Not gonna lie, I am satisfied with this modern Crapsman power tool


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I know Craftsman has kind of had a decline in their quality in power tools since the olden days, I know I try to steer clear most of the time.  But, I found myself in quite a miter saw conundrum.  The Ridgid slider I had took up a much larger footprint than I could afford in my one car garage shop.  So, I began the search for a rail forward design, since I could not justify buying the Kapex as a hobbiest who doesn't use the miter saw that often.  At first I couldn't find anything, at all, besides the Kapex...not one manufacturer besides Festool.  Then I came here and was pointed in the direction of the Bosch Glide saw, but still $700-$800 is too much for my needs (I don't want the least used tool in my shop to be the most expensive).  Then, I found my way across this:

 

The Craftsman 10' Compact Sliding Compound Miter Saw

 

First, let me start by saying that this is NO KAPEX.  It is not nearly the quality of performance or engineering you can get from Festool.  That said, at 16% of the cost of the Kapex, this saw performs at very least 16% as well as the Kapex (I would argue 75% as well).  The blade is crap like the vast majority of miter saws, so I put that in the bottom of a drawer and threw on my Forrest Chopmaster.  Dust bag is also crap, like on 100% of miter saws, so it is hooked to my DC system.  The dust collection itself on the product...not bad at all when hooked to a vacuum or dust collector.  When sliding into the material, it sucks up most of the dust.  I would say that dust collection is about 2x better than the Ridgid I had (at half the price of the Ridgid mind you).  The throat plate is garbage, about an inch of space.  So, for safety sake, I put a zero-clearance throat plate in, which was very easy to make due to the mostly rectangular shape of the insert.  So with those small modifications, this is a good saw.  It doesn't have a dual bevel, just bevels to one side.  The laser is dead on accurate.  With a good blade, cuts are smooth (especially for a direct-drive motor).  It is essential that this saw is bolted down, due to the weight being so far forward when plunging at max length.  The motor gets in the way if you are making a left-handed cut (i.e. holding work product with your right hand).  

 

The design is the second best (to the Kapex in my opinion) for this where square footage is at a premium.  The Bosch saw is cool and innovative and cuts a hell of a lot better than the Craftsman, but there are a lot of moving parts...which means a lot of things are subject to break.

 

All in all, I am very pleased with this saw.  I am not in the market for a top-end miter saw (if anyone wanted to miracle me a Kapex, I wouldn't complain though).  I made the right move for my shop in buying this.  I just find it so strange that no other manufacturers have hopped on the rail-forward design.  It is weird that the best power tool manufacturer and arguably the worst are the only two who have this design.  I hope this helps someone else.  Let me know if you have any questions, or want to make fun of me for being happy with a brand new Craftsman product.

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The funny thing about Craftsman is that they don't make much of anything, they simply repackage other brands.   For example, the top of the line router they sold for years was a Bosch 1617EVS with different color plastic bits.

 

The key is finding someone else to try a tool first...  :P   I think so many folks have bought the wrong Craftsman lottery ticket in the past, they simply give up.   

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Yea I was willing to compromise in getting Craftsman for this because of (a) I use the miter saw so infrequently and (B) if it was atrocious, I wouldn't be out a lot of bread.  I only wish this was a repackaged Kapex.  But it is certainly good enough for my needs...with a Forrest blade that is.  I do not regret the purchase.

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I am reluctant to say any brand sell all bad tools just as I don't want to say any brand sells all good tools.  Each company has its gems and each has its lemons.  As with any tool purchase, do your homework first to find out who are the good and bad players for whatever tool you want to buy.

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Like you I am a hobbyist.

My craftsman scms cuts well with a good blade, but not precisely enough.  I've posted on it before.

 

I am considering modifying the fence so that I can get it straight.

Seems the way it was made, after I tighten down the left side square there is not enough play to square the right side.

That means I will probably have to modify the adjustments and probably split the horseshoe in the middle.
But at it sits I can get a proper angle with the wood on the left but not on the right.

Oh, I could solve it by throwing $600ish into something nicer, but why when this can be maintained in a way that makes it what it needs to be?

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I am reluctant to say any brand sell all bad tools just as I don't want to say any brand sells all good tools.  Each company has its gems and each has its lemons.  As with any tool purchase, do your homework first to find out who are the good and bad players for whatever tool you want to buy.

 

Unfortunately there was not much out there about this one.  I found one guy that had a review on it.  I figured I would be the guinea pig on this one and if it was crap, I am only out a couple hundred.  I would say this is a gem for Craftsman...like I said, the cut quality is not as good as a higher end saw, but it is still good. When I am just using the saw for rough cuts and more precision cuts pre-joinery, it is damn good.

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