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opinions on miter saws

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  • opinions on miter saws

    anyone have ideas on good miter saws? I will be using mine (when I get it)for everything from larger rough projects to making small jewelry boxes with require very accurate, clean cuts. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Hi, I have a DW708 12" SCMS mounted on the Ridgid MS-UV and love it. It is the first generation of this saw (about 4 years old now). I have not used it to perform many precision cuts as you suggest you want to do but the cuts have always been true. I have not had alignment problems or any issues with the saws' performance, it has plenty of power. The MS-UV (or similar) is the best accessory you could get for a miter saw if you don't plan to build a fixed bench to mount it on.

    If I were shopping for one today I would look at the ergonomics of the saw, particularly the handle and how comfortable it is to operate. Some saws have the handle oriented vertically and some horizontal. I guess it's a matter of individual comfort but I find the horz. ones easier, you don't have to reach as high. I'd also look closely at the laser, I'd want to be able to turn the laser on w/o spinning the blade, and a trigger switch operated by the thumb when your hand is in the normal grip position on the handle seems like it would be the easiest to use, but I don't know as my saw was made long before the laser guided saws were available. Dust collection is a consideration too, the DW708 that I have pretty much has a token dust collection system, it does not pick up much w/o a shop-vac connected. The port to connect a shop-vac is too small (I'd like to see a 2.5" port). On the newer DW708s that I have seen in the stores DeWalt has changed the dust collection a bit but can't comment on if it is an improvement or not. I think the table are of the DW708 could be bigger, the new saws don't look any bigger than mine. The miter stop system works well, is easy to lock, and has not given me a problem with deviating from where I have set it during use. Since it is a sliding miter saw, I have found that I need to keep an eye on the rails as sawdust accumulates on them, it's easy enough to clean off, but I have noticed some other makes have a shield over the rails which porbably eliminates this. My DW708 comes with a tool for making adjustments and blade changing which stores in the back end of the rail. I have never had a problem with it coming loose but I do not transport my saw around from job to job much (actually only twice in 4 yrs), this could be a concern (about the tool being lost) if you were hauling the saw around regularly as the tool is only held in by friction created by a piece of neoprene that the tool slides through into the rear of the rail. Given its location one would not be likely to notice it's disappearance right away. Hold-down clamps are another item to look at. Mine did not come with one as standard equipment and I think from a safey standpoint all saws of this type should.

    You might want to review the tool buying guide on the American Woodworker tool buying guide on their web page as well as checking out some of the other woodworking-related magazine web sites. Sometime looking a tool up on Amazon and then scrooling down to read buyers reviews and comments can yield some helpful insight into a tools performance, even if you don't plan to buy through Amazon.


    • #3
      I have the DeWalt 705 (12" single tilt). Out of the box and with every maintenance check it's been dead-on accurate. I use it for rough work as well as a substitute for my table saw in crosscutting. I really haven't tried any other current brands, but my advice is don't cheap out on some bargin brand---the quality of the product is very important particularly for good furniture and woodworking projects.

      About the only negative in the DW is that sawdust sometimes gets into the electric brake mechanism----disabling that feature until you clean it.


      • #4
        I have never seen a really neg post on anything but the cheapest of CMS and I think they were sliders.For the j. boxes you might consider a pull saw with a miter box. They are easy to line up and can be just as accurate. You can cut small stuff with almost no effort.