Shop Upgrade - Step 1 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Shop Upgrade - Step 1

Happy New Year fellow woodworkers.

Taking the advice of much more experienced folks than myself I am slowing down my shop upgrade. I decided to make my first purchase the tool that I use the most which is my sliding miter saw. My current saw is a 20 year old Mikita 10" slider and I want to step up to a 12" model. I want one that I can put close to the wall and has decent saw dust removal options. With that said, I am looking at the following models and would love your opinions.

First is the Mikita 12" Slider. You can back it up to the wall and it has dual vac ports so sawdust clearance should be good. The price is on par with the Bosch and based on the reviews it comes with an excellent blade. Looking at the reviews there are some negative comments about the laser, being "outdated" and hard to adjust. Here is the link: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Makita-1...219L/304303362

Next is the Bosch 12" Slider. You can back it up to the wall like the Mikita and the it also gets good reviews. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-120-Vol.../dp/B004323NNC

Finally, is the Metabo 12" Slider. Hitachi has rebranded itself as Metabo and this is their entry into the 12" sliders. Like the two above it can be backed against the wall because it basically uses the same setup as the Mikita. Looking at the reviews it has a good adjustable laser and seems pretty solid. The biggest plus for this saw is that it is about half the price of the other two. Here is the link: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Metabo-HPT-...Saw/1000990786

So there you have it. I'm looking forward to your experienced opinions on these three options.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 02:14 PM
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I have no experience with the saws you mentioned so Iím not commenting on those. What I would like to comment on however, is the need for a laser. The laser is ok for framing, but for fine woodworking, they are next to useless.

Much better than a laser is a fence with stops. I use a Kreg system. https://www.kregtool.com/store/c47/s...trak-stop-kit/

It is far more accurate than a laser, especially when cutting several pieces all the same length. No need to mark the wood, if you need a piece 22 3/16 inch long, you just set the stop on the fence and cut away. All the pieces will be exactly the same length, something almost impossible to do with a laser regardless of how careful you are.

A fence with rulers and stops is a big upgrade to any miter saw for a workshop. If you sometimes need a portable miter saw, keep your old one.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 03:36 PM
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I agree that lasers are worse than useless on a miter saw. We removed the laser batteries from my spouse's miter saw a decade ago, so the unused batteries wouldn't leak in the compartment. I have learned to align the mark with the carbide tips of the blade when the power is off, and it just works. Bending at the knee and sighting directly along the blade tips and the mark helps.

I have a lot of experience using the Bosch 12 inch sliding miter saw, but no experience with the other two saws. I like the Bosch "slider" mechanism better than mechanisms with tubes. The side supports on the Makita look flimsy in the photo. That's all I can add.
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 04:34 PM
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I'm not making a recommendation, because I already know this is out of the price range, and not something even I could justify if I had to pay for it myself. But I will disagree with the comment about lasers, because of it.


The lasers on my Kapex are spot-on, and fully adjustable in yaw, pitch, and roll. I can split a sharp pencil line based on the laser position. Most of the time, I don't even use a pencil. The laser is so accurate that I lay the tape measure on top of the board, align the cut, and then (obviously...hopefully...) remove the tape measure and make my cut. I get repeatability within finger-feel, which means it is within a couple thousands of an inch from one cut to another.


OK, backing up a little bit. I haven't looked at DeWalt in years, and have heard their quality may have dropped since, but I also own an older DW708. It would still be my primary saw if I didn't have the Kapex. It's held reasonable calibration for 15 years. To me, holding extremely tight calibration is the most important thing a saw can do. I do precision woodworking, and keep my tools calibrated within a few thousands of a degree.


The main reason why you will never pry the Kapex out of my hands is because it is ungodly quiet. You don't see the feature very often, but I love the variable speed.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 06:15 PM
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If you want the Metabo then the best price probably is here
https://bigskytool.com/metabo-hpt-c1...renewed-a.html
I bought a 10" saw from them for work, not interested in packing a 12" slider around for a couple of cuts in different classrooms.
Looks like brand new, never used for a great price
good luck
Ron

Last edited by evilboweivel; 01-01-2020 at 06:16 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link. How do you like using the Metabo?
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 06:33 PM
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What do you plan on doing in your shop? Do you plan on getting into woodworking and furniture making, or doing DIY stuff around the house? That is a big factor in what kind of shop to build. Like said earlier, a laser, or a tape measure for that matter, are useless in furniture making. Fine woodworking is all about tolerances and more so, repeatably. I use a story pole for most of my measurements, and a folding stick ruler for layout work. Like was said earlier if your current miter saw is in decent shape I would build myself a nice station where I can make stops for repeatable cuts. They are also available for purchase but building your own would be more satisfying and educational. With the money saved I would purchase the best table saw setup your space and pocketbook will allow. A cabinet saw if you can manage one. With machinery I have found that good quality old stuff usually performs better than the new stuff. None of my machines were built after 1980, some as far back as 1943. So you don't have to go broke buying a new Dewalt contractors saw when you may be able to find an older Delta Unisaw for the same or even less money. Good luck, don't stop learning, and have fun.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-01-2020, 09:12 PM
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I would rarely attempt to talk anyone out of spending their money on upgrading a shop tool or piece of equipment. If you have the money and want to buy the very best saw money can buy then you should. When I want a tool or piece of equipment, I buy it.

