Need help choosing a 12" compound sliding miter saw!

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Forum topic by Callum Kendall posted 01-19-2009 11:51 AM 1689 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3704 days

01-19-2009 11:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saw question

Hey fellow LJs

I need help choosing a 12” compound sliding miter saw. I have norrowed the options down to 3. The dewalt, bosch and makita. any help would be realy appreciated!



-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

17 replies so far

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3598 days

#1 posted 01-19-2009 12:46 PM

I have had both the base 12” and now the sliding double-bevel deWalt 12”. Loved both saws. I upgraded to the sliding one so that I could cut 10” to 12” wide boards in a single pass, with the standard one I would have to make one cut, flip the board over, re-align it and cut again.

Never had a problem with either saw. When I upgraded I also got the deWalt laser guide which mounts and plugs directly into the saw. Getting it aligned the first time was very tricky and I find I must check it and make a tweak about every 2nd or 3rd day I use it. I do trust it for making accurate length cuts, not sure I would buy it again though.

The sliding saw also comes with a clamp to hold your work. I do not like this clamp, it is an over-head clamp that clamps down onto the work. You have to move the back-stop out of the way just to pass the clamp from storage behind the back-stop to be over the work area. With the older saw it had those holes in the bed and the clamp slid into those holes and then screwed in and pressed the work against the back-stop of the saw. I found that much more useful, quicker to adjust, remove, etc.

The other problem I ran into with the new slider is that the holes you use to mount the saw to a stand get in the way of the adjustment arms on the table. So you have to use really short bolts, almost grind them down to be flush with the nuts in order for the locking arm of the table to pass over them.

Never had the Bosch or Makita but I have never had a deWalt tool let me down before. I usually don’t even hesitate when looking for a new tool, if the tool comes in Yellow and Black I buy it.

Also, with the deWalts you can get the refurbished tools. Though be careful if on a time dead-line. I ordered some tools last year, expected them to be shipped right away, sold the old ones on CL in one day and a week later still didn’t have the new ones. Called the supplier and found out that refurbs can take up to 2-3 weeks to ship depending on availability. They were really nice and overnighted a brand new tool for the same cost as the refurb since the web site said nothing about this possible delay.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View 93mwm's profile


59 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 01-19-2009 01:00 PM

i love dewalt but im going to have to go makita, they ( in my opinion) do great saws (the best). i dont know about where you are but in Aust bosch has gone down the toilet. cheaply manufactured rubbish quality little to no customer service hop this helps

-- mwm! Before you criticise walk a mile in their shoes, and when you do criticise you will be a mile away and have their shoes!

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 01-19-2009 04:56 PM

Callum, I was in Lowe’s on Saturday and they had the Hitachi 12” sliding CMS marked down to $500. I spoke with the manager and he gave me 10% off that price. This is the one with the digital read-outs for the bevel and angles. When I set the saw up in my shop, it cut squre right out of the box. I know it isn’t the Dewalt or Makita, but just another option to consider if you have a Lowes’s nearby. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3769 days

#4 posted 01-19-2009 05:21 PM

honesty i wouldn’t invest that much in a miter saw yet. its just me but i bought a miter saw and i rarely if ever use it. i always use my miter gauge. if you have a decent table saw and a decent miter guage you can get some pretty good results. you just have to make sure that your table saw and miter guage are tuned properly.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3673 days

#5 posted 01-19-2009 05:30 PM

I agree with Denis, I have a 10’’ Hitachi Compound Miter Its a good tool but I use it mostly for trim carpentry than woodworking. I think you is better off buying a table saw. You can rip, crosscut, and miter with a table saw.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3649 days

#6 posted 01-19-2009 06:09 PM

I second (or third at this point) Dennis,

when I started out I wanted to get a miter saw, but held off on that purchase, and now looking back -I’m glad I did. looking at the type of work I do, and the kind of cuts I make- I don’t think a miter saw would fit any of them, even the cross cuts that I make are easier on the table saw for me (wider boards/panels/etc)

I think a miter saw is GREAT for TRIM carpentry, MOLDINGS and the likes…. sure if you have the extra cash to put into a cruss-cut saw for 4”-10” boards, why not, but personally, I’d invest that money in more useful things.

with that said, I think the (newer( dewalt are pretty good in terms of features, but the Bosch feels more comfortable to use, and would be my preference between those 3 you mentioned.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jerry mayfield's profile

jerry mayfield

36 posts in 4086 days

#7 posted 01-19-2009 07:26 PM

I have a Bosc and its the best miter saw I have ever used.
Everything was correct right out of the box.



-- jerry,mlchigan

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3704 days

#8 posted 01-19-2009 08:20 PM

Thanks for all your help guys, I have just been to the store and had some hands on time with the saws. I decided on the makita, and I should get it on saterday:)


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3586 days

#9 posted 01-19-2009 09:35 PM

Callum ( GREAT SCOTTISH NAME INCIDENTLY) A wise choice makita is the best all round bang for buck to steal an American phrase (I hope I stole and used it properly) anyway you never know what you may wish to do and having a portable mitre saw that you can slip in the back of your truck and take with you is always a very sensible solution to overcome the permanancy of a single saw being the table saw anyway |good luck my friend and I wish you every good wish with your proud new purchase.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View FEDSAWDAVE's profile


293 posts in 3432 days

#10 posted 01-20-2009 03:39 AM

Please Note: My business does not sell either of the tools I’m about to suggest. I recommend them only because of customer feedback over the years and what I’ve seen in some well tooled shops.

Makita, by far is highly advised. Especially from a reliability standpoint. Hitachi is a very close second. Of course, service/warranty after the sale is of the utmost importance so if you’re looking at price alone…those two tools will not be an option.


-- David,

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3770 days

#11 posted 01-20-2009 04:03 AM

I have used all of the previously mentioned saws. I favour the Bosch. I can’t say much about their customer service because I have never needed it.

The only shortcoming that I found was that it occasionally needed calibration after a rough truck ride.

I do both cabinetmaking and trim carpentry, so I am a big scm saw guy

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3486 days

#12 posted 01-20-2009 04:07 AM

I have no experience with a 12” miter saw but I’ve heard a 12” blade may flex on cetain cuts. I bought a 10” dewalt on sale to make rough cuts. But it is accurate enough to make a final cut. Others here may have experience with this. Just FWIW. Good luck.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Linn's profile


4 posts in 3417 days

#13 posted 01-20-2009 04:14 AM

I use a 12” Dewalt for trim work and crosscutting and have been very satisfied.Ron(Linn)

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#14 posted 01-20-2009 04:51 AM

Hi Kid

I just bought the Makita 12” sliding miter saw and cannot say enough good about it. I went to Acme Tool an hour and a half away so I could play and see all three at the same time. I felt it had the smoothest slides of all three and liked the way the slides are on the bottom of the saw. There was no movment what so ever and it just seemed like the best quality saw. It was right on the nuts out of the box and I cut all my trim for the shop. I would highly recommend this saw to anyone. I do not know if this is nation wide but they had $100 off the saw. This was not a determining factor but a pleasant surprise when I went to pay for it. Good luck on picking a saw.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4100 days

#15 posted 01-23-2009 04:45 AM

I use a 10” in the shop. I have never really needed more. It is the Hitachi model with a laser and it is incredibly accurate.

I like the Makita and Bosch 10” models as well but I decided on the Hitachi and have not regretted it one bit.

12” blades cost more to buy, cost more to sharpen, and the farther the tooth gets from the arbor the blade may have a tendency to vibrate unless you stick with the heavier and best blades.

I tend to buy good blades anyway but I like the way that my 10” handles.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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