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Mitre/chop-saw recommendations, under £200

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Seb Palmer

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Hi all.

I've gone through a few cheap-as-chips chop-saws, and I'm thinking about buying a better one.

My first was a £20/25 thing, off Gumtree, Performance Power (I think?). Very, very basic. Next I got an Evolution/Rage thing, from B&Q, for about £60-70 'ish. Slightly bigger blades and slightly better spec', but still super-basic.

I'd like a bigger blade, more power, and most particularly greater ease in achieving more accuracy and precision in the cuts. I don't know if any of those cleverly articulated ones - don't know what the mechanism is called - that allow deeper cuts without using the old/trad parallel 'rails' (my Rage saw has them), might come into my budget? Be fab if they did. I'm very constrained for space.

I'm searching online recommendations and calling suppliers. But advice from you folk would be great. I'd be happy buying used, as well as new, if it means - as it so often does - that I get more for less.

Thanks, Sebastian
 

AJB Temple

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New, under £200 is still cheap as chips and you get what you pay for. Consider that a good Freud or similar quality TCT blade will be at least £50.

For precision and accuracy I would hunt down a good used Bosch, Makita or Festool and up your budget a bit. I have the Bosch 12" - with the articulated mechanism. It is superb. It's been dropped twice (stand knocked over) and is still dead on accurate. Built like a tank, but just a good blade is £80.
 

Trevanion

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£200 is quite a constrained budget for a decent new SCMS but it’s not impossible. I rate the Metabo KGS254M quite highly, it needed a little initial setup to get the axis properly dead square but once that’s been done it’s been excellent and bombproof. As AJB said, a decent blade will set you back around £50 on top but the difference in cut quality will be very noticeable.
 

AJB Temple

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I had a quick look on eBay and for example there is the smaller Bosch GCM with the basic stand (not wheeled) new for £380. The Bosch blades are pretty good and the stand is useful (the wheeled version is a lot more stable though). This will be accurate, have the laser etc. I realise this is beyond your budget but I suspect will last years and years and you have already been through a few cheap ones.

I am still using my other mitre saw. It is 30 years old and is an 8" Elu. Good stuff will often do many years of use.

Trevanion knows about saws so his advice will be good.
 

Seb Palmer

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Thanks guys. I'll explore these suggestions. I now know that the mechanism I'm interested in, as used by Neil of 'Pask Makes', on YT, is a hefty Bosch saw with a 'glide' mechanism. And a quick search online reveals these to be in the £800-1200 range... way beyond my means! Sadly £200, as miserly as it may be, is actually me spending well beyond my real means. 😬
 

AJB Temple

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Oh Well. The glide mechanism 12" is what I have (reviewed on here by me somewhere). Superb saw but it is pro level kit. It is not cheap but it is excellent. I would trawl the auction sites if I were you. You may well find suitable machines there.

The guys who fitted my glass sliding doors had an evolution / rage with them, fitted with a metal cutting blade. They said that when they take it out of the van they have to check the set up every time.

Makita chop saws are used a lot on sites and chippies seem to like them. Again, pretty tough, but ex-site tools can be well used.
 

spb

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In that budget I'd likely be looking at the Metabo KGS216M - the little brother of the KGS254M that Trevanion recommends - if you want a sliding compound option. They're slightly limited for cut capacity, though, falling just short of being able to cut a 4x2 at a 45 degree bevel.

Otherwise the Makita MLS100 or similar is within budget and will be solid, but can't do bevel cuts. At that sort of price point, you'll have to decide what's most important to you and where you're willing to compromise.
 

clogs

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I've seen the Dewalt sliding chop saw with the 305mm blade used for £300, needed a blade tho.....
I have one from new...not the best...prefer Japanese tools.....it's been over a few times but still acurate, think it must be 16-18 years old now....so sweet to use....
the 110volt stuff is relativley cheap now as most of the site lads have gone battery tools....
need to do a scratch card sometime....eh
 

Coyote

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DeWalt do a fairly compact sliding saw with fixed rails, DW700 is the model I think which often seem to go on eBay for around the £200 mark. However it can't do trenching cuts (if you need that). If your budget is ready that tight do you really need to upgrade your Evo? I used one for ages and it did almost everything I needed and the things it couldn't do there were ways around.

It's very very easy to get sucked into "needing" a new tool. Might be better to spend a bit of money on a better blade and see how you get on before shelling out for a new saw.
 

MusicMan

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I have several decent woodworking machines (Wadkin, Inca etc) but never felt the need to change the Evolution, at least, not since I changed the blade. I bought also the small chopsaw version which I keep for cutting metal (and then the main blade lasts longer!). From time to time I carefully adjust the fence for square, vacuum it clean and oil the slides. I've had it more than 10 years now and don't need to change it. For accurate and well-finished squares and mitres I use shooting boards (with a Veritas shooting plane which, for me, is a much better investment). I don't think it is possible to get a mitre saw that really cuts accurate mitres that don't need further finishing, and definitely not for £200. I agree, try a new Freud blade (get the type designed for chop etc saws, not for table saws) and see what you think. If you still decide to upgrade, you can keep the blade.

BTW I don't think laser alignment is particularly useful. The Evolution had it but I didn't bother to replace the laser when it died. The spot size is significantly bigger than a pencil line, so the latter gave me better accuracy.
 

artie

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I bought one of these back whrn they could be had for about £140.


I used it 6 days a week for 14 years and sold it for £85.
Not articulated just a basic work horse that will give excellent service and almost within your budget.
 

Trevanion

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When I bought my KGS254m two years ago they were around £200 or so but they've seemed to have gone up by about £30. If you're not looking for big capacity I have a lot of experience with the smaller brother too, the KGS216m which is practically identical but smaller and they have been absolutely battered, abused and lugged around to sites all over and they still cut square both ways.

