I'm looking to purchase a new sliding miter box and noticed that many
of the models did not have a laser line guide as an option. Can you
purchase one aftermarket and install it on any miter box? Or, do I
need to look for a model that comes with one?
You can purchase them on the aftermarket but the only ones I've actually
seen were at Harbor Freight. The HF unit is around $50 per side of the
blade - maybe a little less. Seems awful steep to me, just for a laser line
to guide a cut. If you search the internet you may find other options out
there. My thoughts are that if you really want a laser line then you
probably should just buy a saw equipped with one. I would ask you though,
why you feel you need one. It's really not hard at all to cut with complete
precision, without a laser line.
I have the dual lasers on my PC miter saw and just love them. After a bit
of adjustment I have them set to "cut the laser". Sure it is mostly a neat
toy, but it actually *is* nice when you are just wanting to shave a board
square. The laser tells you exactly what will be cut off.
It is also nice if you just make a single mark on the board instead of a
full line across.
Like I say, mostly a toy but then again this is mostly a hobby for me
anyway....the more toys the better!
This has been discussed before. Some think the laser thing is overrated and
not as accurate as bringing the blade down to the mark on the wood.
Others think the add on lasers are not as good as the built in and not as
accurate. Personally, I like gadgets, but passed on it when I bought my
saw. I do know that when I see the teeth of the blade next to the line on
the wood, it will cut there 100% foolproof.
I did an article on these a year or so ago for AW. I used 3 of them
for several days. In the end I did find one to be much more accurate
than the other two, but I didn't think any of them were very useful.
If you're doing stuff where being off by a 1/16 or 1/8 is not an issue
they're good, but if you need any more accuracy than that I don't
think any of them cut it. I love gadgets, but I prefer gadgets that
provide some benefit and IMO these didn't. For me anyway.
Yes, you can purchase laser guides to retro fit an existing saw. I
have the LaserKerf and can recommend it. http://laserkerf.com/ However
they are of limited usefulness, perhaps not worth the cost for most
users. On a miter saw the only use I find for them is in transfering
angles from a board to the saw. One just lines up the laser line
parallel with the mark on the board and lock down the saw. I used the
laserkerf on my panel saw where it is difficult to see the blade to
line up the cutmark.
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