Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, high quality tool that goes through 2x4s like butter, August 10, 2012
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This review is from: SKIL 3820-02 120-Volt 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw with Laser (Tools & Home Improvement)
I was originally in the market for a 10" or smaller Miter, and ultimately settled on the 12" Skil because the price difference between this and a good quality 10" one was negligible. The product was shipped promptly and reached me within 2 days. The saw arrived completely assembled in a large box. The only loose items were the manual, dust bag and the sliding trays on either side.

I verified the alignment of the saw along the different axes with a combination square as suggested by the manual. The alignment was spot on for everything except the front gauge that measures the rotation of the miter along the vertical axis. That was off by about 0.25 degrees, and was easy to adjust.

The laser was perfectly adjusted out of the box and was right on the money as far as the cutting line was concerned.

It is apparent that is a high-quality tool intended for professional quality work. The unit is heavy. The blade handle swings downwards smoothly. All bevel adjustments are smooth and clean, with just enough resistance to provide tactile feedback on the quality of construction. The unit is much larger than typical 10" Miters, something to be taken into account if storage is a concern.

When the unit is powered on, two things immediately make their impressions. One is the feeling of power. The other is the noise! This thing is LOUD, even when it is not cutting anything. When it is going through wood, the noise level reaches rock-concert levels, and using this without ear protection even for small amounts of time is asking for hearing loss. Earplugs, along with eye protection are absolute musts for operating this saw.

I used it to sample-cut a few 2x4s and 4x4s. The The stock blade that comes with the product goes through wood like a hot knife through butter. But the cut is not very smooth. The cutting was much smoother with an 80-tooth Bosch blade. You need and 80-tooth blade if you want to make finish-quality cuts. I understand that this is not unique to this saw.

That brings me to my one cause of complaint. Changing blades is a real pain in the ass. The instructions were not very clear and I had to loosen two screws to get the blade protector out of the way to reach the bolt used to hold the blade in place. Once the bolt and washer are removed, there is no natural way to ease the old blade out of the protector and introduce the new one. Much scraping and forcing is required to accomplish the switch, and you absolutely MUST wear gloves while doing this if you want to avoid cutting your hands during the process.

On the whole, I am fairly satisfied with the product so far. I'll update the review if my opinion changes.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 24, 2013 5:42:47 AM PDT
I have used a vice grip on blades that I had trouble getting a grip on.
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