Miter Saw Advice

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Forum topic by theOptimizer posted 01-21-2015 07:15 PM 1663 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1250 days

01-21-2015 07:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saw dyi

Hey everyone. I have a few upcoming projects this summer and will need to get a miter saw. My budget going into this was $250 for a saw and finishing blade, but after looking at all the options I’m not sure if its worth spending a bit more to get something of better quality. The one thing I constantly go back and forth on is whether a sliding miter is worthwhile as the cost goes up significantly. As I’m just getting into wood working I’m not 100% sure what things to look for or how I’ll use the saw in the future. Any saw I have to buy requires a new finishing blade ($50) so at that price the only sliding miters I’m seeing that are $200 are Kobalts and Ryobi’s, both of which I haven’t heard great things about.

  1. Based on my upcoming projects and your personal experience what would you recommend?
  2. Is a sliding miter worth the extra money opposed to a non-slider?
  3. What brands are good? Should I be concerned about where to service them?
  4. Any specific brand/model recommendations?
Upcoming projects:
  • baseboards and trim
  • garden boxes (5.5” timbers with 2”x10” cap)
  • crown molding
  • garage shelving

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 01-21-2015 08:11 PM

You may want to consider what sort of stand you’re
gong to use. Over 40 lbs. miter saws start to get
pretty awkward to carry around so a rolling stand
may be a good thing.

Other than that, a 10” or 12” non-slider will get you
started very well for most work. Sliders are cool
but generally heavy and good ones are pricey. They
all make a mess so they work best outdoors in terms
of cleanup.

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3404 days

#2 posted 01-21-2015 08:17 PM

A good table saw has the potential to be more accurate than a miter saw, so I use mine for all but really long pieces like baseboard trim and crown molding. With that said, I use my CMS so rarely it’s hard to suggest spending more on one than you need to if you have a decent TS.

A standard 10” CMS won’t quite cut a 2×6, so a slider or a 12” might come in handy for that. Sorry, I can’t make any brand recommendations, but I’d rather own a modest miter saw with a good blade, than a great miter saw with a lousy blade. You’ll probably see lots of plugs for DW, Ridgid, Bosch, Makita, and Milwaukee….all solid contractor grade saws. Anyone know how the HF models stack up against Craftsman, Ryobi, Kobalt, etc.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View EEngineer's profile (online now)


1109 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 01-22-2015 10:48 AM

I recommend a slider. I went with a 12” because I had a need to cut 4X4 ad the 10” wouldn’t quite do that!

For strictly cost reasons I went with HF. One of the reviews I read about HF miter saws described them as “a set of castings for a very reasonable price that a little TLC can upgrade into a great deal”. My saw certainly fell into this category. You can read about my trials and tribulations here.

I’ve used it a couple of years now and it is still holding up. Not heavy usage – I am just a woodworking hobbyist.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View greenacres2's profile


324 posts in 2197 days

#4 posted 01-22-2015 11:54 AM

When i started this hobby a few years back, i had an old craftsman miter saw that i never could get to cut straight. Picked up an older radial arm saw (less than $80) that i used a surprising amount of the time and had it tuned to cut 90 and 45 degrees very well. Used that for a few years and replaced both with a 12” slider (Dewalt) that does every thing the RAS did for me, but much better. Shipped the RAS head to Emerson for the $100 recall bounty and gave the old miter saw to my son for framing.

I like the Dewalt, like the slider. Miss the RAS, but not enough to replace it yet. I guess my point is that very good RAS are available cheap, can do what a slider does, takes about the same footprint (i mounted my slider to the table i’d had the RAS on) and might be better tools than many new non-sliding miter saws. Might be an alternative that works without busting the budget. As mentioned, good blade kept clean and sharp will be a great asset—in my eyes, nothing wrong with spending more for a blade than i did for the tool, especially if i scored a good tool for a great value.


View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2313 days

#5 posted 01-22-2015 12:19 PM

I have two 12 miter saws. One is the Ridgid non slider and a Milwaukee slider. Ridgid is ok, but the Milwaukee is very good. If you go to a slider get a good one and even non sliders. I only use the Ridgit for general purposes. Said before sliders are much heavier and harder to move around without a wheeled stand.

-- Bill R

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485 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 01-22-2015 03:37 PM

I only have a couple tools to compare for you. By far my favorite is the DeWalt Model # DWS782 with the fancy stand to set it up onto. The sliding mechanism is a real plus, especially if you are building a deck with 2x’s and need to cut something bigger than a 2×4. The miter saw I have in my micro-shop is an inherited Ryobi TS1342L. It has been reliable, but it is not something I’d want to do framing work with.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 2051 days

#7 posted 01-22-2015 04:02 PM

I would think a Dewalt 12” non-slider would do (DW716). They generally get excellent reviews. Non-sliders cheaper to make well (than a slider). The Dewalt double bevel will cut 2×10, but I think you have to fuss with the fence to get that width (the single bevel DW715 does 2×8). I built a couple decks with my 12” non-slider and trimmed out a master bedroom/family room with it. I still use a B&D Workmate for my miter saw stand.

-- Just a Duffer

View theOptimizer's profile


2 posts in 1250 days

#8 posted 01-22-2015 06:58 PM

Thanks everyone for your input so far.

Seems to be a split decision in terms of slider vs. non-slider. I figure my budget at this point is going to be $300 for a saw and blade after looking over my budget. That puts me in a tight spot. I can either get a nice compound non-sliding miter or a low end sliding miter. I’m not sure if a stand is necessary as I can fashion something using saw horses and 3/4” plywood when needed.

What are thoughts on the below saws?

Sliding Miters under $300


Non-Slideing Miter under $300
View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2325 days

#9 posted 01-22-2015 08:11 PM

Look at the price of 12 inch blades before you decide. A ten inch slider may be cheaper in the long run as the blades are cheaper. I have the Kobalt 10 inch slider (got for $179) and I have no issues with it. I would also think about portability if you are bringing it from room to room. I actually thought the smaller Kobalt/Craftsman slider looked more handy for most work.

Really the only job you mentioned that would require a miter saw is the crown molding, and even then you only need to miter and cope half your cuts. Everything else you could do with a cordless trim saw, a fine blade and a tri square.

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