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How well do they work? I saw Norm Abram use one on his show one day and the laser line looked a kinda fuzzy to me. When I use a miter saw, I always lower the blade down with the saw off and line the pencil line up with the blade. Once I've determined that I got the pencil line where I want, then I squeeze the trigger and make the cut. I imagine with a laser, I wouldn't have to lower the blade down and do that dry run like I always do.
 

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I've used two that came with laser. The Porter Cable worked fine and accurate with the included (crappy) blade. I bought a better blade though, and apparently it is thinner or fatter because the laser no longer lines up with the cut. We have a festool saw at work, and the laser it has shows both sides of the cut and remains accurate to date.

If your technique works fine with no laser, then don't worry about getting a saw with a laser. In both models I've used the laser doesn't have to be turned on.
 

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I got a Craftsman with one several years ago. It worked pretty well on the left side of the blade, though it was slightly off. I could eyeball the correction. But, since it was one sided, it was not very helpful for lining up cuts on the right side. Mine also had issues in bright light, but newer ones may not have that problem. It also was turned on by the motion of the blade, so you had to adjust your piece while your right hand was occupied with the switch. Being mounted to the blade also affects the depth of cut, so I can't cut clear through a 4x4 with it, but can without it. A few years ago, the battery died and I don't know that I will bother to replace them, because it is about as easy to line up using the blade.
 

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porter cable and delta used to market laser equipped miter saws that had lasers that flanked the blade kerf. those were reportedly pretty useful. the one sided lasers ( i have one) don't seem to be terribly accurate or useful.
 

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John
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I just sold a small Hitachi that had the laser and my Triton slider also has a laser and both were adjustable,, to the left side of the blade. Changing kerf was no issue but cutting from the other side of the blade the kerf needs to be accounted for. DeWalt has a "shadow" something or other that is supposed to show both sides of the cut but I haven't heard any feedback about that. Right now I'm pretty pleased with the lasers although I do check their accuracy periodically.:smile:
 

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I have a Makita slider and its laser is spot on on the left, you have to account for kerf on right. It is adjustable though for either side depending upon your preference.
 

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jschaben said:
DeWalt has a "shadow" something or other that is supposed to show both sides of the cut but I haven't heard any feedback about that. :
I have one. I think they call it shadowline. Not sure how they came up with the name. It is the best thing ever for a chopsaw. It's a light that is mounted above the blade and it cast a perfect shadow right where the cut is. You can literally see the shadow of the teeth on the wood you are cutting. This is something that is far superior to the lasers. I have often wondered why you don't see more of these. I assumed it was either dewalt holding a patent and no one else can make them, or just a lack of knowledge by users that this exists. Because if you use one you WILL want one.


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If you ever get the chance to use an old Millers Falls hand mitre box.......one thats been cared for,with a perfectly sharpend/jointed blade.

The smile on your face will be absolutely priceless.

But back twds OP.......Ttharp hits on what I consider to be probably the only redeeming factor about guide systems(lazor,shadow,etc)....Its when you're concerned with a cuts path moreso than exact placement.One example is his "dentil" mould.Another is when we're chasin grain patterns(figured wood)on mouldings...trying to see where they end up within a cut line.These examples are almost always on angled cuts vs a 90.

I don't have one...but many friends do,so when I'm over at their shops they do get used.We're using more and more handbxs these days here.Utilizing bigger equipment for other mitres....sort of putting the 'ole "chopbx" out of business.
 

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John
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Ttharp - Now that is NICE. Gives you both sides of the cut and, I assume, self adjusts to the blade thickness.
I don't think lasers would add significantly to the cost of the saw. Laser technology has become so cheap you find them on equipment at virtually any price point.
 

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I've got the Dewalt shadow light on my saw as well. Works like a charm! Much better than the laser options. I had to hunt a little to find it though, not sure if it's discontinued or not, but I got the impression Dewalt wasn't actively pushing it as an option for my saw.
 

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John
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I've got the Dewalt shadow light on my saw as well. Works like a charm! Much better than the laser options. I had to hunt a little to find it though, not sure if it's discontinued or not, but I got the impression Dewalt wasn't actively pushing it as an option for my saw.
Did a little searching. Looks like it is being sold as an accessory for 4 or 5 of the deWalt model saws. Looks like it can be had through Home Depot or Lowes for $50-60, CPO has them for $32.
 

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The laser attachment to the arbor is great for construction work but virtually worthless for woodworking.
 

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Agreed.

I had an opportunity to use a friends saw with a laser.

The line was fuzzy and I had to always had to lay my stock right of the blade.

No thanks! I'll pass on the laser.
 

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I have a Delta chop saw w/laser. When the beam gets fuzzy use a Q-tip to clean off the lens. I have not adjusted mine for a while, but you learn to know what side of the beam or how far to cut from it over time. I don't always mark my work with a square just a pencil mark transfer from the tape measure. One thing that is frustrating is when the laser goes thru the blade guard it becomes a dotted line.


I know the one on my DP is very helpful, even this one is adjustable.
 
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