One of those will set you back around £170, I'd then put one of these blades in there for about £40 which will make the OK machine an excellent machine: CMT 292 Fine sawblade D=216 B=2.8 d=30 z=64

You could go for an 80 tooth blade for a finer cut again but I don't think it's overly necessary and it will make cutting larger sections go through much slower. On the topic of lasers, I never use them because they're never particularly that accurate and they stop working within a short time so I don't even bother trying to use them.

Trevanion knows about saws so his advice will be good.
Oh, You're too kind AJB! Too kind... 💕
 

Seb Palmer

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Thanks for all the info guys. I'll explore these recommendations.

Just to clarify on my current situation: my Precision Power died (motor gone), and my Evo-Rage, ditto. I cleaned the entire thing - the Rage - and replaced the brushes, etc. Still no dice.

The reason I'm considering a new saw is 'cause I'll have to spend x amount (quoted £65 to return to Rage for repair a while back) to get it going again. And it needed constant fiddling with - for me, at least - to get even half-decent accuracy.

The Rage was actually my first chop-saw. When it died on me, after ages trying to fix it and being chop-saw less, I eventually bought the PP for £20 or £25 off Gumtree, just so I had something to cut stuff with. Ok, I was very limited in what I could do, but at least I had a functioning saw for the most basic of cuts where accuracy isn't essential. Rather than spending more money on the Rage, i.e. getting back to a less than satisfactory starting point, I'm figuring I should step up a level.

I'm building a wooden greenhouse. And my annoyance with the inaccuracy of all the varied cutting methods I've employed in the build so far - my previous chop saws, mitre-boxes, hand-sawing, planing, shooting boards, etc. - has reached critical mass. I've had to or spend ages bodging bad cuts: filling, sanding, planing, packing out or shimming, all over the project. I only have the roof left to do now. I need a tool that'll give clean accurate cuts in one go.

I can't find the 12" Bosch 'glide' saw used at a price I might entertain, so I'm considering the Bosch GCM800SJ2 216mm, which is currently £225 at ScrewFix. But I can see there are numerous similar saws from deWalt, Metabo, etc, around £200. Plus there are your various recommendations... hmm?
 

timber

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I did advertise my Dewalt radial arm saw a while ago.For £200 .00 It is still here waiting for a response
 

Coyote

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Ah.. so with that bit of information. Yes.. you do need a new tool! Trevanion's recommendations are good.
 

Seb Palmer

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I've been recommended/quoted on the Metabo KGS-216 MN - as recommended here by Trevanion et al - at £175, by my local tool shop.
 

The Gray Man

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Over your budget, but for what it's worth and future reference, I've got the Ryobi EMS254L. Retails for about £275. It's a 10"/254mm blade, fairly solid, and I've found it to be accurate enough (to the point where I've built it in to my workshop). It has a laser, but that's not particularly adjustable and so fairly useless. It's big plus is that, although it's not as snug as the Bosch articulated arm, its parallel arm guides run forward rather than back, so it can fit pretty close to the wall. The biggest minus for me is that the dust collection is atrocious. I've not used other mitre saws so I can't compare directly, but (even in a category of machine which is notorious for bad dust) I suspect it's poor in this regard.

So, has it served me well in the 2 years I've had it? Yes, absolutely. Would I buy it again? Maybe if I wasn't likely to increase my budget, but I'd be very tempted to sell one of the kids to a chimney sweep and buy the Bosch beastie.

FYI, there's also a cordless version (their One+ 18V range) at only £236 (w/o battery), although on closer inspection that's only 8".

Ian
 

MusicMan

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Ah yes. better to upgrade than to spend that much on repairing the Evo. I will do the same when it gives out.

Having said that I just used it to cut a piece of 4x2 oak (seasoned about 60 years). After reading this thread I checked for square again - perfect - it cut cleanly and accurately with a very nice surface. I don't ask for more.
 

InTheHighlands

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A couple of suggestions:
- as mentioned above, 110V tools are cheap secondhand. So investing in a transformer will open up a wide range of secondhand mitre saws - and other tools at a later date.
- if you're uncomfortable about buying secondhand, why not take a mid way? Look for returns / seconds - for example Bosch have a refurbished section on their website where they are currently offering CGM8SJL at £197 in a 240V version with 1 year guarantee via selected partners - not certain how it works. They say they have 10 available, which suggests they may be ex demo etc, rather than a return.
 

TheBeeBoyKid

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Hi all.

I've gone through a few cheap-as-chips chop-saws, and I'm thinking about buying a better one.

My first was a £20/25 thing, off Gumtree, Performance Power (I think?). Very, very basic. Next I got an Evolution/Rage thing, from B&Q, for about £60-70 'ish. Slightly bigger blades and slightly better spec', but still super-basic.

I'd like a bigger blade, more power, and most particularly greater ease in achieving more accuracy and precision in the cuts. I don't know if any of those cleverly articulated ones - don't know what the mechanism is called - that allow deeper cuts without using the old/trad parallel 'rails' (my Rage saw has them), might come into my budget? Be fab if they did. I'm very constrained for space.

I'm searching online recommendations and calling suppliers. But advice from you folk would be great. I'd be happy buying used, as well as new, if it means - as it so often does - that I get more for less.

Thanks, Sebastian
Personally I’d stay away from Makita for modern chop saws. I’m a carpenter and hobby joiner and I’ve used a lot of different chop saws over the years and makita’s quality I feel has waned of late. I’ve got a 216mm Makita sliding compound in my workshop and it has a tiny bit of play in it which makes high accuracy difficult. Fine for site work but if it’s accuracy you need, maybe look elsewhere. Dewalt make some pretty good chop saws and festool make very good, well, everything but are eye wettingly expensive.
 
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