+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 22
  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    There is no question that A.Spruce is a lot more experienced than I am and my feedback on the HF saw is anecdotal, so you should probably follow his advice over mine, especially where your own safety is concerned...

    That said, statistically the VAST majority of power tool related injuries are due to poor safety, inexperience, or carelessness, not cheapness of the tool.

    HF has a lot of tools that are complete crap, and yes, some that could even be considered significantly more dangerous than average, but from everything I've read and my couple months of using this saw, I'd say it is one of their acceptable (not unsafe) tools. If the saw wasn't recommended by Handyman and didn't receive solid feedback from buyers, I too would have stayed away from it and just done without for now.

    You are best assuming ALL saws are dangerous. Always maintain and use them per manufacturer instructions, don't use them for anything other than their intended purpose, never do something stupid like pinning back the guard, and don't space out while using them. Using a Milwaukee and being a master carpenter doesn't guarantee you won't chop off your thumb in a moment of inattentiveness.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    "Cheap tools are cheap for a reason, they are inaccurate and dangerous."

    Spruce brought up the key phrase here: cheap tools fail to deliver accuracy. If you're a pro, you can't compromise on accuracy, or it will cost you business. As far as dangerous - all power tools, cheap and expensive, are dangerous if mishandled.

    The best tools for DIYers, money and budget being a factor, are the mid grade, mid range tools.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,081

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    The best tools for DIYers, money and budget being a factor, are the mid grade, mid range tools.
    But still within the name brand umbrellas. My first chop saw was a 10" Skil, right around $100, and it served me very well for many many years until I upgraded to a Dewalt 12". I will take a "cheap" Skil over any off brand from Harbor Fright (spelled correctly, I might add ) tools.

    Case in point, a few years ago I needed a stapler for a simple project. I am retired, so I don't need an expensive gun. I purchased a cheap Chicago Pneumatic, and here's the real deal, it doesn't shoot straight, which means it is just as likely to send a fastener through your fingers as it is into whatever you're trying to staple together. Now, for the project I purchased this gun for, it will be fine, however, it is FAR, FAR, FAR away from being an acceptable gun for anything you'd care to keep around. So there you have it, dangerous because it doesn't shoot straight, crappy finish to whatever it is shooting. Again, for this particular project, it will suffice, but I would not have purchased it had I cared about what I was building.

    Another side note, this was a chicken coop project for myself, had I been building this for a client, I would have bought a better gun. The same thing goes for a saw, if the tolerances aren't up to snuff, then the blade is going to wobble and produce a rougher cut, no matter how good a blade you're using, but odds are, if you bought the saw from Harbor Fright, you also bought your scary nasty blades there too. A crappy blade in a crappy saw is dangerous, no matter how careful you think you're being, let alone if you don't have presence of mind while operating it.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,081

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    I am simply offering my 25 years worth of experience in the industry, using power tools of all kinds and grades. I am not promoting any particular brand or tool, only that name brands be purchased, no off brands. Is saving $20, $50, $100 worth a trip to the ER when you have a mishap due to a crappy tool?

    Can a name brand tool do you harm? Absolutely, but the likelihood is considerably less than it is with a cheap tool, and quite honestly, the lower your abilities are with a power tool, the more you need a high grade tool to make up for your inexperience.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    Usually the first thing to go haywire on a miter saw is the blade guard; when it gets clogged up w/resin and stops moving freely, you wedge or tie it up out of the way, and the safety factor plummets. This happens with top-end saws, so I imagine it happens more rapidly with low-end off-brand ones.
    My next and final point: Get a decent blade first thing! The thing that comes with is not a decent blade, get a 80-tooth miter blade and you can thank me later. Freud (not Diablo) an CMT make great blades. From what I have heard Forrest blades are stellar.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    I like and use only Diablo blades. They're not the greatest but they are quite good for the price and they will not disappoint anyone unless they've gotten used to using blades that cost 4 times as much.

