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What or which mitre saw

Considering buying a mitre saw

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John Blackie04/11/2011 11:30:39
40 forum posts
2 photos
I have never owned a mitre saw, but their capacity for cutting accurate angles in wood is a very attractive feature.
It will not get heavy use (I'm not a kitchen installer or a joiner for example).
Despite all the warnings I am expecting about buying the oats after they have been through the horse (always comes cheaper), I don't want to pay too much for it.
Screwfix have been advertising an Evolution RAGE 3-S for £100 marked down from their previous price of £160. Other outlets are selling them for say £140.
This model has a blade of 210mm dia and is capable of cutting steel, I don't imagine I'll be doing that too often - I would not want metal swarf near my work bench.So is this an extra I don't need and so could pay less than £100 or do all mitre saws worth their salt have this capability these days?
For Screwfix to do this means that they are trying to clear stock of something which not selling very well, and if this is correct then one has to ask why?
Could someone offer me a few pointers about what is essential to have on a mitre saw eg left and right angle cuts, left (and right?) bevel cuts, cuts right through the wood, lasers, deep trench? What do I really need and what could I do without.? And who are Evolution? German, Korean (N or S) Japanese, Chinese or Russian, or Eastern Europe?
Any help on these points would be greatly appreciated.
BillW04/11/2011 12:31:53
711 forum posts
21 photos
Hi John,
I have the Rage 3 210mm.
The reason I bought this saw is that I have a wood burner and chop up wood that has nails in it plus the idea of being able to cut steel appealed to me.
The ability to cut steel is down to the blade, others are now offering this.
One down side to this saw is the blade bore is 25.4mm (1") but I have bought a 40 tooth wood cutting only blade with adaptor bush (30mm - 25.4mm).
The reason for buying the blade, when cutting say 3x2 at 45 degrees I get a rippled effect, like the beach when the sea has gone out, it would be fine for say decking and garden fencing but not fine woodworking, I have a project in the future of cutting a lot of moulding, hence the wood cutting only blade.
All the angles can be fine tuned.
I would have a good read of the Screwfix customer reviews on different saws, be aware that some have quite course blades.
Hope this helps.
Correction, it was 48 tooth blade from Sawshop

Edited By BillW on 04/11/2011 12:59:39

steve h04/11/2011 13:12:53
403 forum posts
128 photos

Hi John, blade quality is very important, however, I have had in the past a cheap far eastern affair and was very disappointed with the set cutting angles and found them all the be slightly out - and got shut very promptly.

There was no adjustment by the way as the base plate had been formed with the stops!

I have also been looking for awhile and really fancy the dewalt, bosch or makita ones, but with a price tag of £500 and above - I will be waiting a lot longer!!

maybe some of the other guys have got more mid range priced saws that are really good? I just use my table saw now for practically everything!


Simon Reeves04/11/2011 13:18:20
622 forum posts
227 photos
Hi John
I have a Makita LS1013, which is a 254mm sliding double bevel machine, which may be too much for what you want. However, prior to that I had an Axminster machine which was a simple compound mitre saw with no slider, which was excellent value for money at the time.
It depends on what you intend to cut, but I having had both I would definitely recommend the slider versions as they allow you to cut much wider boards.Obviously as the price goes up so does the build quality and accuracy.
Axminster do the AWSMS102, which is a 250mm saw with an 80T blade and a cutting capacity of 305mm x 90 mm, which is quite a bit more than the Rage. Obviously these numbers get smaller as you cut mitres and/or bevels, but it's still impressive. Price is similar to the Screwfix stuff at around £160, and most of the customer reviews are good. Axminster's after sales and customer service are excellent in my experience.

Edited By Simon Reeves on 04/11/2011 13:20:48

Andrew04/11/2011 13:59:26
138 forum posts
124 photos
Hi John
Dont settle for cheap ones, if it is possible buy one that does all the trics , very soon you will need all that.
John Blackie04/11/2011 15:55:40
40 forum posts
2 photos
Andrew, thanks. I knew someone would say that, hence my note on the oats having been through the horse comes a little cheaper.
Overall I agree with you, however in this case there are some mitigating factors.
As suggested by BillW above I looked at the reviews of this machine on the Screwfix web site. They are all positive in the areas one wants - accurate cuts, no initial messing about trying to get it to work and so on. There is no disgruntlement with the purchases made not even written between the lines.
I don't think I need a 305mm blade or even a 250mm one, I don't really want anything too heavy, and I really don't want to pay £400 - £500 even though that might get me a longer lasting quality. It's just not going to get used that much. And I would quite like to have one.
And some one on the Screwfix website review section said Evolution are based in Yorkshire - and you can't get much better than that, can you?
Anyhow I have not made my mind up yet. And there is the main decision maker in the house to consult first.
Maybe I should have asked for advice on that one too!
Statsman04/11/2011 17:13:48
14 forum posts
If you are ever likely to want to use the mitre saw for producing tennons or other work requiring control over the depth of cut, make sure you buy a sliding type.
Have a look at the axminster web site. They have quite a range and pretty good reviews.
Mailee04/11/2011 20:05:30
1048 forum posts
1235 photos
I can't help you with the Evolution but can state that what the others have said is good advice. A cheap one will usually be inferior and not accurate enough. I used to have a Pro Power slider from B&Q which did the job but wasn't that accurate. It got stolen so I had to replace it and went for the big 718 De Walt which is very accurate and can handle anything I would ever need...but it is very heavy and very pricey.
BillW04/11/2011 22:05:12
711 forum posts
21 photos
In part I would agree with Andrew but I always have a problem with the price difference, yes they are better but how much of the price is in the name.
For someone like Mailee who relies on his tools for his bread and butter there isn't an option but you do say it won't have a lot of use.
Regarding "are Screwfix selling them off" this is just my thoughts, it is not in Evolution livery, it has a Union Jack on it, was it for, or were Screwfix jumping on the "Help the Heroes" band wagon.
From the images on Screwfix's web site it looks identical to mine.
Evolution is an American Company as far as I know and the blade bore (1") suggest it is at least an American design, it is reassuring to know they have a UK base, on that point I notice Screwfix have a Rexon personalty I wouldn't buy that brand even though they have a good reputation, because they are not traceable, there is a Japanese web site but well out of date.
A relation of mine bought a cheap mitre saw from one of the DIY super stores some time ago, it was absolute rubbish.
I don't want to bull the Evolution to much and cutting metal is not one of your requirements but I have cut 16mm ground steel bar, Dexion angle and 1 1/2" angle iron, old fencing post that were well over the capacity of the saw (I like to live dangerously) that should give an indication of the strength of the saw.
I mentioned the a rippled effect on cutting 3x2 at 45 degrees, if I take some time it is not as bad and for general woodwork it is acceptable, the harder the wood the better the finish.
One little niggle, the soft start annoys me when chopping wood for the boiler, it takes a long time to get up to speed if it has not stopped.

