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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1980's Delta compound miter saw needs to be replaced. It fell off the Workmate it was on and broke a casting piece. Since it's old and Delta brand, replacement parts are probably not around.

I am looking to buy a sliding miter saw.

Is it worth the extra money for a 12" versus a 10"?

I looked at a 12" Kobalt brand at Lowes for $299 which looked pretty good.

Lowes also had a $599 DeWalt which didn't look "double the price" better than the Kobalt. Plus I can't spend that much.

Finally, Harbor Freight has a black friday special 12" sliding compound double-bevel miter saw with laser for $128.

I checked the stiffness of the sliding mechanism on the Kobalt and Dewalt by sliding it fully forward and then pushing sideways to see how much it deflected. The Kobalt moved sideways about 1/8" if I pushed hard. The Dewalt may have been a little better.

I am going to check out the HF saw to run a similar "deflection at full extension" test. If it's similar to the other two saws, I don't see why it wouldn't be a decent saw to buy.

In the past I have bought HF stuff that was good and some that was not.

A coworker has the HF 10" sliding miter saw and says it cuts with good accuracy.

I need to buy the Sawstop contractor table saw soon:smile: and don't have much money left after that:sad:.

Any thoughts?

Steve
 

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12in saws can typically cut a 4x4 without needing to turn over.

12in saws typically have longer cross cut capacity than 10in saw.

Whether this makes a difference, only you can decide.

I upgraded from a Bosch 10 in single bevel SCMS to the Bosch 12in glider. This was worthwhile for me.

I still have the 10in machine, just now gathers dust.
 

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The hf model gets surprisingly excellent reviews. Others you may look at are hitachi units which can be had for less than dewalt, and with some better ratings.

What are you cutting on it?
 

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A coworker has the HF 10" sliding miter saw and says it cuts with good accuracy.

Any thoughts?

Steve
Speaking from my own personal experience - albeit as a diy/home-hobbiest - I have had the most current version of the HR 12" Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw for nearly a year, and I couldn't be happier.



The current 12" dual bevel sliding compound miter saw (item#69684} is, in my opinion, a vast improvement from it's predecessor model in nearly every way. I love that the motor is now located behind the blade unit rather than adjacent - allowing for much less potential for interference. The miter base itself is a significant improvement as well - with clearly defined measurements and relative detents for the most common stops.

One of the MOST significant improvements, in my opinion, is the laser guide - which is now integrated just below the saw unit (where is SHOULD be) rather than attached onto the side (as it was in it's predecessor model). The laser is bright and true - and the 60-tool carbide tip blade that came with the unit cuts through wood like a hot knife through butter. I was even impressed with how well the included dust bag caught a good deal of sawdust during cutting operations.

Bottom line ... I am VERY impressed with this latest update to Harbor Freight's 12" sliding compound miter saw line. It is, in my opinion, every bit comparable to it's much more expensive "brand name" equivalents - making this saw an AMAZING investment for the Home Hobbyist/Homeshop/DIY'er enthusiast.

With HF discount coupons out there, you can pick up the 12" DBSCMS for anywhere between $120-$130.





Additionally, I do know that HF finally updated their 10" sliding compound miter saw earlier this year - with many of the same features as it's big brother. With HF discount coupon(s), you can pick up the 10" miter saw for about $80.



Hope this personal review/opinion helps.

:smile:
 

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The hf model gets surprisingly excellent reviews.
I found Customer Review #5 - from 01/16/2013 - to be particularly compelling.

:thumbup1:
 

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I have the Hitachi 12" SCMS, and really like it. Here's a link to Amazon @$249, might find it elsewhere a little cheaper. Also a link to a video review, with one caveat: The guy complains of the sloppiness of the detents, then goes on to say that he doesn't tighten the knob....duh, the detent is centered when the knob is tightened. I did change the blade on mine, as it's used mostly for thinner stock, so I put on a 100 tooth carbide planer blade. The one it comes with is OK, especially for thicker stock, but the planer blade cuts nice and smooth. I found it to be quite accurate IF the knob is tightened.

Hitachi C12FCH 15 Amp 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw with Laser - Amazon.com

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestions.

I will be using this saw for precision trim cuts (cove, etc) and also general-purpose cutting use.

I went over to HF and checked the 12" compound miter saw. I did my "sideways deflection" test with the cutting head slid all the way out. There was much more flex than in the Kobalt or the Dewalt. It also seemed to have a slight twisting motion to the flexing. Looks like the aluminum casting that attaches the cutting head to the base behind the table is flexing at its attachment point. Maybe it wasn't tightened enough in the display model.

