Beware! I've tried a sliding compound mitre saw in my local branch and there's an awful amount of play when you slide the blade. Never the same cut twice, according to the B&Q sales assistant, but he felt it wasn't really a problem because they also sold some very good wood filler. Far better to save your money for a more reputable brand, in my opinion.
Biscuit jointers - I don't know of a particularly cheap source but again I would tend to go for a reputable brand. I've had a De Walt (well, I think it's a reputable brand! :wink: ) for a couple of years now that has seen quite a bit of action and it's a good servant.
If you live near London, why not try Ally Pally in a few weeks? You might pick up some bargains there.
I recently bought a 10" non sliding mitre saw from Machine Mart (on one of their "no VAT to pay" days - £89. It is fine - no complaints.
Then I saw the saw you refer to (the 8" blade?) in a big B+Q shop in Southampton (one of those warehouse ones where they have staff demonstrating eqpt), I was drawn to the machine due to the price and sliding action and asked the guy demonstrating what he thought about it. He said he thought it was a decent machine for the £'s (but he is employed to sell these) but said to hold off till the spring as he's heard that there would be a 10" sliding version for around £149.
Worth a thought maybe?.
i bourght a ferm biscuit joiner from screwfix and had nothing but trouble with it from "the off"
the problem was that the fence was not 100% square with the blade (mechanism locks from one side, rising mechanism also only operates from one side of the fence).
This ment that when biscuit joining a 3" length, by the end of the timber the biscuits were out by around .75-1m (ALOT of sanding!!!!!!!!!!)
I suggest the freud or trend equivalents..... only a little more in price, but light years ahead in quality
check that the fence is square on the biscuit joiner you buy, REMEMBER any errors are magnified x2 because of the second cut that you make in the timber that you rotate to join to your origonal cut (not very well explained........ think about it!!!!!!)
I bought the Performance Pro 250mm sliding mitre saw from B&Q last year and can honestly say i've experienced excellent service from it. It has ably coped with a very large ranch fence(ok so accuracy not critical here!), a raised deck with stairs. rails etc, a double bed(indoor project so had to be a good job!) and a mahogany table.
Just make sure it's all set up correctly, remembering the one you see on display has had all manner of folks having a pull at it with some not being too canny.
It did not cost the earth but with a good quality blade fitted post purchase to replace the one supplied, in my opinion it's been well worth the money.
Hope this helps Jeff,
I recently purchased the Delta 10" sliding saw from Rutlands, £269. It is a very well built machine with no play and a reasonable blade. The mitre settings are acurate and easily set with one hand with positive stops every 5 degrees and at the most common settings for cornices etc. I have easily cut 300mm boards at 90 degrees and would recommend this product to anyone.