Whether it's into wood or your wallet, large sliding miter saws make the biggest cuts, so we tested them to help you invest wisely. The seven 12-inch, dual-compound sliding miter saws in this test are the best of each player in the field, and we couldn't resist throwing in a brand new, 10-1/4-inch saw with cutting capacity close to some larger saws.
The miter saws weren't the only tools on the spot. We tested saw stands of the lightweight, folding-leg, sawhorse type; more elaborate convertible, collapsible, rolling stand designs; and a more stationary multipiece stand. Besides evaluating their use in the shop and on the job, we devised a jobsite obstacle course to see how fast one guy could set them up. It consisted of wrestling a stand out of the truck, rolling or carrying it across the lot and up some stairs, and adjusting all the extensions, supports, and the saw so it was ready to cut.
I'm always tremendously skeptical about a tool that claims to 'change how work is done' as Festool does for its plunge-cutting 8-1/4-inch, 13-amp TS 75 EQ circular saw system. But after testing the TS 75 EQ, the company's newest and largest saw, I believe every word of it.
When I was working as a wooden boat builder, there were times that I couldn't tell where my hand ended and my portable planer began; no tool got used more. Since I've used these tools so much, I'm sensitive to their features and performance, and I take poor design and false promises about them almost as a personal insult. Several years ago I tested this category for Tools of the Trade, and when the editors said it was time to evaluate them once more, I thought it would be interesting to see what has changed. Once I got into the test, I realized that some of these new tools have really evolved.