Opinions on Craftsman 12" miter saw 21224?

Am looking for opinions on Craftsman 21224 12" miter saw. This is currently on closeout for $250 - 10% "Craftsman Club" discount. For $225 it seems like a good deal. My local Sears still has a small pile of them so it seems I could actually get one, even. Anybody got one (or comparable Craftsmans)? Impressions pro or con? Please, no general Craftsman-bashing...
The Laser Trac still strikes me as a gimmick but might be useful IF it actually aligns with the blade. I presume the included blade is less than great. Otherwise it seemed like a solid machine. I'd been looking at the DeWalt and Porter Cable versions, and liked them, but this is substantially less expensive.
Intended use includes picture framing, interior trim & molding, and occasional construction use. While it might get used for other things in the shop if I like it, my RAS works well for most crosscutting. I do this stuff for fun, not profit, so it will not see especially heavy use.
Also, I am still having the 12" vs. 10" debate - I'm concerned that all 12" saws inherently have more flex (in both blade and saw mechanism) and are thus less accurate, especially after following threads on the topic here. Also, being able to use the same blades as the (10") RAS would be nice. That said, having the extra cutting width of a 12", especially outside of the shop, is quite appealing, especially for this price.
Thanks...
-Brett
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Brett B. Bonner This planet needs a lot more kids who think
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I have a 12" Craftsman Laser-trac miter that I believe is the model you're asking about. I bought it last summer after agonizing a bunch over brands and costs. This is my first miter saw so I don't have a lot of experience with which to compare.
The saw performs fine for me. Here are some specifics about my saw:
1) There is no way to adjust the angles of the detents. What you get is what you get. The angular relationship of my detents seems OK.
2) Out of the box, the blade was not square with the fence at 90 degrees. To square the fence, you need to loosen the fence mounting bolts and move the fence to the "square position". In my case, there was not enough clearance in the fence mounting holes to get it square. I didn't want to go through the hassle of returning the saw so, with a bit of trepidation, I drilled out the fence mounting holes to get the needed clearance. That worked fine. All other adjustments worked OK and I was able to set the saw up to cut properly.
3) The blade supplied with the saw is fine. I bought a Forrest Chopmaster and I don't see much difference in performance between it and the stock blade.
4) It's nice to have the hold-down clamp that was supplied. I wish it had a thumb screw instead of a Phillips head for the retaining screw. I'll replace it (it's metric) when I can.
5) The laser line doesn't fall on top of the cut. It falls about 1/16" to the left. I don't see (nor was I able to read in the owner's manual) a way to move the line. I've adjusted to "spacing" my cut off the line, still I feel that the line SHOULD fall on the cut.
At the time, I paid a little more than $250 for the saw while the DeWalt 705 was $300 and the 706 was $400. If I had my money back right now, I would probably buy it again. That said, I don't have a RAS so now, I might be more tempted to get the Makita 10" slider.
I'd be glad to answer any other specific questions.
Bill Leonhardt
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Bill,
Thanks very much for the detailed reply! Some followups below.
: 1) There is no way to adjust the angles of the detents. What you get is : what you get. The angular relationship of my detents seems OK.
I think this is typical of most of these saws - I have yet to see one where you can adjust individual detents. All you can do is set the fence square to the blade. I was pleased to note that at least on the saw I looked at, the detents were crisp, with little or no "slop".
: 2) Out of the box, the blade was not square with the fence at 90 degrees.
Bummer about needing to drill out the holes, but if I had to I could do that too.
: 3) The blade supplied with the saw is fine. I bought a Forrest Chopmaster : and I don't see much difference in performance between it and the stock : blade.
That's a bonus then! I'd been figuring on a mandatory $100 blade upgrade right away.
: 5) The laser line doesn't fall on top of the cut. It falls about 1/16" to : the left.
I was afraid that might be the case, since I didn't see any adjustment for it either. Oh well - I wasn't figuring on the laser as a key "must have" feature anyway. (I find it amusing that Sears is putting lasers on everything these days - I'm waiting for the Laser-Trac lawnmower line. 8-)
: I'd be glad to answer any other specific questions.
I guess the major one would be - are you happy with the accuracy it provides? Any noticeable slop in the main pivot, or other unwanted movement? If I'm doing final miter cuts on some painstakingly milled picture frame stock, I want to be confident the saw is going to give repeatable cuts. If it doesn't, then I'd be better off spending the extra $100 for a PC or DeWalt, or spending less and living with a 10".
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Brett B. Bonner This planet needs a lot more kids who think
snipped-for-privacy@picante.com taking the lawnmower's engine apart is *way*
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snipped-for-privacy@picante.com wrote in message

If you're making picture frames, a miter saw is the wrong tool. You should use a table saw and make a picture-frame sled: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/wvt004.asp
I don't recommend you go buy this video (haven't seen it), but make a jig like in the picture. It's the only way to guarantee that your frame will have tight miters.
-Mike
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In rec.woodworking

It is impossible for the line to fall on the cut throughout the saw movement. It would have to come OUT of the blade itself. I have heard of some other company putting 2 lasers on so the cut is between the two. That is a good compromise.
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Bruce notes:

The original laser line cut set-up was from Porter-Cable: on that one, there was a punch through button that moved the laser right or left of the blade so you could adjust for whichever side you were cutting your good piece on.
Charlie Self
"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child." Dan Quayle
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