Wise Buys: Portable Mitersaw Stands
Why buy? Mitersaws work hard in the shop and on a job site. Mounting the saw to a portable stand makes moving between the two locations easier. We tested stands for stability, portability, ease of setup and breakdown, and durability. Features we like include quick-release saw mounts that accept any model of saw and make it easy to position the saw anywhere along the rails; stops for cutting stock to identical length; and work supports that don't sag.
I gave this sturdy stand, shown above, a workout during the kitchen cabinet makeover in issue 196 (March 2010). I like the way the stand folds up with the saw attached to store on end, out of the way. That saved space for the homeowner when I finished for the day, and frees up usable square footage in a home shop. When it was time to work, the gas-strut-assisted lift helped raise the 94-lb. stand to working height.
Quick-release mounts let me position the saw anywhere along the rail, but the 9944 still comes up a bit short in cut capacity: Maximum distance to a stop is 5'6". To use a stop, you must raise the roller support, then lower it if the stop is no longer needed; not as handy as a flip-up stop. Those are my only gripes. The wide rail proved useful for corralling small parts or hand tools, the roller work supports don't sag, and the 12" wheels rolled over everything I put in their way, indoors and out.
-- Tested by Kevin Boyle, Senior Design EditorDeWalt DW723
Instead of wheels for portablity, the DW723 weighs just 40 lbs; light enough to carry -- if you remove the saw first. Fortunately, quick-release mounts make that easy to do. Flip the stand upside-down, press the spring-loaded catches, fold the legs neatly under the rail, and grab the handle to carry the stand to your next job.
The saw can be mounted anywhere along the rail, providing up to 8' of cut capacity to the flip-up stop on either of the work supports. And talk about reliable: I set the work supports level with my saw's table and they stayed at that height no matter how far I extended the arms. Cam locks make quick work of locking an arm in position.
Although light in weight, this stand works like a heavyweight. It doesn't flinch when throwing 8' 4×4s onto it and provides a stable platform during cuts.
-- Tested by Craig Ruegsegger, Projects Editor
HTC portamate PM7000
Although the most expensive of the tested models, the PM7000 adds several nice features. Up front is a built-in power strip -- handy for plugging in multiple tools and the included worklight. Also standard is a vise I'd rate as medium-duty. (In addition, Portamate sells an accessory router tabletop with fence for about $125, and extra quick-release mounts for $25 per pair for mounting benchtop tools.)
The legs brace the stand well, and the front legs sport a pair of fold-up brackets that hold a workpiece while you set up the saw or cut another piece. A small storage compartment in the brace under the rail holds pencils, but not much more. I found the plastic 8"-diameter wheels adequate, but too small and narrow for easy rolling over a rough job site. I also wish the handle was easier to grab when the stand is collapsed.
-- Tested by Jeff Mertz, Design Editor