Miter saw question..


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So I will soon (early next year) be in the market for a new miter saw and so I’ve been doing my research. 

Right now I have a dewalt 12” dual bevel non slider. 

I am wanting a slider because I seem to have a decent amount of wide boards that my saw can’t handle with ease. 

 

I had had really high hopes for the makita LS new model out that Marc had but after his debacle with not getting 90degree cuts I’m sadly going to have to pass on that. 

 

My only real requirements for the saw are:

12” 

laser

sliding 

actually cuts 90* all the way. 

Zero wall clearance. (Like the festool and Bosch) 

 

I know now a lot of people have Bosch glider and that is on my list but I was looking for more options. 

Yes festool but unless I find a sweet deal I doubt it. 

I found a Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker. Which has gotten some good reviews and kinda has the festool look going for it. 

 

Is there really anything else out on the market I should look into? 

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Honestly man, unless you're doing a bunch of crosscutting on very long boards, I'd look into a table saw solution.  A shop made sled or something like the Incra 5000 is going to be far more precise than any SCMS short of the Kapex.  And much much cheaper.  You already have a saw that can rough hack most boards to length...

 

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My kitchen helper build reminded me that the miter saw (kapex excluded)  isn't the best for finish cuts a lot of the time.  I got several inconsistent joints like this. 

My saw is a 10 inch non slider.  I've thought about going to a SCMS several times, but naaa.  I'm going to go back to relying on ts sleds much more than the ms anyway. 

20171018_100347.jpg

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I do get nice accurate 90 degree cuts with my Bosch Glide, but I do move it for angels cuts or anything.  I don't feel any slop in the arm mechanism.  At the time I bought the Bosch, if I had the money I would have purchased the Kapex.  Now that I have had the Glide for a year or so I am glad I got this and used the difference on other tools.

Table saw sleds are still necessary and I do all my angle cuts at the table saw with my Incra miter gage

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I have and recommend the dewalt 12" slider (I can't recall the model number), and I REALLY like the fact it uses lights to cast a shadow from the blade, rather than lasers to mark the cut.  The shadows showing the teeth and plate of the blade are MUCH easier for me to align, and easier on my eyes as well. I have lasers on the drill press, and a porter cable circular saw, but I'm not a fan of those...  

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We have a 12" Dewalt slider at the yard and that thing is an absolute beast.  Plows through the hardest 8/4 without the slightest complaint.  But I would not want to rely on it for any kind of precision cuts...way too much slop.  Construction grade tool.

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Not to jump on the bandwagon but, I reclaimed the massive shop footprint that a CMS requires long ago.  The chop-saw is a great roughing tool but, the 'space requirement' to the 'benefit of use' balance just wasn't there for me.  My jigsaw cuts 8/4 to size with ease and my tablesaw is accurate.  If I did a lot of trim work, a CMS would earn its keep.  By the time I get to the precision part of parts making, the material has been cut down and milled quite a bit.  I just don't find myself needing to lop off repeated parts from a long thin blank all that often.  YMMV.

 

P.s. I do have a CMS out in the shed and did use it to trim out a couple of bathrooms last year.

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I just sold my kapex. While it is a nice tool(definitely not $1500 nice), my incra miter gauge is much better with square and clean cuts. I think it telescopes out to 48", which covers most of my stop block needs. I have a dewalt 12" non sliding saw in the garage that i break down rough lumber with. I know people have sweet setups for their saws, but i was never satisfied with my miter saws. Just feels like forcing to them be something they arent. 

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An example of why a Kapex is nice to have...cutting 7' bed rails precisely to length.  Even if I had the outboard space to do that on the table saw (which I don't), it would be awkward.  Doable, but awkward.  So about 95% of the time my SCMS is used for quick and dirty cuts, some that require precision and some that don't...but in certain rare situations it is the best tool for the job.  But yeah, for $1500...not exactly a priority tool when there are other possible workarounds.

Parts that are shorter than 48" I typically cut on the table saw with a sled, longer than 48" I use the Kapex.  Anything wider than appx 12" I cut with the sled or MFT.

