Miter saws are one of the most widely used power tools in the tool industry today, and for good reason; with sizes and styles to meet the needs of every degree of craftsmen, a miter saw can be found in nearly every wood-shop or garage. Because these saws are so portable and offer capacities for endless accuracy and convenience, a good miter saw will fast become your best friend whether you are a general contractor or a home hobbyist.
To briefly review miter saw miter saw itself, they are generally designed to produce fast, accurate crosscuts into a workpiece, typically for framing or molding applications. Additionally, there are several types of miter saw available. The standard miter has a blade pivot from right to left to cut miters; this standard saw is however becoming less popular as compound miters have more applications and are only slightly more expensive. Compound miters have the ability to bevel cut, or tip the blade to either the left or right side (0° – 50°). Some can bevel in both directions allowing operators to miter and bevel within the same cut (-50° through 50°). Lastly, a sliding miter saw is just like a compound miter but with extension rods that allow the saw blade and motor to move forward and back. This motion increases the blade cut capacity enabling the cut length to be longer than the blade diameter. Sliding compound miter saws also have a depth cut setting to cut dadoes into materials at a variety of depths – with all these perks, however, they also tend to be the most expensive.
With so much variety within the miter saw community, it can be difficult to discern which miter saw best suits your specific degree of need. It is true that professional builders generally require an entirely different saw than those craftsmen engaging only in simple home repairs. Ultimately, despite this surplus of options, there is a right miter saw for every craftsmen. Beginning, for our contractors and Bravehearts, with the most heavy-duty, high-quality miter saws on the market today, Makita, Festool, and Bosch each build machines capable of reinventing the miter saw as we know it.
Makita’s LS1016L, with a 10″ capacity is brilliantly handsome at no sacrifice to quality or functionality. As a dual-bevel sliding compound miter saw is also has some pretty exclusive technologies that quickly solidify this tool as a giant among other miters. The saw weighs only 52.2 lbs, and boasts the most compact design in its class. This, coupled with an exclusive dual sliding fence system (which allows for upper and lower fence adjustments which, in turn, equals greater cutting accuracy) and a linear ball bearing construction, renders the saw impossibly smooth, solid, and always accurate. This little giant from Makita is tough and smooth, and offers craftsmen a smaller, lighter, more manageable saw while still delivering authoritative power and all the innovative perks of an industrial saw.
Bosch also builds an exceptional miter saw; their 5412L dual bevel sliding miter saw is extremely powerful with large capacities and up-front controls. Although a bit heavier than some other models, the 5412 12″ capacity miter saw is an ergonomic wonderland with a specially designed multi-position main handle that allows craftsmen to comfortably lock into four different positions. The tool also has sliding extensions slide that come standard and make working with longer pieces of stock and lumber much more manageable if not wholly enticing. The miter also features high fences (a crowd pleaser every time) to accommodate workpieces like large crown molding. A good fence is a big benefit, and this saw offers not only that, but the confidence of a strong and durable tool.
From Germany’s Festool, the Kapex is a modern marvel of power tool engineering delivering craftsmen some of the most innovative components in the industry. In addition to being, essentially, the best sliding compound miter saw in the business, the Kapex offers some features that truly set it apart from any other model. To name a few, the Kapex offers a ridiculously smooth and constant blade speed coupled with variable speed control ensuring your cutting speed is always consistent with each application. The saw also has an ingenious trenching capability which allows craftsmen to cut trenches for smooth and strong joinery, or to maneuver around obstacles, like pipes, as you cut. The Kapex is an extremely precise multipurpose saw, but what’s more – it’s surprisingly simple to use. Perfect lines and angles are made more easily with the Kapex’s fraction of a degree accuracy – once you set a miter angle, rest assured it will be exact. The saw is as strong as a brick house, but performs with ethereal precision to bring you the most professional results with each and every cut. However, as the Kapex is an unconscionably brilliant power tool, it also tends to be the most. It is important to remember, though, that in the business of power tools, you always get what you pay for.
However, if price is a bigger factor, or if you are a strictly light-duty user, there are many fine miter saws available to meet your big or small industrial needs while also not burning a hole through your wallet. For example:
Makita’s LS1040 compound miter saw, with its light-weight portability and powerful motor, sits brilliantly in any home shop or garage. Weighing only 24.2 lbs, an extremely low and terribly convenient weight for such a powerful and functional tool is extremely easy to move about your home or shop. It can also be easily transported from one job or project to another. This saw provides a welcome and down-sized alternative to the bigger, super heavy-duty miter saws of the industry, while still offering big power and compound cutting operations. Its 10″ capacity is big enough to tackle most heavy applications, and its Makita motor is just as powerful as many of the industry’s bigger saws. Ultimately, this little sucker has a bit more punch than you might expect, but rarely does one complain of having a surplus of power and charm as this tool certainly does.
Additionally, Bosch’s 4410L (10″) dual-bevel sliding miter saw is another ideal addition your shop or tool shed. Working hard to bring the work of craftsmen and hobbyists to life, the tool’s large pivoting fence and convenient positive stops render the saw truly perfect for home-repair and carpentry projects, and although this saw’s truest reign may only be over the garage, it certainly has the capacity to conquer many industrial and heavy-duty applications. Its ergonomic, four-position pivoting handle locks into one of four different positions as you work, thus, totally optimizing your user control, and with up-front controls the saw is comfortable, simple, and generally quicker to use. The saw has high fences for greater cutting capacity, especially with crown molding, and its superior sliding extensions make working with larger materials a far simpler process. This is a big saw, with a big bite – and while its nearly big enough for your general contractor, its perfectly suited for every craftsman, hobbyist, and do-it-yourself-er.
Hitachi also builds a formidable light-duty compound miter saw in their C10FCE2. With an intensely powerful motor and full range of cutting flexibility, the saw, truly, has the authority to boast its colors at any contractor’s jobsite while still being perfectly suited for homeowners. The CF10FCE2 is comfortable to use, and is extremely lightweight at only 26.3 lbs enhancing its portability. An extended flip fence raising 4″ allows users to accommodate large workpieces and vertically cut crown molding, and with convenient access to the saw’s brushes, replacing these little buggers is a nearly effortless task.
When searching for high-end power tools at a low price, craftsmen should also look for reconditioned tools. Reconditioned tools, or recons, although sometimes hard to come by, are an extremely great value bringing craftsmen the highest-performance tools at a tiny fraction of regular cost. Recons, for some minor cosmetic or technical defect, have been returned to the manufacturer for stringent inspection and restoration processes. These tools are tested and restored to meet rigid manufacturer standards and are then re-released with a “R” trailing the model number. This little “R” (and potentially hundreds of dollars) is truly the only difference between a brand new tool and a recon. The value with these tools is truly a no-brainer; when recons are available, snatch them up as an incomparable investment. Dewalt’s DW718R and DW716R miter saws are tremendous examples of the value of buying reconditioned.
Ultimately, although there are many outstanding options in the word of miter saws, there is always one that best suits you and your specific, professional needs. Do your research, and the right tool will surely find you.