Miter saw recommendations - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Miter saw recommendations

My son wants to get into making picture frames for his wife's paintings. Asking me about a recommendation of a reliably accurate miter saw. Thus, I am asking you! :-)

Thank you, in advance!

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 02:54 PM
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I used to have one of those big heavy cast iron guillotine miter cutters
and it gave me the finest cut and tightest fit I could ask for.
depends on your budget and anticipated usage.

.

.
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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 03:35 PM
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Cutting miter joints for picture frames is often more a matter of technique than the saw. If the saw cuts a true 45 then it is just a matter of making the opposite sides exactly the same length.
To get a true 45 the board has to be held so that it does not creep as the cut is being made, either by a clamp or non slip material on the base.
It is best to use a stop to make sure both sides are the cut at the same length.

Some bargain sliding miter saws are not rigid enough to make accurate cuts, if you don't have a quality saw then use your table saw. Use a sled or have a method to prevent the board from creeping if you use the bevel gauge.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that as long as the two cuts equal 90 degrees you will be okay, that does not work well.

As John says a proper guillotine will be the ultimate solution.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Last edited by FrankC; 11-20-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 03:47 PM
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Chuck - I forgot to ask.
are you wanting a motorized miter saw or a manual saw ?
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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
I used to have one of those big heavy cast iron guillotine miter cutters
and it gave me the finest cut and tightest fit I could ask for.
depends on your budget and anticipated usage.

.

.

Yes, that is what the professionals use. However, it would seem to me that if he is just doing cutting for his wife's pictures he may not need that or a power saw. I would think a hand saw/miter box would be sufficient.


I have Craftsman's cheapest sliding, compound miter saw and it has performed all I need.


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post #6 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 05:36 PM
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I have a Dewalt DW705 miter saw similar to the one in the picture from John above, and like it a lot. Not sliding but compound, 12". With a good, high tooth-count carbide blade, it makes very nice cuts and is a solid machine. I picked it up used from a local guy for $80 if I recall. That would have been a better deal if the blade had been any good - it wasn't.

If you're not going to use it for anything but frames, you could get by with a smaller blade. I love having the ability to cut up to almost 8" with the 12" blade.

I used to have a really cheap hand miter box, probably less than $10. It's been useful through the years but would make a mess of picture frames. Upgrading to the quality miter saw has greatly expanded my capabilities to make tight corners that fit like a glove.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 09:32 PM
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I expect any of them by virtually any top manufacturer will be more than acceptable to make picture frames.


I can only speak to what I know. I have had 4 miter saws through here as part of some buying and selling. Dewalt DWS782 (12" slider), DWS716 (12" dual bevel), DCS361 (7-1/4" miter) and a Ridgid 10" saw. I kept 2 (both sliders), the Dewalt DWS782 and the DCS361. All 4 were well made. Between the 2 I kept the DWS782 has seen the most service. I use it all the time. Cuts great. A pleasure to use. The DCS361 has only been used a few times. I got a great deal on it or I wouldn't have it in the first place. I can't bring myself to sell it the deal was so good.



All I can say is any of these would be good tools.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 11:06 PM
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Personally I own a Kapex.

But tools of the trade did a review recently and they rated the DeWalt #1 over the Kapex mainly because of price of the Kapex was is way to much. theyreally liked the DeWalt and felt it was the best saw for the best price.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 12:01 AM
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OK. How about some blasphemy?

First, as has been said, the sides must all be the correct length. Top and bottom must be equal. Left and right must be equal.

Second, it is doubtful that you will ever get or align a miter saw to exactly 45. The trick is to set the cut to the saw's 45 and don't move it. Clamp the piece face up in the desired position and cut one half of the corner. Clamp the joining piece face down on the opposite side of the blade and cut. While the 45 may not be perfect perfect, the result will be a square corner.

Using this technique the brand of saw can be relatively un-important.

Although my choice would be a hand saw and a miter box. Still use the alternative side of the blade technique. It is a simple task to build a miter box.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 11:44 AM
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I do some segmented wood bowl turning and I use my table saw with a jig I made to cut all the angles. Like "Nothankyou" said milling your picture frame parts accurate has a lot to do with your outcome. A lot of people will say that you don't need to go to the extreme on cutting angles for a 45* angle and they may be right. The way I look at it is get in the habit of doing the very best that you can with what you have. This habit will help you as you progress in woodworking. It took me over 70 years to learn this.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 12:18 PM
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I second (third?) the sentiment that technique is probably a bigger factor than the tools. Good tools help compensate for a lack of technique, but only so much.

Think about how the joints will be made. Screw and glue? Nails? A good set of clamps is a great investment. I have some Pony right angle clamps that aren't anything fancy but are incredibly helpful. I inherited mine and wish now that whoever bought them initially would have invested a bit more. I use them a lot and better quality would be appreciated. If you use a tool for decades, it may as well be a good one.
https://www.amazon.com/Pony-Tools-91.../dp/B00EODYSTS

Regarding length, I usually get as close as I can with the miter saw and tape measure, but if two pieces don't match as precisely as I like, I'll line them up together and saw them together to get identical lengths.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneh View Post
snip
Regarding length, I usually get as close as I can with the miter saw and tape measure, but if two pieces don't match as precisely as I like, I'll line them up together and saw them together to get identical lengths.
You can do the with dimensional lumber, however it is not always possible with profiled frame material, hence the recommendation to use a stop.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #13 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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John, he is thinking of a power saw.

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post #14 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 08:41 PM
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Budget is absolutely the most important thing here. For smaller stock like picture frames, I'd forgo a slider. More spots that "move" the more opportunities for failure exist. As people mentioned, proper setup and technique are likely going to be the most important.

I haven't touched a kapex unfortunately, but the best miter saw I've personally used has been the hitachi C12. has a very tall, very flat fence, great base, power and smooth operation, just a great tool. The positive locks were fantastic as well. Was a real bummer when I had to give it back to my friend lol. That said, I own a dewalt DWS716, does what I need it to do without many complaints. The lock system isnt as good as the hitachi, and the wing extensions werent that great, but thats a project for another day.
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