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2 hours ago, bushwacked said:

well it really sounds like I need to step up my table saw sled and TS Miter gauge game then and just keep the miter saw I have now ... 

off to find good table saw sled videos! 

I would assume the incra HD1000 is leading the pack?

I have that one & it works very well, but it took some effort initially to get it dialed right in.

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The 5000 is top dog but it has some possible QC issues? :unsure:  At least mine did.  But it's the one with the most features.

The 3000SE is their most comprehensive miter gauge and I believe has the same head and fence as the 5000.

The 1000HD is the mid-level gauge.  I have that one and it does what you expect it to do.  3000SE has a longer fence and more precise indexing.

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4 minutes ago, Eric. said:

The 1000HD is the mid-level gauge.

I have this one also.  I had to fiddle just a bit to get the fence to be at 90 degrees to the blade, once I got that no matter were I set the angle it is dead nuts.

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I have also removed the miter saw from a permanent home and given it a shelf to sit where it can be brought out for trim work or a DIY project with long sticks.  I'm actually downgrading it to a non-slider as well, given that I was just using it for little 4" wide trim and the slider part just made it heavier and take up even more space when used. Non-slider seems easier to keep calibrated too.

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At the other end of the spectrum, I have 2 Incra V-27's.  I use one at the tablesaw and one at the router table.  As usual, the best tool for the job can vary with what you do and how you do it. The fact that there are only 5 degree increments (plus one at + and - 22-1/2) has been adequate for 99% of what I do.  The smaller head makes it a nice fit at the tablesaw for most of my work.  I handle "in between" angles with a bevel gauge and am usually matching up to something already in hand but again, that's me; YMMV.  If you use a lot of different small-difference angles you would find it wanting.

I ordered the extrusions specific to the task at hand; a telescoping one for the tablesaw and a short piece (no longer offered) for the router table.  This was some years ago when the V-27 was about $30.  Even back then I had to get a replacement for the telescoping extrusion as the slop made the extended head near worthless; it was too far out of plane when extended very far. 

Extrusions are not super precision unless machined after coming out of the Play-Doh Fun Factory ;).  The replacement was better but, I still had to shim it with a strip of foil tape that has been in use for a decade so I guess it was an easy enough fix.  I get air-tight miters for things like picture frames and the extrusion lends itself well to add-ons if that is your thing.

P.s. I made mine "tool-less" by adding "L" knobs to the hex cap screws.

Incra Stop Block 003.jpg

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15 hours ago, Eric. said:

The 3000SE is only $100 more than the 1000HD...but at that point I'd just buy the 5000.

Oh, I was looking at the plain 1000, not the 1000HD. The 1000 is $109 and 1000HD is $149 ..... should I be at minimum looking at the 1000HD? How does the Kreg miter stand up to the incra?

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20 minutes ago, bushwacked said:

Oh, I was looking at the plain 1000, not the 1000HD. The 1000 is $109 and 1000HD is $149 ..... should I be at minimum looking at the 1000HD? How does the Kreg miter stand up to the incra?

Meh, not a fan of Kreg, personally.  The Incra gauges are more precise.

No one can tell you which one you should buy.  That's gonna depend on what you expect it to do and how versatile you need it to be.  If I were looking into comprehensive crosscutting solutions, I'd be looking at the higher end models with the most features.  Probably either the 5000 or I'd buy the 1000HD and build a shop-made sled.  I'd build the sled no matter what because IMO there are things it does better than even the 5000.

I survived with a shop-made sled and a 1000HD for years.  Just recently bought the 5000 and honestly it was a fairly superfluous purchase.  Didn't really solve any problems I hadn't already solved.  It just does some things better than the 1000HD, and adds a few bells and whistles.

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I've gotten to this point with my SCMS: I cut 1/4" extra and then use the sled or whatever for finishing it. SCMS is much easier to  work with for that initial cut.

Then again, when I watch people to crown moldings nobody uses a table saw. There are some things that a SCMS is perfect for.

