Home mitre saw advice?

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I've never had one of these saws but watching our handyman/builder it's one of their most-user tools and I keep finding projects where it would save me a lot of time and give a better result than hand-saws or circular saw.

I've read around a bit about compound mitres, sliding saws, single/double bevels but looking online (Screwfix) there are a lot of options at every price-point, and a wide range of price-points to consider (£100-£1000+)

For light home use you can get basic models for even under £100 and this would probably be fine but I do think the sliding feature would be helpful - for as little as £100 I can get https://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-tt...le-bevel-sliding-sliding-mitre-saw-240v/881kp or several models by Evolution (I don't know that brand but reviews seem solid).
Moving up to the £200-ish mark the big changes seem to be cutting depth increases quite a bit, and you can get double-bevel options. This one bang on £200 from Erbauer stood out feature-wise: https://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-...double-bevel-sliding-mitre-saw-220-240v/244fv
I'm not sure how much I should care about double-bevel - does it solve a problem or is it just a time-saver when doing a lot of cuts? But deeper cutting seems like it would be useful.
The 200-250 price-point is very crowded and I don't really think I can justify going beyond that. My builder friend says they tend to buy around the 3-400 level and get a couple of years' use, rather than a year's use at the £200 level but that both do the job... and they use it every day and lug it around job sites which mine definitely won't be. It looked like there was a slight upgrade on the Erbauer above with a mighty 100mm cutting depth (handy for fence posts and sleepers) but it appears to be out of production: https://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-...double-bevel-sliding-mitre-saw-220-240v/736fv

So with so many options around how on earth do I pick? I'm trying these days to avoid going super cheap and replacing once I realise the limitations, but neither do I want to buy some tool that far exceeds my needs and ability... the guy with a shop lined with top-line Dewalt tools he never uses :)
 
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how on earth do I pick?

you need to decide on what material size you will be cutting ....... and your max budget
No point getting a small chopsaw , and needing a sliding Mitre saw

I purchased a dewalt in the end, for home use , just because i needed a particular depth and width for a job

Double bevel will save time - but i use a single bevel fine ...

My son-in-law has an evolution and it has done a lot of DIY jobs
 
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I faced this dilemma a while back, ended up with a Scheppach with a 254mm blade as it was on offer from B&Q for £120, seemed like a lot of saw for the money and has so far served me well with nice clean consistent cuts and I guess aimed at the DIYer rather than trade, bought a stand too. Sure the Dewalts and the like are wonderful and undoubtedly better quality but at 2, 3 or 10 times the price if you're not using it every day then that's a lot of outlay. As above you need to decide on a budget, a non-sliding saw just didn't make any sense to me but then a sliding saw is actually pretty huge so you need the space to use/store it. And as all the reviews mention the laser gimmick some have seems entirely pointless.

It's worth popping along to somewhere where they have them on display, some are easier/nicer to use than others and you can get a feel for the bang for your buck comparing some different brands and of course youtube is ful of helpful videos with tips for the newbie.
 
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I can see the slide being really useful to cut shelving/fascia 6x1 type stuff and fence boards. Just for vertical cuts you'd rarely need more than 2"/50mm but if you want a bevel then obviously you'd need deeper. I really like the idea of being able to use it as a chopsaw for 4x4 fence posts but 100mm cut depth is getting into the more expensive range. Perhaps a needless luxury for how often I want to do that, you can always flip the wood and cut twice.

I don't have a budget per se. But I don't want to overspend getting a trade tool I don't need for limited use, or features that sound great but aren't much use. Hence the problem when I haven't used one much, knowing what I do/don't want/need :)
The £175-200 level seems like it includes known brands and decent features but maybe even that is overkill.

Thanks for the point on size with a slide - the sheer bulk of the thing is one reason I haven't bought one sooner. I imagine a tradesman might have a simple chop-saw for chopping AND a bigger one for more specialised jobs but I don't want to do that so it seems realistically I need a sliding model.
 
