12” sliding compound mitre saw
Twenty years ago the most used saw on site was the skill saw. Carpenters used it for absolutely everything. Times have changed, today the number one used saw when building custom homes is the sliding compound mitre saw. The most popular size is the 12”. It is the biggest saw that is made and can be used for framing the house, trimming the house, cutting the floor joist and even doing siding on the outside of the building.
A mitre saw is a stationary tool that is mounted on a bench or a set of sawhorses with a couple of planks laid across it. It will give you angled cuts and sloping cuts to the exact degree that you require.
As the operation manager of Village Builders I buy all the tools for the company and have owned almost all of the different makes of mitres saws on the market. Here are my top three mitre saws as I see them;
3. Makita. Makita’s new mitre saws have a lot more options on them then they used too. They also have a new dual slide system that allows the saw to cut wider boards straight across and on the angle. The saw blade and motor also sit higher than normal saws allowing you to slide larger items like 6x6’s in to cut them square. This is also handy when you are cutting large crown moulding on the angle, it gives you that clean cut so that your corners fit together tighter. The saw has lots of power and never really gets bogged down when cutting through a dense material.
A couple of things that I disliked about the saw; it is a very heavy bulky saw. It is heavier than most of the other saws that we own and the wider base on it makes it hard to carry through doorways. This saw is usually carried by two people around a house that is being trimmed because of fear of damaging wood doorways. The other major thing about this saw is that the dual sliding rail system has a propensity to become gummed up with sawdust. When you are cutting for a long time and you don’t take the time to clean off the two sets of rails the saw builds up sawdust until the slides barely work. Many a time we have been cutting something wide and the saw does not reach all the way through the board because there is a build up of sawdust restricting the rails. You have to clean the rails 2 or 3 times a day and you will be able to avoid the rails from gumming up.
2. Dewalt. This saw is probably the saw that we have owned the most. We have owned multiple generations of the saw. Dewalt has been good at making slight modifications to the saw without compromising what works really well. The saw is lighter than some saws and easier to transport through doors and into the back seat of trucks. The single rail system works like it’s suppose to and is smooth and easy to use. Over all the Dewalt saws seem to be the easiest to use with little thinking about how to use them. Everything seems to be right where you would want it to be. Things such as the tilting button or the degree finder are simple and easy to use.
The one big problem that I have with Dewalt saws is the company itself. Dewalt has been bought out by a larger company and they are going through some restructuring. It is actually difficult to get Dewalt replacement or warranty parts right now for almost all of Dewalts tools. It can take months to get your saw fixed if it breaks down, that means that you have two months were you can’t use the saw and that’s two months the saw can’t make you any money.
1.Bosch. The Bosch saw has to be the nicest saw that we have ever purchased. The weight of the saw is not that heavy compared to the competitors. It is also easier to move around because it is a little smaller all the way around. The reason that it is lighter and smaller is because it has no sliding rail system. It has an articulating arm that extends the blade and motor toward you when you pull on it. This is a revolutionary idea in compound mitre saws. You have no rails to worry about getting gummed up and because the arm folds flat when you push the saw back to its rest position you can place the saw right up against a wall. In places where you have limited space this is a great option to have because you save yourself 6” of space and you never have to worry about the rails smacking into wall behind it. The arm works smoother then the sliding rail system. Without the sliding rail system hanging off the back of the machine it allows you to move the saw through doorways a lot easier. The saw has endless amounts of power and cuts all the angles and degree’s that the rest of the saws do.
The only down side to the Bosch saw is the price; it is the most expensive saw on the market today. But with this saw the old adage rings true YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
The mitre saw market is crowded with company’s all making mitre saws, but you want a mitre saw that makes you money not costs you it. If you stick to these three saws then you will be starting ahead of the game.
Village Builders Inc.