newbie looking for miter saw recommendations

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Forum topic by catsmeow2525 posted 07-04-2010 07:45 PM 4508 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2925 days

07-04-2010 07:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saws cutting accuracy

I am relatively new to woodworking and trying to buy a miter saw but am discouraged at the prices of good ones. I do like bosch tools but the prices are way beyond my means. I would like to spend no more than $300. I started looking at refurbished models and even a bosch refurbished miter saw is pretty pricey. I came upon a ryobi model # ZRTSS100L on cporyobi that is 10” and is a sliding compound with lazer. It seems to have everything I want but is 13 amps and not 15 amps like the others that I have seen on line. For $169.00 would it make accurate cuts? Is it worth it?

Ridgid also seems to be a good brand as they give a lifetime warranty on new models and 1 year warranty on refurbished. I do like the sliding compound models as there is more cutting capacity with them.

I’ve seen places on line that say to decide what you are going to use the saw for, but I don’t know. I have built two decks and some trellises using a table saw and circular saw. I’ve made small projects for around the house and I find accuracy to be an issue (not such a big deal with the decks). I guess accuracy is a big issue.

Does anyone have any recommendations?


-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

35 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 07-04-2010 08:04 PM

As you probably know, a good 12” compound sliding miter saw is going to cost over $500. If I was trying to keep the cost below $300 I would advise giving up features and not giving up quality. I’d rather have a good quality non-sliding miter saw than a lower quality sliding saw. I’d rather have a good quality 10” saw than a lower quality 12”.

He is a reconditioned DeWalt that fits my criteria for $299 – -

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 2863 days

#2 posted 07-04-2010 08:25 PM

I once bought a compound miter saw when I first started and I regret it because of its awfully small crosscut capacity. If I were you I would buy a sliding. Power isn’t as important as accuracy. If you spend more than you want to you will never regret it. A quality tool will last you years and save you time.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2925 days

#3 posted 07-04-2010 08:29 PM

i currently have a cheap €99 sliding saw that i have been torturing for over a year, i may be lucky but it works well. but then i only do rough cuts with it, never use it for exact cuts. because the locking mechanism for the angles is far from reliable and my tablesaw has a chariot and it’s more easy and more accurate to do exact cuts on there.

so i would say it depends on what use you will have with it?
for rough cuts you don’t need an expensive topmodel, but if you plan on using it for making exact cuts then you better take one from a good brand.

one tip i can give you is when you are choosing a saw in the store, check if the locking mechanism at 90-45 degrees is reliable, try to push or hit the machine out of angle when locked. if it doesn’t move you have a good candidate.

View catsmeow2525's profile


17 posts in 2925 days

#4 posted 07-04-2010 08:46 PM

Thanks for the ideas chris and rich. I did look at the dewalt, but somehow I still like the sliding aspect.

I’d like to stay with a 10” mainly because I can interchange blades with the table saw. I hope that is a good idea. The reason I’m interested in a sliding miter is and I don’t know if it would have the capability to do this, but I remember cutting the 4×4 posts on the table saw with the posts on supports and rotating them to make the complete cut. I am hoping a sliding compound miter can address this issue.

I watch a lot of DIY shows and I see the sliding compound miter saw and they seem so attractive in a functional way:)

As I read both your messages, it seems I should consider spending more money. I live by Clearwater in Fl and there are an awful lot of pawn shops here. I wonder if they would have anything. Then again there’d be no guarantee through a pawn shop and I wouldn’t know for sure what I’d get. I think I’d better consider spending more money. $300 or $400 today might be like $200 in a couple of years anyway.

-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 07-04-2010 08:49 PM

Before doing wood working as a hobby I built a few decks , so I bought a 12” sliding Dewalt. I still have it and it works well and is accurate. If I were to buy a saw today I would buy a 10” slider. No laser.

-- Website is

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3025 days

#6 posted 07-04-2010 08:57 PM

A cheapest and accurate sliding saw will cost about $400
It really depends what your doing.
I have the Ryobi 10 In. TS1342L Miter Saw. Not only it cuts accurate, but it was accurate out of the box.
I don’t know if it’s the same with their sliding saws. But I would get something better if your going into woodworking.

