|Review by rasp||posted 06-20-2012 05:30 PM||6703 views||0 times favorited||10 comments|
A neighbour down the street asked me to look at his mitre saw. He said it wasn’t cutting square in any direction. I tuned it up best as I could and figured, while I’m here, I could review it.
10 inch Craftsman Professional, at first, I was impressed. Craftsman engineers did a good job disguising cheap metal as a ‘professional saw’. The only reason I’m going to be so harsh on this saw is the fact they stick a big “PROFESSIONAL” logo on them. I’ll take that as a sign they aim to sell this saw to contractors and other tradespeople that will use them everyday. Those type of people are very demanding of their tools.
The first gripe I have this with saw is the dust bag. The port for the dust ejection is right infront of the handle, so when the dust bag is attached, it covers the handle. This isn’t really that big of a deal, it doesn’t hinder performance of the saw. What bugs me about it is that it’s such an oversight on the engineers part. If they couldn’t think of a way to make this area flow nicely, what else did they skimp out on? what else did they say was “good enough”?
So I start by making a few test cuts, seeing where everything lines up. Where your hands are located on the saws handles as you cut. How you have to crank the knobs, how much torque to apply. The whole saw was a little sticky, so I sprayed the moving bits with some WD-40 and let it sit for 10 minutes. When I come back I quickly go over all the knobs, dials, slides, moving parts, making sure they are freed up and slide nicely.
It crosscuts to a maximum of 13 1/8”, and will cut a board up to 14-15 inches wide if you just lift the closest edge of the board a little bit, to finish off the cut.
The base moves as if it was suspended in thick, rusty jello. I lubricated this area with WD-40 and I couldn’t get it to slide nicely. Changing the angles on the base of the saw is a nuisance simply because it doesn’t turn freely. This should ride on some kind of machined surface or have some kind of a bearing. I also blew the whole saw out with compressed air before starting to set it up, so there is no built up wood dust shavings or chips in the moving parts. I also noticed the positive stops for the saw were kind of weak. You can skip right over them, and there isn’t a little tab to “lock” into place, as the Makita mitre saws have.
The more recent Craftsman saws have adapted to this style of design I believe. Tightening the front knob locks in the desired angle, and you have to loosen and tighten this knob for every angle adjustment. I personally prefer the Makita style, where the screw thread remains tight and you simply push a tab in to turn the bed and adjust the angle. Much easier, one handed operation.
As I was checking the two 45 degrees on either side, I noticed the trigger lock is designed specifically for right handed operators. I am right handed, I’m also a pretty strange individual and sometimes have to hold the handle with my left. It’s nearly impossible to turn the saw on with your left hand. You end up wrapping your mitt around the handle like some kind of mandible claw (Mick Foley reference), definitely going to result in severe carpal tunnel syndrome if you have to work like that on a daily basis.
I tried to Google the serial number, but it seems like this saw in a few years old and discontinued now. They seem to change their designs a lot, every other year they have new saws, and no more support for their old ones. I don’t think I would purchase a Craftsman mitre saw, there are too many oversights. I would stick with something that has been around a while, something tried and true, where you can still order specific parts that belong on that particular saw. This Craftsman saw is also HUGE. The footprint measures 24 by 30 roughly, and the sliding rail needs quite a bit of room away from a wall to get maximum travel. The saw is pretty heavy and awkward to hold. I’m 5’9” and weigh 160lbs and I find this saw very uncomfortable to lift and carry through doorways. i can see many door frames damaged from the clumsy sidestepping you would have to do to fit through.
3 stars. lots of room for improvement, so much improvement, it’d be a different saw made by a different company. I can’t see professional people using this saw on a job site for more than a few hours. It’d get tossed in a dumpster. Which makes me wonder, who would buy it?