Olly Parry-Jones05/11/2011 17:44:26
2776 forum posts
636 photos
If you're after a saw for accurate cuts then, I'd certainly try to stick to one of the 'known' brands (Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, Hitachi, Metabo, etc.). You could even get a very good saw for a very reasonable price second-hand. As far as I can see, the only feature that allows the Evolution/Rage saws to cut through metal has to be in the design of the blade, doesn't it? There's no reason then, that you couldn't simply buy one of their blades and fit it to your saw. Even if you had to purchase an additional bush or reducing washer to fit inside the bore.
Generally, you could expect to find that larger saws tend to be less accurate than ones with a smaller blade diameter. I used to own a 12in Bosch (GCM 12 SD) and the head would flex from side to side by a good two or three millimetres as you pull it forwards. It wasn't brilliantly accurate but, neither was it repeatedly inaccurate, which is, perhaps, worst of all!
After that, I purchased a second-hand Makita LS1013 and it's been superb, even after several years of use on site. It has a 10in blade, will cut just over 3½in/90mm thick and to a width of about 12in/300mm, with reasonable accuracy. It also seems to do 45° mitres and 90° without having to tinker with the settings much at all.
If you could live with the capacities of an 8in saw (60mm depth of cut?) then, there are some good ones about and, even buying new, you might be able to get one for less than £300. Bosch came up with a good one a year or two ago and, with its low weight, it was seen as ideal for carrying around from job to job. Makita do an 8in model (LS1014, I think) and that has a feature where the saw slides on two sets of dual-rails, meaning they consume less space behind the saw than many others, which usually have two rails (sometimes, only one) behind. That could be worth considering, if your workshop space is constricted.
Personally, I like sliding mitre saws in a small workshop because, unlike a table saw, their working height is above most other machines, which means longer lengths of timber will usually clear most of your other tools. To use a table saw, you'd probably have to move other things around (as well as the saw) in order to crosscut.
Derek Lane05/11/2011 17:45:37
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
I would go for Dewalt, Makita, Bosch or Hitachi at least you are getting a reputable make. I Own a small Sliding Dewalt saw and find it great for my needs. If you want to do some trenching then make sure you get one where the sliding bars stay fixed in the horizontal plane and the head and motor pivot on the end
John Blackie06/11/2011 13:17:39
40 forum posts
2 photos
"one where the sliding bars stay fixed in the horizontal plane and the head and motor pivot on the end"
Derek - Many thanks for this insight.
Does that feature have a name, and is that feature in place of another and so becomes an engineering design and brand feature rather than being common to several kinds of mitre saw. And of course could you name the brand or brands which have that feature.
John Blackie06/11/2011 13:32:43
40 forum posts
2 photos
Olly, many thanks for all of these very useful and practical points.
Yes space is an issue.
I don't need to cut metal, and in fact don't want to. Which rules out the Evolution except for it price.
I think a 200-230 blade would be fine.
What is important is:-
Budget. So 2nd hand is a good thought.
Depth of cut - for trenching.Accuracy - something a bit better than "reasonable"And I think double bevel, ie being able to tilt the blade 45 degrees to the left or the right. The Woodworker (Andy Standing) tested the Einhell BT-SM 2131 in their October 2011 issue and considered it good value except for the depth of cut adjuster "fiddly to use" he said.
Have you come across this machine in action?
Einhell is apparently a small German family run firm. So the boss and the owner sets the standards. The preponderence of small family run businesses in Germany is what makes them a bit different from us over here.
Derek Lane06/11/2011 14:38:37
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
John THIS is the type I mean is the better design for the sliding bars they slide in and out but do not move from the horizontal plane. Where as THIS the sliding bars tilt with the head
Even though the dewalt is a very good make. Design is just as important as a good quality brand
Just hope the pictures of both machines show along with my discription what I am trying to say
By the way Axminster has a good reputation with their after sales service
John Blackie06/11/2011 17:27:01
40 forum posts
2 photos
Derek, many thanks now I understand exactly what you mean. What's clear to me now is that however much I spend a lot of research is going to be needed. Including going to see some. John

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