Take a look at these saw..

Hitachi C10FSH

Hitachi C12RSH

Makita LS0714

RIDGID 12in Sliding Compound

bosch 4410

View catsmeow2525's profile


17 posts in 2925 days

#7 posted 07-04-2010 09:01 PM

I am interested in accurate cuts most of all; the only thing is all the advertising says their saw makes accurate cuts.

Does any one have anything to say about Ridgid. They give a lifetime warranty on new stuff.

-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3039 days

#8 posted 07-04-2010 09:09 PM

In general, trading blades between the miter saw and table saw is not a good idea. I miter saw blade is (or should be) a pure crosscut blade.

The typical blade on a table saw is a combination blade, capable of both crosscut and rip cuts. Sometimes, I and others, put a rip blade on their table saw because they are going to do a lot or ripping. It’s rare to put a crosscut blade on a table saw and should not be done unless will be doing nothing by crosscutting.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View catsmeow2525's profile


17 posts in 2925 days

#9 posted 07-04-2010 09:14 PM

Why no laser? Jim.

When I was at Home Depot yesterday, I took a look at the Ridgid saws and they looked good. Until you try it out and work with it it seems hard to tell.,

Actually I do whatever I need to do around the house here. I am getting ready to learn to make cabinets for the kitchen. They seem easy as they are basically boxes, but I realize everything about them need to be precise.

I have a Hitachi circular saw and cordless drill, Bosch router, sander and corded drill. I think the one big mistake I made was in buying a Skil table saw, but money was the determining factor at the time. I made a mission style dog feeder for my dog and I had to keep cutting the legs because they were not exactly all the same. I don’t know if it was me or the cheap table saw.

-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2891 days

#10 posted 07-04-2010 09:17 PM

I have had the 10” Hitachi SCMSaw since it was introduced. It produces a very accurate cut and has run well for me for over 10 years on the jobsite with cutting mouldings, base, case and trim.

I use dedicated blades for my miter saws, they have a different rake angle to the teeth, and do not swap them with the table saw blades.

A 10” saw will handle almost everything you will need (except large crown mouldings).

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View catsmeow2525's profile


17 posts in 2925 days

#11 posted 07-04-2010 09:29 PM

Since the table saw was my main cutting tool I would change blades to fit what I was doing. When I was putting in the manufactured floors, I used a blade with a lot of teeth and sometimes I needed to rip a particular piece to make it fit by the wall and used the same blade. When I ripped boards for the trellis, though, I didn’t change blades when I needed to crosscut some pieces. When I ripped the boards for the legs of my dog feeder I used the freud blade that has 80 teeth because I wanted them smooth and crisp.I just went slower. I know that it is recommended to used a blade with fewer teeth, but I used with works I guess.

-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3096 days

#12 posted 07-04-2010 09:41 PM

I do all my precision cutting on the table saw, and usually only pull out my miter saw for crwon moulding and rough cutting to length.

I say make a few table saw sleds and get a good crosscut blade and you’ll get better results than you will from a miter saw for less money.

-- Gerry,

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3550 days

#13 posted 07-04-2010 10:35 PM

I have two delta 12 inch saws.They are not used yet as I have to make some shop room to install two roller tables one either side.Or why don’t you get a nice radial arm saw that would be great too.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View LONGHAIR's profile


94 posts in 3779 days

#14 posted 07-05-2010 01:12 AM

Quote: “Does any one have anything to say about Ridgid. They give a lifetime warranty on new stuff.”

I am not a fan of the 12 sliding Ridgid. We have a few of them in the shop where I work and every one of them has the same problem. The little wheel that rolls in the metal “S curve” that controls the blade guard eventually sticks. Then the metal starts wearing into it. As it does the lever binds and becomes very hard to pull down.
The biggest problem with this is that Home Depot does not stock any parts and they are clueless about getting them.

My personal favorite is DeWalt’s DW717. It is very smooth and accurate but it is well out of the budget mentioned here.

View catsmeow2525's profile


17 posts in 2925 days

#15 posted 07-05-2010 01:42 AM

any thoughts on refurbished versions of the more expension saws?

-- catsmeow2525 in Palm Harbor, Fl

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