Miter Saw decision time... compare and contrast

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Forum topic by interpim posted 12-15-2013 01:57 AM 11766 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1170 posts in 3481 days

12-15-2013 01:57 AM

Hello folks… it’s been quite some time since I have been on LJ, but I not long ago returned from about 10 months deployment to the Persian Gulf, then when I returned bought a new house, and have been trying to get it settled in.
Now that I have finally got some time to start doing things around the house, I still need to finish setting up my shop. I have been putting off buying a Miter saw for many years now, and have gotten by using my tablesaw for crosscuts, but I can appreciate the convenience of having a miter saw.
After some budget looks, I have a couple saws in mind. Right now it’s a dilemma on which one will work best for me and fulfill my needs.

So, I am a big fan of Ridgid tools, so the two saws are both Ridgid.
First I am considering the sliding 10” MS255SR for $399
and the non-sliding 12” R4120 for $299

As far as uses would go, I have a decking project coming up in the spring, and then any typical household repairs or shop upgrades…
What are the added benefits of having the sliding 10” vs the 12” and do you guys think it is worth another $100?

Thanks for the feedback!

-- San Diego, CA

30 replies so far

View Fish22's profile


83 posts in 3136 days

#1 posted 12-15-2013 02:03 AM

A couple of months ago I was in the same position as you. I looked at the Ridgid, Dewalt and Hitachi 12” sliders. I ended up going with the Hitachi. I changed the blade immediately and I really like it. The capacity was 2nd best, but the tipping point was that it has a slide that can be locked so it can be set up extremely close to a wall and slides forward on the rails. It also has a laser, and was almost dead on accurate out of the box. They are on sale at lowes for $399.

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

View cabmaker's profile


1735 posts in 2831 days

#2 posted 12-15-2013 02:04 AM

My hat is off to you for your service my friend!

My personal take on your proposal on expected use,brand of saw would be the 12 inch non-slider.

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3481 days

#3 posted 12-15-2013 02:07 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys… I also considered the Hitachi Fish, but after reading some very discouraging reviews on their customer support I decided against them.

-- San Diego, CA

View patcollins's profile


1685 posts in 2887 days

#4 posted 12-15-2013 02:09 AM

How often do you see yourself crosscutting boards wider than 8 inches?

Sliders are more difficult to keep in alignment for perfect 90 degree cuts, more moving parts mean more little inaccuracies to add up.

If it is for things like decks and home improvement it really doesnt matter but if you want precision for fine woodworking I would go for a nonslider every time.

Now there are a lot more choices in 10 inch blades than 12 inch ones….

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3481 days

#5 posted 12-15-2013 02:15 AM

I very rarely cut anything wider than 8”. But, having used a tablesaw for all of my crosscuts over the years, I maybe haven’t really paid attention to how often. Most stuff I cut is usually around 4” wide or smaller, and I am fairly certain we are going to go with 2×6’s for our deck this spring.

As far as blades go, I was planning to get a fairly good quality crosscut blade for my finer stuff, and use the factory blade… which I believe is Freud, for rougher stuff such as the deck.

-- San Diego, CA

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 12-15-2013 02:24 AM

I have the 12” non-slider, I really like it. The sliders take up a lot of room, depth wise. I use my crosscut sled for anything wider. I have had several of each, I did not have any luck with the sliders in the long run. Congrats on new house, and thank you for your service.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

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David Dean

608 posts in 2921 days

#7 posted 12-15-2013 02:52 AM

Will interpim this is what I use but it not pretty or yellow but it gets the job done. I have throwen everything at it from 10” oak boards down to 3/4” oak and cabinet graed plywood and it was only $ 200 for a 12” skil.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2826 days

#8 posted 12-15-2013 01:55 PM

1st, Thank You for your service. 2ndly, Welcome back. IMO, you can never have anything too big.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#9 posted 12-15-2013 02:03 PM

From a retired USN guy, thank you for your service.
I tend to agree with the bigger is better. I also find that in the long run, I don’t use my miter saw that much, so I went with the 12” Harbor Freight. Cuts great once set up with a nice Diablo blade, and is only $129.
I think $399 is just a little too much for a large miter saw, IMHO, considering the actual usage amount.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View bigblockyeti's profile


5135 posts in 1743 days

#10 posted 12-15-2013 02:16 PM

I’d go with the fixed 12”. Though I’m not a big fan of a relatively small universal motor trying to spin a 12” blade, it would be a better option, especially if you’re planning on moving it around and doing outdoor projects. If I were to get a slider, it would stay in my shop at a dedicated cutting station.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1971 days

#11 posted 12-15-2013 02:18 PM

Thank you for your service. I am a finish carpenter so accuracy,mobility, and repeatable cuts are most important to me. my first saw was a C-man 12” non-slide belt drive. I loved it and it lasted over 10 years. About 6 years ago I picked up a dewalt 12” slider. It was good, but heavy and awkward to move around so it stayed in the shop. I just recently bought a dw716 for $250 NIB off of CL. It will cut a 2×10 @ 90* and 6 1/2” vertically. It really is one of the best saws I have seen. as for 10” vs 12”. in my eyes a 10” is just to limited. I install a lot of crown and base trim these days is getting taller. The ability to cut 6.5” standing up saves tons of time not having to compound cut, just stand it up and cut it.

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1879 days

#12 posted 12-15-2013 02:20 PM

I use a 12” Dewalt single bevel non slider and it’s about 15 years old and still cuts as well as it did 15 years ago. I have a friend with the comparable ridgid and he’s been happy. The sliders are huge and not as accurate. With that said, when my dad was looking for a new saw he was looking at the 12” Dewalt slider and I convinced him to get the 10”. He has been happy with that. Since you have the ability to use a crosscut sled, I would get the 12”. It’s great for cutting 2 by 6 laying flat. I do all of my miter cuts with the miter saw. I find it as accurate as I need and safer than the table saw for that purpose.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Gene Howe

10521 posts in 3451 days

#13 posted 12-15-2013 02:56 PM

First, Thank You for your service.
My SCMS is a 10” Triton. With the type of stuff I do, 10” is adequate. But, I can see Shawn’s point, too. Just consider the type of work you anticipate doing and remember the extra costs of the blades and sharpening.
As to which brand, my only experience has been with the Triton, a couple craftsmans and a Hitachi. Of the 3 brands, I found the Hitachi to be the best right out of the box. I’d eventually change out the stock blade but it was a good one for the decking we were doing. Nice clean cuts and the angle detents were right on.
Both the Hitachi and my Triton will cut 11 1/2” wide. More, if you tip the work up.
Good luck in your search and future endeavors.

-- 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 interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3481 days

#14 posted 12-15-2013 03:04 PM

well… here is another wrinkle… my local store has the DW715 on sale for $179… this is also a 12” non-slider… does anyone know the difference between the Dewalt 12” for $179 and the Ridgid 12” for $299?

-- San Diego, CA

View HarveyM's profile (online now)


106 posts in 2045 days

#15 posted 12-15-2013 03:08 PM

I bought a 12 inch non-slider pre addition (660 sq foot family room & master beadroom/ensuite with 14’ walls) and it was used for everything, from framing 10” & 12” (not recommended, but they did it, much to my surprise) to decks and trim. My impression is the non-sliders are more accurate, and cheaper. The downside is the R4120 didn’t get good reviews ( last place I would go for the Dewalt Dw716, Milwaukee 6950-20, Makita LS1221, or Hitachi C12FDH instead.

-- Just a Duffer

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