|Review by PocketHole69||posted 10-06-2010 08:00 PM||57531 views||1 time favorited||10 comments|
- Kobalt SM2505LW 10" 15-Amp Laser Sliding Miter Saw
- Brand: Kobalt | Category: Miter Saws
I’ve had an old Ryobi $99 Home Depot special miter saw for years and was looking to upgrade to a sliding model for wider cut capacity. I really wanted a laser too, because lasers are awesome.
I did a lot of searching on Amazon and at the usual woodworking sites and pretty much resigned myself to spending $400-500 for a decent sliding compound miter saw from Milwaukee or Dewalt and started saving money. That was until I walked through the tool section at Lowes and noticed their new Kobalt sliding compound miter saw. I noted the model number and went home to scour the internet for reviews.
It had just come out, so there were only a handful of reviews on the products page at Lowers.com, but after a lot of googling it turned out that its pretty much a re-branding of this Sears model which sells for more.
I took a chance and picked it up, thinking I could at least return it locally if it turned out to be a terrible saw. Boy, am I glad I did. For a beginner woodworker or someone on a budget this saw is great. It’s an amazing improvement over my crap Ryobi chop saw.
Construction is solid and has a lot of great features for the money. The 10” sliding blade can handle 3-5/8? x 12? at 90° and 3-5/8? x 8? at 45° cuts. The miter gauges and stops are right on the money when I compared the cuts with my digital angle gauge. The laser is accurate and marks just to the left of the kerf for easy cut alignment.
- Great saw for the money. Features typically found in saws 2x as much. Cheap at around $200!
- Laser guide is accurate and in a good location to the back of the saw. Some saws I looked at had the laser on the pivoting handle assembly or were blocked when you started to make the cut- with this one the laser is visible all the way through the entire stroke.
- Bed extensions lock and have stable aluminum platforms. I’m building a customer miter saw station / workbench, but until I get that together I’ve been using the stands a lot and I’ve had no problems.
- Sliding action is smooth, and the lock on the slide holds solid so there is no surprise movement when you just want to make a quick narrow cut.
- Replaceable insert makes it possible to make your own zero clearance inserts, etc. for fine woodworking.
- Somewhat compact for a saw of this design. Great design with 2 carry handles makes it easy to move around. Not very heavy with aluminum construction
- Dust collector bag is about useless. Blows sawdust everywhere but in the bag. From what I understand from reading other reviews this is pretty much normal for most sliding miter saws though. I haven’t bought the fittings to hook it up to my 4” dust collector yet, and I might build a hood to remedy this with the new chop saw station I’m building.
- Hold down close to useless for me. Might be good for lots of 4×4 or 2×4 cuts, but I usually use 1x lumber so its overkill.
- Sliding fence is too high to support anything less than 2-by stock when extended, which limits its usefulness for woodworking.
- Laser is not adjustable. I was really worried about this when I bought the saw, but it turns out the laser is in a really safe place where it won’t get bumped and the laser is dead nuts to the left of the kerf.
All in all, I think its a great saw for the money and put it right there with my Ridgid R4510 table saw as one of my best purchases. It sure beats a crosscut sled on the table saw for making cuts in dimensional lumber and boards, and at $200 (or less on sale) its a great value. I’d recommend it for any budget woodworker who has to justify every dollar he spends to his wife :)
-- Jason, Atlanta, GA