Power miter saw vs miter box opinions needed

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Forum topic by Michigander posted 02-14-2014 01:44 AM 2520 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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220 posts in 2655 days

02-14-2014 01:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: power miter saw vs miter box

I am in need of a way to cut miters for furniture quality projects. I’ve been doing it on my table saw to limited success. I’ve been thinking of getting a old Stanley 150 or bigger Miterbox but I don’t know if there are capable of the precision I want. What should I look out for when shopping for an old miter box? Or should I just get a power miter saw and be done with it? Your opinions are appreciated.

19 replies so far

View madts's profile


1884 posts in 2575 days

#1 posted 02-14-2014 01:52 AM

Think table saw sled with 45deg angles.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

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5825 posts in 2645 days

#2 posted 02-14-2014 01:55 AM

Myself I use a powered miter saw. It may not be the most precise cutting but my projects could be anything from a building to some furniture you just never know. Would be nice to have enough room to have one for general purpose and one for hardwoods and special projects but I have yet to win the lottery so I will just have to do with what I have.

What are you trying to do with it exactly?

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View dirtycurty's profile


44 posts in 1814 days

#3 posted 02-14-2014 03:05 AM

If you do get a powered miter saw I suggest that you spend the money to get a high quality blade. I have an older Ryobi 12” miter saw that I cut angles on segments for bowl work and I spent the money for a Forest Chop Master blade and let me tell you it makes a world of difference in the quality of cut. I know they are expensive but if you want a clean precise cut it is the way to go.

View runswithscissors's profile


2924 posts in 2261 days

#4 posted 02-14-2014 03:55 AM

A lot of guys will try to convince you the old fashioned miter box will be the best way to go. But here’s a problem I challenge any of them to solve with a miter box: You’ve cut your material 1/32” too long, and you want to shave off that thin sliver of wood, which is half a blade width, or less. Only a power miter saw can do that (you do have to feed slowly, as the blade will want to flex slightly away from the wood).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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8539 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 02-14-2014 04:31 AM

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 2125 days

#6 posted 02-14-2014 04:36 AM

If you cut it to long by a 32nd, you could use a chute board to trim it up.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


15800 posts in 2854 days

#7 posted 02-14-2014 04:48 AM

Thank you, Lateral. You’re right, a shoot board plane or even a low angle block is more precise than a power mitre.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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2241 posts in 2125 days

#8 posted 02-14-2014 05:08 AM

I know it’s possible to hit very small increments on a chop saw, but how often is it achieved?

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2860 days

#9 posted 02-14-2014 05:47 AM

Build a sled for your TS. If you require more angles than just a 45, build a super sled. They can be found here with a search. You have a TS, sleds are cheap and will produce the results fine furniture makers look for.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#10 posted 02-14-2014 05:57 AM

Consider a miter jack or Lion miter trimmer.

Electric miter saws are pretty accurate and can
shave a compound miter with a carbide blade. No
hand saw or hand miter trimmer can do that…
and while in furniture making the tweaks needed
are usually in one axis, in hanging moulding and
other trim you’ll want both.

I recommend a 10” or 12” no-slider miter saw for
the most accuracy.

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 2175 days

#11 posted 02-14-2014 11:34 AM

I know it’s possible to hit very small increments on a chop saw, but how often is it achieved?

Very often. 10 inch Makita slider, good sharp blade. Sneak up on precise angle.

AND let the blade come up to speed before you you make the cut. Sacrificial fence.

View exelectrician's profile (online now)


2328 posts in 2663 days

#12 posted 02-15-2014 06:26 AM

I agree with LakeLover –
My Makita LS1013 can shave off 4 thousandths if I want, and leave a glass smooth finish. The Makita sliding saw has made my woodworking a joy. And yeah I am really fussy about the blade I use. Freud blades satisfy all my needs.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3277 days

#13 posted 02-15-2014 07:43 AM

Get a 12 inch Compound Sliding Miter Saw and a precision blade, you won’t regret it.

I have the DWS780 with a 96T Dewalt precision blade. Never been more impressed with a saw.

Get into the 21st Century.

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Gerald Thompson

1141 posts in 2470 days

#14 posted 02-15-2014 04:43 PM

I have a dewalt 780 also. I still use a shooting board to ensure everything is on the money.

-- Jerry

View LakeLover's profile


283 posts in 2175 days

#15 posted 02-15-2014 05:02 PM


I live in a small town, we were triming out the last of a 4 condo project. Trimming a small piece off a moulding and the little chunk jumped between the blade and guard of the first Dewalt 12 inch mitre saw 15? years old.

Anyways the guard hit the blade and whammm. Blade bent, guard in 10 pieces and me standing butt clenched.

So I unplugged it and drove to the lumberstore. Well no way in hell of having parts. They had That 10 Maktia as a show model and given my predicament, they offered it to me at a great price. No box, manuel or 13 mm wrench.

It was sold so darn fast IIRC $250 off. SO back to the site and my fellow trimer was sort of scepticle about setting up a new saw. Blah Blah. I said the old one is dead, set this one up and let’s go. Well no setting needed. This was dead nuts on and came with a Tenryu blade. I have resharpen a couple times.

I have left the original price sticker on it, it is amazing how many clients notice it. Smirk.

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