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  • Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

    Hey everyone. I'm putting down some laminate flooring in my house and want to buy a Miter Saw. This is my first Miter saw purchase so I want to make sure its a good one.

    My budget is ~$300 and I can't decide which Miter SAW I should get. And I don't know how important which of these FEATURE's are (single or double bevel; slididng; laser) I should get. Most of all, I don't want to buy a Miter Saw and have to upgrade it in a year or two when I doing more projects and realized I bought a piece of sh_t or not good enough model.

    Choices I've seen at local stores: HD, Lowes, etc:

    Ridgid MS1250LZ Single Bevel $270 (comes with laser)...LOVE the lifetime warranty
    Dewalt DW716 Double Bevel $400 (but get free circular saw which I can sell for $100) therefore $300 total.
    Ryobi.....not!
    Craftsman.....hate Sears, even more since they merged with Kmart.
    Others?

    Is a 10" sliding better than a 12" non-sliding?
    Single or double bevel?
    So what do you recommend and why? Any suggestions or know of any good deals?

    Thank for your consideration.
    Barry

  • #2
    Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

    The DeWalt would be my choice of those you listed. Unless you plan on doing a lot of finish carpentry work you might not need the double bevel feature the DW716 offers and find that the DW715 a better choice.
    ================================================== ====
    ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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    • #3
      Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

      I like Dave's idea of the DW715 over the DW716. You can save some good money for a great blade or put it into savings for later on when you may want a high end model. You can get the DW715 for $299 plus shipping. The DW716 is a good bit more and I doubt many users will miss that it only tilts to one side. You can just move your work piece as needed. A good many contractors in my area use the DW715 as their "Work horse" and get one high end 12" slider for the few tasks where such is needed.

      Good price and a good dealer - DW915: http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/S...fbb+1186986483 (Call this place as they do know tools pretty well.)

      Put another way, this one will do most jobs and do them well. Save some $$$ on buying a more fancy one and get a good blade.
      Last edited by Woussko; 08-12-2007, 04:31 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

        I don't like sliding miter saws for presice work because wobble often develops in the slide arm resulting in a crooked cut. If this is only for laminate flooring and you never forsee using it to cut crown molding or 2x8 or bigger than I would suggest a 10" dewalt single bevel, no laser-they're crap for precise work. Then buy a high quality mitersaw blade. I use a forrest. I think the blade is a 100 by itself. It's worth every penny. A low quality blade will produce bad results with the best saw. Another tip-use a knife instead of a pencil to make your line and it'll be dead on with no chip out.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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        • #5
          Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

          If you don't need to cut anything larger than 2X6 a 10" saw will do. 10" blades are slightly more accurate as they will deflect less. I would normally prefer a 10" slider over a 12" non-slider. A 10" slider will have the same cutting capacity as a 12" slider. The advantage of the 12" is it will be able to miter cut large pieces upright which tends to be easier and many times more accurate than bevel cutting.

          As for what saws to get I would recommend the Dewalt 715 as well if you can live with a single bevel saw. Their 10" saw is also recieves a lot of praise. I'm a little weary about the Ridgid miter saws after running into some machining problems on the 10" 1065LZ which made it impossible to accurately adjust miter and bevel cutting. Some users of the 12" saws reported the same problems. Don't know if this has been corrected. I don't know who is making Craftsman saws now so I would not dare recommend them.

          Other than that you can also consider Makita and Bosch which also make some of the best saws.

          Don't bother too much with lasers. Most saws bring arbor mounted non-adjustable lasers which require the blade to be spinning in order to work. They are far too off from the cutline to be of any use. They only lasers that are worthwhile are the adjustable kind only found on the Makita sliders and as an Add-on to the 12" Dewalt saws. They will require very meticulous adjustment to ensure they are dead on with the blade. If you don't have the patience to set them up don't bother. I rely solely on the laser of my Makita slider to do all my work, including all precision work, but I spent a lot of time calibrating and verifying everything was spot on.

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          • #6
            Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

            Thanks for the advice. I plan on using the saw for laminate flooring to begin with and then other projects in the future. Therefore, I don't want to buy a Miter saw that I will have to upgrade when doing other projects (crown molding, bookshelves, etc.)

            While I was looking at the Dewalt DW715 on TylerTool, they have these 3 Miter saws for $300.

            Dewalt DW715
            Makita LS1221
            Bosch 3912

            Any of these 3 stand out?

            Everyone seems to like the Dewalt dw715. If I can get the Dewalt DW716 (double bevel) for the same price, would it be better than the DW715 since its double bevel even though I might not use it?

            Any other recs or advice, much appreciated.

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            • #7
              Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

              The Makita LSs are very good miter saws. Have heard great things bout the Bosch.
              You can never have enough drills-too many is just enough!!!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                Originally posted by Gatordogs2 View Post
                Thanks for the advice. I plan on using the saw for laminate flooring to begin with and then other projects in the future. Therefore, I don't want to buy a Miter saw that I will have to upgrade when doing other projects (crown molding, bookshelves, etc.)

                While I was looking at the Dewalt DW715 on TylerTool, they have these 3 Miter saws for $300.

                Dewalt DW715
                Makita LS1221
                Bosch 3912

                Any of these 3 stand out?

                Everyone seems to like the Dewalt dw715. If I can get the Dewalt DW716 (double bevel) for the same price, would it be better than the DW715 since its double bevel even though I might not use it?

