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Sliding Miter Saw Question

 
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:29 PM   #1
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Sliding Miter Saw Question


I have a DeWalt Flexvolt 12" beveling compound sliding miter saw. Being $800, I want to protect it's cutting accuracy as much as possible.

Of course, this isn't a radial arm saw, but since radial arm saws get loose and lose accuracy over time, I imagine this can still happen to a sliding miter saw.

Has anyone had any experience with losing accuracy with a sliding miter saw? And, how do y'all go about keeping your miter saw tuned and taken care of? I want to keep this saw for as long as possible.

It's always treated with care, and I only use 10AWG extension cords on it and on my other power tools to preserve motor life.

I'm a small time carpenter so I don't have too much experience in this yet!

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Old 12-12-2018, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


don't drop it or bang it around

only carry/move it when locked down

use it only on a stable surface

do not force any movements

keep it clean

use a high quality blade

keep blade clean & sharp

make certain your work piece is securely anchored

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Old 12-12-2018, 12:29 AM   #3
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


I had a carpenter tell me that the best cut was made by bringing the blade down in the middle of the workpiece, pulling it forward, then pushing it back.

Now, if this indeed reduces side flex of the blade, then theoretically it might make the bearing develop less slop. The saw would probably be worn out before that made a difference on the bearing, though it seems to reason that it would produce a better cut.

Having sharp blades, and correct blades for the material also helps.

Last edited by P42003; 12-12-2018 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:28 AM   #4
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Never store or move it with the table left in any of the indents. Store it by turning the knob to tighten the table out of an indent.


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Old 12-12-2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
don't drop it or bang it around

only carry/move it when locked down

use it only on a stable surface

do not force any movements

keep it clean

use a high quality blade

keep blade clean & sharp

make certain your work piece is securely anchored
Quote:
Originally Posted by P42003 View Post
I had a carpenter tell me that the best cut was made by bringing the blade down in the middle of the workpiece, pulling it forward, then pushing it back.

Now, if this indeed reduces side flex of the blade, then theoretically it might make the bearing develop less slop. The saw would probably be worn out before that made a difference on the bearing, though it seems to reason that it would produce a better cut.

Having sharp blades, and correct blades for the material also helps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
Never store or move it with the table left in any of the indents. Store it by turning the knob to tighten the table out of an indent.


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Thank ya'll!

I never thought about keeping it out of an indent. That makes absolute perfect sense.

I feel like everything was covered:
  • Don't use cheap blades
  • Don't force the saw in any way
  • Use and store on a flat surface
  • Store the table out of any detents
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


that was all great advice . good work .
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:04 PM   #7
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
Never store or move it with the table left in any of the indents. Store it by turning the knob to tighten the table out of an indent.


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Never thought of that, makes sense

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Old 12-13-2018, 12:22 AM   #8
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Guess who locked the SCMS at 44* tonight!?!


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Old 12-13-2018, 04:58 AM   #9
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by P42003 View Post
I had a carpenter tell me that the best cut was made by bringing the blade down in the middle of the workpiece, pulling it forward, then pushing it back.

Now, if this indeed reduces side flex of the blade, then theoretically it might make the bearing develop less slop. The saw would probably be worn out before that made a difference on the bearing, though it seems to reason that it would produce a better cut.

Having sharp blades, and correct blades for the material also helps.
He told you right. You start in the middle to minimize the chance tear out or worst case taking a big chuck out of the back of whatever you're cutting. Without a zero clearance insert or a backing block between the fence and workpiece its impossible to eliminate that from happening 100% of the time. Starting the cut in the middle rather than the outermost part of the material keeps the sliding rails as retracted as possible which means less chance of head deflection. Once the teeth of the blade are in the material, the material itself functions as a guide keeping the blade from wandering for the most part. When you're burning your cut edges thats the blade wanting to go one direction and the saw wanting to go another. Miters and square cuts this isn't much of an issue but for bevels it makes a difference. You go forward after starting in the middle because you don't want to be making full depth cuts pulling the saw towards you because it can dig in similar to a tablesaw kickback, except its the saw kicking.

I typically go middle roughly half depth of the material, then lift it to just barely cut on the pull to score the wood, then full depth to finish the cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
Never store or move it with the table left in any of the indents. Store it by turning the knob to tighten the table out of an indent.


Mike.
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Dewalts miter saws, along with Milwaukees and perhaps some others have a lever you depress to lock the saw in a non-detent position. It's fast, but over time it tends to loosen up and I've messed up a couple cuts after it fell into a detent when it was loose. They are adjustable, so if you stay on top of it and keep it tight its not a problem. I prefer the twist knob but none of my saws have it aside from my 15" Hitachi that hasn't been used in 10 years have them.

As said, don't move it in a detent. If it gets bumped it can move the detent plate and all of your cuts will be off. I always store and move my saws at their max miter capacity in either direction. No detents and makes the saw more compact. I also move and store the saws with the guide rods for the sliding function fully retracted in their bearings. On the Dewalt saws and Milwaukee 7-1/4", this is the saw in the 'chop' position. On the 10" Milwaukee saw this is the saw in its maximum crosscut opsition. This makes it nearly impossible to tweak the rails should you bang the saw with something, or should it fall or tip over.

As for keeping everything in adjustment, my Dewalt DWS780 is the exact same saw as yours, just corded and was dead on out of the box for square, miter and bevel angles. I've never had to mess with any of those and its still dead on, and it's been a hard use saw. Still a good idea to check everything periodically just in case.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


All these recommendations to start in the middle of the cut are terribly wrong.

