best compound miter saw?

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I am looking for input before purchasing a compound miter saw for my husband as a gift. I am looking to replace a radial arm saw that he picked up used several years ago. The darn thing never stays in alignment for a straight cut. I've been told a compound miter saw is more useful, but don't know what to get. He is just a hobby and fix-it user, but I am willing to get him a nice one ($500-600 range if needed). Is it worth it to move up to a sliding compoung miter? He'd like a saw with a laser line. I'd appreciate any input you can give me as to features to look for, brands, accessories to get (his kids are looking for gift ideas too), etc. Thanks for your time.
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snipped-for-privacy@lopezislandpharmacy.com wrote:

check out the new Makitas. The newest DeWalt (DW718) is looser (lateral slop) and harder to start sliding than the now discontinued DW708. I'm waiting to find the 12" Makita in stock at a local store. Their 10" is sweet.
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snipped-for-privacy@lopezislandpharmacy.com wrote:

Agreeing with David. One word: Makita. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of their other tools. They've got it right with plenty of their tools, but they hit a bull's-eye with this LS1013. I can't vouch for their 12" and quite frankly, I think that whole 12" issue is driven more by marketing than practicality. The 10" slider does everything 98% of the woodworkers need, IMHO. You've got to need to cut one honkin' huge piece of lumber to 'need' a 12". (Blades are more expensive as well.)
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snipped-for-privacy@lopezislandpharmacy.com wrote:

The one I bought for myself was the Makita LS1013. They now have the LS1013L which is equipped with a laser.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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snipped-for-privacy@lopezislandpharmacy.com said:

The Porter Cable dual laser CMS is on sale at many outlets for $199. Never heard anything bad about them. I have a similar Delta model. But it is NOT a Sliding Compound Miter Saw.
Personally, I would avoid any "laser guide" that attaches to the saw arbor.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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I have a Hitachi 10" compound sliding miter saw with a laser and am totally pleased with it. I have used it for everything from building my kitchen cabinets when I remodeled my kitchen to building furniture to running crown molding and it has worked fabulously. I personally like the laser line, especially when cutting compound miters. I think this particular model runs around $450 or so online at AMAZON.COM.
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I'm with the majority on this one. Makita sliding but 10" not 12". I can't vouch for the laser option, never used one with it.
Your husband is a lucky man! ;-)
Will

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Another option might be to get him a gift certificate or in-store credit at a local tool store. That way, HE can pick it out. After all, half the fun of getting a new tool is shopping for it, right? :)
Clint

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I'm happy with my Rigid. But the lasers looks good, but is honestly of little value. If you just ripping and chopping the laser is quick, but for fine cut's you can't use it!

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I have to disagree somewhat with that assessment. I don't know much about the Borg's CMS, and the blade mounted lasers are pretty much worthless, but a nice, thin-line, dual laser, or one that matches the blade kerf, is quite useful and accurate. I built my own and love it. It's far more accurate than lining up the blade with a mark manually.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Well your not going to like it, but you don't make sense. Since the blade is fixed (like the Laser) every thing you line it up is done manually. you still have to manually align it to the laser which is or is not calibrated. Just think about it for a minute .... I didn't think your stock automatically aligned itself to be cut???
The Laser will never be as accurate as your own (stereo) eyes, unless perhaps if you only have one eye. The Laser would most certainly require attention calibration and recalibration.... If I'm cutting an expensive piece of stock, Thanks, I'll check the blades visual alignment to the stock first!
Because you can NEVER be sure unless you check and calibrate the laser for each cut......
It's what we call a gimmick!
Baa> said:

for
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Hell, they're putting lasers on everything. I have a butter knife....naaaa..kidding.
But you're right. I have played with laser guides and found them irritatingly useless. One of my suppliers has one on his 16" beam saw...he puts mitres on post-formed counter tops..there I see the use for it there.
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The Laser Lines are great for layout of a room with the 360, 160 & 90 degreed lasers you want to square a room or anything really in no time. My kitchen was driving me crazy. So I said let's try one, bought the straight-line 180 model and bam had the floor squared in no time.
But for cutting anything, and your right they threw them on everything, they suck.
Baa> wrote:

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199.45.49.11 wrote:

Second the approval of a Ridgid. The salesman at the orange borg was very helpful in his assessment and comparison of the 10" Ridgid versus the 10" DeWalt. I've been happy with it for $199.
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There is almost certainly a decent tool dealer "somewhere" in your area. Most of these guys will carry almost all of the major brands. Go and find one or more of these stores and ask them for help in selecting a saw.
You might be surprised at what help you can get in one of these stores.
Lowes and Home Depot do the exact same thing but you will be hard pressed to find a knowledgeable sales clerk to explain the differences.
I would look at the Porter Cable, Dewalt and Makita brands for several excellent options.
Porter Cable 3802 Dewalt 715 or 716 Makita LS 1214 or LS 1221
http://www.portercable.com / http://www.dewalt.com/us/woodworking/mitersaw/ http://www.makita.com /
snipped-for-privacy@lopezislandpharmacy.com wrote:

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What do folks here think of the Dewalt 718? The 16" crosscut capacity seems to be the largest I've seen.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

it's a step backwards.
it's got much more lateral slop than the 708 and it's hard to start it moving (stiction). I've seen 2 units at 2 different stores. each 718 exhibited identical and unworthy behavior.
which puts me in a quandary, because I'd been looking forward to the 718. it only looks good on paper. when you "kick the tires", unless your requirements are less than mine, you'll pass up the 718
Dave
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David,

Bummer... But Thanks for the info!
I love my low end Delta miter saw other than it's limited to a 5-1/2" crosscut.
My "dream" machine is something that could cut a 24" panel as easily as my current miter saw cuts a 2x6. Sure, I could use my tablesaw, but it's a little difficult trying to balance large panels on the very small top of my saw. So, I always resort to a straight edge and a circular saw. Safe, and it works fine, but it's a bit of effort to set everything up for the cut.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Your wish is granted. 14" Delta RAS, with 29" crosscut.
http://www.deltamachinery.com/index.asp?e 6&p9
Chris
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Chris,

That would be a nice option if I had the space and an extra $5000 laying around. :) For now, I'll just stick with the circular saw and straight edge.
Anthony
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