The interesting part of your comparison question is how long a good miter saw lasts. Very few will have even seen all three saws never mind made cuts with them or have extensive experience.

I have 2 Dewalt sliders here. A 12" DWS782 (which is a dumbed down DWS780) and a 7-1/4" 20v DCS361. I am happy with them both. I use the 12" all the time. I break out the 7-1/4" occasionally. I would recommend the 12" Dewalt sliders to anyone, even a family member.

Good luck on your choice, whatever you decide and good luck on your shop upgrade.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Coll View Post
What do you plan on doing in your shop? Do you plan on getting into woodworking and furniture making, or doing DIY stuff around the house? That is a big factor in what kind of shop to build. Like said earlier, a laser, or a tape measure for that matter, are useless in furniture making. Fine woodworking is all about tolerances and more so, repeatably. I use a story pole for most of my measurements, and a folding stick ruler for layout work. Like was said earlier if your current miter saw is in decent shape I would build myself a nice station where I can make stops for repeatable cuts. They are also available for purchase but building your own would be more satisfying and educational. With the money saved I would purchase the best table saw setup your space and pocketbook will allow. A cabinet saw if you can manage one. With machinery I have found that good quality old stuff usually performs better than the new stuff. None of my machines were built after 1980, some as far back as 1943. So you don't have to go broke buying a new Dewalt contractors saw when you may be able to find an older Delta Unisaw for the same or even less money. Good luck, don't stop learning, and have fun.
Thanks for the guidance, I really do appreciate it. As for the work I do, some furniture (currently working on a coffee table and dinning room table) and of course the basic DIY stuff. I built a setup on my current miter saw that allows for repeatable cuts but the new one I built will be quite different and better (its amazing what you learn in 20 years). As for the laser, I only mentioned it because it was highlighted in a review. I had an aftermarket laser for a while on my current saw and like many have said, it was not really worth it. I like the idea of the foldable ruler for cuts, thanks.

As for the table saw, I agree fully and what I purchase will be a cabinet model. Right now looking at the Sawstop but not ruling out anything. I know it can be costly but looking at my budget if I forgo upgrading the jointer and delay on the 15" planner I should be able to swing it. I figure if I am going to spend money the three items I use the most are the vac system, the miter saw and the table saw.

Thanks again.
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by subroc View Post
I would rarely attempt to talk anyone out of spending their money on upgrading a shop tool or piece of equipment. If you have the money and want to buy the very best saw money can buy then you should. When I want a tool or piece of equipment, I buy it.

The interesting part of your comparison question is how long a good miter saw lasts. Very few will have even seen all three saws never mind made cuts with them or have extensive experience.

I have 2 Dewalt sliders here. A 12" DWS782 (which is a dumbed down DWS780) and a 7-1/4" 20v DCS361. I am happy with them both. I use the 12" all the time. I break out the 7-1/4" occasionally. I would recommend the 12" Dewalt sliders to anyone, even a family member.

Good luck on your choice, whatever you decide and good luck on your shop upgrade.
Thanks. It is going to be a long process but it sure will be a fun one.
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rick Christopherson View Post
I'm not making a recommendation, because I already know this is out of the price range, and not something even I could justify if I had to pay for it myself. But I will disagree with the comment about lasers, because of it.


The lasers on my Kapex are spot-on, and fully adjustable in yaw, pitch, and roll. I can split a sharp pencil line based on the laser position. Most of the time, I don't even use a pencil. The laser is so accurate that I lay the tape measure on top of the board, align the cut, and then (obviously...hopefully...) remove the tape measure and make my cut. I get repeatability within finger-feel, which means it is within a couple thousands of an inch from one cut to another.


OK, backing up a little bit. I haven't looked at DeWalt in years, and have heard their quality may have dropped since, but I also own an older DW708. It would still be my primary saw if I didn't have the Kapex. It's held reasonable calibration for 15 years. To me, holding extremely tight calibration is the most important thing a saw can do. I do precision woodworking, and keep my tools calibrated within a few thousands of a degree.


The main reason why you will never pry the Kapex out of my hands is because it is ungodly quiet. You don't see the feature very often, but I love the variable speed.
I understand the love of Festool. I looked at the Kapex again and wow, it is without a doubt an outstanding tool, as are all of the line, but 1.4k is a tough pill to swallow. But who knows, at the end of the day it might be money very well spent.
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 09:15 AM
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I just got finished upgrading my shop miter bench. My Dewalt is not a slider mainly because I wanted the room/clearance in the shop. I have two friends with the Bosch Axial Glide. One is a contractor who uses his on jobsites and his only complaint is it's heavy to be moving around so much, even on a portable miter station. My other friend has two axial glides in a woodshop miter bench set up with dust collection. He loves them, but will tell you the dust collection is virtually useless. That is pretty much my take on any miter saw. Dust collection is probably the most challenging of any tool in the shop and a slider makes it infinitely worse.



