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Forum topic by lab7654 posted 03-08-2013 12:38 AM 1994 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2446 days

03-08-2013 12:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: harbor freight miter saw garbage or not review

I just looked at the new 12” miter saw from HF, and I have to say, it looks pretty nice. The belt drive is a huge plus for me. My old box store miter saw is on its way out, so I’ve been looking at some of the ones on the market. Have any of you put this through its paces yet?

Here’s what I’m concerned about:
-Belt drive functionality (review on the site said they smelled it burning, and was pretty hot)
-Flex in the saw (my current saw flexes a little if you pull it wrong, and it takes a little gouge out of your cut)
-General accuracy, or at least the ability to dial out lack thereof
-Blade brake; I’m the type of guy who doesn’t like to leave a saw blade spinning, especially if I’m making multiply cuts

At the very least, I’d like to have this saw to rough cut stock and then trim it with a crosscut sled and table saw. If this saw isn’t a winner I’ll either have to buy used or buy a straight up chop saw. I love the capacity of a sliding miter saw, and my cuts seem to be a lot more accurate on them versus the table saw or radial arm saw; it’s just what I’m used to.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

13 replies so far

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2828 days

#1 posted 03-08-2013 01:15 AM

is this the saw you’re considering?

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2559 days

#2 posted 03-08-2013 01:15 AM

heard mixed things about it…with it being on sale I’ll be interested to see others weigh in.

I have a compound miter saw right now – but not a slider. would love to have the extra capacity of the slider.

-- Steve

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2446 days

#3 posted 03-08-2013 01:17 AM

toolie, no, that is the older model. I’m not too interested in that one, it looks like the same exact saw that I have now, both are likely made in the same factory under the same tolerances.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2583 days

#4 posted 03-08-2013 01:21 AM

I have the 10” HF sliding compound mitre saw (chicago tools). It got good reviews, and I can make square cuts with it, or turn it either way to make vertical angled cuts. and I like the extra capacity of the sliding features BUT…

-I had to take the fence off and bang it with a hammer to make it straight.
-The tilting function away from vertical is pretty useless, because the weight of the saw pushes the blade farther down than the angle you set it at.
-It is loud, even when new it sounds like something is grinding that should not be…Hearing protection is a must.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View me5269's profile


43 posts in 2367 days

#5 posted 03-08-2013 01:32 PM

I have had the 10” for a couple years. Had to return the first one due to varies defects, exchange was no problem and checked replacement before leaving the store. Had to remove the fence and file one slot to square it to the blade. The preset angles didn’t lock in that good and ended up filing the slots so the bar would lock in deeper(it was like the pointed rod was 1/4” dia. and the slots were 1/8”).
Dust collection bag is useless. Blade is ok for rough cutting. Replaced it with an 60 tooth negative hook. Most of the time I cut 1/16” longer and then skim cut it or finish it using sled on the table saw.
As noted by 12strings, setup other than vertical is a PITA.
Other than that, i’ve had no problems with it and have been looking at upgrading to the 12” (just can’t justify it)

-- Mike

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2310 days

#6 posted 03-08-2013 02:10 PM

Dust collection IMHO on any miter saw is a PITA. Maybe the Fe$tool but that is in a different price range.

HF has a 90 day return policy so you can purchase it, put it through the tool test, review it for future readers, and then if necessary return it. Just keep the receipt and all packing materials.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2486 days

#7 posted 03-08-2013 02:31 PM

It seems that they need a lot of tuning, but so does every MS if you really look at it. I have a small digital angle meter that I use on every cut 90 degrees or otherwise. It takes time to use it, but at least you know that you’re getting the right cut. I will say that my DeWalt MS does a real good job of holding a good square setting, but I still use the small digital meter.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2486 days

#8 posted 03-08-2013 02:33 PM

Jesse, I have my DeWalt in one of the FastCap hoods. It costs a pretty penny, but it’s so worth it if you have room. All the dust is flung into the hood where it stays unless you have a wind blowing it out. I just stuck a bucket under the spout at the bottom and forget about it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View BrianC87's profile


38 posts in 2390 days

#9 posted 03-08-2013 08:18 PM

I picked one up this morning for under $100 by using a 20% off coupon. Pulled it out of the box and everything is pretty close to square and accurate so far. I haven’t taken too much time yet to fine tune it but so far it looks like it shouldn’t take too much work. I’ll check back and do a review when I’ve spent some more time with it.

View b2rtch's profile


4863 posts in 3247 days

#10 posted 03-08-2013 08:20 PM

I used to have one, I was very happy with it.

-- Bert

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2446 days

#11 posted 03-11-2013 01:33 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone. To be honest, I don’t know how much I will use the miter saw once I get a good tablesaw crosscut setup. Right now I use it all the time and couldn’t be without it, but if I end up loving a crosscut sled then I may not even need a new saw. Anyway, looking forward to the reviews on the new saws.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#12 posted 03-11-2013 02:02 AM

I would not trade my CMS for a truck load of sleds.
Sleds and crosscuts on the TS are a PITA as far as I’m concerned.
I, also wish I had more capacity on my miter saw and am torn between a 10” slider or a 12” CMS.
I have a fixed station for my CMS and it is aginst a wall so I have a problem justifting the depth required by a slider.

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2446 days

#13 posted 03-11-2013 11:44 AM

Crank, honestly I’m thinking the same as you are, but I can’t really tell as I’ve never even used a sled. I don’t do a lot of wide crosscuts, so I might break down and get a fixed CMS. But there’s nothing I hate more than capacity limitations, hence why I bought a JET 10” jointer-planer when my money was probably better spent on a 6” floor standing jointer… Or perhaps I should quit rambling and just go and buy the dang saw and return it if it’s crap.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

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