How to choose a miter saw: professional recommendations

We continue to review the tool, without which the master finisher cannot imagine his existence. Previously, we examined cordless screwdrivers, hammer drills, chain saws, jigsaws and grinders. The main character of this article is a miter saw, “angle cutter”. Let’s take a look at this complex, rather unusual machine from a variety of angles..

As always, we attached great importance to the compactness and weight of the instrument, although this is just the case when these parameters are not so critical. So, the machine, in comparison with many similar models, is quite miniature, while its weight does not exceed 11 kilograms. It is very convenient to carry, you just need to fix the power unit in the lower position, in the upper part of which there is an additional bracket-shaped handle.

The engine on this miter saw is quite powerful and resourceful – 1650 watts and 4600 rpm. respectively. These are decent and very important indicators, because, as you know, the higher the blade speed, the cleaner the cut.

For the LS 1040, a blade with a diameter of 260 mm is suitable, it can be used to trim relatively flat workpieces up to 130 mm wide, the maximum cutting depth is 95 mm at right angles and 67 mm at 45 degrees. In the overwhelming majority of cases, such parameters were sufficient with a margin. Only once did we fail to use our miter saw due to the large width of the part – it was a 25 cm panel of prefabricated cork floors. Only trimming with a broaching mechanism could help us out.

Naturally, the Makita LS 1040 has a small die-cast aluminum saw table, but for working with long workpieces (plinth, cashing …), you can install two-rod U-shaped stops that are inserted into the holes of the bed. I will say right away that we practically do not use them. Either we do “as is”, or, if the work is long and painful, then we assemble an impromptu supporting workbench from wood 3.5–4 meters long (about two meters on each side) and 30–40 cm wide. match the working plane of the bed. The table, of course, has a parallel stop, however, its height is not always sufficient for cutting wide corner fillets.

The turntable (round section) of the saw moves very easily, the stopper is clear, with a reliable screw fixation. To install the most common angles (15, 22.5, 30 and 45 degrees), there are special grooves, a characteristic click is heard in the desired position. The range of horizontal settings is slightly expanded, which makes life much easier at non-standard angles. So, if we have 45 ° to the left, then we can lock to the right at 52 degrees. It is possible to tilt the disc vertically, there are no surprises here – only up to 45 degrees and only to the left. Note that all the tool assemblies are assembled exclusively of high quality, there are no backlashes in principle, the cut is absolutely accurate.

How to choose a miter saw. Professional recommendations

Like any modern miter saw, the Makita LS 1040 has a number of safety systems. The first is a movable protective casing, which itself exposes the disk when lowering the power unit onto the workpiece; no auxiliary levers need to be pressed. It is made of durable transparent plastic, so it does not interfere with the view of the working area. Together with it, a special “splitting knife” acts – a device that protects against jamming of the disc. The next system is soft start. The cutting blade does not tear from its place, but accelerates gradually. It is very important to give it the maximum speed before starting work, it takes about 2 seconds. A friend has a saw (about it a little later) without such an option, so the starting currents are so much higher than the nominal ones that the trimming knocks out the input machines every time. Another useful system is the electrodynamic brake. It smoothly, and most importantly quickly, stops the disc immediately after you release the button. And this also saves time, because until the canvas has stopped, it is better not to make any movements. There is a blocking of accidental activation. If you need to replace the disc, the shaft is tightly locked with a special lock. As always, Makita equips its tool with a good-quality dust bag, and you can connect a vacuum cleaner pipe to the same nozzle..

How to choose a miter saw. Professional recommendations

This trimming is one of the simplest in the line of this manufacturer, and even in comparison with the catalogs of other top companies. In a specialized workshop, it cannot replace a full-fledged sawing machine, but on a construction site, when you often have to work in confined spaces, with small parts, the LS 1040 is clearly what you need. There is no doubt about the safety, reliability and functionality of this tool, we are never afraid that something will go wrong, and an expensive workpiece will be damaged. You will need to pay for such a beauty somewhere between $ 420-440, but she is worth it.

Vorskla PMZ-90-255

Recently I managed to test a little such a saw. Despite the stylization of the name (it is fashionable now), a purebred Chinese appeared in front of me, in a sense, an analogue of LS 1040.

