Shopping for a new miter saw

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Forum topic by nubbin00 posted 04-03-2012 12:17 PM 2074 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 2424 days

04-03-2012 12:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saw

I’ve decided to invest in a sliding compound miter saw but I’m not sure where to begin. What features should I look for? Should I get 12” or is 10” sufficient? What do you love about yours? What do you HATE about yours? All help/suggestions/advice welcome and thanks in advance.

-- Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

8 replies so far

View papaken115's profile


10 posts in 2415 days

#1 posted 04-03-2012 12:34 PM

Maybe I’m not your guy here but here’s my take. I looked at a number of compound miter saws before I purchased the one I have now. I went through all of the reviews I could find and in general most were extremely negative about the repeatability of the cut with the sliders. My search didn’t just include the mid range priced units but also included the higher end units. I settled on a 12 inch Bosch, non slider. It has been good enough to build my home with and the cuts are still very good with it after a year of construction on the home. I make barnwood frames for some of my cuttings and the miters are still right on. Another thing to consider is the stand. Most of the miter stands are flimsy and will tip on you easily. My lovely wife gave me the zero force folding stand for Christmas and that put the polishing touches on the deal. Hope this helps.

-- Ken, Red Hill, New Mexico

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3650 days

#2 posted 04-03-2012 12:54 PM

Although I dont have a slider, my miter saw is a Dewalt DW705. I bought this saw when it first came on the market years ago. I have always loved it. It is very accurate, has a great base, and positive angle locks. I would be inclined to look for another Dewalt if I was looking for a slider. I also have a RAS so I really dont have a need for the slider. I have looked at Bosch too and like Papaken115 said, the Bosch saw looks like a nice saw too. I would definetly get a 12 inch though.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View nubbin00's profile


25 posts in 2424 days

#3 posted 04-03-2012 01:22 PM

Papaken – thanks, hadn’t even thought of the sliders causing inaccurate cuts. Luckily, I’ll be able to attach the saw to a benchtop so I won’t have to worry about a stand. Thanks again.

SnowyRiver – hadn’t ever considered a RAS. I’m sure I could fine a used RAS for less than a new miter saw, provided I have the room in the shop for one.

Maybe I should consider all my options before I continue shopping. Thanks for your help!

-- Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3650 days

#4 posted 04-03-2012 01:43 PM

I dont know that the RAS would be a good substitute for the slider, but I use my RAS mostly for cutoffs. I find that I use the miter saw mostly for trim work so the wood isnt that wide that I would need a slider. With a 12 inch blade you can cut a pretty wide piece on a standard miter saw. If I need to do angle cuts bigger than what the miter can handle, I usually use the table saw although the RAS is an option.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10966 posts in 3598 days

#5 posted 04-03-2012 02:18 PM

As to size, it depends on your intended use for the saw. How often will you need a 12” blade. I’ve read that the 12” blades are not as stable in the cut as the 10”.
My SCMS is a Triton. It was perfectly aligned and the detents were right on right out of the box and everything has remained good for 2 years.
At full extension, (about 11”) I do get a small deflection in the cut. But, close attention to how the blade is lowered and pushed forward minimizes that.
When locked in place, or extended at only 1/2 of the slider limits, I see no deflection in the cuts. I routinely cut perfectly fitting angles and/or bevels on 3/4X4-6” hardwood.
A good blade, one specifically designed for a SCMS, definitely helps! I use a Tenryu.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3817 days

#6 posted 04-03-2012 06:27 PM

It really depends on the type of work you intend to do.
Sliders sacrifice arbor stability in order to increase
cross-cut capacity.

The most accurate sliders in terms of crosscutting
are likely to be the 8.5” Hitachi and Dewalt saws. They
are good saws and easier to carry around than the bigger
ones but they don’t have the depth capacity construction
work requires so they are generally classed as trim saws.

The more premium-priced 10” and 12” sliders are likely
to be more accurate than the lower end ones.

View a1Jim's profile


117265 posts in 3746 days

#7 posted 04-03-2012 06:51 PM

I have owned Hitachi,Dewalt,Bosch and Ridgid 12” sliders I think I like the Bosch the best for it’s front controls. I think the best bang for your buck is the Hitachi. I’m not unhappy with the Ridgid or the Dewalt they both gave me good service and were good saws. As far as my experience with sliders accuracy I feel there all close to the same. If your going to make boxes with mitered corners I would rough cut it on the slider and miter it on the table saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View thebicyclecafe's profile


23 posts in 2419 days

#8 posted 04-03-2012 07:11 PM

1) What are you planning on doing with it?
2) Do you have a good table saw with a crosscut sled or accurate miter gauge?

For fine/precision work, I use a Dewalt DW712- 8.5 inch slider. I find the saw, coupled with a good Freud blade, to be highly accurate, largely free of deflection, and powerful. I have mine setup to a miter stand/table that I built in to the shop wall, so there is additional table support and an extended fence. The biggest drawback to the 8.5 inch blade, which I knew before purchasing, is that you can’t cut a 2×4 on edge, or a 4×4 in one pass. But, I don’t cut studs that often, except when building shop fixtures, so the increased horizontal capacity and accuracy of the 8.5inch blade put that over the 10 inch slider.

The horizontal capacity for this saw puts me right in at 12 inches- perfect for shelving, small shelf standards, trimming up panels before final glue-up, etc. I’d rather use the miter saw for these because it’s faster to setup the cut, and safer than doing it on the table saw, especially for angled cuts.

Anything larger than that goes to the table saw, and it goes without saying that when it gets too large to take the piece safely to the tool, the tool goes to the piece (circ saw in this application).

If vertical capacity is important to you, or if you don’t do too much precision work with it, go for the 10 inch slider- just remember that it won’t be as accurate as a 10” non-slider, or an 8.5 inch model. I would imagine that a 12 inch slider wouldn’t be necessary for fine woodworking, plus the added inaccuracy wouldn’t be too good for any precise work. However, if you are ever cutting huge trim, or crown moulding, and need to have the sliding capacity for other things, you’ll find the 12 inch one your go-to saw.

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