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JDuc 01-10-2008 03:17 PM

Miter Saw
My husband and I are going to be doing our own crown molding, hardwood floors, base boards, etc. in the near future in our house.

I know we're going to need a compound miter saw, and prefer one with with a laser guide obviously. We're not professionals, but we're very much into doing everything to a professional standard and of course, doing it ourselves.

We have built the audio system in my GTi and have won 4 national titles with it in Sound Quality competitions. We're not afraid of spending some money for good tools, but again, we're not professionals so we don't want to go overboard.

Looking at Lowes, the Hitachi 12" saw looks to be a good choice:

But I wanted to make sure.

Any tips?

Spike99 01-10-2008 05:57 PM

I have a 10" Chop (Miter saw) and a 10" tabe saw. If the wood doesn't fit into the chop saw, I use the table saw instead. For the 10+ rooms I've installed moldings in, 5+ decks I built and many other wood working project, the 10" chopper works for me.

Personally, I find 12" chop saws too big (awkward and electrical power hungry) for the average wood-worker - like myself.

For my 10" chop saw, its a no-name general tool. Bought it 5 years ago (before the days of laser light aiming) and it keeps on going.


JDuc 01-10-2008 06:49 PM

Aighty then. The 10" version is going for $150.

That's the kind of info I was looking for. Saves us $100!

Not sure how much cheaper we can get and if it's worth it...:thumbsup:

NateHanson 01-11-2008 09:05 AM

If you're looking for a professional tool, check out a double-compound miter saw. It'll cost closer to $500, but it allows compound miter angles in both directions, right and left tilt. Cheaper saws only cut compound miters with left tilt.

I'm not saying it's a necessary upgrade, as I don't know how picky you want to be, and how much you want to spend, but that's the next big step up, and it does make a difference (at a price though!)

JDuc 01-11-2008 09:08 AM

How useful is it to be able to cut at both left and right?

That's a substantial difference in price...

NateHanson 01-11-2008 11:03 AM

Well, if you're doing crown molding, you need to be able to tilt both left and right IF you are cutting it laying down flat on the saw. If the moulding is short enough that you can place it upside down against the fence and table joint (just like it sits against the wall and ceiling joint but upside down) then you only need to move the miter left and right (which all cheap saws can do). You don't need to move the BEVEL left and right. That's only necessary to cut crown moulding lying down.

On the other hand, you should be coping crown mouldings for best result anyways.

Joining_Heads 01-12-2008 12:25 AM

Depending on the size of the crown, you will need the 12 inch saw and dual bevel function.

troubleseeker 01-12-2008 08:08 PM

I personally still use my 12" Dewalt single bevel compound for everything but jobs with mouldings too wide for its capacity, then I am forced to a slider. If you are not using overly large base, the 10" will save you a few $. I have used these saws for years, and IMO they are hard to beat, light enough to easily move, and simple basic construction. I think the double bevel is a lot of $ for little advantage. Sure, you will have to flip a few pieces of moulding end for end, but I can flip a lot of moulding for the extra $ of the double bevel. Even though my slider is double bevel, this feature rarely comes into use.
Both the double bevel and the sliders are way, way over hyped and totally unnecessary for the vast majority of tasks. And as you can see, they are both extremely cumbersome to move and expensive.

troubleseeker 01-12-2008 08:14 PM


Originally Posted by NateHanson (Post 87515)
Well, if you're doing crown molding, you need to be able to tilt both left and right IF you are cutting it laying down flat on the saw.

You do not need to tilt (bevel) in both directions to cut crown on the flat. You just need to flip the piece of moulding and rotate the table to the other direction. The tilt( bevel) setting stays the same.

End Grain 01-13-2008 08:45 PM

I have two miter saws with built-in laser guides and truthfully, I never use them. I bring my stopped blade down to the workpiece and check to make sure that my alignment is a wee bit generous so that once I start the cut, I can always stop completely, adjust the workpiece accordingly and then cut it dead on. Yes, I "waste" a sixteenth of an inch or so on every cut by doing it that way but with crown molding or even very high baseboard molding, it's well worth it. Anything other than generous or dead on means wasting expensive molding by undercutting it. Everyone's different in their approach but don't blindly trust these laser guides, even if you adjusted it properly. Nothing beats a good pencil line and careful cutting IMO.

HomeSealed 01-26-2008 04:05 PM

I agree, I dont care for the lasers either....My opinion on miter saws in general is that it is one of the most expensive and most used tools that you will buy, so dont go cheap. Buy something high-quality (Dewalt, Rigid, Makita,Hitachi, etc) and buy something bigger than you think you will need, otherwise you'll be kicking yourself on that next project when you could've really used it.

cnydave 01-26-2008 04:30 PM

I agree w/these guys on the lasers, i have a hitachi c12LSH and my favorite makita LS10 that I put a laser be honest, I couldn't tell you if the laser still works even though I use it practically every day

The fence height is important for crown (unless you cut on flat). Most important part of the tool is a good blade.

JDuc 01-26-2008 06:19 PM

Good to know about the laser. We'll keep it in mind when it comes time to buy.

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