How to choose a miter saw. Professional recommendations

The feeling from this trimming, as if you are transplanted from a foreign car into a Zhiguli – it seems to be going, but somehow not very much. The most important thing is the backlash in the settings, so a high cutting accuracy is simply unattainable. The parts of the engine housing and the control button are made rough, well, that’s okay, if only it doesn’t break. The protective cover slightly interferes with work (was removed by the owner). The motor is powerful – 2100 W, which is 450 W more than that of Makita, this is at the same speed (4500 rpm). It works louder, but not more efficiently, heats up well – requires regular breaks. Sawdust stubbornly fly past the dust collector. I am pleased with the presence of a broaching mechanism, you can cut a workpiece somewhere about 30 centimeters wide. True, the console moves a little bit. There is no soft start, there is no disc brake after shutdown. Otherwise, everything is passable. It is still difficult to say something about the durability of this device, since the copy has not yet been properly tested in battle.

How to choose a miter saw. Professional recommendations

If PMZ-90-255 does not crumble under load, we can recommend it as an option for home use, where precision is not needed, and cutting speed becomes the cornerstone. The price of such a machine is about $ 170-180, that is, instead of the Makita LS 1040, you can buy two and a half Vorskla PMZ-90-255.

How to choose a miter saw. Professional recommendations

Making the right conclusions

If the miter saw will be used often and for a long time, professional models should be chosen. Although amateur trimmers are often not inferior to their older brothers in terms of the range of available options, their resource is much less, they are not designed for continuous operation. Here, the quality of the materials from which the tool is made, the accuracy of mating moving parts come to the fore. Be sure to pay attention to the presence of all kinds of backlash, to the accuracy of fixing the angles – these nuances radically affect the performance of the saw.

The more powerful the engine, the less it heats up under load, the more productive the tool, the larger the disc can be installed by the manufacturer. In close relationship with this parameter, the speed of rotation of the saw blade acts, the higher it is, the cleaner the cut is. Do not forget, power is weight and dimensions, soberly assess your needs.

The most important characteristic for a miter saw is the depth and width of the cut. It is she who will determine which workpieces can be processed on a particular unit. Much depends on the diameter of the disc (the larger it is in diameter, the better) and the design as a whole. There is a whole group of models in which the cutting width with a standard disc is increased due to the traction function. Their distinctive feature is that the console with the power unit moves along the guide rods (as a rule, there are two of them), respectively, the disc moves exactly along the cutting line (for example, Hitachi C10FSB). There are also designs with a complex lever mechanism that performs the same function, for example, as on the Bosch GCM 12 GDL.

It is very important how well the bed and the swivel block are made. It is much more convenient to work on a massive saw table with high vertical stops, but this affects the weight of the tool. In some cases, all kinds of workpiece clamps, built-in clamps can be very useful. It is important that the range of angular settings is as wide as possible, including relative to the vertical. Check the quality of fixing the specified angle. The scale must be detailed and well readable.

In some models of trimming there are cut depth stops, with their help you can select a groove, process a part in thickness.

Additional support may be required to handle long parts. Most manufacturers offer table extensions as standard. Sometimes you can find special folding stands for installing a miter saw, as on the Makita LF1000.

In order not to try on the workpiece with the disk every time, the end-faces are equipped with laser guidance. The beam (sometimes double) is adjusted according to the thickness of the blade and accurately shows the line of the future cut. For example – Makita LH1200 FL or Bosch GCM 12 GDL.

Modern miter saws have a number of useful electronic systems that cannot be overestimated. Starting current limitation (soft starting) prevents starting overloads. The electrodynamic brake will lock the disc after the button is turned off. Automatic maintenance of revolutions prevents the speed of rotation of the saw blade from dropping under heavy loads. Speed ​​control is rare, but common. There may be overload protection systems, motor blocking in case of disk jam, protection against accidental starting.

The most important safety feature of the miter saw is a high-quality and functional cover. It should move easily and accurately, regardless of whether it is done manually or automatically (in parallel with lowering the console). A special splitting knife prevents the disc from jamming in the workpiece.

The most technologically advanced and safest miter saws are offered by the main players in our markets, firms: Makita, Hitachi, Bosch, Metabo, DeWALT. However, their price is calculated in hundreds and even thousands of conventional units. Is it worth paying that kind of money – everyone decides for himself, it all depends on the tasks set.

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