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Newbie 12" Miter Decision (Bosch/Hit/Dew)

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Forum topic by LatentPotential posted 11-19-2012 03:53 PM 2346 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LatentPotential

3 posts in 759 days


11-19-2012 03:53 PM

Hello. I am a new to wood working. My current interests are in small boxes, especially humidors. However, I also enjoy making furniture. At this point I have only made crude functional pieces with pine. Currently I am creating a bed frame using 2×12” lumber. I am having a horrible time getting good bevels with my Ridgid Feugo, and I have began looking into investing in a nice miter saw. I have narrowed it down to the

Bosch 5312 at around $500
Hitachi C12RSH at around $400
Dewalt DWS780 at $350

These are new prices. I like that the Hitachi has micro adjustments for bevel and miter and you can adjust the laser to be accurate. I hear the Dewalt has extra cross cut capacity, and that $350 price tag is tempting. Up to this point I have been all over the Bosch, but I dislike that it lacks the micro adjust knob that the smaller 10” model has and it is the most expensive option.

However, what is most important to me is consistency, accuracy (with a new blade of course) and longevity. This saw will be used lightly be me and stay in my garage shed. Please, help me decide from your experience with these saws. My research shows people saying they are extremely accurate and another reviewer will say the exact opposite.

P.S. – I chose the 12” because I don’t ever want that moment of “I wish I had the 12” for this job”.


23 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1903 days


#1 posted 11-19-2012 04:22 PM

Do you have a table saw?

If not, I’d spend that money on a good table saw with miter gauge. More accurate miters than with a miter saw, as strange as that sounds.

Oh, and welcome to LJs!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6967 posts in 1659 days


#2 posted 11-19-2012 04:31 PM

Jay is right on about acquiring a good table saw. After that, build a table saw sled, to help you make very accurate and repeatable miter cuts.

FWIW, I have a 12in Ridgid miter saw. I quit using it for miter cuts because I could not make repeatable cuts with enough accuracy for furniture. Sure, good enough for framing, just not fine WW-ing. The only thing I now use the miter saw is for making rough cuts of 8/4 and 12/4 lumber.

A good table saw with a sled is a killer combination. Welcome to LJs 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View huff's profile

huff

2810 posts in 2030 days


#3 posted 11-19-2012 04:34 PM

I really can’t tell you much about the Bosch or Dewalt except that I did compare basically the same three saws when it was time to replace my old Dewalt. I used my Dewalt for years on the jobsite and it was OK. That’s about all I can say; it was not the slider or the top of the line, but it did OK for what it was.

When I decided to replace it and upgrade to a slider, I first looked at the Bosch mounted on the Bosch Gravity rise stand. I really liked the set up together, and every tool I’ve owned that’s Bosch I’ve been more then pleased with. But the more I looked at the Hitachi C12RSH, the more I liked the features, so finally ended up getting the Hitachi saw and purchased the Bosch T4B gravity rise stand separately. I have been really pleased with both. I had to modify the mounting a little for the Hitachi saw, but it works perfectly and have been totally impressed with the accuracy of the saw. Right out of the box with very little adjustments and the saw has performed to my total satisfaction. How the Hitachi compared to the Bosch or Dewalt, I have no idea, but for the money invested, I was not dissapointed at all in my decision.

And I have to give an A1 on the stand also. It makes a heavy combo with the saw, but it rolls around very easily and very stable when using. I’ve sure the Bosch combo would work great as well.

Hope some of the other LJ’s will be able to give you some info on the other saws. Good luck

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5277 posts in 1322 days


#4 posted 11-19-2012 04:36 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks LP!

Get the one you like, sounds like a Hitachi is in your future.
Looking forward to your projects.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3972 posts in 2408 days


#5 posted 11-19-2012 04:54 PM

I’m with HorizontalMike on this one. I have spent a lot of time looking at miter saws, and came to the conclusion that none of the ones I could afford would do as well as a decent table saw outfitted with sleds and fixtures. I have 3 sleds for my saw, along with a couple of specialty jigs (tenon and box joint). The sleds give me absolute repeatability, which is essential.

I do have a miter saw … a ProTech 10” that I picked up for $89 on sale at Menards about 7 years ago. I use it to rough cut stock before it goes to the table saw to be cut to final dimension. If the stock I am cutting exceeds the capacity of my miter saw, I use a set of saw horses and my framing saw to rough cut.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1903 days


#6 posted 11-19-2012 05:09 PM

Mike and Gerry just echoed my thoughts on this matter. I have a 12” hitachi non-slider. It’s fine. I just can’t get the accuracy from it like I can my table saw and miter gauge/sled. I still use my Hitachi for chopping wood to size and for quick trim work where accuracy is less important. I’ve tried setting mine up to get better accuracy, but I basically gave up on it…and the laser is too thick to give accurate placement of the blade, so I don’t even use the laser anymore.

I just don’t get the purchase of a $500+ SCMS when a nice table saw can be purchased for the same price. My Hitachi has value to me, but not for the reason I thought when I bought it.

To me, a CMS has little value in a fully equipped shop. Its value comes in on-site carpentry/framing jobs. For that, there is no peer.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View LatentPotential's profile

LatentPotential

3 posts in 759 days


#7 posted 11-20-2012 04:49 PM

Thanks for the advice gents. I really appreciate it.

So my understanding is for making small boxes and furniture, a chop saw is not feasible? I thought it would be since they are commonly used for precise cutting of crown molding.

