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Milwaukee Tools instead of SAW Purchase

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I don't own any saws. I'm sorta ashamed to admit that, but I'm in the process of trying to fix that. I'm thinking maybe a miter saw would give the most versatile use and I don't mind spending the money, even if new. I don't foresee on the short term cutting plywood or sheets so I'm not really in need of a table saw on the short term.

I'm thinking that I may replace the boards on my deck as they could definitely need it. I may keep those boards and pick the good ones/lengths of the good ones and build some various garden boxes and/or shelves for my workshop. Long term I'd like to increase my capabilities with more purchases.

I'm currently leaning towards the following:

Dewalt 779 Dual Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw

I honestly don't know whether or not I need dual bevel or the sliding feature, but the "base" single bevel saw is in the $250 range so I figure buying it now might prevent an "upgrade purchase" a few years from now.

However, I'm open to any and all advice. I'm probably stuck at the $399 price point, but if you can convince me that there is a better purchase for even less money that's good too. A coworker is a huge Rigid fan, which I know they make good stuff but when you look at the compatible products online it seems like the Dewalt typically gets 10x the reviews.

Edited by GlockSpock
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I don’t really have the knowledge you need here. But I can tell you that you hit the nail on the head with trying to avoid an upgrade purchase later.
I did this a couple years ago when I got tired of being without a chainsaw. Did weeks of research on specs and reviews. Wife told me we needed to get the best one we could afford (good advice).

I wound up going with an Echo CS501-P, which is supposed to be sort of their entry level to the professional grade saws. Haven’t regretted it and haven’t looked back. 
Get the best one you can, even if you don’t think you’ll need some of the features right now. I’ve come to realize that you’ll kind of know which one feels right. 

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If you have the space for it, the sliding saws are better than non-sliding saws. You can cut much wider lumber. The downside of course is they take up more depth on a workbench to allow for the slider bars out the back.

Dual bevel is a nice to have but not necessary, IMO. It allows you to flip your angles without turning/pivoting the lumber as much.

Edited by monkeylizard
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One thing I learned early in my career was always buy the best tools you can afford. Otherwise you'll replace them somewhere down the line. Buy quality once and you'll never regret it. 

DeWalt is a good brand. I'd go with that. 😉

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I have a Craftsman 10 inch slider. Got it during a Black Friday sale a few years ago. Liked the price and the fact that the detents for the angles are steel instead of plastic. 

I would also suggest a stand made for miter saws. 

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If it was the only saw I would have for a while I would be buying a cordless skill saw.  Worm drive if available.    

If I am buying new into the cordless realm I prefer Milwaukee.  Dewalt and Makita second.    

I have all of them, and a mitre is definitely nice, but you can cut so much more with a skill saw.  Get a straight edge if you need longer cuts.  

Use a speed square to cut accurate 45’s if needed.

Both is the best answer, but  I would personally start with a good skill saw.  

Edited by Hozzie
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I bought this one a couple of years back and have no complaints.  Ryobi gets a lot of hate, but I have lots of Ryobi tools that get used at a rate I would describe as "heavy homeowner use" some, such as my cordless impact get used 2-3 days per week most weeks.  I have several tools from their 18V line that I have been using for more than 10 years.  

RYOBI    15 Amp 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw with LED
SKU# 306939218

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43 minutes ago, 10-Ring said:

I bought this one a couple of years back and have no complaints.  Ryobi gets a lot of hate, but I have lots of Ryobi tools that get used at a rate I would describe as "heavy homeowner use" some, such as my cordless impact get used 2-3 days per week most weeks.  I have several tools from their 18V line that I have been using for more than 10 years.  

RYOBI    15 Amp 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw with LED
SKU# 306939218

I got that same saw about a year ago and if memory serves me correctly it was on sale for $199.     I've been pleased with it so far and I've put down quite a bit of wide board flooring.     I'm with you, Ryobi doesn't get much respect, but I believe it's a good product for the money.   My previous saw was a Ryobi that I passed on to my son since I needed a sliding model.   


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Some thoughts to pass on.       I would get a sliding dual compound for sure.     

The 12" blade size is nice if you plan to cut very thick boards but if it's a sliding model, a 10" saw can still do most of what you want without the extra cost of the saw and blades.    Generally a 10" slider will allow for a 12" wide board to be cut.      A 12" saw can typically cross cut around 14".   

The Dewalt saw you linked is all the miter saw you should ever need.       You linked Amazon as maybe just a reference, but I would buy it through HD or Lowes since both have it at the same price,    (Less chance for shipping damage since it's about a 60 lb saw and very bulky.)   


Edited by Trekbike
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I had a Craftsman that served me well for probably near two decades, and now my son owns it. I upgraded to a Ridgid Sliding saw. I have been pretty happy with it so far. Tho it takes some getting used to it jerking and sliding forward when I start it. I'm used to the non slider just firing up. There is a lock on it that I could use, but I don't.

The non slider was fine for most things, but sometimes you had to flip the piece over and make a second cut, and I hated that. That is why I upgraded. But I will say, the small one was way more portable. I almost wish I kept it just for being able to toss it in the truck. 

One thing I'll say about the Ridgid is they have a lifetime warranty for their tools, which is nice. I have this saw and a table saw of theirs, and that is one factor that really drew me to it. Tho, I will say, you HAVE to stay on top of them to get you registered. Both saws, I sent in the registration and heard nothing back for months. I finally called them, and they said "Oh, here, let me take care of that" and boom, I'm registered.

I have a couple other Ridgid power tools as well, and they are rock solid. I abuse my skill saw, and it just laughs at me and says "Is that all you got?"