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you can always flip the wood and cut twice.
Not in the mitre saw - the depth is from the top of the blade - so if its only a 70mm cutting depth - the 100mm post will not fit under the blade and so will not work
EDIT - been correct in later post - so above information maybe wrong, ......

The Dewalt (which i have , hence experience of) the sliding mechanism does not go out the back , so I can put the saw on its stand very close to a wall , and when in use its out of the way and not taking up a lot of room in the garage
if you do go for a chop saw, rather than a SMS make sure it can cut the width you want

the trades i have had in just use a SMS - no point for them to carry around 2 saws in the van

Also i went with powered version, even though they had a battery on on offer , mine was only ever going to be used near power

Also see if you can get spare blades easily - some sizes may be difficult
I use saxtonblades
and I have some 60/80 teeth blades for the finer cuts

the Dewalt has a shadow cut, so no need to setup a laser - not sure if once set the laser goes out of align, but I use the shadow cut line on every cut i make
unless I have setup a stop, but then i used on the first cut

as i say
The Dewalt (which i have , hence experience of)
not a plug for the make

Also as you change the bevel, it will cut less
My dewalt cutting is
90/90° - 305 x 85mm, 90/45° - 305 x 45mm
45/90° - 215 x 85mm, 45/45° - 215 x 45mm

I have used the sliding part a lot for cutting various items on lots of home DIY projects
 
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Not in the mitre saw - the depth is from the top of the blade - so if its only a 70mm cutting depth - the 100mm post will not fit under the blade and so will not work
Now that's interesting to know. I hadn't realised the max cut depth was physically the size you could fit. Is that always the case of does it vary - I was certain I'd heard someone say they do this to cut sleepers but may have misunderstood
 
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I was certain I'd heard someone say they do this to cut sleepers but may have misunderstood
they may do it with a circular saw ,

Also the diameter size of the blade, will determine the max cut depth

EDIT - been correct in later post - so above information maybe wrong, ......

if you pop along to a B&Q , they often have chopsaws and SMS to view, and same group as Screwfix, so may actually have the ones you are considering on show , i know my store at Havent had quite a few chop and SMS saws on display

or if a machine mart near you.

Also as you change the bevel, it will cut less
My dewalt cutting is
90/90° - 305 x 85mm, 90/45° - 305 x 45mm
45/90° - 215 x 85mm, 45/45° - 215 x 45mm
it has a 250mm blade

If budget is not a problem
then its size - think of upcoming projects

Double bevel would not come into the equation, for me, unless it was the same spec and same price , i think its a time saving items personally , as i have cut most things i need with a single bevel


Also once setup , its nice just to cut things Square ???

FFX have a bit of a sale on this week, some items reduce a lot - others just a few %
i would also consider a stand , unless putting on a bench

Also you may consider a good square to ensure the blade and fence are all setup correctly and square - I used a roofing square, but was gifted a Trend Digital Level , so i can put on the blade and base - But still used the square for fence and slide
 
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DIYer

I made the mistake of buying a £60 non-sliding Evolution a few Years ago.
Did a great job but then I found jobs that it could not tackle and ended up buying a sliding one.
Only £110 but should tackle most jobs I will have.

I know of a Tradesman that bought the £60 Evo to avoid having to lug his big one onto Site for Architrave, Skirting, etc.

Evolution gets good reviews so worth considering for DIY.



ETAF
I have seen reviews where Timber is flipped when the Saw won't cut that deep.
Surely some of the limitation is due to depth from cutting edge to Centre Bore/Frame rather than not fitting under the Blade?
 