The Dewalt angle is easily adjusted. Just loosen the angle register bolts and tap to position. I used the 5-cut approach for sled-making for doing a fine adjustment on the Dewalt. (I have an older DW708.) Sometimes fence adjustments are just not the right way to approach things.

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On 10/18/2017 at 10:35 AM, bushwacked said:

I found a Hitachi C12RSH2 15-Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Marker. Which has gotten some good reviews and kinda has the festool look going for it.

I use the Hitachi all the time at work, and it's a good saw.  It's big compared to the festool Kapex's we have, but that's also a 12 vs 10.  The zero clearance on the back side is a very nice option as we can wheel the cart around and it won't interfere with walking/working space behind it.  It also means that we can put up a blast shield that doesn't have any holes cut into it, unlike the dewalts we also have (we have about 8 miter saw carts in use on the floor), which require a slot for the slider to go into, reducing the blast shield's effectiveness.  

The slider on the HItachi is also a 'double slider'.  The saw part has it own set of bearings on the rails, and so does the base, and you can lock down either set so the rail can either stay forward and the saw slides on the rail, or the rail slides on the base, or keep them both loose for some reason I haven't thought of. 

I prefer the action of the Hitachi over the Kapex, as it doesn't require a double trigger action to activate.  Not that the Kapex is hard to operate, just that the Hitachi is easier.

The dust collection isn't as effective as the Kapex though.  BUT, we don't hook our saws up to a DC, unless we are cutting a bunch of MDF or LSL, and we really don't want that much of that dust flying around, and then it's just a shop vac.  The Kapex seems to route the dust into the chute much more effectively, and it will spray like a snow blower, wherever we aim it.  The Hitachi seems to get a good portion of the dust into or near the chute, but we have a bag attached (that rarely get's emtpied), so it's tough to tell how much is actually going in.  With the proper shields in place and hooked upto a good DC, the Hitachi shouldn't have much trouble handling the dust. 

The 12" models of the Hitachi we use have a weirdly shaped insert, so if you wanted to make a ZCI for it, it would be a heck of a process fitting a shop made ZCI.  Hitachi just this month (I believe) released the 10" version (which I'm eye balling for my own shop), and I'm pretty sure that insert is rectangular, so making a ZCI would be simple.  I'd assume this was a design change based on user feedback, and I'd expect newer 12" Hitachi's to have this also, but that is purely a guess. 

The miter gauge detents on the Hitachi are rock solid, and they click into place very easily one handed.  Even while using a sacrificial fence and table, I can easily see where the miter is set to, and it always clicks into 45* when I ask it too.  It also easily locks down to non detent angles with a quick twist.  The Kapex also has very accurate miters, but I don't like the way there are a couple small detents around the 45* angle (present on all our Kapexs), I always have to double check to make sure it's clicked in properly.  And the gauge is set fairly far back on the saw, so when using a sac table and fence, I have to use a flashlight to confirm the miter angle.  The tilt angle on the Kapex is also a little tricky to figure out at first without the manual, but once you figure it out, it's fine.  I've only done one compound angle on the Hitachi, but that was a breeze to setup. 

The laser indicator is much more precise on the Kapex vs the HItachi, but this may just be a focusing/calibration issue.  It's a shop with many users, and that sort of 'gimmicky' thing (so says one of the old timers) can often get ignored, so it may be fine.  But for any extremely accurate cut, I always lower the blade to line up with my mark, and then nibble away till I hit it.  In this aspect, the Hitachi is far superior, as just pulling down on the handle will raise the guard and allow you to align the cut, while the Kapex actually requires a quick trigger pull.  

The Kapex is a great saw and I would love to have one in my shop if given one, but I cannot justify the price of it vs the Hitachi.   The areas the Hitachi lacks vs the Kapex is balanced out by the areas it is superior.  Unless you have the opportunity to use them side by side doing similar work, you would be happy with either saw, and even then, it would come down to personal preference on ergonomics, and then you just have to get your hands on one to feel the differences. 

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