One of the things I enjoy about being a professional carpenter is that it gives me the luxury of being to able to indulge my fascination with power tools, especially my miter and chop saws . Nowhere is this more exemplified than in the way that I choose to deal with the different modes o dealing with miter saws.
I have three. Even though the miter saw is a versatile tool, I find the demands of the job are best met with this compromise. Here’s the logic of the situation.
For almost all jobs the first choice of a tool to handle various mitering operations is a 10″ compound miter saw attached to a stand. (I use the aluminum DeWalt heavy duty sawhorse style stand.) For that reason, I keep the stand hung on the wall of my garage and a dedicated saw stowed away on a shelf with the clamps permanently attached.
There are times when I need to use a saw for quick jobs that aren’t so finicky. Cutting spindles for a deck rail or making miters that don’t need to be perfect, for example. For these occasions I have an inexpensive saw from a second tier manufacturer. I think of this as my grab and go saw.
There are times when a larger saw is called for. I own a twelve-inch sliding compound miter saw as well. I love this Hitachi C12RSH2 saw, but I don’t move it unless I have to. The thing is heavy and in addition it is awkward. I actually worry the I might tweak my back every time I have to haul it from place to place. It remains at its station in the shop pretty much all the time, but is portable if it absolutely needs to go to a job site. Finally I have a smaller, more portable version, the Black+Decker M1850BD 7-1/4″ Compound Miter Saw. This is easier to throw into the truck if I need to lend it to a friend or take it out for a quick job. I had this bought, it’s not one I had purchased myself but it does the job for the few times I have used it.
I realize this isn’t the answer for most people, I just thought I’d throw one person’s take on the situation into the mix. These aren’t the only brands of miter and chop saws, for others you can read more here.
If I only had one saw to use, it would be the 10 compound saw with the aluminum stand. I’d recommend it to anyone. I may sound biased but the DEWALT DW717 10-Inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is one of the best power tools I have ever owned. If you want one for yourself, click the image below, it really is that easy.