You'll find four styles of power mitersaws on the market today:
Straight mitersaws have a motor/ blade head that rotates side-to-side
to miter-cut stock laid flat or bevel-cut stock standing on edge;
compound mitersaws also tilt one direction to miter and bevel
simultaneously; dual-bevel mitersaws rotate and tilt both directions;
and sliding compound mitersaws miter, bevel, and feature a sliding
head that increases cutting capacity to about 12". For this
article, we focused on 10" compound miter
saws because they
strike the best balance between cost and capabilities for the
Readers' Top Five
We asked woodworkers on www.woodonline.com what qualities matter
in a compound mitersaw. Here's what they told us:
Quality of cut
We think that list is right on the money, and
to it we'll add power and handle comfort. We'll take a close
look at each area
in this report.
Testing for power
Before we began our shop trials, we assem
bled all of the saws and installed
identical 80-tooth, carbide-tipped crosscut blades (CMT #219). After adjusting
according to the process described in the "Maximize Your Mitersaw" article
on page 96 of the September issue of WOOD magazine, we tested each machine's
power by slicing slabs off the end of a pressure-treated 4x4 post. We then examined
those cuts for signs of blade flutter and tear-out.
To check the accuracy and
repeatability of the miter stops, we made 4- and 8-sided MDF frames using the
saw's 45° and 22.5° stops. Next, we repeated this
test using the saw's 45° bevel stop instead. Finally, we measured each tool's
width-cutting capacity in 3/4" material at 0° and 45° miter settings.
can learn the results of our testing of the Black & Decker BT1500, Craftsman
24315, Delta 36-225, DeWalt DW703, Hitachi C10FCB, Makita LS1040, Milwaukee 6494-6,
Tech 7208, Ridgid MS1060, Ryobi TS1350DX, and Bosch 3924. Just pick up the
September 2002 issue of WOOD magazine and turn to page 90. Or, you can download
the complete review, including charts and photos, for only $4.95.
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