First, the disclaimer. I am not an experienced woodworker, having been working
(playing) with these things for about a year. Second of all, I have never
owned an expensive saw, never mind a SCMS. My experience with these things can
be summed up easily ≠ I donít have any. Therefore, feel free to ignore any/all
of the following.
Still with me? Good. Letís go.
Setup: There is no set-up. The saw comes fully assembled, ready to go. Lift it
out of the big yellow box, and go. (From my primitive tools, I guess that the
saw is properly aligned ≠ It was able to cut the miters on a picture frame
quite accurately ≠ Not perfectly, but certainly serviceable enough, without
any alignment work on my part.)
Impressions: The saw slides smoothly back and forth on its rail, and dips
cleanly down. The table rotates back and forth smoothly enough. The toggle
that holds the saw blade down works well, although I would prefer it to be
able to lock the saw at a particular height. The depth of cut adjustment works
smoothly and accurately.
Motor: When the motor starts, there is a slight pull on the handle, if youíve
pulled it down before pressing the trigger. It gets up to speed quickly, and
is quiet enough not to need ear protection. (DISCLAIMER ≠This is MY opinion ≠
Donít do this, try this, or think about this, unless you agree with me ≠ I am
an accountant, not an ear doctor, and therefore blah blah cannot be held blah
blah you get the picture. Donít be stupid.) Once you cut wood, however, you
will need the ear protection. The electric brake stops the blade quickly and
smoothly. The motor has cut, with the stock 60 tooth blade, smoothly through
all of the soft wood Iíve asked it too. I havenít used hard wood yet, but
expect to in the near future. Since I havenít given it a good test, I canít
attest to the sufficiency of its power, although it was enough forÖ
Beveling: The saw bevels smoothly, and although you need two hands and a
little care to set it properly, itís quite possible, and itís not a lengthy
process. Did I mention this was my first SCMS? I was wondering why the fences
were adjustable until I made my first beveled cut. The saw took a bite out of
the thick, sturdy aluminum fence without hesitation. So for those of you who
donít already have a SCMSÖ watch the fence. Power? It had enough to go through
the fence, so Iím guessing itíll cut wood just fine.
Ergonomics: Iíll be honest. This handle feels just as good as the ones on all
the other SCMSís. Since I donít really see a difference between any of them, I
canít make a comment. However, when I bought the saw, I was disappointed that
it didnít have a lock button to keep the motor turning. After I used it, I
changed my mind, and was happy that it would ALWAYS stop spinning when I
loosened my grip.
Weight: Portable, but not easily. Itís not heavy, but also not very well
balanced. Get a helper, and youíll have no problems. The handle is useful, but
I find myself using the top tube as well. It seems quite solid enough to do
Cost: Damn expensive, about $570. It was about $80 more than my other choice,
but the other had a 10Ē blade. I was afraid that if I scrimped, Iíd regret not
having the additional cut depth in the future.
Accessories: I looked at what was in the store, and was impressed by their
sturdinessÖ but stopped by their price. After dropping all the cash on the
saw, Iíll make jigs/holds/clamps myself. An angry SWMBO is a frightening
Cut quality: Not glass smooth, but as I said, Iím using the stock 60 tooth
blade. Iím looking forward to getting a GOOD blade on it, but until then, two
swipes with sandpaper cleans it up quite nicely. (Also, I may have something
to do with the quality of the cut. When the stock is clamped, it seems to do
better. Ah well, I guess I have to cut more things to be sureÖ)
Manual: I got one.
Overall impression: I like it, a lot, even though Iíve only used it briefly.
If this changes, Iíll post that, too, and the reasons.