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I bought a Ryobi Miter saw about 20 yrs ago when building a storage shed stick by stick.  I did the majority of work along with a friend who helped with the heavy stuff and when a 2nd set of hands is necessary.  Still have it and it cuts just as good now as back then.  I also have a couple of circular saws.  

Get one of the portable stands if you get a miter saw, a real back saver.  Get some sawhorses if you go with a circular saw.  Both types of saws will cut flesh and bones and don't care if it's at the start of the cut or the end of the cut.  

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I have a Ryobi compound miter saw that has served me well over the years.   It is perfectly fine for occasional use.  I’m not going to build a city with it.

My only regret is that it doesn’t slide so cutting wider pieces of wood requires a flip.  

Am I the only one that sees “straw purchase advice”  in the title at first glance?  😆

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Kind of piggy backing onto what Hozzie said, if you don’t own any saws at all and are only buying one at the moment then a good skill saw (some places call it a circular saw) would be my first purchase. I have the sliding version of the Dewalt compound miter saw that you linked, and I love it. I’ve only ever used the compound bevel for trim, mainly crown. I’ve redone 3 decks so far this year, and I honestly use my Dewalt Skill Saw more than anything else. I use the miter saw for most angle cuts, but most cuts in deck work are straight cuts on deck boards and joist boards, and for those it’s much more efficient to do it with the skill saw using a carpenters square as a guide. It gets time consuming climbing down or walking over to your miter saw location for each cut on a deck board. Depending on the deck size,  you can sometimes attach all your boards, chalk a line and use the skill saw to perfectly cut your hangover, which is the only way I’ve found to make them perfectly match.

If you do go with a full blown miter saw look into the sliding model and definitely get a good stand. Also, once you burn through the first blade for any of your saws look into the Diablo blades (red). I like everything about the Dewalt blades except the price, the Diablos are usually cheaper and as good if not better.

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There's a reason why every circular saw made is called a "skill saw".  It's actually from "Skil", who made the earliest, and potentially best circular saws.  I know today everyone has gone cordless, and I don't have any problems with that, the batteries of today are not those of yesteryear, but I bought a 6" Skil 552 in 1980 when I was doing this for a living.  It's still the first saw i reach for in the shop ...

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Upon further thought, if I didn't have a saw and was working with a $400 budget, I would buy the following.  


Ryobi 10" dual bevel miter saw $250

Skil 7 1/4" circular saw $60

Bauer oscillating multi tool $60

Bauer is sold by Harbor Freight.  HF has really upped their game on power tools in the past few years.  Have several different lines, the Chicago Electric stuff is pretty cheaply made, but the Bauer lines on up are on par with any other homeowner grade equipment.  I own a free Bauer products and have been happy with them.  The occillating tool can be used as a saw with several different attachments available for cutting an array of materials.  There are also sanding attachments.  This is probably one of my favorite tools I've purchased in the past 5 years.    

That leaves you $30 for tax, but puts you in the ballpark.  

Edited by 10-Ring
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I did something and went a completely different direction last night. I went and purchased the M18 FUEL 18V Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless String Trimmer with QUIK-LOK Attachment Capability and 8.0 Ah Battery. I've had quite a few of their M12 tools over the years and loved them, this is my first M18 purchase. Like @10-Ring, I agree that an oscillating multi tool is a wonderful purchase. I've had the M12 version for a few years and it's useful for all sorts of things, although blades/attachments can be expensive depending on what you get.

Milwaukee is having an awesome sale right now where certain products get you a free battery, etc. However, folks in the know use a "hack" if that's what you want to call it. Example, I paid $299 for the above purchase, it comes with an 8.0 Ah battery but the promo gives you an additional 5.0 Ah battery with a sticker price of $149. The way it rings up on the receipt is that the trimmer is $199 and the battery has a "max refund value" of $99. Says that clear on the receipt. So sometime I'll swing in and return the 5.0 Ah battery. Brings the trimmer, 8.0 battery, and charger to $199.00 plus tax. I'll eventually get the pole saw for it as it would be great for trimming some limbs around the house.

I did this to replace my Stihl. While a great gas trimmer, think I'll try this electric one for the summer. I paid $350 for the Stihl a few years back and think I've already found a buyer (or two, or three) on FaceBook for $300 even.

I also have a cheap Walmart brand 20v leaf blower. I'll end up trying to sell it as well for whatever bills someone gives me. I think I'll do the "hack" and replace it as well. Tool ends up being less than $100. At some point I will need more batteries though so at some point I will probably have to keep one of the 5.0 Ah or buy one of the larger ones outright.

I saw all of this to say I think I've decided my first purchase will be an M18 cordless saw. Even if I went out today and replaced every board on my deck, that's only 42 boards. In other words, it will be generally light use as I'm not making money cutting wood.

Then I'll later get a miter saw for playing with. But it's summer and I gotta get more M18 toys.

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I went through this about two years ago and bought a Makita 12-inch sliding compound miter saw.  I had a DeWalt for a while but, as someone else pointed out, a sliding miter saw can take up a lot of room on a workbench because of the sliding mechanism.   The Makita's slider system minimizes lost space BEHIND the saw, which is where you lose the workable usable space on your workbench.

That said, Ridgid has come to the table with an articulating arm saw that costs a hell of a lot less and looks pretty good.  I'd look at this if I were you and if a 10-inch blade will handle the cuts in the material that you plan to use most.

RIDGID 10 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw R4241 (homedepot.com)


Delta was, I think, the first with this design.  I'm glad to see others doing it now.


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