Miter Saw / December 3, 2018 / Tina Abrahamsson.
When searching for high-end power tools at a low price craftsmen should also look for reconditioned tools. Reconditioned tools or recons although sometimes hard to come by are an extremely great value bringing craftsmen the highest-performance tools at a tiny fraction of regular cost. Recons for some minor cosmetic or technical defect have been returned to the manufacturer for stringent inspection and restoration processes. These tools are tested and restored to meet rigid manufacturer standards and are then re-released with a "R" trailing the model number. This little "R" (and potentially hundreds of dollars) is truly the only difference between a brand new tool and a recon. The value with these tools is truly a no-brainer; when recons are available snatch them up as an incomparable investment. Dewalts DW718R and DW716R miter saws are tremendous examples of the value of buying reconditioned.
With the exception of Bosch miter saws whose bevel controls are conveniently up-front most saws bevel controls are placed at the back of the saw. While this is typical and more-or-less intentional it has proved less ergonomic than up-front access. Extension Wings: To increase cutting capacities some saws are also built with slide-out extension wings to support larger boards. While in theory this is a great feature unless you invest in a more expensive tool these wings are often not all theyre cracked up to be. Conversely on a more high-quality saw theyre a definitely a convenient extra.
Bosch also builds an exceptional miter saw; their 5412L dual bevel sliding miter saw is extremely powerful with large capacities and up-front controls. Although a bit heavier than some other models the 5412 12" capacity miter saw is an ergonomic wonderland with a specially designed multi-position main handle that allows craftsmen to comfortably lock into four different positions. The tool also has sliding extensions slide that come standard and make working with longer pieces of stock and lumber much more manageable if not wholly enticing. The miter also features high fences (a crowd pleaser every time) to accommodate workpieces like large crown molding. A good fence is a big benefit and this saw offers not only that but the confidence of a strong and durable tool.
All miter saws come with a left and right fence that connect in the middle of the saw. These standard fences are very accurate and great for perpendicular cutting. Because they are aluminum however they can bend or break relatively easily so remain cautious with your saw even when just making adjustments. Independent fences are also available for purchase. These are remarkably accurate and tend to yield pretty commendable results. Dust Bags: Because saw dust can be a problem with miter saws dust bags are essential for shop cleanliness and safety. They make a surprising difference in keeping your tools and parts clean but also save operators from inhaling airborne particulates. The dust bag connects directly to the miter saw and collects excess dust and debris during use.