Saw Talk - Starting with miters...

Submitted by eepayne on Sat, 03/22/2014 - 19:10

It has been said on a previous post, here in the forum, that to do most all of/any of Ana's projects that 'a miter saw can be the go-to' saw. So I wanted to understand more about miters and how one would size up the purchase of just the right one...

Sliders seem to be very, very pricey and not mobile, but to me - it seems like they'd do just about everything you'd need in terms of cutting bigger boards (1 x 12 inch boards) all the way down to 1'x1' trim.

I'd like to be able to build bed frames, picture frames, dressers, tables...

So what's a great brand, a great type of miter saw, size, etc.? Is a 10" too small? Can you guys discuss this with me?

Thanks in advance =)
Elizabeth

JeremyFox

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 06:56

Hi Elizabeth,

Great brands pro's use (that I've used): Festool (Rolls Royce of power tools but unbelievably expensive), Makita, DeWalt, Bosch.

Slide saws are great but you need to pay a lot to get good accuracy, which is essential for mitred picture frames. I had a Ryobi 10" slide saw that was only good for chopping firewood because it was so inaccurate.

I now have a Bosch 10" slide that I use professionally and it's super-accurate but I rarely use the slide mechanism tbh.

My advice if you're on a tight budget is to go for a better quality fixed saw. You should be able to get a big enough capacity for all the projects you mentioned. A 10" saw will usually cut 4" or 5" width x 2-1/2" thick at 90 degrees.

Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Jeremy

AtlasRook

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 13:55

I agree with JeremyFox, Ferstool, Makita, DeWalt and Bosch are good top brands for a miter saw. Craftsman isn't bad, and Rigid is ok too.

Sounds like most of the cuts you want to make don't have any miters (like if you wanted to cut something at 45 deg, instead of a 90 deg cut) in them, so a fixed saw would be fine for you. Note that a quality used saw is usually still much better than a new el-chepo.

A good aftermarket blade is also a good idea (Freud/Diablo), sharp tools make better cuts and stock blades are usually not as sharp as they should be. They're usually not too expensive. Don't take that as you can't use the stock blade though, you can still make nice cuts with it.

I always like to ask myself what a better quality saw will give you, here's what I think:
- Bigger motor (can go through thicker wood)
- More accurate cut angle (90 deg cut not 87 deg cut, which might cause you to have gaps in some project where you don't want them)

AtlasRook

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 13:55

I agree with JeremyFox, Ferstool, Makita, DeWalt and Bosch are good top brands for a miter saw. Craftsman isn't bad, and Rigid is ok too.

Sounds like most of the cuts you want to make don't have any miters (like if you wanted to cut something at 45 deg, instead of a 90 deg cut) in them, so a fixed saw would be fine for you. Note that a quality used saw is usually still much better than a new el-chepo.

A good aftermarket blade is also a good idea (Freud/Diablo), sharp tools make better cuts and stock blades are usually not as sharp as they should be. They're usually not too expensive. Don't take that as you can't use the stock blade though, you can still make nice cuts with it.

I always like to ask myself what a better quality saw will give you, here's what I think:
- Bigger motor (can go through thicker wood)
- More accurate cut angle (90 deg cut not 87 deg cut, which might cause you to have gaps in some project where you don't want them)

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