Looking to buy a miter saw


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Old 06-20-06, 05:06 PM
J
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Question Looking to buy a miter saw

I would like reccommendations for a miter saw for a beginning woodworker. I do not know how often I will use it but would like the ability to do certain cuts (frames, molding, etc.).

I would appreciate all information you can provide.

Thanks in advanced.

jwilson813
 
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Old 06-20-06, 05:24 PM
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You can spend as much or little as you want; get as good a quality or poor quality as is available. The ultimate choice will be enhanced by going to the big box stores and test driving several brand names and styles. For instance:
Sears puts out a good saw, but I don't like the handle which sticks directly back in your face, and is uncomfortable.
Dewalt, Ridgid, Delta, Porter Cable, Bosch, all make quality machines, but at a cost. Their handles are "D" handles and are more ergonimic.
Another thing to consider is if you will want it to be attached to a portable stand. Dewalt and Ridgid make stands for their saws (extra cost).
If you are looking for a "sometimes" saw, you may want to consider a 10", or even an 8 1/4", depending on what you will be cutting.
As for my personal preference, I use a Bosch 12" mounted to a Delta portable stand. I use it every day, and it gives me good service, if I keep it clean after projects. As with any saw, sawdust tends to pack up in critical areas, and needs to be blown out with air occasionally.
So, go shopping, and good luck with your choice.
 
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Old 06-20-06, 05:33 PM
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Lookking to Buy a Miter Saw

Chandler,

Thanks for the information. What are your thoughts on reconditioned tools and do you think it is a good idea to get a laser on the miter saw.

I have seen a 10" Porter-Cable Miter Saw (Model 3700L) with twin lasers for about $130.00.

jwilson813
 
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Old 06-20-06, 06:56 PM
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The lasers are great as long as you are always inside. Outside, they are as worthless as warts on a frog.
Actually, the Bosch I have is a recon. They are as good warranty wise as any other product. They may have cosmetic blemishes, but, hey, who doesn't. The PC with lasers is a good saw, and may serve your purposes just fine. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 06-20-06, 08:24 PM
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I have used a 10" Delta CMS for a number of years; primarily cutting PT lumber to length (2x4, 2x6 and 4x4). Recently I installed some base molding with some simple 45 degree miters. Less than $100 and only about 30# it does everything that I need.
 
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Old 06-20-06, 09:23 PM
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Before you buy, consider what you are going to be using the saw for. There are a lot of times that the you need is not a basic miter, but a compound. I took that into consideration when I was looking for a new saw several years ago. I was being paid to put in a deck and gazebo on my parents home. I decided to use some of my profit on a new saw, and ended up buying the DeWalt DW705. It's got a 12" blade, and will happily cut through about anything I throw at it. The compound cuts are a breeze, and that includes any crown molding. The fence is tall, and there are a lot of attachments for this brand. Yes, it will cost a bunch more than what you may be considering, but the ease of use is well worth the extra money when you need more than a basic cut. I did consider the compound slider, but I didn't need to be cutting anything THAT large. (If I did, I'd get out a chain saw!) The basic blade is fine for most rough cutting, but if you're doing any good wood moulding I would suggest a better blade. I got the 80 tooth carbide, and it's like a laser through butter, clean and easy.
 
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Old 06-21-06, 06:28 AM
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Since you are a beginning woodworker and have plans to cut trim, frames, etc. you would be well served to spend the extra bucks and get a saw with more capability and precision than you are able to use at first. At least you won't be able to blame poor miters on the equipment.
If portability is not a big concern, then go ahead with a 12" blade rather than a 10" blade. Things get bulky and weigh more in the larger sizes.
 
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Old 06-21-06, 09:49 PM
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You can run trim with an inexpensive saw if the trim isn't too large. But, you should put some money into a good blade and a stand. Freud Diablo 60t and 80t blades come on sale fairly often for $40 to $50 and they do a good job. The Ryobi stand at HD for $100 is a nice stand. When you hang trim you'll want to avoid scarf joints whenever possible so you'll use the longest pieces you can find, usually 16 feet. You wont get a good cut on a floppy 16 footer without a stand.

Jan
 
 

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