Miter Saws vs Crosscut Sled 2015

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Forum topic by Rayne posted 02-28-2015 03:23 PM 1802 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1027 posts in 1660 days

02-28-2015 03:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jig miter saw

Hello fellow LJ’s,

I’ve been debating for the past 2 weeks about upgrading my miter saw to a SCMS (sliding compound miter saw) and was JUST about to pull the trigger when I realized that a crosscut sled probably performs better for wider stock than the SCMS. I’ve seen people just drool over the Festool Kapex, yet a good crosscut sled seems to be all anyone needs and then use a miter saw for compound rough cuts and moldings, or just cutting down super long pieces to be properly cut at the table saw. What are your thoughts on this as of today? Previous topics dating back to 2010 and 2011 were found, but I’m not sure they are all completely valid today, but from my perspective, it still seems to hold as I just made my realization. I’d appreciate any feedback and if it’s really necessary to upgrade the miter saw if you have a good crosscut sled.

13 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


4992 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 02-28-2015 04:47 PM

I have a sled and a miter saw and that does everything I need a saw for. For perfect xcuts, you can’t beat a sled. Save your money

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3438 days

#2 posted 02-28-2015 05:01 PM

I use a table saw and sled exclusively. Don’t own a miter saw. The only times I wish I had a miter saw are when I’m needing to make precision cuts or repeatable cuts on very long stock.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2231 days

#3 posted 02-28-2015 05:10 PM

My DeWalt SCMS with a 3rd party laser is accurate and dependable. But, for accurate cuts in small pieces I will turn to my crosscut sled. In either case it is the quality of the tool (SCMS v. Sled) that will determine the accuracy.

If your current miter saw will handle the width of stock you need to cut, stay with it and put the effort into a precise sled.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View mramseyISU's profile


542 posts in 1666 days

#4 posted 02-28-2015 05:31 PM

It depends on what you’re doing. I have a SCMS and it take up a ton of room and I hardly ever use it. When I was doing some remodeling and cutting studs I used it a ton but now it just sits there making me wish it was smaller or not a slider.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Rayne's profile


1027 posts in 1660 days

#5 posted 02-28-2015 08:31 PM

I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I am going to hold off and just use my sled for the wide stock and continue to use my CMS for longer stocks. I do have to make a minor adjustment to my sled, but that’s easy enough.
So, with that said…what’s the craziness about the Kapex if the miter saw can be outdone by the sled in most cases?

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1562 days

#6 posted 02-28-2015 09:03 PM

The Kapex, as with SCMS’s in general, is a “finish carpentry” tool, more than a “cabinetmaking” tool. If you’re cutting the trim for a house, it’s terrific. For furniture-making, I would (and do) stick with the sled

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2813 days

#7 posted 02-28-2015 09:37 PM

I have a 12” SCMS that makes 14”,90° crosscuts & 12”, 45° crosscuts out of the box. It will also make 16”,90° crosscuts with a homemade jig that isn’t hard to make. Has far as accuracy goes I cut these tabletops with it. Accurate, repetitive cuts were required.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View OSU55's profile


1835 posts in 2110 days

#8 posted 02-28-2015 10:21 PM

Used an SCMS for a while, it’s now in storage. Between sleds and miter gauge the TS does everything I need.

View Roger's profile


20938 posts in 2925 days

#9 posted 03-01-2015 01:08 PM

Crosscut sled for sure is way more affordable, and it’ll make wider cuts. That’s simple wallet math in my book.

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

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


126 posts in 1338 days

#10 posted 03-01-2015 01:09 PM

I have never used a sled on a TS. The reason for me is I tend to need to cut long material with a miter on an end. I have watch William Ng video on making a sled and if his is not accurate I don’t what is. When I get caught up on the list of projects setting up a new shop entails I will build the Ng sled. I can see where for smaller pieces the sled is the ticket.

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2417 days

#11 posted 03-01-2015 01:27 PM

You’re not going to crosscut a 12 ft board easily with a sled, but if you never do that then you don’t need a sliding miter saw.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5072 posts in 2614 days

#12 posted 03-01-2015 01:37 PM

To me the SCMS is a construction tool. (just my opinion)

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


126 posts in 1338 days

#13 posted 03-02-2015 12:09 AM

To me the SCMS is a construction tool. (just my opinion)

- Fred Hargis

So is a table saw, a drill, a router, random orbital sander, biscuit jointer and a router plus other tools too numerous to mention. The notion the good finish carpenters are not woodworkers is a little disheartening to me. Being one for more years than I care to mention. The difficulty in finish carpentry is that our “workshop” needs to move around yet we have to maintain levels of quality that need to match ideal conditions. A good slide compound miter saw is accurate is set up and maintained properly. It is a tool that has a specific use that is valuable when used correctly. Not trying to pick an argument here but just need to eliminate some stereotypes.

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

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