                Any other recs or advice, much appreciated.
                Then get a 12" double bevel miter saw. Dewalt and bosch are the 2 best. Bosch is a little better but cost more. It's like comparing a porsche to a ferrarri. You might want to consider to delay your purchase until you can afford exactly what you want. I find a double bevel only useful when doing crown molding.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                • #9
                  Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                  If you can get the 716 for the same price then go for it. Its a better saw, just not if the price is much higher than the 715. However, if you are interested in a good investment I would go for a Bosch or Makita slider. They are a bit more than you are looking to spend but you will not be limited by any future cutting capacities you may need. Not to mention they are overall better saws than any of the ones discussed.
                  Last edited by Velosapien; 08-13-2007, 08:10 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                    Two months ago, Lowes was selling the DW715 for $299.00; I went to HD, and with their price match +10% I got it for less than $300 with sales tax

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                    • #11
                      Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                      Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                      I don't like sliding miter saws for presice work because wobble often develops in the slide arm resulting in a crooked cut.
                      While conventional wisdom would point in that direction, in practice it has been proven that its really the quality of the saw that matters rather than what type of saw it is. I always thought a slider would be less accurate due to slop in the rails as well as the added leverage the rails will force on the pivots. In my experience though, most non-sliders are so poorly built and have so little quality control that any possible advantage is completely erased. One of the most common complaints with miter saws is they simply can't cut perfect miters or bevel cuts no matter how much fine tuning they get or how expensive they are. I gave up and bought a Makita slider hoping it would live up to its reviews. After about a year and a half on it I have concluded that it doesn't matter if its a slider. The saw is so well made adn the head is so rigid and flex free that it will put any non-slider to shame. It's dead on accurate accross the entire length of its cut.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                        Just to preface, I had the DeWalt 703, which was a 10" CMS, single bevel for about 2 years. I now have the Bosch 4410L, which is a 10" slider, double bevel, and has a stupid arbor laser. I was happy with the DeWalt, though limited once my projects expanded. I am *thrilled* with the Bosch, and feel it was money spent on a very high quality tool. The others I looked at were the Ridgid 12" slider, the DeWalt slider, and the Makita 10" slider. Of these, I was most inclined to get the Makita based on features and reviews. The lowwww fence on the Makita killed the deal, since I was upgrading miter saws to make, cut and install tall crown molding (5 - 6") in my home.

                        Based on having had both types of saws, I would strongly recommend a 10" slider over a 12" non-slider. As stated by someone else, the 12" blades introduce wobble, which risks inaccurate cuts. The capacity of a 12" slider is not that much greater than a 10" slider, but both are heads and shoulders above the capacity of a 10" or 12" non-slider.
                        Don't let the admonition of the sliding mechanism worry you for regular "chop" cuts. You can lock down the sliding mechanism for simple miter cuts, in which case it works exaclty like a non-sliding CMS.

                        The stock laser systems all suck, IMO, unless you get a double laser (Skil? Delta?). Over time you might get used to the the unavoidable difference between the arbor laser line and actual cut line. If you really, really want a laser cut-alignment system, look at this: www.laserkerf.com
                        But don't let the inclusion or exclusion of a laser affect your buying decision, 'cuz I can 95% guarantee you'll find it inaccurate (which means useless) and wind up doing your alignment by sight. The arbor laser on my Bosch serves as a simple reminder of which is the "keep" side and which is the "waste" side... the laser being on the "keep" side. I do have a laserkerf laser installed, which ROCKS.

                        The double bevel is handy, but not *essential* since repositioning the workpiece can make up for only single bevel. However, this is not always possible, since sometimes that repositioning means turning the workpiece over, and if it's not flat... You're screwed. Since you have a stated desire to install crown molding, this could be a serious issue further down the road.

                        I would strongly second Velosapien's recommendation. IF you can live with the increased cost, I would really look at the Bosch or Makita sliders. You will have nearly limitless capabilities, and not have to fear a future upgrade. Since I'm biased, I'd say get the Bosch. ;-)
                        There's a fantastic review here: http://www.newwoodworker.com/reviews/b4410Lrvu.html
                        You can find it on Amazon for usually $495, with free shipping. Hold out for a price drop or a coupon code discount. The lowest I've seen it there was $475, still with free shipping. Sometimes 10 or 20% discounts come out for tools, but I don't know offhand if any were valid for these saws.

                        Good luck!
                        To quote someone else on a forum (sorry, name escapes me):
                        Buy quality, and only cry once!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                          Another advantage of getting a 10" miter saw is you can share blades with your table saw. It can be costly to own a 12" miter saw and 10" table saw since many times you'll find you need a similar or the same blade on both for certain cuts.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                            Originally posted by Velosapien View Post
                            Another advantage of getting a 10" miter saw is you can share blades with your table saw. It can be costly to own a 12" miter saw and 10" table saw since many times you'll find you need a similar or the same blade on both for certain cuts.
                            Bad idea, a miter saw blade has a negative rake and is designed on a miter saw. A table saw blade is designed for a table saw. The 2 are the same same and will fit either machine but it's not good idea.
                            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Which Miter saw to buy? Need help.

                              I agree with Gear Junkie on the blades. While you can use a blade made for a miter saw on a table saw for fine cross cutting, to use a blade with much hook angle which works fine on a table saw on your miter saw is dangerous. You really want good blades for both and not to mix them up.

                              Hint: Buying the tools, machinery and accessories we want/need gets costly. Save up and buy quality and you won't soon hate what you bought, trash it (wasteful) and have to buy again.

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