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Calling all woodworkers - Miter saw recomendation
Old 07-05-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Calling all woodworkers - Miter saw recomendation

My ancient Black and Decker 10" miter saw has been demoted to rough framing cuts, and scrap reduction, due to wobbly bearings, so I am entering the 21st century. A dizzying array of brands and features on the market.

The big question I have is on the laser light cut markers. worth the extra $40 or so ? How accurate ? Thanks in advance
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:58 AM   #2
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When/if I replace my miter saw it will be a sliding one. Plenty of decent brands to select from, Dewalt, Hitachi, Makita, etc. Never used one with the laser, I'm sure it would help with cuts as long as it's setup and aligned accurately but the way things get banged around in a typical shop that would be a concern to me.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:08 AM   #3
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I'll be getting a new miter saw for my upcoming hardwood flooring project. Probably go with the Dewalt 12" slider. I've never used a saw with a laser light, but it doesn't sound like it's worth an extra $40 IMO. I don't think I would need the laser light for hardwood flooring, since the trim covers the edges of the room anyway. If I do need really precise cuts, I use a marking knife and sneak up on the mark. That's probably more precise than the laser light.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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I own a 7 1/4" cordless miter with a laser. IMO, the laser is nice but is not a deal breaker. Each cut, I just make sure to put on goggles and a dust mask and sometimes use the laser, or just cut using the cut line (sneaking up like Ronstar mentioned) drawn with my pencil.

When I've used the laser, it is accurate.

For my 7 1/4" circular saw, that also has a laser and I find that very very helpful.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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I Love my 12" Dewalt Compound Miter. I think if you have not upgraded in many, many years, any decent chop saw will be a relief. Personally, I'm glad I moved up to the larger 12". While sliding mitre saws are obviously top of the line (with respect to size of wood they can cut), I think a 12" non slider might meet most, if not all of your needs...and one less moving part to keep accurate.

As to lasers....and this is strictly my own thoughts as I always seem to have trouble re-calibrating things that get out of alignment. I've often thought that lasers, while high tech can often get out of alignment, plus adds to the cost of the saw. I persnoally use the following clever little device from Dewalt. Rather than a laser, it casts a shawdow line of the saw blade on the wood and is very accurate. It's reasonably priced and is hard to throw out of whack DEWALT DWS7085 Miter-Saw LED Work Light System - Miter Saw Accessories - Amazon.com
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #6
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A laser really helps with steadying a circular saw, especially with long rip cuts or panel cuts. Not much help with crosscuts, though.

I'm interested in the responses for the miter saw. Seems to me saving the "extra" time and effort of drawing a pencil line with a combination square would be the only benefit.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:21 AM   #7
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It probably depends on the project. For example, I found that this dremel saw max was perfect for a bathroom job where I needed to cut off flooring, kerf plywood, and trim 1: from the base of the new cabinets:

Dremel Saw-Max™ / Model: SM20

So, I could bring this tool to the job or site. That is the advantage. If I had this earlier in the project, it would have saved me a lot of steps.

When I needed to cut larger pieces I went to the 10" cut-off. Personally, I would get a laser. I don't have great lighting in the garage, and could have used the laser. These eyes are getting old.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireBug View Post
I persnoally use the following clever little device from Dewalt. Rather than a laser, it casts a shawdow line of the saw blade on the wood and is very accurate. It's reasonably priced and is hard to throw out of whack DEWALT DWS7085 Miter-Saw LED Work Light System - Miter Saw Accessories - Amazon.com
I read a woodworker magazine review on that alignment tool some time ago and he gave it a thumbs up. It's very reasonably priced to.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
A laser really helps with steadying a circular saw, especially with long rip cuts or panel cuts. Not much help with crosscuts, though.

I'm interested in the responses for the miter saw. Seems to me saving the "extra" time and effort of drawing a pencil line with a combination square would be the only benefit.
I believe the laser would not eliminate the need for a pencil line with a miter saw, but would eliminate lining up the outside tooth of the saw blade with the pencil line.
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireBug View Post
I Love my 12" Dewalt Compound Miter. I think if you have not upgraded in many, many years, any decent chop saw will be a relief. Personally, I'm glad I moved up to the larger 12". While sliding mitre saws are obviously top of the line (with respect to size of wood they can cut), I think a 12" non slider might meet most, if not all of your needs...and one less moving part to keep accurate.........
I've had a Dewalt compound miter for 15+ years and love it. It stops fast when you shut it off, which is a nice feature.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:59 PM   #11
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I've got the laser that came with my Home Depot Rigid brand 12" compound miter saw. I never even installed it.


I was looking online, and Home Depot has free freight online and some really great prices on Dewalt miter saws.


This is one of the most useful pieces in my shop. I simply cannot do without a miter saw. I like the 12" compound miter because it weighs about as much as I want to haul around. Another very useful tool is a cheap portable table saw used for ripping.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:44 PM   #12
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I like the DeWalt 12" slider. Sadly my existing 10" compound DeWalt is still working great. I do a lot of my cutting outside, and that tends to limit the value of the laser, so I wouldn't bother.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:57 PM   #13
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I don't know if this is behind a paywall or not--it's a Home Handyman review of an inexpensive Harbor Freight compound mitre saw. It's not pro grade, but they said you don't give up much in the way of features and performance.
http://http://www.familyhandyman.com...eview/view-all

I've got one--I wouldn't want to use it for crown molding, but it would work fine for a flooring project.

I recently saw a head-to-head review on the name brands, I'll try to find it tomorrow.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:57 AM   #14
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I've just never had anything from Harbor Freight with a motor last very long. The miter saw's used so much that it pays to buy a very good one.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:05 AM   #15
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I have the 12" Dewalt (not the slider) along with the Dewalt stand. The stand is easy to set up and I love it almost as much as the saw. I did not go with the laser option (figured it would always be out of adjustment), but I think I will order the work light system suggested by FireBug.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:51 AM   #16
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I wonder one day if they will make a laser scribe miter saw to eliminate chipping on cross grain cuts of wood. When I need to cut clean on my milling machine I have used a 100 watt CO2 laser to scribe lines in the surface first and it does make for a perfect cut.

How cool would that be? You put your board in the saw, press a button and the laser cuts through the top 1/64" of the board right where the saw blade will cut. The edge comes out perfect with zero splinters or chipping.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:19 AM   #17
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I like the DeWalt 12" slider. Sadly my existing 10" compound DeWalt is still working great. I do a lot of my cutting outside, and that tends to limit the value of the laser, so I wouldn't bother.
Most laser markers I have seen are wider than a careful sharp pencil line, maybe they have improved some in recent years.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:37 AM   #18
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Most laser markers I have seen are wider than a careful sharp pencil line, maybe they have improved some in recent years.
Well, I was basing my daylight comment on my complete lack of success using a laser level outside, so maybe it works better on the saw. But I do fine without it, just sneaking up on the cut like Ronstar mentioned.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:02 PM   #19
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No criticism intended, yours was the closest post containing the word laser.

The best tool in my world is always the one that you can make dance to your tune.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:21 PM   #20
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I recently bought this one at Lowe's after getting rid of my old non sliding miter saw. It has good reviews and is a pretty nice saw for the occasional homeowner use. Not something I would recommend for heavy use as I don't think it could take much abuse.

http://m.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-10-In-i...er-Saw/3512785
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