    In a perfect world where wood has no hidden nails, where woods are all properly dried, where knots, resin, and gum are just words in a book then yes- the better blades will be worth it. For most of us working in the field, none of the above conditions apply and blades get trashed fairly regularly even when you try your best to be good to them. If you use a reasonably priced blade, you'll just shrug and replace it. If you have an expensive one you'll be tempted to try to keep going with it long after it should have been replaced or resharpened trying to get your money's worth from it, and the most dangerous blade is a dull one

    As economical as they are, I have a stock of new Diablo's on the truck, just for those moments when Sombrieul_Mongrel would either be cussing or crying as his damaged expensive blade spins down to a stop. Me? I just shrug it off and make a mental note to restock that blade size as I install a new Diablo If they were that bad you wouldn't see Tom Silva using mainly Diablo's on the TV show so I think I'm in good company!

    Phil

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,081

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastercarpentry View Post
    As economical as they are, I have a stock of new Diablo's on the truck . . .


    Phil
    For skilsaw blades, whatever is cheap is good enough for most things. I do have a couple high quality blades for when I need a perfect cut, most of the time, however, cutting a hunk of wood to length doesn't require an expensive blade. For my chop saw, I do find that better blades are the best way to go, you don't have to get crazy expensive for most things outside of a cabinet shop, but the finer woodworking you're doing, the better blade you want to have. Cut performance is pretty huge between brands and quality of blade. Similarly with my job saw (table saw), whatever is cheap tends to suffice, with rare exception. For my woodshop tablesaw, I only run top quality blades.

    I've always kept duplicates of most of the hand tools and consumables, if not more, in my truck. I can't tell you how many times that saved my patootie when I'd snap a flat bar, eat a nail with a saw blade, or wrought some other carnage to a tool. It's a heck of a lot cheaper to walk to the truck for a back up than it is to leave the job site for a replacement when the need arises.

    Speaking of saw blades, how many guys carry "crap" blades specifically for ripping up a floor where you know you're gonna be hitting nails and other nasties? When a blade was no longer good enough for general use, I'd always slide it over as a "floor" blade, to use on those occasions when you knew there'd be something that would destroy a blade?
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 06-02-2014 at 10:36 PM.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    "I like and use only Diablo blades. They're not the greatest but they are quite good for the price and they will not disappoint anyone unless they've gotten used to using blades that cost 4 times as much. "

    True. For the money, Diablo blades rank high, and I have a spare one of them. They really cut like butter, or maybe I should say: like a devil.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    I've got usable back-up on the truck for darn near everything except the truck itself- for that I've got AAA+
    Dead blades and bits for every tool are kept just for those moments when you don't want to risk a good one. for 'junk cuts' I have a cheap skilsaw and a crap blade ready to plug in and go so that I'm not tempted to chance it with the good one (yeah, I know the blade is smoking because it's dull- you want to buy me a new one I will kill on the next nail I hit? I didn't think you would!) Some of my more used 'expendable' tools are not first-rate for similar reasons; it makes no sense to ruin something good when you know it's going to happen, and that keeps the good stuff in fit condition for work that requires it.

    Field work is different from shop work, especially in remodeling. You are going to hit snags out there so you might as well plan for that. Shop tools rarely see that kind of abuse so can be a lot better quality with equal or less risk. Diablo blades have gotten cheaper at the big-box store where I buy them but they still cost more than the 'usual suspects' do. I need to find a cheaper source on the web and start buying them in bulk in my most-used sizes since I'm doing mostly remodeling these days and I'm going through more of them than I really want to Using really nice blades I'd go broke in a month and I won't use anything lesser so Go Diablo!

    Phil

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Time for a Mitre Saw, looking for recommendations

    Believe it or not, Home Depot has specials on Diablo 7-1/4" blades - like buy one get one free, or multipacks with a free blades. But you never know when this special display is going to pop up, when I see one, I stock up.

    I use other brands too: I just found Skill on clearance for $3 each at a local store.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •