spending the money I was sure I made the right choice. It is extremely accurate and well built.

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 3001 days

#12 posted 11-14-2012 11:28 PM

I have the Makita 12. It’s OK. I’m no expert, though. I constantly forgot to turn the laser off and sure enough, it lasted about a month before burning out. The turny knob to loosen the swing is annoying to me because it’s counter intuitive. Always trying to turn it the wrong way (you’d think counter clockwise would loosen, right?) But, by far (for me) the biggest drawback is the huge footprint required. I literally had to build a hole in the wall of my shop and mount it on a 30” counter to get the full clearance! I tried hooking my 2 HP dust collector to it via a step-down. That proved useless. I built a hood/chute into the wall, but haven’t got the DC hooked up to it yet. It’s pretty noisy, too. I wonder if any of the others are brushless and if that would help much?

View Wood_smith's profile


260 posts in 3022 days

#13 posted 11-15-2012 12:11 AM

...and don’t forget to get a cover for it…

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#14 posted 11-15-2012 12:26 AM

Give ellen35 a shout…she has the Bosch slider , and last I knew , she loved it : )
I have a Bosch 12” , but not the slider model , and no complaints with it at all : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2853 days

#15 posted 11-15-2012 12:29 AM

When I went to replace my remanufactured cheap ryobi saw, I did a lot of reseacch and actually tested a number of 12” sliders.

I spent a few extra coin on a Milwalkee SCMS. One of my major concerns was dust control, this was the best ( aside from the Kapex system which was far too much). I don’t care for fancy lasers, don’t trust them. The Milwalkee has two nice lights on each side of the blade to cut on one side of the line or the other. It cuts square and can rip a board over one foot in width. It has plenty of power and when fitted with a hood connected to my DC, virtually no dust in the air. The digital readout is nice to have and micro adjuster actually works.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#16 posted 11-15-2012 12:36 AM

I have wished I had a slider ever since I got my Delta 10” CMS back in 1990 something..
It is limited to nothing wider than about 5 1/2” and 3 1/4” thick.
Otherwise a rock solid saw, made of cast iron.

I have the same problem others do with the mounting depth required by the sliders because my work station is against a wall.

I really like the Mikita design with the hypoid drive and the double slide rails.
Or the Festool of course.
Or the Bosch Glide, but seems some folks have problems with the Bosch.

I have basically decided when I upgrade I will give serious consideration to a non sliding 12” saw, or the Mikita 10” slider.

View markswoodcraft's profile


175 posts in 2117 days

#17 posted 11-15-2012 12:39 AM

bosch 10 slider is nice and smooth

View StumpyNubs's profile


7590 posts in 2797 days

#18 posted 11-15-2012 12:41 AM

Here’s a great way to decide…

Go into some stores that have display models set up. Grab the handle and move it like you’re going to make a cut, but as you do, try to move the thing side to side, forcing it out of 90 degree alignment during the cut. Good saws move little or not at all, because that will make a BIG difference in the accuracy of the cut. To me, this is the most important thing to check.

Expect a tiny bit of movement, but if it moves more than a little bit, it’s not worth the price. I have found that some cheap saws perform very well, while some expensive saws don’t, based on that important test alone!

Of course, you could just go with a Radial Arm Saw! A high quality, 1960’s dewalt will run you as little as $50 on craigslist, and you can put a dado set on it!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3348 days

#19 posted 11-15-2012 01:05 AM

Hi Cathy…

have you looked at the Jet 12” slider? It’s super nice as well..and it runs about $800.. if I had to buy a new slider..I would consider either the new Bosch with the pivoting arm (it saves you about 10” behind your saw..or the Jet, which I have used before and loved it as well..

-- Randall Child

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2265 days

#20 posted 11-15-2012 01:17 AM

the dewalts are awesome I use them for commercial work and they handle the abuse.

View cathyb's profile


768 posts in 3240 days

#21 posted 11-15-2012 01:19 AM

Thanks guys. So here’s what happened, my Makita which has all the annoying features that todd spoke about was working fine until last week. I wanted to cut the end off a piece of wood, no angle, just a straight cut. I pull down the blade and POW!!! I heard this alarming noise, which was the movable part of the left fence snapping off at the base and dropping to the floor. I wasn’t even touching the left fence. My board never moved. I have no idea why that happened, but suddenly dollar signs were swimming in my head. I could fix the saw, which of course I will if I have any hopes of selling it. Now I have to remove the four bolts and replace the entire fence system. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I know that in the past, I have sung the praises of my Makita tools. Right now I’m humming a different tune. Yes, it would be so easy to order that part, but I’m a bit indignant that it will be necessary. I have owned cheaper saws that never fell apart. I am reluctant to go to Festool, but if it will be more reliable I suppose I would.
Do I really go that route? I’m torn. It’s the same problem with used car. You can keep replacing the defective parts to keep the thing going, but at some point that process gets old.

