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Sliding Miter Saw, MS1290LZA (12")--My View after 2 Months of Use

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  • Sliding Miter Saw, MS1290LZA (12")--My View after 2 Months of Use

    I should say up front that the saw seems very well-made in terms of fit and finish. It is a huge machine and if you already have a miter saw stand you may find this saw is bigger than your space for a miter saw. Check first or be prepared to modify or replace your current miter saw stand. I ended up making a new mobile miter saw stand (which I needed anyway).

    Dust collection is next to non-existent on this saw. It slings dust everywhere. You need a backboard with a trough to catch most of the sawdust since the little tiny dust chute just doesn't do the job--regardless of how much suction you have attached to it. This seems to be a problem common with sliding miter saws. Before you ask, I'm using a Ridgid 12 gallon shop vac for dust collection (dedicated to this saw)--not the little fabric dust bag that comes with the saw.

    On the subject of dust collection, the connection point for the dust hose at the saw needs a 90 degree elbow to prevent interference with the sliding action--especially when you want to swing the saw left or right for angled cuts. It is a 2-1/2" connection. I'm having to fabricate a fitting adapter to make a standard 2-1/2" elbow fit.

    The next thing I noticed (after the dust cleared) was that the standard blade was garbage (splintered red oak and hardwood veneer plywoods badly) so I've bought a Freud LU85R012 12-Inch 96 tooth blade from Amazon.com. That blade seems to do a much better job of providing smooth cuts. Even with an excellent blade, it seems almost essential with this saw to have the finished surface face down if you want to avoid splintering (saw blade tear-out). I've thought about this quite a bit and suggest that users need to adjust their thinking about cutting when using sliding miter saws instead of non-sliding miter saws. The sliding miter saws tend to cut more like an inverted table saw than a non-sliding miter. Be sure to remember to turn your work finished side down before cutting. Also, consider limiting the cut depth with the built-in depth limiter--this should help reduce blade-caused tear-out.

    The sliding miter saws are VERY prone to kickback if your board isn't flush with the fence across its full width. Be careful when doing sliding cuts that you push the board toward the fence ONLY where it actually touches the fence--otherwise the board will pinch the saw blade and the saw will push back against you with considerable force.

    The arbor-mounted laser doesn't seem to be very useful since its accuracy/repeatability depends on the distance from the light source and the top surface of the board. That means you have to have the saw fully raised when aligning the board if you are using the laser. Even then, the laser line isn't the cut line--it always offset from the cut line--sometimes a little and sometimes a lot--depending upon the board thickness. If you are accustomed to cutting 3/4" boards with the laser and go to thicker or thinner boards then you'd better forget using the laser until you've determined the "new" laser placement vs. the desired cut line. I don't feel I can use the laser for anything where I need 1/32" accuracy. For me, the laser is worthless. I'll continue to eyeball the sawblade alignment with my cut marks or use my Kreg precision fence with stop blocks.

    I've yet to do any compound miter cuts--just simple miter cuts. It is very nice to be able to cross-cut 12" wide boards--that was one of the reasons I bought a sliding miter saw and the only reason I'm keepig this one. I think about that after every work session while I'm vacuuming up all the sawdust.
    Last edited by TNHiker; 11-16-2007, 04:06 AM. Reason: Additional comment.

  • #2
    Re: Sliding Miter Saw, MS1290LZA (12&quot--My View after 2 Months of Use

    LOVE the saw, but like you said....

    What dust collection.

    I ran the saw without the bag or vac just to see, and more dust flew around the room then out of the port.

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    • #3
      Re: Sliding Miter Saw, MS1290LZA (12&quot--My View after 2 Months of Use

      Dust is a problem with all sliding mitre saws - just as with their counterpart, the more expensive radial arm saws.

      Nearly all radial arm saws have a backboard with a trough.

      A simple shop vac would never get a handle on all that dust from a radial arm saw. What WOULD you use for that purpose? Consider a two stage shop vac with a 4-6 inch inlet tube - you can find several for under $150. I also bought a nifty lid that allows me to add an additional filtering stage by catching large debris in a standard trash can before the dust gets to my vac.

      regarding tearout.....

      I suggest the time-honored technique of using masking tape on the tearout side of your cut. Works like a charm. Either that or you have to (ugh!) slow down, or (egad!!#!) buy a new blade with more teeth per inch.

      Cheers mate!

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