I have the privilege of being a Lowes Creative Ideas Blog team member. What this means is that each month Lowes Creative Ideas issues our team a themed-project to create on our blogs. August’s challenge was to update your kitchen, September’s challenge was to create some seasonal decor, and this month’s challenge is to create whatever the heck we want! Woohoo! I have so many projects on my DIY wish list. Here are just a few:
I definitely want to add built-in bookshelves to our library/guest room…
I would love to create a newel post for our lower level staircase…
…and my boring hallways are just waiting for some molding or board and batten!
But to do all of these fun projects, the truth of the matter is that I really need a better saw. You see I have had my eye on a compound miter saw for a few years now, but I just couldn’t justify the expense. I own a very old table saw that used to be my dad’s, and I have a hand held miter saw. Between those two saws (and of course my humble little miter box), I’ve been able to chop some wood. However, these two saws are a tad scary to use and honestly I often need Matt by my side for moral support. (You know, just in case I chop off a limb and am dying in the basement without said limb to dial 9-1-1.)
So I decided that this month I was going to do something wild. I was going to spend all of my saved up Lowes gift cards and some saved up cash and buy an investment piece: My first and potentially last compound miter saw! Eek! But how does one choose a great saw amongst so many options?
You ask the experts.
I happen to know several and they go by the names Brittany, Sandra, Emily, Sarah, Cassity, Chris, Donna, Stacy, and Marian. Not too surprisingly everyone had a different opinion. A few girls love their Ryobi compound miter saws. Ryobi is an awesome brand, but alas it’s not carried at Lowes so that was out. Several said that a sliding, dual bevel was the only way to go. A few said a sliding saw didn’t matter but that dual bevel is a must. But do I choose a 10 inch or 12 inch saw? Most agreed that it wasn’t the size that matters but how you intend on using it that counts *wink*. Compound miter saws at Lowes range in price from $120-$800. That is quite a huge price range, so it’s important to consider your budget first and work from there.
When I was on an episode of Craft Wars, I tried out a saw that I LOVED. It had a laser for precise cutting, it slid out towards you for ease of cutting wide pieces, and what I liked best was that it was so simple to change up the angles. I was too involved in my Craft Wars jitters to pay attention to the brand name of the saw, but I was pretty certain it was a Dewalt. Today I took my wad of gift cards and headed to Lowes to talk with more experts and find my dream saw. My Lowes associate, George, was amazingly patient and helpful. He went down the entire line of saws and talked me through the pros and cons of each.
I liked that I could lift this saw and carry it around. It had most of the features I was looking for and it was reasonably affordable. However it wasn’t a sliding saw and it was really difficult for me to change the angle of the blade.
This next one, Hitachi 12-in 15-Amp Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Laser Miter Saw, was almost “the one”. In fact this might seem silly, but what stopped me from getting this one was the position of the handle. I hated it. It felt awkward to pull the saw down, and although I’m sure I could have gotten used to it in time it drove me nutso in the store—so it was out.
The Kobalt 12-in 15-Amp Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Laser Miter Saw was marked down and had almost everything I was looking for! But the vertical capacity was very small for the price. I hope to do molding in the house soon and just wasn’t sure if the vertical clearance would give me what I needed. It was also clunky feeling to me when trying to change the miter angle.
I ignored the nearly $800 saw because it just wasn’t in the budget for me, but this DEWALT 12-in 15-Amp Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw just might be! This saw had everything I was looking for in a saw and more. I could manage all of the handles and knobs easily and it slid like it was on ice. However, that pricetag scared me.
I ran over to the cashier with my 10 months worth of saved Lowes gift cards and had her add them all up for me. Woohoo! I had enough money saved up that if I wanted her she could be mine for a very, very affordable price.
I went for it and am now the proud owner of an amazing saw. Let’s see if I can use it well! I have a small project on my to-do list that I’m going to test the saw out on this week. I’ll report back soon with my review.
And now it’s your turn to have a chance to save (or not save) a Lowes gift card of your very own! Follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below in order to enter for a chance to win a $100 Lowes gift card. Good luck!