For those Festool owners, was the tool really that much better than any other…....

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View vonhagen's profile


534 posts in 2361 days

#22 posted 11-15-2012 01:20 AM

these are the best saws imo, #1 omga 5000.00 bucks, #2 festool 1400.00 bucks #3 dewalt 12 inch slider double miter compound 600.00 bucks, price varies, i have had the dewalt for 8 years and not a problem and if you get the fold out stand even better. i have tried all the chopsaws mentioned by others here and the dewalt is the most accurate bang for your buck saw out there. so if your on a budget and want a saw thats very accurate and will last a long time and is very easy to adjust GO FOR THE DEWALT and you wont be disappointed.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View vonhagen's profile


534 posts in 2361 days

#23 posted 11-15-2012 01:36 AM

also cathy the dewalt will make cuts the festool cant and the dewalt stand is the best out there where the festool doesn’t offer a good stand imo. the festool has variable speed for cutting non ferrous metals and is a bit more accurate but not 800 dollars more accurate. it does have a better dust control. another saw you may consider is the mafell erica 70ec push pull saw 2700.00 bucks , its a push pull saw and a tablesaw all in one weighs about 75 pounds and folds up so its very portable and has a brushless motor belt drive and variable speed and is so quiet that you can hardly here it run. mafell invented festool and is part of the holzer company in germany. i want one really bad and thats going to be my next tool.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View MJCD's profile


541 posts in 2368 days

#24 posted 11-15-2012 02:06 AM

I should mention that I have the DeWalt folding stand, and use it both in my shop and on-site to hold the Miter Saw – my guess is that you could mount just about any miter saw to it. It solid and reliable.

I have several Festool products – the Domino and MFT/3 system; and these are worth the money when used to their ability. These offer capabilities not available from other manufacturers. Where I diverge from Festool is when it competes head-on with other Tier-1 manufactures – miter saws, sanders, drills. If they are superior – and I don’t know if they are or not, I haven’t seen or read that they are ‘that’ superior to justify the Price Premium. Regarding the Miter Saw, it may be that I’m simply uninformed, relative to the Bosch Glide and DeWalt differential.; but it would take some serious persuasion to pony-up.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View cathyb's profile


768 posts in 3240 days

#25 posted 11-15-2012 02:06 AM

Sounds like DeWalt is my new saw. Thanks for all your input fellows. I’ll think of you when I’m cutting up some boards for my next project…......

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

331 posts in 3075 days

#26 posted 11-15-2012 02:06 AM

Hi Cathy!

I’ve been using my Dewalt DW708 for the past 8 years. With all the dense reclaimed hardwoods that I use, It has always been reliable. Practicing preventive maintenance on your tools (replacement of carbon brushes, bearings, and oiling) can significantly extend the life of your power tools. If i were to replace my miter saw. I would without hesitation get another Dewalt.

I’m opening my exhibit on Monday. I’ll be posting photos of my new designs soon!

All the best to you Cathy,

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines,

View MJCD's profile


541 posts in 2368 days

#27 posted 11-15-2012 02:22 AM


I do remember reading that when DeWalt refreshed the DW708 (my saw, and Benji’s), they lightened-up the frame – the 708 is a bear of a machine to move, and DeWalt listened. I’m sure you’ll look to other Review sources; keep in mind the model number on the Reviews – I don’t know the current model number. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a 708 owner complain about performance; this may not be true for the newest version.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3890 days

#28 posted 11-15-2012 02:30 AM

I just donated my old DeWalt, to an aspiring young apprentice who impressed me, where the blade was worth more then most sliding compound sliding miter saws sell for and am happy to say, that the DeWalt served me well. Bruised and abused, dropped, kicked, ……it was a great day to give it away : ))

I bought the Kapex to replace the donation and have no regrets for either choice.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2076 days

#29 posted 11-15-2012 02:34 AM

This is one of the most common tools to find used. I’d just look for the best deal on craigslist. They all seem very similar to me as far as function.

-- Billy, Florence SC

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2283 days

#30 posted 11-15-2012 02:50 AM

If price is no object and a 10” saw fits your needs, then the Kapex would be my first recommendation.

