Which Size Compound Sliding Miter Saw ?

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Old 11-30-18, 07:54 AM
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Which Size Compound Sliding Miter Saw ?

I am in the market for a miter saw and would like to get some input on a 7 1/4 vs 10 inch. The saw would be used for general DIY jobs around the house and would get light to moderate use. Portability is somewhat of an requirement, it will need to be carried up a flight of basement stairs to go outside occasionally . Upcoming jobs are stair hand rails for the garage and deck using a 4 x 4 post , and replacement of 5/4 x 6 " trim.

Currently considering the Kobalt 7 1/4 an 10 inch. The 7 1/4 looks like it has a decently powerful motor from the videos I have seen, which is typically a problem with the small saws.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 08:14 AM
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Don't even consider the 7 1/4" if you want to cut a 4x4. It won't cut through anything that big without flipping it. Read up on the cutting capacity of each.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 08:58 AM
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Used a fixed 10" miter saw for years. I thought it was great till I bought a 12" fixed. Would never go back to a 10"and would consider anything smaller a waste of money.Well now I wouldn't have anything less than 12". Now that was fixed not sliding but still if I still did the work and needed a new saw and could afford a slider I wouldn't consider less than 12" for a every day work tool. A 10" though if it's not your daily work tool might be a good choice. A 7" work or play I wouldn't even glance at.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 09:01 AM
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I don't know that a 7" saw is fit for anything other than making picture frames. I have a 10" miter saw and have often wondered why I didn't buy one sooner. I agree a 12" would be nicer.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 10:42 AM
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If I were to do it all over again I agree a 12" fixed would be the smallest. Next smallest would be a 10" slider.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 10:50 AM
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+1 for a 12". I have the Dewault compound miter saw. If I were to do it over, I'd get the sliding 12" compound miter. Don't limit yourself. You never know how far you might get into woodworking.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 05:10 PM
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I agree with the others. 10" is minimum and a 10" slider would be even better. I have had a 12" for many years and have loved every second of it. If it ever dies I will buy a 12" slider. (It is a yellow and black saw in case you are wondering )
 
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Old 11-30-18, 05:28 PM
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I also have the 10" yellow and black saw and its limitations quickly became apparent. I'll likely sell it and get either a sliding 10" or fixed 12". I think you'll be disappointed with a 7-1/4".
 
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Old 12-01-18, 04:18 AM
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It boils down to what YOU want and need, obviously, now as well as in the future, but there's a big difference between a 7-1/4" and a 10", particularly if you toss sliders in the mix, so if you're on the fence I would suggest that a 10" is the way to go. I have used someone else's 7-1/4" a few times, and can tell you that, for the task at hand those particular days, running trim through a few houses, nothing elaborate, no crown moulding, etc., that 7-1/4" saw was the cat's pajamas. They're compact, light weight, and easy to carry up and down stairs and from room to room. So would I want one? No, because once you move to anything much larger than that they're pretty limited. You asked about a 7-1/4" versus 10" and received a number of recommendations for 12"; so should you look at those? Again, you need to think about the kind of projects you want to do, but I am not a strong proponent of 12" saws. I had a 10" non-slider for years that came up short for deck building, etc., so already had umpteen 10" blades for that and my table saw, and didn't care for the idea of carrying around any extra weigh. So at some point I went with a 10" slider with double compound, and it does everything I want. If someone plans to build a number of decks, or a bunch of stairs, or whatever, sure, 12" saws have their place, but I think that more often than not they are more than a lot of people need.
 
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Old 12-01-18, 01:46 PM
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If light to moderate use, look into Harbor Freight. They have a 12" slider that you can usually wait for a super coupon and get it for about $139.00. Their blades aren't bad either. I have one when I needed a slider for a small commercial job where I had to cut 12" skirt material for hotel bathrooms countertops. Didn't want to spend a lot of money. So, was pleasantly surprised at the performance for a low end tool. Great entry tool. If you find you want something more heavy duty, then you can upgrade down the road.

Like others, I think you will be disappointed with anything less than a 12" unit.
 
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Old 12-03-18, 07:17 AM
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As capacity & features have been added over the years portability has suffered. The 12" sliders are a beast to carry up stairs or lift out of a trunk or backseat.

Make sure you heft before you buy. Doing so is a challenge in the box stores where they always have them bolted down to the display shelf.
 
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Old 12-03-18, 07:45 AM
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I agree with the bulkiness concern. I keep mine mounted on a collapsible miter saw stand with large diameter wheels to locate it. It also has extendable supports for cutting long pieces like crown molding.
 
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