Never start in the middle, don’t make multiple passes, just pull the saw out pull the head all the way down and push through your cut. No different than any other saw.

There is a huge risk of pinching your blade and causing big problems if you start the cut in the middle. So often there is a lot of tension in wide boards. Now let’s say you start in the middle of the board then pull out and start cutting towards the center where you’ve already plunged through the material, if there is tension in that board it can pinch your blade in a nano second as you connect the two cuts and cause serious problems. On the other hand, if you start from the outside edge of the board and there is tension in your material you can feel the blade start to bind and bog a bit and pull out of the cut before there’s any problems.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:43 PM   #11
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by TRThomas View Post
He told you right. You start in the middle to minimize the chance tear out or worst case taking a big chuck out of the back of whatever you're cutting. Without a zero clearance insert or a backing block between the fence and workpiece its impossible to eliminate that from happening 100% of the time. Starting the cut in the middle rather than the outermost part of the material keeps the sliding rails as retracted as possible which means less chance of head deflection. Once the teeth of the blade are in the material, the material itself functions as a guide keeping the blade from wandering for the most part. When you're burning your cut edges thats the blade wanting to go one direction and the saw wanting to go another. Miters and square cuts this isn't much of an issue but for bevels it makes a difference. You go forward after starting in the middle because you don't want to be making full depth cuts pulling the saw towards you because it can dig in similar to a tablesaw kickback, except its the saw kicking.



I typically go middle roughly half depth of the material, then lift it to just barely cut on the pull to score the wood, then full depth to finish the cut.







Dewalts miter saws, along with Milwaukees and perhaps some others have a lever you depress to lock the saw in a non-detent position. It's fast, but over time it tends to loosen up and I've messed up a couple cuts after it fell into a detent when it was loose. They are adjustable, so if you stay on top of it and keep it tight its not a problem. I prefer the twist knob but none of my saws have it aside from my 15" Hitachi that hasn't been used in 10 years have them.



As said, don't move it in a detent. If it gets bumped it can move the detent plate and all of your cuts will be off. I always store and move my saws at their max miter capacity in either direction. No detents and makes the saw more compact. I also move and store the saws with the guide rods for the sliding function fully retracted in their bearings. On the Dewalt saws and Milwaukee 7-1/4", this is the saw in the 'chop' position. On the 10" Milwaukee saw this is the saw in its maximum crosscut opsition. This makes it nearly impossible to tweak the rails should you bang the saw with something, or should it fall or tip over.



As for keeping everything in adjustment, my Dewalt DWS780 is the exact same saw as yours, just corded and was dead on out of the box for square, miter and bevel angles. I've never had to mess with any of those and its still dead on, and it's been a hard use saw. Still a good idea to check everything periodically just in case.


The new Makita has a turn knob. Love that saw.


Mike.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:08 AM   #12
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Iím not impressed with the new Makita, everything feels kinda cheap and flimsy.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:19 AM   #13
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
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Iím not impressed with the new Makita, everything feels kinda cheap and flimsy.


The 1019L? We use the hell out of it and we have no complaints, except the fences. That was a stupid design.


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Old 03-10-2019, 01:29 AM   #14
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


I was actually referring to the cordless version, but they are basically identical saws, I just haven’t had my hands on the corded version. I like Makita tools, and I wanted to like the new saws, but I don’t. I had an open mind going into it, but I have never liked Makita saws, most of that stems from them always having the worst, weakest, shortest fences. Of course these new saws finally don’t suffer from fences being too short. And even though they say they have a great see-through guard, dust is always clinging to it and making it difficult to see through.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:33 AM   #15
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
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I was actually referring to the cordless version, but they are basically identical saws, I just havenít had my hands on the corded version. I like Makita tools, and I wanted to like the new saws, but I donít. I had an open mind going into it, but I have never liked Makita saws, most of that stems from them always having the worst, weakest, shortest fences. Of course these new saws finally donít suffer from fences being too short. And even though they say they have a great see-through guard, dust is always clinging to it and making it difficult to see through.


I never need to see through the guard. Once I pull the trigger I know exactly where the blade will be cutting. The dust extraction is awesome on my saw.


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Old 03-10-2019, 01:43 AM   #16
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Lights and lasers are great, but there’s very often cuts that I want to be able to look down the blade and see where I’m at. That being said, have you tried the DeWalt cut line system? It uses two led lights positioned over the blade and casts a shadow on your material EXACTLY where the kerf of your blade will be. It’s so much better than finicky lasers, plus it illuminates your work area. It’s been a game changer.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:06 AM   #17
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


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Lights and lasers are great, but thereís very often cuts that I want to be able to look down the blade and see where Iím at. That being said, have you tried the DeWalt cut line system? It uses two led lights positioned over the blade and casts a shadow on your material EXACTLY where the kerf of your blade will be. Itís so much better than finicky lasers, plus it illuminates your work area. Itís been a game changer.


Lasers are worthless to me on any saw. I work outside. And I've owned, DeWalt, Bosch, Festool Kapex, and the Makita. All useless outside.


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Old 03-10-2019, 02:09 AM   #18
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


I also use an accurate table system with stops. I don't need anything else for the most part.


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Old 03-10-2019, 08:22 PM   #19
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


I guess when you said when you pull the trigger you knew where it’s going to cut I assumed you meant because of the laser on your saw. How do you know where it’s going to cut just by pulling the trigger?
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:14 PM   #20
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Re: Sliding Miter Saw Question


Quote:
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I also use an accurate table system with stops. I don't need anything else for the most part.


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