As far as a 12" slider fitting tight up to a wall it's hard to beat the Bosch Axial Glide. As far as lasers go I find them almost trivial anymore. Two exceptions here. The Kapex has a dual laser for each side of the cut and is fully adjustable so you can tweak it right where you want it. Probably the best laser on any saw. But in my opinion a light is more versatile than any laser and is the best thing to happen to miter saws since they added an electric motor. My Dewalt has their XPS light and its fabulous. The only problem I've had with it is when using the saw outside in full sun and still then I could see the shadow line. In my dedicated shop setup it's perfect. A few other brands now use lights instead of lasers.
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 09:59 AM
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Lights are a great add-on to many tools. I can't imagine living without a light on my bandsaw. Right now I am looking for a good light or magnifier/light to add to my spouse's scroll saw. A light would be a great idea for a miter saw, too. Thanks for the hint.

Regarding dust collection on the Bosch 12 inch miter saw: The above posts are right on all accounts. Dust collection on the Bosch is so-so. Dust collection is iffy or worse for most other miter saws I have seen, including the Craftsman miter saw we have at home.
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post #14 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 10:41 AM
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It's probably just my inexperience, but I sold my Dewalt 12" saw and replaced it with a 10" one; I found the 12" saw flexed a little too much on some cuts; don't have the problem with the 10"
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-02-2020, 10:53 AM
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Check some reviews. Popular & Fine Woodworking had good reviews on sliders a few years back.


As I recall, overall the Bosch was rated best, but fell short on dust collection and the Rigid had very good dust collection.


I've looked at them all and if I were buying one, I'd be looking hard at the Rigid. They come up on sale every so often.
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post #16 of 24 Old 01-04-2020, 02:56 PM
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I got rid of my 12" Bosch slider a few weeks back. I'm retired from full time woodworking and really did not need a heavy duty saw (with a broken guard) and hated that it took up so much room.

Cheaped out and bought a 10" Metabo as a replacement. Here's some thoughts about it. I like that it is quiet and has a soft start, does not jerk when you turn it on. I've just recently installed dust collection behind it after building an enclosure, but it does an ok job on its own as far as filling up the bag at least better than the other saws I've owned. I don't need the laser, but the laser on this one has a wide line, kind of like marking the wood with a carpenters pencil instead of a fine #2 , so it is not of much use even if I wanted to use it. I can't believe that I did not see this in the beginning, but after a few weeks it became clear that the left and right fences were not in the same plane. There is no way to adjust this as they are one piece connected by a c shaped piece. Called Metabo and after some bickering they sent a new fence, it is just a cheap piece of pot metal. New fence has same defect. I have a granite cutout that I use for sharpening and I was able to flatten the fence with rough sandpaper on the granite, took me a few hours and some sweat but its good now and I do like the saw. Liked the price even better.

Good luck with your purchase.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-05-2020, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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I got rid of my 12" Bosch slider a few weeks back. I'm retired from full time woodworking and really did not need a heavy duty saw (with a broken guard) and hated that it took up so much room.

Cheaped out and bought a 10" Metabo as a replacement. Here's some thoughts about it. I like that it is quiet and has a soft start, does not jerk when you turn it on. I've just recently installed dust collection behind it after building an enclosure, but it does an ok job on its own as far as filling up the bag at least better than the other saws I've owned. I don't need the laser, but the laser on this one has a wide line, kind of like marking the wood with a carpenters pencil instead of a fine #2 , so it is not of much use even if I wanted to use it. I can't believe that I did not see this in the beginning, but after a few weeks it became clear that the left and right fences were not in the same plane. There is no way to adjust this as they are one piece connected by a c shaped piece. Called Metabo and after some bickering they sent a new fence, it is just a cheap piece of pot metal. New fence has same defect. I have a granite cutout that I use for sharpening and I was able to flatten the fence with rough sandpaper on the granite, took me a few hours and some sweat but its good now and I do like the saw. Liked the price even better.

Good luck with your purchase.
thanks for the feedback on the Metabo. I think I've decided to go with the Mikita. It has good dust collection and I can put it up against the back wall to save space.
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-05-2020, 11:24 AM
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I hear Bosch makes a good saw. I haven't found one that I would replace an old Dewalt 708 with. If you can find a DW708 saw in good shape for around half the price that would make a good accurate saw. The problem with 12" or any 12" saw is when the blade get dull they deflect. Not going to win on any saw with a dull blade...Bob
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-05-2020, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bob A Villal View Post
I hear Bosch makes a good saw. I haven't found one that I would replace an old Dewalt 708 with. If you can find a DW708 saw in good shape for around half the price that would make a good accurate saw. The problem with 12" or any 12" saw is when the blade get dull they deflect. Not going to win on any saw with a dull blade...Bob
Thanks Bob. I appreciate your guidance. Maybe I need to back away for a 12" saw.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-05-2020, 11:44 AM
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Thanks Bob. I appreciate your guidance. Maybe I need to back away for a 12" saw.
Remember if just starting out a good tablesaw does a lot of things if you use it to its fullest. If I didn't have all the tools my tablesaw would be the "everything" that's where I would be focused if it were me...Bob
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