What type of Mitersaw would you buy ....

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Forum topic by Kevin posted 11-18-2009 08:26 PM 2401 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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462 posts in 3203 days

11-18-2009 08:26 PM

My question is which miter saw would you buy. I will list what I will be doing mostly with it below.

Currently I have a Delta single bevel compound miter saw 10”. I have used this as a general MS for cutting crown molding, baseboard, 4×4’s, 2×4’s and rough cut oak 4/4 to approximate length.

I use different blades for the rough cut and crown molding, but some of my boards are 8 or more inches wide for the rough boards so I have to flip them. My main problem is it takes more time than I believe for my MS to rough cut 4/4 oak since my friend can literaly cut through 4/4 oak in a second compared to my 10 seconds or so. Maybe I need to change blades or buy a new one perhaps.

So which one would you buy?

1. 10” or 12” ?
2. Compound or non-compound MS?
3. Sliding MS or regular MS?

Keep in mind this saw more than likely will not be cutting crown molding or trim. It will be used for cutting rough cut wood down to manageable size, 2×4’s, 4×4’s.



-- Williamsburg, KY

33 replies so far

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 3493 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 09:12 PM

If I could buy only one? I’d go for a 12” compound slider. I bought a 10” Hitachi compound saw and it has been a workhorse champ, from cutting hardwood flooring planks for my home to baseboard & crown molding. I’ve been very happy with it.

That said, I wish it had some more capacity. I was going to use it to cut some boxes that were going to have mitered corners, but the stock height for the boxes was just a fraction of an inch too tall to allow the blade to drop all the way (the stock hit the motor housing). I ended up using my tablesaw, which took several times as long to set up.

I’ve never used the compound capability of my saw; its bevel angle has always been at 90 degrees and I’ve only ever used the 45 degree miter angle.

The other thing I’d recommend is a Kreg miter saw table/fence thing (I can’t remember the actual name of the product) which requires you to build a pair of tables to which you attach their T-track, calibrate with an adhesive tape measure and from then on, you can just set a stop on the table and cut to length every time. It’s fast, reliable, reproducible, and worth every penny I paid for it. Mine has been fitted out with bolt holes so that I can remove it from my workbench (I’m space-limited) and yet still get it and the saw back in place when I need it. It takes a tiny bit of recalibration to get back to where each measurement is accurate, but that takes less than 15 minutes.

And if I won the lottery (twice) I’d buy a Kapex. Of course. :-)

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4020 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 09:24 PM

I stil have my 10” miter saw and never seem to use it.
I bought a Hitachi 12” slider and it is the go to work horse in my shop . The laser makes repeat cuts a breeze and the folding stand is light enough to manhandle the saw and stand into my truck.

Delta and Bosch make nice 12” tools as well. Don’t overlook Rigid as they are gaining a good reputation with contractors.

Only cry once

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3203 days

#3 posted 11-18-2009 09:39 PM

Thanks Bret!

Right now I have build a fence with a stop block, measuring tape and t-track for my Delta MS. It’s 3ft to the left of the blade. I cannot tell you how handy that thing has came in from just setting the stop block on the desired length to making repeated cuts. I also don’t have to worry about long boards tilting over either since my fence is also flush with the base of the MS.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3203 days

#4 posted 11-18-2009 09:46 PM

Bob #2, i’ll have to check the prices and see if it’s in my budge for a 12” slider as you and Bret have suggested. I’m looking at Delta, Bosch and DeWalt right now. I’ve used some Hitachi drills and wasn’t that impressed with them. I also know that I like different mfgs for different power tools also, so i’m not just a one brand guy. I have no experience with the Hitachi MS’s yet.

Closed Home Depot is over 100 miles where I live unless I buy online.

I’m looking to spend probably no more than $400 right now since I need to get a few other things for my Garage.

-- Williamsburg, KY

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 3493 days

#5 posted 11-18-2009 09:55 PM

Popular Woodworking did a 12” sliding compound miter saw review some months back—If memory serves, the hands-down favorite was a Milwaukee, but I can’t remember what the “Best Value” saw was.

Sounds like your fence works just as well as mine. No need to buy the pieces together unless you’re lazy like me. :-)

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3740 days

#6 posted 11-18-2009 09:56 PM

I have the Bosch 12 inch Double tilt but NOT sliding.
THe slider gives you more capacity, but if you want to use it to cut joints, you need to use a tablesaw sled.

There is just inherently more flex with the slider system – but if you mostly want cut off work – the 12 inch slider is the way to go.

I wouldn’t consider 10 inch at all – not because it is bad, but you want the capacity the 12 inch gives you.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4020 days

#7 posted 11-18-2009 10:21 PM

I used to get MAGAZINE reviews before I purchased a tool but found that in many many instances several models and complete manufacturers were absent from the assesments and many of the conclusions seemed subjective.

I subconciously felt that it might have something to do with who was advertising with the particular magazine.

Today I ask around on the internet and try to read the hands on reviews before I make my guess.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3181 days

#8 posted 11-18-2009 10:25 PM

I bought the Dewalt 12” (non sliding) compound miter saw when it first came out and I love it but I wish I had waited and bought the slider. Set up correctly it can save you a lot of time. I like to set my table saw up for ripping and use the compound for cross cuts depending on the stock dimension. It saves me time.

I’d go with the 12” Dewalt slider!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 11-18-2009 11:17 PM

I have an 8” Delta that I have had for almost 15 years now that I use for cutting trim and frame pieces. In 2000, I bought a 10 sliding compound miter saw from Harbor Frieght to use for rough cutting lumber and for building and deck work. It still works perfectly.

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4380 days

#10 posted 11-18-2009 11:17 PM

I have a 12” Dewalt duo bevel sliding compound and i wouldn,t trade it for anything .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3374 days

#11 posted 11-18-2009 11:22 PM

You’ve already got a 10” CMS, so definitely get a slider….might as well go for the bigger capacity if you’re going to bother. Set each saw up for a different task, and use whichever is most appropriate at the time.

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3268 days

#12 posted 11-18-2009 11:34 PM

I have my Bosch 5412L (L is for the laser guide that you can get for any mitre saw – its just an insert that sits between the blade bolt and blade…it turns on when it rides around on the arbor – once adjusted correctly it is invalueable). This model is the 12” Compound Sliding Mitre Saw. This saw has done everything I need it to do….I also have a wixey meter that has shown that the saw adjustments are pretty close….at the lock for 90degreee…my saw shows 89.8 on the wixey…...I think that any of the mitres will work good as long as you have a wixey or protractor to check your angles with…..I used to cut angles based on what the saw setting said….typically I would see voids and have to sand the pieces to get them to fit correctly….with the wixey…my mitres are almost perfect. The most important things on a mitre is the angle and the blade….I use a forrest chopmaster and the wixey…so far I am very satisfied with the results…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 3203 days

#13 posted 11-18-2009 11:50 PM

SCMS it is then :)

My idea was to task each one with a different purpose. Now the only thing I need to consider is how much I can spend on one and if the funds won’t allow it right now then I should save the extra and get one that should last quite some time.

I have been looking at Makita, Bosch and Dewalt so far, but i’m open to suggestions on other brands also.

Thanks guys,


-- Williamsburg, KY

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4020 days

#14 posted 11-19-2009 01:00 AM

Where do you find blades for this puppy?
That is a real trim saw!
This is ideal for a shop with limited space.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3284 days

#15 posted 11-19-2009 01:16 AM

Bob, Freud makes several blades that size


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