Good for a home shop
The WEN 15-Amp 10 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is the first miter saw I've ever owned, so using it was an experiment and an adventure led by the trusty instruction manual. Most of the instructions made sense, but, of all things, I had trouble getting the saw to unlock from the position in which it shipped. Eventually, I figured out that the release knob wasn't supposed to be unscrewed to release the cutting head, but, rather, was supposed to be pulled straight out - it would've been
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nice for the instructions to be explicit in describing this.
There are a number of knobs, locks, buttons, and levers that need to be adjusted before the saw can be used, which means there's a lot to remember to properly use this saw. Then again, given that the saw can do straight cuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, and compound miter cuts, it makes sense that there would need to be lots of settings to adjust.
The saw cut well—the engine seems powerful enough to handle the jobs I'll use it for—but the carbide-tipped general purpose blade that came with the saw makes really rough cuts. If you want your cuts to be nice (to cut trim, for example), go buy a good finishing blade; if you're just cutting the wood that'll go behind the trim, the included blade will do the trick.
At 49.5 pounds, this saw is quite bulky; therefore, I recommend using this saw bolted to a workbench at home or in a shop rather than as a portable job site saw. As though this is an anticipated conclusion, the saw comes with mounting holes drilled in the base. If you do mount it at home or in a shop, though, remember to leave enough space behind the saw for the blade to slide fully back on the sliding mechanism. Given that the saw is already quite large, leaving even more space behind it means that you'll be committing a big chunk of your work space to this saw, so be prepared for that.
By following the directions in the instruction manual, I was able to adjust the bevel and miter angles quite easily. I was pleased to discover that the miter adjuster clicks at common angles (0°, 15°, 22.5°, 31.6°, and 45°), and the bevel adjuster has a 0° bevel adjuster, so you can quickly and easily set your most common cutting angles.
The laser didn't work for me once or twice, but I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't depressing the laser on/off switch hard enough or whether it was malfunctioning. When it did work, though, the laser made lining up my cuts really easy.
Decent, but sprays sawdust
My unit had a bit of a rough time during shipment, some of the Styrofoam in was encased in had given way but no major damage was done. Despite protective cardboard between the blade and the kerf plate the blade still come into contact with the plate resulting in a few small scratches, but nothing serious.
Assembly is minimal - one really just has to learn how to unlock it from its ‘down’ position bring it up into the vertical position, and bolt it to a work surface.
That work surface needs to
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be pretty large! You need a minimum of 35” front to back, and about 18” width. The miter table lock sticks out another 9” beyond the 35” of table needed. Keep in mind that you need space on either side for the wood you are cutting too. I built a simple bracket for it out of 2x4s and bolted the machine onto the that (see picture).
Everything works well, the movement of the cut angles is nice and smooth and easy to change. There is a laser line included and the controls feel natural.
The motor is mounted at an angle to allow full 45° cuts both left and right.
The laser line starts about an inch from the fence.
One issue is that a lot of the wood chips miss the dust collection system. I think this is because the design had to leave an opening for the laser to reach the wood and so a lot of the sawdust hits the laser cover and goes all over place. I removed the dust collecting bag and installed a shop-vac into the dust collector but material comes off the blade so fast it still does not all get collected even with the vacuum running.