By - igivafbutidowtfiwant
TL;DR: Bosch GCS12SD, with a Makita LS1291L as a close second - for a big 12 inch max capacity highly accurate, but heavy and a bit bulky.
It matters more what saw blade you put on, then the saw itself. Spend the cash and get a Forrest Chopmaster for whatever you get.
For miter saws, I always seem to come back to my old Hitachi 15" C15FB, but it's neither a compound saw nor manufactured anymore. Sigh.
I think opinions of tools should be in the context of whet you use them for. I run both in shop and on site using a miter saw for finish work, cabinets and furniture. I've run through a number of different ones. Overall I'll have to say the Bosch were the better performers, however I did have one that I just could not get it to cut true (returned and the replacement did great). For heavy use in a shop, sliding rail designs wear out too quickly, and seem to be more prone to damage when transporting to a job site. For this reason I find I prefer their hinged arm systems in the GCM12SD and GM10GD. The cordless version of the 12" is a truly impressive tool. The down side for these are increased weight, so not the best choice for portability.
The rail based sliders Bosch makes are also good, especially if you are looking for more portability. I have a 8.5 inch Bosch that is great for smaller jobs (CM8S I think).
If I couldn't get my hands on a Bosch, I think a Makita (LS1019L or LS1219L). These are accurate with a rigid slider mechanism that is set up differently than most others. They don't have to have clearance behind the saw as the rails are fixed. Very nice design, but more expensive than the high end Bosch.
If I were just cutting framing, then get whatever is on sale and put a good blade on it.
>I think opinions of tools should be in the context of whet you use them for.
I don't like the Bosch arm system because it's really sloppy at setting the depth stop. I use the Dewalt 780 on-site to cut laps and dados and the the higher-end Bosch is useless for that. For sure, some users will never use the depth stop at all and will never notice this.
I also looked at the Makita forward-rail design for better clearance in my shop, but apparently that saw has problems with the detent plate being too soft and wearing. There are even third-party aftermarket replacements available (for a price).
So, ultimately, I just stuck with the workhorse dewalt.
We prefer the Dewalt 780. It's big, but it's nowhere near as hard to carry as a bosch. It runs very high rpm, so it can cut into lots of wood on a single cut, letting you gang cut pieces well.
It's got the best cut line indicator I have seen so far, the shadow line (I have yet to use a laser saw that was properly adjusted, though to be fair, I didn't personally own any of these saws. The shadow line is always consistent, and it's also a light). Maybe you are that guy who has all his tools perfectly adjusted every time, but If you are, I haven't met anyone else like you in all my time in carpentry, and not only can lasers be off, they can be off by DIFFERENT AMOUNTS on either side of the blade. You can get so used to a shadow line that just every cut is bang on, even on monday morning. I do not find that to be the case with our kapex, where every start is a "let's remember which side of the blade has the laser further out of alignment. "
Also, lasers can just flat out obscure pencil marks, which a shadow line does not. You can see your mark in shadow, or in light. You can't see it when a laser is right over it.
Also, our kapex has the laser constantly cutting in and out. Maybe that's not supposed to happen, but it's annoying as hell and CERTAINLY doesn't happen to a shadow line.
Also, I would note, the dewalt has MONSTER crosscut capacity. It can cut ~17-18 inch MDF on a single pass. It can also cut 5 inch door casing headers when mitered over to 45, which a bosh definitely cannot do (the drive train box on the side of the blade gets in the way.)
I am open to considering new saws, especially because I only really have more than 50 hours running bosch, festool, and dewalt, but of those 3, it's not even close. We HATE the bosch. We tolerate the festool, and we go to the dewalts first every time.
The shadow line is far and away the best cut indicator. Cool thing is you can add a shadow line to ANY saw by just sticking an LED on the tool somewhere above the blade. My dewalt came without one, so I mounted a very cheap light made for a sewing machine or something.
How did you handle that? did you drill a hole in the guard to stick the bulb through? or did you fit something up inside the guard?
I don't remember the details, but basically I just ripped the light out of its casing (it had some gooseneck thing with magnets) and installed it with hot glue. Can't remember if I had to drill or cut anything. The hardest part was splicing the light into the 120V power from the saw so I didn't need a separate cord or battery.
Also I just remembered that I bought the saw on clearance... because it didn't have the light. The newer version of the saw had only ONE update and it was on sale for like $300 more than the old version... so I think I came out ahead with the DIY solution. Dewalt also sells a purpose-built "light kit" for the older saws but as you can imagine, it's a ripoff.
DeWalt 780 is a fantastic saw. Love it.
Festool Kapex has been hard to beat for us.
I found them to be highly unreliable. I am very easy on tools. Owned 5 Kapex. All had motor failures under light use and Festool USA only honored warranties on 2. I will never buy another. With that said, I love my track saw, Midi, sanders and Dominos, these have been good tools over many years.
No shit, that has not been my experience, we only use for detail work though, we have a half dozen old makitas for day to day framing and exterior trim. Damn I do love those old makita’s too, they don’t make them like they used to
Old Makitas are indestructible. A cabinet shop I work with has 3 from the 1980s that are still in use. Just change the brushes every few years and keep on going.
Glad to hear you have better experience with Kapex. Very nice saws to use, I just got tired of smelling the burnt out motors in mine.
The Kapex saw burning out is a very common problem. I'd go so far as to say that aside from the flagship track saw and orbital sander, Festool really doesn't make anything that's worth the money.
