I wanted to write about the everyday use of a flip over saw and this article relates to my Dewalt DW743 / DW742 saws. I think that is is safe to make the assumption that most of this should apply to other pro mitre saws / manufacturers.
Lets start by looking at some of the features that make these flip saws so cool and easy to live with everyday. I know that you can read the [intlink id=”2122″ type=”page”]specs[/intlink] for the DW743 but they are a bit dry and only give the technical facts.
On using a pro flip over saw every day you will notice:-
- They are very sturdy to work on, bench like in fact.
- Height of the bed makes for easy working, (well, as long as you are not 6’6″ tall!)
- Powerful motor with soft start makes cutting ‘normal’ sized stock like 4″x2″ a cinch.
- Flips over really easy and enables you to make what ever sized stock you need from stuff lying around.
- Quiet to use, some cheap saws have no soft start and make horrendous noise, not what you want all day!
- Tough as old boots, mine gets wet, very dirty, bounced around in the back of the van etc etc.
- Very accurate, I laugh when I see others ‘measuring’ between the blade and fence on lesser tools. I use the marks on the flip saws bed.
- Quality of the cuts (with good blade) is awesome, sometimes no planing needed, a quick sand and it is on with the job.
- Reliable. Kind of linked to the ‘tough’ above, but I have never even replaced the brushes in mine.
- Portable. Fairly heavy (hence the sturdy bit), but easily manageable to the van on your own.
- Cheap to run. Blades seem to last ages. No repair costs 🙂 Seriously thinking of putting mine in my will for my old boy!
- You will enjoy the envious looks from others on the site and probably have to beat them off with a stick when you need to use it!
So to recap; the ergonomics are good, the quality of the cuts are good, they are tough and reliable and able to get you out of tight spots with tricky work. What more can you ask of a mitre saw?
Other aspects of working with a flip over saw:-
Like all mitre saws, to work properly and safely, you need decent side supports to hold longer timber lengths while you cut. Three is ideal, two to the left of you and one to the right to catch the off-cut. Commercial supports are available as are manufacturers side support systems, but one way is to fasten timber ‘packing’ onto your saw horses. I have metal folding types with a four by two screwed to them, making them exactly the right height. These are especially good if you are working alone.
The switchgear is tough and reliable with safety no volt type switches, no false starts and a soft start.
Blade guards automatically move up out of the way on cutting and the DW743 has a slot so that you can see down ‘through’ the guard to your pencil line.
Pushing the blade down and through the material is steady and feels sure with no hint of ‘play’ anywhere.
They do make a fair amount of dust if not using an extraction system though, and you certainly wouldn’t want to use one inside a finished house without decent extraction.
I regularly cut lots of other materials too, ranging from plastic sheets, sections and even pipes.
To tell you a little story…..
I was once involved in remodeling an ‘industrial chic’ office complex that needed loads of aluminum sections and checker plate sheets. Thousands of cuts, which our flip over saws handled well. The Aluminum cutting blades are a bit of an animal though and not for the meek, as they produce an amazing amount of noise. The ally needed a firm hand during the cut too, but the smooth clean cuts were impressive.