As a custom stair builder, I value the versatility, capacity, and precision of a sliding compound-miter saw. Recently, I had a chance to check out Bosch's Model 4412 Sliding Compound-Miter Saw (877/267-2499, www.boschtools.com). This new saw has some nice features that distinguish it from other 12-inch sliders. Most notably, all of the miter and bevel controls are located on the front of the saw, so you don't have to reach around back to change settings or make adjustments.

The top-mounted motor means the 4412 can bevel up to 47 degrees in both directions. Instead of a knob at the back of the saw, a front-mounted lever changes bevel settings. I liked the control's accessibility and simple operation. Lifting the lever unlocks the bevel setting; pushing it down locks it. A high-contrast metal plate shows bevel...

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