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Portable Miter-Saw Stands -- continued

HTC 575P

The 575P from HTC Products is a well-made stand, and the components store on board when it's folded for transport. Even though it weighs nearly 70 pounds, the collapsed stand rolls easily. Relocating the stand while it's set up is definitely a two-person job, though. If you must move it by yourself, you'll have to break it down first. I found that to be inconvenient because it means the entire stand has to be set up again and leveled. An adjustable leg is convenient for stabilizing the stand on uneven surfaces, although the small feet will need to rest on blocks if you're working on soft ground. One nice feature is that the MDF saw base can be removed by loosening a couple of wing nuts. If you'd be using multiple saws on this stand, you could cut a piece of plywood to mount your other saw and swap them back and forth. The 575P includes a roller support, a bar-type support, and a T-stop that's used as a stop or an extra support.

Contact: HTC Products, Inc., Royal Oak, Mich.; 800/624-2027.

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Moving the HTC while it's folded is easy. All its parts fit into a single unit, and air-filled tires cushion the ride. The HTC has useful roller and bar-type supports. The position of the tires makes the stand hard to move while it's set up: It requires another person to help, or you'll have to break it down, which takes a few minutes. The adjustable middle support can be raised slightly to function as a stop (above center).


Iowa Manufacturing Stablemate

The Stablemate stand comes completely assembled in the box. Putting it to work was simply a matter of bolting my 10-inch saw to the plywood base and attaching the mounting clamps. Weighing in at 48 pounds without the saw, it's a relatively lightweight tool. Although the wheels bolted to the legs make it easy to roll the stand into the back of a truck, they are too small to be useful when moving it across anything but a smooth surface. The Stablemate is rock solid when set up, even under the weight of a heavy 12-inch sliding saw. The mounting base uses two crank-operated clamps that make it easy to get the saw on and off and allow you to use the saw by itself with the base attached. This stand would be excellent for anyone with limited space and a tight budget. It's sturdy, well constructed, and easy to use right out of the box.

Contact: Iowa Manufacturing, Battle Creek, Iowa; 800/882-4422, http://www.stablemateonline.com.

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The Stablemate's crank-type clamps make it convenient to mount and remove the saw and its base from the stand. The mounting brackets act as short legs, making it possible to use the saw separately from the stand without unbolting it from the base (left).


Rousseau HD2950

Even though together they weigh more than 140 pounds, this was the only stand I could load into my truck by myself without removing the saw first. It slid in pretty easily when I placed one end on the tailgate and lifted the other. The stand has leveling legs and 10-inch pneumatic tires that are mounted on the bottom of the legs, allowing you to relocate the stand without completely collapsing it. The legs for the support rollers store on the collapsed stand, eliminating the need for extra trips to the truck.

The basic stand, however, is a pretty bare-bones piece of equipment. It comes with only one roller support on each side, so cutting different-length stock would require constant adjustment. The optional support wing (part no. 6112, $103) and fence-stop system (part no. 6000, $120) with calibrated stops made this stand very easy to use. (Both parts come in right- and left-hand versions, which are sold separately.) I would suggest buying both the support wing and the stop system, although that takes the total price to over $500 and makes this the most expensive stand in the test. The saw bolts directly to the stand's table, making it troublesome to switch saws.

Contact: Rousseau Co., Clarkston, Wash.; 800/635-3416, http://www.rousseauco.com.

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Rousseau's stand was the only one the author could put in the truck by himself with the saw still on it. Tilt it back until the front legs rest on the tailgate, lift the other end, and slide it forward. The stop system (above center) is among the best, but it isn't included in the base stand and adds $120 to the cost. The calibrated stops are accurate and easy to use.


TracRac TracMaster

At 35 pounds, this stand is light and portable. Even with my saw bolted on, I could move it easily by myself. The mounting platform slides into the stand from one end; feet on the bottom of the platform make it possible to use the saw independent of the stand. An included flip-up stop uses reliable cam-type locks that didn't budge during repetitive cuts. I had some doubts about the long-term durability of the plastic supports, but the manufacturer assured me that they've never been known to break during normal use.

This was the only stand I reviewed that offered a second work support as an option, and if I were going to buy this stand, I would buy an additional work support for the other side of the saw (part no. 24301, about $50). That's important for safety as well as convenience: Without the support, a cutoff piece could lift up, or the piece could splinter before the saw passes all the way through it. Omitting the second support just doesn't make sense. I'm sure that's why the manufacturer made a point of including the optional support in the stand it provided for testing.

Contact: TracRac, Inc., Fall River, Mass.; 800/501-1587, http://www.tracrac.com.

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The TracMaster's stock supports are easy to adjust and lock solidly, but for some reason the manufacturer provides only one per unit. The necessary second support costs an extra $50.


Trojan MS2000

This stand offers exceptional mobility. Even with its 154-inch capacity, the unit can be easily relocated without having to reset the tables and extensions. There's ample room to grab the stand when it's being moved in the collapsed position, and its small legs provide good support when you set it down.

One idiosyncrasy of the Trojan MS2000 has to do with the set-up procedure. It involves standing the unit on its wheels and using your leg to control it. If you have fairly short legs, as I do, this poses quite a challenge the first few times you try it. The stand comes with a pair of table-type stock supports, which include rollers mounted close to the saw itself and extensions farther out. While the main tables are very strong, I was a bit leery of the extensions, which are made from 1/2-inch square tubing. Placing a heavy board on the extension alone, without the added support of the main table, could cause the extension to bend. Despite that minor quibble, the large capacity and excellent mobility of this stand would make it an excellent piece of equipment for both shop and field use.

Contact: Trojan Manufacturing, Inc., Portland, Ore.; 800/745-2120, http://www.trojantools.com.

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The MS2000 has an impressive 154-inch capacity when set up but folds to wheelbarrow size. The 1/2-inch tubular stock on its extension tables seems a little flimsy and might bend if subjected to a heavy load.

Trojan Workcenter

At just 30 pounds, the Trojan Workcenter was the lightest and least expensive stand tested. The design couldn't be much simpler: A length of user-supplied 2x6 forms the backbone of the stand, with two of Trojan's sturdy sawhorse legs forming the base. The legs securely pinch the 2x6, and the saw platform slips over the 2x6 with the saw mounted on top. (Rather than bolting or screwing the saw to the MDF platform, I secured it with a couple of C-clamps so I could also use the saw without the stand.) The Workcenter includes two adjustable support rollers that are secured to the lumber frame with thumbscrews. The legs can be used to make a sturdy sawhorse when they're not in use as part of the saw stand, and the support rollers can be set up to provide outfeed support for ripping long stock with a table saw. The Workcenter lacks a stop system, and because it consists of a number of separate parts, everything has to be carried separately when it's disassembled. Even so, I liked this stand a lot. Its versatile components and low cost make it an attractive option for builders who want a lot of bang for the buck.

Contact: Trojan Manufacturing, Inc., Portland, Ore.; 800/745-2120, http://www.trojantools.com.

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The Trojan Workcenter's no-frills design relies on a 2x6 to support the saw base. It clamps securely and allows the user to vary the length of the stand as needed, depending on the length of the 2x6 selected.

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Although the Workcenter breaks down into a number of separate units, all the components (excluding the saw) will fit neatly behind the seat of a pickup. When the saw stand is not in use, the folding sawhorse legs and rollers can be used for other tasks.