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Hey all,

I am shopping for a miter saw and was looking for some recommendations on features for someone who is just getting started.  10" or 12", single or double-bevel, fixed or sliding blade, that kind of thing.  I am leaning towards a DeWalt because my experience with them already, but any other recommendations are appreciated.

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I have a Hitachi C12LSH. I really like it and it has survived several complete home builds and unlimited projects. It has a digital and manual readout for the miter and bevel settings, which is a dream for going back to a cut. It has a laser for the blade which I like alot and is reasonably accurate. I also bought a Hitachi UU610CZ mobile base for it. The base needs to have a set of bigger wheels for outside rolling, other than that it works well. I use my brothers Dewalt sometimes, but I miss the digital and laser. He always uses my saw when we are working together. I'm not knocking Dewalt, but I don't think they are making them like they use to. I use to have Dewalt everything, but have phased out most of it. I have a 10" miter saw, but like the 12" better. I replaced my Dewalt mobile table saw with a Hitachi and haven't regretted it. It just depends what your going to do with it, what you like and how much money you have! Good luck on your decision. T
Mine is a DeWalt 12" from 1991. I use it a lot and cannot wear it out so I reckon I am stuck with it.....LOL
Actually I am kind of attached to that old saw and it has done everything that I have ever asked of it from 4x6 treated timbers to 1/4" quarter round, 2" PVC conduit, and 4" PVC pipe, it handles it all without fail. I have aligned the saw once, back when I got it, I have checked it a couple of times but it has required no adjustment. It is only on it's third blade the best I can remember. That old DeWalt is probably the single most reliable tool that I have ever owned with a motor. It has been my primary crosscut saw from the day I got it. If it failed tomorrow it would have earned it's keep and I would have a hard time not replacing it with another DeWalt.
I don't own neither De Walt or Hitachi but I have friend who owns the digital Hitachi and this is a Cadillac of saws.I have a tradesman 10 inch and it fits my work just perfect. I use my 1956 De Walt radial arm saw more than my miter saw.
One thing to keep in mind about a sliding compound saw is it takes a lot of space on a counter top. Right now I have a 10" Craftsman sliding comp mitr saw and it does not fit on a 24" wide counter top. If you are planning to mount it on a counter top and need to cut wider boards go with a 12" compound miter saw. I have a 10" compound Crafrsman miter saw mounted and I cut boards up to 8" at 90degrees.
I would recommened you get at least a 10" or 12" saw. The smaller saws (like 7 1/4") are fine for trim and small pieces, but they just can't live up to the challenge of working with larger stuff (like 4x4 for example). The dewalts are good (I own a 12" dewalt), but It was a close call between DewalT and Ridgid. I have heard that hitachi is good. I'd stay away from Crasftsman though as they don't appear to be that accurate. I had a 10" craftsman that was about $100 bucks, but it was a pain to try and make square cuts with it.
What kind of work will you use it for? Will it be used inside and outdoors,both? Is weight an issue? Does cost enter in here? Shop use only: a fixed use only? Replacing a radial saw? Will you attempt 3&6 piece base and trim work:intricate crown molding?Considering a lazer option? Does your work require one? If you allready have a 10" table saw,will a 12" miter saw,requier additional blade purchases,adding more cost? Think first,......then purchase. Consider your budget too. I have a DeWalt 703 { about 200 bucks } it serves it"s purpose. I also have a Makita,12",sliding miter,light and adjustable lazer equiped { about 600 bucks } and it serves it"s purpose. Dave
Thanks for all the inputs so far, keep it comming.

To answer David's questions:
It will be for shop use, I had planned to buy or build a moveable table for it to move it around the garage as needed. I currently have a 10" table saw and a couple of skilsaws. I hadn't considered the blade interchangeability aspect.

Since I am just getting started my projects are not very complicated, but I wanted something that will give me room to grow so I am not shopping for another saw in 6 months or whatever. I was looking at spending around $300 or so, which would pretty much limit me to a 10". I was also looking at the craig's list option where I might be able to pick up something more robust for the same price. Locally there is a DeWalt 706, a DeWalt 708 and a Rigid 12" (dont know the model) for just under 300 that i will probably check out this weekend.
For a 300 budget,forget sliding miters.Uesd saws require a careful look over and a trial cut,before you buy.Makita has a new 10" sliding miter,that impressed me,and will suit your growing needs.At 500 or so,it may exceed your budget.It will grow with you,however,that"s something you may choose to consider before buying. Dave

Don Clark said:
Thanks for all the inputs so far, keep it comming.

To answer David's questions:
It will be for shop use, I had planned to buy or build a moveable table for it to move it around the garage as needed. I currently have a 10" table saw and a couple of skilsaws. I hadn't considered the blade interchangeability aspect.

Since I am just getting started my projects are not very complicated, but I wanted something that will give me room to grow so I am not shopping for another saw in 6 months or whatever. I was looking at spending around $300 or so, which would pretty much limit me to a 10". I was also looking at the craig's list option where I might be able to pick up something more robust for the same price. Locally there is a DeWalt 706, a DeWalt 708 and a Rigid 12" (dont know the model) for just under 300 that i will probably check out this weekend.
I never thought about reconditioned...I am looking at the DeWalt, Bosch and Hitachi/Makita recon sites right now and I am liking the prices that I am seeing. Craig's list is off the options list...why by used when i can get recon and a warranty to boot!!
So the wife found a Hitachi C12LDH 12" on e-bay, brand new, for $279.22 including shipping...and it's on its way!

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