If you need a 12” saw, I’d go for either the Bosch glider or the Dewalt DW780. The Bosch is nice in that (like the Kapex) it doesn’t require a lot of room behind the saw—nice if you are using it up against a wall.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2509 days

#31 posted 11-15-2012 04:15 AM

Cathy it appears that you are over whelmed with answers across the board, I guess just weed through them all and pick the most popular out of the bunch, seems as though you may have already made a decision on the Dewalt well I too am a Dewalt owner and couldn’t be more happier.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Boxguy's profile


2647 posts in 2264 days

#32 posted 11-15-2012 03:22 PM

Cathy, I have used my 10 inch Makita for over 20 years, and it meets my needs. It is the only large tool I have ever been able to take out of the box and use without adjustment or assembly. It is still going strong and I have no need to replace it. I would look at a new Makita first.

Since weight is not a problem and your saw will basically live in your shop I would also look at the Bosch GCM12SD 12” The articulating arm is a nice concept and I like the controls all being on the front of the saw.

I don’t know if you are going to be happy with the feel of the DeWalt. I wasn’t. It just felt loose and sloppy to me.

-- Big Al in IN

View cathyb's profile


768 posts in 3240 days

#33 posted 11-15-2012 06:14 PM

Thanks Al. I ordered the new fence system last night. It only costs $42, which helps me understand why the first one snapped off. It was either aluminum or pot metal. After I get my Makita fixed and get a buyer, I’ll go down to Woodcraft and select my new best friend. This is a tool that I use every day, it has to work with me to get my jobs done. I guess my biggest disappointment with the Makita was that I lost a friend. I was literally working my tail off to get ready for a fair and that incident just added another level of anxiety for me. I was saddened more than angry, because these tools and I are in this together from milling to the final cuts. Oh Well…....
Many LJ’s have their favorites, so clearly they have their “friends” too. I totally get that because our tools are our life line. I’ll let you know when I get my next saw.
Thanks for all your help guys, I really appreciate your suggestions and comments.

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View slopjock78's profile


70 posts in 2380 days

#34 posted 11-15-2012 06:27 PM


i have the dewalt 10” slider and my dad has the 12”. i know both of us could not be happier with our choice. I do not need the capacity that the 12” offers, so i saved a few bucks and went with the 10” version. It has done everything on the job and in the shop that i could ask of it. i have a cheaper diablo blade that i use for general cutting, and a freud industrial 80 tooth that i use for fine trim. it will cut perfect miters and i have never touched the saw as far as adjustment goes. Brand new out of the box it makes beautiful cuts. The only that was a bit lacking was the hold down clamp. the one that comes with it will work fine, but is a bit clumsy to use. I purchased the dewalt “quick release” style as a replacement and is much easier to use.

sounds like you may be leaning towards the dewalt. you will not be disappointed if you stick with that decision.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#35 posted 11-15-2012 07:34 PM

If I depended on a tool every day, as you appear to do, I think I would have to consider the Festool. It’s very hard to justify for occasional hobby use, but every professional I have read comments from puts that tool on a high pedestal; right up there with the price.
I assume you have a local source for Festool support in Hawaii ?

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2800 days

#36 posted 11-16-2012 12:16 AM

Good luck with whichever one you choose. You should go to places and actually put your hands on the many different ones out there, and make your own decision. A new tool hunt is always fun. Research, research, and research some more. Maybe then, you won’t say, shoulda, coulda, woulda when yer done. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View PASs's profile


595 posts in 3095 days

#37 posted 11-16-2012 12:51 AM

Cathy, If you are’t worried about mobility, why not get a radial arm saw?
I have 2 that are set for specific repetitive use and they work great.
I do have a 12” Hitachi miter saw that I take when I work on-site…but I’ve always thought radial arm saws are what miter saws want to be when they grow up.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 2559 days

#38 posted 11-16-2012 01:10 AM

Cathy, whatever you end up getting please keep us in the loop on your expereince with your new saw. This is like #3 on my list and I’ve been seriously looking at the Hitachi 12 inch slider that degoose mentioned. I know I would love the Kapex, but $1400.00…

View tirebob's profile


134 posts in 2850 days

#39 posted 11-16-2012 01:14 AM

I love my Bosch… I sold my Makita. The Bosch was just so much smoother for me…

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2424 days

#40 posted 11-16-2012 02:23 AM

The best according to all the contractors that have worked in my home is Makita 1013 in all its variations.
I got one years ago and am totally happy with it after trying various other makes.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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