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Looking for a Miter saw - Recommendations?

26 February 2007
37°22′17″N 122°8′15″W
SO many brands out there.

I'm looking to do some crown molding and baseboard work in the future.

But right now I need to cut what appears to be seasoned eucalyptus branches that some Azz wholes dropped off in my driveway without any permission.

2 of these trunks are probably the weight of a NSX long block. Dunno what sorta apes had these sorta retard strength so I ain't arguing with them.

They could be green if provoked.

So I'm going to just deal with it to heat up the house in the winter as well as the globe.

What's good out there?

Dewalt, Kawasaki, Makita, Rigid, etc.?
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I love my old Delta ... bought it 20 years ago and it has never given me any problems or taken off very many of my fingers. Just don't cheap out (like I did); spend a few extra bucks for the sliding compound miter saw. You'd be surprised how often you need to cut boards wider than 10 inches. Any reputable brand would probably do.


Edit: You'll want a chain saw to cut the rough wood up, of course; and a miter saw for lumber.
If you have trunk wood, this can be milled into lumber and used for durable outside furniture. Limbwood has internal stresses that will cause warping, and is therefore good for burning ... or you can make a digeridoo out of it.
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I am slowly replacing all of my related tools with Ridgid tools. Best warranty (lifetime if you register it), good prices and some good features for that money...
I have the Dewalt DW780 12" sliding compound miter saw and it rocks. Close call with a Hitachi though, which has excellent reviews at a better price. Dewalt had a free stand deal which clinched it for me. Otherwise I probably would have gotten the Hitachi. The dewalt has a light that casts a shadow of the blade and shows you exactly where it's going to cut. More accurate than a laser.

That said, for cutting tree trunks a miter saw is not the right tool. Yes on baseboards and crown molding. Depending on the size of the crown molding you might be able to get by with a 10" non-slider. It'll cut up to about a 4x4 (3.5x3.5) piece of wood at 0 degrees, and less as you move to 45 degrees. Whatever saw you get, replace the blade before doing trim work with a fine high-tooth count blade.
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That's a chop saw... Not a miter saw...
Another problem is that you pull that blade down with your left hand. Unless you are a lefty, get one that you pull down with the right. You have more control.
Oh, and you only amputate the subordinate hand if you f up.
Another problem is that you pull that blade down with your left hand. Unless you are a lefty, get one that you pull down with the right. You have more control.
Oh, and you only amputate the subordinate hand if you f up.

I was thinking about turning it around and perhaps pushing down on the handle with my toe pinky.
The pic posted above is an abrasive cutoff chop saw, it is for cutting metal. (angle iron, pipe, etc).

If you want to cut green limbs/trees, get a chainsaw. For smaller jobs, a sawzall with a demo blade does the trick just fine.

For baseboards and crown, you want a miter saw. Almost all of them sold now are compound miter saws. This means the head swings left and right (commonly called the miter angle) and tilts (commonly called the bevel angle). There are 12", 10" and smaller bladed saws.

Most people bevel cut only when the saw doesn't have the vertical capacity to miter cut what they want (which would be often for smaller bladed saws). This is the main reason I like 12" saws. For crown or baseboards you want an accurate saw. I happen to like the DeWalts, but Makita and Ridgid also make nice saws. Within a blade size and brand, features and capacity dictate price.

Using the 12" DeWalts as reference:
DW715 = Single compound saw (miters left and right, bevels left only) $300ish
DW716 = Double compound saw (miters left and right, bevels left and right) $400ish. Moving the motor gets you better crown and base capacity. $400ish
DW718 = Double sliding compound saw (miters left and right, bevels left and right, slides for more crosscut) $600ish. similar to a DW716 with more crosscut.

I like the 716s because I think it has the best mix of capacity, portability and price. If you had said 'build a deck' instead of 'do crown molding' I would have said get a DW715.

Edit: also important are blades. Higher toothcount is important for finish work. Use 32/40 for general framing, decks, etc. Use 60/80 for finish work like crown molding. I happen to like the Freud blades for finish work.
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