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Thread: Mitre Saws

  1. #1

    Mitre Saws

    I need to buy a new Mitre Saw.

    I was wondering who wanted to weigh in with what to get and why.

    I'm trying to decide between value and price.

    I'm not a professional contractor, I'll throw that out there right away.

    I know there are guys out there that have probably dumped money into saws and soon discovered, dang, I should have got ...blank.

    I will probably use it for trim work, framing and may build a deck/pool shed off the back of my pool.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Frederick, MD
    Blog Entries

    Re: Mitre Saws

    I personally have a Makita. It isn't a sliding mitre or anything, just a chop saw.

    I've not had any issues with it and I've cut boards that are upwards of 6" thick. I have considered getting a sliding mitre because I don't have the room for a radial arm saw or anything, but I'm not there yet. I prefer DeWalt for a good all-around saw and you can get a nice one for $200. I have a buddy that swears by Rigid, but I've never owned anything by them. My dad is a general contractor and he's always used Dewalt, so that's been good enough for me.

    What I will say is regardless of what you get, don't skimp on the blades.

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  3. Re: Mitre Saws

    I have the basic mitre saw like Wicked has....basically a table top chop saw.
    I've had it for several decades and use it from time to time when needed and never had a problem.
    Bought it used for $25.00.
    If you're only using it on occasion than I'd look on online yard sales, ebay, etc. rather than fork over big bucks at a store.

    I would get the biggest diameter blade you can get....bigger diameter, thicker and wider material you can cut.

    If you're buying new and money isn't an object (so to speak) I'd get a compound mitre saw, particularly if you're going to be doing a lot of trim work such as moulding with angled cuts that have to meet up in corners, etc.

    As wicked said....the blade is of high importance both in quality, tooth count, tips, etc.

    The more teeth the smoother the cut which you want for trim work.
    Cutting decking, frame boards, etc. you want a blade with less teeth because that type of wood can be rough on a fine tooth blade.
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  4. #4

    Re: Mitre Saws

    When I get around to buying a mitre saw, I'm probably just going to get a 7" sliding arm. I don't need to cut thick boards that often, mostly just building things the wife wants around the house. I will be re-surfacing a deck in the next year (assuming we're able to buy that house), so a mitre saw is going to be much more useful for me than just having my circular saw. Being able to swap blades between the two is something I see as an advantage for me.

    It's all about the biggest job you expect to do. If you expect to need a 10" blade at some point, then get the 10" saw now. If you don't anticipate truly needing it, save the cash, or get a better brand of saw.

  5. #5

    Re: Mitre Saws

    I have been in construction for a lot of years while going to school and before engineering school so I have used most if not all miter saws (not saying all for certain but I would not be surprised). These questions are hard to answer because the miter saw has a lot of purposes and is a diverse tool if you know what you are doing (like most tools), and what your needs are now and what you think they may be. That said I will do my best to help.

    When you are shopping for these the things that people are going to sell you on are brand, and to that end some are better than others, but most will do what you need for small projects. What it really boils down to is durability, power, blade size, degree capability, and feel. The amount of money you have to spend is obviously going to dictate the saw you come away with.

    Seeing what you have said you are using it for the first thing that I would look into is dual bevel saws, and I would opt for the 12 inch blade. This again is without knowing what molding you are needing. That said with molding I would go with dual bevel for 2 reasons. The first is ease of use, you do not have to flip your boards which you would have to do with single bevels. What this means is that a single bevel will only slide one way so if you have a 45 to cut on the right you can turn the saw to 45 on the left and you come away with the same results as with a single bevel you can only go one way and have to flip the stock. This is important because if you are not paying attention you can end up cutting opposing miters. The second reason is that it is easier to prevent a tear out on your stock which for molding can be expensive and time consuming. The reason it does this because if you flip your board after the first cut, you have to cut the opposing angle and flip the stock to the side that will not face out for viewing. Dual bevel there is no flipping and tear outs are easier to prevent, and it allows you to get into more of a groove, or set up a jig to get mass quantities done at once.

    The reason I say a twelve inch blade is because you want to get the most out of your crosscutting potential and the width of the board you can cut. You can go with smaller ones but you may only get halfway through it before the saw is at capacity and you have to flip the board over and get an EXACT match to get a clean cut. Twelve inch blades are usually pretty good unless you are doing something that is huge like this:

    Attachment 3759

    In which case you are going to finagle either way.

    After that you can get into brands and models. Do you want to go cordless or not? Obvious advantages and disadvantages to both. I would recommend the corded ones because of power even though the cord can be a trip hazard or inconvenience. As far as brands when it comes to miter saws the three on our job sites most often are a Hitachi (best imo), followed closely by a DeWalt DWS780 which is probably best for your application as it is dual bevel, has dust collection, 15 amp motor and runs at about 3800 RPMS. It has a back fence that is reliable and multiple stop spots that will stay and will not soften much with use causing slipping and imprecise angles. The Makita LS1016L is also an amazing machine in the smoothness and the preciseness of which it cuts, but the stops will soften after 5 years or so of extended use. but for occasional use you can have it for about 100 dollars cheaper and still have a bad ass tool.

    Any questions, or would like a smaller model I will help where I can.


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