Miter Saw - Long Boards

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Old 03-28-13, 09:15 AM
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Miter Saw - Long Boards

Been lurking here awhile but decided to sign up to ask for some advice. I have a few projects coming up - building a 14x20 deck using 2x12 for the beams and 2x10 for the joists, building a lean-to shed for next to the house, and building a large shed with a work bench for the back yard. Also will be doing some plywood work but I think my table saw has me covered there

I own a hobby level skil table saw, ridgid 7-1/4" circular saw, and a dewalt reciprocating saw.

My first project is the deck, and I've been planning it out for a couple months now. I am only going to have a few extended weekends to get the project done, but my budget is not huge. As I'm doing this mostly alone I really am trying to do what I can to make it easy on me (deck design is basically rectangle with decking going perpendicular to the joists, will be renting a power auger, etc)

I don't own a miter saw and want to pick one up. I essentially must buy it at Lowe's as I have a discount there through my wife and she doesn't let me shop elsewhere I understand that much of my cutting work is likely to be with the circular given the size of the wood I'm working with, but I'm not an expert and I wouldn't saw that getting a clean perfect cut is a fast procedure for me - I have to take my time.

I am wondering if it would be a huge help to me in time/effort to have a larger miter saw that can at least handle the 2x10 joists, or if I'm just wasting time thinking about it and should stick with the circular for the beams/joists and use the miter for the finish work on the decking, etc.

I've been considering the Dewalt 715 - however, I noticed the 716 (which is significantly more expensive - like $125-$150 more) claims that its fence is designed 'special' so that with a sacrificial bit of board under it, it can handle a 2x10. The 715 does not mention this feature.

Another option would be that they sell the Kobalt 10" slider - the reviews are kind of mixed on this, but it would certainly cut the larger boards.

I guess it comes down to a couple questions:
  • Would being able to cut the joists on a miter be a time saver in the first place, or not worth considering?
  • Is the 716 really 'more super special' in being able to get the 2x10 cut than the 715
  • Am I asking for trouble considering the Kobalt one to get the job done rather than the 716? Keeping in mind I have these other projects coming that demand accurate miters

I have only used a basic miter before and never on lumber this large to be honest - am I over thinking this? Could I just use the 715, do a cut on the 2x10 and then flip it over if I wanted to use it that way?

I really appreciate any help.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 09:24 AM
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I did home repair for years and regardless of the job the miter saw was the saw I used most often. I had a 12". It was all I could afford from a pawn shop but if I had to do it again I'd scrounge up the money to get a sliding miter saw instead of a fixed 12". I have used Craftsman in the past that were brand new and parts eventually failed on them (five or six years daily use). The one I bought from the pawn shop was a used Dewalt and never gave me a bit of problem except the cord wearing out at the plug. If I had to recommend a brand it would be Dewalt.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 10:18 AM
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Unfortunately I don't know that my budget could get me to a sliding miter from dewalt...the 10" sliding comes at $450. In terms of pricing, the ones I've looked at are falling out like this:

Kobalt - 10 in sliding miter - $199
Dewalt - 715, 12 in single bevel - $260
Dewalt - 716, 12 in dual bevel, claims to cut 2x10s - $400
Dewalt - 717, 10 in sliding miter dual bevel - $450

The 715 really falls at an ok price for me, but I'm torn about it given the questions in my first post. I really want something that will last, but I am a DIYer not a daily user. I want something that will get my projects done with little headache, but budget is a concern.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 10:21 AM
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I would go for a 10" sliding saw. The 10" blades are a bit cheaper and more available and will fit your table saw.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 10:27 AM
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I have bought a lot of good tools at the pawn shop. The 12" Dewat I used for many years cost half the Home Depot price. Just bring a short length of 2X6 treated with you and ask to take it for a test run. All so look for wobble that would be a sign of bad bearings.

As Toolmon says in a sliding saw a 10" is fine.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 10:57 AM
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a miter saw, and there is no doubt that you would make good use of it, but for cutting joists for a deck, studs and rafters for a shed, and things like that, I think that a circular saw and speed square is just about as fast and easy. You can set quite a number of 2x on your horses at one time, on edge, use a framing square to line up one end, measure once for the length, use your framing square one more time to put a line on all of them, then use the speed square to make your cuts, and I'd say that it works out about the same as setting up a stop for a miter saw and moving them on and off of that. Typically when I cut them with a circular saw like that, I don't use the cut as the length, but rather the cut less the offset on the saw, so that I lay the speed square on the mark, and don't have to line the blade up. It moves along pretty quick that way.
 
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Old 03-29-13, 02:47 PM
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Mitre Saw

Cutting long 2x's with a mitre saw can be a challenge. You will need a means of support for the lumber such as a long table or stand set up outboard of the saw. Getting the boards tight against the fence can be tricky with long, heavy lumber. I would use a circular saw with a speed square as a guide.
 
 

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