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I have seen reviews where Timber is flipped when the Saw won't cut that deep.
Surely some of the limitation is due to depth from cutting edge to Centre Bore/Frame rather than not fitting under the Blade?
you maybe right , i did look to cut a 4x4 post down and didnt see a way of doing it - but very happy to be corrected , as i only tried this in passing as it was easier to use a roof square and my circular saw

I see some SMS the gap is very big compared to mine - so its quite possible - worth a look, i guess if you want to cut 4x4 posts to see if the smaller one will do it ok, safely

Mine just has a certain height from the table to the bottom of the blade - so i guess if it fits under that , then you could do the 2 passes, i'll have to look again, next time i get it out and setup for a job
 
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FFX have a bit of a sale on this week, some items reduce a lot - others just a few %
Can't make head nor tail of their website. I'll type "mitre saw" and it shows me a list of tools, as soon as I try to refine my search it now shows me thousands of other things, or two. I searched "mitre saw" and then checked the box "mitre saw" - zero results.
 
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I really like the idea of being able to use it as a chopsaw for 4x4 fence posts but 100mm cut depth is getting into the more expensive range.
Yes, but for cutting fence posts you don't need to be super accurate and as you say you can make a cut, flip the timber over and cut again, and even a third time if needs be. In the dim and distant past when I owned a 10in (250mm) non-sliding compound mitre saw (a Makita MLS100), that's exactly how I cut fence posts - oh, and they did fit beneath the blade when the head was in the up position, it's the depth of cut which is the bigger limitation.

The £175-200 level seems like it includes known brands and decent features but maybe even that is overkill.
I don't think that is overkill. At that level you are about on the edge of the smaller trade tools as well.

With DIY tools you can get a lot of features for the money, but that is often at the expense of rigidity and accuracy/repeatability - so with DIY tools you will more than likely need to spend a bit more time setting the tool up to get accurate cuts.

Two things about mitre saws that are worth bearing in mind is that the non-sliding saws are more rigid than sliders, and with sliders the bigger the blade (and therefore the heavier the motor/head) the more likely the saw rails are to flex when making cuts, especially awkward compound mitre cuts.

Thanks for the point on size with a slide - the sheer bulk of the thing is one reason I haven't bought one sooner. I imagine a tradesman might have a simple chop-saw for chopping AND a bigger one for more specialised jobs but I don't want to do that so it seems realistically I need a sliding model.
That is bob on! I have a 216mm blade single bevel deWalt slider for general work because it will handle 80 to 90% of the material I cut whilst at the same time it takes up less space and doesn't threaten to rick my back whenever I move it, but I also have a 260mm (10-1/4in) double-bevel SCMS which is much larger and heavier, coming out only when I need to cut stuff like cornice mouldings. I have used 12in (305mm) machines in the past (hired-in or loaned), but in reality most people don't need them, and the added weight and bulk combined with the greater tendency they have for the rails and the blade to flex more than they do on a 10in machine makes me less than keen on using one
 
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Jeez, agree what an awful website.
Can't make head nor tail of their website. I'll type "mitre saw" and it shows me a list of tools, as soon as I try to refine my search it now shows me thousands of other things, or two. I searched "mitre saw" and then checked the box "mitre saw" - zero results.
Jeez I agree, what an awful website.
 
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I managed to persevere on FFX and get some results but only my some trial and error :) So far Screwfix is the only site that shows things like cut-depth on the search results instead of having to open every tool separately to check. I think they'll get my business ;)
 
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I'd say there's much to be said for popping along somewhere and seeing how a few of them work/operate, I certainly found that some are less awkward than others to operate. B&Q have some on display usually you can have a play with. I've used Howe Tools in the past for other power tools.
 
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the Dewalt has a shadow cut, so no need to setup a laser - not sure if once set the laser goes out of align, but I use the shadow cut line on every cut i make
unless I have setup a stop, but then i used on the first cut
Lasers do go out if you move the tool regularly or if you are always bumping the tool around in the back of the van. They can be handy, but TBH the lack of one isn't a killer, and in any case mosy lasers can only be set-up to indicate where one side of the blade iis, so that makes them accurate for say cuts measured from the left side, but not for the right (and of course there are exceptions, the best known being the Festool Kapex, which has TWO lasers - that isn't a plug, either. I have a deWalt DW777 small SCMS , a Makita cordless and a Festool Kapex)

FYI the little DW will cut 4in fence posts, but it generally takes 3 cuts
 

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