I like their entry level vacuum a lot. the CT15E, at 480 canadian, is actually pretty cheap. You can't really go makita, I don't think (I do not believe they even make a corded vacuum in that size category). Mirka and Fein both make them but are both more expensive, as is bosch. I believe all the dewalt options were much bulkier, and in some cases, significantly more expensive. I haven't found a cheaper milwaukee yet, with their 8 gallon being like 200 bucks more expensive.
Maybe it's regional, and in other regions, you can get much cheaper good quality compact dust extractors, but our crew uses more than one CT15, and I am not aware of a better deal right now.
I am not saying it's necessarily best in class, but when I did my research and bought a dust extractor (With hepa), it wasn't particularly close. I wanted corded, I wanted compact, and I wanted hepa. Festool works, it's the cheapest, and parts are easy to come by.
OK I should include the vacuum with the flagship products, you're right.
Each have their prons and cons. I have a GDL 12 in my workshop, great saw but it stays put. On the floor in the garage is a a DW707, part of what I assume is one of the oldest production lines in power tools, derived from the venerable ELU PS174 and has been produced in various colorations since at least the 80's. It's a single bevel slider with a miniscule footprint that makes it very portable and easy to carry up and down stairs, well worth the sacrifice of dual bevel capacity.
The one thing I'd advise against is getting an overly large saw. The GDL 12 has a cutting capacity way above what I actually need in my workshop but the fact that I can push it up against a wall was well worth the extra money. I see some people arguing that they need a large saw to cut 4x4 posts, sure a large saw can do that but for a homeowner how many of those cuts are you really going to make? If you're in timber framing it makes even less sense since using a miter saw means uneccessary, backbreaking shifting of large pieces: get a HKC or practice your circular saw game and spare your back.
I’d disagree about the large saw for timber framing. I and most of my colleagues use a 12” sliding chop to cut our braces, which generally run from 4x4 to 4x7” and are about 5’ long. This size scantling is fairly light and well worth bringing to the tool, unlike anything bigger.
thumbs up for the user name lol
A large saw makes sense if you are doing built ins, because you can crosscut your shelves and verticals and so on quickly. A lot of shelving material for the builder we work for is 15-18 inches, and so a saw that actually has 17+ inches of crosscut capacity is REALLY nice.
Also, sliders are useful for cutting grooves of constant depth quickly and easily.
They aren't for everyone, but imho, they are definitely for quite a few people.
"For a homeowner"... that's quite a qualification. OP didn't say anything about DIY application. Why would a homeowner even need a dual bevel saw in the first place?
Forgive my ignorance, but what is an HKC?
I always love Makita for a compound miter saw, imo DeWalt has dropped off with their quality considerably
I really like hitachi / metabo hpt saws. The c10fs and the newer reissue is a great slider. Accurate, simple, reliable. The handles are fragile and it could use a better guard system, a shadow line, a brake, and a real fence, but most of these can be corrected by the user. If you really need the wide cross-cut regularly, maybe a radial arm saw is for you. There’s not really a perfect one. Festool as a company blows. Omga doesn’t make a slider.
How do the metabo detents work? I have looked at 2 in showrooms, and it doesn't look like there is a removable detent plate. Does the detent lever just rest in the cast base of the saw? Or is there a removable detent plate, like a dewalt or bosch or festool would have?
That was the non starter for me, and also, someone else on reddit said that the 36 volt dual power had massive issues with power and overheating, though at this point, that's hearsay on my part, and I may be misremembering what I was told.
The detents are [integrated into the base assembly](https://www.ereplacementparts.com/metabo-hpt-hitachi-c10fsb-slide-compound-saw-parts-c-7927_13295_491542.html) but the piece that registers in the detent is the wear part. I haven’t had issues with them wearing out. Some of my saws are 20+ years old.
Battery-operated miter saws aren’t ready for prime time in a production environment if you ask me. I just ignore them. Corded miter saws and table saws, pneumatic nailers. I’m a little old-fashioned.
I would agree that the big chop saw is about the last tool that needs to be cordless. I'm actually coveting the Makita 36V 12" saw though... it's significantly redesigned from the corded version and it's soooo nice. The battery power is actually the biggest drawback for me.
Not the dewalt one that’s being recalled
The new version of the recalled saw is already hitting shelves and has only one part (rear blade guard) different. The old versions of the same saw are also fine.
To be blunt, that is a total non issue now that you know about it. The saw operates fine without that piece (which we know as we operate them without it), and it is not a large part of the blade guard.
I can see some slight edge cases where MAYBE you could jam your hand way under the saw with it running and then partially lower the blade onto your hand..... but this is already so far out of the realm of proper miter saw operation, that the main safety issue I see associated with the recall is IF you still have the piece attached to the saw, it could fly off and hit you. (None of ours do, as this happened almost immediately to them).
It may affect dust collection, but I am not aware of any saw with dramatically better dust collection than the dewalts. Sure, maybe the festool is slightly better, but... miter saws just make a mess. And a lot of miter saw users don't care (we do, but if we were framing, we would probably not).
Not to make light of this recall, I can actually see someone losing an eye when that piece of brittle plastic gets stuck in a blade spinning at like 4k rpm and violently thrown at you. But once the piece is torn off the machine.... I feel very comfortable using the saw without it, and have, for well over a year.
I agree. I was essentially just joking. As a rural carpenter, I’m well aware of how to bypass a safety feature