I really wanted to like this saw because it was inexpensive but I can't live with much flex because of precision angle cuts needed.


Steve
 

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I will be using this saw for precision trim cuts (cove, etc) and also general-purpose cutting use.

I went over to HF and checked the 12" compound miter saw. I did my "sideways deflection" test with the cutting head slid all the way out. There was much more flex than in the Kobalt or the Dewalt. It also seemed to have a slight twisting motion to the flexing. Looks like the aluminum casting that attaches the cutting head to the base behind the table is flexing at its attachment point. Maybe it wasn't tightened enough in the display model.

I really wanted to like this saw because it was inexpensive but I can't live with much flex because of precision angle cuts needed.


Steve
A quality sliding miter saw will be quite accurate, (and yes, I'd like to own one), but it of necessity must be less accurate than a non- slider.
Simple mechanics - the non-slider has a pivot that will introduce some inaccuracies, the slider has both a pivot and a traveling arm to introduce inaccuracies. Assuming of course the same tolerances in construction in both types. Main reason an accurate slider is expensive.
 

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Just my opinion......The Dewalt is probably the best one....definitely worth the money. I have my buddies saw in my shop right now.....my ridgid is just gathering dust. Another friend has the Kobalt and is very pleased. I have used quite a few of them and the DeWalt is far above the rest.
 

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A quality sliding miter saw will be quite accurate, (and yes, I'd like to own one), but it of necessity must be less accurate than a non- slider.
Simple mechanics - the non-slider has a pivot that will introduce some inaccuracies, the slider has both a pivot and a traveling arm to introduce inaccuracies. Assuming of course the same tolerances in construction in both types. Main reason an accurate slider is expensive.
I have an inexpensive slider and it is just as accurate as its operator.

If I place the piece to be cut in the proper position beneath the blade, that is where it is cut.

George
 

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I have an inexpensive slider and it is just as accurate as its operator.

If I place the piece to be cut in the proper position beneath the blade, that is where it is cut.

George
"Accurate" is a relative term. Have you tried cutting segments for a 12 sided glueup with it? :icon_cheesygrin:

I would add that it's possible for operator inducement of deflection. As for the laser option, I would prefer they didn't have it. Too bad some saws can't be purchased without it, reflecting a lower price.
The laser option is "iffy" - not much use if saw is outside in bright daylight.
 

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I have a Craftsman 12" single bevel sliding miter saw and I like it alot as far as cutting capacity,ease of use, and accuracy right out of the box. I was in your position a year ago and did alot of shopping and decided on Craftsman because of price for the features. There are 2 negative things I have found though, one thing is that the laser is not accurate and can not seem to adjust it to be accurate. and 2, the sliding bars that stick out the make it really difficult to build some kind of hood for dust collection if that is how you are gonna set it up. One other thing to consider in your purchase is that alot of these saws have a battery that powers the laser sight. The Craftsman is powered from the electrical system of the saw. The only other saw I have experience with is an old Ryobi that is 10 or 12 years old that is 12" but not a slider. I have it dedicated to cutting segments with a Forest blade and a zero clearance table and I am more then happy with it!
You need to decide what the saw will be used for. If you will be cutting 4x4's, 2x6's, 2x8's and such I would opt for a 12". If you are gonna be doing picture frames and mouldings I would still opt for a 12" but a dual compound miter which are more expensive.
Just for your information, I just checked the Craftsman web site and they have the 21239 on sale for $249.99 which is normally $329.99
 

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I will be using this saw for precision trim cuts (cove, etc) and also general-purpose cutting use.

I went over to HF and checked the 12" compound miter saw. I did my "sideways deflection" test with the cutting head slid all the way out. There was much more flex than in the Kobalt or the Dewalt. It also seemed to have a slight twisting motion to the flexing. Looks like the aluminum casting that attaches the cutting head to the base behind the table is flexing at its attachment point. Maybe it wasn't tightened enough in the display model.

I really wanted to like this saw because it was inexpensive but I can't live with much flex because of precision angle cuts needed.


Steve

I'm not going to say the HF model is good, because I've never used it. But I will say that the floor models there are almost always assembled incorrectly and then damaged by customers. About all you can trust them for is telling you what size and color the thing is.

Seriously... I bought one of their bandsaws. The demo model had the blade installed backwards, the tension adjustment had been removed, and they had somehow managed to install the table UPSIDE DOWN. They had no idea they'd done any of it wrong... they just took it out of the box and used some of the bolts to make it look more or less like the picture on the website.
 
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