I may invest in the Hitachi since it’s cheap, but any advice on a decent table saw?

(Oh, and when I hear table saw, I think of that giant hunk of metal my father had in the basement when I was a kid. How did he get that down there? Is this what is being discussed, or the more portable types?)

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1479 posts in 1106 days


#8 posted 11-20-2012 05:13 PM

I have the Hitachi C12LSH slider. It’s an accurate workhorse.

Check out the Ridgid 10” portable table saw. Can’t be beat.

The combination is all that’s needed 99% of the time.

BTW, I also have a Delta 34-444 w/custom wings, Delta 10” RAS, and a Makita 10” SCMS

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1680 posts in 946 days


#9 posted 11-20-2012 05:16 PM

I have the Bosch 12” slider and a Ridgid 12” slider. When I start doing miters for Stave turnings or Crown I always use the Bosch. Your blade you use is important so get a quality blade, We have a tendency to make our cuts standing to one side or the other so when you make your cut it is natural to put more pressure on one side vs the other. Some may think I am full of it but hey it is my story and I am sticking to it…..

The Ridgid has been a good saw, I have had it for 10 years now and it has made thousands of cuts and is still going strong. First thing that is always said is make yourself a Sled for the Table saw, well I have a problem holding 4-16’ boards to do a cross cut on the table saw. If your making boxes mainly a Sled is the way to go. I can see cutting the bed rails on a table saw quite challenging. Me I would buy a Bosch again in a heart beat. You will not be dissapointed.

Decent Table saw has opened up a lot of options but first do you want 110 or 220, What is your budget…... I always try to get the best possible tools money can buy, If your serious about a Table and Miter Saw, Spend more on the table saw as you can possibly afford and add another 300 to that figure for a few decent blades and dado stack…. You will find your tablesaw is the 2nd most used tool in your shop and your brain being the 1st….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2393 days


#10 posted 11-20-2012 05:16 PM

For cutting bed rails, a table saw is awkward because of the
cantilevered board sticking off to one side. You can work
around this by making a large cut-off fixture for long boards.

As a practical matter I have used miter saws a lot in making
furniture but it’s mainly because they make handling
longer boards easier. They are messy saws however and
I would tend to use such a saw outdoors.

For making boxes the table saw is often a better choice
because the parts are not large and the ability to use
zero-clearance plates and jigs almost eliminates tear-out
at the bottom of the cut. Miter saws can do a good job
but the table saw usually makes a cleaner cut. Blade
choice and the grade of table saw matter of course.

It really depends on what standards you are working to
and, with boxes and humidors, whether you intend
to sell the work. Mitered box corners can be a tricky
thing to get right… a disc sander is the go-to fix-it
tool to absolve the sins of circular saws.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

3002 posts in 875 days


#11 posted 11-20-2012 05:30 PM

Precision is in the eye of the tool holder. I CAN be very accurate with a miter/chop saw. But it is a lot easier to be equally accurate with a table saw – for me. And yes, these guys are referencing the same large machine that your father had in his basement. They do make much smaller table top versions, though I have never seen anyone make a sled for one of those, like folks have been suggesting here – it could be done – just never seen it done.

I say if you are never going to make anything that is bigger than the cut capacity with the miter saw, and you learn how to use it very accurately then go for it. You will figure out how to do it efficiently and accurately if it is the tool at hand. Decent table saws for great prices are all over craigslist if you decide that you want to go down that road eventually.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1903 days


#12 posted 11-20-2012 05:50 PM

Crown molding isn’t THAT precise. You can use caulk on most crown molding and you still have to hand shape (or cope) many of those cuts because walls aren’t ever square or straight.

You can’t use caulk on an heirloom box.

You might get accurate cuts with a CMS or SCMS, but they are harder to come by, and as Loren mentioned, the cuts are much cleaner on a table saw. My point was that, of the two machines, the table saw is the most important, so if I was sending the money, it would be on the table saw first.

I spent $300 to $400 on my 12” Hitachi. In retrospect, I’d be just as happy with a smaller HF miter saw for maybe 99 bucks…maybe more so because it’d take up less of my precious shop space.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View crank49's profile (online now)

crank49

3506 posts in 1716 days


#13 posted 11-20-2012 05:59 PM

I know I’m running against the flow here , but I HATE trying to cut miters on a table saw.
My old miter saw, 1990s Delta, cuts perfect miters, repeatedly. I have a 90 tooth blade on it.

Are the new ones really that crappy?

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View ToddJB's profile

ToddJB

3002 posts in 875 days


#14 posted 11-20-2012 06:08 PM

If you were to use the construction grade blade that comes on the saw, yeah there would be a ton of tear out – it’s meant for 2×4s. But my experiences is that I get minimal tear out with a high toothed blade, like a 90, similar to what Crank is saying.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View JoeRPhilly's profile

JoeRPhilly

104 posts in 897 days


#15 posted 11-20-2012 06:12 PM

I can’t speak to the quality of the miter saws you list, but can agree with most here who tell you that a table saw is the way to go for accurate miter cuts. I bought a Bosch 4100, without the very nice gravity rise stand for @$400, and have been very happy with it. It is just a benchtop/portable table saw, but it has been very accurate and strong enough for what I’ve needed. For boxes, it should be plenty. I added the rockler cross cut jig, and have been very pleased with my miter cuts. The Bosch TS is also small and easy enough to move around if space is an issue. I think you will find that a table saw is well worth the investment, you can do so much more, and for about the same price as a decent CMS or SCMS.

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